Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan

Tony Abbott has been brooding!
His budget plan’s been dissed! He can’t see why!
He’d billed it as a Magic Pudding!
Claims it’s better than Labor’s flat square pie!

“I’ll safely manage Oz finances.
My team Catholic,  church-going,  good!
With atheist Gillard you’re taking chances.
Where’s her faith in a magic pud?

Childless herself, she’ll never learn,
Like we dads have, as parents would,
When bedtime story pages turn,
To love our Aussie magic pud.

How could a single woman know,
As married fathers surely would,
What pregnant professionals undergo
Without a wage from the magic pud?

That’s why too I’ll pay for nannies
To nurse at home through babyhood
Infants whose ever-loving grannies
Will get to share in this magic pud.

The Liberal Party faces facts.
Business and miners never should
Have to pay Resource or Carbon Tax!
It’s they who make our magic pud!

Gillard’s been captive to the Greens
Who see only trees, not the wood!
Now Bob Brown’s gone, they’re just has-beens.
And soon they’ll want a magic pud.

Don’t believe Julia’s last big lie,
Listing all the good things she’s putting
In each slice of her ‘fair share’ pie.
Trust me!  Have faith in my Magic Pudding!”

NOTES:  First I must acknowledge the artwork of my grandson Daniel who,  luckily for me,  was on school holidays and had time to Photoshop Norman Lindsay’s famous illustration to his timeless Australian children’s story, The Magic Pudding.  I think he,  with input from brother Jacob,  did a great job.  

They have exactly caught my sense of how Tony Abbott, in his penguin fitting red budgie smugglers,  seems to think there are endless dollars to spend on his brain waves.    I don’t think Shadow Finance Minister,  Andrew Robb  (Barnacle Bill),  is keen on the Liberal Party being tied to a  Magic Pudding budget plan.  Nor is tubby  Shadow Treasurer,  Joe Hockey (Koala),  though he doesn’t see eye to eye with Robb either on how to proceed with Coalition  budget proposals.   I’m not sure how relevant their all being Catholic really is,  even to their Assistant Shadow Treasurer, Matthias Corman, but they surely need to have faith and believe in the power of prayer if they hope to balance a Budget while cutting taxes and retaining all current services and introducing expensive new ones. 

More than one commentator has referred to Abbott’s apparent belief in a magic pudding which amused me and set me rhyming.   There’s plenty of other MSM speculation on both Government and Opposition budget proposals and I won’t add to it here except to marvel at the near miracle of Tony Abbott’s sudden concern for the wealthier working woman to the point of levying a tax on business for his highly expensive paid parental leave scheme which is likely to be an impost on many more companies than the Carbon Tax which he claims will ruin the country’s economy.   Samantha Maiden says

Abbott’s tax levy would hit an estimated 3300 businesses with a 1.5 per cent levy.    Isn’t that a great, big, new tax coincidence, to deploy Abbott’s favourite mantra ?   

Easy  to understand the disquiet of Coalition senior figures,  particularly Shadow Treasurer Hockey and Finance Minister Robb.    Though with or without Abbott’s grand policy proposals designed to win over women voters even Hockey sometimes seems to believe in a magic pudding sort of budget plan and says a Coalition government will deliver surpluses while reducing the tax burden on Australians and businesses. Mr Hockey said a future Coalition government would balance the books when it next ran Treasury. “We will run a surplus in our first term and every term after that, based on the information available at the moment,” he told ABC back then.   However, his very latest Lateline comments  about cutting welfare benefits to offset income tax cuts are more stringent,  particularly the one about the end of the the age of entitlement in our western world.  No magic pudding faith there.  

Andrew Robb is less sanguine and probably more practical than either Hockey or Abbott about a Coalition government being able to deliver a surplus budget,  or at least he was just over a month ago and  says we should,  “Bear in mind that if we have an election in October 2013 we’re still two budgets away, and who knows what the state of the books will be at that stage.”

Although often confused and confusing, Robb was right about predictions.   No one can predict with any certainty about how the economy will be travelling in future,  though I should think Treasury and the Reserve are being assisted by the best advice and up to date information available.   I prefer therefore to rely on their recommendations to the Prime Minister and our current Treasurer,  Wayne Swann, who is after all the world’s best!     I also trust Julia Gillard and her government, judging by the reformist legislation they have passed to date, the policies they have published and the programs they have planned,  to produce a budget which endeavours to share our national wealth with some fairness and an eye to the national well-being.

Abbott won’t accept that of course, and will do his best to attack Julia Gillard’s credibility and that of Wayne Swann, as he did today, decrying Australia’s economic record in the face of praise from the International Monetary Fund

111 comments on “Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan

  1. Whilst I respect the views of political activists and other Party supporters, the simple fact is that the Australian People have no confidence or trust in either of these Party Leaders or their MPs. They are far too interested in pursuing their ideological beliefs than dealing with the day-to-day problems which beset the people of Australia.
    They dare not make voting non-compulsory because it would expose them to how many people would protest by abstaining. Protest votes of disillusionment and diappointment with the political Parties and politicians are presently channelled into the Greens and Independents and those like myself, who protest by not voting and happily paying the fine.
    There is a very serious disjoint between the Australian People and these political leaders but which those leaders and their Party members are unwilling to address and fix, mainly because of their self-interest over-riding their social concerns and responsibilities.
    The widespread disillusionment of the Australian People in the politicians is clearly evident in the mocking of such politicians wherever there is the opportunity to do so.

  2. patriciawa

    after reading about Joe’s big picture plan to cut pensions and other welfare, such as the pbs. i thought of a way for the magic to be spread.

    cut the old age pension and other safety nets, thus freeing up a whole lot of idle oldies. these oldies needing work can be employed as nannies, they have the qualifications, they raised the kids who now need the subsidies, a truly magic circle or pud.

  3. They are far too interested in pursuing their ideological beliefs

    Can you explain what ‘ideological beliefs’ Labor are pursuing over the good of the country?

    Considering they are pursuing a market based system for AGW (because that is the advise which says is the best course of action) over what I would assume to be their ‘ideological belief’ of just taxing us, and at great political capital. So, it would appear that they are putting the nation ahead of both ideology and polling indicators.

  4. Good post patricia and as always excellent pome.

    Min, I was very interested to read the comments on the link you provided to Phillip Coorey’s piece. I thought piece itself was very good and balanced-no hysteria or barracking. A pleasure to read and I finished it more informed than when I started to read.

    What did surprise me was the tone of the comments. Pretty much all seeing what Sloppy was really saying-that he supports middle class welfare but has every intention of kicking the poor and disadvantaged to death.

    Of the couple of commenters who said they’d lived in Honk Kong and Tokyo, neither acknowledged either the desperate plight of the elderly poor and the disadvantaged in those two bastions of capitalism, or that such people even existed in those societies.

    Apart from that, most people spport welfare for our most disadvantaged citizens, but not the Howard era pork barrelling for the upper middle class and wealthy.

    I found it very encouraging that there is a goodly portion of the population who don’t think much of the Liar’s Party Pudding. Too much fairy dust and stodge.

    Epic fail, Sloppy!

    Labor should be hammering this Dickensian vision of life under the Liars Party fo all they’re worth.

    Although we should look on the bright side, the undeserving bludging poor could be put to work for some mouldy bread and gruel building their own workhouses.

  5. At a press conference today the PM when referring to Hockey’s welfare cuts described all the welfare that most do not consider welfare today, family tax benefits, child care support, medicare. Funny isn’t it that the people in the blogs supporting Hockey only think that welfare equates to bludgers and that they themselves could not be catergorised a bludger.

  6. Listening to what Mr. Hockey while overseas, telling the world is worrying. We can ignore that within the speech he is contradicting himself.

    We should now according to Mr. Hockey, align ourselves with Asia. I thought the aim in Asia was to lift the living standards of it’s people. Is Mr. Hockey saying we have to lower ours to survive.

    it appears, if one listens to the response to Mr. Hockey, it is what we pay out on the unemployed that is in their sights. This at a time when we have the lowest benefits for the unemployed for decades.

    If Mr. Hockey was in the position to lower welfare payments to the lower income earners, he would probably bring about massive contraction in the economy. These people spend all the get. This keeps the money going around. We all benefit from the payments.

