The Coalition: A Plan and few solutions

It was with some trepidation that I ventured into the Coalition website titled: Real Solutions

According to the 12-points, The Plan (my summary) consists of:

  • a stronger, more productive and diverse economy with lower taxes – more jobs, higher real incomes and better services for you and your family.
  • Budget back under control, cut waste and start reducing debt – to keep interest rates as low as possible; and to protect the Australian economy from future economic shocks.
  • help families get ahead by freeing them from the burdens of the carbon ax – especially rising electricity and gas prices.
  • help small businesses grow and create more jobs – by reducing business costs and cutting taxes as well as cutting red and green tape costs by $1 billion every year.
  • create stronger jobs growth by building a diverse, world-class 5-Pillar economy which will.. 
  • generate one million new jobs over the next five years and two million new jobs within a decade.
  • build more modern infrastructure to get things moving – with an emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways.
  • We will deliver better services including health services – by putting local communities in charge of hospitals and improving co-operation with the States and Territories.
  • We will deliver better education – by putting local communities in charge of improving the performance of local schools.
  • We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas – and also establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean-up the environment.
  • We will deliver stronger borders – where the boats are stopped – with tough and proven measures.
  • We will deliver strong and stable government that restores accountability – to deliver a better future for all Australians.

Is there anything new here?  Not that I can find.  A condensed version might be:  Stop the Boats, A Green Army, No Carbon Tax, No Mining Tax, to put local communities in charge of health and education and “restoring” accountability. On the latter, given that Mr. Cori Bernardi is chairman of a committee which scrutinises politicians’ declarations, and given Mr. Bernardi’s failure disclose his links to a right wing, pro-tobacco group which is fighting gun controls, that one might need some work.

It appears that not only are the Coalition intending to locate seemingly cyclopean amounts of money for “better services”, plus vastly improved infrastructure (which is to be commended) but also guaranteed are substantial tax cuts to basically anyone who considers that they pay too much tax, i.e. Everyone.  Plus all the while and simultaneously, bestowing on the country a surplus every year for eternity.

The Coalition has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering a budget surplus within its first year of government, despite there being no mention of the promise in a new policy document.

And how are the Coalition going to achieve this?  As per The Plan:  cut waste.  Simple isn’t it..

The figure previously put on this Mr Hockey said he stood by the $52 billion in spending cuts outlined by the Coalition before last year’s election, and dismissed Treasury criticism of its costings.

jhock

From an article in Macrobusiness titled Some questions for Joe Hockey :

If Hockey runs a fiscal surplus with falling business investment and a current account deficit, by definition other parts of the private sector must be borrowing to support growth. That either means selling a lot of assets or, more likely, a lot more debt for households, again inconsistent with Hockey’s larger pledge of living within our means.

And,

In short, Joe Hockey has an attractive liberal message that is right for the times. What he lacks (at least so far) is a policy matrix to match. He is basically offering a return to Howard era economic policy, which is for government to save and the private sector dis-save , and he plans financial reform to make it possible.

Today’s National Times leads with the headline:

Coalition sharpens its razor

Details are as always, sparse as to how the Coalition will achieve this, however motherhood statements and trite phrases do abound:

Tony Abbott:  “..but I tell you what … the fiscal position will always be better under the  Coalition because budget surpluses and reducing debt, paying back debt, that’s in our DNA.”

We are also told by an unnamed Liberal MP that we are ”lumbered with unaffordable policies”.  However, to date the only policies which Abbott has promised to axe are the revenue raisers, therefore where savings are to be made remains somewhat of a mystery.

Certainly axing the number of public servants will be greeted with loud applause; a simplistic and somewhat pompous pandering.  But how does one improve the delivery of services by reducing the number of people whose job it is to implement these services?  According to Tony Abbott, sacrosanct is his pet $3 billion paid parental leave scheme, family payments, and defence.  Which begs the question, if Abbott is intending to cut 20,000 public service jobs who will administer these, and where will his “15 thousand strong Green Army” come from?  Would not a Green Army be public servants?

Some clues as to the Coalition’s intended direction comes from previous statements:

Mr Hockey insisted that he supported the NDIS but raised doubts over his committment to delivering the scheme when he said he would not raise ”false hope” by committing to promises a Coalition government could not fund.

Mr Abbott has been critical of the government’s cash payments to families with school children, and yesterday the opposition voted against it in the Lower House.

Joe Hockey declared the “age of entitlement” was coming to an end: Speaking to Lateline, he said that Australia needed to scale back the size of its welfare bill to strengthen the national finances. But he declined to say which benefits would be put on the fiscal chopping block.

Babies are however to escape: Joe Hockey: Trimming Baby Bonus is Like China’s Murderous One Child Policy.

118 comments on “The Coalition: A Plan and few solutions

  1. Abbott is going to have a problem getting any of his “policies” through if he does not also control the Senate, which is unlikely.

