Thursday 31st of July 2014

selling a subprime budget...

 

a notch above

Nearly a month since he handed down his first budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey has sought to "set the facts straight" about contentious measures and tackle "head on" widespread accusations that it is unfair.

Mr Hockey has given a speech at the Sydney Institute, defending cuts to government benefits and dramatic changes to higher education and health funding.

The Government is trying to sharpen its sales pitch for the budget, following criticism from key stakeholder groups and a significant slump in voter support in recent polls.

Mr Hockey said the "Government is open to criticism and debate about our budget".

"However, we owe it to the community to set the facts straight and articulate the reasoning behind our decisions," he said.

"I want to address the claim head on that the budget is unfair and exacerbates inequality.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-11/hockey-tries-to-set-straight-perception-budget-is-unfair/5516718

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Here we are, plugging along, doing more stupid cartoons... But we have to. These guys are relentless and we cannot let them get away with it. One fly in the ointment is the Palmer factor... He claims to be this or that but in my book he is a Tony Abbott stooge whose role is to make us believe this or that, while something else is going to happen: Abbott is going to screw you... Already, Palmer has said he would tone down his demands in regard to the "carbon tax" retrospectivity. Thus all this bum fight should also be directed at him and at his gnomes who try to pass for politicians. His ego should be deflated forthwith. Joe Hockey is still trying to sell snake oil...

 

sucking the poor to feed the rich...

The Abbott government has burned much of its political capital for little gain with budget measures characterised by “obvious inequity”, the former Liberal leader John Hewson has argued.

Hewson made the forthright comments about the disproportionate impact of the budget on the poor while launching a new report that points to rising income inequality in Australia.

“Even though the Abbott government were at pains prior to the budget to argue that ‘fixing the budget’, one of those dot points that they took to the election, would be done by sharing the burden of adjustment, the electoral backlash was driven by the obvious inequity of many of the budget measures that were proposed,” Hewson said during an event at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The budget proposed in simple terms a cut of some 12% to 15% in the disposable income of the lower-income groups, single-income families, families with children, but only less than 1% cut in disposable incomes for those on higher incomes.

“Moreover the government has burnt much of its political capital for little gain, in my view, in terms of ‘fixing the budget’, especially when the unfunded challenges of meeting some of those very large expenditure commitments in the out years still persist.”

Hewson, who led the Liberal opposition from 1990 to 1994, suggested some alternative budget ideas he argued would achieve the desired changes in a more equitable way.

He said better targeting of the aged pension by means of reformed asset and income tests would have been more palatable if the pension had also been increased for those who genuinely qualified under those revamped rules, and if superannuation tax concessions that “overtly favoured the rich” had also been reduced simultaneously.

“Super concessions cost roughly the same as the aged pension, but are increasing faster than the cost of the aged pension. An example of the conspicuous benefit to the rich is the concessional tax on superannuation contributions, such that it costs a person on an annual income of about $20,000 about $118 to gain a $100 benefit, whereas somebody on an income of $250,000 only has to spend $62.50 to get the $100 benefit.”...

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/john-hewson-criticises-obvious-inequity-of-budget-measures

 

We need more protests, bigger and bigger protests, relentlessly...

they want you to become desperate poor psychos...

 

From Greg Jericho

The industrial relations debate has been hijacked by the right, and any left-wing protestation about real wages won't do anything to change the tune, writes Greg Jericho.

Let's be blunt. The industrial relation pendulum has swung too far one way. There is almost no doubt the Fair Work Act (FWA), introduced by the ALP in 2009, has seen the IR pendulum, as it was under WorkChoices stay massively swung in favour of the bosses.

The IR debate in this country has long been a complete farce. We are told we need IR "reform" because of productivity and competitiveness, because the militant unions have too much power.

But it's a fib.

This wouldn't matter so much but the problem is those who argue on behalf of workers and those (like me) who write in the media from a left-wing perspective have also become trapped within this fib.

A wage boom? Hell no, the left responds, look at the evidence!

I have written manymany (many!) times how under the FWA wages have not boomed. Indeed the latest wages price index released two weeks ago showed that wages in the past year had actually fallen in real terms.

In February the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, had suggested, like the broken down gramophone that he is, that there was a risk of a "wages explosion". So I'll now pause for you to go read his media release noting the record low growth in wages and praising the IR system that produced it.

