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Fluffy figures, flawed calculations, false expectations.

Fair, reasonable and balanced. That has been Tony Abbott’s latest pre-budget mantra, a mantra that took a hiding after Joe Hockey delivered what will surely be his final attempt at a budget last night.

Even when they are trying to save themselves, the coalition have once again demonstrated how glued they are to an ideology of trickle-down economics they can neither shake off nor hide.

If this budget were to sway one single vote it would prove the collective IQ of the nation had gone into further decline.

The small business plan will not promote a credible path to more employment. That is sheer fantasy. They think by giving small business more money, the benefits will trickle down to the unemployed.

Accelerated write offs up to $20,000 and tax cuts will give small business greater liquidity and increased profit, but no real incentive to employ additional staff.

“This budget empowers small business to invest, grow and create jobs,” Mr Hockey told Parliament in his budget speech. No it doesn’t. It simply puts more money in their pockets. Something for which they will be very grateful.

Hockey went on to say, “This will be of enormous benefit to their bottom line and help businesses with their cash flow. It means innovation, it means jobs. It means more money to invest and grow your business.” It could mean that, at a stretch, but it probably won’t.

rudd Does he not remember that it took a $40 billion stimulus by Kevin Rudd to avoid a recession following the GFC? What can he seriously expect from a paltry $3.55 billion?

Small business will only employ more staff if they can see greater sales. There is little in this budget that will generate sufficient activity to create the growth necessary to generate more sales.

The government are also up to their old tricks with the senate. Their attempt last year to cut the Family Tax Benefit Part B has been stalled in the senate, but rather than scrap it, they want to get it through by blackmailing the crossbenchers once again.

Scott Morrison has form when it comes to political blackmail. He successfully spun independent Ricky Muir on the issue of children in detention to get his way on temporary protection visas. He is applying the same principal to his childcare package. Not very reasonable and in its current form, it won’t work.

If you were watching Q&A Monday night you would have witnessed the human face of budget cutting where programs in disadvantaged areas that were value-adding to the economy, were being defunded.

These programs were restoring the well-being, the education and future opportunities of those who, for whatever reason, had become marginalised. They were helping return people to the workforce.

struggle The discussion centered on the SBS program, ‘Struggle Street’ which for all the negative comment it has attracted, it has focused attention on the mean spirited and impersonal decisions taken by government to save money. Once again, we see how this obsession to create a surplus can impact on the most vulnerable neighbourhoods.

This is how we treat our most vulnerable while propping up mining companies, allowing tax breaks for the excessively wealthy and ignoring our most important resource….our youth.

Over the coming days and weeks, this budget will undergo a rigorous scrutiny by independent analysts who, I am sure, will expose its weaknesses. What is obvious is that it relies heavily on things going well here and overseas, particularly in China.

It is what Tony Abbott calls fair, reasonable and balanced. It is none of these things.

There is much that is flawed in the calculations on income tax. Bracket creep is expected to increase the overall take from $176 billion this year to $235 billion by 2018/19. That won’t happen.

Forget the forward estimates. Governments of both persuasions have shown a talent for exaggeration when it comes to guessing what revenue lies beyond. They can’t even get the current year right.

castle But the most optimistic estimate of all is that gross receipts will increase from $377 billion in this budget to a whopping $488 billion in 2018/19. That is pipe dreaming, predicated on 3.5% annual growth. That won’t happen either.

This is a small-minded budget from small-minded people. And as for Hockey’s $35 billion deficit? Would someone please tell him he’s dreaming?


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  1. DanDark

    Last nights budget only confirmed one thing for me and that’s to have my family out of the country before the end of the year.
    I didn’t watch it, but you don’t have to watch it to know the budget is Bullshit and Govs of both stripes use it to their own advantage, and they use the less advantaged of the country to kick around like a football…

  2. stephentardrew

    Tis another lie that will come home to roost before the next elections. The forward estimates are absolute crap. Just keep watching the deficit growing as it will inevitably do. The thing is all we have to do is watch the noose tighten around the L-NP neck. The pundits live in hope bashing on about the UK when Scotland is an aberration. The UK will suffer immeasurably for their visceral dislike of the Scottish left. Unbelievable levels of masochism. No relief there.

    Now it is Shortens turn so lets hope for some clarity from Labor. Tomorrow night will be a make or break for Labor amongst progressives. I do have my reservations.