    Wait for the screams and calls of desperation, when this government manages to mean test more of the benefits that now flow onto upper income earners. This will or should not effect the economy. These people are unlikely to run and and spend what they get.

    Will Mr. Abbott save money by closing down NBN Co. I suspect not. I suspect it will go ahead as it does now.


    If elected in 2013, Mr Abbott promises to unpick this strand by strand

    Will Tony Abbott really unroll it once its done? Would that even be possible without spending another 43 billion on bulldozers?
    If Abbott is elected next year he won’t unroll it, but will probably change the nature of the technology used for the rest of the nation. His proposal will be less expensive, but will still need billions of dollars.

    If I cut the NBN cable with your chainsaw, would I break the entire national network?
    No, but you would break my chainsaw, and that would be a far, far worse thing, especially for you. Now go away and stop bothering me. And bring back that frigging chainsaw this weekend – OR ELSE!

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/a-vaguely-intelligent-look-at-the-current-state-of-the-nbn/

  7. Cu, I have an old fashioned cotton unpicker..perhaps I should donate it to Tony Abbott. With a good deal of patience and perseverence, it should take Tony only a few decades to unpick the NBN.

  8. he Federal Government has attacked shadow treasurer Joe Hockey’s calls to wind back welfare

    The Magic Pudding has gotten into the Magic Mushrooms 😉

  9. A party that screams blue murder at the merest suggestion that any one of the numerous middle class welfare rackets they instituted, comes out with THIS?. What it shows is their complete confidence that they’l be allowed to get away with it. We live in strange times & they’ll get stranger.
    Hockey was Finance Minister & Minister for Small Business in 2001, the year of Howard’s Great Buy Back. Part of that, I recall, involved the waiving of substantial welfare (Centrelink?) overpayments. All well & good in the sacred cause of re election. Now it seems payments aren’t good at all. Which to go?-vote Tony & Joe in first & they’ll have a think about it but whatever you do don’t stop believing that none of this applies to YOU!

  10. It seems to me that the Liberals are after a new whipping boy, and that’s going to be a rerun of Howard’s aspirationals where the unworthy poor are put back down in their place. Wasn’t Howard’s ideal that they, the wealthy are more worthy because they work hard, whereas the poor are just a bunch of bludgers. That reminds me of one of my school reports, could do better if tried harder.

  11. Min, like you and Sue and jane, my immediate thought listening to Hockey on Lateline was of the millions of poor and homeless in Asia. They are now living in and just emerging from the conditions of our western world of the 19th century when working people started to unite in cooperatives and unions and formed the Labour Party. Those words, “Workers of the World Unite!” written by Marx in the Communist Manifesto came of the desperation of the world’s poor and oppressed.

    Does Hockey intend that Australian should give away those hard won gains of the past hundred years or so in order that industry and business should pay less tax and everyone else suffer a loss of entitlement. The standard of living we have has been hard come by and we must make sure we pass it on, improved and more secure if possible, to future generations.

    jane, I’ve copied your compliment to the boys! Borrow them? I’m thinking of contracting them out!

  12. Excellent pome patricia and well done to your grandsons. 🙂

    Bob said What it shows is their complete confidence that they’ll be allowed to get away with it.. The same thought occurred to me last night, listening to Hockey on Lateline, that the excess of arrogance that led the COALition bringing in workChoices is in evidence now, as a result of the unquestioning support from the main stream media.
    Abbott’s latest sound grab is that the Prime Minister’s Press Club address will be
    “an admission of her failure to manage the economy”.
    The man is an absolute moron; considering all the infrastructure spending, plus the improvements for pensioners, the almost doubling of expenditure on Health, Education, Transport, the roll-out of the NBN etc., etc.,,..

    The sky hasn’t fallen in because this Labor government is doing what it does best,
    and that is to support those in need of help and create jobs, hundreds of thousands of jobs.
    Hockey’s plan is to throw thousands of workers on the scrap heap leaving them to try and survive on a benefit which he plans to cut.
    He makes no sense, until we have a look at all the right-wing think tank talking heads
    and their mates in the media, then the picture comes into focus.

  13. From Min’s link to the Coorey piece:-

    The shadow treasurer singled out compulsory superannuation as an example of easing the burden on the state.

    “Over the years, governments have worked to reduce the exposure of the government to our pension system with the compulsory superannuation contribution program which means that people are contributing to their own pension rather than everyone relying on the government for the pension.”

    No mention that the Coalition opposed compulsory superannuation when Paul Keating introduced it and, most recently, it voted against lifting the rate from 9 percentage points to 12 as part of the mining tax package.

    The Howard government, while reducing personal taxes consistently, also took the entitlement mentality to new heights with the raft of so-called middle class welfare measures it introduced and which Labor has been paring back.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockeys-strange-road-to-entitlement-enlightenment-20120419-1x8lq.html#ixzz1sS9HFKRN

  14. Patricia, have you noticed that your post has already notched up 51 Facebook Shares? In simple terms, that’s phenonamal and indicates that the pome/post is reaching an incredibly wide audience.

    We done!

  15. I put this on another site.

    There are a couple of entitlements that I have problems with.
    The entitlement some believe they have to be in government and be PM, no matter what the voters say.
    The entitlement to record profits, no matter the economical environment.
    The entitlement to move back to the dark ages of master and servant when it comes to IR.
    The entitlement to government handouts, no matter the size of one’s income.
    A new one that is arising, the entitlement to only pay taxes that one supports.
    Yes there is a big problem with the sense of entitlement that many have.
    There is the entitlement that many have, of demanding private education for their children, leaving the taxpayer to pay for it.
    I do not believe this is what Mr. Hockey is addressing.
    Reply

  16. I judge by what they do, not say, What about the entitlements that Mr. Hockey gets a MP, maybe that is where he should start looking.

    Since being sent to the Opposition benches in 2007, the Coalition has fought almost every effort by Labor to means-test or otherwise curb welfare entitlements.
    Apart from supporting budget crackdowns on the proliferation of such benefits as the disability support pension, it has opposed any move by the government to go after so-called middle-class welfare, moves the government says are vital to keep spending sustainable.
    Measures which created structural deficits such as the private health insurance rebate, the baby bonus or the family tax benefit system have been capped or means tested by Labor and the Coalition has opposed or criticised all of them.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockeys-strange-road-to-entitlement-enlightenment-20120419-1x8lq.html#ixzz1sSJ74iWr

  17. Cu, it’s unclear exactly what Joe Hockey is addressing. So far it has been interpreted as ridding Australia of the welfare state and that it’s all about personal responsibility. Hockey then contradicts himself by saying that private health insurance must be maintained in order to take the stress of the public system.

    Contradictions…

  18. Hockey has started to portray himself as the economic hardliner in the Coalition. This builds on his resistance, both internal and external, to further subsidies for the automotive industry and his pledge, that if elected, to not subsidise industries the Coalition believes to be unsustainable.
    But the approach lacked consistency with much of what the Coalition has said and done more broadly, suggesting there may be an internal struggle going on.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockeys-strange-road-to-entitlement-enlightenment-20120419-1x8lq.html#ixzz1sSK6hYRn

  19. Cu, I have never seen Hockey as any sort of hardliner. Who can forget the pass the parcel effort response to the previous budget, leaving Robb to try to make sense of it all. It was then that Robb made a play for the Deputy Leadership, albeit shortlived.

    On the other hand Hockey is trying to deal with Tony Abbott’s brain f*rts and so on these occasions sounds half way human. Hockey has never been much more than an apologist ever since he left his Shrek persona behind. Hockey is most definitely Costello-lite.

  20. Like Abbott out there today talking rot, twisting what the PM says, as proof that they cannot tun an economy. Mr. Abbott is the only person that sees things the way he does.

    Yes, Facebook does work with getting information out.

    Talking to my 21 year old granddaughter last night. Out of the blue, she said to me, Nan, I do read some of the political article I share on Facebook.

    My message to her, was I am not telling you what to believe. I am asking you question everything you read in the media. I said the question she always needs to ask, is it true.

    So maybe there is hope.

  21. JOE HOCKEY: Well, we need to be ever-vigilant….Well I’m not going to get into cherry-picking Australian initiatives from London. What I’d say to you is that we need to continue to be vigilant…Well they need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis….
    TONY JONES: OK. A little bit of history then. You describe in the speech how the entitlement system grew in Western democracies. As you say, “Fuelled by short-term electoral cycles and the politics outbidding your opponent.”

