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!