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To my local member

Karen McNamara and Lucy Wicks (Image from dailytelegraph.com.au)

Karen McNamara and Lucy Wicks (Image from dailytelegraph.com.au)

Dear Ms Lucy Wicks,

Thank you for your recent unsolicited advertising pamphlet.  Unfortunately it contains a great many errors which I am sure you would prefer to know about rather than spreading incorrect information to your constituents, particularly since we are paying for your advertising.

You state that “Labor’s last Budget” projected a deficit of $50 billion in the 2013-14 financial year with no surplus over the forward estimates.  This is entirely untrue unless Mr Hockey is a member of the Labor Party.

The last budget delivered by Labor in May 2013 projected a deficit of $18.0 billion.

In August Penny Wong and Chris Bowen released an updated Economic Outlook with a projected deficit of $30.1 billion moving to a surplus of $4 billion in 2016-17.

PEFO produced by Treasury and Finance in August agreed with the figures in the Economic Statement with a slightly larger projected surplus.

Three months into your term, Joe Hockey produced the MYEFO which estimated a deficit of $47 billion.  To quote:

“The deterioration in the underlying cash balance since the 2013 PEFO is $16.8 billion in the 2013‑14 financial year and $68.1 billion over the forward estimates.

The deterioration in the budget position since the 2013 PEFO reflects two key factors:

– the softer economic outlook; and

– essential steps to address unresolved issues inherited from the former government.”

Your projections about a “softer economic outlook” have proven unfounded, as many thought they would, with growth continuing at a better than expected rate.

The “essential steps” you talk about were spending decisions made by the Coalition:

  • an unsolicited $8.8 billion gift to the RBA (with the $300 million a year in interest that loan will cost)

  • another $1.2 billion for offshore processing to go into the hands of security firms that maim and kill refugees.

  • restoring the $1.2 billion offered by Labor to the States who wouldn’t sign up for Gonski but hung out to sign up with you so they didn’t have to commit to increased State funding or performance evaluation.

  • some money into the Contingency Reserve for future superannuation liability for universities (sitting money in a slush fund for a rainy day while we pay interest on it).

  • giving up $2.9 billion in revenue including $1.8 billion in tax revenue from people who fraudulently claim business usage on their cars and $900 million in taxation from people drawing over $100,000pa from superannuation

We then move on to Mr Hockey’s budget brought down in May where we see that, since coming to office, you have borrowed an extra $50 billion – the gross debt has grown from $270 billion in September to over $319 billion.  Your claim to be “reducing Australia’s debt” is rubbish as are the figures you use.

Now I have no problem with increasing the debt per se.  What I DO have a problem with is you continuing to rail about debt and deficit as you continue to borrow money for the things you choose to spend money on.

And that is by far the greatest problem – not the spending but the priorities.  You are inflicting dreadful harm on the most vulnerable in our society while choosing to spend a great deal of money on things we don’t need like school chaplaincy programs and marriage counselling vouchers and fighter jets and very expensive paid parental leave and Royal Commissions.  These might be desirable in your opinion but they are hardly more important than education and health and welfare and jobs and affordable housing and childcare.  You have cut funding to these most essential services and abolished advisory bodies.

You show your priorities by creating a highly paid job for Tim Wilson to be the Human Rights Commissioner in charge of repealing the racial discrimination laws while sacking the Human Rights Commissioner for the disabled.

You take money away from the Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse to fund your pink batts political witch hunt.

You cut wage increases for aged care workers to provide bigger subsidies to the providers.

You cut wage increases for child care workers and cut the childcare rebate that parents will receive.

You make changes to the aged pension which, in the future, will increase inequity.

You give drought relief packages to farmers while disbanding water management groups and defunding research into irrigation and delaying the Murray-Darling buyback scheme, with no credible action to address the climate change that will send these very farmers to the wall.  The photos of your party laughing and high fiving at the repeal of carbon pricing are looked on in disgust around the world.

You want to pay employers $10,000 to take on workers who are over 50 while telling our young unemployed that they must find a job or face 6 months a year with no income at all and cutting all the programs designed to help them find a job or suitable course.

You defund research causing many amazing programs with huge potential to be cut and scientists to leave our country.

You conscript a Green Army but then defund Landcare, the perfect people to oversee this group, and choose instead to give “service providers” tens of thousands of dollars per team and a free workforce who has no workplace entitlements.

You have slashed funding to Indigenous programs.

You have slashed foreign aid.

Yet you seem to have unlimited resources when it comes to searching for a lost Malaysian plane or fishing boats carrying a few refugees.  And the defence budget just keeps on growing so fast they don’t know how to spend it all.

You promise me that my electricity bills will go down but I just got a letter saying prices will go up from July 1.

You say you are helping small business by reducing regulations.  Tell that to small businesses involved in the health industry who will now have to administer your co-payment as well as GST.  Will they have to fill in cards for concession customers and children to keep count of how many times they have paid a co-payment?  Will you be developing and  distributing the software to support this?

You claim to be saving $1 billion through cutting red tape for small business…could you tell me what you have done and how you came up with that figure?  You cost us all money with the phasing out of the $6,500 instant asset write-off but I am yet to see anything that will help.  Reducing company tax doesn’t help sole traders.

You say you are helping apprentices by allowing them to go into debt but you took away their tool allowance.

You say a new Commonwealth agency will open in Gosford bringing 600 new jobs to the coast.  For starters, these aren’t “new” jobs as many people from the ATO have been sacked or will be offered relocation.  Secondly, I notice you have steadfastly refused to answer any questions about this including why you are apparently building new premises when there are so many vacant already, and when this is likely to happen.

You will also need to adjust your boast about no successful people smuggling ventures.  For my views on that I will refer you to Father Rod who was none too happy with the email you sent him from Scott Morrison on the eve of World Refugee Day.

“Firstly, I would like to say to Lucy Wicks that passing on this kind of misleading propaganda does your credibility no good.

Secondly, Mr Morrison has asked that I share this email. I do so gladly so that people may see this dishonest propaganda for what it really is. The use of language is interesting. The basis of this falsehood of that our borders are threatened. How can a few thousand weakened, terrified, dehydrated people threaten our borders? These Asylum Seekers are precisely that Asylum Seekers. They are not invading, or sneaking in or coming through the back door. The very nature of their journey means that the wish to declare their presence.