  22. Another LPN staffer hits the dusk. Funny views on the ability of men.

    Tomlinson’s email, from his personal account, was sent after Dr Ford wrote an opinion piece for The Courier-Mail, calling for greater representation of women in government.

    He asked Dr Forde why she did not bother standing for preselection in politics.

    “Like most women, you probably don’t possess the necessary drive, determination and decisiveness that men innately possess,” he wrote.

    “It’s not a personal criticism; it’s a fact of biology. Where, for example, are the great female explorers, mountaineers, warriors, inventors, chefs?

    “Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because Nature equipped them with something called testosterone.

    “That was part of Nature’s grand design to enable men to be stronger, more fearless and more determined than their sisters. Sorry, Carole, fact not fiction.”

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/lnp-media-staffer-max-tomlinson-quits-over-sexist-political-rant-directed-at-columnist-carole-ford/story-e6freon6-1226331445831

  23. Shock horror!!!!!!

    The Tele is NOT running the Hockey story.

    So I guess the other media will drop the story by tonight.

  24. Courier Mail and Adelaide Now readers / battlers won’t have to bother worrying about what Hockey said in the UK, they are being protected by those organisations.

    So will it make the commercial TV news tonight? No doubt Abbott wouldn’t want his cheering oldies bothered by such a story.

  25. Patricia,
    Excellent work by you…and your grandson Daniel.

    Hmmm:

    DECEMBER 28, 2011

    How Mitt Romney defines “risk” and “entitlement”…

    “In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing—the government. The truth is that everyone may get the same rewards, but virtually everyone will be worse off.”

    …Romney’s statement also illustrates how distinctly differently he and I view the economic system in this country. His new stump speech has the typical conservative poor-bait: Poor people are stupid (“regardless of education”), lazy (“regardless of… effort”) and want to take what you have worked so hard to build (“same or similar rewards”).

    I especially take issue with “willingness to take risk.” Who do you think Romney considers “risk takers”? I’d bet $10,000 of his money that he means entrepreneurs, small (and large) businessmen, and investors. That’s not an incorect description but it defines risk metaphorically — perhaps the loss of money or position — rather than literally — loss of life or limb.

    …Romney claims that the only people who would benefit from wealth redistribution is the government. Wealth redistribution already exists, as part of the rigged game in which the CEO of “Dangerous Construction Company Unlimited” makes millions while the people actually doing the work barely get by.

    Romney rightly would fear government regulation because the average person has a direct stake in government. They can vote and steer policy so that the good of everyone is considered as opposed to the good of a few.

    Why would the American aristocracy support that? Romney’s policies, especially regarding the estate tax, would ensure that the current entitlement culture continues — the one in which his children and grandchildren, who have a blind trust valued between $70 to $100 million, could choose to never work a day in their lives… “regardless of their education, effort, and willingness to take risk.”

    More here:

    http://open.salon.com/blog/ser1897/2011/12/28/how_mitt_romney_defines_risk_and_entitlement

    ———————–

    It seems Australia becomes more American by the day…an America that has been screwed over by a corporate aristocracy enjoying tax cuts for the rich without any sacrifice during an expensive war on terror…

    a bunch of robber barons who rely on a Republican party and its allied media, including Murdoch’s Fox News and mega-wealthy shock jock Rush Limbaugh to convince the grumpy voter to vote against their own interests…

    where the safety net is referred to as “entitlements”…and is full of holes…

    where money to support struggling families…support to provide educational and health and eating and basic shelter opportunities is referred negatively to as “entitlements”…as though helping your fellow man and woman was tantamount to offering them the bubonic plague…

    Yet propping up a destructive oil industry…and providing substantial tax cuts for the corporate aristocracy is considered “motivating the wealth creators”…

    those who have no trouble in justifying cutting essential jobs, important manufacturing jobs…and shipping them offshore to Asia…

    and then turning around and saying: “We must learn, adapt,  to compete with Asia”.

    As multinational corporate aristocrats use the world as their oyster…

    It seems only they and their families are “entitled” to opportunities.

    And many of them feel in a Social Darwinistic wet dream that they are “entitled” to use any means possible, including by way of government-led “austerity measures”, to retain…even increase…their privileges…whilst screwing over THE MANY.

    NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT

    N’

  26. Finance minister Penny Wong had this to say in reply to Hockey’s declaration of war on the poor.

    But Finance Minister Penny Wong says the Coalition’s opposition to the Government’s decision to means-test the private health rebate shows he is more interested in helping the wealthy.

    “Joe Hockey is saying in that speech… we should cut into pensions but shouldn’t cut into things like the private health insurance rebate,” she said.

    “Some of the things we’ve done, like in relation to the $150,000 means-test on Family Tax Benefit, Joe Hockey’s criticised – now he’s out there saying we should have gone further.

    “But you have to make decisions which are fair. It isn’t fair for Joe Hockey to say school teachers should be subsidising the private health insurance rebates of millionaires but we should be going harder on things like pensions.’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-19/government-attacks-hockey-welfare-comments/3960284

  27. Nas’, a very accurate description.

    Yet propping up a destructive oil industry…and providing substantial tax cuts for the corporate aristocracy is considered “motivating the wealth creators”…

    those who have no trouble in justifying cutting essential jobs, important manufacturing jobs…and shipping them offshore to Asia…

    and then turning around and saying: “We must learn, adapt, to compete with Asia”.

    As multinational corporate aristocrats use the world as their oyster…

    It seems only they and their families are “entitled” to opportunities.

  28. TJ
    By the end of the Howard government, more than 42 per cent of Australian governments were receiving more in government handouts then they were paying in income tax.

    So they were net beneficiaries of the government, 42 per cent. Is that what you mean when you talk about the politics of outbidding your opponent?

    TONY JONES: Well let me just go back because Treasury studied this and found that in the four years up to 2008, an extra 276,000 families moved from being net income taxpayers to net beneficiaries of the Federal government. Is that the kind of phenomenon you think needs to be reined in?

    JOE HOCKEY: Well I haven’t seen that report, but it’s something that needs to be considered

    TONY JONES: Here’s another piece of advice you offered up to these policy makers. “All government-funded pensions and other such payments must be means tested so that people who do not need them do not get them.” So, can I ask you why you didn’t apply that principle recently to the means testing of the Private Health Insurance Rebate?

    JOE HOCKEY: Well it’s not a pension.

    TONY JONES: No, I’m talking about the principle of means testing, which you obviously agree in this situation works.

    JOE HOCKEY: Well, hang on, hang on, hang on. Hang on, hang on

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3480665.htm

  29. PM. There are people saying we couldn’t. Now they are saying we shouldn’t. I say we will.

  30. John Howard went too far with welfare payments, admits Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey

    http://www.news.com.au/national/john-howard-went-to-far-with-welfare-payments-admits-shadow-treasurer-joe-hockey/story-e6frfkvr-1226333000084

    Cut welfare to families, says Joe Hockey
    Admits Howard went to far in handing out cash
    Coalition in race to the bottom, says Government

    OPPOSITION frontbencher Joe Hockey has held a secret meeting with conservative backer Clive Palmer, fuelling fresh Labor attacks on the Coalition for “kneeling at the feet of billionaires”.
    Mr Hockey yesterday admitted holding one-on-one talks with the mining magnate over the Easter long weekend while visiting Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for work and a family holiday.

    But the shadow treasurer refused to reveal the content of the discussions or whether it was held, as sources claim, at Mr Palmer’s luxury Coolum Resort and Spa.

    Mr Hockey attended the meeting despite the Opposition recently trying to distance itself again from their major donor when he claimed the Greens were being bankrolled by the CIA to destroy the Australian mining industry.

  31. The PM has a very tough audience in Perth today, and it will be interesting to see the reception from the Perh papers.

  32. Gillard to unveil aged care blueprint
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/breaking-news/gillard-to-unveil-aged-care-blueprint/story-e6frea73-1226333333758

    PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says the aged-care system is stressed and strained and overdue for reform.
    Ms Gillard tomorrow will launch the Government’s aged-care strategy, which follows a report by the Productivity Commission in August 2011.