  2. I am confused as to what Mr. Hockey is saying. Have said that they have forty policies being assess by the governments new body for this purpose. Said last might no way would they be allowing the office near their policies. .

    By the way, according to Hockey, there was no black hole last time. Treasury got it wrong.

    Nothing of substance in that booklet, except for some nice pictures of those, mostly from Howard’s cabinet.

    How many new jobs has this government created???/

    Where is that razor going to cut.

  3. “help small businesses grow and create more jobs – by reducing business costs and cutting taxes as well as cutting red and green tape costs by $1 billion every year.”

    A promise of Howard’s from the first time he ran and lost, until he was thrown out of government and his seat.

    The only result that Howard bought about, was more red tape and regulations, not less.

  4. “build more modern infrastructure to get things moving – with an emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways.”

    Wonder whether he will do as Howard did, make the promise, over and over and over, but never get around to actually spending the money.

  5. “We will deliver better education – by putting local communities in charge of improving the performance of local schools.”

    I also have no faith in allowing any P and C run schools. This is the code, for allot inefficient funds, and blame the local body for failure.

    Education is too important to leave in the hands of amateurs.

  6. Silkworm, hence the reason why Abbott previously promised a DD election sometime soon after he takes over control of the House of Reps. But of course there is nothing to guarantee Tony ever getting control of the Senate..Australians have a long history of not wanting too much power in the hands of any one party and we have our recent WorkChoices experience as a reminder. However, I have a feeling that Australia could end up with never-ending elections until Tony gets his own way..or is ousted.

  7. Cu @10.28am..local boards for hospitals and schools. Then these entities become(as you suggest) easy targets for local vested interests. With local boards, they are only as good as the people running them which as many of us know having been on P&C Committees, there are often HUGE problems in deciding whether the school uniform should have grey or navy shorts or whether the playground should include a swing-gym.. more vital issues might require a few decades to sort out…

  8. “We will deliver better services including health services – by putting local communities in charge of hospitals and improving co-operation with the States and Territories.”

    Worked well in the days of the cottage hospitals, in the beginning of last century. I think we might have moved past that.

    Hospitals today are much more than providing a bed, wiping ones bow, until one recovered.

    Maybe that is what Abbotts sees as the future.

  9. if the liberals re jigging work for the dole for people up to the age of 50 , I can Imagine that is where they are going to get the 15,000 green corps from cheap labour .

  10. Yes, it is once again a woman holding the bag for Tony.

    Tony Abbott and Teresa Gambaro at a sandbag filling station in Brisbane. Source: The Courier-Mail
    WHEN Opposition Leader Tony Abbott went into battle in 2010 he was armed with a four-line mantra.

    The KISS principle – keep it simple, stupid – is as valid in politics as anything else, and Coalition pollster Mark Textor is an unswerving adherent of it.

    People will remember Textor’s mantra, which Abbott said almost every day: “We will end the waste, pay back the debt, stop the big new taxes and stop the boats.”

    At the beginning of election year 2013, Abbott has a new four-line mantra that is a small variation on the 2010 model

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/tony-abbotts-kiss-mantra-takes-him-into-election-year-battle/story-e6frerdf-1226563795897

  11. SHADOW ministers are preparing for a grilling as the Coalition’s razor gang holds a three-day meeting in a bid to craft a believable budget surplus.
    But with key areas effectively off limits, including Mr Abbott’s pet $3 billion paid parental leave scheme, family payments, defence spending, and a pledge not to move the goalposts on superannuation, the task for the shadow committee’s chair, Joe Hockey, is a monumental one.
    Insiders say everything from the smallest programs to major expenditure items will be on the table before the shadow expenditure review committee.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/coalition-sharpens-its-razor-20130128-2dh1q.html#ixzz2JJtyDDAU

  12. Tom R

    Shadow ministers are preparing for a grilling

    The grilling will consist of waving the policy in the general direction of a sputtering candle.

    On the subject of local boards for hospitals, schools etc. For heavens sakes, they make TV comedy shows about these local affairs. Dad’s Army is still remembered fondly. Plus they’re easily bribed, I should think, “of COURSE the Bullamakanka District Memorial deserves 15 MRI machines, just vote coalition…”

  13. Tom R
    Sorry, I just picked up on the line itself, thinking he was referring to a media grilling. I stand by the comment in that sense.
    As for internal discussion, we won’t pe party to that.

  14. I say no, because slash and burn will leas to a bigger dificit,, as they are finding out in the mother country and others in Europe.

    Poll: Do you believe the Coalition will deliver a budget surplus if elected?
    Poll closes in 6 hours.

    Yes
    30%
    No
    70
    Disclaimer:
    These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/coalition-sharpens-its-razor-20130128-2dh1q.html#ixzz2JJuh8Q8t

  15. Michelle seems to be heeding some of the criticism raise about her in the last few says. A little more balance today.

