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Day to Day Politics: “What was the point of your three years in office?”

Thursday May 5 2016

1 Leigh Sales got it right when she asked the Treasurer; “What was the point of your three years in office?” On the eve of an election it is a relevant question to ask a government who in order to gain office accused the Government of the day of absolute carnage in terms of running the economy. And then proceeded to triple the debt of the Government it so condemned.

Without doubt this is a bland budget. It doesn’t scare anyone particularly, but nor does it inspire. It doesn’t hide three years of Abbott and Hockey’s incompetence. It just asks that we forgive and forget and give them another chance.

After saying revenue was not a problem it proceeded to use three Labor policies to raise some.

They are by way of Superannuation, Tobacco excise and clamping down on Multi National tax avoidance. All Labor policies announced some months ago. Even if they are variations on Labor’s theme.

The high income earner’s Superannuation Tax Concessions which are much larger than Labor’s may have hidden ramifications. Will we now see these high salaried people move into the Negative Gearing market and make housing affordability even worse?

Although if Labor won they could adopt the Coalition’s policy and negate the rorting of both Super and Negative gearing.

Yes, it is a budget that the Coalition wants everyone to forget in a week which is a strange strategy given they could have included it as part of their election campaign. Anyway, people will probably forget it quickly enough because there isn’t much to get excited about. No boldness to remember. It is also a budget that doesn’t predict a surplus for years. It doesn’t apoligise for it which is hypocrisy of the worst kind given its ‘budget emergency’ damnation of Labor. The tax cuts for business rely on future growth to GDP of 3% which in the current volatile economic climate can best be described as just plain silly.

There are no brave policies that suggest they can be trusted. No policies with the heralded innovation at their core. All they are doing is following, ostensibly against their better judgement, I suspect, Labor’s lead. They do not want any scrutiny on their appalling economic governance.

They are, after their gross negligence, asking the Australian public to have faith and to forgive them their slanderous talk to gain office and their incompetence it.

An example of their maladministration is that this budget still contains $13 billion worth of savings the Senate failed to pass in the last two budgets, and if the next Senate contains a similar mix of independents, is unlikely to do so.

A Treasurer who continues to hoodwink the public with unrealistic bookkeeping lacks trustworthiness. Particularly when they say they will decrease the deficit from $37 billion to $6 billion in three years’ time.

Talking about economic elasticity I’m still trying to figure out how a small business can be described as one with a turnover of $10 million today but by 2019 it will be $100 million. That sort of logic is staggering.

As Chris Bowen said:

“In fact, Mr Turnbull is so desperate to give a tax cut to the top end of town that he’s changed the definition of small business. Apparently in Mr Turnbull’s Australia, big businesses like Goldman Sachs are a small business!?”

Governments should be judged on performance. This one hasn’t.

So Leigh Sales was right to ask the question:

“What was the point of your three years in office?”

And so should every Australian voter be asking the same question.

Obviously the Reserve Bank has one view of the economy and the Government another.

By the way I lost count of the “jobs and growth slogan” in Morrison’s speech. I gave up after 22.

It’s a plan they say. If it is it has gone through three years of talking, and talking and talking. Just exactly what the plan is remains unclear to me. Incidentally there are more people looking for work now than at any time in the past twenty years.

Underlying this budget is the conservative ideology of Margaret Thatcher:

“There is no such thing as society, there are only individuals making their way. The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect from the rich”. (Paraphrased).

At the end of Morrison’s speech the usual clapping and hand shaking took place. The notable exception was Tony Abbott who never moved from his seat.

2 The latest Essential Poll continues to have Labor four points in front. IPOS and Newspoll will follow next and we will be able to gauge people’s reaction to the Budget. You don’t get much closer than this. Another hung parliament, anyone?

2/5/16 Morgan 51-49 ALP

4 /5 16 Essential 52-48 ALP

18/4/16 Newspoll 51-49 ALP

14/4/16 Reachtel 50-50

11/4/16 IPsos 50-50

3 A couple of days ago I noted the “Carping” performance of Barnaby Joyce in Question Time. It was a performance so cringe worthy that it went beyond embarrassment into a disgrace that this man is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. You be the judge lest you think I’m exaggerating.


