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Tag Archives: government spending

So let me get this straight …

So let me get this straight,

If I earn over $80,000 I am going to be asked to pay for the $68 billion that Joe Hockey has added to the deficit by his party’s policies.

I have to pay for Hockey’s $9 billion gamble on the Aussie dollar going down.

I am going to have to cough up money to give billions to the worst polluters so they can upgrade their factories, and many more billions in fossil fuel subsides to wealthy mining companies.

I am going to have to pay women on very high salaries almost $3000/week to watch their nanny look after their kid for 6 months whilst they get a rebate for employing her.

I am going to have to pay for a huge fleet of fighter jets to protect me from who? Do you really think we can beat China in a war? If America needs us to help then I am sure they would provide the jets. Hey we could even lend them an airbase to use their own bloody jets to bomb whoever the hell they want to next time. Won’t it all be done by the unmanned drones that I will also be paying for?

Tony is spending over $10 billion on his war games against asylum seekers. I refuse to pay for that. I don’t want to pay over $1 million for Jim Molan to be our “Special Envoy” never to be heard from again. I don’t want to pay $200,000 for every orange life raft that gets used once to set asylum seekers adrift on the ocean. I don’t want to give billions to a security firm that maims the people they are hired to protect.

I don’t want to spend billions on roads whilst ignoring public transport. I want cost benefit analyses done by Infrastructure Australia and I want THEM, the experts, to decide on priorities rather than our “Infrastructure Prime Minister for Women and Aborigines”.

I don’t want to spend $40+ billion on a National Broadband Network that I won’t even be hooked up to.

I don’t want to pay over $600 million for Tony to buy two big new planes to fly himself and his entourage of Murdoch press, film crews, and businessmen around the world in VIP luxury.

I don’t want to spend over $5 million on bomb-proof BMWs to drive Tony around even if they did give his daughter a job.

I don’t want to pay millions for Tony Abbott to fly backward and forwards to Canberra because he decided to live at Kirribilli House so Margie could keep working and he could keep surfing. When John Howard did that it cost us over $18 million in flights to and from Canberra.

I don’t want to pay for a Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme. There have already been 8 investigations which have made many recommendations. This is a pointless political witch hunt that you want US to pay for. Same for the RC into unions. We have ICAC and similar bodies, as well as the police and judicial system, who already have the resources, experience, and authority to deal with corruption and intimidation. Why not set up an integrity department that keeps an eye on all you bastards.

I don’t want to commit to paying for a never-ending search for a Malaysian plane. When there was any hope of survivors then all hands on deck for sure. But I fail to see why we are now footing the bill for a search that may never bear fruit just so Tony can grandstand. It was a useful distraction for him for a while but it’s time to say, sorry, we couldn’t find it, and let the Chinese pay to keep searching if they wish.

I don’t want to pay $20 million for marriage guidance vouchers for newlyweds even if it is Kevin Andrews’ area of expertise/income.

I don’t want to reward Tony’s pollie pedal sponsor Cadbury with $16 million to reintroduce factory tours.

I don’t want to pay $10 million to the Manly Sea Eagles to upgrade their grandstand so Tony, their number 1 ticket holder, can watch in comfort. Or $5 million to Rupert’s Brisbane Broncos – hell we just gave him an $882 million tax “rebate” for “historic losses on currency transactions.” Thanks for that almost $1 billion hole in the budget Rupert.

Must I pay $4.3 million for a research company to trawl through millions of Australian social media posts to advise the government on its immigration policies? Between Scott Morrison and the immigration department alone, you already employ 90 spin doctors. What are THEY doing that you need to pay millions to someone else to look at stuff that is freely available?

All of these reviews and audits and consultants and white papers and green papers are costing us a fortune. The Commissioners of Audit were paid $1500 a day each. Does this imply that NONE of your policies had any basis in fact or solid grounding or research behind them and now you must pay people to make them into something credible? Why use PriceWaterhouseCoopers when we have Treasury, Finance, the Productivity Commission, the Parliamentary Budget Office? Am I to pay for you to get the answers you want to hear?

I don’t want to contribute $2.2 million legal aid for farmers and miners to fight native title claims.

As Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott claimed over $1 million a year in entitlements, on top of his salary. I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for him to take part in fun runs and charity rides.