    Labor flagged during the 2010 election campaign that it would reform aged care in this term of government.

    and

    The Government is expected to reject the Productivity Commission’s five-year timetable for the reforms to be rolled out, in favour of a slightly longer period to allow the different parts of the sector to adjust.

    The cost of aged care is forecast to rise from about $13 billion to $50 billion a year by 2050.

  33. Cu @2.16pm and My message to her, was I am not telling you what to believe. I am asking you question everything you read in the media. I said the question she always needs to ask, is it true.

    And that is precisely it.

    A difficulty is that there is a complete imbalance in the media. We have perhaps a media who is 80% against Gillard and 80% apologists for Tony Abbott.

    We in the alternative media therefore have a task in scrutinising the constant anti-Gillard themes. Are we apologists? I believe not so, it’s all about trying to plough one’s way through the mire which is today’s media, in an often somewhat vain attempt to find factual information coupled with logical conclusions. These are sparse.

    We then also have Tony Abbott saying what-ever with almost zero scrutiny.

  34. We then also have Tony Abbott saying what-ever with almost zero scrutiny.

    The almost total absence of hockeys brain fart amongst the ltdnews brands is telling today.

    Interestingly though, the oo is running it. I don’t know what slant they put on it, I felt dirty enough looking through the window, without sneaking through the google door to see.

  35. Tom, I was feeling brave so thought to have a look for you.

    The headline is a bit like a wrap over the knuckles with a fluffy slipper…

    Labor says Joe Hockey’s push to means test all pension and welfare payments is ‘disturbing’

    Oh gosh, oh golly..it’s “disturbing”.

    Let’s see if there is anything of a little more substance…

    Then there are a number of paragraphs of the he said/she sort of thing..but the concluding statement is of interest:

    “The blank stares from Liberal members today are simply because they don’t want Australians to understand the full force of Mr Hockey’s words and the full degree of cutbacks that are clearly being planned by Mr Abbott and his team.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/labor-says-joe-hockeys-push-to-means-test-all-pension-and-welfare-payments-is-disturbing/story-fn59niix-1226333013675

    However, no comment as yet – any opinion fellas?? Waiting..waiting…

  36. Channel 10 The Project

    http://theprojecttv.com.au/crackdown-smackdown.htm

    comments

    Have you ever wondered that when a Politician speaks of reforming the welfare system, they never include the Parliamentary Super Scheme?

    This is the only pension scheme in Australia that is indexed for life and you can still hold a job whilst receiving entitlements, it is the only pension scheme in Australia that employers, the taxpayer, pays employees Politicians more than the legislated 9% super, it is the only scheme in Australia that gives free flights, domestic and international, gives an office staff and commonwealth car transport to former CEO’s “Prime Ministers”.

    Now if they cut their welfare payments before the attempt to cut those of people who really need them, then it might not sound so hypocritical.

    Reply | Report Abuse
    Aussie_Lurker

    19 Apr 2012 3:54 PM Also note that they’ll almost.certainly.not.lay.a.finger on their pet forms of welfare, like.the FTB-B, child care.rebate or PHI rebate. Nor all the welfare enjoyed by.the.mining industry!

    Reply | Report Abuse
    JeruFC

    19 Apr 2012 3:56 PM Corporate welfare seems safe, all those billions going to companies.

  37. Pip, interesting about the age care reforms. Hockey states that he wants to go back to the good old days when everyone in families looked after each other. Excellent in theory..pity about the oldies left to rot in 5th class aged care facilities and babies being exposed on the hillsides.

  38. Min, it’s a striking difference when comparing what the Prime Minister has already achieved with the reforms and improvements for the benefit of all Australians, and what Abbott, armed with his corporate backers and the corporate backed “think tanks” whose members have carpeted the media to tell us about the benefits of a free market!

    Hockey’s on the money – Abbott
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockeys-on-the-money–abbott-20120419-1×904.html

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has defended comments made by his Treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, that the “age of entitlement” in Western countries was over.

    “Joe was making the very good point that governments need to live within their means,” Mr Abbott said.

    and

    Senator Wong appeared to confirm social security payments were safe from budget cuts.

    “Things like Medicare and the age pension are a very important part of who we are,” she said.

    Australian Greens leader Christine Milne hit out at Mr Hockey for a “Thatcherite” vision for Australia.

    “The logical conclusion of what Mr Hockey is saying is no universal health care, no universal access to public education,” she said in a statement.

    “It’s a Thatcherite, ‘every man, woman and child for themselves’ world, where people who are struggling are told its their fault for not working had enough.”

  39. Tony Abbott spotted dining with OO foreign affairs “specialist’ journalist, Greg Sheridan and Joe Hockey dines with tinfoil hatted Clive Palmer…

    Opposition frontbencher Joe Hockey and billionaire businessman Clive Palmer in secret meeting
    Patrick Lion From: The Courier-Mail April 12, 2012

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/hockey-palmer-in-secret-meeting/comments-e6freoof-1226324387428

    OPPOSITION frontbencher Joe Hockey has held a secret meeting with conservative backer Clive Palmer, fuelling fresh Labor attacks on the Coalition for “kneeling at the feet of billionaires”.

    Mr Hockey yesterday admitted holding one-on-one talks with the mining magnate over the Easter long weekend while visiting Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for work and a family holiday.

    But the shadow treasurer refused to reveal the content of the discussions or whether it was held, as sources claim, at Mr Palmer’s luxury Coolum Resort and Spa.

    Mr Hockey attended the meeting despite the Opposition recently trying to distance itself again from their major donor when he claimed the Greens were being bankrolled by the CIA to destroy the Australian mining industry.

    Palmer company hasn’t paid tax for three years – report

    http://www.news.com.au/business/palmer-company-hasnt-paid-tax-for-3-years-report/story-e6frfm1i-1226324465369

  40. Pip and the “age of entitlement”.

    For some reason, that one sends shivvers. Hockey says that the age of entitlement is over, but what are the implications.

  41. Tom R @1.01pm. roflmao!

    Bob @1.18pm, Minister for Envy and a Gigantic Sense of Entitlement would be closer to the truth.

    Antony G @1.22pm, Howard’s contention was always that having a high salary meant you worked harder than some poor sod cleaning toilet blocks and I’ve noticed that enormous sense of entitlement in some of the comments you get on Ltd News pieces.

    It’s no longer “I’ve made it! No welfare for me. Hooray!” rather it’s “Poor me. I work so hard and only take home a paltry $2900/week! The government should pay for my holiday in the Maldives!”

    patricia @1.35pm, Hockey couldn’t give a continental about the poor and oppressed. He and most of the Liars Party have had pretty cushy lives.

    It would be a salutory lesson if they had a taste of the lives of the poor in Asia-perhaps getting off their fat @rses and try making thier daily crust picking over the mounds of rubbish like those unfortunate chldren in Manilla. No goodies, no tucker.

    And all the bullshit about Asian families looking after their aged parents etc; it’s a matter of neccessity otherwise they’d have to abandon their parents. And he’s carefully avoided the fact that many families have to sell their daughters into prostitution to keep body and soul together.

    Life is improving for folk in Asia, but there are countless millions living in abject poverty. Why does Sloppy reckon that’s just fine for the poor here?

    Good idea contracting out the grandies. Get the business established now. If the Liars Party gets in it may be a neccessity! ;(

    Pip @1.42pm, it would be nice if Liealot admitted that he is an abject failure at anything but lies, more lies and damned lies.

    CU @1.56pm. HEAR! HEAR! Your comment should be broadcast far and wide! You’re right. Perhaps Mr Hockey should start his economy drive closer to home.

    Min @2.01pm, it’s all about the poor and disadvantaged “taking responsibility” but God forbid the wealthy should do the same!

    It’s not a personal criticism; it’s a fact of biology. Where, for example, are the great female explorers, mountaineers, warriors, inventors, chefs?

    “Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because Nature equipped them with something called testosterone.

    “That was part of Nature’s grand design to enable men to be stronger, more fearless and more determined than their sisters.

    Where are the f*cken mountaineers, warriors inventors and chefs, Mr F*cken Tomlinson?????

    I’ll tell you where they are!!!! Cleaning up after you useless BASTARDS, that’s where!!

    “Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because Nature equipped them with something called testosterone?????????

