Friday 29th of May 2020

to the pitchforks, good folks of orstralya...


As dawn broke over Australia's new federal budget on Wednesday, it found some interest groups reeling at the new and straitened circumstances under which they will henceforth be obliged to live.

Among the hardest hit are firebrand conservative columnists, whose crucial supply of rant fuel has been cut off abruptly by the newly released national fiscal blueprint.

The suffering of such opinion leaders is twofold. Not only will most be obliged personally to pay the deficit levy on Australians earning more than $180,000 a year, but they have also effectively been stripped of two subjects – class war taxes on the rich and the reprehensibility of broken campaign promises – on which many had formerly relied heavily for rhetorical ballast.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard's broken promise on the carbon tax provided a rich source on which such commentators were able to subsist comfortably for years – even after the defeat of her government, it was not unusual to see entire columns reminding readers of how pusillanimous an act it is for a politician to say one thing before an election and do another afterwards.  

But the budget has largely stilled the production line of outrage on these points, proving once again that budgets – particularly harsh ones – do indeed change behaviour.

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Here, here Annabel, calm down... Here, Crabb is showing her usual grand art of fence-sitting with great cunning and magic conning ability. But it does not wash. The Devine, the Albrechtsen, the Bolt still spend all the time at the wheel of their microphones and typewriters, demonising the past occupiers of power. And please note with a pen and a bit of paper that Julia Gillard never broke her promise about a "carbon tax". Her deed was a "carbon pricing" which was structured in the form of a precursor to an ETS — NEVER a carbon tax. The difference is huge and the carbon pricing so far has been working.  Stop perpetuating the myth.

Today's Devine rant is no exception to the loony conservative columnists: Kev cant waffle his way out of this — referring to kevin Rudd's successful insulation programme (one million house insulated, 400 fires due to shonky operators, four deaths due to shonky installations by shonky operators), continually savagely poopooed by these Gengis Khan spruikers, and STUDENT ATTACK DISCREDITS UNI (poor Julie, THERE WAS NO ATTACK despite trying to create one)... FARM SIEGE HAS RUN OUT OF GAS (apparently a farmer wanted his land peppered with holes for coal seam gas but was stopped by protesters opposing the deed as it would interfere with water table next door BUT the gas exploration company could have been involved in corruption — being referred to ICAC) and SLEEPING GIANT SOLD US A PUP (mentioning that Palmer sleeping in parliament was a given for not to believe his views. Palmer sleeping in parliament has nothing to do whether we like his policies or not). 
Annabel concludes with the aplomb of a trapeze artist:...

Incidentally, it's worth pointing out that Joe Hockey – the author of all this inconvenience – is probably the player concerned who can least be accused of double-dealing. He made his views on "entitlement" known before the election and, in government, he has ploughed on and written a budget to match, in the process collecting brickbats for everything from his taste in smokeables and music to the price tag on a dress worn by his wife, a self-made woman who has earned a lot over her life, not least the right to wear whatever she wants.

People used to write of Hockey that he lacked political and economic courage. But they don't any more. That's political climate change for you.

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Yet again Annabel is quite easy-loosy with the truth, fleeting like a butterfly avoiding the spider webs.

JOE NEVER DENIED ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HIS BOSS WAS BULLSHITTING ABOUT, Annabel. And Joe has been talking about "heavy lifting" and the "end of the age of entitlement" since the day he was born — being a couple of euphemisms for noticing he had to lift his own weight out of bed and had to go on a diet, which he has since abandoned it seems, as he smokes cigars. But HIS "end of entitlements" windmilling is only for some: the disadvantaged who can least afford the cuts. The scientists whom we need most. The students learning stuff for the future of this country. While miners get away with more of OUR loot.
And Joe's "medical research fund", is a nifty card trick in which little money will flow on from a heap of cash stolen from "ordinary" Australians who could do well with a couple of beers. In the same breath, his "debt levy" will only collect a few peanuts from the stupid rich monkeys' cousins who have not had time to bring their PERSONAL earnings below the $180,000 threshold, when the deed in enforced — by creating TRUST FUNDS, offshore accounts and other trick of the rich trade ...  Joe is a heavy in the Crapmeister Abbott team and cannot be absolved of the dishonest crime from that team of thieves, in which Joe also used a fellow christian, Cormann, to help him along sell totally unchristian CRAP.
Your article, Annabel, is up to your usual excellent fence-sitting. I hope your arse does not feel numb yet, though... 



