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“Yeah, But It’s Your Money, Ralph” or If The Treasurer Was For Sale He Wouldn’t Be Worth Much!

“Super may well act as a shock absorber for various periods during peoples’ lives, because that is their savings that arguably they should be able to access.”

Joe Hockey.


A shock absorber, eh?

Let’s just think about that for a while.

One of the nifty little changes to welfare payments was the idea that you couldn’t receive dole payments while you had savings. Of course your superannuation doesn’t count, because… well, you can’t access it.

Perhaps I’m being a little too cynical here, by suggesting that if super becomes a “shock absorber for various periods during people’s lives”, then obviously finding oneself unemployed would be one of those shocks were you needed some assistance in absorbing. And well, you’ve just got all that super there – well, some anyway – doing nothing but compounding for your retirement at a time when you’d surely rather have it to assist you do such things as pay for your stamps and photocopying when you send off one of your 23 job applications per hour to ensure that you meet eligibility requirements so that you become eligible to receive that jackpot we call unemployment benefits. I know it’s a jackpot because that’s what the papers told me. And here I was wasting all that money at the pokies when all I have to do is lose my job…

Yes, I am being too cynical. As if anyone in Abbott’s front bench would be clever enough to think of something like that.

And anyway, it’s probably only the fact that people have been brainwashing me that makes me think that this government is not worthy of my trust. I know this because just the other day, I read an article from “The Courier Mail” entitled:

“Nation in the grip of hidden persuaders as activist groups destabilise coal, gas industries”

I read it online so while I was reading it an ad for Microsoft played suggesting that I buy some product or other, but, of course, I have no problem with that because that’s the sort of persuader that’s not hidden.

The article by Des Houghton began with something that really made me think:

“WHO owns you? By that I mean who controls you? Who shapes your opinions and helps you spend your money on worthy causes? Who tells you how to vote? Who runs your life for you?

“Nobody, I hear you cry: I’m an independent thinker. I shall make up my own mind, thank you very much …

“Not quite. I’m afraid our once fiercely independent nation is under siege in a clandestine propaganda war.

“You are being manipulated every day by a group of hidden persuaders who even attempt to hijack our elections.

“The national debate is in the grip of well-funded activists who practise their glib and oily art from inside Australia and beyond.

“There is money pouring in from the US for Leftist causes.”


It was that last bit that really shook me. Money coming from the US for Leftist causes! Gee, accepting money from a country like that. Lucky for Des that the paper he’s writing for is owned by an Australian who only became a US citizen for the opportunities it gave him, otherwise some people might suggest that by writing for “The Courier Mail” then he too is accepting money from the US, given that Murdoch’s newspaper empire is less profitable than I’d be if I sold my body as my only means of support. (Don’t anybody write “Blogger for Sale” or I’ll sue and it’ll make my family cry.)

Of course, some of you are probably thinking that it’s strange that this paper would be concerned about people trying to influence your decisions when most of the Murdoch Press have been so concerned about 18C restricting our freedom of speech. But that’s because you haven’t read the rest of the article.

As Mr Houghton argued: “Urgent action is needed to put the brakes on activists determined to harm businesses,” but he wasn’t very specific about how one fits activists with brakes. Perhaps, they could be fitted at the same time as Joe Hockey is fitting us with our super shock absorbers. Or perhaps we could just use the anti-terror laws and let ASIO take them in for questioning.

He gave an example of how these people could hijack the democratic process, when he described how a questioner asked Campbell Newman a question. In this outrageous example of activism:

“Newman seemed flummoxed when asked to “commit to the following principles of accountability and good governance put forward by The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald QC”.

He agreed, but not before he looked as though he had something to hide.”


But of course this idea of “accountability and good governance” is part of the Left conspiracy. As Mr Houghton put it:

“The accountability accord was in fact the work of the Left-leaning Australia Institute, which won’t tell us where it gets its money from. So much for accountability.”