    “……On the most charitable interpretation, this is Hockey trying to be overly clever. The ”published” numbers are the budget update, which came out months ago. The government’s pre-Christmas concession indicated that they are now outdated, although we don’t have new numbers and none are expected until the May budget.
    Advertisement
    All Hockey did by his literalism was to make things difficult for Abbott, who was later asked whether his shadow treasurer was right. You could see the unpleasant thought flash through the Abbott mind: ”I’m damned if I support him, equally damned if I don’t.” ”Yes he is,” said Abbott, before adding that ”the fundamental difference between the Coalition and the Labor Party is competence and honesty”.
    If Abbott had been honest, he would have stuck to his earlier line.
    If the opposition had been competent it would have co-ordinated better and had a common voice. It is usually better for your credibility to tell things as they are, and insist that members of your team do too….”

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/opposition-gets-itself-in-a-tangle-again-over-budget-surpluses-20130128-2dh1g.html#ixzz2JJw5NB3l….

  16. Indeed..the only grilling that shadow ministers are likely to receive is to be told to put up, and to most definitely shut up..we cannot possibly spoil “alpha male” Tony’s moment in the (next) spotlight by speaking on one’s own portfolio…

  17. Meanwhile in never ever land Julie Robb & Cory are working on policy creation a bit of plagerisation here sleight of hand there, don’t let the mugs(voters) see anything whilst Rubes OM will keep up the distractions. Boy are we on a winner.

    Orwell’s Ministry of Truth is flat out now since relocated to noalition central no wonder JWH resembled Winston Smith actions so well and Abbort fits his shoes perfectly.
    Stop the waste could someone identify some, of course the NBN.

    The 12 noalition commandments must be honed in stone I just hope no one drops one or the whole charade will collapse around his ears and from that kiss piccie now I know why they are so big. Final reflection if the voters accept those motherhood statements as giving guidance for the future of this country then hell seems like a better alternative. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA. please

  18. Cu, have you noticed in your photo that Tony Abbott is wearing a vest yet is standing in mud? OMG, his shoes will get dirty.

    Another job for Margie. “Clean my shoes, woman”.

  19. Let’s see …

    ■a stronger, more productive and diverse economy with lower taxes – more jobs, higher real incomes and better services for you and your family.

    By doing what?

    ■Budget back under control, cut waste and start reducing debt – to keep interest rates as low as possible; and to protect the Australian economy from future economic shocks.

    By doing what?

    ■help families get ahead by freeing them from the burdens of the carbon ax – especially rising electricity and gas prices.

    Ax the tax? We’ve been told.

    ■help small businesses grow and create more jobs – by reducing business costs and cutting taxes as well as cutting red and green tape costs by $1 billion every year.

    Red and green tape? Workchoices.

    ■create stronger jobs growth by building a diverse, world-class 5-Pillar economy which will.

    What the fuck does this mean?

    ■generate one million new jobs over the next five years and two million new jobs within a decade.

    How?

    ■build more modern infrastructure to get things moving – with an emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways.

    How much will that cost?

    ■We will deliver better services including health services – by putting local communities in charge of hospitals and improving co-operation with the States and Territories.

    Any mention of dental health?

    ■We will deliver better education – by putting local communities in charge of improving the performance of local schools.

    Um? Ms. Gruenwald, the crazy cat lady from up the road, will be marking your tests.

    ■We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas – and also establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean-up the environment.

    Plant a few trees?

    ■We will deliver stronger borders – where the boats are stopped – with tough and proven measures.

    Just kill them. You know you want to.

    ■We will deliver strong and stable government that restores accountability – to deliver a better future for all Australians.

    Oh, fuck off, this is not Spain, nor Italy, nor Haiti.

  20. ‘…build more modern infrastructure to get things moving – with an emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways.

    ‘How much will that cost?’

    A lot, but money well spent. Very fast rail will revolutionise transport, satellite towns will grow into cities and create employment.

  21. CU @11.15am, that’s because lying is their default position. In Liarland, lies are the truth. Truth and the facts give them a rash.

    Min @11.44am, the only grilling the Liars will get is the mixed grill from the pub where they get their lunch.

    Bilko, couldn’t agree more.

    Tom R @12.00pm, situation normal for the Fiberals; disreputable liars.

  22. IS THIS THE FIRST LIE?

    Libs don’t fib, says Abbott
    BY: SID MAHER, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT From: The Australian January 29, 2013 12:00AM

    TONY Abbott has promised “no surprises” if the Coalition wins the next election, saying governments that “fib” their way into office bring politics into disrepute.

    The Opposition Leader pledged to deliver a budget surplus if the Coalition takes office but said the pledge was “based on the published figures”.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/libs-dont-fib-says-abbott/story-fn59niix-1226563807525

  23. El gordo and “A lot, but money well spent. Very fast rail will revolutionise transport, satellite towns will grow into cities and create employment.” Which is exactly what the Federal government is doing..am pleased to know that the Coalition is prepared to copy the government’s initiative, first announced about 2 years ago..

