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Day to Day Politics: Coalition pays tribute to Labor policy.

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.

Writing for Fairfax Mark Kenny agrees:

”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.”



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  1. Sir Scotchmistery

    What a great start to a morning. I deliberately didn’t watch the budget because I’m veering into a depression.

    Australia’s voters have proven time and time again that they don’t think prior to an election. They just do what daddy did.

    So, unfortunately, yes. There exists a chance that these dullards will be re-elected.

  2. kristapet

    I hope the lack of attention to climate change bites the LNP very hard, on their, over entitled bums.
    I hope furiously, that the LNP’s cavalier and cowboy behaviour, up to date, which has, never faced consequences, or, sacking, brings them all asunder.
    I hope everybody is awake to their misdeeds, spin and lies
    I hope Labor forces them to enhance and create a equitable wage for the poor end of town and for women, women get equal pay; I hope Labor keeps Medicare strong, plus, the health system and hospitals as well. I hope hospitals get un-privatised and put back under the government purview, and return to it, what has been taken away from it.
    I hope the young get fairer treatment, and support in training and further education;
    NO cashless welfare card is rolled out it is abhorrent!
    I hope the pension is improved, and services to the old are re-established, re-funded, to what they were, before being dismantled by, the Abbott/Turnbull government ;
    I hope there is a living wage; something done, to make housing and rents affordable, so that, a broken down weatherboard house in Engadine is not sold for, way over, a million dollars;
    Domestic violence gets funding, and the support structures badly needed put in place, in legal, social and welfare areas.
    Science funding and CSIRO is rebooted; government investment put back into public education and tertiary education made affordable; and, all privatised, ‘mickey mouse’. tertiary educational colleges returned to government responsibility, that is, TAFE put back to what it was.
    Public assets not all sold off to China and India, and anyone else.
    A government backing renewable technology would be nice – stop all fracking and mining of this country to buggery.
    Protect our water resources, and not sell out, agriculture and farmers.
    The Artisian Water Basin protected and given personhood so it is nor abused by all types of mining corporations.
    The list is endless
    I do not agree with John Lord when he says: “the old get their satisfaction by dreaming of the way things once were.” – there no satisfaction in being unrealistic, and, day dreaming would just be a let down, when returned to this bleak reality.
    Satisfaction would be, getting properly looked after in our old age by a fair pension, and, an, excellent and able to relied upon, Medicare health scheme!
    I guess, I just do not want an LNP government to be in government, a minute longer.
    An egalitarian government which respects its constituents, and doesn’t demean science, and the arts, and First Nations People is what I want and NO daydreaming about it!

  3. Terry2

    Included in the budget documents, but receiving little coverage, was the federal government’s intention to buy out existing Snowy Hydro-Electricity shareholders, NSW (58%) and Victoria (29%) to give the Commonwealth 100% ownership – they currently have a 13% share.

    If this takeover occurs, how long do you expect the Commonwealth to maintain ‘public’ ownership of this national
    asset ? Whilst Turnbull sort of said that the Snowy would remain in public hands there is no guarantee that it will not be flogged off to private operators. The previous attempt to ‘recycle’ this asset was by the states and was blocked in 2006 by the Commonwealth but this time they are leading the charge.

  4. Halfbreeder

    Terry2. aggree. the purchase of the states shares in Snowy Scheme by the Feds will be to facilitate its privatisation.

  5. Freetasman

    IMO this budget it is not a copy of the Labor polices, it is a con job.
    In infrastructure the have cut the allocations of funds in comparison to the Abbott ad previous budget.
    The costing of the big infrastructure projects have not been done yet and if the construction will be administrated in the same manner than the NBN we do not have a hope to see them finished even in 10 years time.
    There are many way to kill Medicare, one is fast and the other slowly by making it unaffordable for those that need it, the lower income earners.
    In this budget the top earners, private or companies have a very good deal escaping paying big taxes.
    The education become more expensive and those that graduate will have a huge loan to pay making purchasing their first home just a dream.

  6. John Lord

    Victoria won’t be keen.

  7. Klaus Petrat

    Yes John, it is amazing how easily you are fooled. Just as is Mark Kenny from SMH.

    Here is what I see.

    1) They take the Medicare surcharge back from incomes > 180000, a tax relief to the big earners.
    2) They put a Medicare levy on all Australians. I think it’s great but leave the surcharge for big income earners in place and relief incomes below 80k or less from any Medicare surcharge.
    3) They take a very long time to lift the freeze on Medicare freezes
    4) NOT ONE WORD ON CLIMATE change. Not by you, not by the SMH. How easily you guys are blind sided. Stuns me.
    5) Infrastructure joke in the budget. You may not have noticed. Barnaby has on the other hand.
    6) Sydney Airport, no Rail Link????? Another Joke.
    7) Do you really think the banks do not pass the Bank levy on? If so, I don’t know what you believe. This is another tax on all Australians.

    Coal/Mining gets subsidized and funded as far as I know. But the planet dies.

    Ahh, I could go on but will stop rigt here. Disappointing.