I don’t want to pay for jobs for the boys like $320,000 for Tim Wilson who had a job made for him and gifted to him with no qualifications, experience, interview, or application process.

I don’t want to pay for George Brandis’ bookshelves or Tony’s designer rugs.

If we keep the carbon tax and the mining tax and cut all the above wasteful expenditures then we will be a long way towards cutting the deficit without ME having to foot the bill for your decisions which, might I say, show you have absolutely NO idea about spending priorities. I doubt any of you have ever had to work to a budget before because you are making a god almighty mess of it and if I am going to pay to get us out of trouble then I want a say on how it is spent!


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Let’s get real here

“TONY Abbott and Joe Hockey are convinced the government will be punished electorally if it does not produce a tough budget, and they believe there is a “public appetite” for decisive action to get the economy back on track.”

Sounds good? Well let’s get real here. Nothing pisses me off more than getting lied to and you, Mr Hockey, are really pissing me off. Listening to you rail at Labor this week, exhorting them to tell the truth as you told lie after lie, nearly made me choke. There is a “public appetite” for the truth so time for a reality check.

Firstly, to label MYEFO as Labor’s last budget fools no-one. It was produced over three months into your term. You were elected because you said you could fix the problems. The blame game is over sunshine, it’s on your shoulders now and you have wasted one sixth of your term in office crying.

The PEFO report is an independent report by the Secretaries to the Treasury and the Department of Finance that provides updated information on the economic and fiscal outlook. These are the same people who advised you for your MYEFO report so to accuse Labor of lying about the figures is rot.

PEFO showed the cumulative projected budget deficit for the years 2013 to 2017 as $38 billion. MYEFO, prepared under your watch, shows a deficit of $106.6 billion. To quote your own document

“The $68.1 billion 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”. (otherwise known as YOUR spending decisions).

You go on to say:

“Firstly, a softening in the economic outlook has resulted in significantly lower nominal GDP, which has largely driven the reduction in tax receipts by more than $37 billion over the forward estimates.”

In the face of falling taxation revenue how does the Coalition react? They forego $2.9 billion revenue in tax and superannuation measures announced by the previous government.

Getting rid of the moves to tighten the requirements around tax benefits associated with salary packaging a car under Fringe Benefits Tax rules cost us $1.8 billion. All that was required was for FBT claims of business use to be legitimate, verified by a log book filled in for 3 months once every five years – hardly an onerous task.

Joe and Tony said it would cost jobs in the car manufacturing industry. Well subsequent actions by the Coalition show that concern to be a sham as they went about dismantling the industry from their first day, so I can only conclude that they support fraudulent claims of vehicle business use as a legitimate form of tax avoidance.

Moves to tax earnings of more than $100,000 on superannuation pensions and annuities at 15 per cent instead of being tax-free have also been repealed. This move cost us $1 billion to allow the 16,000 wealthiest superannuation recipients to pay no tax at all on an annual retirement income of over $100,000. These would include the people that John Howard permitted to put $1 million into superannuation tax free in 2007 as a vote buyer.

The cost of tax concessions for superannuation continues to grow by about $5 billion per year and will soon top $50 billion.

The revised projections for revenue from the mining tax showed it raising $3.3 billion over the forward estimates. You may call that nothing but think what those charities you have cut funding from could have done with that. Perhaps the childcare and aged care workers could have got that pay rise after all. You cannot say, on the one hand, that it raises no revenue and then on the other, say it is a burden on business that is costing jobs and investment. All this at a time when record mining industry profits have outstripped growth in taxes and royalties.

The Coalition have also pledged to reduce company tax by 1.5% which will cost us $5 billion. One reason given for this is to offset Tony’s paid parental leave scheme levy. Tony and Joe assure us that PPL is fully funded by a 1.5% levy on businesses with a turnover of over $5 million – they neglect to mention that the country loses $5 billion which will now be diverted to pay wealthy women to breed. Let’s just imagine that we had someone sensible in charge, scrapped Tony’s PPL scheme, scrapped the reduction of company tax, and kept the 1.5% levy on the top 5000 businesses. We would have an extra $10 billion a year to spend on, oh I don’t know, renewable energy perhaps?

The carbon price raised $6.6 billion in its first year which was passed on to households, trade-exposed industry, and research and development grants. Repealing it could punch a hole as big as $7.6 billion a year in the budget. Compare that to the Coalition’s Direct Action fiasco which will not raise revenue and cost the budget $3.2 billion over the next four years. Instead of collecting about $30 billion and taking action on climate change we will be paying over $3 billion to polluters – makes sense, NOT.