    PASSENGERS could pay less than $100 for a three-hour journey from Melbourne to Sydney using the federal government’s proposed high-speed rail link along the east coast.

    The first study of the link between Melbourne and Brisbane will be released today, putting the price tag at between $61 billion and $108 billion for the project.

    http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/100-ticket-to-ride-the-highspeed-rail-to-sydney-20110803-1ibp8.html#ixzz2JKqsbqgP

  24. Ross, my thoughts entirely. Warning bells went out when I read 15,000 to “clean up the environment”..yep another Work For The Dole scheme, get your rubber gloves and hessian bags ready, we’re about to clean up the environment. This more than likely will not address climate change, but by gee we’re going to have some nice and tidy nature strips.

  25. In bloody great big pots in the foyers of Jamie Packer’s casinos. Every suburb will have one. That’s where the jobs will be. They’ll teach you how to run a roulette table in Year 12.

  26. Yes, the magic pudding is very much alive.

    If one believes we can have more, by paying less, they also, I assume , believe in fairies.

    “………………Given how little attention anyone paid to the gaping holes in their 2010 election costings, the political calculation appears to be that voters simply don’t worry about whether the promises can be paid for.

    The Coalition’s latest policy pamphlet continues the tactic. Entitled “Our Plan: Real Solutions for all Australians”, the mini-election platform has been released as part of what Tony Abbott has been calling a “mini-campaign” to kick off the election year.

    “Our Plan” is dominated by deficit hawkishness. It makes much of Labor’s supposedly poor economic management. It constantly invokes the supposedly vast government debt that Labor has racked up in office. An Abbott government, the pamphlet proclaims, will be able to both cut taxes and deliver a surplus. It will do this by “cutting waste”. Despite this pledge, the pamphlet also promises to build more infrastructure.

    As Rob Burgess points out today, it’s magic pudding stuff. “[This] is yet more conformation that the Coalition’s cost cutting plans will be so aggressive as to be very difficult to sell at election time,” he writes……………”

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/01/29/floods-fiscal-nonsense

  27. “…………….The melancholy truth is that voters like to have it both ways on the size of government. Public service cuts can be quite popular in the abstract, as Campbell Newman’s successful campaign in Queensland against Anna Bligh’s deficit-spending government demonstrated. It’s only when the pink slips start to arrive and the schools and hospital wards start to close that voters take stock of their real views about government services.

    Everyone hates a public service “fat-cat”. But when nurses and teachers start to get laid off in big numbers, public perceptions can change, as we’ve already seen in Queensland.

    The dominant policy narrative of this year’s election campaign looks like it will be the age-old question of “how are you going to pay for it?” For the Coalition, the challenge is a serious one. Joe Hockey has already pledged that he will deliver a surplus in every year of a future Abbott government.

    To do that while cutting taxes will mean very deep spending cuts indeed. Such cuts will have to come not just from the sorts of programs that conservatives hate, like climate change programs and government benefits, but also from areas where conservatives generally like to spend up, such as defence and border protection. As Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher rightly observes today, the cuts made to the Australian Defence Force since 2010 mean that the big arms purchases envisaged by he 2009 Defence White Paper are now off the table….”

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/01/29/floods-fiscal-nonsense

  28. Truth, why is it so hard.

    “.Compared to the budget woes in much of the rest of the rich world, Australia’s money problems are small and easily solved. We just have to pay slightly higher taxes. This is the bald truth that neither major party is prepared to tell us.,”

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/01/29/floods-fiscal-nonsense

    Could it be that the reason we have a deficit, is because of unnecessary tax cuts. Cuts that we could afford to pay.

  29. Cu, New Matilda is right. It had been a tradition that when seeking public approval that the tried and true method is to axe public service jobs. Note: they never ever use the word “jobs”, but say “public servants”.. Ie trim the public service. Yet when private enterprise sacks even 100 workers there is public outrage.

  30. This is one man’s idea of the world we will inherit, under Tony. A little frightening from my point of view. Could be wrong, as usual. Well that is what the trolls believe of me.

    “.If Tony Abbott and the Coalition win office at the next election Australia will be fundamentally changed.

    Whether Tony Abbott as prime minister can achieve his vision is another subject. Whether his vision should be Australia’s vision will also be the subject of great controversy.

    But what is not in any doubt is that we are looking at a totally different society under Abbott, and that Labor’s fury of the next election campaign will be aimed at preventing this happening.

    So today and tomorrow I will describe what business and public service Australia would look like if Abbott comes to power and actually does what he says he is going to do.

    The first and biggest change is that he will immediately re-introduce the building industry rules for Commonwealth government tenders on large building projects in Australia, .”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/How-Abbott-would-lay-a-new-foundation-for-Australi-pd20130129-4DSH5?opendocument&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=171553&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

  31. “………………Enormous savings will be involved and many pubic servants will lose their jobs. But this is more than just savings. This is a different way of running government. For decades, governments on both sides have been about increasing the size of the public service and Abbott says he is going in a different direction.