    Handed to you on a platter Labor now let’s see if you have got what it takes.

  3. kerri

    I take exception, Dan Dark, when you tar all political parties with the same brush! Gonski and the NDIS were a great use of taxpayer funds as was the NBN before the idealogues got their dirty fingers in the pie!
    As for more wealth creates more jobs? For god’s sake Joe? Take a look at Gina? All the government assistance she has received over the years and still mining employs around 2% of the population. The trickle down stops with Gina herself. She won’t even share with her kids! Trickle down is nonsense. Greed is truth!

  4. DanDark

    Kerri and I can have an opinion too or not, by the sounds of your comment I cant have an opinion
    but if parents cant afford to get kids to school Gonski is worth Zilch and the NDIS was their brainchild, but so were Medicare and inexpensive uni degrees and the single parents pension but over the years Labor has watered these things down themselves,
    What is this illusion that The Labor Party is the bees knees and they have never done anything to hurt the country or the disadvantaged, their own infighting and bitching lost them the last election Tony didn’t win Labor lost because we had the Rudd Gillard show for years, I voted for Rudd in last fed election after not voting for 18 years cos what was the point I felt, but there was no way I was going to vote for Gillard, and the Labor party knew she was very unpopular because we had the fake Gillard then we had the real Gillard then we had the knitting Gillard etc etc etc,
    it was a circus that’s why they got rid of her,
    Rudd saved the furniture and that’s the truth of labors last effort at an election….

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    Labour plus Capital creates wealth. Only works when pie is distributed fairly.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Don’t always agree with what Clive Palmer has to say on economics, and let’s face it some of his stuff is way out there in loony land. but he made a valid point on the small business spending in an ABC interview this morning.

    A substantial number of small businesses in this country are making little to no profit so are not paying any or much tax anyway. 1.5% of nothing is still going to be nothing, and the other write downs won’t get people to buy their goods and services if those people don’t have spare spending capacity, something this government is taking away on the other side of the budget.

    Clive said the government would have been far better off giving the breaks and extra money to consumers and in that way small businesses would have been more profitable and better off in the long run as consumers spend.

    It seems like nearly everything this government does this is yet another thought bubble/brain fart aimed more at trying to win popularity than for any lucid economic strategic reasoning.

  7. Zolf

    “Have a go!” appears to be the latest three word slogan. Have a go at what? This bunch of halfwits seem to have found a new item to outsource: economic stimulus. Let’s all rack up some more personal debt so Tony and Joe & co can have another attempt at the Holy Grail Surplus. It was refreshing to watch Richard Di Natale refusing to be sucked into Uhlman’s Neo-con line of questioning.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    Also fair, reasonable and balanced Zolf. They have really been hammering Fair until the media picked up on the fact they were overplaying it.

  9. Brad

    Was listening to JJJ on the wireless this morning and heard a ‘like, cool’ sounding guest hamming up the budget. No attempt was made by her or her interviewers to balance the ‘good’ news with reality. What’s happened to Aunty??

  10. Florence nee Fedup

    Those programs you seen being cut are gone. Gone the way of worthwhile experience DV refuges. It is clear, listening, they will be handed over to the likes of Brotherhood St Laurence, churches and maybe Father Riley.

    This government seem to believe they are better off re-inventing the wheel.

    Existing bodies do not fit in with this government dogma. Seem to believe it should be up to churches.

    Got news for them. Many victims of DV and kids running wild, want nothing to do with churches.

  11. Jeanette

    I can’t see anything that will change consumer confidence. Since the last budget fiasco it all started to grind to a halt. From 2 online and other retailers I subscribe to I would receive emails of sales once a month. Now my inbox is constantly swamped with sales on everything. I believe that the assumption that businesses will pocket any extra money and well may they deserve it. There is no incentive for them to hire more staff when sales and increased work isn’t there. People have zipped and locked their wallets. The big drop in electricity didnt happen around my neck of the woods, fuels more expensive on rural areas. I might add that supermarkets don’t help with “buy 2 and save 5c” etc as well as now only selling large packets of everything. I ripped out the hearts of 2 Woolworths suits from Brisbane castigating them on the price of lamb! It’s all a joke, punters the house of cards is slowly falling down.
    Don’t know if Shorten will succeed, whilst I am a femminist I have to say we need a warrior leader with balls, 7′ tall to bring Abbott down.

