The big Budget whinge

Boy, we really are a spoiled and entitled mob. The press at Business Spectator, The Guardian and the Fairfax metro dailies is chock-o-block with whinging about this Budget cut or that. Just about nowhere does anyone say ‘well, if it’s good for the country…’

It’s not a perfect Budget. It’s too weighted towards youth and welfare cuts for the needy. But, overall, it’s a fair effort in its assumptions which clearly point to why some harshness is needed. What’s more, the direction is good in its attack on the entitlement mentality. Here’s what S&P said:

Overall, this budget, along with the nature of the current political debate, is consistent with our view of strong political commitment to prudent budget finances. The government flagged its intention to make politically-sensitive spending cuts of this nature well in advance. It strongly signaled its intentions to address spending pressures since before the September 2013 general election, continuing most recently with the release of the Commission of Audit report. Indeed, ongoing willingness to make difficult budgetary choices may well be needed in coming years. We consider there to be potential for further revenue write-downs, given the current importance of Australia’s terms of trade to the government’s revenue base and the inherent difficulty in forecasting its trajectory.

That’s right, we have little choice and more will be needed. That’s the growth straight jacket we’ve created for ourselves. As I wrote last week:

There are three vulnerabilities in [Australia’s growth] model. The first is that the income underpinning the borrowing could decline. This is the China shock scenario. The second two follow on and refer to credit quality. At some point the housing quango could run out of steam. It may be happen because it’s unaffordable or, like Moody’s warns today, it may be that offshore investors get spooked by rising prices and the threat of a bubble implosion. In that event the cost of offshore credit that drives the system will get more expensive and growth suffers as a result, chronically and then suddenly.

What prevents this is the government keeping a clean public balance sheet and AAA rating as the guarantor of the bank’s borrowings. For that to work, the same credit rating agencies have insisted that we must “aim for surplus across the cycle”. The government, whomever they may be, has no choice but to put the Budget on a surplus trajectory in reasonable time, or the downgrades will flow and credit will get more expensive for the banks.

Whether its public or private borrowing it can no longer grow sustainably or at a high enough levels to support the standards of living we are used to in our domestic economic activity. So when Moody’s warns about house prices and the Government warns about Budget tightening both are pulling the straps of the same straight jacket a little tighter from opposite sides.

No, it hasn’t yet attacked the black hole of budget rorts but it’s going to have to in the Government’s second term and it’s starting that process now with a taxation review. A little real politik, peeps!

It is useful to remember on such days, as the pampered flowers of privilege bloom in the MSM, that Australia topped the OECD Better Life Index again just last week:

sdsa

Australia performs very well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Australia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is 31 197 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn almost six times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, over 72% of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 78% of men are in paid work, compared with 67% of women. People in Australia work 1 728 hours a year, less than most people in the OECD who work 1 765 hours. Another key measure, however, is how many people work very long hours. About 14% of employees work very long hours, much higher than the OECD average of 9%, with 21% of men working very long hours compared with just 6% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Australia, 74% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of men than women, as 76% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 73% of women. This difference is higher than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. In terms of the quality of its educational system, the average student scored 514 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 497. On average in Australia, girls outperformed boys by 8 points, slightly below the average OECD gap of 10 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 80 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 13.1 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Australia also does well in terms of water quality, as 93% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, higher than the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Australia, where 93% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 93% during recent elections; this figure is the highest in the OECD where the average is 72%. There is little difference in voting levels across society; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 94% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 92%, a much narrower difference than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points and suggesting there is broad social inclusion in Australia’s democratic institutions

In general, Australians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 83% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day(feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc. ) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 76%.

Without the whining we’d be unbeatable!

Comments

  1. “it hasn’t yet attacked the black hole of budget rorts”

    Yet?

    IF . . . it does next election cycle I will cheer, but I am not holding my breath.

    No Vision yet in my book, unless you want to count the $250 million for untrained school chaplains.

    And as for our ‘happiness’, never underestimate the impact of sunshine – it’s the reason I still live here.

    • $250 mill –

      Crikey that’s a lot of money to spend on lay preachers who aren’t supposed to preach.

    • I think that reducing welfare payments towards the youth and needy will only work if immigration is also cut, after all how can you expect the dole bludgers to look for a job if they have to compete with all the new arrivals.

  2. Me me me and everyone should else should pay for it!

    Damn I wish we had a rate rise to look forward to soon.

