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This is the ending of the Age of Entitlement … for some

“This decision says something significant about this government. We do not believe in government by chequebook … We don’t believe in any normal circumstances that government should be playing favourites between private businesses.”

When Tony Abbott made this statement yesterday I thought to myself hang on . . .

“The Federal Government spends over $10 billion per year on subsidies that encourage the production and use of fossil fuels. About $65 million per electorate or, if you want to make it really personal, $430 per taxpayer each year.”

“Abolishing the private health insurance rebate could save the budget $3 billion a year, dwarfing the savings that would be generated by introducing a $6 fee for GP visits, according to a think tank.

The 30 per cent private health insurance rebate was introduced in 1999. Its annual cost has risen faster than any other component of government health spending, from $1.4 billion in 1999-2000 to $5.5 billion in 2012-13.”

“Professor Kevin Davis says the government’s guarantee of all bank, building society and credit union deposits up to $250,000 is far too generous and is damaging the business of life insurance companies, finance companies and other non-bank financial institutions.

Professor Davis said the guarantees had contributed to falling sales of life insurance products, finance company debentures, cash management products and property trusts, while the amount of retail savings held in government guaranteed bank deposits had soared.”

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has chided Labor for pursuing him over a $16 million grant to Cadbury on the day Qantas announced the axing of 5000 jobs.

Labor asked five questions of the prime minister, quizzing him about the role Alastair Furnival – a former chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash – played in the decision.

Mr Abbott revealed Mr Furnival was employed by Cadbury as an economist when the coalition announced, as an election promise, funding to assist the company upgrade and reopen the visitors centre at its Hobart chocolate factory.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Catherine King wanted to know whether Mr Furnival or his wife’s lobbying firm, Australian Public Affairs, would directly benefit from the funding.”

“Within minutes of Treasurer Joe Hockey declaring an end to ”the age of entitlement” on Monday, assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs stood on a highway on the outskirts of Hobart and announced a grant of $3.5 million to a Tasmanian seafoods manufacturer, Huon Aquaculture.

It would help ”provide the equipment to process fresh fish, as well as smokehouses and other machinery for boning, skinning, portioning and mincing”, he said.”

“Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart and fellow billionaire Andrew Forrest shared in more than $100,000 worth of taxpayer-funded handouts in their companies under Royalties for Regions last financial year.

“While the WA Government announced last week it was increasing household fees to manage “the state’s finances in difficult times”, in 2011-12 it handed $61,829 for an “innovative drilling” program, to Mr Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group, which is worth about $10.74 billion.

And though the Government has been demanding “efficiency” cuts from its agencies for the past four years, it gave a further $38,551 from the same program to Hancock Prospecting, whose boss, Mrs Rinehart, was last year reported as earning about $600 a second.

Since 2009, the drilling program, which is part of the royalties’ Exploration Incentive Scheme, has paid more than $9.2 million to resource companies, some worth several hundred million dollars.”

“Ah, but the age of entitlement is over”, we’re told. Unless you happen to be a needy football club, that is. During the election campaign, Abbott promised $5 million to the Brisbane Broncos – owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, no less – to ”kick-start the revitalisation” of their ”sporting precinct at Red Hill”. The Manly Sea Eagles were offered $10 million to renovate Brookvale Oval, which just happens to be in Abbott’s electorate of Warringah and where he’s the number one ticket holder.”

“Farmers across drought-stricken Queensland and New South Wales are relieved the talk of being tough on handouts hasn’t stopped the Federal Government announcing a multi-million-dollar package of drought assistance.”

Consistency anyone?

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  1. bighead1883

    Well Kaye the LNP is importing all things American and the IPA wants this>>>
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says a minimum wage increase would be a job killer. Republicans and the Chamber also say unions are job killers, workplace safety regulations are job killers, environmental regulations are job killers, and the Affordable Care Act is a job killer. The California Chamber of Commerce even publishes an annual list of “job killers,” including almost any measures that lift wages or protect workers and the environment.

  2. Stephen Tardrew

    The Ministry of lies and deceptions. Your rational and logical approach is not appreciated by those who create their own myths. Magical mythical thinking can conjure up any set of irrational relationships and convince themselves and others of their efficacy. The general public love those simplistic soundbites simply because they do not have to think about the particular use of language or logic.