Moving on from the revenue side to spending, MYEFO tells us that the majority of the $17 billion deterioration in this year’s budget is due to Coalition spending decisions.

As soon as Joe Hockey got the keys to the safe he borrowed $8.8 billion and gave it to the Reserve Bank of Australia in what has been described as a gamble on the foreign exchange market. The RBA certainly didn’t ask for Hockey’s $8.8 billion capital injection and didn’t think it was necessary. It wanted to rebuild its capital over several years by retaining its profits and not paying the government dividends. Hockey’s $8.8 billion injection this year means dividends will be paid to the government over the next few years.

So the truth of this exercise is Hockey wanted Labor’s deficit to look bigger and he is happy to blow several hundred million dollars interest a year in an attempt to make his performance as Treasurer look good.

After years of abuse about the cost of Labor’s asylum seeker policy, Hockey added an extra $1.2 billion for offshore processing. Presumably this will be spent on extra guards and orange life rafts and bribes to other countries to see to our problem.

An extra $1 billion was allocated to fund eight infrastructure projects that were to be funded from the former Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund which was paid for by the mining tax. Instead of the MRRT providing the funds, they will now come direct from the taxpayer as the Roads Prime Minister fulfils his dream. And now we have Matthias Corman telling us that the possible $4 billion raised from the sale of Medibank Private will also be spent on roads. Enough with the roads already – we don’t want to become another Beijing. How about another airport for Sydney or high speed rail or urban public transport?

Hockey goes on to say that “Without any policy changes, the budget is projected to be in deficit in each and every year to 2023‑24.” A little further down the page we read that “The Government is committed to returning the budget to sustainable surpluses that build to at least 1 per cent of GDP by 2023‑24.” Ummmm, what’s the difference? Does that mean that you intend to make no policy changes, or that your policy changes will make no difference?

Much has been made of the promised Commission of Audit. MYEFO stated that:

“The Commission of Audit will be guided in its work by the principles that government should:

  • live within its means;
  • have respect for taxpayers in the care with which it spends every dollar of revenue; and
  • do for people what they cannot do, or cannot do efficiently, for themselves, but no more.”

Considering what you are prepared to spend money on – fleets of joint strike fighters, submarines, unmanned drones and one-use orange life rafts, $10 billion to keep asylum seekers locked up, gold plated paid parental leave, grants to polluters, billions a year on fossil fuel subsidies, endless reviews, audits, white and green papers, and Royal Commissions, bigger new planes so Tony can accommodate the film crews in VIP luxury, a $70,000 pay rise for Campbell Newman, $16 million for Cadbury – I think it is YOU who should be fearful of what the Commission has to say.

Rather than telling all of US to tighten our belts and prepare for big cuts, how about you think about your priorities. You are throwing away money by your tax cuts and your spending priorities are crazy. I will be interested to see if the Commission of Audit agrees with me, or will those bits be excluded from the censored version? It’s amazing how this government, champions of free speech, refuse to release documents and information and when they do, they redact so much it reads like a tv guide.

At the risk of sounding sexist, perhaps having a few more women in Cabinet might help. They are often better at seeing the big picture and making the most of the income you’ve got.

Stop the theatrics Joe. We are on to you. The dispatch box is your stage, but your script of blaming Labor and giving misleading information is becoming very tired. Every time you and Tony spoke this week, in your softening us up for the budget, you said Labor left us with a debt of $667 billion and cried shame shame at the Opposition. Well shame on you for your purposeful distortion. To counteract your manipulation, and to make sure the public understands the truth I will once again quote from your own document.

“Net debt is forecast to be $191.5 billion in 2013-14 and reach $280 billion in 2016-17.”

Let’s get real here!


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Things we CAN afford

I know times are tough and that we will all have to tighten our belts (well so the government keeps telling me). The list of things we can’t afford grows longer and more depressing every day.

But take heart. The list of things we can afford is also growing.

We can afford to spend $9.5 billion over the next four years locking innocent people up in offshore detention camps (though that figure might lower as we kill them off).