  8. Terry2

    On infrastructure, Albanese asked the PM in Question Time – shortly to be renamed Obfuscation time :-

    “Anthony Albanese to Malcolm Turnbull: Does last night’s budget confirm that this financial year, federal infrastructure spending has been cut and will continue to fall to $4.2bn by 2021. Is this why the peak industry body, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia have said the real budget cuts has cut it to its lowest level in a decade, using profiling to disguise the cut?

    Turnbull spruiks general infrastructure stuff but does not answer the substantive funding question.”

    Malcolm has been working the ‘pea & thimble’ overtime !

  9. Geoff Andrews

    Sir Scotch….
    “They just do what daddy did.”

    From “The Glugs of Gosh” (1917) ….
    Then every Glug he went home to his rest
    With his head in a bag and his toes to the west
    For they KNEW it was best
    Since their grandpas slept with their toes to the west.

    Good morning, fellow Glugs.

  10. wam

    Well, Lord a beaut read today not a smile in the house:
    my children higher levy, higher mortgage and higher education costs(when will interest be added?)
    welcome back scotch missed you.
    The rich have the means to avoid tax and in doing so avoid medicare levy.
    I find the son of a small car so slimy that even with black label I cannot watch him.
    Tonight there is so much for bill to say that he will be lucky to be successful because the media will concentrate on what he didn’t say or said in error with a ridiculous wast of money on an advert as a back up smack in the head.

  11. Graeme Henchel

    The move to a bi partisan view on needs based school funding (if it passes) is a good thing. However to suggests that this neutralises education as an issue is ridiculous. The $22billion difference between labor and coalition represents about $580 per student per year. This is a big difference.

    The budget had absolutely nothing about climate change/ energy although the coalition having been formulate an energy security scare campaign for months. This is still a major issue.

    The housing affordability stuff was worse than useless, most probably counter productive.

    This is not a Labor lite budget. It reduces tax on business and high income earners and increases it on lower and middle incomes. It bashes the unemployed.

    The coalition has a disastrous record in infrastructure with the NBN as an outstanding example of waste.
    The Turnbull TIn Can NBN is the biggest infrastructure stuff up in Australia’s history. I don’t understand why Labor it’s not mentioning this disaster at every opportunity.

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It is a useless Budget for those living ‘below the poverty line’ on Newstart or people struggling to keep their family homes from bank repossession if they are unfortunate enough to be in uncertain diminishing jobs.

    However, politically it could have a hidden advantage in that the Libs’ and Nats’ theft of Labor’s and Greens’ policy ideas might be enough to galvanise the progressive parties and make Labor want to be pulled back towards the Left so they can differentiate themselves from the scabs and invent even more fresh and fearless policies that aim to bring equitable opportunities for all community participants.

  13. Terry2

    Former prime minister John Howard said he was “uneasy” about the bank levy, at an event in Melbourne yesterday, saying the same arguments that were made about Labor’s mining tax could be made about a tax on the banks.

    Actually it’s not like the mining profits tax as that could not be passed on to Australian consumers whereas the bank tax can and will.

  14. lawrencewinder

    A number of points 1/ Have the ruling rabble the talent to get these measures to work…I think not given their commitment is to their personal survival and not the wider social contexts.2/ Will their boss, John Roskam be happy?.Definitely not! 3/ If returned at the next election will they revert to type?… Nothing is more certain!

  15. RonaldR

    Have noticed that some of the Sheeple commenting above want the Government to hope on the Green Bullshit Climate Change Bandwagon -These people just accept the Bullshit as fact . But if they were to do research but not on Green inflicted sites they Would find that there has always been Climate Change its part of being in the Solar System and that man and Carbon cause climate change is Bullshit . The only way man can cause climate Change is with a full on Nuclear War. But then the Government do nothing about real climate change except build renewable energy facilities that make us more vulnerable to Climate change. They don’t build real infrastructure as they don’t know how to fund it even though they have been advised we did have the means of Funding infrastructure but it was stopped by Menzies obeying the City of London and when there was a move to have Menzies legislation Keating & Howard made shore that could not be done