The entire foundation of the government’s policy is based on the lie that our borders are not secure. And this kind of propaganda is needed to sell the deception.

Not in our name Mr Morrison. You do not lie in our name.”

I have seen you asking Dorothy Dixxers in Question Time.  Is that what we elected you to do?  To read out lines you have been fed by others?  You refuse to answer any questions and gag anyone who posts facts on your facebook page.  Is your engagement to be limited to social functions, photo opportunities, and forwarding of party propaganda emails full of lies and distortions?

Your constituents deserve better than unthinking regurgitation.  Our children deserve better from the future than what your party is offering.  Do you feel no shame about leaving your children a society far worse than the one in which you grew up?

And before you start on the “Labor’s debt” line, I suggest someone in your party starts learning about Modern Monetary Theory and listening about the value of Job Guarantees and raising people out of poverty.  Let demand drive supply and provide jobs.  Your theory of trickle down economics is a proven front for those who facilitate corporate greed.

You disappoint me.

Kaye


90 comments

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  1. Margaret-Rose Stringer

    Wish I could write a letter like that: but my State member is Independent and my federal member Tanya Plibersak.
    So I’ll just derive vicarious pleasure from yours.

  2. James Cook

    Our federal member is Peter Hendy. We’d write him a similar letter except that no-one in our electorate is sure that he really exists. Not seen, not heard from since the election. Shame on those who voted against Mike Kelly, a great rep for Eden Monaro!

  3. Garth

    Brilliant Kaye. Just bloody brilliant! Unfortunately, I don’t think the logic and facts will impact on the ignorance and self interest that drives this behaviour. I shudder to think that all in the coalition government share these perverse values but what else are we to think when they either stay silent or push the propaganda?! A real disappointment for a once proud egalitarian country.

  4. red

    Wonderful letter. My disabled pensioner Aunty is waiting for her “budget brochure” from this mob of shysters and she plans on sending it back with a nice little letter. I hope you won’t mind if she uses some of yours.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Ahhh yes, Peter Hendy. James, you may want to remind him about these things he said before the election if you do write him a letter.

    Dr Kelly said Liberal candidate Peter Hendy had ”extreme right-wing views” and cited a discussion paper about cuts to programs, published by a business lobby group when it was run by Mr Hendy.

    Mr Hendy led the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was a senior adviser to former Howard government minister Peter Reith. More recently he worked for deputy Liberal Party leader Julie Bishop.

    Mr Hendy said Labor’s use of the 2005 discussion paper about cuts to programs was an ”increasingly desperate tactic”.

    Dr Kelly said a Coalition government would put 17 projects planned for the electorate ”on the chopping block”.
    The projects include upgrading the Queanbeyan showground, the Cooma CBD and the Moruya airport.

    Dr Kelly said the 2005 paper written by former Treasury deputy secretary Des Moore suggested abolishing the Veterans Affairs Department and reducing parenting payments, aged pensions, and family tax benefits.

    ”I believe Mr Abbott has handpicked Peter Hendy to be his candidate here precisely because of his right-wing economic views,” Dr Kelly said.

    Mr Hendy said the 2005 discussion paper about cuts to programs was explicitly the views of the author and was not endorsed by himself or ACCI.

    ”Mike Kelly first raised it at the Moruya debate, which I then slapped down, and then in subsequent debates he’s got his party supporters to raise the issue.

    ”If Mike Kelly wants to use that logic, I will get out the Henry tax review, which recommends the introduction of a wealth tax and simply ask Mike Kelly why does he want a wealth tax imposed on people in Eden-Monaro,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/for-whom-the-bellwether-tolls-20130901-2sz4z.html#ixzz366YSXTiK

  6. Anne Dall

    Wow, Kaye! What a brilliant summary! I could feel my anger rising afresh as I read it! Thankyou! Am sharing!

  7. Nick Thiwerspoon

    I hope you really sent that letter to him. But I doubt that even if you did you will get a reply.

  8. Keitha Granville

    I would be fascinated to hear her re[ply – if you get one. We write on a regular basis to our member from Tas. He replies but is yet to actually assist us with any of the enquiries we have presented to him. I am hoping his term will be short.

  9. Kaye Lee

    red,

    Please pass on to your aunty anything that may be of use with my blessing. More power to her pen…there is nothing scarier than a pissed off grandmother!

  10. Bob Rafto

    You disappoint me.
    Kaye

    I’m not sure that ‘disappoint’ is the appropriate term in this context. lol

  11. Kaye Lee

    Bob…”Disappoint” was a word that I very rarely used when teaching. When I did, the kids knew I was truly upset and it hit home far more than if I told them they were on detention.

  12. corvus boreus

    Dear Luke, the local elected MP,(I won’t call you a member, I have too much respect for the phallus)
    I would send this if I thought there was the remotest chance that you would take the time to read my correspondence, or, indeed, that you were actually capable of doing so.
    I have met you once, although you would not remember. You visited my residence on a week-ends-day morn with a knock, a shiny brochure and a dopey grin. I asked questions about your opinions and policies on a few issues, you answered with clumsy evasions, and brought me the mental image of a sloth on cocaine(thank you for giving me that, at least). When asked about environmental policy you referred to the color of your glossy, non-recyclable pamphlet(green, yuk yuk).
    I restrained a terminator list of responses and informed you that you would be unlikely to get my vote.
    Now you sit as a superfluous backbencher in a destructively anti-competant travesty of a mis-government, wearing your dumb as dogshit grin as I sponsor, through the taxes on my labour, your pollie-pedalling.
    You are charging me wages for you to receive bicyclical genital stimulation whist you stare at Tony Abbott’s lycra-wrapped arse(I do not thank you for that mental image!).
    May the shark you ride bugger you blind, you pathetic sucker-fish.
    Yours sincerely,
    A voter in your electorate.

  13. Dan Rowden

    I don’t think my local federal member knows how to read so writing to him is probably a waste of time.

    Hah, didn’t see corvus’ post before doing this one. snap

  14. Anne rainbow

    Received similar drivel from julie bishop today… Would be interesting to compare all of them for consistency in their rhetoric. Such a waste of paper!