    Blokes f*cking well dominate most areas of human endeavour because there’s a female doing all the shit that you and your f*cken testosterone are
    TOO USELESS to do!!!!!!

    When did you ever get off your LAZYFAT ARSE and cook all the meals, do all the domestic chores, attend to all the kids needs, take time off work when they’re sick, work full time and go mountaineering, you ignorant git???

    I’ll tell you when. NEVER!! Because you couldn’t walk down the street and scratch yourself at the same time. and I’ll bet you’ve never been bloody mountaineering OR had a partner who’d give you the time of day.

    Nas’ @2.54pm, right on.

    CU @3.20pm, Sloppy didn’t just bring a shovel to that interview, he brought a D9. The government has to keep that playing for all the pensioners.

    CU & Tom R, Go Julia!!!

    Min @3.50pm, exactly so, but I’m sensing from some of the links I’m reading that the government is starting to throw caution to the winds and take the Liars on.

  42. Min, as per the comment on The Project [my post @ 4.13pm],

    Have you ever wondered that when a Politician speaks of reforming the welfare system, they never include the Parliamentary Super Scheme?

    This is the only pension scheme in Australia that is indexed for life and you can still hold a job whilst receiving entitlements, it is the only pension scheme in Australia that employers, the taxpayer, pays employees Politicians more than the legislated 9% super, it is the only scheme in Australia that gives free flights, domestic and international, gives an office staff and commonwealth car transport to former CEO’s “Prime Ministers”.

    That leaves all the other pensions and tax benefits from which the Coalition can make their “savings”, which reminds me of this article from the Australian Conservation Foundation.

    Mining your pocket for profit
    https://www.acfonline.org.au/get-involved/take-action/stop-mining-fuel-handouts

    The Minerals Council of Australia have too much influence in Canberra. They don’t want to reduce their carbon pollution, they want you to pay for their fuel.

    The Minerals Council are used to having their cake and eating it too. They’ve spent a fortune relentlessly lobbying the federal government to dilute the proposed mineral tax and corrode the carbon price.

    This week they splattered the Australian media with dramatic advertisements, spooked by the momentum behind the idea of rolling back the fuel tax credit — a handout that encourages them to use fossil fuels.

    At $174 per taxpayer, the Fuel Tax Credits scheme costs households a lot more than a price on pollution will.

  43. https://www.acfonline.org.au/get-involved/take-action/stop-mining-fuel-handouts

    Next week treasurer Wayne Swan will decide whether or not to scrap this handout when the federal budget is finalised.

    With your support we now have a real price on pollution. We suspect Australians think there are better ways to spend our taxes than handouts to the country’s biggest polluters.

    We can influence treasurer Swan’s decision. If we raise $2000 by 4pm Friday we’ll tell the government and the media what Australians think in a language it understands — an independent poll with the opinions of everyday Australians.

    If 19 people match ACF President Ian Lowe’s donation of $100 we can make this happen.

    MCA claim Australian mining is not a bottomless pit, but they seem to have a bottomless pit of money for advertising. We don’t.

    Let’s find out what Australians really think about fossil fuel subsidies for big miners. Donate before 4pm this Friday and become one of the people who give $2 billion back to Australians.
    .

  44. Jane, I can see the good old divide an conquer thing happening. This worked a treat during the greed-is-good Howard years where you weren’t successful unless you had at least 2 investment properties and a cupboard full of Gucchi and Prada. And f*ck off the rest of you nobodies.

  45. Pip, if you can judge a man by the company he keeps then Joe’s acquaintance with Clive tells us a lot. In one way they are mirror images; two big fat men who want to push their weight around in the world of money and politics. Joe as would-be Treasurer, even Prime Minister, of this country, and Clive as the real power who controls the government, much as he already controls Queensland state government through his subsidising of the LNP. One shudders at the thought of what the two working together might achieve.

    Nasking, you mentioned elsewhere that Hockey was echoing Mitt Romney’s ‘entitlement’ theme. Clive Palmer is one of our Mitt Romneys, but he won’t run for public office though. He’ll buy his influence through the Liberals. It was interesting that Hockey didn’t go to the States for his model on Lateline last night, but instead made the appalling mistake of suggesting tthat we look to Asia for how to do it! That’s so close to home, and many Aussies have travelled there and have seen the realities of life for our region’s teeming millions. What chance do most of them have to take ‘risks’ and as you point out it’s easy to take risks if you’re born with a billion dollar trust fund behind you.

    PS N’ your comment is appreciated and saved so that Daniel can enjoy it.

  46. Jane I always take great pleasure in reading your editorials 😀

    Min, speaking of Howard, this from Twitter

    Steve
    ‏ @Taxicoast

    “@z3n_digital: The Howard government built 3,000 flagpoles – we’ve built 3000 libraries http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3957996.html #auspol” http://pic.twitter.com/gEPZVlVW

  47. These are the things which I find unpalatable,

    Time and time again, Romney has been called a liar during this campaign.

    Yet the ability to lie without flinching is seen as a virtue.

    Me, I would have confessed and begged for forgiveness. Not Romney, though — and herein is the reason he will be such a formidable general-election candidate.

    And we are seeing this mirrored in Australian politics, in a strange bizarro way. We have Gillard who is JuLIAR over a non-lie, yet the conservatives can lie without compunction as it is interpreted as a virtue.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mitt-romneys-enviable-ability-to-ignore-the-truth/2012/04/16/gIQACwTUMT_story.html

  48. Taking the red pen to education reform lies
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3957996.html

    Graham Perrett
    Graham Perrett is the Federal Member for Moreton.

    Liberal MP Alan Tudge’s extraordinary article on school education, published on The Drum last week, is riddled with inaccuracies and outright untruths. I had my red pen out after the first sentence.

    Straight away he gets it wrong with his claim that the Gillard Government has “shelved” the Gonski review, a claim so far from the facts as to be laughable.

    and

    When Labor came to power in 2007 we had a clear and decisive agenda to lift the standard of education in all our schools so that every Australian child had the opportunity to receive a great education and lead a fulfilling life.

    We took over from a Coalition government that had chronically under-invested in schools. On their watch, our performance in international tests declined alarmingly and the gap between disadvantaged kids and those from wealthier families was ever increasing.

    No responsible Commonwealth Government could let this continue, so we acted. Most people know about some of our flagship education policies – our delivery of more than 900,000 computers into high schools across Australia, for example, bringing the benefits of digital technology to every senior high school student.

    There’s also the Building the Education Revolution scheme, which provided new or upgraded facilities for all 9,800 schools in the country – facilities that have been genuinely welcomed by teachers, parents and students.

    The Howard government built 3,000 flagpoles – we’ve built 3000 libraries including those at Warrigal Road State School, Macgregor State School, Graceville State School, Sunnybank Hills State School and Yeronga State High School to name a few.

  49. We had Abbott starting off the week with slogans about waste and I believe he implies leads to borrowing and the pushing up of interest rates.

    All Mr Hockey did in London, was to identify that waste.

    We now know who is NOT entitled to assistance.

    We also hear them say, including Senator Sinodinos that intend to keep benefits for higher income earners. I assume they believe these people are worthy of help.

    The Senator by the way gave a weak performance during his interview.

    We have the PM saying that she believes they are setting the environment that will lead to a interest rate fall. The PM at the same time is very clear about the independence of Reserve Bank.

    I hope the PM knows what she is doing with the cuts that are being made. Maybe the PM is being politically clever in using the opportunity, to clear the system of handouts to the wealthy. The are unnecessary and do not add to the welfare of the community. At least that is what I am hoping.

    The PM does not balk at dealing with unpopular or risky causes. Causes such as disability support and now aged care.

    The PM does not react as Mr. Reith did when asked about the second airport for Sydney. He was asked if it was needed.

    He replied that they did not needed. When asked what he meant, it seems Sydney needed it but not the Howard government. The same attitude that Mr. O’Farrell has today.

  50. Apologies for the lengthy copy and paste..but I like it..

    Every now and again, Joe Hockey stands up and says something so completely correct that his colleagues automatically want to track him down and thump him.

    Like in February last year, when – amid an ugly controversy over whether taxpayers should pay for asylum seekers to bury their dead from the Christmas Island tragedy – Mr Hockey shamed his colleagues with a dignified handful of words: “I would never seek to deny a parent or child from saying goodbye to their relative.”

