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Ok, You’re Going To Say Trust Us, But Can I Just Ask A Couple of Questions?

Perhaps, Julia Gillard should have said that her overriding promise was to do something about Climate Change, so you could ignore anything else she said. Although that’s not exactly what the Liberals are doing. They seem to be saying that, while getting the Budget back “in order” is their main promise, none of the others were broken, because only Labor charges taxes and nothing’s being “cut”, organizations are just having their funding reduced or taken away. And anyway, the Commonwealth has nothing to do with schools or hospitals.

But there’s been enough ink about broken promises. In fact, it’s starting to concern me that people are so worried about what they said, that they aren’t spending enough time examining what the Federal Government is actually doing.

For example, perhaps I missed it, but I understand that $5 from the co-payment goes to establishing a fund for medical research. But who’s going to be doing the medical research? Is it going to be government organizations? (Hardly, given this government’s belief that private is always better.) Or is it going to multinational drug companies such as Glaxo-Kline? What does Amgen do exactly? Mm, hope there’s no perceived conflict of interest here…

I mean, people can be so picky about things like that. In spite of there being absolutely no hint of corruption, several Liberal ministers in NSW have decided to stand down just because a company – Australian Water Holdings – was in receipt of money from the state, some which appeared to end up being donated to the Liberal Party. The Premier himself stood down, but that was nothing to with donations. It was something to do with alcohol and a faulty memory.

I’m not really across this, so perhaps, a more knowledgeable journalist can do a bit of research into how this fund is going to work. And what safeguards will prevent Labor turning into a “union slush fund”, because – as we all now – that’s what they’re like.

But that’s not the only question. I also read that those under 30 wouldn’t be eligible for the dole after six months. That the government would only support you in the form of subsidies for employers. But what happens if you, for example, take a temporary job for a couple of weeks or months? Does your six months start again after that? Is it part of your six months? Mm, might be simpler just to stay on the dole unless you’ve got an ongoing job.

And if you’ve just left school, or are a new jobseeker do you have to wait six months before being eligible. Will that apply to people who go back to school to re-train? Will they have to wait six months? And, if it does, will it include mature age people like those who are re-trained after losing their job at a car plant?

And if you’re unemployed, but get pregnant in those six months where you’re eligible for the dole, are your eligible for Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme?

And if I’m an employer who wants this government subsidy for hiring someone who’s been unemployed for six months, what happens if it doesn’t work out? Do I have to pay the money back? Do I have to fill in forms?

For a government that was pledging to remove red tape, life is sure getting complicated.

Ah, and I didn’t even notice how much they’ve set aside for their Direct Action Plan, let alone how much the abolition of the Carbon Tax is going to cost them in the next year. Perhaps there’d be less red tape if they just kept it and there’d be no need for most of these other measures, because – as it was costing us all so much – it must have surely been an enormous revenue raiser.

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  1. Kaye Lee

    The $20 billion does not go directly to medical research. What goes to research is the earnings from the fund, which is a much smaller amount. Next financial year, the planned distributions from the fund will total just $20 million. Annual distributions will rise to $500 million by 2019-20 and around $1 billion by 2022.

    Details are hard to come by. The NHMRC awards funding through competitive processes for research. Health Minister Peter Dutton told The Australian Financial Review he was keen to support growth in clinical trials. He said he was ”open to discussions” about funding translational research (which aims to convert findings from basic science into practical applications) as well as research on ”care delivery models in general practice and primary care”. Some public health advocates are concerned the fund may not support broader health research.

    Australia has a poor record of commercialising its research and creating high-value jobs and royalties from global sales. Why will this fund be different?

    We have little reason to think the Medical Research Future Fund will help us with that. One research agency that has had some success in commercialising its research is the CSIRO, whose researchers invented Wi-Fi and polymer banknotes among other things. It had its funding cut by $111 million in the budget. The Australian Research Council suffered a $75 million cut. The Co-operative Research Centres program, set up to foster partnerships between publicly-funded researchers, industry and the community, took an $88 million haircut. Former Australian of the Year Sir Gustav Nossal, himself a medical researcher, this week lamented that support for other research was being cut as funding for medical research was boosted. ”This is going to make an us-and-them situation: the medical researchers will be laughing and the enabling scientists in maths, chemistry, physics and so forth will be suffering. This is not good,” he told the ABC.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/new-20-billion-medical-research-fund-wonky-wedge-or-wonder-cure-20140517-38gss.html#ixzz321UDLtV2

    My interpretation of events is that our co-payments will go to a slush fund to make Joe Hockey’s figures look better. Sick people are paying to reduce the deficit, not to make medicare sustainable.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Could I also point out how pissed off pharmacists are. They have been asked to increase the services they provide with diabetes, asthma and blood pressure testing etc. They have had their remuneration cut by the bringing forward of the price disclosure agreement. And now they will have a whole new set of paperwork to do working out how much in their till has to be sent to the government from co-payments. Hundreds of pharmacies have closed and thousands of people have lost their jobs. The only viable businesses are now controlled by the major chains.

