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Balancing The Budget Or Creativity Scott Morrison Style!

Concerned about energy bills? Not making ends meet? Well, I have a great idea for you. Just give me a large amount of money… say $10,000 and I’ll pay your energy bills for the next couple of years. That way you’ll have a balanced budget in the near future and you’ll have reduced your energy bills to zero.

If you think that sounds like some elaborate con, you’d be wrong. There’s nothing elaborate about it. Yes, you may be worried that I’d just abscond with the money and you’d get nothing for it. And I guess that’s a risk. However, that assumes that you trust me a lot less than the government trusts the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

You see, Scott “Promo” Morrison has told us that the reason they gave so much money to the foundation was a strategy to ensure “our return to a balanced budget at the earliest opportunity”. Rather like the scheme I proposed for helping with skyrocketing energy prices. They’d promised money to help with the health of the Great Barrier Reef and giving it to any government department would have meant that the spending would have been listed against the Budget in the year that it occured. By giving it in one big hit, Morrison and the Liberals ensured that not only did it make future Budgets look better, but they weren’t accountable for how the money was being spent.

This is a pretty well-trodden path:

  1. Cut funding so that a public service department isn’t functioning efficiently.
  2. Anounce that you’re selling the particular department so that the private sector can turn it around and make it function properly which will lead to better service for less cost.
  3. Blame any shortcomings on teething problems for the first few years, while crediting any improvement on privatisation rather than the sort of technological breakthrough happening all the time.
  4. When privatisation hasn’t brought the promised improvement, either say it’s a private company and nothing to do with us (see Public Transport) or, if that’s going to cause too much anger, tell people it’s because private companies are more concerned with profit and you’ll wave a big stick at them if they don’t smarten up their act (see Banks and Financial Institution).

It’s worked with the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, electricity companies, Medibank Private, public transport and TAFE. I mean, here in Victoria we were told that privatising electricity would lead to cheaper prices because having mutliple companies pay armies of people to knock on our door and insist we switch providers was much going to give the system efficiencies that the government just couldn’t deliver because they had a monopoly. Thanks to privatisation we can all get a large discount as long as we paid our bill on Tuesdays via any method that didn’t involve cash or credit card.

Privatisation was meant to lead to lower prices. Then getting rid of the carbon “tax” was meant to save us $550 a year. Next, we were told that the NEG was going to save us $550 a year. After that, getting rid of the PM was meant to be the way to get lower prices. Now, it’s building more coal-fired power stations because a source that needs mining, transporting and burning will inevitably be cheaper than the wind or the sun. If you’re not noticing a pattern here, I suspect I should send you my bank details so you can deposit the $10,000 for the scheme I mentioned earlier.

Of course, some of you may think that spending a lot of money this year just so you can say that aren’t spending it in coming years does nothing for the bottom line, but clearly, you’ve never been Treasurer of Australia. This year, it’ll be part of the economic mess that Labor supposedly left, whereas in the future it’s part of their “sound” economic management.

It’s like big and small government. Labor apparently believes in “big government” so it can be blamed for absolutely anything that happens while it’s in power, but Liberals believe in “small government” which is code for nothing is ever our responsibility. You know how it goes: Unemployment? Labor’s fault! But these people are just bludgers now we’re in power. Street crime? Labor’s fault! Hang on, we’re in power. It’s those bloody judges not filling up the private prisons owned by our buddies! Wind blows electricity transmitters over? Labor’s fault for building wind farms and encouraging all that wind! When coal-fired power stations fail to work with us in power, it’s because Labor didn’t do enough when they were in power. Removing an elected PM? Labor started it. Needles in strawberries? Oh wait, we’re in power now. We believe in small government so that has nothing to do with us, but we’ll get cross as Punch and tell everyone that we’ll raise the sentence from ten to fifteen years. Thank god, they did that because I’m sure that there’d be thousands of people out there who’d be saying that they would have happily done ten years but fifteen means that they’ll think twice before adulterating strawberries.

It’s all very predictable. Just like the post-mortems on the Wentworth by-election. When Labor fail to achieve a 17% swing, we’ll be told what a good showing it was for Scott considering that Malcolm was a popular member and PM to boot (which they did), besides by-elections always show a swing against the government. If Kerrie Phelps happens to win, we’ll be told that it’s a really shocking result for Labor because – even with such a large swing – they failed to pick up the seat.