  3. Stephen Morris

    Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 93% during recent elections; this figure is the highest in the OECD where the average is 72%. There is little difference in voting levels across society; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 94% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 92%, a much narrower difference than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points and suggesting there is broad social inclusion in Australia’s democratic institutions.

    Someone please tell me that the OECD is not as ignorant as to write something like that.

    Are they totally unaware that Australia has compulsory voting and fines people who fail to attend a voting booth on election day?

    Are they really that ignorant?

  4. HnH,

    At a macro scale – maybe.

    But on a strategic scale – not so much…

    Australia is 14th in the OECD on R&D spending. Sweden with it’s 9 million people have ~10 major globally recognised brands – Australia with it’s strong economy and 24 million has – none.

    The US has a massive appetite for innovation risk and huge government support for innovation – particularly in energy.

    The US has a major Innovation strategy in place – as Obama says “innovation is key to our future”.

    So Abbot is halving the support for general innovation and reducing the R&D Tax incentive.

    They’re shutting down ARENA. ARENA is providing 20%-50 co-funding of pre- commercial truly innovative projects. Remaining funding comes from debt and equity contributions. It’s clear that most of this dead in the water (in Australia at least) without something like ARENA. Trust me – I’m up to my nuts in this stuff.

    Some of it is big and has massive potential and is quite clearly – highly prospective. But either way – ARENA was in a position to leverage investment of $5-7 billion – on just the stuff everybody thinks we should be doing.

    Hey 3d – I’m also chest deep in innovation in dirt diggn’ too – so I’m not just a friggn’ hippie.

    Sure – cut the waste, sheltered workshops and entitlement; but don’t cut the smart stuff – stuff that is actually, demonstrably working.

    • I have to agree with you HRH.

      There’s anther dimension to this as well, to do with capturing the expertise in renewables investment, which progresses as follows:

      1. ARENA spends a motza training a bunch of financial minds to understand the investment environment facing renewables.

      2. The banks want that human capital for themselves, but don’t want to pay for the investment.

      3. This government obliges the banks, by abolishing ARENA, and the banks pick up the well-trained minds on the cheap.

      Yet again, the financial rent-seekers win.

  5. So having an opinion about something you disagree with is whining?
    Classic trick to stifle debate and get people to accept anything so as not be be seen as a “whinger”.
    “Suck it up” types just mask their insecurity about being a fool with that phrase, and might fall in line.
    Those who know better won’t .

      • Sure. And I and many others are not “all bad” either.
        With all this this talk of the End of Entitlement, Everyone is Entitled to the freedom of their own mind.

      • Questioning how unemployed people under 30 will live without support for 6 months or how deregulating HCES fees is ‘good’ for the country = considered whining by MB.

      • Exactly HnH Thank you

        It’s just a fact that we can’t have it all and more. We can debate what might be good or bad but the whinging and whining going on in the MSM is that ‘we want it all and more and we want it all now”

        Well sorr! THAT is just not possible!

        Stephen Morris probably has some worthwhile opinions on this but the MSM really reinforces the whinging mentality and for ‘good’ reason. People only watch shows that tell them what they want to hear. So any MSM TV station that said “Stop all your whinging you can’t have it all” would have no viewers and then no advedrtisers. Pretty similar problem that politicians themselves have.
        It’s not ‘THEM’ that is the problem…It’s US

      • The ‘epic outburst’ is designed to sell papers, as that’s the aim of commercial press. I thought a cynical type such as yourself would have been all over that.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @flawse We can debate what might be good or bad but the whinging and whining going on in the MSM is that ‘we want it all and more and we want it all now”Well sorr! THAT is just not possible!

        Of couse not boomers already took it all, and now don’t want to give up any of their gains and want everyone else to “suck it up”…

      • Again Mig you confuse the debate. Yep some, or rather the majority, of Boomers stuffed the country. However the desired agenda of youngewr generations is just an inflated version of what the Boomers started.
        Again the REAL argument should be about productive vs non-productive. Generally what is planned by those who argue here is even more non-productive expenditure and activity.

      • ” I thought a cynical type such as yourself would have been all over that.”

        Yep Turn…that’s exactly my point. We’re on some sort of whirlpool with each section of society feeding off and reinforcing the other in some mad drive to oblivion.

    • Yet we have had the raging left shout down, belittle and insult anyone who doesn’t hold to their inflated ego and elitist opinion on a regular basis ever since last election. How is that any different to what you are railing against?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yet we have had the raging left shout down, belittle and insult anyone who doesn’t hold to their inflated ego and elitist opinion on a regular basis ever since last election.

