Monday 1st of September 2014

the lucky country .....

the lucky country .....

from Politicoz …..

Fifty years ago, Donald Horne wrote famously that “Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck”. It was in spite of the efforts of its political and business leaders, and not because of them, he argued, that Australia had emerged from the post-war era with high levels of wealth, social stability and egalitarianism.

Before and since, despite its natural wealth, Horne observed so many leaders determined to ride that luck, with policies designed to advance inequality and attack social stability.

Released yesterday, the federal government’s Commission of Audit report shows just what kind of society Australians could expect if they allowed its authors – Tony Abbott’s “men of a certain age”, as Rachel Nolan puts it – to actually implement their wish lists. Predicated on a “budget crisis” when the nation’s debt as a percentage of GDP is one of the lowest in the developed world, their solution is massive cuts (totalling $70 billion each year) to pensions, health care, education and other forms of social security.

According to experts, many of the proposed changes – such as the introduction of a $15 GP co-payment, which would likely drive patients into hospitals – would end up costing taxpayers even more. The report does not recommend doing anything about the estimated $100 billion in taxation concessions enjoyed annually by the wealthiest.

Of course the government won’t touch most of the Commission’s recommendations with a barge pole, which only begs the question: what was the point of it all?