Sunday 17th of January 2021

more trickle-down than usual...


A budget for men designed by men (‘‘Women, over 35s ‘ignored in budget’’’, October 8). How long will it take Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg to make a connection between Australia’s declining birth rate and women’s overall sense of security: financial, physical, social and environmental?

Kate Lumley, Hurlstone Park


Finally, it has become front page news that women, especially those over 35, are usually ignored by those controlling the purse strings.

Joy Cooksey, Harrington


Seems like ‘‘too old for a job’’ now starts at 35.

Tim Schroder, Gordon


The Coalition just can’t get beyond its nasty streak (‘‘Language barrier: Australia to block visa for partners if they don’t speak English’’, October 8). In this budget, when pestilence and disaster push us to the brink, they introduce an English language test for spouses – hardly big picture stuff but consistent with their need to act tough in the face of the looney One Nation right nibbling at their electoral base. And so we lurch towards a rebranded, flag-waving white Australia and further denigrate our standing as a nation of fair-minded, friendly people.

Peter Hull, Hat Head


The headline says it all about the real beneficiaries (‘‘Big business leaders line up to praise ‘best’ budget’’, October 8). Now, if only those pesky labour regulations could be removed, a new nirvana will arise.

Brenton McGeachie, Queanbeyan West


Hands up those who think corporate Australia will use the budget incentives to get the economy out of the current crisis (‘‘Economists cast doubts on rosy projections’’, October 8). Hands up those who think they will use it to underwrite profits, dividends and executive bonuses as many have done with JobKeeper. Hands down!

Jim Doyle, Concord West


It took Morrison and Frydenberg six extra months to deliver a budget that looks no different to any other Liberal budget – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, just as you’d expect from the privileged classes. So why the massive delay?

Peter Newberry, Randwick


Karen Joynes has articulated my feelings entirely (Letters, October 8). Our current economic system is predicated entirely on growth. The world’s resources are finite. To have cities growing taller with ever-expanding footprints is unsustainable. Population is our problem, more people, more consumption, more demands on resources, more pollution. A steady, state economic model will be the solution.

Terry O’Malley, Bowral


People will persist in viewing the country’s budgeting as being similar to an ordinary household. There is a great deal of difference, as a liberal democracy has many more tools in its armoury to handle debt and deficit than does the ordinary citizen. And with interest rates at an all-time low, surely governments can afford to be creative.

With this in mind, and with the likelihood that there will be some people in this depression climate who will never get a job, however hard they try, it is a time to unleash the purse strings a little more and ensure that the unemployed are treated with basic humanity.

Derrick Mason, Boorowa



Sydney Morning Herald — 09/10/2020

admiring the treasurer...

As usual, The Daily Telegraph, supports the coalition. One does not know if the DT admires the treasurer for being a Ghost-Buster or for being one of the glorious front-line troops spraying chloride derivative chemicals that "destroy" Covid19 — chemicals that end up in waterways doing more harm than good...


treasurer DT...


And make sure you read the "experts" of what's in it for you. CASH, CASH, CASH, CASH in your pocket... MORE CASH if you're rich and nothing if you're poor or a woman...



There may even be downsides to widespread overzealous disinfection with bleach, notes Julia Silva Sobolik, a graduate student in Leon’s lab. “Bleach is highly irritating to mucous membranes,” Sobolik says. That means people exposed to sprayed disinfectants—especially the workers who spray them—are at risk of respiratory troubles, among other ailments. Sobolik notes that an October 2019 study in JAMA Network Open found that nurses who regularly used disinfectants to clean surfaces were at higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A 2017 study linked exposure to disinfectants to asthma to adults in Germany. Both of those studies dealt with yearslong exposure to disinfectants. Still, the message seems to be taking hold. In a recent television broadcast by state CCTV in China, Zhang Liubo, a researcher with China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, warned the public that, “Outdoor surfaces, such as roads, squares, lawns, should not be sprayed with disinfectants repeatedly. … Spraying disinfectants over a large area and repeatedly may cause environmental pollution and should be avoided.”



