1 Albanese had said that how we conducted our business of politics needed its mouth washed. More respect, transparency, far less lying, and manners toward others were just a few of the things he thought needed attention.
Yet here we find the Prime Minister and the Treasurer taking credit for what are indexed rises in the pension. They would have been better off had they legislated reverting to the previous means of indexation, which was an accurate means for adjusting pensions.
The latest changes were devised by Scott Morrison for the Age Pension so that payment rates would adjust via movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The measure saved $449.0 million over five years.
Most pensions were indexed twice yearly (on March 20 and September 20) by the more significant movement in the CPI or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). They were then ‘benchmarked’ against a percentage of “Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).”
Interest rate hikes, rising inflation and rising energy prices, what next? The rise in pensions will be the most significant indexation increase to payments in more than 30 years but will barely cover the price rises.
However, many commentators have said the rises are a stingy amount compared with the increase in prices. Tough times ahead with a recession likely mid-year in 2023. So sayeth the Lord.
Back to the subject of our governance: If Albanese continues these sorts of hypocrisy, then he will lose trust. After all, he made the promise, so he must set the example.
WORDS THAT MAKE YOU THINK
Albo taking credit for a long-standing indexation for rises in pensions is contrary to the virtue he espoused as being truthful, open and transparent.
— john lord (@saint13333) September 5, 2022
2 Quoting Rachel Withers from The Monthly, Labor needs to do more about the climate.
“Those concerned about the fate of the planet breathed a sigh of relief on May 21. But the 100 days since have been peppered with disappointment, with Labor pushing blithely ahead with new coal and gas, regurgitating Coalition talking points, and steadfastly ignoring the electorate’s clear endorsement of greater climate urgency.”
3 Political affairs (of the sexual kind) are proving to be very costly for the taxpayer. Yes, $650,000 is a flirting sum for the former lover of Alan Tudge, who said she was bullied when in his employ. Just why the taxpayer is footing the bill instead of Tudge is somewhat of a mystery, given they were doing it in overtime.
With the Government set to pay Rachelle Miller’s legal fees, the total cost to the taxpayer will be approximately $900,000 by my calculations.
The injustice is that Tudge, during the marriage equality debate, said that same-sex marriage would weaken “traditional marriage.” He did not disclose the state of his own ‘traditional marriage’ with extras at the time.
4 The ABC web page reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick has decided against referring former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the Privileges Committee “over claims he mislead Parliament” about:
“… his secret self-appointment to jointly administer several portfolio.
“On the information available to me it does not seem that a prima facie case has been made out in terms of the detail that speakers have always required,” Mr Dick said.
It then follows that I did not refer the matter … nevertheless I understand the concern of the member and other members.”
5 According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Malcolm Turnbull was given a hard time in trying to deliver a speech at Sydney University.
“Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has decried “fascism” and challenged Sydney’s oldest university to protect free speech on campus after he was yelled and sworn at by student protesters during a function and escorted out by police.”
Eventually, Turnbull gave up and left the Sydney University Law Society event on Thursday, September 1, without spruiking a word. The Student Representative Council and student body members called him “ruling class scum” who “wouldn’t listen to anyone below” him.
In a democracy, the right to free speech is given to the people through the Government. Therefore, it should be incumbent on people to display decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the other point of view. Sadly, this seems to have been forgotten here and in the United States.
People often demand free speech to compensate for the freedom of thought they rarely use.
6 Something about conventions, and worth remembering:
“Conventions underpin the operation of the Australian Constitution and the Executive Government.
A convention is an unwritten rule, not a law. It is an accepted way of doing something. The Westminster parliamentary system is built around these kinds of unwritten rules.
The Australian Constitution combines literal interpretation with convention. Whilst some sections are adhered to literally, others operate by accepted practices, often built up over centuries.”
7 The Governor General lobbies former PM Morrison for $18 million to support a charity called The Leadership Foundation. Its charitable purpose and the relationship between its directors and Governor-General David Hurley are, according to The New Daily, unknown. A public integrity expert reckons its merits must be established before public money is handed over.
Stop Press: Late last Wednesday, the Albanese Government withdrew the money.
8 Just when you think there is nothing more to read about polling, The Poll Bludger comes up with some excellent post-election analysis. Albanese is giving Dutton a thumping.
9 The Jobs and Skills Summit ended with great ideas we cannot afford. Or was the highlight when Ross Garnaut told the assembled gathering over dinner “that reform happens when vested interests are defeated“?
10 Sadly, I must finish on a low note. After many years of prosperity, Australia is about to come to a grinding halt. Not that I have any economics degrees to back up that statement. I only have a gut instinct from many years of following our politics. In my 80-plus years, I have felt both the financial hopelessness of depression and the benefits of affluence. I have seen good Government and bad – the scarcity of leadership – the drought of ideas.
Labor won a significant victory – the first 100 days without blemish. Soaring opinion polls have followed. The whiff of decay is slowly drifting from the corridors of Parliament House, but huge problems will have to be addressed; nothing can be done until inflation is under control. Petrol has to rise, as will interest rates. Increases to pensions won’t cover the cost of living rises. Hard times are ahead. The burden of correction must fall equally.
My thought for the day
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They make the most of everything they have.
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