As the superannuation advertising says — compare the pair. Alan Jones and former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello discussed the Rudd/Swan economic stimulus during the 2009 ‘Global Economic Crisis’
Well then knowing that he has got a massive problem with debt and deficits, massive problem, therefore he has got the infrastructure hat on and even though we are only going to get $1.7 billion spent in the next financial year, but he has got the infrastructure hat on to try and distract from debt and deficit, now telling us that there will be a relatively rapid recovery. If there is to be a relatively rapid recovery wouldn’t it have been more responsible to have lower Budget deficits in the next two years and where is the Treasury advice on any of this? Where is the Treasury advice about the impact of the stimulus packages? Where is the Treasury advice and assessment of the changes to workplace relations? Where is the Treasury model that tells us about the consequence of the affordability or otherwise of the Broadband Network? Where is the Treasury advice on the Emissions Trading Scheme? There is none.
Exactly right. Well here is an interesting question why doesn’t he release the Treasury advice which said before Christmas that he should be doling out cheques of $1,000 per child and per pensioner? Where is the Treasury advice that says after Christmas he should be doling out $900 cheques?
Well you know Treasury, you know Treasury, is there any do you reckon?
And then there is Annabel Crabb’s report of a recent interview between Alan Jones and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann
And for some who would ordinarily lose their freaking minds about poor people getting free money, it’s required some … discipline.
Radio announcer Alan Jones summoned Finance Minister Mathias Cormann for an audience early this morning (poor old Senator Cormann; he joined the program from Perth where it was 4am) and prefaced his interview with a declaration that “it’s important in these things that we support the Prime Minister”.
What followed was a mighty display of restraint as Jones tiptoed through this provoking new landscape while trying not to say anything unsupportive.
“I’m trying to avoid being critical,” he gasped, like a dowager clutching a scented hanky while tottering through plague-ridden streets, as he politely asked Cormann why everyone was being paid the same.
Jones must really be feeling the pain at the moment, his ideology is crashing down around him. Cormann is promoting the same policies that Jones and Costello were ranting against only 10 years ago. Not only does business have to adjust to a set rate for those whose wages are being subsidised by the government through the ‘Jobkeeper’ program, the last day of March effectively saw the nationalisation of the private hospital system and Virgin Australia openly suggesting that the Federal Government may end up with shares in the company should it not repay a loan required to avoid a monopoly in the Australian airline market (effectively partly nationalising part of the airline system). People are being told two’s company, three’s not allowed and people crossing a border (be it international or domestic) are being detained for 14 days, admittedly in a hotel rather than the detention centres considered suitable for refugees used as pawns in political battles. Oh yes, don’t forget that the two major political parties are co-operating on when Parliament sits again (and it will be considerably sooner than the 5 months as initially suggested a few weeks ago). In The New Daily on 31 March, Paul Bongiorno observes
On Sunday night, the Prime Minister ended a news conference saying he was not going to respond to what the Labor Party was saying.
On Monday, he did just that and some more — and the nation is better off for it.
Scott Morrison has unveiled a breathtaking government jobs subsidy package costing an eye-watering $130 billion.
Just last Friday Finance Minister Mathias Cormann ruled out the very idea– and in that he was lockstep with the Prime Minister and Treasurer, who had been dismissing it for weeks.
On Monday morning, Josh Frydenberg claimed the government had been working on that scheme for a while
Paddy Manning, who writes for The Monthly suggests
Near-universal welcome for the federal government’s massive $130 billion JobKeeper package leaves Labor in a quandary. Support for direct wage subsidies was emerging as a major point of policy difference between the Opposition and the government — now the prime minister and treasurer have backflipped and stolen Labor’s position.
Hopefully before three people socialising is allowed again the seemingly fundamental shift in politics will be nailed down. It seems that the ACTU and the Federal Attorney General argued for the ‘Jobkeeper’ policy which on the surface will support Australians now so they will be able to return to their existing jobs when there is a lesser need to ‘social distance’. It reflects well on Labor not to be criticising the government’s health or economic response purely for the sake of scoring political points, just as it reflects well on the Coalition that they can see the benefit of what seems to be a good idea, regardless of the similarity to the Greens’ universal basic income policy or the involvement of the labour movement in the conception of the now implemented policy.
There are green shoots of actually caring about Australians evident in the current environment. It’s a shame that it’s taken a pandemic and a number of unfortunate deaths for the hard heads on all sides of politics to concentrate on people in society rather than ideology.
What do you think?
This article was originally published on The Political Sword
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