  12. Awabakal

    Said the pie to the colon, “That’s not how I want to end up”,
    Said the colon to the pie, “You are what you become”,
    Said the pie to the colon, “But that is not what I want to become”,
    Said the colon to the pie, “You is what you is”.

    Watch the next elections, Murdoch will be brandishing his best endeavours to deride any and every candidate that is not LNP on the front pages and in every page thereafter.

    The Polls will decry a hung parliament, just as they did in last week’s UK elections but the real polls will be manipulated by the scare tactics of Rupert Murdoch and the Liberal/Nationals.

    I could only be satisfied if a strike occurred on all levels of newspaper production and tv reporting for the entire length of the election process.

  13. Möbius Ecko

    Less than 24 hours after Hockey’s budget speech and driving home from work this evening I heard story after story and economist after economist rip holes through the budget, most especially the assumptions made by Hockey, which when boiled down are a load of crock. Coming from Hockey we didn’t expect anything else but I didn’t expect the caning he got.

    I attempted to take mental not of each item to post here but they came so fast, from false assumptions on wages growth, already shot down by Treasury this morning, to an overinflated growth figure for China.

    Then there was the ripping to shreds of some of the rubbery figures he’s come out with, like the $1.1 billion savings in cracking down on welfare fraud by buying a new mainframe computer and hiring more compliance officers. Wow where have we heard that before and how did it go? That’s right Howard and it flopped. Howard got to hide his and Bishop the elder’s abject failure behind record surpluses, Abbott and Hockey don’t have that lucky luxury. Australia already has one of the lowest levels of welfare fraud in the Western world and the most stringent of compliance regimes around. It’s at a point where it will cost far more to reign in the very small amount of fraud than the money that will save.

    As one commentator said Hockey’s only saving grace is that the falsity of his figures won’t come home to roost until after the next election, even if it’s held full term.

  14. Loz

    Oh dear! A tax on backpackers, a $20000 tax cut for small businesses, a child package to get women into jobs, a four week wait for the dole. What vision, what creativity, what intelligence? What a useless budget and a useless government.

  15. Glenn

    yes, just wondering about those backpacker jobs…….I seem to recall how dependent our fruit industry is on the seasonal casual workforce made up by backpackers. I have hosted many of my o/s friends children ( young adult backpackers) and they have all done the fruit-picker gig. Shitty wages but accommodation is included and the money they do earn gets spent before they leave the country. So this little false economy introduced by Joe is gonna hurt our fruit farmers (I suspect), as I’m not so sure they will want to do it for even shittier wages. Taxing backpackers at 32% will also divert cash that would have been spent in our economy (think of all the places the backpackers go and spend money) and instead go back to the government. Good one Joe, another brain-fart with a negative economic impact.
    The tax breaks to small business are not enough to pay for a single employee – do the numbers and it doesn’t add up. So where are these jobs coming from??? My plumber will be a bit happier, maybe he can upgrade his ute. Wow – that we get the economy firing. Oops, I hear another brain-fart.

  16. Annie B

    To Mobius Ecko – – – Ref : your comment :

    “A substantial number of small businesses in this country are making little to no profit so are not paying any or much tax anyway. 1.5% of nothing is still going to be nothing, and the other write downs won’t get people to buy their goods and services >>>>> ”

    In another post I commented, and I think this is relevant here :

    “Cutting taxes on small business ? …. Since the past 12 months
    or so, let anyone go to a large extended Shopping Centre, and
    find out how many people are prepared to put their lives on the l
    ine for ‘small business’. ?? …. there are shops aplenty that are
    empty and attempting to be filled through negotiations, for a ‘good deal’
    by the big wigs that own the Centres. Some brave souls attempt
    it – and a very very small % achieve it. ….. Go looking for some
    shop you enjoyed 6 months ago, only to find it closed – defunct,
    or in other words ‘f*cked”, with the owners of that small business
    licking their wounds, and wondering where their next $ might come from. !!!

    I know what I am talking about, having been management to the leasing of shops in a 2nd stage extension of a large S/C in Victoria … and now seeing how many have bailed out, and how many shop fronts are empty. … there is an abominably quick turnover evident, but often, never for long.

    I don’t think anyone who runs a small business, will believe the current crap.
    …. Once burned etc….”

    This applies across the board – with no profit, there is no possible advance in product advertising or upgrade, therefore far less customers, ergo – no good will, therefore further – no profit. …. A Catch 22. … Little wonder so many bow out.

