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Are you suffering from PBS?

What is prebudget syndrome (PBS)?

Prebudget syndrome (PBS) is a group of symptoms linked to the budget cycle. PBS symptoms occur 4 to 6 weeks before the budget is announced. The symptoms usually go away after budget night though, in severe cases, PBS symptoms can remain until the next budget. PBS can affect voters of any age and the effect is different for each person. For some people, PBS is just a yearly bore. For others, it may be so severe that it makes it hard to even get through the day.

What causes PBS?

The causes of PBS are many with several factors involved. Changes in promises during the electoral cycle seem to be an important cause. These changing promises may affect some voters more than others. Ideological changes in the brain may also be involved. Stress and financial problems, such as poverty, do not seem to cause PBS, but they may make it worse. Some other possible causes include:

  • Low levels of trust
  • Being fed a lot of bullshit
  • Reading the Murdoch press, which may alter your mood and energy level

What are the symptoms of PBS?

PBS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling despondent
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Appetite for change or social justice cravings
  • Cost of living pain
  • Trouble with reconciling what is being said now with your memory of what was promised
  • Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
  • Anxiety or depression

Symptoms vary from person to person.

What is the treatment for PBS?

Many things have been tried to ease the symptoms of PBS. No treatment works for every voter. You may need to try different parties to see what works for you. Some treatment options include:

  • Government changes
  • Greens
  • Independents

Some lifestyle changes may help you feel better. Below are some steps you can take that may help ease your symptoms.

  • Read regularly. Each week, you should get information from independent media
  • Avoid the Murdoch press, interviews with Hockey and Cormann, and talk back radio, especially when you’re having PBS symptoms.
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Talk to your friends, exercise your democratic right to protest, or write to politicians. Some people also find social media helpful.
  • Don’t give up.

Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PBS. To learn more about current PBS treatment studies, visit the Australia Institute website. Talk to your family and friends about whether taking part in politics might be right for you.


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  1. Vicki

    Brilliant, Kaye.

  2. CMMC

    The main bullshit is the price of iron ore.

    The big players, Rio Tinto and BHP, are overproducing to the hilt, they want the price to fall so the minor players are wiped out.

  3. Pingback: Are you suffering from PBS? – » The Australian Independent Media Network – Written by KAYE LEE | winstonclose

  4. Kaye Lee


    That fact was even in Hockey’s MYEFO.

    The sharper‑than‑anticipated fall in the iron ore price over 2014 reflects a number of factors. Firstly, the early completion of major projects in the Pilbara region, assisted by favourable weather conditions, led to a greater than anticipated expansion of supply.

    Secondly, it was expected that the lower prices associated with increased Australian supply would displace high‑cost production elsewhere, providing a natural floor for the price. While some unprofitable supply did exit the market, the response has been surprisingly limited to date, with much of China’s high‑cost production (which accounts for roughly 15 per cent of global production) remaining in the market.

    Finally, the softening economic conditions in China have also placed downward pressure on iron ore prices since Budget. Most notably, the outlook for the Chinese property sector — the single largest consumer of steel — has deteriorated sharply over 2014, while tighter credit conditions have placed pressure on Chinese steel mills. This has weighed on demand at a time when ample supply of iron ore is available.

    Whilst low cost mines in Australia and Brazil are expected to continue to expand global supply, on the demand side, China’s growth outlook for 2015 has been downgraded from Budget. The associated weakness in the property sector and the ongoing transition from resource‑intensive growth is expected to constrain Chinese steel demand.

    The price of iron ore is consequently expected to remain around US$60/tonne over the forecast period. This is lower than consensus forecasts which were published in October 2014, with many forecasts in consensus likely finalised well before the publication date. Prices have fallen considerably since then, implying potential downgrades for consensus forecasts going forward.

    The Financial Review reported yesterday that Joe Hockey is contemplating using an iron ore price of US$35/tonne for future budgets. If he did so, it would mean another $6.25 billion reduction in annual revenue compared to what the government is currently budgeting for.

  5. francescaagosti

    Great stuff.

  6. M-R

    Yep. Agree with every syllabub.
    Re-posting on my blog (not re-blogging, as I end up with too many images in my library) as the perfect example of a political post.

