Saturday April 9 2016
1 The Crickey BludgerTrack analysis of combined polling this week has it 50.8-49.2 to the Coalition.
After a few weeks where it appeared the trend to Labor had tapered off, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate records a solid nudge to Labor this week on the back a Newspoll result crediting it with a 51-49 lead. BludgerTrack doesn’t go quite so far, but it does have the Coalition losing a full point off the primary vote since last week.
There is much happening on all social networks. The fact that things are not going well for the government is reflected in the angriness of the right-wing commentary. Even The Australian has been giving the Government a bit of stick.
I myself have taken a bit of a battering this week on some Facebook pages that purport to be discussion pages.
Every day I write my opinions on a variety of subjects. They are my own thoughts based on my political philosophy, many individual and collective influences, and my world view based on 75 years of living experience.
On some Facebook pages it’s astonishing just how many on the right of politics swear blind they never read, would never contemplate reading my work, so abhorrent it is to them. Then they go on to opine about it.
Whatever intelligence I might have affords me no understanding of this.
Here is an example after I questioned an individuals civility.
‘Far from it John, I am being very tame given it is social media. You should see the real me when it comes to people like you. You represent everything that caused over 100 million deaths last century. I think it is funny the very thing that allows me to tolerate you is the very thing you are trying to destroy. You seem so proud of what you are. Don’t be :-)’
And for the things they say about this blog. Well I’ll leave it there.
2 It has now become apparent that the future of the Government sits with the budget. A budget that has two competing requirements. Firstly one that addresses spending.
This is a budget that is critical to the future of Australia. The Abbott/Turnbull government have blamed Labor for all manner of things and promised to fix everything. The have said that revenue is not the problem, spending is. They have committed to cutting spending without raising revenue.
Everything that was once on the table and presented as a grand plan has been swept from it. The budget has become the plan.
A leading player on the right, Cory Bernardi said the Government’s priority was ‘getting the budget back in the black and making government sustainable’.
No we cannot continue to spend more than what we earn.
Bernardi went on:
‘This is a critical budget for the future of the country. It’s a critical choice for the future of the country because we cannot continue on spending 50 or 60 billion a year more than we have in income and taking further income in is not the answer.’
The Government has placed itself between a rock and a hard place. Its ideology demands that it doesn’t hurt its own constituency. That is why it won’t address the revenue issue. It’s called votes.
Barry Cassidy in an article for The Drum makes my second point with this comment.
‘But can the Treasurer fashion a budget that does all that and also serves as the political document that saves the day? Can it be both economically tough and politically pragmatic?
I don’t think so. And I might put this question.
How can the Government, given the unscrupulous behaviour of the corporate world possibly argue for tax breaks for business in the budget and at the same time ignore the ordinary punter.
3 The Governments main thrust of attack has been centered on Union corruption. Parliament is being recalled at an enormous cost to debate the ABCC legislation.
The waters of this debate have been muddied this week with the release of the Panama papers, serious allegations of corporate cheating globally, and the atrocious behaviour of some of our banks.
And of course the appalling management of Arrium reminds us that the corporate world has taken an almighty hit this week. The government on the one hand cannot be seen to be Union bashing whilst on the other be seen to be condoning the behaviour of their corporate mates.
A strong banking system is vital for the Australian economy but it shouldn’t be a licence for corporate economic immorality.
4 The Labor Party has taken the lead with an announcement on Friday that there will be a Royal Commission into the financial sector if it wins office.
The Government throws a tantrum saying there is no need. That ASIC and other regulatory bodies have adequate powers to deal with the issues.
Which of course raises the question that if they are doing their job of regulating why are we seeing scandal after scandal relating to financial services.
A friend, Russell Green, on Facebook posed this question.
‘At the risk of harping on a well-worn record. Given the events of the past few months with regard to companies and individuals not paying any tax, regardless of its legality, and the subsequent release of the “Panama Papers”, the time has come for governments to give up on income taxes and pursue transaction taxes instead. Income Tax has become optional in the eyes of many. Whereas transaction taxes are in fact very collectible. As it is the institutions themselves that collect and pass on the tax. This form of taxation would be extremely difficult to avoid. In simple terms get rid of all income and company tax. And replace with a percentage, whatever is able to replace that lost revenue, of each transaction. Keep the GST at 10% but make it on everything. This would have the effect of destroying the tax avoidance industry; stop the need for negative gearing; the cost of doing business would be that; and Australia would become a tax-free haven. There would be so much to gain. The only people who would be fearful of this are those that stand to lose what they currently avoid by devious means.’
Make any sense or just food for thought.
5 Finally. Even after yet another report and subsequent findings into parliamentarian’s expenses we still find politicians feeding themselves from the public purse.
Barnaby goes one better than Bronny chartering two $4000 helicopter rides to visit a village near his electorate office.
Then today we find it’s actually four.
On top of that we find that other are paying off their Canberra homes on the public purse using their travel allowances..
These are some of the culprits.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Social Services Minister Christian Porter, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Assistant Defence Minister Michael McCormack.
They stay in houses or apartments they own and claim the travel allowance when in Canberra, which can work out at a minimum of $1000 a week or $18,000 a year. That’s it I have had enough.
My thought for the day.
‘Never confuse what you want with what you need’