    The day after the budget, our pharmacy had its worst day of trading in history and spent all day speaking to very scared pensioners, parents, and chronically ill patients. Whenever payment for prescriptions goes up it’s a nightmare explaining it to pensioners. They always blame the greedy chemist even though it is the government who determines what they will pay the chemist and hence the price they must charge.

  3. DanDark

    MARCH IN MAY TODAY
    TONY’S ON THE WAY OUT
    HE WONT LAST MUCH LONGER
    BECAUSE HE IS A MONSTER

  4. Stephen Tardrew

    Spot on Kaye that is exactly my interpretation of the research slush fund. You cannot believe a word these liars say because of the depth of their deception. This is now a real dilemma because we have no idea what the next little ploy is going to be. From vilification of Julia to this is just plain appalling.

    This is one of the great dilemmas with compulsive liars you don’t know what story to believe all you know is that low income and marginalized citizens do not matter. In fact it appears they have been reduced to something below citizen more like bludging usurper surfs.

    The danger here is that if the majority accept this behaviour it becomes the norm and the chance of consistent and persistent critique is undermined by continually shifting policies.

    The sands of time will only tell if the general population will wise up to their deceits.

  5. Rob Alan

    We have a moral and reasoned obligation to protect our youngins mental health where able, includes taking responsibility for the mute lever whenever a known compulsive liar starts up the verbal water boarding routine. Better still, smash the tv. When doing said deed myself a decade ago I found it strangely liberating.

  6. DanDark

    Tony is in damage control
    He was on insiders this morning
    That’s a rare sight, even seeing on the abc
    He is knackered and he knows it

    Typical of a sociopath though
    Even when they know they are stuffed
    They still think people will fall at their feet
    He is looking a bid haggered though
    It’s taking a toll on him, put the pressure back
    On them and whammy, it’s the end of them

  7. rossleighbrisbane

    Just heard Tony Abbott tell Fran Kelly that we couldn’t saddle our children with debt. This was his justification for – among other things – allowing universities to charge what they like. Apparently, increasing potential HECs and increasing the interest rate on it, isn’t saddling our children with debt…

  8. townsvilleblog

    There is no denying the gloom that has descended upon the nation since last Tuesday’s LNP federal budget cuts and broken promises, in fact the latest budget poll puts 75% of the nation against the budget cuts and changes. The disturbing poll figure is 41% actually believe that the cuts and changes are necessary, despite Australia’s low debt internationally?
    Watching The Insiders interview with the Prime Minister Abbott was an education in political denial where he quite rightly pointed out the LNP narrative for the last election, stop the boats, scrap the so called carbon tax and build the super highways of the 21st century, however the Prime Minister forgot to mention other promises such as no cuts or changes to health, education, pensions the ABC or SBS. I understand that tactics have always been used in politics and one or two slightly undermentioned promises may be scrapped after the election, however the current situation goes much further than that.
    The new taxes to the expenditure of pensioners a new petrol tax, and a new GP tax, prescription tax and blood test tax will hurt people who are ageing on low fixed incomes, however it is the unfair rate at which this LNP budget hurts low to middle income Australian families compared to the amount it will graze the more affluent in the nation that really does stink. The Prime Minister raised the issue of sacrificing a $6,500 rise in his income which currently stands at $507,000 p.a. obviously high income earners in this bracket are not sacrificing anywhere near the sacrifices being imposed upon the poor in real terms.
    With State Premiers meeting to discuss the way forward, with the only likely solution for them to increase the GST paid by all Australians, again this will hit hardest on those trying to survive on low incomes and pensions pushing us further below the poverty line instead of thinking outside the square, which LNP Premiers do not do well. Options like closing the taxation loopholes which allow billions of profit to be transferred to overseas tax havens, would be a start, however this measure would hinder the LNPs largest supporters, what to do?

  9. DanDark

    After today’s marches, and the premiers dissent, uni students protests
    I reckon he is doomed, these marches are going to keep going,
    Melb in August, they pulled bout 50 thousand last time
    Will be way more thousands next time
    Victoria is doing it harder than any other state, except tassie
    So how long can his party take this fight back from people
    Tony is Toxic, he is damaged goods, and his name is mud already

  10. Stephen Tardrew

    Ross:

    These logical inconsistencies are legion. How to get the general population to think logically is a big challenge methinks. That in this century logic has so little sway is truly disturbing. Definitely says something about educational standards. It does not have to be complicated propositional logic but simply a grasp of causal consistency and consequential thinking. The problem is academics are not often the best at simplification and popularization. It should actually start in pre-school. It is maddening trying to convince people they are making false assumptions if the do not have a grasp on logic. In this respect the problems are deep and structural.