  7. Pingback: It’s that time again | Adjusting my background

  8. Ruth L

    You are another antidote to PBS Kaye.
    I did not vote for the moron but the effect he has on all our lives is catastrophic (and apparently inescapeable)

  9. roscoe

    I thought anything that came from fat smoking Joe to do with PBS meant Public Bull Shit

  10. Pudd'nhead

    A research group sustained by ordinary members of the ALP have been working on a pure Albanese (Albo) virus that has indications of a cure for LNP initiated PBS. Trials are ongoing in an effort to Shorten the time when a full strength cure will be available and in use.The public is urged to ignore negative reports from unqualified persons as to the unsuitability of the virus. We have been advised that Its efficacy will surprise all. (Thanks Kaye for all your well researched and interesting blogs).

  11. Loz

    Kaye my PBS won’t go away until this government does.

  12. Jexpat

    The Financial Review reported yesterday that Joe Hockey is contemplating using an iron ore price of US$35/tonne for future budgets. If he did so, it would mean another $6.25 billion reduction in annual revenue compared to what the government is currently budgeting for.

    That would be quite the Shock Doctrine type cudgel.

    The bottom line of course is that Costello at the federal level, and just about the entirety of the political and business base of WA seems to have forgotten or conveniently ignored the history of resource extraction economies since the dawn of civilisation.

    They operate on a boom bust cycle, with peaks and troughs that far exceed the usual business cycles.

    Failure to plan ahead for the inevitable bust has been the bane of many towns, cities and states, as WA is rediscovering.

    Unfortunately matters could become considerably worse, if and when Dr. Housing Bubble comes a knocking.

  13. Shevill Mathers

    It could also be “Permanent Bullshit Syndrome”…

  14. Sad sack

    The little joey was stung by costello and let fly with the fact that little johnnie and costello were tax gatherers extra-ordinaire. The IMF identified two periods of profligate spending by the howard gov. The $20billion surplus was on the back of asset and gold sales. Any chance of billyor burke driving a stake into the coalition fiscal management??
    ps: Not funny Kaye, the men of politics and the women of religion believe in the physiological impediments of the ‘non-exceptional’ women.

  15. donwreford

    Many I know including myself have intense distrust of politicians to the extent they are no longer regarded as leaders but are traitors of trust and are anti the people and have only the interests of the rich 1%.

  16. stephentardrew

    Tis a vile malady set to run for some time to come.

  17. Clean livon

    Two points re: Hockey’s $35 / ton scenario, which is more political than realistic.
    1. The budget revenue will drop, hence the need for cuts by the leaners in the May budget, as we all pull together for the Nation, and
    2. If the scenario does not play out, won’t Hockey look good delivering a surplus, resulting in the lead up to the next election of “only the LNP can balance a budget.”

    Makes you wonder why he didn’t nominate $10 / ton, but that would be just to much BS to be acceptable!

  18. Kaye Lee

    Hockey doesn’t seem to understand that his comments have repercussions.

    Citigroup, downgraded its forecast for iron ore price this year to $US37 a tonne following Mr Hockey’s comment, compared with the current price of $US47.53.

    BHP plans to cut capital spending by $US3.8 billion ($5 billion) by the end of 2015-16 to conserve cash, while Rio Tinto reduced capital expenditure by $US4.8 billion last year. At present the percentage of profits paid out in dividends by BHP is 46 per cent, for Rio is 60 per cent and for Fortescue Metals Group is 20 per cent. They may be forced to cut investment outside of their iron ore businesses or increase debt to maintain their policies of constant or rising dividends.

    “As we do not expect the progressive US dollar dividend model of either BHP or Rio to be changed, this effectively means that further cuts to capex are likely,” the analysts said. Rio’s $4 billion likely spend on mine expansions in 2016-17 could be deferred, as could BHP’s potential $1.1 billion spend on debottlenecking its Pilbara capacity to reach 290 million tonnes per annum, they said.

    So much for getting rid of the carbon and mining taxes promoting investment.

  19. Su Leslie

    Utterly brilliant.

  20. stephentardrew

    “Hockey doesn’t seem to understand.”

    Now there is an irrefutable truth Kaye.

  21. Fairfieldstation

    Ha, ha! I read the text as “Hockey and Conman” without blinking. It was only after finishing I found myself wondering who you had called a “Conman”?

  22. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, we are still suffering from the last budget, and wondering how they can screw any more out of us, while simultaneously allowing the corporations to get away with $8.4 billion each and every year, cheers….

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