4 Not to be outdone in the ‘poor taste’ stakes Peter Dutton confirmed to all and sundry that he is the uncouth vile self-delusional fool that everyone thinks he is. At a press conference he said:

“I have previously expressed my frustration and anger at advocates and others who are in contact with those in regional processing centres and who are encouraging some of these people to behave in a certain way, believing that pressure exerted on the Australian government will see a change in our policy in relation to our border protection measures … We are not going to change those policies, and the advocates, by providing false hope to these people, really [are] to be condemned. They can provide offers of support that is reasonable. But to provide advice otherwise is very dangerous”.

Not one iota of evidence to back his claim. Not an ounce of compassion. The veracity of his claim is untested. It is a serious allegation that requires substantive evidence and not just vague references to “advice” and “intelligence”. Such remarks are cowardly but not unexpected from a Minister of dubious integrity.

His predecessor made similar unfounded claims against a charitable organisation which proved to be untrue. Not even an apology.

This Government has a petulance for blaming everyone else but its own policies. When will they admit that they have condemned theses people to spend the rest of their lives in captivity? Shame shame shame.

My thought for the day.

“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness… You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day”.



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  1. Terry2

    Seems we can’t have a well funded Medicare system and twelve submarines, so which do we prioritise ?

    “THE dreaded GP co-payment has risen from the grave in the Federal Budget with a doctor’s visit likely to cost up to $39 at the same time as prescription medicine prices rise by $5 from January.

    Medicare rebates will be frozen at $37 for six years until 2020 to save the Government nearly $1 billion in a move that is likely to force doctors to abandon bulk billing.”

  2. z

    “What was the point of your three years in office?”—the answer is very simple: the point to be in the Government office for protecting their rich mates ( big end of the town ) and to keeping young first home buyers out of housing market, jobs and growth merely are slogan on the surface.

  3. Möbius Ecko

    This Government has a petulance for blaming everyone else but its own policies.

    This is not just a trait of this government but of all Liberal governments. Yes Labor also blame shifts, but nowhere near to the extent and blatancy of the Liberals.

    Howard was the one who took it to new levels Federally when he often stated he would take all responsibility, but then went on to take none, blaming everyone and everything for his constant string of major policy failures. He even made his staffers the fall guys for his stuff ups and malfeasances and then promptly generously rewarded them for their supposed failure.

    Before Howard it was Kennett at the State level, who continued to blame Labor and others, including the media, well into his second term, so much so he was unexpectedly kicked out going for his third term. Victorians had had enough of his blame shifting for things that were obviously his failings.

    Conversely the Liberals also take the ownership and self kudos for successes that are not theirs. We are seeing that in spades at the moment with the Turnbull government, where across the country they have taken full ownership of Labor’s infrastructure projects and policies without a single passing reference to anyone else but themselves as being the progenitors of them.

    They only get away with constantly doing this because of the MSM.

  4. Robert

    Terry I totally agree with your comment, but there is more. Susan Ley is determined to destroy Medicare by stealth and to increase our health care costs.

    What is hidden in the budget small print and not referred to in any of the MSM commentary is the Liaberal and IPA ideological intention to destroy the Medicare system by stealth.
    Susan Ley has now extended the freeze on indexing or increasing the rebates from Medicare for a further TWO years. These were initially delayed for 6 months by Gillard and Swan but this freeze has have not been lifted by the Liberals since and Ley extends it for a further two years. – As a result Doctors will cease any Direct Bulk Billing and it increases the patients cost. The hidden Medicare copayment by stealth.

    This is in addition to the changes to the Pathology test copayment that Ley has introduced that becomes effective from 1st July.

    It is also in addition to the changes to the National Diabetes Scheme that removes agreement for supply of Diabetes equipment from Diabetes Australia, the availability of Glucose test strips without a doctor’s prescriptions, and the increase in cost for Diabetes Equipment and Insulin that also comes into effect from 1st July.

    All of these attacks on our health system to reduce the Government funding, cut out prevention of health problems, increase the costs to the sick and to destroy our existing health system for pure Ideology.