    Of course, as we know, the carbon tax will be quickly eliminated and Abbott says if carbon tax revenues and expenditures are netted out it adds to his bottom line. Once again the opposition will be absolutely ferocious. Tony Abbott plans to reduce carbon by direct action and once again although this might be the most sensible idea anyone could have thought of, the opposition will be vigorous.

    Abbott believes he can substantially decrease expenditure on the national broadband network and will give some of that money to other infrastructure projects. That will mean a new agreement with Telstra, none of which will be easy – lots of hazards have been put in place in that area.

    Tomorrow, I will look at another Abbott change. It will mean that almost all of our larger companies will have to look again at the way they operate..”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/How-Abbott-would-lay-a-new-foundation-for-Australi-pd20130129-4DSH5?opendocument&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=171553&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

  32. El gordo and the super fast train. Do you have a clue what you are talking about. For starters, what is your opinion of the sell off of railway land north coast.

  33. Budget back under control, cut waste and start reducing debt – to keep interest rates as low as possible; and to protect the Australian economy from future economic shocks.

    Min, that bit’s laughable when you consider that Joe Hockey screams his nuts off every time interest rates fall, claiming it shows Labor can’t run the economy.

  34. Bligh came in for some criticism re lack of disaster ‘insurance’, even though she merely inherited what’s been ‘common sense’ in QLD and elsewhere for many years. Does anyone know whether Newman’s changed that approach?

  35. Don’t have a clue myself, but I suspect nothing’s changed. Without going into the detail, the evidence for the State to carry its own insurance was always overwhelming.

    As for the Abbott ascendency, I’m pessimistic, and at so many levels.

    I fear that the “IT’S TIME” theme will win the day. Shakes head …

  36. Abbott can only win with total support from the media. If the media starts to question him, he will unravel, as he has always done. Be patient. Wait for QandA or Insiders to start up again. Ashbygate will rear its ugly head. There is still the prospect of an enquiry into Brough’s crimes. The media cannot protect Abbott from this for the whole of this year.

  37. ‘This time, if Mr Mathieson has generated political embarrassment for Ms Gillard, she should reflect on how she has brought this upon herself. Her confected outrage over misogyny, devised as a political attack against Mr Abbott, has helped to introduce an unreasonable new standard that few people could live up to.

    ‘When the Prime Minister claimed to be “very offended” by a reference to housewives and ironing, and chastised the Opposition Leader for “now looking at his watch because apparently a woman’s spoken too long”, she helped create a “gotcha” environment that has now enveloped her partner.

    ‘To make matters worse, her government is pursuing an extension of anti-discrimination laws that in many circumstances will criminalise words that “insult or offend”.

    Oz Editorial

  38. Joolya can only win the coming election with total support from the media, but that’s unlikely under the circumstances.

  39. el gordo, please explain to me how one can be offended by being told the belong to a group of women doctors who have small hands, which could be of advantage when doing digital examinations.

    Where is the offence?.

    I would like to add, was said to a group of men, that it appears are Asian.

    Yes, it was silly of him to mouth the words, as it was obviously they would be twisted by the likes of Abbott and his ilk to suit their attack.

    That is the real offence in this saga.

  40. el gordo, the verbal attack from the opposition during her reign as PM has been offensive.

    Not only attack of the PM but all her women ministers.

    It occurs in both houses on a daily basis.

    That is the difference.

  41. The PM’s five pillars. A little different, I believe from Mr. Abbott’s. The PM’s plans are being put in place, unlike the motherhood statements of Abbott.

    “……While promoting the industry and innovation statement expected next month, the Prime Minister will warn the government cannot control factors that have kept the dollar strong such as the weakness in the global economy, close-to-zero interest rates of many nations “and the increasing view that Australia is something of a safe haven”.

    “So we can and must focus on increasing skills, building a national culture of innovation, rolling out the national broadband network, investing in infrastructure, improving regulation and leveraging our proximity to and knowledge of a rising Asia into a competitive advantage,” Ms Gillard will say. “These are the five pillars this government has identified as key to increasing jobs, prosperity and productivity.

    “I am determined that we will always do everything to support jobs and growth in our nation, to give individuals and families the best chance to build a life and get ahead,” she will say.,,,”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/julia-gillard-signals-cuts-to-fund-alp-values-as-business-and-wealthy-put-on-notice/story-fn59nsif-1226564620099

    Press conference today might be worth listening to.

  42. Abbott is today saying the government needs to “come clean” about the true state of the nation’s books. He is implying the government is fiddling the books, without any evidence. He’s back to being Mr Negative, making shit up about the government. I knew his new positivity persona wouldn’t last long.

  43. Abbott is today saying the government needs to “come clean” about the true state of the nation’s books.

    Incredible, from the party that gave us their excel worksheet last election that was $11 Billion short

  44. Why cannot this man answer an easy question

    Tony Abbott has sidestepped questions about whether he will commit to overhauling the GST, amid threats from the West Australian Premier to withhold campaign funds from the federal Liberal party.