Yes, we have a right to know where the Australia Institute gets its money from; it’s the IPA that have the right to keep their sources secret. And of course, the “mysterious” GetUp! was also there:

“I wonder if any of these young people know who is pulling their strings? How many of those well-meaning young people recruited on social media know GetUp! received $1.1 million from the discredited CFMEU?”


Is the discredited CFMEU different from the other one? Ah well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, even if it is someone taking money from a newspaper propped up by money from the US, which apparently means that someone is pulling your strings if they’re from the Left, but if they’re Right, we’ll it’s always good to be right!

As for the “accountability and good governance accord”, I must say that I’m pleased that so far the Abbott Government has managed to resist it. I’d single out Joe Hockey, but he seems a bit sensitive at the moment.

Once I wasn't very sure about demanding people drink more beer, but 
now I"m très surer, force ale.


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  1. John Kelly

    The value of a young person’s superannuation would hardly be worth tapping into to buy a house. Perhaps they could buy furniture with it but that will only depreciate over time. Super is meant to appreciate over time, so to allow the young to access it only increases the likelihood that they will need to fall back on the pension when they retire.

  2. Max Gross (@Max_Gross)

    Hockey is shockingly incompetant as Treasurer. As for Abbott…. If this buffoon somehow attains a second term Australia will suffer Recession

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Add Houghton to the list of political lackeys who deserve the proverbial chop when their LNP masters have lost government very soon.

    In the meantime Houghton, I will continue to be an activist against any reprehensible business activity that threatens Australian jobs, consumers, environment, representative government.

    Meanwhile, on the issue of accessing superannuation for a deposit for a primary home, I have an open mind. I value the opportunity to buy one’s own roof over one’s head instead of paying dead rent to fill somebody else’s pockets. I would advocate a more flexible superannuation joint contribution proposal where interested homebuyers, including low-income earners, can be enabled to access the deposit from their super and then have the support of government with tax incentives and complementary payments to help rebuild the depleted super, after a period of time when the superannuants have a proven mortgage repayment history. This would encourage sensible household budgeting under their own roofs while regaining the opportunity to have sufficient super in their retirement.

    I also advocate government backed housing loans – OMG even for unemployed and under-employed people, or people with adverse credit histories, or previous home owners who do not currently live in their own homes. Opening up the opportunities to these groups of people would be a magnificent incentive to the new house-construction industry with declining numbers of people confident to invest.

    So Houghton, next time when you’re bitching about us Leftie activists, open your eyes to the fact that we have very good ideas that need to be implemented for progressing our society for the good of us all, even the vulnerable.

  4. eli nes

    If you have a job you have a hecs/tafe/vet debt compounding at 6% my skills equate to the pm and the only info, i can find shows it takes 10 years to pay a degree. The article is in 2007 time and there was a ‘little’ interest to be added as it was based on CPI
    The article finishes ‘Do we really want to have our most educated citizens anywhere from $15,000 to $37,000 in debt from an undergraduate degree?’ (the adventures of a slightly taller than average man)
    Wow hockey and his 41 out of 42 vice chancellors have rocketed ahead. Wonder what $15000 would get when the senate passes the package? Cert 1 in bigotry??PhD in the meaningful comments of toni abbutt?

  5. CMMC

    What are those bubbles in the milk?

  6. stephentardrew

    Ar ya big bad lefty tart get home to the washing machine.

    As for the poor widdle miners give them a break.

    Gina is crying into her crystal chandeliers at those big bad greedy union plebs and impoverished protesters eat up her squillions.

    I though she, twiggy and their cabal of incestuous greedy cohorts were already destabilised by rampant inverted Abbot sucking and Hockey licking.

    Oh well it takes Murdock and his slathering flee infested puppy Houghton to bring truth and wisdom to the occasion.

    He, he, hey let’s go for the kiddies super boys.