    Or when he shut down, later last year, Coalition enthusiasm for forcing Craig Thomson to remain in Parliament when his wife was due: “We’re not going to deny the right of a person to be at the birth of their child.”

    This time, though, Joe’s really done it. And he knows he’s really done it, because he went to London to say it.

    What he went to London to say was that our democracy has become addicted to entitlement, and that this state of affairs is no longer sustainable.

    The entitlements bestowed on tens of millions of people by successive governments, fuelled by short-term electoral cycles and the politics of outbidding your opponents is, in essence, undermining our ability to ensure democracy, fair representation and economic sustainability for future generations.

    Absorbing Mr Hockey’s speech, which you can read here, the fair-minded listener has two options.

    The first is to burst into hysterical laughter, or begin thumping one’s head rhythmically against the nearest vertical flat surface, seeing as Mr Hockey’s side of politics not only has done much to establish the very sense of entitlement of which he complains, but has moreover appealed to it remorselessly in opposing various measures introduced by the Government in recent years.

    Politics does contain some eye-popping moments of shameless reinvention, but a senior Opposition figure lamenting the entitlement culture having … oooh, let’s pick one instance at random … described as “class war”, last year, a modest Government decision to shave the number of families on $150,000 collecting family tax benefit?

    It does make the eyes water, somewhat.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-19/crabb-eye-popping-politics/3960830

  51. Min, from your link above…. gold 😆

    Absorbing Mr Hockey’s speech, which you can read here, the fair-minded listener has two options.

    The first is to burst into hysterical laughter, or begin thumping one’s head rhythmically against the nearest vertical flat surface, seeing as Mr Hockey’s side of politics not only has done much to establish the very sense of entitlement of which he complains, but has moreover appealed to it remorselessly in opposing various measures introduced by the Government in recent years.

  52. Patricia wrote: It was interesting that Hockey didn’t go to the States for his model on Lateline last night, but instead made the appalling mistake of suggesting tthat we look to Asia for how to do it! That’s so close to home, and many Aussies have travelled there and have seen the realities of life for our region’s teeming millions. What chance do most of them have to take ‘risks’ and as you point out it’s easy to take risks if you’re born with a billion dollar trust fund behind you.

    Indeed Patricia,
    It was a cockup by Hockey…but in reality we know that the Australian Liberal party have so much of the American Republican party in them…they salivate over its excesses…its corporate aristocracy that control enuff of government to get bailouts during hard times…and profit handsomely from war…by way of tax cuts for the rich and corporations.

    Plenty of Asia has been influenced by American capitalism at its worse. And by the likes of Murdoch…and other greedsters in the American media. Rampant consumerism over safety net and affordable services has sometimes taken hold of developing Asia..we see gun gang culture, Las Vegas style gambling, apartment block-ridden megalopolises, petrol/gas guzzling automobiles, ad-blitzed TV, corporate ad addicted sports…unhealthy fast and convenient food and drink…and “win at all costs” mentality absorbing, damaging the uniqueness, land, property and health of many Asian countries.

    As I wrote at The Political Sword:

    The ever smug Josh Frydenberg on Capital Hill when discussing Hockey’s “entitlements” speech stated that …

    “we have to spend money on initiatives that are linked to productivity…”

    As in nannies for mom’s addicted to shopping, cosmetic surgery and days of beauty.

    Productive shopaholics.

    Productive spoilt bored housewives.

    Entitlements American style.

    You know America…the one trying to drag itself out of a corporate aristocratic dug hole.

    Where THE FEW got bailed out at the expense of THE MANY.

    And healthcare and higher education for yer kids can bankrupt YOU…see YOU lose yer HOME.

    ——–

    Patricia,
    Glad Daniel will have an opportunity to read the comments. The young need useful motivators…be given credit where credit is due. A top job on his part…working ss part of a team/duo.

    N’

  53. Pip and Min

    what about this line

    “The second option is to evaluate what Mr Hockey has said, and to give credit for his candour in this instance. And to wish him well in whatever witness protection scheme he now presumably resides, having supplied the Prime Minister with about a year’s worth of material for use against Tony Abbott”

  54. Some reality. Sorry for the length of cut and paste.

    It’s important to understand exactly what we buy with that 16% of GDP. When a politician talks vaguely about “middle class welfare” and a culture of entitlement, a lot of voters probably nod sagely and think of their least favourite porky perk for other people, like the baby bonus. The problem is that that isn’t where most of the money goes. Most of our social spending, nearly two thirds of it in fact, goes to health and old age assistance (which consists mainly of the aged pension).

    Here’s where our public social spending goes:

    Public social spending as a proportion of GDP in Australia


    Source: OECD Social Expenditure Database

    Hockey could eliminate all social spending other than health and old age assistance and we’d still be at 10.1% of GDP, well above Korea, a country he mentions as a benchmark. In other words, even if we scrapped all help for people with disabilities (the support pension as well as in-kind help), got rid of Newstart, stopped spending anything on helping people find work, and eliminated all housing assistance, we’d still be devoting more than our Asian neighbours to social spending. That leaves health care and old age pensions as the only place left to cut to get down to the sort of levels that Hockey identified. The safety net as we know it would be a thing of the past after cuts of that size.

    The next question that arises from Hockey’s speech is whether Korea and Hong Kong are really the right countries with whom we should compare ourselves. If we compare Australia to the other OECD advanced economies, it’s clear that our social spending is quite low, lower even than the United States (as a proportion of GDP).

    Public social spending as a proportion of GDP in the OECD countries

    Source: OECD Social Expenditure Database

    A lot of people might be surprised by the fact that Australian public social spending is lower than America’s and lower than most advanced economies. Compared to America, we spend less on health (although we have longer life expectancy), and less on aged pensions (because ours is more tightly means tested).

    The composition of social spending in Australia and the US

    Source: OECD Social Expenditure Database

    Means testing is a big part of the reason that our social spending is so low relative to most advanced economies. We means test our payments more than any other OECD country, which means we achieve more poverty alleviation and inequality reduction per dollar spent than anywhere else. As Professor Peter Whiteford has repeatedly pointed out, “Australia actually has the lowest middle or upper class welfare in the OECD”. Professor Whiteford was good enough to send me the chart below, which shows the share of transfer payments received by the richest 50% of the working-age population, ie. middle-to-upper class welfare. The English-speaking OECD countries are in red, with Australia right at the bottom (click the chart if you want to make it bigger).


    http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/has-joe-hockey-promised-the-end-of-the-australian-safety-net/

  55. The ever smug Josh Frydenberg on Capital Hill when discussing Hockey’s “entitlements” speech stated that …

    “we have to spend money on initiatives that are linked to productivity…”

    So true.

    For the economy to grow and be highly productive, we need a healthy and highly educated workforce.

    Government intervention is the quickest, most efficient and productive way of getting that workforce.

    Government support is a way of also producing the next generation of workers.

    Yes, our so called welfare system is necessary for out economy to grow and be productive.

    The grandparents in this country are not available to care for the children, or their own parents. They are too busy, being involved in the workforce.

    I am sure the same will occur in Asia, as their standard of living rises.

    Mr. Hockey needs to compare like with like. That is what he is not doing.

  56. It is laughable to hear Mr. Abbott say one must love within their means.

    Was he not the MP that reacted by his cut in income when they party went into Opposition by remortgaging his home for nearly a million dollars so he could maintain the standard of living, he has become accustomed to.

  57. Cu, that must be the best comment so far today 😆

    Catching up

    It is laughable to hear Mr. Abbott say one must live within their means.

    Was he not the MP that reacted by his cut in income when the party went into Opposition by remortgaging his home for nearly a million dollars so he could maintain the standard of living, he has become accustomed to.

    “we” must live within our means, but that does not apply to Tony Abbott !

  58. He probably still thinks Xmas puddings are packed with coins. Oh how he must selfishly savage the old pud, beating off the kids, looking for a penny.

  59. Yes Min. we are living longer.

    What is also true, that during that time we are mainly active, healthy and independent.

    The length of time that one needs care is NOT increasing.