    Colin Barnett wants the GST distributed on a per-capita basis, and is demanding action from the Federal Coalition if it wins this year’s election.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/abbott-sidesteps-questions-on-gst-reform/4490886

  45. “..Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he won’t make any promises on the GST carve-up until after Labor shows its hand.

    Mr Abbott said the country was still waiting for the federal government’s response to the Greiner-Brumby report into GST distribution – and he wouldn’t promise anything before that response came.

    ‘My response you’ll get in good time, before the next election and after the government’s response,’ he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

    WA Premier Colin Barnett, during his election campaign launch on Tuesday, threatened to cut funding to the federal Liberal Party for the national battle unless he got a promise of GST reform.

    With WA claiming that the resource-rich boom state will receive 35 cents for each GST dollar collected in the west in 2015/16, Mr Barnett said that without a promise from Mr Abbott there could be consequences for his campaign.

    ‘The last election, there was massive funding from WA toward the national Liberal campaign. That will be reliant on a commitment on GST,’ Mr Barnett said on Tuesday…..”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=840751

    Then he will just say the opposite.

  46. Oh I see..Abbott did a deal with Barnett last election and in exchange for the “massive funding” from WA a promise was made on the GST and now Barnett thinks that Abbott might renege.

  47. grattan (not worth a capital) was the only journalist not to address the PM as PM but as Ms Gillard.
    The PM should have answered next question, what a grub that woman is. The Pm held her own not walking away like tones(also not worth a capital). His address tomorrow will be worth watching.

  48. How many conventions has Abbott broken?

    1. Not allowing pairs on critical issues, even in compassionate cases.
    2. Outsourcing costing to a private (pro-Liberal) “auditor, ” while announcing distrust in the publically provided costing (Treasury).
    3. Commenting on a Labor preselection (Nova Peris), using it to cast aspersions on the PM’s judgment.
    4. Announcing an election campaign one almost a year earlier than usual (presumably to appeal to the “election now” group).

    That’s off the top of my head.

  49. Julia’s announcement of the election date was a brilliant wedge against Tony’s phoney baloney campaign.

  50. “Budget back under control, cut waste and start reducing debt – to keep interest rates as low as possible;”

    The 2nd point of the plan is quite credible, but not for the reason the Coalition front bench thinks (“crowding out”)

    With a surplus obsession that’s probably worse than Labor’s, any pursuit of a surplus in the foreseeable future will drive the economy into the ground, and the RBA will respond by taking the cash rate lower and lower in the forlorn hope that will provide some form of stimulus to the economy.

    It’s not working anywhere else in the world at the moment, why would it work here ?

  51. The election announcement means we will be saved countless media pages of newsprint speculation on when it will be/should be/whatever, now the msm might have to talk about policies even heaven forbid ask questions of the noalition instead, on this point can they/should they/whatever and re the Jewish question they don’t vote on any sabbath.

  52. If Hockey runs a fiscal surplus with falling business investment and a current account deficit, by definition other parts of the private sector must be borrowing to support growth. That either means selling a lot of assets or, more likely, a lot more debt for households, again inconsistent with Hockey’s larger pledge of living within our means.

    You can, sadly, substitute Swan/Labor in the above and it’s equally valid.

    Government surplus = private sector deficit.

  53. “Everyday Australians know it and that’s why they’re increasing their household savings.”

    That’s Hockey being quoted in the AFR article referred to by Macrobusiness above.

    That’s a curious thing for Hockey to say because:

    1. If he was referring to household debt being paid down, that becomes impossible in the face of government hell-bent on delivering a surplus (or the economy contracts)

    2. If he was referring to government debt (which I think he was…it’s his obsession after all) , then he’s talking about something economists call “Ricardian Equivalence”, a situation whereby taxpayers see a deficit and start saving to pay for the inevitable tax hikes that never come.

    Ricardian Equivalence is something I reckon Hockey is stupid enough to believe in.

  54. The election announcement means we will be saved countless media pages of newsprint speculation on when it will be/should be/whatever

    lol, I had just seen this, although I think that you are optimistic about them turning to policy all of a sudden.

    I reckon all it will do is re-ignite the leadershit drivel again.

  55. he msm is aware of this.

    Yet are steadfastly refusing to address it, and then wondering why their ‘business case’ is so broken

  56. Very strange thing on ABC News TV this arvo.

    The female presenter had just interviewed Oakshot on the election announcement having interviewed Windsor who I missed. She then crossed to a female colleague elsewhere who was waiting to interview Xenophon.

    Whilst waiting for Xenophon the first reporter asked her colleague about the media’s performance, to which the second replied that the media had come in for a lot of criticism since the 2010 election specifically over not asking about policy, to which she agreed, but then quickly added on realising her gaff that the media had been covering both policy and politics and then started to fumble about policy coverage, but before she could go any further they suddenly cut back to the studio.

