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A budget that gives and gives and gives and gives but has no interest in the things that matter

Pre budget: Tuesday 2 April

What a farce it is to present a budget a few days out from the announcement of a general election. Particularly when you know that the odds of you winning are slim and your budget will become superfluous anyway. It’s yet another example of the mistrust people have for politicians.

Most voters will view it as a cynical pre-election move by a government that hasn’t been able to manage itself for 6 years.

Before commenting on this unnecessary exercise in yearly budgetary planning we must at first recognise that budgets are at best forecasts based on available evidence.

We won’t really know if it’s a surplus until November of 2020 when all the figures are finalised. So all this talk of a surplus budget is premature. The government is forecasting a very ambitious 3%growth rate for the year. It would only take a collapse in commodity prices and a surplus would be out the window.

Even blind Freddy knows that the only reason they are able to predict a surplus is that the price of iron ore and coal has risen dramatically over the past few months. To suggest that it is a result of sound economic management is saying that changing Prime Ministers frequently guarantee’s victory.

It is also unsurprising just how many of the voting fraternity think that a surplus budget wipes off all of our debt. No, Australia’s debt that the LNP have doubled still remains.

But in delivering his first budget just what will the treasurer tell us about the existing state of the economy. Nothing I have read thus far suggests the treasurer will mention the economic storms starting to rear the heads on the economic horizon. If America or Europe catches a cold then we are sure to get the flue.

Freydenberg tells us that his budget will ease the cost of living on those who need it most and to prove his point he will give pensioners and others $2 a week to help with electricity. Now we can give the grand kids some pocket money my wife said.

Delivering what can only be a political budget in the shade of an upcoming election is precarious. With only 3 days of sitting not many of the budget measures can be passed so it really is a campaign launch without the bells and whistles.

Shorten is calling the phony budget for what it is; a pantomime. Given they have been fighting each other for so long I’d suggest a few last minute cash splashes won’t mean much to the electorate.

As Shorten said:

“What new idea is the government going to do in the next six weeks that they couldn’t do in the last six years?”

Shorten is a better tactician than Morisson and his move to release Labor’s much more ambitious climate and energy and motor vehicle policies was a good move.I’m tipping there will be a lots of candy handed out on budget night. The problems for the government will be that it has either passed its used by date or the wrappers are to out of date.

Post budget: Wednesday 3 April

So, what are we to make of this budget? Well, it is a budget that gives and gives and gives and gives but has no interest in the things that matter.

It is one that Labor has said it will put aside before it’s own mini budget in September or there a-bouts. As it turns out it is a budget asking you to forget the last six years of division, disunity and of revolving door leadership. Just forgive and forget.

Even after doubling the debt to record heights they continue to roll out the debt truck, the debt emergency, of Labor’s incumbent years as if their own economic sins were their right to make.

It was so typically conservative, divorcing itself from the future, from science, from climate action, and solving our energy problems. Where were the voices shouting, “what price will the people of tomorrow pay for the stupidity of today’s folly”?

Where was the grand opening of eyes that had been closed for a generation? Where were the voices that could see that not having a climate change policy or an energy policy are part of that folly.

Labor is adopting Malcolm Turnbull’s policy on climate with their own enhancements. I call it entry politics. It’s the one their own party rejected.

The LNP is left with plans to spend $2bn “climate solutions fund” over 15 years, not 10 as they said a short time ago.

Morisson is stupidly making “carbon tax” noises again even though Peta Credlin admitted that under Abbott it was nothing more than a political hoax.

Why is this government so reluctant to adapt to change? That the world was far ahead of us on things that matter.

Why do they not see that if they were to win the next election we, given their objection to electric driven cars, might have to revert to manufacturing our own petrol driven cars because nobody else will be doing it.

At the risk of repeating myself a forecast is not a surplus. And when you have the NDIS paying for almost half of it you have to be contemptuous even cynical. And to take money away from the NDIS is nothing short of deplorable.

“Is it a moral fail to build an election surplus off starving the National Disability Insurance Scheme of money, leaving disabled people without the services they need?” Asked Jon Faine on ABC Radio.

And as I sat and listened to Josh Freydenberg giving away billions of dollars so effortlessly I had hopes of a small blessing for pensioners but it was not to be.

Now 6 years in power. All of it rotten and all of a sudden they think they deserve another three. Enough is enough.

This budget I believe isn’t the thinking of a progressive even ambitious government dedicated to marrying tax cuts to the common good. It is more that of an unfair government that assumes that those who earn under $40,000 will vote Labor and those earning $120,000 will vote LNP. Look at the tax cuts!