  16. RonaldR

    The solution to the national budget deficit that actually helps people, instead of killing them, is a tax on the damaging financial speculation that drains the wealth out of the real economy.
    A 0.1% tax on financial speculation is a tiny little tax, only $1 on every $1,000 of transaction, compared to the “great big” taxes such as, say, the GST ($100 on every $1,000).
    BUT… it will raise a massive amount of money: $135 billion in one year—enough to cover the $123 billion of deficits that Hockey is projecting over the next four years!
    This is because the scale of financial speculation that it will tax is mind-boggling.
    Australia’s annual gross domestic product is $1.4 trillion; by contrast, the Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA) annual report reveals that for the year 2012-13 total turnover of all financial markets was more than $135 trillion!
    Virtually none of this $135 trillion turnover had anything to do with the real economy: government bonds, which the government issues to borrow money, accounted for $1.7 trillion of it; turnover in shares on the stock market was $1.15 trillion; and foreign exchange on the import and export of goods and services was $620 billion.
    The balance of over $130 trillion was in all manner of speculation in derivatives—futures, options and swaps—and speculation in foreign exchange (only 1.4% of foreign exchange trade relates to import/export).
    The 0.1 per cent speculation tax is a win-win: not only will it raise more than enough tax revenue, it will kill the speculation it is taxing.
    A tax of $1 on every $1000 will not be a burden on genuine investors in stocks and bonds and genuine foreign exchange transactions.
    It will, however, destroy the “business model” of the financial speculators, who rapidly buy and sell and buy and sell on massive volumes in order to skim profits from driving down prices for producers and driving up costs to consumers. It will end this unproductive, predatory and parasitical paper-shuffling that is draining the life out of the real economy.
    Consequently, it will be a short-term source of tax revenue, but the real economy—farming and manufacturing production, skilled trades, etc.—will, freed from this burden, be able to prosper, which will expand the normal tax base.
    That this 0.1% speculation tax will solve the current budget deficit is a bonus; its intention is to protect the real economy from financial predators, like the CEC’s other policies of a Glass-Steagall separation of retail from investment banks, and national banking.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Have noticed that some of the Sheeple commenting above …


  18. Terry2


    I understand you to be talking about a Financial Transactions tax : what is the math behind the $135 billion in one
    year ?

  19. Freetasman

    RonaldR, Your eyes are useless when your mind is blind.

  20. wam

    ronaldR surely you find your alterego in front of macdonald
    only simpletons use ’cause’ rather than ‘affect’.
    Economically continuation of burning fossil fuel is a waste of resources that would be better used in other ways.
    Global warming??? burning billions of years sequestration of carbon in 200 years???

  21. John Lord

    MT agreed.

  22. corvus boreus

    Putting a capital ‘B’ in front of bullshit and making a few bald, unsubstantiated statements is not a particularly convincing refutation to the prevalent conclusions of decades of solid scientific research.
    The mechanisms by which increased levels of atmospheric CO2 traps radiant heat have been well known (and experimentally validated) for over half a century, and the drastic recent increases in CO2 levels have been indisputably documented.

    The grand conspiracy theories that underpin the CEC’s official stance of denying the scientific theory of anthropogenically induced climate destabilisation (despite overwhelming scientific agreement and increasingly manifest evidence) are one of the reasons why they remain such a loopy fringe party (<2%), despite them having a few solid ideas (like introducing 'Glass-Steagal' style financial regulations for the banking industry).

  23. helvityni

    “The young celebrate their youth and the old get their satisfaction by dreaming of the way things once were.”

    As L.P. Hartley’s The Go-Between tells us, ‘the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.’ They did things BETTER, people like Dutton and Morrison (Trump) were perhaps not born yet…. 🙂 If they were, they were not included in any Governments… 🙂

    Howard was iffy, but the real rot set in with Abbott and is strong in Turnbull Government.

  24. LOVO

    Helvityni, I think the real rot did set in with Howard….he may not have been the first politician to have been it’s ‘all about ME’….but, indubitably, he was an master at it.., and an mentor. ., if you will. 🙄
    Since Howard’s time.. low life political opportunism has become the norm …as is well versed by the current mob…well both mobs really…but an change in the ‘air’ (if’n one takes the inference that small L n’ Labor-lite are one and the same)..the ‘rush’ to the Right has, seemingly, ebbed (re:- Geert n’ Marine), some call it the “Trump Factor ” … one could surmise that having met Trump, Mal realises this…thus the wedge…a.k.a. known as the budget.
    An budget with an carefully ‘aimed’ wedge to camouflage and obfuscate the rot, whilst ‘dealing’ with Tones and Bill, at the same time. One can only wonder if this is an budget of political opportunism…..or a sign that Mal is pursuing the ‘sensible centre’ …..again; dreaming of the way things once were 🙄

  25. helvityni

    LOL, LOVO, I think you are right about camouflaging and obfuscating, hopping to get two flies Bill and Tones at the same time…

    I still think that Bill’s budget speech was pretty good, I liked that he had plenty to say about education, both TAFE and Universities, the only way to innovation…Mal has lost interest…?

  26. havanaliedown

    Surely the rot set in when Paul Keating introduced mandatory detention of people wishing to arrive here and circumvent our immigration system?

  27. Terry2


    Mandatory but not indefinite detention, the latter was Howard.

    Until 1992, detention of unauthorised arrivals was a discretionary power. But in May 1992, when Keating was prime minister and Gerry Hand his immigration minister, Hand gave the Second Reading Speech of the Migration Amendment Bill 1992, which made the practice of detention mandatory. Mr Hand said this, about what was then termed “migration custody”.

    But back in May 1992, “migration custody” was limited within the same Bill to 273 days (with, it must be said, some notable exceptions). Hand affirmed on this front that:

    “The [Keating] Government has no wish to keep people in custody indefinitely and I could not expect the Parliament to support such a suggestion.”

    Things have changed significantly under Abbott/Turnbull and the malignancy of Dutton.

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