  7. O'Bleak

    The length, breadth and depth of incompetence being displayed by this crew of idiots is just astounding. Where is the government of this country as we stumble from one stupid blunder to the next? They spend the days endlessly scheming to retrieve some credibility with the populace while the place goes to hell in a hand basket. What happened to the financial crisis we were so concerned about? Seems there’s endless cash to throw at any likely vote winner but people like the science community have to go begging to try to keep the wheels falling off the entire wagon train. Do they know or care why they were elected? Or are they too busy playing at being “political warriors” to concern themselves with this bothersome government stuff. Australia needs Tony? Yeah, like we all need a second arse hole.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yah and yeah O’Bleak,

    we need drippy mouth Tony and his LNP froth, like we need holes in our heads. (Probably should’na said that coz, they might get ideas.)

    Somebody save us from these wowsers with shit for brains and letcherous, money grabbing hands.

    Don’t look towards Labor coz I think the powers-that-be are too shit scared to take a stand.

    So, look towards an Alliance of smaller parties with the muscle of Labor to back up. Labor will not stand alone; they will need the
    Greens, the Australian Progressives and a variety of progressive and reputable crossbenchers.

    Then, it is nigh-nigh LNP for a VERY long time.

  9. Terry2

    As Joe said :

    He that filches from me my good name,
    Robs me of that which not enriches him,
    And makes me poor indeed.

    William Shakespeare, “Othello” (Iago), Act III., Scene 3.

  10. Zathras

    Now that national Superannuation has grown to a vast bucket of money the urge for various players to get hold of some it is becoming irresistable.

    Some of the aspects not discussed are the mechanics of moving the money in and out of it.

    When you withdraw some money from your Super, will it be taxed at the marginal rate?

    When you pay some of it back it will be taxed at the usual 15% (unless there are proposed changes on the way).

    Either way, the government wins from this proposal as the investor slips further behind.

    Will withdrawals be restricted to home buyers/depositors? If so would this be for first homes or investment properties too?

    Why not for cars, flat screen TVs or holidays? It’s our money and the principle of early access is the same although personal requiremnts may be different.

    It was a crazy thought-bubble but I suspect it has hidden motives beyond the emotional angle of home ownership.

  11. flohri1754

    Very well put … the contradictions between the statements and actions of the Abbott/Hockey/Pyne/Brandis et. al. government just gnaws away at its basic structure. Of course, that 28 percent of the voting populace that seem to see T.A. as a good PM seems to have their heads stuck permanently in the sand right up to the small of their backs …..

  12. guest

    Well might the coal and gas industries feel besieged by activists. To read Naomi Klein’s latest book is to understand why these activists have good reason to question the activities of these industries. Her knowledge of events around the world which promote the business-as-usual-and-more is remarkable. She has a very good understanding of the role of our present Government in all of this

    She discusses collusions between governments and industry, governments and governments, governments and faux-Green institutions, the failures of policies such as FTAs and Direct Action,the corruption behind ETSs, the destruction of the environment….and, above all, the massive propaganda machine which denies the science of Climate Change.

    That so little of all this is aired in the MSM is reason for concern. That The Guardian is saying more about it is encouraging – and a nice counter to the Murdoch garbage.

    But I must say, with no fatuous flattery, that we must be thankful for the work of the AIMN in keeping us informed about what is happening and in supporting the activists opposed to the present failing, incompetent, knuckle-headed, ideologically driven, lying, deceitful Coalition ‘government’.

  13. Jexpat

    Des Houghton is merely practicing the classic tactic of the dishonest right wing ideologue- one taken to dizzying heights by Bush’ mentor and propagandist Karl Rove: accuse others of in the behaviour you’re actively persistently engaged in, with the expectation that it will inoculate or deflect criticism from your own far worse and generally far more blatant actions.

    And unfortunately, it often works, once it gets out in the corporate media’s and the ABC’s echo chambers.

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