I just wish the lotto numbers were as easy…





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  1. SteveFitz

    How did we come to be governed by a bunch of lying, thieving bustards. It’s got me beat? How do good people let this happen? Are we blind, are we deaf, are we self absorbed or are we brain washed? Sorely, every living, breathing person has witnessed the disgrace the Liberal Party has brought upon our country. Corruption, greed, censorship, inhumanity, environmental crime, rampant white collar crime, jobs for mates, tax avoidance, human rights abuse, destabilising democracy and so on…

    Who, at the next election, is going to vote for a repeat of that, unless you are a part of it? Wave the Liberal flag and your dark heart is revealed to the world.

  2. Max Gross

    To answer SteveFitz. How? There are usually just enough “swinging” voters with the attention span and memory capacity of goldfish.

  3. totaram

    We are brainwashed and the culprit is the MSM which is very largely owned by the oligarchs. And they paid off our politicians to allow that.

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    What else can we expect from this rabble of flat earth, right wing, inept, lying, obscenely over-paid, so-called “liberal” (?) politicians? They can trot out all the excuses they like, but, unfortunately their record speaks for itself! They still maintain that they are better at managing the economy than the Labor lot, but I think all the figures & graphs etc would show this to be yet another classic liberal lie. Keep on telling these lies long enough & sadly, far too many gullible voters believe them! Cannot wait for the next Federal election for this bloody rabble to go!

  5. New England Cocky

    Uhm … a prerequisite for membership of the Liarbral Party is being unable to lie straight in bed.

    The National$ prefer Adulterers and Women supporting Adultery support National$.

    Ask Bridget McKenzie and Michelle Lambdy.

  6. ajogrady

    Below is renowned economist Bill Mitchel’s take on the L/NP and big businesses.

    With booming profits, one might be tempted to think that the corporate sector would be invested strongly in the latest technology to place them in a stronger competitive position in the future.
    One would be wrong. This is Australia.
    Our corporate sector whines, complains, bullies, but when it comes to doing much other than take advantage of punitive government legislation and deregulation designed to tilt the playing field against the workers, it is lazy.
    It has a long record of poor R&D, technical innovation, administrative incompetence, and as the Royal Commission into the Financial Services sector is revealing criminality and deception.
    Australia’s growth balance is skewed towards households taking on ever increasing levels of debt and running down their savings, while national income is being redistributed to profits away from wages.
    It is an unsustainable mix. A recipe for disaster.
    But this is the neoliberal way – and it is repeating itself after the GFC.

  7. SteveFitz

    All the great empires down through the ages have been powerful enough to protect themselves from outside attack. But not from what we have just been witnessing in Australia.

    What destroys these great civilisations is the ravages of greed and a blind lust for power and control at any cost. Destroying societies from the inside is the neoliberal way.

  8. Harry

    Yes jogrady I agree Oz has a lazy corporate culture. But there ways to change that and discourage exploitation, by clever use of tax. Bill Shorten suggested a pale version of it when he suggested the banks NOT receive a tax reduction.

    I like the following approach:

    “It would be far better to use corporation tax and a range of tax incentives to encourage corporations to do all the good things and refrain from doing the bad things. If a firm does enough of the good things and none of the bad things then it should be able to get its tax ‘burden’ down to zero. So, we start off by offering tax incentives for those corporations which:

    Pay all of their employees significantly more than a Living Income;
    Pay their senior managers no more than, say, five times their lowest paid workers;
    Offer shares to their employees;
    Encourage union membership;
    Have employees on the board and encourage all employees to be involved in decision making;
    Provide ongoing training opportunities and can demonstrate a commitment to continued professional development;
    Invest in automation (no, automation is not a bad thing);
    Invest in permanent infrastructure (meaning that they won’t want to leave in a hurry);
    Invest in research and development;
    Reduce their energy and resource usage;
    Take steps to reduce pollution, both directly and indirectly (such as reducing plastic use in their product packaging);”


    Reading the entire article is worth the time.

  9. Harry

    Bronte Allan: The Coalition claim they are on track to deliver a budget surplus. I hope that if Labor wins the next election (and I prefer them to the appalling Coalition) does NOT try to outdo the Coalition as Chris Bowen has promised as this would almost certainly hurt Labor’s core constituency the most by driving up unemployment etc.

    No targets should set for the government’s fiscal balance –the focus should be on full employment, price stability, sustainability and well-being The resulting fiscal balance is basically irrelevant !

  10. Kaye Lee

    Josh Frydenberg just met with the state and territory treasurers to sell his GST reform package. They are in solidarity in describing it as “economic baloney” in that there is NO actual guarantee that no state will be worse off despite Josh and Scoff’s assurances. So now even the Liberal states are calling bullshit on the crap offered by this government.

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