    Easy peasy; no worries mate; sounds good to me; bit of a laugh bit of a joke, Tony said it is so.

    4 + 7 = 28 Hum! looks alright dontcha reckon.

    Pelly said its OK so lets go with that Fatty.

  3. scotchmistery

    Whilst the prime mincer and minister for walking and talking gayly, Kwistoffer Poin, speak with shock of the deaths of 4 young men whilst installing pink batts as one of the last pair of prime ministers struggled to keep us as a country insulated from the GFC, the product of their (the crow-alitions) best mates in banking.

    Interesting there is no Royal Commission into that. As I have said before, the minute Shorten develops a spine and the ALP go back into power, I so hope there is a Royal Commission into politicians in lycra, and who and why and in how many ways, they are supported by American businesses trying to resurrect that phuqued economy.

    I am just sitting back to find out how stupid we are as a country when we get to have another go at getting something resembling leadership for all.

  4. Anomander

    This government gave-up any semblance of equity or even-handedness long ago, if they ever had any in the first instance.

    Democracy is officially deceased, beyond all hope of resurrection. We have ceased to have a government that actually represents the Australian populace. Their intent could not be more glaringly obvious – to do the bidding of the big end of town, to the detriment of everyone else in society.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the most divisive, destructive and obnoxious government ever to arise in our short history, and the damage they wreak will reverberate throughout our society for decades to come.

    So, what exactly are we going to do about it? How do we address it before it’s all too late?

  5. Kerri

    You are so right Anomander.
    One thing I always criticized John Howard for, was his staunch belief that he and Janette were Mr and Mrs Average Aussie and working on that theory he acted as though everyone would agree….. well… because we are all the same just like he and Janette.
    Abbott lacks the self confidence of Howard. He has no vision of Mr and Mrs Average Aussie.
    He knows he is not like everyone else. He is power driven. He wanted success for success’s sake and so now having achieved that, is floundering around not knowing what to do next. Like an expeditioner who has summitted Everest, he is now at the top and having placed his flag and taken a few pics is lost for the next move. He is making up Government as he goes along and when you have no vision and you have reached your aim the next step is to ask others around you for advice. As a consequence you become a reactionary. Listening to the loudest voices or paying attention to whatever takes your fancy. We know he is crippled without Credlin, but who else does he listen to?? Gina and Twiggy are successful so he listens to them. Cadbury sposored Pollie Pedal so they must be OK. Qantas is too hard. He likes his fruit fresh so SPC Ardmona are irrelevant. He prefers BMWs so bad luck for Holden, Ford and Toyota.
    It is naive of us to expect Abbott to be fair. His philosophy for business is for business to look after itself. Besides its all too hard to help business and be fair. Just say No! and let them look after themselves. To consider the entire population as a workforce and set of businesses and economy to be managed as one entire beast. Is beyond his capability. But he will pray for it.

  6. abbottania

    Anomander, Democracy here was always a limited affair. The only hope left is our senate but that is being circumvented through regulation and Public Immunity Interest and other lesser known constitutional powers that I doubt very much were intended to be used in these ways when it was drafted over a 100 years ago.
    So where are we heading ?. I am of the firm belief that Mr Cadbury’s intention is to build an oligarchy.
    One more closely associated with Russia and yes, with some tea party thrown in for good measure but I believe his real eyes are on something similar to Russia. Demagoguery and secrecy through misuse of our constitution is the cornerstone of his government. Welcome to Abbottania.

  7. Stephen Tardrew

    Now hang on there a bit Kaye these are incentives to private enterprise and job creators.

    Jeez yous lefties twist the twisted.

  8. diannaart

    No more entitlement, says Hockey – while whispering to himself “some are more unentitled than others”.

  9. AsGrayAsGray

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    This kind of uneven playing field is what voters should be seeking to repeal. Too bad so many voters aren’t thinkers…
    Oh well, it’s Shit, and it’s Gotta Stop.
    One day, I’ll start writing my own stuff again, instead of plagiarising from others. I promise.
    Reblogged, with thanks, from the AIMN.