No, don't bother. You and I both know there isn't one.

There never is.

But the spittle-dribbling, brain-dulled cry of "wages explosion" is always there - from Senator Abetz, or Joe Hockey, or Tony Abbott or any of their cheerleaders in the media. The recognition of reality? Hell no.

Last week as well the ABS's most recent "Employee earnings, benefits and trade union membership" figures showed that the median wage from 2012 to 2013 did not rise, and thus it also fell in real terms...

read more and see real graphs: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-11/jericho-ir-debate-hijacked-by-the-right/5512754

 

As whatizname G. I. Joe, the treasurer for the gentry and the moneyed says : "we cannot deliver equality" as if if was the purpose of what should be done, when his budget is completely crappily unfair, the regime of Tony Abbott wants you to become competitive but poor desperate psychos... That is to say you'll kill your grandmother to get a job, for which you will get paid a pittance. Unable to make ends meet, you will be working day and night and weekends, because if you don't you'll get the sack, considering there will be more than 157 men, women and students waiting for your job, all prepared to eat mad cow to survive. This is the real world that these dorks in Canberra are preparing for you, slowly but surely. This is their dream. We need more protests, relentlessly... We need to blockade their budget. We need two million people of this fair country protesting in the streets to show how idiotic this government is on all fronts — including health, education and global warming... They are monochromatic idiots who can only see the colour of money...

 

joe is crazy...

In a speech last night, Joe Hockey said unpopular Budget is fair and that everyone who opposes it is engaging in class war. Bob Ellis comments.

IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, a 27-year-old woman in a country town who loses her job as a waitress on a Friday and finds she is pregnant the following Monday.

Under Joe Hockey’s new rules, she will get no money for six months, and must fend for herself until the baby is born and, after it is born, will get no Paid Parental Leave either, because she has no job.

What is happening to her is "fair" Joe Hockey says and complaining about her is

"... the class war rhetoric of the 1970s."

Some of us would think it was unfair — and if there’s a class war on, he’s declared it.

Joe would argue that the woman can, in her ninth month, move to another town and work for the dole, away from her family and their support system, and give birth in the workplace, but some of us would find this unfair also.

Joe would argue this is an ‘isolated case’, probably no more than twenty women will be in this position in the next two years — but the trouble is, 10 million women will have heard of it and will vote his Government out because of it.

This inability to join the dots characterises Joe.

He may be the most incompetent politician in our history. He is certainly the most incompetent Treasurer.

He imagines $7 is no great sacrifice to an old woman in a nursing home with a chronically treatable condition who must go to the doctor twice a week, spending $20 on two visits and four bus fares. He imagines she too is an isolated case and 10 million women will not hear of her.

But of course they will. And they will not find her treatment by him "fair".

 

The Budget is now a quicksand sucking to their doom every rural MP in the nation. Manufacturing jobs are vanishing apace and Joe won’t subsidise them and the women fired from them won’t get PPL — not a cent of it.

Joe is proud of this.

Women once ‘entitled’ to have a subsidised baby won’t, if they lose their job, and are not yet 30, get any pregnancy money at all. And if their husband has lost his job too, at the Holden factory Joe invited to go away, for instance, or the fruit-canning factory that last year moved offshore, well, they now have the ‘age of opportunity’ to look forward to, and a mortgage to pay with relatives’ money till they have to sell up and start to sleep in a car outside a gambling casino, hoping to beg enough to bet inside on their ‘age of opportunity’, roulette.

Joe thinks his Budget has not been sold well. He’s right about that.

No-one in the nation cares about the surplus anymore – apart from maybe thirty economists – and everyone is scared shitless of losing their job and not getting another, ever, because the oldies are now working until they’re seventy. And those that have a job are worried about those that haven’t. Everyone has an unemployed relative, or a disabled one. And Joe didn’t realise they would care.

It is hard not to think him actually crazy. He’s certainly fanatical.

Is there some lesson from his Maronite upbringing that emphasised self-help and God not answering the prayers of the lazy? Does he imagine the millions his wife brings home can remain a secret? Has he joined the dots? I don’t think he has.

It’s unlikely Palmer will even talk to them unless Joe is removed. It’s unlikely, after what they’d said about him, they’ll get anything through except the ending of the carbon tax, which worsens the bottom line.

It’s probable Joe has done for them. And he still thinks he can turn opinion round. Win back the 1.5 million votes they’ve lost in eight months.