  11. rossleighbrisbane

    Ah, Stephen, the trick to winning the politics is not about getting the population to think logically. The trick is to win the battle for their emotions. After one has made a gut decision, one will use logic to defend it, no matter how absurd it sounds to someone else. Just look at the concern about stopping the boats.
    In fact, by making people angry, he’s doing the one thing that logic rarely does – which is to change a person’s position!

  12. Stephen Tardrew

    Spot on Ross it really is an evolutionary problem whereby triggering the autonomic nervous system and subconscious fears overrides rationality. Still the only solution is to enhance rationality and perforce logic while dampening down emotional reactivity. At this stage it becomes quite a complex proposition.

    I do have faith in love and compassion because that is the real emotional counter to fear and aggressive reactivity. The problem, of course, is to challenge right wing exploitation of fear with more calm and caring feelings of communitarian concern and compassion. Regardless we must keep bashing on in the hope that some change can be affected. I think it still comes down to early education so that we can come to understand visceral compulsions as opposed to sensible thoughtful reasoning.

  13. rangermike1

    Do these useless people in Govt. really know what they are doing, Do they even know what they stand for ? My guess (and many others ) say NO. “Trust US”, not likely. All RABBIT did today on “Insiders” was wave his hands about and not answer questions.Where is the mentality from these people that vote Liberal in ? Guess education was something they never received. It appears that way.

  14. rangermike1

    I once placed a Blog on the ABC, saying that Abbott was no fool but was Dangerous. It was pulled off the Web. This was before the election. Does the ABC seek a balanced argument, or is it buckling under the weight of this Govt. ?

  15. DanDark

    I sent this letter to ABC after their total lack of interest in this country
    and thousands of people who came out to rid Tony and co
    I am still waiting for their reply…

    Sir/Madam
    I watched a video posted on youtube taken by an American woman
    of the Melbourne march
    With her running commentary for approx 55 mins,
    It was the most in depth media coverage I have seen
    on the marches, and she wasn’t even media

    She was astounded how the people kept coming,she read out a lot of the placards
    She even went to have a look at the commotion up the road,
    when the car drivers became cranky,and were beeping car horns,

    I applaud this young woman whoever she is,
    and thank her very much for taking more interest
    in the march, and our country than our own media,

    The silence from the media was deafening,
    and the ABC has lost credibility that’s for sure,
    It was quite scary that such a huge protest country wide was ignored,
    by the people we trust to keep us informed, by an unbiased media,
    We all need to be very worried at this failing by our MEDIA
    and have to question their motives for their silence….

    So what is your reason, agenda, and motives
    to ignore thousands and thousands of people
    who have something to say about our totally incompetent,
    cruel, callous, liar, who we call our Prime minister Tony Abbott?
    The people of Australia are waiting for your answer ABC…..

  16. Terry2

    Abbott also said today that education (and health) was a matter for the states and they will have to find the funds, he failed to mention that the commonwealth will continue to fund School chaplains who must be people of faith, not secular. Section 116 of our Constitution states:

    116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for ant office or public trust under the commonwealth.

    Looks as though the founding fathers saw this mob coming.

  17. DanDark

    I just went and looked at abc
    and well, they have a whole page of photos
    of all the marches around he country today
    hooray Hooray abc,
    they knew they let the people down last time,
    but couldnt tell me why, when I wrote
    The abc lost me back then though

  18. john921fraser

    <

    You know there is a problem when Abbott doesn't believe newman's lies about the Queensland Budget and newman doesn't believe Abbott's lies about the Australian Budget.

    Just interchange your State and Premiers name for the above statement.

  19. 'george hanson'

    In response to KAYE , i seem to remember hearing that the medical research fund will be managed by the same people who manage the ‘ FUTURE FUND ‘, which was established to pay for senior public servants superannuation , which up until then was virtually unfunded. Don’t like the smell of this . Anyone able to verify?

  20. Kaye Lee

    George,

    If we can trust the Australian, I can verify.

    “financial investment strategy will be set by the current guardians of the Future Fund while the National Health and Medical Research Council will distribute grants to researchers. The fund is expected to generate $1bn a year in grants once it is fully funded”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/budget-2014/copayment-20bn-line-in-sand/story-fnmbxudx-1226920688249?sv=70d515d02d46d9621f6a4f48ee176cde#

  21. Horatio

    Who is going to determine the date of conception for eligibility for PPL? Would statutory declarations be required or would video be sufficient?