  10. Keitha Granville

    I wrote a letter to the Treasurer a while ago asking if the entitlements of MPs would be similarly cut back at the same time. I have received to date no reply, not even a thanks for your letter we’ll respond later. I know the answer before a reply of course – MP entitlements can’t be topuched cos they were promised when they took office and they can’t be taken away now. Cos they’re special. Everyone else who has no pulling power, no big business lobby capacity, has to suffer the cuts and make do with less – otherwise how will they manage without their free flights (presumably not on QANTAS) and their free lunch and their free cars and their free . . . it’s never ending.

  11. Anomander

    Blessed are the job creators.

    Praise be to the job creators.

    The job creators will inherit the earth.

  12. Kerri

    Hear hear!

  13. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye you’d think that Labor would hold Abbot to the fire over the debt figures you posted in and earlier article.

    If it was me I would have the lies up in neon lights.

  14. Gilly

    So PPP does not stand for Public Private Partnership, it stands for Peta’s Pantomime Puppets. So no hand outs just hands the puppeteers and all will be given.

  15. Kaye Lee


    As far as I am aware, the only way to get rid of the Speaker is by a vote of no confidence which wouldn’t pass in the House due to Coalition numbers. It’s going to be a long and very unproductive three years.

  16. Paul Raymond Scahill

    After watching part of Q.T. Parliament I was so disgusted with the lack of guts shown by the so-called opposition, towards the speaker (madam if you dont mind), that I stopped watching. It would appear as though there is no such thing as a point of order, now, when the very same interjection by the then opposition (now the government) was in fact categorized as a point of order. One would be tempted to ask why all members of the opposition, apart from Bill Shorten whose mother-in-law was the G.G. up until a few days ago, did not grab all their goods and chattels and leave the chamber. Now I would envisage that someone or a committee would want to know why? I believe now would be the right time to question the bi-partisanship of the office of the chair. Please advise if this is in order because it would appear as though Q.T. is an absolute joke.

  17. JohnB

    If the age of entitlement is over, I suggest the LNP revisit all the legislated government paid benefits on which they have argued and opposed the imposition of income means tests.
    When a means test has been able to be imposed, the LNP preferred ceiling of $150K is unacceptably high.
    In my opinion, no one who has an income in excess of $100K is in dire need of government assistance.

    The rules relating to superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy are another case where high income earners enjoy unfair government funded “entitlements”

    Of course, taxpayer funded benefits to high income earners always fly below the LNP radar.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Yes the superannuation rort for the rich would be a good place to start. How did they sell maintaining generous tax breaks for around 16,000 wealthier Australians while cutting tax concessions for 3.6 million workers on lower incomes?

    The continuation of the existing superannuation rules by Hockey will significantly exacerbate inequities in the superannuation system, since under the flat (15 per cent) tax an even greater share of tax concessions – a direct hit on the budget – will flow to those on higher income earners, whilst lower income earners will receive next to no tax benefit.

    And since the car industry is going, perhaps we can revisit FBT and just give concessions to the people who genuinely use their car for work rather than all the (legal) rorters?

  19. Terry2

    Ten billion dollars in subsidies……………..

    I find the numbers thrown around by this government confusing: an LNP politician in parliament on Monday quoted our annual interest bill on ‘Labor’s debt as ten billion dollars.

    It seems that this is government by spin and fear mongering and the misleading numbers spouted on the cost of the carbon tax are bewildering: according to the LNP there are multi – billions be collected as ‘carbon tax’ and all will be well with the world when the carbon tax is gone. I have to ask, how will all of this lost revenue be replaced ?

  20. Kaye Lee

    They intentionally try to confuse people Terry. They throw around big numbers and quote projections for 10 years off.

    Three weeks after the Coalition took office the gross debt was $280 billion, not $667 billion as they are keen on quoting.

    And interest bill of $10 billion sounds huge but it is less than 1% of GDP. Interest rates are so low and Australian bonds so in demand that now is a good time to invest in productivity boosters like the Gonski reforms, the NBN, and the NDIS.

    Debt should be judged on ability to repay and also what it is spent on. The things I mentioned above are wise investments. Tens of billions on Operation Sovereign Borders and it’s hellholes is NOT an investment.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    Terry2 the problem is that all will not be well in the world for Australia if Abbott gets rid of the carbon tax, indeed it may well be terrible for us.