  15. Geoff Wong

    Thought photo was a REXONA ad!

  16. Terry2

    Brilliant stuff ,Kaye : Oh that we could all have your forensic research skills, yes, I know we have the tools at our fingertips. A Koala stamp is in order.

    When I see these nameless members get up and ask these daft and embarrassing Dorothy Dixers I realize why I could never toe a party line. Your member appears not to be a woman of calibre in the Abbott regime and is just wasting hers and our time..

    I await her reply with great interest.

  17. David

    Margaret-Rose Stringer, send the letter to all your conservative Senators,
    remind them that they should be acting in the best interests of ALL their constituents, not just be “Yes” people for their party.
    Some of their retiring today colleagues did have the courage and strength of belief to cross the floor of the Senate,
    they can all do the same – if they want to reflect the wish of their electors.
    Remind them that you have the power to put them at the bottom of the long Senate ballot paper next time.

  18. Sir ScotchMistery

    OMG Kaye,

    It almost sounds as if you are suggesting that your local elected person (to preserve the dignity of dicks), was telling a lie.

    Tell me it ain’t so Kaye – surely not. A liberal lying?

    Oh woe is us. Oh the humanity.

    Sorry. I forgot we were discussing liberals.

  19. corvus boreus

    I respect the preservation of dignity, Sir Scotch.

  20. Fred Martin

    Kaye, I love your work and if you were my local member I would vote and campaign for you.
    Why don’t you do a Clive Palmer and form your own political party, I am sure you would have enough followers that would join (I sure would). I would love to see you and a few others like John Lord with the balance of power in the senate. I hear the job pays well and we could do with some intelligent people in there.
    If you don’t mind I will be using large parts of your letter to my local MP also. (Russell Broadbent)

  21. Helen Jennings

    WOW! Thank you Kaye yet again for putting the truth out there. I’m particularly grateful for the simple explanations and honest information you provide. I admit I get so confused with the LNP’s ramblings that I have given up even trying. The average Aussie needs you and people with your ethical belief systems to voice what we would all be saying if we had the words and comprehension to sort through the rubbish that is dished out to us daily.

    Regards and Thank you

    Helen Jennings

  22. Kaye Lee

    I have thought at times about entering politics (usually late at night after one too many glasses of wine). I truly do not see the point of the House of Representatives. The government of the day, by weight of numbers, passes whatever they like. Question Time is purely a theatrical stage for men to strut upon while people interject rudely. I’d have my teacher wagging finger out. Could you imagine me asking questions fed to me by some kid fresh from an advertising course? I have seen good work done in Senate Committees but then they just ignore their findings.

    Besides, I hate having my photo taken and that’s what it seems to be all about nowadays. Tony’s collection must be huge by now.

  23. popeye

    The thing that disturbs me, in my septuagenarian years is the total absence of foresight by these mature educated adults.
    I mean what do these people think when they know these flagrantly false statements will be enshrined in our political history.
    This is not some denial by innuendo on ambiguous declarations.
    The Prime Minister, the treasurer, & their ministers are on record, in print, recorded, & visual, repeating as though it was cast in stone, as often as required, that numerous existing sections of government administrations, programs & initiatives would not be altered or cancelled.
    These ministers & members are mothers & fathers & activists of our communities who have decided that the truth is a hurdle, & have become a scheming a gang of ideologues lying to achieve an extremist authority of a new serfdom.
    I mean, what are they going to do when the bubble bursts?
    One thing is for absolute certain, if their reliance on our short memories comes to fruition & we give them a pass for this betrayal, we really will get the predators we deserve.

  24. Kaye Lee

    popeye,

    I am encouraged by our septuagenarians who every day are making their voice heard. At the marches and vigils I have attended I have seen so many elderly people, some in wheelchairs, who have been stirred to ask questions, make signs, circulate petitions, join sit-ins. These are not political people, they are Australians who are truly worried for their grandkids.

    I also am encouraged by the activism of our students and our young people who are making themselves heard. If we can just get that 400,000 who didn’t enrol interested enough to vote next time then we can look back on this period as a short return to the Dark Ages, and those who have engineered the repeal of carbon pricing and the torture of asylum seekers will be judged by history.

  25. Sandy Ellis

    Thanks Kaye. Very clever and witty response. I love these AIMN posts but still feel completely bamboozled by the idiocy of this government.

  26. Don Winther

    Kaye Lee you shouldn’t be writing this, this is the job of the opposition and so far I have seen nothing of your standard from them. Where are they? They cost us nearly as much as this lying government and they are doing nothing to inform us of the lies we are being told.

    Please get into politics and save our country. My kids need you.

  27. Barry Riley

    My wife and I are age pensioners in Lucy Wicks’ electorate and we received the same pamphlet. We simply couldn’t believe the lies, twisted facts and false claims in it. We read widely and watch and listen to a variety of programs so that we’re well informed, but Lucy Wicks assumes all the old folks in her electorate are stupid. Sadly enough were that they elected her and kicked out one of the best MPs, Deb O Neill

  28. corvus boreus

    Don W, Kaye Lee is already well into politics as an active and engaged voter who is not only informed, but studiously reseaching and disseminating vast amounts of factually verified information for the rest of us citizenry to access to inform our decisions and actions.
    P.s, just in case you didn’t get it, this one loves and respects your work on so many levels, Kaye Lee.

  29. old woman

    bravo Kaye!

  30. Mike Wilkinson

    I’m giving you a standing ovation here Kaye Lee!

  31. LOVO

    “……….and print”

  32. Bacchus

    Yep LOVO. This is one to disseminate widely – Doctors, Dentists, Grocers, Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick makers… 😉

    One of your best Kaye Lee!

  33. Garth

    Though nowhere near the eloquence of Kaye’s response, I thought I’d share the following email that I sent to my local MP Tony Burke 2 weeks ago (I cc’d in the NSW senators). I have yet to receive a response (other than I can expect a response). I seem to have missed the boat on them passing the supply bills – why they did still has me stumped!

    Dear Mr Burke,

    My name is Garth… . I live in your electorate of Watson in Croydon Park and have done so for 10 years. I am writing to you to express my deep concerns regarding the federal budget as well as the ALP response to same.