My thought for the day

We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.

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18 comments

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  1. Kronomex

    On a budget side note –

    Someone should ask The Harpy to name a thousand small business owners –

    “Ms Cash said small businesses were “genuinely delighted” by the move…”

    On second thought to name 25, no make that 10.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/small-business-is-clear-battleground-for-election-michaelia-cash-20190402-p51a18.html

    It never ceases to amaze me that all of a sudden, usually around election time the LNP rediscovers that it’s –

    “”It is a clear battleground,” she said. “They are the backbone of the Australian economy. Absolutely they are front and centre as Australians go to make their choice. It is in our DNA as Liberal and Nationals to back small and family businesses.””

    And how in the name of Watson and Crick did small and family businesses become part of their DNA? Pseudoscience and bullshit at it’s best. Oh wait, dog must have inserted a special, just for the LNP, gene into their double helix to make them care.

  2. terence mills

    The budget announcement was watched by 751,000 nationally on ABC and 623,000 watched the ABC News special which followed straight after.

    MAFS was watched by 1.89 million nationally and MKR 1.24 million nationally at around the same time.

    Safe to say that some of these folk have no interest in politics so who knows where their vote will go : some would suggest that those watching MAFS may not be of voting age [mentally that is !]

    Morrison has said today that he hasn’t even turned his mind to the election date as he has been too busy providing responsible and sensible governance to this country.

    It has been suggested that he may try to string out his visit to the GG for a few more days as anything he does, anywhere he goes is on the public tab until the election announcement and the government goes into caretaker mode. After all, the Liberal party is just about broke having sacked their biggest donor.

    Safe to say he won’t be flying off to Christmas Island for a photo-op in the next couple of days.

  3. Keitha Granville

    I am going to just keep on adding – MPs get a Newstart allowance payment every day when they are in Canberra. EVERY DAY. Just to cover accom, food and transport which they can’t seem to manage on their meagre salaries.

    Unfortunately the Labor party won’t touch these obscene entitlements either.

  4. Kerri

    Wasn’t it Morrison who said that women should not ist up at the expense of others?
    Why should the wealthy rise up at the expense of everyone else??

  5. Alcibiades

    Kietha, take a deep breath, try to remain calm …
    Our Federal pollies, House of Reps & Senate are given a number of ‘entitlements’ on top of their base salaries, which are are supposed to be used as ‘work expenses’. Bollocks :

    (1) Can claim back money for travelling to and from their electorates (Even helicopter charter flights within – Barnaby) for nebulous ill-defined ‘parliamentary or electorate business’.

    (2) Claiming travelling for committee hearings is allowed, but supposedly attending private functions without a valid work reason is out (Tim Wilson. AFL Grand Final, sisters birthday – Julie Bishop).

    (3) Can claim unlimited domestic travel, if deemed “reasonable”. No commercial flights available(or ‘asserted’ as inconvenient), just charter a plane (Matthias Cormann, ~$47,000 for the previous budget tax cuts that never passed).

    (4) Get a daily accommodation allowance, daily meals allowance and other incidentals if they assert they’re ‘travelling’. (Hockey & et al whilst sleeping in his spouses home. Abbott & co claiming everything they can whilst on their annual ‘charity’ Pollie pedals).

    (5) Ministers can claim the cost of spouses/partners travelling with them, by ‘asserting’ they’re travelling for ‘official business’.

    (6) Are allowed to have the costs of one privately-owned vehicle covered by the taxpayer. In Canberra on ‘Parliamentary business’ or asserting so whilst travelling elsewhere, they can use a COMCAR. And get ~$240/pa to cover the cost of parking …

    (7) Receive 10s of 1,000s for office upkeep. Postage, stationery, printing costs, internet/comms costs, as well as computers, laptops, TVs & office furniture are all expensed. Even get their phone bills, including mobiles, re-imbursed.

    (8) The ‘cost’ of family reunions, business class tickets to fly their spouses & children to Canberra, or even elsewhere, if they ‘assert’ they’re ‘working’ somewhere other than where they claim they usually reside. And so on …

    Daily allowances (IIRC): Accommodation ~$281, meals ~$181.

    Newstart is $275 a week. $181 exceeds my personal food budget for a fortnight.

  6. Kaye Lee

    One of my favourites was Hockey, who was at home with his family in Sydney, took them to the airport to fly over to WA, then flew over himself the next day and claimed family reunion for them all. I think Tony Burke did the same thing flying his family to Uluru.

