Belt Tightening for Oz? By Surgery or Dieting?

Can anyone explain to me
Joe Hockey’s drive for austerity
When Australia had seemed to be
Enjoying great prosperity?

But he says that’ll soon be ending
If Gillard keeps up her spending.
A dreadful fate for Oz is pending
As we’re deeply into debt descending.

All these reforms are not required.
The public servants she has hired
When Tony’s PM he’ll have fired.
Those more senior will be retired.

Canberra businessmen are crying,
Say uncertainty underlying
Everything means no-one’s buying,
Fear the city could be dying.

Not if our Swannie has his way!
Creating new jobs every day,
Hoping people will spend their pay,
Promising more on Budget Day.

He’s told he risks popularity;
With concern for the economy
Not really a priority
For the great, silent majority.

For them Joe sees belt tightening
Perhaps as not so frightening?
One op, no pain or dieting?
Will September be enlightening?

Who knows the answer? What are the facts?
If more lose work and can’t pay tax
So Government revenue contracts
Won’t national debt shoot up to max?

NOTES I know nothing about economics but I have been trying to learn a few things, reading articles and by watching Treasurer Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey at press conferences. I was immediately struck by Joe Hockey’s new svelte appearance and was impressed, initially thinking he had taken himself in hand in the way he talks about this government needing to take our economy in hand and to restrain what he and Tony Abbott insist is catastrophic over spending. Remember Tony Abbott’s comment about a government that can’t manage itself, not being able to manage a country. I’ve always thought the same applied to him and his own household household mortgage debt as well as to his Shadow Treasurer’s obvious over over spending and self-indulgence on food and being unlikely to cope well with our national budget.

And, unsurprisingly, I now find that Joe Hockey has not really taken himself in hand nor has plans for a rigorous diet and lifelong self discipline. No, over the long Christmas break he went into some nice comfy private hospital bed for gastric by pass surgery and after a while on a liquid diet he has returned to solids, and soon he’ll be allowed to return to more fibrous solid food……such as steak, sausages and bread………Not much self denial there now is there?

And like most retired people on a limited income I try to pay off my credit card and stay out of debt, so Joe’s grim expressions and frowns as he warned about the size of our national debt might have alarmed me more if I hadn’t read this article about the Coalition’s plans to slash thousands of Canberra public servant jobs.

Public servants have been an easy target for the Coalition for some time, with both Abbott and his shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, happy to talk about slashing as many as 20,000 jobs from the sector. For many Australians, Canberra-bashing is a good spectator sport and the opposition knows there are few votes to be lost – and possibly quite a few to be gained – by being seen to be tough on fat cat public servants.

Just how real a threat the mass axing is remains questionable, but the good citizens of the ACT still remember how their community was thrown into recession for some years following Howard’s public service clean-out between 1996 and 1998.

Yes, I remembered John Howard’s public service clean out but most of the damage was confined to Canberra businesses after the downsizing of so many government departments, except defence. Back then too there wasn’t this obsession with debt and deficits amongst both state and federal politicians. So thinking about Joe and austerity, and that of other Liberal premiers, and the debate about Oz being able to afford Labor’s reforms at a time of great prosperity and low unemployment, this jingle started through my head. I really would like to read your answers too, especially now that John Howard has given the thumbs up to the Australian economy, and agreed with the Treasurer and the Prime Minister! We are in good shape it seems and not on the brink of catastrophe!

14 comments on “Belt Tightening for Oz? By Surgery or Dieting?

  1. Yes, Jellyfish Joe demonstrating that it’s only the Liberals who has the discipline to take the hard decisions.

  2. Just cannot wait for Wayne Swans troubled persona tomorrow night for his last
    Ever Budget. My level of congratulation will match the extent of his previous
    Definitely more exciting than Joe Hockey.
    Low Income Australian Workers doing it tough will be rightly angry and disillusioned losing Tax Benefit Part A tomorrow night.
    Bad Policy and Bad Politics loose votes!

  3. Voyager-B-S, could you clarify your ‘statement’ about losing Tax benifit pt. A, please…..are you talking about the ‘increase’ or are you saying the whole benifit is to be scrubbed………. just so you know, I get Tax benifit part B too, what have you heard about that, pray tell ????

  4. Thanx for your answer, V-B-S. 😉 I think that Wayne Swan is an national hero…..well so far as I can gather from what people from O/S are saying…….ay, ay, ay. ( x 3). 😀

  5. I thought Bob Katter’s comments on Q&A tonight about Queensland govt debt when he was a minister were very sensible. They borrowed then to invest in rail and the future. No one complained. It paid off. Sometimes deficits are okay.

  6. Who said Part A was going. All I have read, that the proposed increase would not be coming.

    What I would love, is to see Swan take the bull by the horns and closer many of the tax avoidance loop holes that business have. Would love to see such things as negative gearing this dust, along with the majority of trusts.

    Maybe the government could then bring company and other business tax down a little. OK, even if any action is tax neutral. Of course that will not happen. Even Keating had to restore the dubious NG. Of course there would have to be a new scheme, that somehow leads to increaser housing stock, without6 sending the prices of houses up. That is the difficult question, how.

    Labor has nothing to lose, by going back to the Henry review and bring in more of the recommendations there.

    A simple test, could be to create a standard means test. that applies to all benefits and rebates across the board.

    Yes, it is time to bring in tax reform in a big way, to stop playing around the edges with it.

  7. But I reckon that might be because Abbott speaks first, then consults with tells his party.

    There fixed it for you Migs. The only ones Abbott consults with are Ltd News and the IPA, and even then it’s more they tell him what the consultation will be and give him his orders for the week.

  8. Just for the v troll, who states

    Low Income Australian Workers doing it tough will be rightly angry and disillusioned losing Tax Benefit Part A tomorrow night.

    However from HERE

    The increased payments for FTB-A will be $2,000 for the first child and an additional $1,000 for subsequent children.


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