    Like many other Australian’s that fear for the future of our country if this ideological attack on our way of life (otherwise called the 2014-15 Federal Budget) is allowed to proceed, I would like to encourage the ALP to do more to raise the awareness of the likely impacts of this budget in the general electorate. In addition, although it may be regarded as an extreme response, I hope your party are seriously considering voting against the supply bills that arise out of this budget. An extreme budget requires an extreme response. I have no doubt you have listened carefully to Andrew Wilkie’s recent speech in Parliament where he laid out his well considered, and thought through reasons for voting against supply. I understand the reasons for not voting against such bills (not least of which I believe is the ALP’s wish to not have the same done to them when they are next in government). But this is no ordinary budget. There is little room to validly argue the merits of this most recent budget. It attacks our very way of life as an egalitarian society. We have always stood up for our most vulnerable and although there is valid debate to be had on how this is best achieved, there is no debate on leaving young unemployed without any income support or putting the shovel in the ground for what I believe will be the eventual complete dismantling of Medicare (ie. the proposed co-payment on GP visits, pathology and an unreasonable increase in the PBS co-payment). I could go on but I’m sure you understand my direction.

    I understand I am not experienced in the ways of politics but I am confused by the low profile the ALP has been keeping in recent weeks. Perhaps it is the MSM that is not providing the ALP with the coverage that the coalition enjoyed but I don’t see much on the ABC either. Am I too cynical to believe that you are laying low to let the coalition dig their own grave with this budget (?) I hope not because, now more than ever, the people need a good strong voice articulating their concerns and stating their valid reasons for refuting the proposed budget changes. The treasurer, PM, and the rest of the government front bench are seen daily continuing to peddle their lies underpinning this ideological budget and theyneed to be refuted. As my local MP, I urge you to communicate this to your party room as well as communicate my feelings (as an extremely concerned Australian) to the parliament.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Sincerely,

  34. Sam

    Whoah other people from E-M suffering under ‘Mr Invisible’ Peter Hendy?

    I pretty much knew Labor was toast at the most recent election but I was still hoping that we wouldn’t automatically switch to the new goverment as people in this electorate do, as I felt Mike Kelly had done a very good job and deserved to be immune from any of the mostly imagined problems of Labor and doubly so seeing as he was running against this blow in with an iffy political past.

    Sadly we are stuck with this know nothing, do nothing yes man.

    On the plus side, have any of you seen the missing person posters for Hendy around town? Hilarious!

  35. Kat

    Excellent article, thankyou Kaye. I’ve shared it on.

  36. Geoff Andrews

    Don Winther,
    Yes! When ARE the Labor party politicians going to hammer us with the statistics that this blog has listed? They seem devoid of logic or wit or even the desire to defend themselves against the most demonstrably blatant lies. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would have to start thinking that most of them were recruited by the Liberals when they were receiving their free university education, which does not yet to have appeared to have manifested itself. I wonder how many in the caucus, on reading Ms Lee’s letter could say, “Wow, I didn’t know that”.
    Despair reigns supreme.

  37. abbienoiraude

    Kaye

    Please forgive my plagarism. I have used your ‘letter to my member’ and sent it to my member.

    I could not have included so much information.
    I hope you will be ok with it…he is a National Party front bencher.

    Thank you.

  38. Stephen Tardrew

    Been super busy Kaye so have only just had time to read. Great Letter up to your usual exceptional standard. Rush home to AIMN just to get a breath of sanity and then onward and upward till time allows another foray into the minds of madness and purveyors of evil intentions. Regards to all.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Sounds like Peter Hendy was a captain’s pick just as Lucy Wicks was, and the local Liberals were not happy Jan.

    https://theaimn.com/lucy-who/

  40. Peter Deane

    AH, so you got one too. I got one from Karen McNamara in Dobell, next door to Robertson a few weeks ago, and also wrote a letter:

    An open letter to Karen McNamara, MP – Member for Dobell (NSW)

    Dear Karen,

    Re: “Economic Action Strategy” brochure

    Thank you for your recent correspondence as above. This arrived in my letterbox yesterday. I am interested to receive such correspondence as I am politically aware and appreciate the receipt of information about current issues.

    Upon reading the document, however, I am of the opinion it gives rise to a claim of misleading or deceptive conduct under Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)

    The Act [s.18 (1)] states that “A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.”

    You claim, inter alia: “1. We’ve secured Australia’s borders”

    Since the vast majority of illegal immigrants arrive by aeroplane, preventing boat arrivals – which represent a mere 0.08% of the Australian population on an annual basis – is not correct.

    “2. We’re fixing Labor’s debt and deficit mess”

    Since Australia’s current debt is less than 12% of GDP, the third lowest in the OECD, there is no debt mess to fix. The current projected deficit is $35,000,000,000 which is a large number. But in the context of Australia’s GDP of $1,600,000,000,000 this represents slightly over 2%. Again there is no deficit mess to fix.

    “3. We’re laying down a strong foundation to grow the economy and create more jobs”

    The strong foundation has not been lain down by your government, which hasn’t even managed to pass a budget yet. This is a forward-looking statement and the conclusions drawn from it are not valid.

    Looking closer into the inner pages of the document, almost all of the statements are incorrect. The brochure opens with a heading “Repairing the budget”. There’s only one budget you need to repair and that is the one brought down by Joe Hockey on 13 May 2014. The budget that takes from the needy and gives to the greedy.

    The claim that ALL Australians are contributing is a deception by omission in that it fails to state the proportion of contributions being made. For a couple-family with two children (the Liberal party “ideal” family) a family earning $52k pa will be worse off by $460, whereas a family earning $96,000 will be worse off by only $112. What is absolutely obscene is that a family earning $129,000 will be BETTER OFF by $473, making a total mockery of the claim that all Australians are contributing.

    You have a heading “Sustainable world-class healthcare”. We’ve already got that. Imposing a barrier to obtaining rudimentary primary care by imposing a $7 co-payment for a bulk-billed service will end up reducing the quality of healthcare by making access to it more difficult.

    Already GP clinics are texting patients saying that there are plenty of appointments and the $7 fee does not apply yet. I got one from Primary Healthcare at Wyoming on 22 May. To claim it will not be a barrier to a GP visit is absolutely ridiculous. It’s also a stupid policy because if people are not getting primary healthcare, they’ll let a potential problem go untreated longer and the treatment will be far more expensive.

