Joe Hockey, as I heard on the radio recently, is claiming that his recent ‘horror’ budget is fair because each Australian works one month a year to pay for welfare. Interestingly, he is not revealing how many weeks a person works to cover generous far-reaching tax concessions which significantly benefit the wealthy. Greg Jericho of The Guardian recently wrote that ‘billions of dollars in revenue … is forgone each year due to exemptions within the taxation system’. He also relays that a recent IMF assessment of the failing Italian economy led to the IMF’s concern of the misuse by government of tax concessions that were vulnerable to lobbying. Jericho wrote that ‘the IMF working paper displayed that Australia actually has a greater amount of tax expenditures per GDP than Italy or many other advanced economies’. 
Consequently, Hockey’s media grab reveals explicitly that his approach is a one-dimensional simplistic assessment, emotive and seeking to blame disadvantaged people for their situation. Like one friend recently made note, ‘rich people tell the middle class to blame the poor’.
Hockey is a dramatic actor and will expressively play his political machinations through distinct repertoire of body language. We had a ‘jolly Joe’ before Christmas and now there is the ‘furrowing his brow, bowing and shaking his jowls’ with the foreboding bad news of the budget.
As Treasurer, and without an economics degree, ‘Hockey comes across as full of bluster and bombast.’ Today he states ‘I’m dealing with the reality here.’ This is an interesting comment given this government does it’s best to ignore reality. The scientific data of climate change and ecological devastation, the denial of statistics that underpin equal opportunity to health and education to strengthen economic prosperity with positive social outcomes rather than at the cost of social outcomes that only ever touch the vulnerable.
More than any other quality, the Coalition is marked by a false anxiety. Hockey’s statement that we are at the end of the age of entitlement is a confusing one, particularly when this government is obviously acting contrary to this strategy. The only exception is when it is actually those in need of support who, in the eyes of Abbott, Hockey and their colleagues, must be fully to blame for their own misfortune. This is the same government who took away low and middle income superannuation initiatives to give even more to the superannuation support of the high income earners. This is the same government who wants to provide a not only a new welfare regime in the form of parental payment leave (which is a good idea) but wants to make a gold plated version of it.
This is at a time once again when the overlooked are, you guessed, overlooked. The older workers who have worked all their lives and are now unable to acquire work mostly because they are over 45 years old, along with carers who have had to sacrifice their livelihoods, and often at the prime income generating portion of their lives, to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. This is at a time when single parents and their children are living below the poverty line.
Ross Gittins wrote, “What made the recurrence of my fiscal nightmare so scary was Hockey’s fatuous statement that ”no country has ever taxed its way to prosperity”, which signalled his resolve to get the deficit down purely by cuts in government spending. Seriously? That’s a sign he still doesn’t understand the nature and severity of his problem. No treasurer has ever purely cut his way to budget balance. Not an encouraging sign.”
We need to look to generating prosperity in ways that are positive and create momentum for the creation of the society of the future. Impoverishing the vulnerable within a
The Coalition want to scrap supporting superannuation for low income earners while bolstering the superannuation of high income earners. Yes. More of the same from the Coalition with Abbott and Hockey. The family values here are that you are only ever eligible, now and in the future, if you already have everything you need and everything you want. Otherwise it is not our problem according to the policy of the Coalition.
This direction of policy tells me there is no no consideration of just or fair. This direction tells me we are dealing with a medieval mindset to enslave the less fortunate now and well Continue reading →
Abbott knows what it is to have your pay significantly decreased and experience ‘mortgage stress’ when in 2007 the election of the Rudd Government created serious mortgage stress for the former Howard government ministers!” he said at the time.
Abbott said, “You don’t just lose power … you certainly lose income as well, and if you are reliant on your parliamentary salary for your daily living, obviously it makes a big difference.”
Annabel Crabb wrote that ‘Mr Abbott was notoriously knocked-around by his change of circumstance, which obliged him to take out a $700,000 mortgage on his northern Continue reading →