Kien Choong responds to our Consular Conundrum thread, in particular Alex Oliver's proposal for a levy to pay for DFAT's consular services:
I don't think a levy in travel is an efficient way to finance consular assistance. A true user-pays levy would be to send the bill to the individuals receiving consular assistance. If the bill is not paid, get the Australian Tax Office to collect payment based on the individual's taxable income much like the loan for higher education.
Payment is only collected if the individual's taxable income exceeds say $40,000 per annum. DFAT's colleagues in Treasury should be able to design something suitable. The money collected should I think still go to general revenues. Consular assistance should still be funded from the general budget allocated to DFAT. Just a suggestion. Treasury should be able to come up with something better I am sure. But a levy won't be an optimal way of raising revenues I think.