    “Secure Pensions” is the next heading. Increasing the retiring age to 70, removing the Seniors Supplement; removing a range of federally-supported state concessions and removing the Pensioner Education Supplement is making pensions anything but secure. More deception.

    I think it’s a total waste of time to go further through the brochure in detail. Everything so far has been a complete lie.

    You demonstrate your lack of mathematical ability by declaring in State Electoral Funding Authority returns that you raised about $12,000 for Darren Webber’s Wyong campaign at the State Election in 2011, yet you boasted in a speech that the funds raised were over $100,000.

    You’ll be hearing more from ICAC over that one, Karen. Or are you totally innumerate and will be claiming you have no idea what the numbers are? In which case, how can we believe ANY statistic you care to promulgate to your electorate, such as in the above-mentioned brochure? And if so, why were you appointed as Webber’s campaign manager in the first place?

    Your government is an outright pathological lying piece of shit and the faster it is removed from office the better for all Australians.

    I am disgusted to have you as my local member. I note your margin at the last Federal election was by 1,166 votes two-party preferred. This is a margin of 0.68% making Dobell the most marginal seat in the country. I take heart in that and wish you well in either your retirement, or gaol stay after ICAC recommend charges for fraud.

    I’d appreciate it if you could arrange to NEVER deliver such tripe to my letterbox again. My address is above.

    Yours in horror and despair,

  41. Garth

    Peter Deane… I don’t know what to say other than you simultaneously put a smile on my face and knot in my stomach!! You get a ‘bloody brilliant’ too. I grew up in your electorate and loved it. No one should have to bother with such deceptive fools as their elected representatives. I certainly hope it’s the gaol cell for that one.

  42. Peter Deane

    I have been banned from both Lucy Wicks’s and Karen McNamara’s facebook pages, along with Mike Baird, the NSW Dep’t of Resources and Energy and NSW Liberal party. My posts (including the above letter) lasted about 3 hours on McNamara’s page – it was VERY quick, and she’s my local member, after all, with a sliver of a margin.

    She only got in because of one reason – Craig Thomson.

    Her dealings with the NSW Electoral Commission are going to be her downfall, as the returns clearly state about $11,500 raised, but she’s recorded in speeches saying it was over $100 grand.

    My local State member is Chris Spence – former One Nation candidate (so at least he had SOME political experience unlike failed apprentice butcher Darren Webber in the Wyong Electorate) but they’ve both resigned after eightbyfive was exposed by ICAC and announced they won’t be recontesting.

    I’m not doin’ real well for local members. Might have to have a go myself. I doubt I’d do worse

    If this is the quality of parliamentarian that we’re foisted with, no wonder so many people don’t care much for politics.

  43. Garth

    Is Karen McNamara one of the smarmy faces I see planted in the row behind the govt despatch box in QT?? Gotta have the ladies faces for the camera. Just like everything else with this government it’s a charade. Don’t want to muck up the middle aged white guy cabinet but ‘look, we have women on show for the tv’. If only they were the ‘women of calibre’ we’re told about.

  44. LOVO

    One wonders how much Lucy cost Tony….( hey, parachutes ain’t cheap 😉 )…. and one wonders what kinda credit card Tony used to pay for said parachutist, mm!!! …….. and one wonders if’n his wife knows that Tony is in too ‘Jumpers’ ……. just sayin……. no, really…… anyhoo…. BLUE SKY’S TO YOU ALL………………………….. *pulls bunny’s tail*…………… *hoots* 😉

  45. Florence nee Fed up

    Kaye, when the ads and other tripe from this govt arrives in my letter box, I will be photocopying what you and that other comment onto it. I will waste a stamp, sending it to Abbott’s electoral office on the Northern beaches.

    It is a shame that we could not arrange a day, to deliver it in person. One o a big crowd.

    On the Drum, there was a NIck Bryant, that has just published a book about Australian politics. An outsider that worked here for six years, married to an Australian.

    He said he felt t6hat the pool of politicians in Canberra is very shallow., Yes, one has to agree,.

    The second thing he said, that it seems to be all about politics, not policies. Yes, one has to agreed,

    He went onto say, he has not see in any other country that allows po9lls to push the agenda, as happens here.

    He talked about this country, have one of the best economies, that seem to have learnt how to miss financial crisis for over twenty years, having a massive collective cringe when it comes to how we see ourselves,

    Yes, it has become about playing politics, by very shallow politicians.

  46. Nicki

    Kaye – thanks for a fabulous article/letter.
    I share your frustration, sadness and horror re what this government is doing or trying to do. I attempt to express my views in various forums ( mainly online as I am away from Australia quite a lot but keep up with what’s happening with Radio National etc.
    However you have outlined so many areas so clearly I will also do what others have done and use your great work where I can.
    I also thought about going into politics at various times but felt I have too much of a thin skin and also not great at toeing any party line…
    Thanks again for your efforts!

  47. Disabled, but not disengenuus

    Well our family have done our calculations and have agreed that if I stay on the Disabled pension for 2yrs and 8 months, and middle kid stays on Youth Allowance for 4 years 2 months, whilst at uni part time, we will have been received in payments and discounts, all but $1,000 we have paid in taxation over the past 20 years of working – 2 adults, one in Fed Govt employment on in the private sector.

    Of course, if the Fed govt and the state reduces our discounts even further, then our taxes will go further. It’s the same principle as when you pay for health insurance and realise that you have managed to get back equal to or more than what you have paid in. A rare bonus for us.

    I think for this wonderful Liberal budget to be most beneficial for us though, I may need to die after the 2 yrs 8 months are up. Then my family can claim about 6 weeks of pension payments to contribute to my funeral, and if I can jag it so that I die in a horrible hospital mix up, my family can also score a compensation payment to live on plus additional compensation via a Royal Commission/class action.

    Off to drink a cup of “coffee” made from bark – not Oleander, I will keep that as a plan B.

  48. Marfi

    Hi Kaye-great letter.

    I don’t believe our party system of politics is true democracy because party MPs don’t really represent their electorate, their allegiances seem to be with the party first.

    So I had an idea on how we might get around this.