    As America is posting both success in reducing carbon emissions and restructuring its economy out of fossil fuels, Europe is forging ahead with its carbon abatement mechanisms despite market setbacks and big polluters like China are investing heavily in renewables and carbon abatement there is already talk of penalising countries like Australia who don’t undertake carbon abatement pricing mechanisms, with heavy tariffs and even sanctions on goods and services being spoken off.

    It appears these aren’t idle threats so even if Abbott does get to remove the carbon price in this country he’s going to find Australia in a world of hurt down the track as it’s exports and imports are levied to balance the price of the carbon other countries are paying.

    Abbott believes getting rid of the carbon price is going to give Australia a comparative advantage but in the long run it will probably end up being a significant comparative disadvantage.

  22. Kaye Lee

    The rest of the world aren’t happy. As I said on another post, Qantas will get hit with green taxes in Europe and the UK as they were before we introduced carbon pricing.

    “Lord Deben, head of the UK Committee on Climate Change and Tory politician, has slammed the Abbott Government’s push to pull back climate change policies:

    “It lets down the whole British tradition that a country should have become so selfish about this issue that it’s prepared to spoil the efforts of others and to foil what very much less rich countries are doing…

    All that pollution which Australia is pushing into the atmosphere is of course changing my climate. It’s a real insult to the sovereignty of other countries…

    It’s wholly contrary to the science, it’s wholly contradictory to the interests of Australia and I hope that many people in Australia will see when the rest of the world is going in the right direction what nonsense it is for them to be going backwards.”

  23. Kerri

    And Terry2 there is already a penalty for Qantas landing in Europe if Australia has no carbon tax.

  24. Win Jeavons

    When I started work I was not entitled to equal pay with men; When I married I was not entitled to keep my job; When I returned to work I was not entitled to maternity leave or to continue working with a “bump” . I was not entitled to superannuation until late in my career (thanks, Labor for that at least). Because we saved ( frugal living is better for the environment) we are not entitled to a pension, unless we spend down ( perhaps a few overseas junkets?) Where is this age of entitlements ? Seems it was only for affluent baby boomers., specially those who got free tertiary education , as my generation didn’t and the young certainly don’t.

  25. linda

    The Age of Entitlement should end but not in the way the government propose.If they are referring to handouts for the select corporations and lining their own pockets with increasing salaries and tax funded perks and the rest of the awarded privileges that other public servants could only dream of ,While being completely immune to any punishment for purposely misleading voters…yes the age of entitlement should end.For them at least.The government are so far removed from society that i don’t believe some are even human anymore,if some ever were.

  26. Kerri

    It is interesting Paul Raymond Scahill that you mention striking? I have been thinking of late that Abbott’s war on Unions will force workers into militant actions that may go over the top out of fear of what these neo-cons are capable of. Ironic somewhat but Abbott and co are only capable of seeing the next train stop and using their power to make things go their way. It is frightening to think that we may end up with violent street protests as I am sure a peaceful protest will be met with force from this Government.

  27. Paul Raymond Scahill

    If you are right Kaye Lee, and I have no reason to doubt you, then the only obvious thing for Australian workers to do IS TO STRIKE. Dont supply the politicians with any such services i.e. food, air traverl, shipping et al. Perhaps then and only then will they come to their collective senses. I for one am sick of what is going on in our Country, People like Abbott, Pell,Hockey, Brandis, Pyne, Morrison. Bishop (Julie), Bishop (especially Bronwyn) along with all the other miscreants, should all be removed from office, that means all office. I just think that this group of Nazis should be replaced as soon as possible!

  28. Paul Raymond Scahill

    It is my assessment that Bill Shorten is far from the right person to lead the Labor Party at any election, let alone the next. I would therefor suggest that the Labor Party take immediate steps to replace him as the leader. He shows absolutely no intestinal fortitude, Abbott is right, that he is weak, probably one of the few times that he has been right. He asks questions in Q.. T. never gets an answer, yet that is the end of the “penny section”. The best he gets is a turn-a-round from the master of bullshit Tony Abott, and some sort of response against the Labor Party. Another winner Bill. Perhaps he should just drift off into the sunset and let Albo handle it all. I am sure he will make a better fist of it than no-guts Bill, whose only attitude seems to be to appease the “Union Bosses”.

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