    The reporter there also fumbling said something about this being live TV and changed subject as a cover up for the clear censoring of the other reporter. They then cut back to the second reporter as she was now ready to interview Xenophon.

  57. Another, not accepting the voters decision, declaring the government they elected, illegal and throwing oneself into an election campaign, three years ahead of time.

    This has led to one of the longest election campaigns, I would say world wide.

  58. MJ the PM pointed out that personal savings is up, and a good thing.

    The PM was also asked a question about the action they took with the live cattle exports to Indonesia. Her answer show some insight into her political thinking.

    She said they had to move quickly to head off those against the live cattle trade being able to gather and mount a campaign against the trade.

    She said, as we live in s democracy, where they are capable of mounting a campaign that could have led to the abandonment of the trade.

    By the action the government took, sorting out the problems quickly, this did not eventuate.

    Have been out and have not had time to catch up on reaction to the PM’s address.

  59. Abbott being heavily canned. Calls a press conference, says 5 slogans and he is ready for a long campaign and when questions start on policy he runs.

    Gillard has obviously caught him off guard and he’s been lying about having these fully detailed and costed policies ready to go since 2010.

    ————————————–
    On the day the election date has been called, the ALP nudges ahead of the LNP in the latest Morgan Poll. 50.5% ALP to 49.5% LNP.

  60. Abbott the election will be about Trust.

    The last leader to say that was Newman, and he worked out to be completely trustworthy didn’t he?

  61. “Abbott again said he intends to abolish the tax on a harmless trace gas.”

    That promise will hang around his neck like a dead albatross.

  62. Matthias Cormann. will not be releasing policies before the election is call, and treasury released figures.

    What in the hell has policies that got to do with economics of the time.. They will be the same whether the figures are good or not. The difference will be, whether we can afford them or not.

    At least he is being questioned on the Drum. Voice and anger rising.

    To me, costings are about the cost of the item. Treasury figures will tell us whether they are affordable.

    This man speaks at the speed of knots, while managing to say nothing.

  63. ‘That promise will hang around his neck like a dead albatross.’

    Its a popular move and as the world gets cooler it will be greatly appreciated by the electorate at large.

  64. I just wish Matthias Cormann was on The Drum each and every night (and frequently during the day, including weekends). He’s an absolute star. The ALP should pay a motza to just get him there. Just sayin …

  65. The noalition supporters have been calling for an election NOW for almost two years as it has been called, do you think they will STFU?

  66. Bilko @1.55pm..Grattan is decidedly in ego-trip mode. Sorry Michelle, but quite a number of us have lost/are losing respect for you as a journalist due to your flip-flopping..one moment fawning over Tony, the next a modest amount of the journo who you once were…

  67. Saw tabot on TV (in place of the PM announcing the date, just him with his ‘opinion’), all he could complain about was that the PM hadn’t released any policies in her speech. 😯

    Perhaps the grogmonster slept through the entirety of the last two years of Parliament, only being roused to call his sso stunt ❓

  68. Mobius, thank you for that..and it’s worth repeating,

    On the day the election date has been called, the ALP nudges ahead of the LNP in the latest Morgan Poll. 50.5% ALP to 49.5% LNP.

    From memory, Morgan’s have always been the closest to the mark.

  69. Bilko, ahh the irony hey. We WANT and election and when do we want it..we want it NOW. Well, you got it..so stop whingeing!!!!!

  70. Just listened to Amanda Vanstone voicing the most disturbing information on TDT ABC 1, She said it over and over. She is concerned that we all know “she”, that is the PM is in charge.

    Now is not that shocking.

    Gee, it has taken them over two years to work that one out,

    Yes it is true, is the PM, in control, both of the parliament and the agenda.

    Even Mr. Abbott voiced the other day, that we should remember the PM is a good politician.

  71. Wonder how Tony will get on tomorrow when expected to answer questions.

    The PM agree to stay today until they finishing asking questions. They asked further questions, but not many as the journalists appear to have nothing left to ask her.

    I guess Tony will be up all night, preparing a new speech, as he takes so much pride in writing his own.

  72. Seen the Liberal Jewish MPs complaining about the day chosen. Suggest, they do as Abbott and Morrison tell us, adopt our culture.

    Then maybe they have less problems with Judaism than they do with the Muslin faith.

    Only joking.

    The Labor Jews do not seem to have the same problem. Pointed out that the same is true for any Saturday, and one can vote before the day.

  73. Many in the MSM have started the old ‘everybody knows Tony will be PM’ routine and acting as if the LNP are a shoe in routine……… gunna be a long 7-8 months 🙄
    These reporters must either be LNP supporters and biased to the max….or they are so scared of losing their jobs that they’d sell their own country out trying to keep said ‘job’ 🙄 …… will be interesting to see if that reporter who made the ‘not asking any policy ‘gaff’ ‘ is still employed or indeed employable any more, at least 70% of her job prospects have gone out the door.