  5. wam

    What a great start to a 4000 km drive, lord. loved the iota and ounce two concepts that fit this government’s effort(little as possible) and effect (lightweight) perfectly. Hopefully labor can drive the point of trust by matching morrison to hockey square face vs round but no proof of ability and turnball to the rabbott polished hypocrite vs liar.
    Perhaps as a catholic convert he is shaky on the power of three but catering for the uneducated by 33.3% and gone from the father the son and the holy ghost slogan trilogy of stop the boats, abolish the carbon tax and fix the debt to a duopoli of jobs and growth.
    loved your slogan but not to keen on the blessed, is Brian still around?
    ps hope shorten has seen eddie the eagle.

  6. Matthew Oborne

    The mild budget was still very telling, with Part A &B tax effected, with schoolkids bonus gone, with new unemployed and single parents not getting the carbon tax extra money with the wealthier getting the 80 thousand dollar threshold raised with business getting a lesser tax rate that increases to include major companies over time, this was a sneaky desire to shift money to the rich still, one they had to do mildly or get attacked. They should be attacked if this is what they consider a good budget, the deficit reduction tax is gone this budget still helped out those who dont need it and didnt help those who do.

  7. Jake

    Gee – I would love to earn the average wage !

  8. susan

    On 7.30 report, Barnaby Joyce, when asked about the backpackers’ tax, started waffling about his party raising the tax free threshhold to $18000. The Nationals actively work against their constituents and have to claim Labor’s work to even answer questions. What is the matter with these voters?

  9. Terry2

    “Will we now see these high salaried people move into the Negative Gearing market and make housing affordability even worse?”

    John, to answer your question, inevitably ‘yes’ : for a well heeled investor the choices now are shares and real estate and the former is too erratic for the unskilled so it’s bricks & morter and good old Negative Gearing at a time when interest rates are at historical lows.

    The Labor policy was much better calibrated.

  10. totaram

    Robert:”All of these attacks on our health system to reduce the Government funding, cut out prevention of health problems, increase the costs to the sick and to destroy our existing health system for pure Ideology.”

    Sorry, not for pure ideology. It is so that the health system can eventually be privatised, yielding huge profits for the private health industry, whose lobbyists and donors have been working hard to this end. Always follow the money – who will gain?

  11. Pappinbarra Fox

    Surely totaram you say “not for pure ideology …so that the health system can eventually be privatised” but isn’t that exactly what their ideology is pure and simple?

  12. Anomander

    The very fact the Reserve Bank governors chose to cut interest rates again, on the day of the budget, only underlines how bad they believe our economy is running.

    Anyone with half a brain can see these bastards have run our economy into the ground. Hell, many of the budget measures put forward by Hockey in his disastrous 2014 budget still have not been passed.

    They have massively increased debt and have signed contracts that commit us to $75 billion on redundant millitary hardware (dud planes and unnecessary subs).

    They have destroyed whole industries and caused tens of thousands of job losses. They have slashed spending on health, education and social programs, and have decided to cut taxes that will forever erod billions more form our revenue base. They have decimated science and technology and stymied investment into renewables, while they continue to provide massive subsidies for their corporate sponsors.

    And now they are running to an early election in the hope people will stupidly give them another three years to continue their pogrom of social destruction.

  13. anne bradford

    doesnt seem to be a point in leaving a comment really.i’m neither rich or even given a thought in the budget,i am an invalid after working 40 plus years paying tax,i had massive stroke and am joy for me and my kind ever from the government.. in fact they seemed to have forgotten us. no packages for level 3/4 invalids[us that really need it] plenty of money for immigrants tho

    …just who are they trying to impress? not born and bred australians that’s for sure

  14. Athena

    They are so lucky that Australians have such low expectations of their government.

  15. Kronomex

    When you look at Morrison the only thing missing to complete the image of a ventriloquists dummy is the separate jaw piece and the arm controlling the head stick. Oh wait, I just realised that they are probably using a remote control unit.

  16. jane

    @anne bradford, the Liars haven’t forgotten you, they just don’t give a rat’s about anyone who isn’t extremely wealthy. The best way to restore decent government is to put the Liars last and Labor first.

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