  60. Cu, I think it is an indictment on Abbott and anyone else who refers to aged human beings as a “burden”.

  61. Hockeynomics Eats Our Safety Net
    By Ben Eltham

    http://newmatilda.com/2012/04/19/hockeynomics-eats-our-safety-net

    Farewell Welfare! Joe Hockey wants to lower the standard of living so we don’t break the bank. It’s bunk – our welfare system is lean and important for productivity, writes Ben Eltham

    Good old Joe Hockey. Tony Abbott might be ruthless and disciplined on the campaign trail, but his Shadow Treasurer seems incapable of such finesse.

  62. Coalition tries to hose down talk of welfare cuts
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-19/opposition-in-damage-control-over-hockey-welfare-comments/3961064

    The Federal Opposition is hosing down suggestions it is planning to make sweeping cuts to welfare payments, after shadow treasurer Joe Hockey declared the “age of entitlement” was coming to an end.

    A senior Coalition source has told PM the opposition is not planning to cut welfare payments and that Mr Hockey was speaking broadly.

    Too late, Labor will remind the public of this piece of Hockeynomics right up to the next election.

  63. Undisputable fact. Taxes were higher under Mr. Howard.

    That’s the general perception, and there was indeed a spending stimulus — who can forget the school building program for example? In 2007-08, just before the GFC hit, under the last Howard budget Commonwealth spending was 23.1 per cent of GDP. In the following year, as the newly elected Rudd Government responded, spending rose to 25.2 per cent of GDP, before falling back 24.7 percent of GDP in 2010-11.

    Most of the fiscal stimulus, however, came not from spending, but from a sharp fall in taxation revenue, details of which were revealed yesterday when the Bureau of Statistics released its data on taxation revenue for 2010-11.

    and

    Between 2007-08 and 2010-11 Commonwealth taxation revenue fell massively, from 24.3 per cent of GDP to 20.6 per cent of GDP. In other words the stimulus, and the associated increase in Commonwealth debt, came from a combination of a growth in expenditure of 1.6 per cent of GDP and a fall in revenue of 3.7 per cent of GDP.

    We shouldn’t expect a great deal of press publicity to these figures. One can hardly imagine a headline in the Telegraph reading “Taxes fall under Labor”. That doesn’t align with the impression we’re supposed to have of this government, but the reality is that the average level of Commonwealth taxation was much higher under the Howard-Costello Government than it has been under the

    http://newmatilda.com/2012/04/18/tax-was-higher-under-howard

  64. We’re ‘entitled’ to be outraged, Mr Hockey
    http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/were-entitled-to-be-outraged-mr-hockey/

    Last night Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey came out swinging on ABC1′s Lateline program. His topic of choice? Australia’s alleged culture of ‘universal entitlement’, and how we had to stop expecting the government to pay for everything.

    Of course, by ‘entitlement’, he was referring to Australia’s welfare and benefits systems, often referred to as Social Security.

  65. Mark Kenny – why the Coalition’s talk doesn’t add up
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/coalitions-talk-doesnt-add-up/story-e6frea6u-1226333698602

    WHEN Tony Abbott went to London last year, he talked up the Australian economy against that of Britain, other European economies, and the US.
    The Opposition Leader noted our low level of public debt as a proportion of GDP.

    “On the face of this comparative performance, Australia has serious bragging rights,” he said in a major speech.

    “Compared with most developed countries, our economic circumstances are enviable.”

    It was a surprising departure from an Opposition that had taken to constantly ringing the alarm bells about unsustainable borrowings to fund government profligacy.

    An amazing turnaround at ltd news who have been reporting every “alarm bell”.

  66. Pingback: Club Troppo

  67. CU @814pm 19/4, That only applies to those dole bludging caviar eaters sucking the private health rebate from the deserving rich.

    Pip, thanks for the link from the conscience vote. One of the commenters said that the Greens Rachel Siewart is living on the dole to add weight to the Greens push for a $50 rise in unemployment benefits. I wish her every success in that endeavour.

    It’s a pity a few more pollies don’t have her courage and determination to do the right thing by arguably one of the most disadvantaged groups in the country.

    A dose of living on the dole AND having a crack at copping the lot of Aboriginal people wouldn’t go astray for all politicians. Might wean the Liars off feeding public money to the wealthy.

    Geez, it must be bad. Even Mark Kenny is alarmed at Sloppy’s “bash the poor, disadvantaged and disabled” push.

    I sincerely hope this lingers, although I’m not holding my breath. Even so, it’s a very handy stick with which to beat the Liars Party and their fellow travellers. I’ll be interested to see what positive spin the shock jocks and the likes of Dolt put on this little lot.

    I trust this has cost them votes.

  68. Almost 1.5 million families at risk from Joe Hockey’s cuts to ‘entitlements’
    Jenny Macklin posted Thursday, 19 April 2012

    http://www.alp.org.au/blogs/alp-blog/april-2012/almost-1-5-million-families-at-risk-from-joe-hocke/

    At risk under Mr Hockey’s plan are some of the:

    • 782,000 families who receive the Child Care Rebate.
    • 521,000 carers who receive Carer Allowance plus the annual supplement of $600 for each person they care for.
    • 141,500 carers of severely disabled children who receive the $1,000 annual Child Disability Assistance Payment.

    This Labor Government has already made the economically responsible decisions to introduce means-testing for payments where appropriate.

    But we know how important it is that families, pensioners and carers are supported.

    Meanwhile Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey want working families and carers to have less, and billionaires to have more.

    and

    Tony Abbott wants to introduce a $4.5 billion Paid Parental Leave scheme, without a means test, to give millionaire mums up to $75,000 to have a baby.

    And the Liberals have already made it clear they will claw back the Gillard Government’s pension increases and our increases to family payments, leaving all pensioners worse off under a Liberal Government.

  69. Min, love that cartoon 🙂

    Jane, true, Mark Kenny does occasionally break ranks but Chris Kenny on the other hand is a deadset parrot for Howard “virtues’.

    Shock jocks will shout loudly but when their audience see the bank balance things might change…or not… they don’t appear to be over burdened with brains.

  70. It must fight back time at the Labor camp.

    Coalition hypocrisy exposed on BER
    Matt Thistlethwaite posted Tuesday, 10 April 2012

    http://www.alp.org.au/blogs/alp-blog/april-2012/coalition-hypocrisy-exposed-on-ber/

    Over the last nine months, I have visited almost fifty schools across New South Wales, opening trade training centres, new multi-purpose halls, classrooms and libraries.

    Rest assured the feedback from school communities is overwhelmingly positive.

    Take it from Peter, Principal at Dunedoo Central School, where I opened a Trade Training Centre and BER Facilities: “We’re very proud of these facilities… It’s just brought us up to the 21st Century.”

    Or from Leo, Principal of Willawarrin Public School who said: “The building has you-beaut technology in it and it’s really well designed. We had a video conference with the staff of Sydney Opera House. The students had a virtual tour and got to ask questions of the staff.”

    Or from David, the P&C representative, who said that it had been 50 years since Vacy Public School had a new building.

  71. Patricia, nice to know that someone is reading the blogs. From Michael Pascoe..

    Increasingly the shadow treasurer is challenging his leader’s vibe as much as Wayne Swan’s. Somewhere along the line, there’s a choice for the Liberal Party about what sort of government it wants to form – something with the chance of economic credibility, or the Magic Pudding thus far proposed.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/run-joe-run-20120420-1xau4.html#ixzz1sYCTvX9Q

  72. This is a top thread.

    Catching up,
    gracias for the charts on:
    Public social spending as a proportion of GDP in Australia etc.

    Seems to me that the “lucky country” has not gone overboard with “social spending” as some would have us believe.

    If yer a current affairs reporter looking for a story to hook-in the grumpy voter you can always find a “dole bludger”…even if you have to exaggerate the details…not hard I imagine to track down some mentally unstable, perhaps drug/alcohol addicted character…and paint them as someone who thinks they are “entitled” to government money…YOU THE TAXPAYER ARE PAYING FOR THIS LAYABOUT.

    The reporter can get disgruntled neighbours to dob (not unlike those in Iraq & Afghanistan…helping the “roundup” of individuals to fill the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld-led military quotas…neighbourhood disputes could see someone end up in Abu Graib and the like).

    There is a certain mean-spiritedness and cynicism that has entered our news culture the past few decades, culminating in American style clones who dominate the current affairs and talkback radio sectors.