    Create some kind of “oath” or “contract” with the electorate that a newly elected MP must sign. It would say that the MP promises to put the needs of the electorate before the demands from their party.

    This oath could be put to each person standing in the election BEFORE the election to ask if they would sign it. Then the electorate could see which candidate would be prepared to actually work for THEM and which put the party’s interests first.

    I’m not sure if it could, or would work, but it’s one worth thinking about.

  49. corvus boreus

    Nicki,
    Yours are not negative qualities. Thick-skinned party-line toeing = hidebound ideology.
    I’d kind of like a change from that.

  50. Kaye Lee

    In Britain, respected chairman of the Conservative government’s climate advisory committee John Gummer (AKA Baron Deben), said earlier this month:

    “I think the Australian Government must be one of the most ignorant governments I’ve ever seen in the sense, right across the board, on immigration or about anything else, they’re totally unwilling to listen to science or logic.”

  51. John Lord

    Ingredients for an excellent speech that.

  52. Terry2

    And, while we were sleeping the Abbott government introduced its changes to FoFA by way of Regulation, a tactic that is low and despicable but not illegal in the terms of this legislation.

    The facility of Regulation, does not need to go before the parliament (but can be disallowed by the Senate) is to enable legislation to work – it’s like greasing the wheels of the tumbril – not in itself an offensive mechanism in our democratic arrangements unless used by an arrogant government to bypass the parliament.

    We now rely on the Senate to stand up for Australia.

    On the bright side, the Abbott government have kept their promise to the Banks – well you wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you,,, would you ?

    How much more of this can we tolerate ?

  53. Kaye Lee

    Is it any wonder that our clever satire writers are often misunderstood when the Immigration Minister gives a press conference like this (and no, this is not satire, this is what he actually said):

    Question: So could you clarify, sir, for us at what point does an event become a significant event involving a boat on the water?

    Morrison: When you see me here standing and reporting on it.

    Question: And you are standing here reporting.

    Morrison: I am not. I am saying there is no such report for me to provide to you today. There is therefore no significant event for me to report at sea.

  54. James Cook

    Kaye, thanks for the info on Hendy. Many people in Bega unhappy with his absence but, apparently, nobody voted for him….funny that. Sam, I haven’t seen any MIA posters for Hendy but I live near Bega and perhaps they are in another town.
    Independent news sites like this one are invaluable, not just for my family but also for my friends whom I often refer to this site. Many of them now rely on this place for the “truth”.
    I agree with others who cannot understand the silence from Labor. Of they do not refute the “broken economy” mantra of the Libs then the idea will be fixed in the minds of voters all the way to the next election and the Coalition will simply use it as a slogan/campaign. Does Labor not have a strategist/campaign manager/ideas person/clue??!! Do any readers have an insight into what they might be thinking/planning right now?

  55. Kaye Lee

    James,

    I have no insight, just observations. Every time that Labor are asked about their stance on issues they seem to be saying “well we are not going to reveal our 2016 campaign now”. Ummmm….you are being paid to do a job, not to sit on your arse plotting for three years! You are supposed to be offering better solutions, not waiting for the Coalition to implode. I am reminded of primary school days when kids would cover their work so no-one would copy it. Is this the level to which we have descended? Two warring sides competing against each other for personal reward rather than a collective doing the important job of running the country?

  56. patsy

    brilliant article kaye….I to received the pamphlet…..felt like dropping it off at her office and telling her what to do with it…!!!!!!!

  57. Kaye Lee

    I just received another letter, this time regarding my business.

    “Electricity prices will increase from July 1, 2014. The weighted average price increase for our small to medium-sized business customers in NSW will be $2.54 for electricity per week.”

    Add in the fuel excise increases, my delivery costs go up (we may have to start charging for deliveries, something we have avoided to date) and I am sure my suppliers will pass on their increased fuel costs.

    Not holding my breath for my $550 a year savings

  58. Möbius Ecko

    But Kaye, the $550 saving was an Abbott pledge, a set in concrete guarantee.

    Hope he’s hung by it because the $550 was a proven exaggeration in the first place, and to keep to that promise will put another massive hole in his already swiss cheese budget.

    There’s no doubt the weasel get out of jail free words have been prepared and rehearsed.

  59. Kaye Lee

    There was also the fact that the $550 was based on the current fixed price which was only going to last for ONE year so to say you will save $550 PER year was always bs.

  60. James Cook

    Kaye, thanks again for your response.
    I despair that Labor have the idea that waiting for the Libs to implode is a strategy they can take to the next election. Do they not understand, even after the last Labor campaign debacle (Yes I know…the MSM were a huge factor) that the Libs have a cunning, deceitful and organised team of strategisits, aided by Murdoch and resources of the Tea Party. What really scares me is that Laborknows all this but are at a loss as to what to do. Is this the case? Does anyone have a clue about Labor’s strategy/aims/purpose?(I was going to use the word “vision” but didn’t want this to be interpreted as satire)

  61. Jenny Giddins

    Kaye, thank you for this succinct summary of this government’s failings. My local member is Nick Varvaris (the one who accidentally voted with Labor). As I believe Barton is hanging by a thread I would appreciate any ammunition I could launch at Varvaris who is also MIA. I’ll certainly adapt your letter and deliver that one to him! Anything?

  62. Chokyi Nyingpo

    Garth asked: “Is Karen McNamara one of the smarmy faces I see planted in the row behind the govt despatch box in QT??”

    Yes, she is the one on our right (as we face the TV).

    And similarly to one P Hendy in E-M, she is a veritable lightweight around here in Dobell. However, along with the brochure everyone refers to I was then contacted for a follow-up phone poll by her office.

    The bias in the caller became evident as the call went on – in a word, appalling.

    After responding to their request for 3 things that she could help with in the electorate I named climate change as something that should be dealt with properly by our pollies in Canberra especially as Dobell is low-lying and open to the sea over many sq kms.

    In response, I was then chastised with, “So, you’re a Labor voter then?” to which I replied that I don’t vote for any one party, never have, never will as their platforms always change to suit the current wind that blows.

    These Libs are pathologically blind to what they are doing to our society – Australia will become an unimaginable wasteland bereft of compassion if they remain in power.

  63. Kaye Lee

    Jenny,

    re Nick Varvaris, his only claim to fame from what I can see was, as you pointed out, when he voted with Labor by mistake by sitting on the wrong side during a division…not a good start.