  74. By the way, the PM has not called the election. The PM has announced when it will be held. She will be going to the GG on Monday 12th August. That is when the election will be called.

    It is Mr. Abbott that is conducting the longest campaign in history.

  75. By the way, the PM has not called the election. The PM has announced when it will be held

    Not one news article I saw tonight appeared to be able to grasp that rather simple fact CU.

    It was truly pathetic watching it all.

  76. Poor bloody Tony and his mini-campaign first the floods up stage him now the PM announces the govt will run full term and the election is on Sept 14. How is he supposed to control the agenda, how is he supposed to have “her” responding to his calls when “she” catches everyone ( him and the media) by surprise.

  77. Sloppy whined that the PM’s announcement has turned the whole of this year into election mode.

    Ha ha ha. *snort*

  78. Amanda Vanstone was doing her best to keep the Rudd balloon aloft tonight, talking of the Ides of March.

    I think Amanda’s Cassius might be the once “fat and sleek-headed” member for Wentworth, who now perhaps thinks too much, or at least, keeps a close watch on the polls.

  79. CU wrote

    “Seen the Liberal Jewish MPs complaining about the day chosen. Suggest, they do as Abbott and Morrison tell us, adopt out culture.”

    Just the sentiment I’d expect from a bogan supporter…”adopt out culture”

    Yeah CU I seen a few ordinary things in my life too, but none as ordinary as your waffle here!

  80. Mangrove Jack
    JANUARY 30, 2013 @ 6:20 PM
    “Abbott again said he intends to abolish the tax on a harmless trace gas.”

    That promise will hang around his neck like a dead albatross….

    Hey jack, your projector’s busted, the albatross around gillard’s ample neck now permeates the land…

    Broken promises made in Gillard’s first speech as Prime Minister:

    And today I can assure every Australian that their Budget will be back in surplus in 2013.

    Status: broken. Treasurer Wayne Swan dumped the promise five days before Christmas. Figures suggest a multi-billion-dollar blowout.

    And it is as disappointing to me as it is to millions of Australians that we do not have a price on carbon… But first we will need to establish a community consensus for action.

    Status: broken. No consensus sought or reached. A carbon tax introduced against the public’s wishes.

    There is another question on which I will seek consensus and that is the proposed Resources Super Profits Tax. Australians are entitled to a fairer share of our inheritance, the mineral wealth that lies in our grounds. They are entitled to that fairer share.

    Status: being broken. Tax has failed to raise any money in its first six months.

    I am full of understanding of the perspective of the Australian people that they want strong management of our borders and I will provide it.

    Status: broken. Boat people arrivals last year were a record 17,202.

    Broken promises from Gillard’s 2010 campaign launch:

    … we will cut taxes for all businesses in this country… [Abbott] wants to put company tax up. I want to put it down.

    Status: Broken. Company tax not cut. Taxes effectively lifted instead in last year’s MYEFO.

    …we will recognise the first Australians in our Constitution.
    Status: broken. Promise postponed indefinitely.

    Broken promises made during the election campaign:
    There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.

    Status: broken. Tax imposed.

    Gillard’s ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme… Old car owners will score a $2000 rebate if they buy a new fuel-efficient vehicle, under a “cash for clunkers” scheme announced by Julia Gillard today.
    Status: broken. Scheme scrapped.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard is defending Labor’s climate change credentials, including the much-ridiculed plan for a citizens assembly. A re-elected Gillard government would appoint 150 randomly-selected Australians to assess published climate science and policies to combat the impact of climate change, such as an emissions trading scheme.
    Status: broken. Scheme scrapped.

    And to top it off her companion just won bogan of the year!

  81. Treetroll, your statarse is brogan…. no, really 🙂 oh,.. and its still called a price on carbon… by the by and by.. 😀

  82. Cu and,

    Wonder how Tony will get on tomorrow when expected to answer questions.

    Migs and I were discussing exactly this, that it is once again Julia the supreme tactician. The PM is fully aware of how the msm allows Abbott continual free passes, and that there is hardly a blink when Abbott does a runner away from the difficult any questions. Solution: announce the date of the election and Tony will not be able to run the campaign his own way..that is, 3-word slogans based on lies and misinformation but will be expected to produce some insight across many portfolios.

  83. but will be expected to produce some insight across many portfolios.

    Sorry Min, I don’t see any evidence of that happening amongst our ‘jounos’ anytime soon 😦

    Specular speculation, reports inaccurately saying that Gillard has started the election campaign, IT’s ON, and it’s gonna be ‘nasty’! FFS

    Our media are a pack of talent-less twats.

  84. Tom, it was said somewhat wistfully..how many times have we said the same in the past that eventually Abbott will be expected to answer questions.

    It is of genuine concern that the alternative prime minister has so little insight into anything of importance that we may as well vote for Kylie Minogue..actually Kylie might have some ideas when clearly Abbott has no ideas and no interest.

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