But we're not irritated by sprayed CASH, are we? Unfortunately for the Gus household, the budget has zilch, nothing nada, zero stuff in it...

maybe you can play more people for mugs...


By Michael Pascoe


This is the 41st federal budget I’ve had some journalistic interest in, the 38th that I’ve had detailed responsibility for covering.

None has come anywhere near the spin and marketing BS of Josh Frydenberg’s second.

To attempt to pass off this year’s tax cuts as roughly double their actual size is close to fraudulent.

The attempt to hide the fat tax increase the government is proposing for most Australians next year is outrageous.

And such is this government’s media management talent – its biggest apparent talent – they largely got away with it.

Not for the first time, it points to the issue of trust: Can the Morrison/Frydenberg government be trusted to be honest with people, to be straight with us instead of treating every announcement as a marketing stunt?

In the inevitable search for a title to summarise Tuesday night’s effort, I propose “Frydenberg’s Whirling Dervish Budget”.

If you know your whirling Dervishes, you’ll realise that they’re all about spinning and faith.

Listening to the budget speech, I at first thought the Treasurer had made an embarrassing little blunder when he seemed to be comparing this year’s income tax with that of 2017-18. Surely nobody could try to multiply the stimulus required this year by adding on the rather lacklustre impact of 2018’s tax cuts.

But Mr Frydenberg did: “As a proportion of tax payable compared to 2017-18, the greatest benefits will flow to those on lower incomes – with those earning $40,000 paying 21 per cent less tax, and those on $80,000 paying around 11 per cent less tax this year,” he said.

“Under our changes, more than seven million Australians receive tax relief of $2000 or more this year.”

If 2017-18 didn’t quickly register, you were misled. As Josh Butler explains, this year’s tax cuts are about half or less of what the Treasurer was trying to claim.

But why stop at 2017-18, Josh? Why not go back to 1970 or 1960 to get an even bigger figure? If you say it quickly, maybe you can play more people for mugs.

There was worse news tucked away in the spin. The vast majority of Australians getting a little tax cut this year won’t be receiving it from the phase two of the government’s fabled tax revolution.

Their reduction only comes from the extension of the low-to-middle income tax offset (LMITO). Note carefully the way the Treasurer framed that announcement: “We will also retain the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset for an additional year.”

The LMITO is not part of the legislated phase two. Mr Frydenberg is only saying it will be extended for this year.

The Guardian’s graphmeister Greg Jericho wasn’t fooled by the government’s attempts to spin. He knocked up two graphs that show very clearly  (1) how much less tax you will pay this year compared to last year i.e. the extra money people with jobs will have in their pockets.


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some times the trickle is honey...


The head of Australia’s infrastructure department has agreed that it looks as though officials attempted to cover up an inflated valuation for a controversial land sale connected to the second Sydney airport – and insists that he’s embarked on a clean-up exercise.

Simon Atkinson, the secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, faced hours of questions on Monday before Senate estimates about a decision by officials to spend $30m on a parcel of land near the Western Sydney airport worth just $3m – an acquisition that has been excoriated by the Australian National Audit Office.

The controversy stems from a decision in 2018 when officials on behalf of the commonwealth agreed to pay a Liberal donor, the Leppington Pastoral Company, 10 times the fair value of 12.26 hectares of land that, after 30 years, will serve as a second runway for Sydney’s second airport.

The Australian National Audit Office found departmental officials had acted unethically by failing to advise ministers and other senior decision makers how much they proposed to pay the landowner, and for not providing accurate answers when the audit office investigated the acquisition.

Atkinson confirmed during Monday’s hearing that the land sale was the subject of an investigation by the Australian federal police as well as separate investigations he had initiated. The former inspector general of intelligence and security Vivienne Thom is leading one probe, the former Fair Work commissioner Barbara Deegan another.

The secretary said one member of staff had been stood down pending the outcome of the investigations and a second official was also under investigation for potentially failing to manage a disclosed conflict of interest.



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