We can afford to use a naval flotilla to ward off a few fishing boats. Under Operation Sovereign Borders two frigates, seven patrol boats and numerous Customs vessels will patrol the seas between Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef and Indonesia. Anzac Class frigates cost about $207,000-a-day to operate compared with $40,000-a-day for Armidale Class Patrol boats.

We can afford orange life rafts which cost about $70,000 each to leave on Indonesian beaches after one use each.

We can afford to make a gift of two patrol boats to the Sri Lankan Navy and even spend $ 2 million refurbishing them first. Tiger shooting anyone?

We can afford $14 billion in fossil fuel subsides over the next four years because Lord knows they need our help.

We can afford to give $3.2 billion to the worst polluting companies. This is not to save or create jobs, it’s a handout so they can upgrade their factories and lower their bills.

We can afford to give $5.5 billion a year to new parents. The richer you are, the more you will get.

We can afford to spend $40 billion? on a fast internet system that very few people will be hooked up to. Greenfield developments just became a whole lot more attractive.

We can afford $1.5 billion for the east-west link without seeing the full business case because the state government has refused to make it public (even to Tony). This is despite the pre-election promise that no infrastructure project over $100 million would go ahead without a CBA.

We can afford to give Rupert Murdoch $882 million because he knows how to shuffle money between companies to avoid paying tax.

We can afford to spend about $600 million on two new bigger planes for Tony so he can accommodate the Murdoch press and his personal film crew in VIP luxury.

We can afford to buy a fleet of bomb proof BMWs for Tony at a cost of about $5 million.

We can afford to pay $300 million a year interest on the money Joe Hockey borrowed to gamble on the foreign exchange market.

We can afford two Royal Commissions at God knows what cost (the 2001-03 Cole royal commission into the building industry cost around $100 million) because 8 investigations into the Home Insulation Scheme weren’t enough – we want to get Kevin and Peter. The other one is so we can get Julia and Craig and shut the unions up.

We can afford to give Cadbury $16 million because they sponsor the Pollie Pedal ride.

We can afford to give the Manly Sea Eagles $10 million to upgrade their oval because it is in Tony’s electorate and he is the number 1 ticket holder. We can also afford to give the Brisbane Broncos $5 million because they are owned by Murdoch’s Newscorp.

We can afford $4.3 million for a research company to trawl through millions of Australian social media posts to advise the government on its immigration policies.

We can afford $2.2 million legal aid for farmers and miners to fight native title claims

We can afford to pay Tim Wilson, a man with absolutely no relevant qualifications or experience, $320,000 a year to be an extra Human Rights Commissioner appointed by George Brandis without interview or consultation. To pay Tim, the programs that may have to be cut on anti-bullying and education for older Australians were just a doddle anyway compared to what Tim can bring to the table. The fact that Brandis was present at the IPA 70th birthday bash is just happy coincidence. What a guest list that was.

We can afford to pay Price Waterhouse Cooper to do a study into childcare while the Productivity Commission finishes its study into childcare because Sussan Ley had to have something to talk about first week on the job. I have no idea how much that would cost but, as they are fondly known as Pick Wallets Clean, childcare workers who were asked to give back their payrise may be a little perturbed.

In fact we can afford countless reviews and audits and consultants and committees and investigations. I think we are up to about 50 so far but that could be old news. Considering each of the panel on the Commission of Audit get $1500 per day (and that’s only one review and doesn’t count their office and staff expenses) collectively this has to be in the hundreds of millions. The cost of white papers and green papers makes red tape look attractive.

As Opposition leader, we could afford to pay Tony Abbott well over $1 million a year in claimed entitlements. This is on top of his wage and does not include any staff wages. It’s travel and office expenses. I can’t wait to see how much he claims as PM.

We can afford to pay for Members of Parliament to go to weddings and wineries and book launches and football matches and real estate hunting tours. We can afford to buy books for them and build furniture for them and hire private jets for them.

We can afford to pay for Kirribilli House, the Lodge, the other place we rented for Tony and his family that no-one is living in, and the digs at the police barracks (what’s that all about??) as well as being away from home allowance.

We can afford for Parliament to spend two weeks asking about a convicted Egyptian jihadist terrorist kept behind a pool fence and I don’t know how many weeks on AWU slush fund, Slipper, Thomson. If we took out the daily boat count, there is very little left to justify what we paid them to be there running our country.

We seem to be able to afford a lot of things. The question is….

Can we afford this government?