Friday April 1 2016
1 The now Abbott/Turnbull Government spent three years in opposition before coming to power in 2013 on the back of Labor leadership dysfunction. During this time Abbott spent an inordinate amount of time being negative, opposing everything.
‘Oppose’, that’s what oppositions do, he said.
Policy groundwork was neglected on the grounds that simply being in office would correct things. When the Australian people gifted them with government it became immediately apparent that, despite the most educated bunch of ministers in Australia’s history, they were policy deficient.
It dogged Abbott for the better part of his tenure. So much so that his leadership was challenged. He survived and made the most astonishing statement that ‘Good Government starts tomorrow.’ In doing so he made a public confession that he had governed badly.
Deplorable government continued unabated to the point where it was no longer tenable. So he was replaced with the more affable personality of Malcolm Turnbull. People’s expectations (including mine) was that a new era of public discourse might come to fruition. It didn’t because Turnbull was unable to be his own man. To get the job he had sold his soul to the extremists of his party. Bequeathed on us was a centre left leader under the control of the right.
He promised a new economic debate centered on tax reform saying that everything was on the table. We quickly found that the menu was so good that everything was gobbled up by the extremes of economic obesity.
The latest addition to the menu is a proposal to allow the states to impose their own income tax to fund schools and health. You won’t mind if we continue to fund the private schools will you?
Yesterday I listened to his interview with Fran Kelly and I was left with the unmistakable impression that this was yet another policy cockup. They haven’t done their homework. It is but a blatant attempt to pass the buck.
For some time now the government has been saying that to repair the budget, cuts have to be made. That cutting expenditure was the answer. Revenue was not the problem. Yet during the interview with Kelly whilst trying to justify his proposal he said:
‘It’s not an attempt to raise taxes but there is a revenue problem’.
There may be some merit in his proposal but can anyone seriously persuade me that the states over time won’t raise taxes to accommodate their needs. Turnbull insists that the State Tax plan isn’t about raising taxes but it is, in fact, the very point of the exercise.
This is simply a handball job. The economic mess the Coalition has made for itself could be fixed if they would put their ideology aside for five minutes, govern for the common good, and take note of the recommendations of CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. (See their report ‘Deficit to balance: budget repair options’ laid the basis for economic recovery).
Has anyone considered the individual social inequality this will cause? Or state to state inequality for that matter. Or why would we even need a Federal Government.
What we are experiencing is simply ‘thought bubble on the run politics’. And from a man who should know better. And all because the Abbott/Turnbull Government has placed political egotism and ideology before sound policy development.
Further evidence of this government’s dysfunction was identified when the Treasurer soon after Turnbull’s announced his grand plan appeared to be at odds with his Prime Minister. The best one can say about their relationship is ‘it’s complicated’.
2 For me it’s odds on that the proposal will be rejected with some saving grace for the PM. However, we are no further advanced. A budget is looming in a matter of weeks. A budget that if the Treasurer is true to his word that spending is the only means of repairing the budget, should be a shocker. It has to be if he is fair dinkum. And what about the billions still there from the 2014 that is still stuck in the Senate? He can’t continue to leave it on the books, surely.
It’s hard to believe just how badly this Government is playing the political game.
3 Peta Credlin is to appear on Sky News as an election commentator. They apparently wanted her to join with Bolt to give the channel objectivity.
4 Billionaire retailer Jerry Harvey, the man who views the world through the prism of his own cash registers, reckons we need a two tier wage system where cheap labour is plentiful.
‘Australia doesn’t have cheap labour. Many overseas workers would be prepared to move here for a much better life and half the money Australians earn … I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff‘ he said.
5 Conversely, I was reading the daily Morgan Report and would you believe the Fair Work Ombudsman did a nationwide investigation into the fast-food sector and found that nearly half (47 per cent) of 565 spot-checked employers have not been paying their staff correctly, with workers being paid as low as $6 per hour compared to the statutory minimum of $17.25 per hour.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s investigation found that in nearly one-third of cases, the flat hourly rate paid by the employer to its workers was not enough to cover hours attracting penalty rates and loadings, resulting in underpayments for which an employer could be ordered to compensate the underpaid worker, and fined for breach of the applicable Industrial Award.
Royal Commission anyone?
6 Just when we thought Donald Trump couldn’t go any lower, he does.
Trump was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to define his ‘pro-life’ stance and assertions that abortion should be banned.
‘Do you believe in punishment for abortion – yes or no – as a principle?’ asked Matthews, during the taping of a town hall event.
‘The answer is there has to be some form of punishment,’ said Trump.
‘For the woman?’ Matthews said.
‘Yeah, there has to be some form’ Trump replied.
‘Ten cents, 10 years, what?’ Matthews asked again, pressing.
‘That I don’t know,’ said Trump.
My Thought for the day.
‘At some time in the human narrative ... in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you’.