    There is one thing you could remind him of. He said during his maiden speech

    “It was tolerance, unity and justice that my family instinctively applied in our upbringing and allowed me to grow”, he stated expressing gratitude for the way he was raised by his parents.

    Apparently he does not mind HIS children growing up in an intolerant, divided, unjust society!

  64. Dan Rowden

    The pamphlet we got from Luke Howarth wasn’t quite so articulate:

    “How youse all goin’, duh. We Liberals are doin’ lots of stuff, duh. That Labor mob left us owin’ shitloads to somebody. We’re still tryin’ to work out who, but we’ll get there eventually, duh.

    We’re buildin’ roads with trucks and things with really big wheels, duh. We’re helpin’ folk take responsibility for their health by makin’ ’em pay to be sick. And global warmin’, well, duh. That happens every day around lunch time so what’s the bigl deal, huh? And we’ve done the research and all wind farms do is produce wind. What the hell good is that, duh? We can all do that by eatin’ more KFC.

    Oh, and we’re puttin’ up little cameras in the streets to stop bad people doin’ bad things to good people. And we’re busy givin’ money to folk who don’t need it. How generous is that, duh? I’ve had me photo taken with lots of people. Sorry that I don’t have a good side. I’m getting things done. My website says so. Did you know I love turtles? Especially in a ginger and shallott soup. I have a Judo black belt so I’m quite the tosser. Haha haha, duh.

    I will create more jobs in my electorate by sacking myself. I’m the first politician to think of it, duh. I am a local business owner, even though my business isn’t local. Oh, and I’m fixin’ the waste. Plumber came and put a new dunny in the office just yesterday

    We’re keepin’ our promises, or at least the ones you think you understood. Now I’m off fishin’ coz that’s what I do.

    Yours truthfully,

    Luke

  65. Jude

    My federal member is Teresa Gambaro in Brisbane, I’ve now phoned 3 times (4th coming up today) asking what is actually happening with the aged pension. I’ve been told dear Hockey and Abbot have terminated the agreement regarding the seniors supplement which translates to $600 per year. I need to know how this translates as I have a very strict budget and wonder how much less food I can purchase.
    No one at her office can tell me and no one phones me back. I’m really pissed as this person represents me but I seem to be invisible.
    Never mind, all my friends have really good memories despite our age.
    Thanks Kaye for the wonderful letter that I’m sharing

  66. Kaye Lee

    Jude,

    Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders will lose the Seniors supplement, which currently sits at $876.20 per year for singles and $1,320.80 for couples from July 1 this year.

    The Seniors Health Card will be harder to qualify for, with the untaxed superannuation of new applicants now counting toward the income test.

    And the Commonwealth will dramatically cut its support for various state and territory based seniors’ concessions. According to a NSW Treasury analysis, $732 million in public transport concessions, $323 million in council rates discounts, $643 million in water bill exemptions, $881 million in electricity rebates and $1.2 billion in fee exemptions for driver’s licences, tests and mobility parking schemes were to have been paid out to pensioners over the next four years.

    But the scheme is threatened by the Abbott government’s decision to cancel its joint funding commitment, which will mean NSW loses $107 million in payments from July 1, and $450 million by 2017.

    In a move to protect NSW pensioners and seniors, the 2014-15 NSW Budget includes an additional $107 million to continue concessions that were cut in the Federal Budget. Not sure about Queensland. I will try to find out.

    The Dependent Spouse Tax Offset, which until now was available to people with dependent spouses of age 60 or older, will be discontinued.

    The Mature Age Worker Tax Offset will also be abolished.

    The Government has also abolished the Pensioner Education Supplement and will not proceed with the planned pilot of Supporting Senior Australians: Housing Help For Seniors, a $173 million program that was to encourage older Australians to downsize to smaller dwellings.

    The indexation of the age pension will, from 2017, be linked to the consumer price index, rather than to average male wages

    From 2017, asset and income test thresholds will also be frozen for three years.

    Also from September 2017, the deeming thresholds for the income test will be reset to $30,000 for single pensioners and $50,000 for pensioner couples combined.

    The qualifying age for the pension will increase to 70 by the year 2035.

    Hope that helps a bit

  67. Kaye Lee

    ruh roh, not good news Jude

    The Newman Government has vowed to maintain its current funding for concessions — $335.6 million for the coming 12 months — but there would still be a shortfall of about 15% left by the federal cuts.

    Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the government would not be able to absorb the extra costs.

    He said pensioners would see reduced discounts from October.

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/pensioners-hit-cuts-concessions-newman-budget/2278210/

  68. Möbius Ecko

    Looking at the poll numbers, whether Labor’s stand off tactic of watching the government implode is right or wrong, this Federal government is imploding as are the State Liberals.

    I don’t believe there has been a faster and steeper fall from grace across the board, none more so than Newman, who is now being out polled by Labor. Put this in the context of the largest ever election win in Australian history and you can see just how bad the Liberals are faring. Only bringing in legislation and undermining democracy to slew the system in their favour is allowing them any small respite, in part aided and abetted by the MSM, who are now beginning to distance themselves from the monster they help create.

    At the Federal level a Morgan result illustrates in what dire straits they are in. SA: Labor 57.8 Liberal 42.2 TPP. No wonder Pyne has been angrier than usual and had snipes at Brandis the other day.

    There’s no doubt come the election year the Liberals will all of a sudden find billions and be throwing money around like confetti. It’s there way and has been for a long time ever since Jeff Kennett was initially successful in doing it. Hopefully Labor are planning for that and have their attacks on this blatant vote buying and real waste worked out.

  69. Diannaart

    Keep ’em coming, Kaye Lee.

    Many of us need this straight talk just to hold onto our sanity.

    Shame, Shorten not doing the same.

  70. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    So pleased to see that they are spending more of my tax on defence than on education. I assume the “other purposes” payment is for the propaganda unit and travel to weddings or sporting events.

  71. Dan Rowden

    There’s not much point in educating young Australians if we’re going to let asylum seekers invade the nation and kill them all. Surely that is obvious to anyone.