    The LNP = BFG ( limitless numpty plans = brain farts galore ).


    I keep hoping Labor is playing it down to the wire. …. and my hopes for them breaking through with undeniable argument, politicies and aggressive opposition, are palid at the moment. ?

    But we can still hope. ???

  17. Choppa

    Glenn fruit pickers make up <5% of backpackers i'd guess. The "backpackers" that Australia received during the boom were mainly professionals and guess what, the majority are still here. Obtaining 457 visas that could land you permanent residence a year later and citizenship 2 years after that was as easy as signing up for a working holiday visa. All you had to be was under 30. I will also add that the vast majority of backpackers that do fruit picking or regional roles, do it at the end of their first year here – as working in regional areas for a few months is a per-requisite to getting an additional year on your working holiday visa, otherwise you have to leave after one. That is the ONLY reason back packers do fruit picking – and that carrot remains there for them. There would be many who have already started paying tax before they get out to the regional areas so I think the effect wouldn't be as great as you'd think.

    "Does he not remember that it took a $40 billion stimulus by Kevin Rudd to avoid a recession following the GFC? What can he seriously expect from a paltry $3.55 billion?"

    Oh wow. If you actually understood what happened in the GFC (and theaimn never did) – you'd realise that spending $3.55 billion would've done a lot more for the country than Rudd's $80 billion ever did. Maybe you can go and huddle in your insulated school hall and reflect on what you've just said. Oh wait – there aren't any.

  18. Möbius Ecko

    “Oh wow. If you actually understood what happened in the GFC (and theaimn never did) – you’d realise that spending $3.55 billion would’ve done a lot more for the country than Rudd’s $80 billion ever did. Maybe you can go and huddle in your insulated school hall and reflect on what you’ve just said. Oh wait – there aren’t any.”

    Time and again you love to display your ignorance for all to see, and yet again you have not disappointed.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Hockey wants to stimulate the economy by asking us all to go into private debt and by giving tax deductions to small business. Being a small business owner myself, I will not be employing more people because demand is low. Now if the populace had more to spend, that would help. Me being able to buy another car or upgrade my computers won’t.

  20. Clean livin

    Möbius, you sound like an apprentice, and a wet one at that, who knows nought about economy.
    Please explain your last!

  21. DanDark

    Geeezus jumping turtles the Choppa is full of facts ROFL
    And as for the budget, well the only thing we have in our country town are small businesses and a Woolworths
    So from today I will travel to a larger regional shopping center where everything is much cheaper than in town
    and spend my money at the big shops like Big W, Spotlight, Bunnings, Coles etc etc instead of the family owned shops in our little town, (I need some wool for the blanket I am knitting but I will wait till I go to the big shops now after Tuesdays budget)
    It will save me money and the small businesses will suffer more because there is already a lot of people who shop out of town because its cheaper and worth the hours drive to a larger town to shop, something I have never done up until now.

    Unemployment is already out of control in rural areas and this budget will just put the nail in the coffin for small business in this town because they are already suffering every time you enter a shop all they do is whinge how quiet it has been since last years budget, oh well they all stood their and voted for the Libs as I saw when standing in line with all the small business owners of the town, now they can suffer in their jocks too 🙂

  22. Kaye Lee

    Clean livin,

    An OECD report estimated unemployment would have been up to almost 2 per cent higher without government intervention.

    “Estimates in the oeCD Employment Outlook 2009 suggest that employment in Australia is likely to decline by between 1.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent, or around 150,000-200,000 jobs, less by the end of 2010 than if no fiscal measures had been taken,” it said.

    “This is due to both the relatively large size of the fiscal package and the degree to which employment responds to fiscal stimuli such as tax cuts or public expenditure.”

  23. Möbius Ecko

    Clean livin it’s Choppa who made a statement with no facts or sources to back it up, and he has a very long history of being wrong, so let him explain and I can then refute with what really occurred, not with his ideologically Liberal party propaganda regurgitated distortion and misinformation on what occurred, but what the facts, empirical data and history showed what occurred.

  24. Mark Needham

    Talking about the “Fluff” on Figures, Calculations and Expectations, it amazes me that the waste involved in $3.9 billion or even
    $40.0 billion, is what could have been done, if the money was spent wisely.

    The “piddling up against the Wall” of money, is the true misadventure and all parties to the scam, are guilty.

