“Saddle up your horse and ride out of town”

May 21, 2009

What can you do with your property?

Not much if you live in Melbourne’s City of Port Phillip. Last week a man was convicted and fined $52,500 for demolishing his semi-detached unit without a permit.

This morning we sent the IPA’s Chris Murn to take a photo of the rubble.

If he had applied for a permit, the council wouldn’t have allowed its demolition anyway because they declared the mundane-looking unit had ‘heritage’ status (it was built in the 1940s by the Housing Commission).

When the government tells you what you can’t do with your own property, they as good as confiscate it. Just because this sort of thing happens all the time doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get angry when it does. (If Port Phillip Council thought this house was so special they could have just bought it!)

The Mayor was positively joyful at the conviction: “Saddle up your horse and ride out of town now if you think you can get away with it”.

Politicians intimidating the public doesn’t only happen in Australia. Read this letter from Congressman Barney Frank that’s just been released trying to tell someone what they can and can’t say about government policy.

And did you see what happened to Arnie yesterday? Californian voters rejected his proposal to raise taxes. Instead Arnie is going to have to cut costs (what a radical idea!) The only law that was passed was one prohibiting politicians getting pay rises when the budget was in deficit.

If you’ve got a spare 52 seconds watch Tory MEP Dan Hannan taking apart the world’s bailouts.

In the Australian Financial Review, I started a trend when I doubted the Treasury’s budget projections. And today Alan Moran argues that the Treasury simply doesn’t understand how the economy works.

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