Thursday 11 May 2017
After four years of denial Scott Morrison has finally admitted that the Government actually did have a revenue problem. Just when he went through this cathartic experience is unknown. Further, in the absence of any ideas of his own, he conceded that Labor did, and the easiest way around his economic problems was simply to steal Labor’s.
And in an openly fraudulent manner he did just that and put paid to the 2014 budget and all the slime that Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey attached to it. This budget has successfully isolated Abbott and his merry band of far right conservatives. It sets out to remove any memory of Abbott’s Government.
It remains to be seen if they will lay down and accept defeat. How Abbott responds in defence of his 2014 worst ever budget will be interesting.
For Turnbull it remains to be seen if this Budget efficaciously recasts him as the moderate he purported to be when he challenged Abbott. But once the populace gains an impression of a government and, once locked on that impression, they don’t want to budge.
I cannot imagine that with only a one seat majority that the Christiansens of this world will not stir the pot in some sort of self-indulgent manner.
How will the average punter see what has been presented? Will they react with disgust at the waste of four years in the life of the nation where Abbott and Turnbull have governed so ineffectively?
A government who told us that only the conservatives knew how to manage money. It was in their DNA, yet they managed to double Labor’s debt. Their naivety, after delivering the 2014 disaster in thinking that a hostile Senate would pass the bulk of the draconian measures that stripped benefits away from the unemployed, slashed education spending and imposed a co-payment for each visit to the doctor was laughable.
At least we can be satisfied that the horrors of that misguided budget have been expunged. The fact, contrary to the thoughts of some political diehards, is that the LNP have been dreadful managers of our money.
Will they just forgive and forget saying that Malcolm has turned around a Government so badly of touch. Yes, he was the man we thought he was. One so smart that he could steal Labor policies and get away with it. Make no mistake, this budget is as much about the remaking of Malcolm as anything else.
Are the punters smart enough to see the political games they have been subjected to during the Coalitions term in office? Their brutal onslaught on Labor when in office. The ”debt and disaster” and ”fiscal emergency” years. The accusations that Labor were a big taxing, high spending party.
With this budget they have morphed themselves into just that by using socialist policies. In my time following politics I don’t think I have ever seen a party so obstinately betray its own ideology and deliver a socialist budget.
”Where Labor offered a guarantee on Medicare, needs-based school funding, curbs on excessive greed in the big banks, and imaginative nation-building infrastructure, it now finds itself up against a government committed more-or-less to these very things.
The comprehensiveness of the Coalition’s ideological retreat marks arguably the largest systematic reversal in recent political history. In area after area, the Turnbull government has adopted its opponent’s arguments.”
Whilst in one way it is enormously complimentary, in another, Labor and Bill Shorten, are hardly in a position to gloat. The rug has been pulled from beneath them.
So what do we make of this budget now that the Government has conceded we have a revenue problem?
It has decided to raise taxes. Make no mistake. This Government has gone down the path of high taxes. The banks have been subjected to a $6.2 billion tax – something Labor has wanted to do for years. The banks can afford it, but the big question is will they pass it on? My guess is that they will.
You could hardly argue against the Medicare levy to fund Labor’s NDIS.
Again they are promising a surplus by 2020-21 funded by the normal mix of optimistic revenue growth and a still higher than average tax-to-GDP ratio.
However, as Adam Creighton points out in The Australian:
”Treasury forecasts in the May 2017 Budget must be taken with a large grain of salt, particularly on the revenue side. It overestimated the amount of revenue it will collect from taxpayers in eight out of the last nine years. Treasury expects tax receipts to increase from $A405.7 billion in 2017 to $A496 billion in 2020, or from 23.2 per cent of GDP to 25 per cent. Its forecasts will have to be highly accurate if its prediction of a Budget surplus of $A7.4 billion in 2021 is to come true.”
Turnbull has successfully isolated Medicare, schools, banks, public investment and housing affordability leaving Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen to argue in degrees. It is a less compelling argument. Maybe they should adopt the “you thieving bastards’’ one. An after effect of Turnbull’s isolationist strategy may result in pushing Labor further to the left.
We have to live within our means Morrison has warned us. Will the anti-debtors of the right in the LNP accept the truckloads delivered in this budget?
Incidentally, what happened to the environment, jobs and growth, equality, real wages, job security, homelessness, poverty? Is it possible that Malcolm got the nod from Donald that America was going to opt out of the Paris climate agreement and that’s why it didn’t rate a thought. Whatever happened to the once champion of climate change?
On this day last year I wrote this:
A GPs are certainly not happy with the government’s plan to trying to enforce a GP co-payment by stealth by extending the freeze on Medicare rebates for another two years, saving them almost a billion dollars and forcing doctors to put their prices up. Posters are going up in every waiting room in the nation warning patients of the government’s plans. The bastards would privatise the Parliament if they had half the chance.
B How could anyone seriously vote for a party that has performed so pathetically – that has so many unfair policies? Firstly with a leader in Tony Abbott who was nothing more than a grubby uncouth loudmouth gutter politician. Secondly, in the short time he has been in the job Malcolm Turnbull has proven to be the most hypocritical Prime Minister in our history. A party full of obnoxious liars with a ‘right to rule’ attitude. A party that has been in power for three years and on the eve of an election finally tells the country that it has a plan.
C A party that argues it is the one better placed to govern for the next three years when it hasn’t done so for the past three. A party that has wasted three years into which nothing will be recorded by political historians as being worthwhile.
A party who boasts a plan for growth and jobs while there are more people looking for work now than at any time in the past twenty years. A plan three years in the making. Are the people of Australia really going to reward such abysmal governance with another term? Surely not.
A party that thinks climate change is an invention of the left to replace communism.
I had better stop there, my fingers are cramping.
D Why reward a bad government with another three years? It’s tantamount to giving your approval to do the same thing again. You wouldn’t do that to your children.
My thought for the day.
“The young celebrate their youth and the old get their satisfaction by dreaming of the way things once were.”