    Also surfing between the 2 nests of opinion, ie, Right and Left wing political ideas and action, the absolute venom and bile that is trotted out as “Discussion” is near maniacal and so unserving.
    I’m sure the disconnect from being civilised, lays proof of a lack of ticker, in some writers come bloggists. It is only the Anonymity of the “web” that allows us to be so bold.

    Surely, we are above some of the ‘Crap” that is written.

  25. Graeme Henchel

    Whenever he spoke I felt quite sick
    Did he think I was stupid?
    Did he think I was thick?
    He made false promises and told so many lies
    He kept making excuses and he’d blame other guys

    So I stopped listening, so over it all
    The lies, the excuses, hypocrisy and gall

    Then he started pleading, said he had changed
    I saw no difference, he must be deranged
    Yet all of his mates were still right by his side
    But they can’t be trusted, all of them lied

    So whenever he spoke, I just turned off
    I knew he’d be lying, enough is enough

    He became more deluded like Monty’s black knight
    He kept changing the story saying black now is white
    When called to account he’d build lie upon lie
    with a wink and a smirk and a bogus blue tie

    So I moved on, so over the lies
    I eagerly awaited his certain demise

    He says now he’s turned over a new leaf
    No apology for all the pain and the grief
    He wants forgiveness but no mention of fault
    I think it’s a fig leaf for continued assault

    Nothing has changed, just different deceit
    I’ll just bide my time till his demise is complete

  26. Lawrence Corry

    I would like you guys to look at “Job guarantee” policies…just have a look at it it and see what you think..IMO it would turn this country around in the right direction

  27. Lee

    How are backpackers going to be taxed? According to Four Corners last week, some of them are employed under false names, no bank accounts are used and payments are in cash. An article in New Matilda today states that the labour hire companies don’t even need an ABN. Add to that the 4000+ retrenchments from the ATO since the last election. What a joke.

  28. John Kelly

    Choppa, perhaps you could explain how $3.55 billion given as a tax break to 2 million could better stimulate the economy than $40 billion given to 10 million taxpayers?

  29. Kaye Lee

    I’d like to hear how making under 25’s wait 4 weeks for unemployment benefits and spending $24.9 million in the departments of Human Services and Employment on measures that will save $6.9 million in payments to those who fail to met all interview and reporting requirements for unemployment benefits is going to create jobs.

    I’d like to hear why small business will employ more people when demand is not increasing. A new car sounds nice but another employee sure ain’t happening.

  30. Harquebus

    Hockey and his budget will fail. The era of surplus energy and economic growth is over. The ideology of perpetual growth has met physical reality. That is all.
    Only when resource depletion and its affect on energy production and population growth are factored can viable polices to initiate a stable economy, environment and population be developed. Not happening and not likely to.

  31. Matters Not

    under 25’s wait

    Certainly it matters not. But most unusual. Just sayin ..

    As to the salient the ‘point’, re the ‘trickle down’ effect (and affect), the notion that any business owner who has a ‘windfall’ tax deduction will then be somehow motivated to employ more people/staff is very optimistic.

    Business ‘decisions’ are rooted in potential ‘profits’, not in employment numbers.

    While the economists are mired in the debate re supply versus demand, I suggest that at the most fundamental level, if there’s no demand, then there will be a significant reluctance to supply.

  32. Harquebus

    “Wealth trickles up, not down. The trickle down effect is the wealthy pissing on our backs and telling us that it is raining.” — Unknown.

  33. Florence nee Fedup

    When it comes to stimulating an economy, it is not only the amount that is spent, it is how the government spent it. This government condemned Rudd more for how he spent it, than the amount. Howard recently said he would have reduced taxes, not do as Rudd did, create demand by putting money in hands lower income earners.

    At least now we will see, if increasing profits of employers will lead to more employment. My bet, it will make little difference. Does not make sense for me, for any small business to spend, unless it increases business.

  34. stephentardrew

    Too bloody simple Matters Not.

    A case of Occam’s razor where the simplest and clearest solution is the best solution.

    Neo-cons try to confuse with so called science based economic complexity when there are no actual scientific foundations to their deviously convoluted models of self-regulation, the farcical invisible hand and so called empirically unprovable free markets.

    Meanwhile science is vilified because it proves global warming which is against neo-con interests.

    The logical inconsistencies are legion while the public wallow in ignorance.

  35. Pingback: Fluffy figures, flawed calculations, false expectations. | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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