He’s actually as crazy as that.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/joes-fair-go-and-his-new-class-war,6569

joe's shit sandwiches .....

Young job seekers forced to wait six months for unemployment benefits will be required to apply for 40 jobs a month, despite not receiving any payments.

Under proposals announced in the budget, job seekers aged under 30 will be ineligible for payments for six months after applying for benefits.

But despite not receiving any money, job seekers will be required to meet the activity requirements for unemployment benefits throughout this period. If they fail to do so, their waiting period will be extended by four weeks.

Job seekers will be required to attend monthly appointments with an employment service provider, and show evidence, such as a job-search diary, that they have looked for 40 jobs that month.Advertisement

Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson said there was a cost involved in looking for work and it was ''totally unrealistic'' to expect job seekers to fulfil such requirements when they are without an income.

Mr Nicholson said he was particularly concerned about the impact the change would have on young people who were unable to rely on family support because of family violence or breakdown, or whose families could not afford to support them.

''Those people have no option to return home. Without income, they are destitute, and if you don't have money for food and shelter and transport, it's impossible to look for work.''

The president of the National Welfare Rights Network, Maree O'Halloran, said the ''harsh'' changes placed unemployed young people in an impossible position.

''They will have no money for bus fares, newspapers, phone calls or an internet connection, yet if they don't look for work they risk having their payments suspended for an extra four weeks.

''The government's version of mutual obligation is very one-sided. The more one looks into this policy … the more unworkable and unreasonable it appears.''

Labor employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor said the Abbott government wanted to walk away from its obligations to job seekers.

''Not content with stripping young job seekers of support when they need it most, this heartless government wants to kill off mutual obligation once and for all,'' he said.

But a spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews defended the requirements.

''These expectations are reasonable and similar to what is currently in place for job seekers on Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance,'' the spokeswoman said.

''It is essential that young job seekers access the employment services available during the waiting period in order to give themselves the best chance of getting a job and remaining connected with the labour market.''

The government estimates the changes will provide savings of $1.2 billion over four years.

Harsh rules for young job seekers 'totally unrealistic'

forcing the states into accounting gymnastics...

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says pensioners and concession card holders will be exempt from the rise in the levy.

"I'm taking all that money and I'm moving it into the health care system ... it will mean an increase to the average household of about $150 per annum," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"It's difficult, it's not what I wanted to do but it's what we have to do."

ESL discounts on vehicle registration also are to end, adding $8 to registration costs.

A fund taken from infrastructure spending will go into health, an area hit hard by the recent federal budget.

It is to mean what the Government terms a "reprofiling" of projects such as the Gawler rail line electrification.

"This is not a cut. This is a suspension, the money remains in the budget and will be spent over the next four years to try and work out how we reconfigure our health care system," the Treasurer said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/south-australia-budget-treasurer-tom-koutsantonis-cuts/5535816

 

All this is due to the crappy unfair Abbott regime budget...

swimming with his own kind...

The federal Opposition is saying senior bureaucrat Martin Parkinson is out of touch, following the Treasury secretary's veiled swipe at Labor's budget response.

Dr Parkinson told a mining conference on Monday it was "unsustainable" to "invoke vague notions of fairness" to oppose all budget reform.

His comments were interpreted by Labor as a thinly veiled swipe at the Opposition's reply to the budget, in which it pledged to oppose key measures like the GP co-payment.

Dr Parkinson repeated his critique before a mining conference in Perth.

"It is one thing to argue that reform proposals should be designed with fairness in mind – nobody would disagree with that," he said.

"It is quite another to invoke vague notions of fairness to oppose all reform."

Labor Leader Bill Shorten hit back after the comments, describing the budget as one which creates "inequality".

"It is not vague if you are under 30 and have no income for six months – that's real," Mr Shorten said on Tuesday.

"It is not vague if all of a sudden ... your cost of a science degree could triple. These are not vague notion[s], this is just extreme."

Labor backbencher Jim Chalmers has sharpened the Opposition's attack, saying the Treasury boss would not have a clue about his budget's real-life impacts.

"The nature of the Treasury secretary's job is such that he wouldn't mix with the people most adversely affected by this unfair budget," Dr Chalmers said in a statement.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-03/labor-attacks-treasury-secretary-after-budget-reply-criticism/5569762