    It reminds me of the bitter gossip who didn’t get the life they wanted…left school early…children seen as a bit of a burden…lack of career…often feeling insecure around more educated people…consequently, demeaning their efforts, having a go at their intelligence levels…willing to accept them as “elitists” as defined by the likes of the Murdoch empire…often accusing others of being “know-it-alls” blissfully unaware the dogmatically opine on anything and everything…constantly declaring they never needed government handouts…yet convenientl ignoring the circumstances of their own families sometimes…particularly if that family member is of late in “the good books” (“Might as well use the system, we’ve earned it…every other bugger does”)…

    Reminds me of the CEOs and shareholders who support the right-wing attacks on “entitlements” and taxes. Until the GFC mach whatever comes along…then its “we’ve been robbed…we deserve compensation immediately”. So much for taking risks eh?

    Still, some shareholders are duped…conned…ripped off…deserve compensation…at the least an appropriate investigation into their circumstances.

    It’s so easy to be reductionist…fall into the habit of fingerpointing…”us and them”…

    our media have set some dreadful precedents…addictive…

    Journos learning on the job from a young age…imagine the culture they’re exposed to…the intensity of the workplace…told to “get the story…whatever it takes”…little time for thoughts related to codes of conduct…keeping the job and the pay during these hard times in the industry…keeping in with the gatekeepers/editors…the sense of the mogul acting like Big Brother…

    “Find a neighbour…old teachers…check their mobile phone messages, I’ve got a private eye you can use…just get me the story…we’ve got bills to pay…advertisers to suck in…compensation to pay…shareholders to please”

    Expendable journos…scapegoats for a mogul…stories as useful as fairy floss…

    A cycle of insanity…life in the fast lane of 24hr news.

    Just a few thoughts.

    N’

  73. Pip wrote: It must fight back time at the Labor camp.

    Coalition hypocrisy exposed on BER
    Matt Thistlethwaite posted Tuesday, 10 April 2012

    http://www.alp.org.au/blogs/alp-blog/april-2012/coalition-hypocrisy-exposed-on-ber/


    Pip,
    It’s about bloody time.

    Labor should be mightily proud of what they achieved in such a short space of time.

    Making up for the neglect of many schools during the Howard years.

    I still wonder how much that bleedin’ war in Iraq cost us.

    Educate…not exterminate.

    N’

  74. Pip wrote: Jane, true, Mark Kenny does occasionally break ranks but Chris Kenny on the other hand is a deadset parrot for Howard “virtues’.

    Jane & Pip,
    Chris Kenny is such a slime…you always feel he’s trying to push his guests into dumping on the government.

    I stopped watching the weekend Agenda show with him on it.

    In fact, I don’t watch much SKY at all now…just occasionally. Got tired of hearing from all those ex-Labor rats…crapping on their party from a great height…perched like ravens on Murdoch and other corporate greedsters’ weathervanes.

    N’

  75. I noticed that, Min, and I did wonder! But I think I mentioned that what set me off was seeing the ‘magic pudding’ reference lightly made somewhere about Abbott’s nanny proposal. Mind you, Pascoe has capitalised his reference, so I think we’ve given Abbott’s Magic Pudding a status in the local politico/economic lexicon!

    By the way, thank you, Min, and all you other lovely CW bloggers who spread the word yesterday. It helps when you’re 14 and having an end of the hols slump to have a bit of fame and excitement!

    Mind you, we’ve discovered that the slump was about impending flu. Dan’s taken to his bed today. Rotten and virulent bug this one. I’m sure it’s been incubating in the long slow end to summer here. We still don’t have cold weather or useful rain.

    How are you Miglo? Recovering, I hope. Jet lag wouldn’t have helped your immune system, either.

  76. Patricia, our pleasure. Perhaps Dan can take a copy and add it to his cv. It does sound rather impressive that his work has been published.

  77. Hi Patricia. I’ve almost fully recovered and am most grateful for that. 🙂

    I see your post ended up with 54 Facebook Shares. That’s quite amazing. Min was very active in promoting the post among a number of Facebook groups and from there it went viral.

  78. “Educate . . . Not exterminate”.

    Spot on Nas. Tertiary education went backwards under Howard. Shameful stuff.

    BTW, how are you mastering your iPad now? Getting the hang of it?

  79. Bryan Pape: the man behind the IPA’s latest carbon tax challenge
    http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/bryan-pape-the-man-behind-the-ipa-s-latest-carbon-tax-challenge/201204121242

    He’s the states’ rights champion who (unsuccessfully) challenged Kevin Rudd’s stimulus package in the High Court. Now, legal academic and ex-National Party officer Bryan Pape is the man behind the latest bid to have the carbon tax deemed unconstitutional.

    Funny that, Tony Abbot is keen to hand responsibilty for environment matters to the States.

    Time to see what Antony Green has to say about state/federal matters and the double dissolution that Tony Abbott is now threatening to call….he’s assuming he’ll win the next election in eighteen months time …. now that Craig thomson doesn’t look like such a sure bet.

  80. Bwa ha ha ha…the Opposition are hilarious:

    The Federal Opposition says it would be a breach of faith for the Government to eliminate superannuation tax breaks.

    There are reports that the Government may abolish some super tax concessions for wealthier Australians as part of the budget, which is due to be handed down on May 8.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-20/robb-attacks-reported-super-tax-plan/3963300

    Next it will be “The government has crucified hard working millionaires…there will be an exodus…salvation will come with a Coalition government. Amen.”

    N’

  81. Miglo wrote:Spot on Nas. Tertiary education went backwards under Howard. Shameful stuff.

    Couldn’t agree more Migs…it seems that some conservatives would prefer that higher education were the preserve of the well-off…the rest of the young population to be driven like cattle into having babies at an early age…trapped into unaffordable homes and a lifetime of debt…working multiple low paid jobs…falling into the manipulative hands of the religious extremists out of desperation, alcoholism and drug escapism, family conflict due to early marriages/commitments and financial struggles…purchasing the convenient easy products of the major corporate advertisers too exhausted and lacking skills to research and differentiate…easy prey for a media and politicians hoping to use easily identifiable, lazy tactics and methods to appeal.

    I believe that each individual should be afforded the opportunity to gain experience in myriad areas…from higher education…to working on the land. That’s why I’m so supportive of affordable mature age education…giving people a chance to enhance their education if they decided to leave school early…have kids. Empowering for many women.

    I’d also like to see more opportunities for uni grads to get experience on the land…in workshops etc…in later years. We need to break down the US and THEM barriers that too oft exist between rural and city folk…those who work primarily with their heads…and those with both head and hands…and so on.

    Migs wrote: BTW, how are you mastering your iPad now? Getting the hang of it?

    Certainly am…it’s a mightily handy tool once you learn the basics…thnx to you all for the handy advice.

    N’

  82. Patricia, your Magic Pudding has surfaced again. Hartcher, for once in a blue moon has written a worthy article.

    The Howard-era entitlement mentality lives on in Abbott’s magic pudding approach to fiscal policy.

    He promises to cut personal and company taxes while scrapping both the mining carbon taxes. And he opposes government decisions to apply a means test to some government payments. Oh yes, and he promises a surplus budget and a small government sector. This does not add up.

    The Gillard government should be applauded for trying to wean the best-paid Australians off government handouts. Labor has applied a means tests to the baby bonus, to the private health insurance rebate and to Howard’s beloved family tax benefits system. Undiscriminating handouts to the well-off achieve no useful aim. They serve only to discredit the entire system of government support payments and damage national solvency.

    Joe Hockey tried to call a halt to the Liberal Party’s irresponsible entitlement mentality in his remarks in London this week. Good on him. Unfortunately, he overreached by telling Australians that we must match our government support systems to those of Asia.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/rescuing-the-booms-benefits-20120420-1xclh.html#ixzz1sclR40aG

  83. Pingback: He said, she said: NBN facts and fallout from the Budget | Perform Recruitment

  84. Funny how a political party attempts and even delivers such things as holidays, superannuation, sick leave, compensation etc and still those in opposition bag them while putting their hands out. One would call them grubs and two faced to act in such a way. Just what was it the LNP gave Australians again. Funniest are those morons who now back a Green or Red polly. Every other denomination other than Labor is just a disgruntled Lib/Nat who had a cry and left the LNP but still vote with them because they are weak. They all need backbones implanted.

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