James Packer is led to a gallows where the bodies of fellow Aussie billionaires Anthony Pratt and Gina Rinehart already swing.

The wild-eyed crowd is exultant, dressed in stolen Tom Ford suits and Gucci, leaning against looted Bentleys, skolling dusty bottles of Grange.

As the noose is passed over Packer’s head, a hard-eyed former garbo screams at the mob of hairdressers, bus drivers, waiters and labourers: “Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood!”

With a sickening “thunk”, Packer’s fortunes take their final plunge. “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” chants the crowd.

This is surely not a world I would want to live in. However, history tells us revolution is often the natural progression of inequality. To some, a society where four or five hundred families control the majority of a country’s wealth might be equally as repugnant as the above barbarism, yet it’s actually far more likely.

As of 2013, the 200 individuals on the BRW rich list were worth almost $200 billion, which is about 8 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product, the value of every good and service produced in this country in one year by the other 23.486 million of us.

Despite cautionary tales of booms and busts, fortunes of hundreds of millions, of billions, are rarely squandered. They do not disappear. They compound at an astonishing rate and by the time Packer’s children are his age, the “1 per cent” which he and Gina swing with, so to speak, will probably own as much of the country as the entire population of Sydney.

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He knew it before the deed — it is deceit and dishonesty...


Tony Abbott has questioned the need for an emergency meeting of state governments over the federal budget's $80 billion cut to schools and hospitals as he all but conceded breaking a promise over taxes.

The Prime Minister said on Sunday his government could have continued to try to “fool” people over the need for the federal government to tighten its belt but had decided Australia could not live on borrowed money.

Mr Abbott said that additional funding promised by Labor for health and education had never been accounted for in the budget as he stepped up pressure on the Senate cross bench to respect the government's majority.

"We are happy to talk about different details with minor parties and independents in the Senate but they've got to accept that we are the government."

Mr Abbott told the ABC: “We could have continued to try to fool people and say, 'You don't have to change' but that would, frankly, have been pretending to people that our country could somehow go on living on borrowed money."

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That is a lot of rubbish, Mr Rubbishmeister!... Labor's policies were all properly costed before the elections... Tony, yours were a humongous pack of lies. Simple. And you're still crapping on...


the lucky country ....

Yes Gus,

In the words of john passant …..

We are all in this together. A person on $250,000 will pay an extra $1400 in tax for a few years. A 24 year old unemployed person will lose $2500 a year.

For the rich person it might mean they cut back on their cigars or their Grange. For the young unemployed person the choice may well be between lunch and dinner.

Capital of course bears no burden. Hockey argued that they are doing the heavy lifting because big business is missing out on a tax cut. I am missing out on a tax cut too Joe, so why all the extra heavy lifting for me but not the rich and powerful?

And tell me Joe, how are the 50% of big businesses which pay no income tax bearing any burden even under your warped logic?

My 85 year old father wants to know if the $5 Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme increase will apply to his $6.00 prescriptions. You know, the ones that keep him alive. While I will pay an extra $5 for mine, so it will be around $42 a month for each of my five prescriptions.  Dad’s will increase from $6.00 to $6.80 for each of his. Meanwhile Fortescue Metals Group hasn’t paid any income tax for the last 18 years. Seems fair. FMG pays no tax and my Dad gets slugged an extra $15% in his life saving medicines. We sure are all in this together.

For patients who need lots of medicines the PBS safety net will increase to $1597.80 from next January, an increase of $150. This means they can’t get subsidised medicines until they spend another $150.

Every time my Dad goes to the Doctor for prescription renewals and other matters he’ll pay a $7 co-payment. Too right that bludgers like him (extreme sarcasm) start paying their way. Who needs a universal health scheme when there is profit to be made? The wealthy will get gold star medical treatment and the rest of us can see the snake oil salesmen.

Blood tests and X-Rays will now also include the $7 co-payment. Dad has regular tests.

