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Lest we forget

After active opposition to action on climate change, rorting on a grand scale in water management, no long term national drought strategy, and a woeful response to the bushfires, ScottyFromMarketing (SFM) is now positioning himself as some sort of crisis leader.

In actual fact, he is finally being led by advice from experts, and luckily able to share the burden with the Premiers, or pass the buck where necessary.

Whilst watching the new iteration of SFM, it is important to remember what the Coalition have been doing for the past six and a half years because that is what they assure us they want to snap back to.

This is an article I wrote in December 2013, three months after the election.

“I know this government feels we have a debt and deficit crisis and a budget emergency so, in the interest of making some helpful suggestions …

Leave the fixed price on carbon until 2015, as was originally suggested. After all, as Steven Koukoulas points out, carbon pricing has had almost no impact on the macro-economy and inflation remains very low. Add to that the fact that emissions are falling and renewable energy generation is growing.

According to PEFO (Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook), with a fixed carbon price of $24.20/t of CO2 emissions, projected revenue for 2013-14 is $6.475 billion. If we left the fixed pricing until 2015, as originally intended, we will receive revenue of approximately $13 billion dollars over those two years.

Joe Hockey could scrap the Direct Action Plan because it won’t work, and save $3.2 billion over the next 4 years plus have a far better chance of meeting our targets.

Keep the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as they are making a profit of up to $200 million a year and are financing clean energy initiatives which will assist us in meeting our Renewable Energy and Emission Reduction targets. They are reducing emissions whilst making us money.

After all, there is no guarantee that electricity prices will go down if we remove the carbon pricing.

Joe Hockey could keep the mining tax. PEFO estimated an income from the MRRT (Minerals Resource Rent Tax) of $5.95 billion over the next 4 years. It is impossible to accurately predict future revenue but, even if it is half what is projected, that is still three billion.

Keep the changes to the FBT (Fringe Benefits Tax) that require claimants to provide proof of their car business use by filling in a log book once every 5 years. This tax concession costs us $1.8 billion dollars and will not change entitlements, only the way they are calculated and claimed, so genuine business use will be unaffected.

Keep the means test on the Private Health Insurance Rebate as that will save us $2.4 billion over three years by removing the concession from those earning over $260,000 a year.

Keep the tax on annual superannuation payments of over $100,000 per year which will raise us a projected $313 million over 4 years. I know the super funds have suggested it would be hard to implement but I am sure a scheme could be worked out with the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) and the funds if they put their minds to it.

Keep the superannuation co-contribution to low income earners. The Productivity Commission has identified the old age pension as a future burden that is becoming unaffordable. As low income earners are the most likely recipients of the old age pension, it is worthwhile encouraging them to invest something towards their retirement.

Keep the current paid parental leave scheme. The Productivity Commission said that replacement wage PPL (Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave scheme) “would have few incremental labour supply benefits” and was too costly.

That would save us $5.2 billion dollars a year, and the proposed increase in company tax can be either scrapped, or used in the childcare area which is much more important in improving productivity and addressing the needs of parents.

Keep the funding for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia. Its $1.5 million annual funding seems a pittance to invest considering Aussie youth’s battle with booze and drugs, and that $32 billion a year of taxpayer dollars is spent dealing with alcohol, illicit and prescription drug abuse, and that alcohol related crime occupies 60 per cent of policing resources.

Keep the National Crime Prevention Fund which distributes money confiscated from the proceeds of crime to various charities, communities and local councils. Organisations like the PCYC (Police-Citizens Youth Club) and Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets do a great deal to help keep young people out of gaol and surely this funding is less than the direct and indirect costs of incarceration.

Keep experienced public servants rather than hiring consultants, implement the recommendations of the reviews that have already been carried out, and get advice from the departments we already have like Finance, Treasury, the PBO (Parliamentary Budget Office), the Productivity Commission and Infrastructure Australia. Reinstate the Climate Council and refund the CSIRO. Considering the 5 person panel for the Commission of Audit costs us $7500 a day for their wages alone, we should save a motza and be far more likely to get actual ‘independent’ advice.

Increase our humanitarian intake. Negotiate to set up refugee processing centres in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Speed up processing, and fly successful applicants to Australia and assist them to become productive members of our society. Increase foreign aid and combat human rights abuses so less people need to flee their country. This has to be cheaper than using our Navy to patrol for fishing boats, detaining people indefinitely, and transporting people to offshore detention centres which cost a fortune to run.

Tighten up on Parliamentarians’ expense entitlements. According to the Department of Finance, taxpayers forked out approximately $54.5 million in parliamentary expenses from June to December last year. That suggests an annual cost of over $100 million a year for 234 MPs.

Oh and get back the $8.8 billion present we gave to the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia), who weren’t expecting it and didn’t need it. Borrowing that money is costing us $300 million a year in interest. Gambling on exchange rates gaining you a profit in time for the next election may be OK if we had spare money, but we don’t, so let’s get our priorities right.