  7. Alcibiades

    KL,
    Yup, manipulated to the max. What real world employer/business, including public service Departments/Authorities/Agencies, would tolerate any of this ?

    Re point (3), all domestic travel ‘asserted’ as on ‘parliamentary business’, is in First Class.

    Re Daily allowances (IIRC): Accommodation ~$281, meals ~$181. That should be ~$283 not $281 per night. And those example figures are for the local Canberra ‘rate.

    Now, if you claim said allowances in say, Karattha in WA for example, the daily accommodation allowance goes up to ~$500+, similarly for the daily ‘Meals’ allowance.

    Abbott, Andrews & co. make a literal killing with claimed daily allowances/expenses as they ‘pollie pedal’ for ‘charity’ around Oz each & every year. Pedalling through regional centres can score you upwards of ~$815 a day in meals & accommodation allowances alone. That’s over $10k a fortnight whilst, pedalling.

    There is a finite limit re overnight accommodation, routinely annually exhausted by some ? Though some are allowed up to 90 nights per annum(3 months).

    Our hard working PM’s such as Abbott, Turnbull, Scotty get overnight allowance of ~$570, proportionally higher as above outside Canberra. Just sayin’.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott even claimed for parking tickets for his private vehicle when it appears a family member had been using it. It’s handy having daddy as a PM. Works well in getting a scholarship in return for having a course accredited for government subsidy too.

  9. New England Cocky

    So how much did the RAbbott extract from the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme for the much vaunted “Pollie Pedal” farrago?? Political travel and accommodation across regional centres of Australia. Then there were his confederates also “Pedalling for Profit”.

  10. Alcibiades

    Handy being Treasurer too. Hockey slipped into his budget a single line item. An unassessed, untendered, unasked grant of $1M for his daughters ballet school IIRC.

    Now triple dips in the Good ol’ US of A as our Ambassador for serious bikkies ($360,000+), and far better ‘entitlements’, along with claiming ~$5,000/pa in child-minding, along with a ~$46,000 personal housekeeper to prepare meals, clean, wash and iron. Secondly collecting his $100,000+ parliamentary pension, plus ‘entitlements’. Thirdly, simultaneously earning how much from his conflicted(?) directorships/investments ? (oh, & HelloWorld).

    From the guy who gave us ‘The end of Entitlement’, ‘Lifters & Leaners’, railed against women who ‘double dip’ by daring to claim both workplace and taxpayer-funded paid parental leave schemes. And, ah, higher income people pay the most fuel tax, because poor people don’t own cars or don’t drive very far, anyway.

    Ann Sudmalis ? Recall her enthusiastically publicly exclaiming cutting Penalty Rates for the lowest paid … was a ‘Gift’ for young people.

    Grrrh.

  11. wam

    Your words ring true to scumo and the clp boys like wilson and cash, who have mounted the ‘throw shit at shorten’ campaign in the hope of deflecting the arrows from bill’s reply.

    Tonight will be a taramtina, uma thurman production with samurai blades flashing in front of indignant looks and inane screeches of liar. shame etc and tomorrow the headlines will lie loudly to reveal the labor’s economic disaster

    With one magnificent exception labor does not play the man, even when the man is a suppository worthy of derision every day for the last 6 years. Whilst they have suffered for that principle, they are to be admired for their discipline but how I wish the human failing would appear more often and joyce, the rabbott and scummo would each get a swift kick in the guts every now and again..

    You must be glad your thoughts are not your socks.

    spot on kronomex the 2014 cigars show their worth.

  12. MöbiusEcko

    A budget that didn’t give to the government. Galaxy poll 2PP stubbornly remains the same, 47:53.

    I thought the Libs might pull something out of the hat, but it really does look like people have set their mind in stone on this government.

  13. Alcibiades

    MöbiusEcko,
    Historically no budget ever has … and with this one delivered without weeks of media leaks & interviews in the leadup, really just a coupla days, in a transparently blatant attempt to buy back votes from their lost ‘base’ days before an election must be called ?

    Shouty McShoutyFace can repeatedly call reporters, interviewers, hosts & journalists, liar/liar/liar it’s all lies, you’re lying, for only so long, arrogantly stomping off stage left. It ain’t gonna endear him to the voters as ‘Dear Leader’. Not when less than ~40% even recognise him. Tried it on with Jon Faine on Breakfast radio the other day, second highest rating show in VIC. Along with the Waleed Aly interview, how many additional seats did that cost in Victoria.

    Am now convinced their internal polling has told them they have no way to get over the line. Fully expect they will probably publicly implode during the campaign.

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