Last year, independent economist Saul Eslake slammed the heavy handed display by the Victorian Government and Police against its own citizenry in enforcing its draconian COVID-19 lockdown rules.
According Eslake, Victorians during the first lockdown payed almost $6 million in fines for breaching COVID restrictions, $2.2 million more than the rest of the country combined:
“Let me emphasise here, the comparisons I’m making are during the first lockdown, between late March and late May when all states were facing essentially the same situation during the first wave,” Mr Eslake told Sky News.
“Particularly Victoria collected five-and-a-half times as much by way of revenue from fines for breaches of lockdown regulations as New South Wales, can you really believe that there were five-and-a-half times more Victorians for every person in New South Wales who was doing something stupid or idiotic.
“No of course not, the difference was that Victoria was much more zealous in putting the police out there looking for breaches, Victoria was much less willing to exercise discretion for minor or inadvertent breaches.
“And the fines which Victoria imposed for every breach were considerably higher than the rest of the country.
“If that resulted in Victoria having a better experience then you might defend that as a sensible policy to have pursued.”
Mr Eslake said it is quite plausible to think the “complacency with which Premier Andrews so charmingly accused his fellow citizens of displaying when the first lockdown restrictions were eased” was caused by the “sense of relief they might have felt from getting out from under what had been clearly the most oppressive policing regime when it came to lockdown regulations”.
Today, Saul Eslake has given another interview to Sky News (below) where he has attacked Victoria’s decision to lift fines by 10%, which will make it even more reliant on draconian policing:
Mr Eslake said Victoria had already done “a lot of damage to its image” through its mishandling of the pandemic and its “over the top policing” which he argued would get worse due to a 10 per cent increase in fines.
“Victoria is already the state which uses its police force as a branch of the state tax office to a much greater extent than any other state,” he said.
“We saw that during the pandemic when Victoria was levying some of the heaviest fines in the world for breaches of lockdown regulations and enforcing them much more zealously than for example the police in Russia or Saudi Arabia.
“The consequences of the image that Victoria’s creating for itself as a high tax state, as an overpoliced state is going to do the Victorian economy some long-term harm”…
As a Melburnian, I 100% endorse this message. Fining people $227 for travelling 3kph above an artificially low 40km per hour speed limit is the ultimate insult. It’s not about road safety, but blatant regressive revenue raising.
- Contradictory employers cry foul at 2.5% minimum wage increase - June 17, 2021
- Aussie property values up 10% since start of pandemic - June 17, 2021
- Links 17 June 2021 - June 17, 2021