Of course, nearly all of these things could have been achieved by leaving Julia Gillard in charge, but we didn’t.

I have only spoken about the financial side of these decisions. I have left aside any discussion of responsibility, morality, priorities or equity. That would take me volumes. My main aim has been to try and help find some money.

Now Mr Hockey, could we please have the full Gonski reforms and a proper NBN?”

Ahhh… what might have been.

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14 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    The article is about a rotten, stinking, festering, putrid nest of mediocre dimwits, the conservative henchmen of corporate collusion and control. This is the major crime of Australia today, rigging, rorting, rapacious robbers, swindlers, thieves, double crossers, betraying a nation. Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison, the front and back bench, all shitstains and skidmarks on the national political undies.

  2. Bronte ALLAN

    Great article (as usual!) Kaye. Why is it that what you are talking about & suggesting etc, makes so much sense to me, but NOT to the idiots in charge? Oh, I know! We have the “great” leader (?) Slomo from failed Marketing, who lies ALL the time, is a true happy clapper idiot, does not believe in Climate change, continually “blames” Labor for (supposedly) getting us into so much debt it is almost impossible to talk about–but then this fucking mob has doubled this debt, but they wont talk about that–treat all these so-called criminals who are currently under detention, just for trying to get here–“allow ALL big businesses to never pay any or very little tax, is a flat earth believer (well he must be, he believes in a “higher power ” that he wastes his time in this stupid money hungry Hillsong mob etc etc. God help us all & he wants to “snap back” (?) to the way we were before this corona virus crap, when it is finally stopped! WTF??? Great response to, from Phil Pryor!

  3. RosemaryJ36

    The trouble is the driving force of ideology blinds the believer to any policies outside those espoused by his ideological leader. And in a post-crisis world when voters are anxious to get away from political sledging, trying to persuade Coalition adherents that ScoMo is not the greatest will be next to impossible.

  4. Ken

    With SFM as PM nothing is gunna change for the better

  5. Phil Pryor

    Draw a line through Al Capone, say, to S Morrison. Capone had money, power, influence and so could put a grand dinner on the tables, or maintain a fleet of well kept expensive cars. He didn’t do anything except smile, threaten, glower, pay up maybe. The head crook can get things done and appear kind and useful. Similarly Hitler or Stalin were admired by some who benefited. So, crime pays out …We must be glad that effort and knowledge of Australians, filtered in a misplaced way through the P M, as faeces pass on through a sphinctre, does occur, and we as a nation are achieving many good outcomes.

  6. wam

    Leave the fixed price on carbon’ wow the rabbott had never heard of brandt blackmail he, the shock jocks, autocuists the ABC and labor were stupid enough to go for juliar’s carbon tax.
    2013 dec was a sad month but michael’s 100 days were pretty good (https://docs.google.com/document/d/18eGUaF8TgRuPIVrThUIgV09Kr_1QjSnJFKMCvW8wTLI/pub#h.rvzpgvs3t1za)
    and
    Hockey To Lift Debt Ceiling by 33%, and the Hypocrisy Level to an All-time High.
    by rossleighbrisbane
    Treasurer Joe Hockey has used a speech in the US to signal the debt ceiling – currently $300 billion – would be increased to take account of the Government’s required borrowings.
    Mr Hockey will have to increase Australia’s debt ceiling by Christmas.
    Of course, he got much better than he hoped for and I have always wondered what milne’s loonies got for her votes?

  7. Matters Not

    Re:

    the driving force of ideology blinds the believer to any policies outside those espoused by his ideological leader

    Fair enough. But is it possible to be free of ideology – particularly when defined as:

    An ideology is a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual

    Or are you using a particular (and seemingly pejorative) definition of ideology that’s yet to be clarified? If not, then what meaning(s) are you giving above and beyond the definition outlined above?

  8. Dave G.

    I am yet to experience a conservative Government that takes a country forward for most people,they simply exist to protect the wealth of their backers by keeping Labor out, all done with the vote of the suckers who believe their lies.

  9. whatever

    Scotty is eagerly jumping on board the Facebook meme that insists on blaming China for everything. He is using a Press Conference to pander to poorly educated racists who believe Chinese people ‘eating cats and dogs’ caused the contagion.

  10. Kronomex

    I do know that Scotty from Marketing and his idea of making his “national parliament” a permanent fixture reeks of the Democratic Theocratic Peoples Republic of ‘straya with Messiah Scott in charge.

  11. pierre wilkinson

    ScottyFromMarketing (SFM) is now positioning himself as some sort of crisis leader.
    well so he should, as he is great at the job, stumbling from one crisis to another

  12. MikeW

    Spot on yet again Kaye Lee.

    I love you Kaye Lee.

  13. Sean Crawley

    And Kaye, let us not forget that the LNP has rejected each and every amendment that the ALP has proposed to make the bailout fairer and accessible to more Australians.

  14. DrakeN

    Equinamity is to the Right wing of politics as garlic is to vampires – the very death of their ability to survive.
    Similarly, the Pentacostal churches.

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