Flushed with electoral success, and with the Treasury keys burning a hole in his pocket, Joe Hockey was only three months into the job when he produced his first fiscal statement, the 2013 MYEFO. In four sentences he added $30 billion to the deficit.
- The Government will abolish the carbon tax effective from 1 July 2014 at a cost to the Budget of $13.7 billion over the forward estimates period.
- The Government will repeal the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) with effect from 1 July 2014 at a cost to the Budget of $3.3 billion over the forward estimates period.
- The Government has addressed taxation and superannuation measures that were announced by former governments but not yet legislated. The cost to the Budget of amendments and not proceeding with 55 measures is $3.1 billion over the forward estimates period.
- The Government will provide a one‑off $8.8 billion grant to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
Repealing the taxes was supposed to promote investment, jobs and growth. It didn’t work.
Despite crying wolf about the “debt and deficit disaster”, the Coalition has made huge increases to defence spending in every budget adding another $30 billion to the deficit.
- 2014-15 budget
The Government will provide Defence with $29.2 billion in 2014-15 and $122.7 billion over the Forward Estimates – up $9.6 billion increase on the figure provided by the previous Government.
- 2015-16 budget
The Government will provide Defence with $31.9 billion in 2015–16 and $132.6 billion over the Forward Estimates. This is an increase of $9.9 billion over the Forward Estimates when compared to the 2014–15 Budget.
- 2016-17 budget
The Government will provide Defence with $32.3 billion in 2016-17 and $142.9 billion over the Forward Estimates. This is an increase of $10.3 billion over the Forward Estimates when compared to the 2015–16 Budget.
In February this year the government released its Defence White Paper which will see us spend $195 billion over the next decade joining the Asian arms race.
- We will spend $50 billion building 12 submarines and significantly more maintaining them.
- The Navy will also get nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels.
- The RAAF will build up two fleets of drones while also bringing its eventual fleet of 75 Joint Strike Fighters online.
- The Army will claim 18 per cent of all extra spending on equipment, buying armed drones, new protected vehicles to transport troops, helicopters for special forces and a long-range rocket system.
It seems our armed forces are gearing up to have strike force capability. Why do we need a rocket system?
The latest budget boasts “Over the past 12 months the Government has committed around $13.1 billion to new capabilities to strengthen our Defence Force” (and that doesn’t include any marine vessels).
Then there are the Free Trade Agreements which have caused revenue write-downs of billions, the death of some Australian industries, and threats to jobs by off-shoring, 457 visa workers, and competition from cheap imports.
The Korea FTA is expected to cost us $840 million in lost tariff revenue over 5 years to July 2019.
The Japan FTA is estimated to lose us $2.16 billion in revenue and the China FTA, $4.15 billion.
An analysis by the World Bank shows that the Trans Pacific Partnership would grow Australia’s GDP by just 0.7% by 2030.
This budget also reveals that, over the forward estimates, the ten year enterprise tax plan, reducing the company tax rate, decreases tax receipts by $9.2 billion.
The Coalition claims to be the more reliable economic manager. They claim to be agile and innovative, the ones that we should trust to respond to the changing needs of a transitioning economy.
That is, of course, rubbish.
They are bound by the ideology they are fed as Young Liberals, repeating it as a mantra – small government, low taxes, free trade, national security. They never question whether this approach actually works. They ignore the evidence. They tell us to trust them – their instinct/ideology is better than the experts’ facts. They don’t need modelling.
Kellie O’Dwyer proudly pointed out on Q&A last night that her local café was going to buy an extra sandwich toaster and this was an example of the Coalition’s plan for jobs and growth in action. I am fairly sure that I could operate two sandwich toasters at the same time. Perhaps if the café had more customers it might lead to more employment but I doubt that buying equipment will lead to greater demand.
How can an “economic plan for the future” not mention climate change, not invest in education and health, not back research unless it has an immediate commercial return, have no plan for lifting people out of poverty or providing affordable housing? How can they spend only $100 million on the known danger of domestic violence, defunding legal aid and refuges, while spending hundreds of billions on gearing up for war against an unidentified aggressor?
They have no plan – they are just doing what Liberals do.
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