  22. Horatio

    Who is going to determine the date of conception for eligibility for PPL? Would statutory declarations be required or would video be sufficient?declare

  23. Brian

    I believe the funds from the GP tax will disappear down the coalition plug hole as soon as they believe the tax has been accepted. This is nothing but another lie. Count on it.

  24. Terry2

    Horatio

    There will need to be two witnesses who are not related to the procreators, one of whom must be a JP. It goes without saying that the female mus be a woman of calibre. Tony will judge.

    Virgin births are allowed: Kevin Andrews has checked.

  25. Kayla Flamenco Malaysia

    Dear the aimn,

    Just wondering what you think of the below passage. I wrote it because I can’t see the big picture, is there one? There’s so much discussion everywhere about taxes, levies and all the other words that mean the same thing, but very very little about revenue creation. In fact this budget does not seem to support any creativeness at all, it’s a smotherer! If I was in business (sorry, am trying to understand from a normal person’s point of view) and the books were looking a bit red what would I do about it? Close shop and hope the bank forgives me? Nope. Sack all or some staff and do all the work myself? Nope, I couldn’t, I employ people to do the jobs I’m unqualified to do right? Would I borrow more money? Nope, the bank won’t lend me any more cause I’m in the red….etc…. Would I encourage the minds of interested parties to achieve some light bulb episodes? Yes! first port of call right?

    “I feel in my bones that there’s a bit of a prank style methodology with the governments plans. I dunno, um
    I can’t help but think there is much much more to the Abbott Government’s way of thinking. The recent budget seems to attempt to address a short term fix for what they seem to think is an emergency, a crisis. What of the longer term? Where’s that thinking, where are the thoughts, ideas, strategies, future fiscal policies and outcomes? Where will we end up in ten, twenty or even thirty years? I’ve attempted to search for some clues, not easy to find, they either don’t exist or are not available to a lowly inexperienced researcher such as myself …… forgive me I’m doing my best. I’m an Aussie expat in Malaysia (hoping to come home soon- thanks Tony for your help with this…..cough) where internet connection is fabulous sometimes (but definitely much cheaper than yours), where the media can say whatever they want- ah no, and depending on your race …..ahhhhhh let’s not go there today.

    Any way, in my search, one thing I found that really could, REALLY could improve the bottom line for many many many countries is all about the G20 and their plan to force multinationals to pay their bills in the countries they make their profits. Sounds fair to me.

    https://www.g20.org/g20_priorities/g20_2014_agenda/fighting_corruption

    (have a good browse around the site and have a look at related media releases/articles/editorials)

    Australia will be hosting the next G20 summit in Brisbane later this year, and holds the current Presidency.
    So, does this mean that there are strategies for future revenue gathering that will affect our bottom line (and many many many others, Malaysia included)?. Perhaps the recent hoodwinking we lowly citizens are experiencing is just a teeny weeny part of the bigger, longer play to hoodwink the multinationals?

    hmmm would it be a good idea to hold my breath? and swim home? oh shit, will I be turned back?”

  26. patsy

    so much for abbott’s vision of the future……what about NOW….what is going on for the HOMELESS…….my vision for abbott is a mental institution for the liberals!!!!!!!!!

  27. rossleighbrisbane

    Yeah, there’s something slightly delusional about a group that says you can trust us because – although we promised certain things – we intend to concentrate on our main promise… And we absolutely promise to keep that! After you’ve elected us again!

  28. Möbius Ecko

    Ross there was something unreal about watching a presser with Mathias Cormann a week or so ago where many times he said “trust us”. It boiled down to, we did say “trust us” before the election and have completely broken that trust, but just forget about that and “trust us” now.

    He could not have given a better performance as to why we shouldn’t trust them.

  29. Wayne Turner

    Is the so called “medical research fund”,a front for another Liberal party slush fund? Just ask NSW Liberal.

    The LYING LIBS just say and do whatever they like.This lot are crazy serial liars,who tell lies on top of lies.The con enough people to get in,so think they can continue the lying con.

  30. Kerri

    And how is it that the “corruption” of Craig Thompson and Peter Slipper was allowed to taint Julia but the corruption of Sinodinos, O’Farrell, Gallacher, Hartcher, Koelma etc etc etc ins’t staining our pristine LNP Government??
    But more importantly! Is all this legislated deprivation of our oldest, our poorest, our sickest and our youngest really a calculated plan to make us all feel sorry for them and dig deeper into our ever shrinking wallets to give a handout?? Voila ! All taken care of without a cent from the Government!!!!

  31. Terry2

    There is a dismal irony in Tony Abbott talking up his road building program – the infrastructure Prime Minister no less – and our haste to send our car manufacturing industry offshore.

    These new roads will be the first built in Australia on which no Australian made cars will run.

    Now, that’s an achievement for a ‘clever country’ isn’t it ?

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