The Medicare refund for people like me who pay shitloads to see their family doctor, who doesn’t bulk bill because we have barely modest incomes, will be cut by $5.

My son is a great guitarist, currently unemployed. He is under 30. He will have to work 15 hours for the dole from 1 July if he doesn’t get some music work. Work for the dole is a way of undermining the pitiful minimum wage. The hours will increase to 25 hours a week from 1 July next year.

My son could end up as part of Abbott’s direct action green army. Left, right, left, right, don’t think, pick up rubbish to give the impression of work. Plant a few trees to give the impression of addressing climate change. Put your finger in that environmental dyke young boy.

Even worse, people under 30 will have to wait six months before getting the dole for the first time. And when they do they too will have to work for it. So what do they live on before then? Stealing? Prostitution? Drug dealing? Begging? This is not a one off. For every year a person is unemployed there will be six months off the dole and then six months on.

The government will deregulate University fees.  The loan repayments will kick in at a lower rate, just over $50,000 in income. Students undertaking higher degrees by research will now be expected to pay almost $4000 a year towards the cost of their degrees. Oh, and the government will also cut funding for Uni courses by 20%. Deregulated fees and competition between institutions will drive higher and higher fees. $100,000 courses are on the agenda. There’s gold in them thar campuses. 

Every time you fill up the car, Joe Hockey will be there with his hand in your pocket. The reintroduction of fuel excise indexation will hit poor people and people who live in regional areas the most. It will increase basic consumption costs since much of the supermarket supplies are shipped by road.

Labor put in train increases in the pension age to 67 by 2017. The Liberals will continue this logic and increase the age to 70 by 2035. Meanwhile the $15 billion in revenue forgone through superannuation tax concessions to the top five percent of income earners remains untouched. Oh, but if we get rid of that they’ll just go into negative gearing. OK. Limit negative gearing losses to rental income. Pretty simple really.

The mining boom investment stage has ended and is moving into the production stage. So the government that is so opposed to government ‘interference’ will spend tens of billions on roads, rail, ports and airports as part of an infrastructure program. This is welfare for the mining companies to be able to get their resources to port cheaper. And where the money is spent on roads for we plebs, it is just what we need - more roads for more cars at higher cost petrol for more greenhouse gas emissions.  Public transport anyone? A very fast freight and passenger service down the Eastern seaboard anyone?

This government has all the vision of Mr Magoo, the Mr Magoo of 2020 vision only for the rich. They are blind to the rest of us.

Scrooge and co are also going to cut school and hospital funding  by $80 billion over the enxt decade and ask the States and Territories to pick up the slack. , nay demand, a broadening of the GST base and an increase in its rate. The likelihood is that they won’t have the money to bridge the gap so public schools and hospitals will be left to rot. And since the States have few revenue opportunities, they will ask for, nay demand, a broadening of the GST base and an increase in its rate.

Sole parents and families with one parent at home will lose their Family Tax Benefit B payment when their youngest child turns six, instead of 18. Those same groups with incomes between $100,000 and $150,000 will lose Family Tax Benefit B. Family tax benefit A+B payments will be frozen for two years. These changes will save $8 billion over 4 years. They will also cut the living standards of millions of Australians.

And the party of creating jobs (irony alert) will sack 16500 public servants. This will throw up to 50,000 people – the employees and their families – into chaos and possible poverty. It will also deliver worse services from an already overworked, understaffed and underfunded public service.

There is more, much more of these bliztkreig attacks. I’ll talk in detail about them tomorrow.

Hockey tells us the pain is necessary for future gain. You’ll get pie in the sky when you die too.

Even the government predicts unemployment will rise to 6.25% and stay there for the next two years. Real unemployment is much higher.

The silence of the trade union leadership lambs condemns them. Where is the call to action?

If they gave one, rather than just urging us to vote Labor, many workers would respond. They could call us out to shut down the country to protect jobs, wages and the social wage. They won’t because the culture of class collaboration and trickledown economics is now so embedded in their thinking that, with a few exceptions, struggle is a thing of the past.

Meanwhile the bosses’ class war not only continues but is accelerating.

This is a budget of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Only class war by our side can stop the attacks now and into the future on our jobs, wages, health care, education and other elements of the social wage.

A Budget of the rich, by the rich, for the rich