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Tag Archives: the abbott government

As Investment Advisers, The Liberals Make Alan Bond Look Good!

Late last year, I wrote about the Liberals’ criticism of the ANU’s decision to divest itself of shares in fossil fuel companies. As I pointed out, while this was considered “outrageous” by various senior Liberals, the shares being sold had actually been losing value, and apart from anything ethical considerations, it was possibly sound financial sense to sell.

When I’m wrong, I’m happy to admit it. Unfortunately, for those Liberals who I intend to mock mercilessly, this isn’t one of those times. Santos shares have continued to dive and I just noticed this little gem:

Santos shares “worthless” say Credit Suisse.

Now, just last October, Christopher Pyne labelled the ANU’s decision to sell “bizarre” and Jamie Briggs says that he wrote to the Vice-Chancellor demanding an explanation. Well, I can give Mr Briggs an explanation – the shares are now almost half what they were when they were sold.

Perhaps, that should be one of the Labor Party’s questions in Parliament. Are the Government ministers still critical of the move, or do they now concede that sometimes people in universities might actually know something, even if Andrew Bolt is better placed to lecture us all on climate change. Yes, I know that Bronwyn Bishop would rule it out of order, but it’d be fun to watch.

Just like it was fun to listen to Jamie Briggs tell an ABC interviewer this morning that her question was out of line because, of course Tony Abbott was concerned about the SA bushfires, why he’d commented in response to a question just yesterday, and Mr Briggs believed that he had spoken to the Premier offering whatever help they needed. The Premier’s Office seemed unaware of any such call – perhaps Mr Abbott should have told them who he was.

Here we have the question and response:

Question: And just finally, on the SA bushfires, will there be any assistance package for the people affected?

Abbott:

The standard national disaster relief and recovery arrangements are already in place. We will shortly have a little bit more to say on the Centrelink payments which are often made in circumstances like these. I have been talking regularly to the relevant minister, Michael Keenan, to Minister Jamie Briggs who has the electorate which has been most impacted by these fires.Obviously, Australian summers are prone to fire and flood. It is tragic that we’ve seen, yet again, the ferocity of Mother Nature, but the thing about Australians is that the worst in nature tends to bring out the best in us and that’s what we always see when our emergency services rush to help people in trouble and when communities rally around those people who have lost a very great deal.

 

Mm, can’t see why people who’ve lost their homes would feel that Tony’s response lacked empathy!

P.S. Update

THE Adelaide Hills bushfire is finally under control, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledging about $4 million in assistance for fire-affected South Australians.

The number of houses destroyed of badly damaged in the fire has also been downgraded from 32 to 27.

Mr Abbott toured some of the 12,500ha fireground this morning with Premier Jay Weatherill, before making an announcement on disaster recovery payments.

The Federal Government will pay $1000 per adult and $400 per child to those affected by the fire, who will have six months to apply for the funding.

 

There you go, $4million. That’s nearly as much as he gave the Iraqis.

It’s Time For the Disabled To Stand On Their Own Two Feet!

Image from theguardian.com

Image from theguardian.com

Antisocial Services Minister, Mr Kevin Undress announced today that he had no announcement on changes to the Disability Pension but that he had several things under consideration including spending money on doctors to check up on the work of other doctors. When asked if he was trying to reduce the number of people on the Disability Pension, he denied this, saying, “This is not about targets … it’s about a better system that will actually help people because we think work is the best form of welfare.” He went on to say that this was entirely consistent with the government’s position on the Age Pension. “We promised that we wouldn’t be changing the Age Pension, and we’re not. We’re just changing the age at which people can access it. But we intend to keep it the same amount as it is now by abolishing future increases. This is what we promised. No changes to the Age Pension. And because it’s welfare, and work is the best form of welfare, the longer people work the better. In fact, I believe that Joe is considering a work for the pension scheme. Nothing too strenuous. And only for those pensioners who are able to. But as most of them just potter round the garden, so there’s really no reason for a large number not join the Green Army.”

In response to a suggestion that it was rather un-Christian to announce these changes on Easter Sunday, he insisted that it was entirely consistent with the teaching of the Church. “After all, Jesus did tell the lame to take up their beds and walk? He didn’t tell them to go on the Disability Pension, did he? No, he told them to stop lying around. If anything, it’s welfare that’s un-Christian.”

After Mr Undress suggested that this wasn’t about reducing benefits from those incapable of working, but allowing people to stand on their own two feet providing they had that many, a journalist asked where all the jobs would come from, given that fully, fit people able to work full time were finding it hard to gain employment, he suggested that this was just a hangover from Labor’s poor management of the economy. “After the next budget, there’ll be plenty of work for people when we reduce the public service, because business will be booming. After all we’ve stopped the boats and pretty soon we’ll abolish the Carbon Tax. This will solve all our problems.”

In other government news, there are suggestions that the National Water Commission may be abolished in a bid to save money. A spokesman for the Minister’s Office, Mr Spinner said that it was unnecessary, as it was only an advisory body and the Minister never listened to any advice anyway. “Its functions could be much better served by using private consultants, because they are so much more efficient. We only pay for the advice we want. And secondly, bodies like this are subject to enormous amounts of red tape where they have to justify their spending, whereas private consultants don’t have the same restrictions.” The press conference ended abruptly when he was asked if there was a concern that this could drive up the price of Grange.

Mr Spinner later issued a statement clarifying that by saying “We only pay for the advice that we want”, he actually meant to say “We only pay for advice when we need it” and that while private consultants didn’t have to justify their spending, this didn’t mean that they didn’t spend their money wisely. He followed this by a further statement clarifying that by “wisely”, he meant “appropriately and prudently”. He followed this by issuing a statement saying that there’d be no further statements from him on anything as he was going on leave, something which he’d been planning for ages, and that any further questions should be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.