  72. Bacchus

    Kaye Lee at 11:02 am

    2 days later they reversed the decision after a huge backlash from pensioner groups 🙂

    Pensioners and seniors in Queensland will retain their concessions, the State Government says, reversing a decision to reduce funding outlined in the 2014 state budget.

    The LNP Government had been facing a backlash from older voters over the cuts, which it blamed on Federal Government reductions of $50 million to its scheme, which provides discounts on household bills.

    The State Government repeatedly said it could not afford to make up the shortfall.

    Handing down the budget on Tuesday, Treasurer Tim Nicholls confirmed that state-funded concessions would be cut.

    However, today Premier Campbell Newman told Parliament the money had been found to maintain the full range of pensioner and senior concessions.

    “Pensioners and older Queenslanders have told us that they simply can’t wear the cost,” he said.

    “We’re not only listening to Queenslanders, but we’re acting within the space of two days to reinstate the full level of the pensioner and senior concessions because of the Commonwealth cuts.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-05/qld-budget-pensioner-concessions-restored-campbell-newman/5502018

  73. Kaye Lee

    I have real problems with this “income management” idea. I used to be on the board for a homeless youth refuge and teaching the kids life skills was a big part of what we did. We used to go grocery shopping with them restricting what they bought but then we decided to give them a credit card from the supermarket (with a limit) and let them shop on their own. They bought a lot of crap the first time. By about day three when there were only chocolate biscuits and chips left they decided that they better buy real food next time. Teaching people works much better than forcing people.

  74. Angela

    How much money has Abbott govt. really wasted in searching for a non-Australian plane which has clearly gone to heaven? no amount of money will bring it back so how about tightening YOUR belt and stop big-noting yourselves!

    I would say this ‘waste’ should be used on the living who are suffering under this toxic budget!

  75. Don Winther

    Yes Angela I would like to see a bit more done to find the 219 school girls kidnapped in Nigeria.

  76. Greyspender

    I agree with Kaye’s letter but I also have a pet bugbear that noone seems to be taking up. Consider the treasurer and his family. Treasurers income – wife on a multimillion salary – $6m? house in Hunters Hill – $4m holiday home in Stanwell Park – Cattle farm in Malanda – and they operate a family trust. Firstly it seems to me that “lifting” is not in their vocabulary. I suppose they do provide employment for a full time nanny?

    I can’t help but think that the family pays very little tax – the scenario fits tax minimisation. Are we able to determine the tax arrangements for politicians? It would make interesting reading and might explain why the top end of the food chain has been so lightly treated.

    Maybe Kaye can get her research tools going and give us some feedback?

  77. Möbius Ecko

    Bacchus at 2:02 pm

    Kaye Lee at 11:02 am

    Of course that would have nothing to do with the Newman government falling behind Labor in the polls for the first time since the election? No, of course not.

    As predictable as death and taxes these Liberals.

    But think about that. The largest win in Australian history only a short time ago and now behind in the polls. It takes a really bad and rotten government to achieve that.

  78. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    In every state. So let’s take a step back and think about that. We have wall to wall Coalition State governments (almost)…most of them by large margin victories. And yet most of us don’t like Coalition policy in action, as shown by the polls.

    So Labor should be ashamed of themselves for squabbling about who wore the crown, thus handing over the fiefdom to the corporate world, and for being incapable of combatting the lies of the Abbott Opposition and the Murdoch press. Gillard and Rudd both went to meet Murdoch too. Gillard and Swan caved in to the mining companies. That makes me MAD!

    If I was PM I would tell Murdoch to piss off, I don’t deal with people like you. If he or Gina wanted a meeting with me they could make an appointment.

  79. corvus boreus

    I could never be Prime Minister.
    I have an unelectable personality, and a nature more predisposed to benign(at first) dictatorship. There is the ‘does not play well with others’ aspect, but above all I tend to employ Alexandrian solutions upon Gordian challenges. This is still probably a better approach than that taken by our current ‘leader’, which is to burn down the building around the confounding knot(better call a fireman to knock down some fences!).
    I had some thoughts for Kaye Lee’s media policy, but I peck letters slowly, and duty calls.

  80. Warren Simmons

    Very well written, I too wish I had the time to write like this, but it would just fall on deaf ears. Many of our locals are so tied up in ICAC that we don’t see them any more either… accept for the blonde bimbo behind Tony on tele… What’s her name ???
    You no doubt guessed I’m on the Central “Corruption” Coast.

  81. corvus boreus

    Warren S, none of our federalis are tied up in an ICAC, and I think that is the first part of the problem.
    Labor, Greens, PUP, Indi or unexpectedly conscientious LNP rogue, propose it and the rest of you, support it.
    I am sick to anger at the drain of crooks and courtiers on responsible policy and accountable revenue.

  82. Peter Deane

    Karen McNamara _DID_INDEED_ appear at ICAC, (Arthur Sinodinos appeared earlier as part of Operation Credo) in May. McNamara was the campaign director for Daren Webber in the Wyong State Electorate and appeared as part of Operation Spicer.

    He problem was she submitted a $12 grand figure in the NSW electoral returns, yet had boasted at Liberal party functions she’d raised over $100 grand.

    This is an interesting anomaly and we’ll be hearing more about this when Operation Spicer resumes in August.

    (And yes, she’s the blonde woman we see to our right when someone’s at the dispatch box)

  83. Peter Deane

    Can I just mention to all the Central Coast readers of this forum, we’re marching in protest on Saturday 12th July at Gosford from noon. If you get on to Facebook and search for “Gosford’s Government Gripe” all will be revealed, and please help us spread the word. There’s a page and an event.

  84. corvus boreus

    Corrected, Peter D,
    I’d forgotten about Ms Macnamara’s 12k/100k statement discrepancy induced cameo appearance at the local crook’s theatre currently in intermission.
    Damnably birdbrained of me.
    I still want a national production with more notable cast.

  85. tranquilvortex

    Thankyou for putting it all so succinctly. Sharing everywhere. : )

  86. Katie

    Kaye Lee, I also live in Robertson but I haven’t bothered to write to Lucy as I no longer believe she exists. I have received no answer to four previous emails – each on different topics and one merely asking for information. This is bizarre behaviour for a marginal electorate. Meanwhile I see pictures of our local school going to Canberra and who greets them…Deb O’Neill !!

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