        For example ?

  6. dumb_non_economist

    hnh,

    Did you feel you were somewhat entitled to a free Uni education back in your day? Do you feel along with all your cohorts you should pay that back with interest? No, didn’t think so.

    Abbott isn’t going to attack any high level entitlement to business or high income earners, it’s what he believes in.

    As pointed out on the 7.30 Report, unemployed 25 yr old gives up 2k, someone on 250k 1400, shit!

    I wonder how loudly you’d whine if you were one of those having to take the cuts.

      • “But the rich will be next. This is only the beginning.”

        Astonishing. It appears that HnH can now read minds.

        Is this the sort of ridiculous analysis MB expects people to pay for?

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        The rich will never be next, especially since one of ‘the rich’ is holding the balance of power in the Senate.

      • dumb_non_economist

        Okay, did you pay 6% interest? (btw how much were the fees back then? I thought you were too old to have been caught up in the start of HECS?) The likes of teachers and all the other low paid tertiary educated get hit with a increased HELP bill and a doubling of the interest rate, nice one!

        Apprentices get to apply for a 20k loan, FFS, they get paid shit money for 3-4 yrs while their employer is charging them out at trade rates into their 2nd yr.

        Sorry, but I doubt he’ll hit the rich or business. Times are so tough we’ll cut the company tax rate.

      • I agree with education investment before this goes further!

        But I do think the rorts will have to be next. The economy won’t meet the governments expectations of recovery as China and housing slow.

        Tax reform will be required as a part of the productivity push.

      • But I do think the rorts will have to be next.

        Hahahahahahah.. Are you in for a big disappointment..

        Have you learnt nothing from the way the unelected elites at the RBA have behaved so far (still waiting for Macroprudential?) ? The political elites will do their best and throw everyone else under the bus in order to keep the unsustainable rorts going on for a bit longer.

      • “But the rich will be next”

        And how did you work that out? The impression I got from the budget is thay they will everything thing they can to avoid going after the rich.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        But the rich will be next. This is only the beginning.

        Wow.

        We just got budget built around little more than neoliberal ideology – supporting the wealthy, entrenching the poor and punishing the unemployed, and you honestly think that ?

        My mind is boggled that after weeks, if not months, of considered and equitable suggestions from MB bloggers on what could be done to help the economy, you’re calling this a “fair effort”, and people disagreeing are called “whingers”.

      • “But the rich will be next.”

        Why on earth would you believe that?

        From a purely political point of view, if you’re going to attack your own supporters, you’d do it as far out from an election as possible.

        From a social justice point of view, you’d clearly target the rich first.

        There’s a reason why the COA was instructed not to consider tax revenues and expenditures.

      • I’m a little stunned. You’re normally quite rational.

        All I hope is that a few days before I experience my first mugging at knife-point: you have yours and blog about it.

        Young hungry people don’t curl up and die when they’re cut off you know.

        You… do know that – right?

      • Come now, myne, you know I have immense sympathy with the plight of Australia’s young.

        I was aiming my criticism at the general tone of outrage from all quarters on a Budget that made some effort to be balanced and remedy the entitlement culture.

        That doesn’t change my crusade to make the system pay attention to the future and its denizens.

      • As the sharks circle, MB greases up its Fonzie jacket, and eyes a pair of water-skis.

      • But the rich will be next.

        I would like to believe that, truly I would, but it will never happen.

        Fundraising is an arms race, that has become clear. I find it amazingly naive that you think that the LibLab politicians would ever turn on the hands that feed them.

      • I also expect this is the beginning. The tax review will pave the way for more change, change that will impact the more wealthy.

        MB has not jumped the shark.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @3d change that will impact the more wealthy.

        You’re such a tool! You’ve arguing, ad nauseum I might add, against that – a la Labour’s taxes – and now you’re trying this crap on?

      • Yes, of course. Have faith, my fellow Liberals and corporate sponsors – we’re coming after you next.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I was aiming my criticism at the general tone of outrage from all quarters on a Budget that made some effort to be balanced and remedy the entitlement culture.

        Balanced between the poor and the unemployed, maybe.

        The “entitlement culture” we have a problem with is not with the unemployed on the dole, students struggling to break out of poor beginnings, or pensioners who genuinely depend on the pension to survive.

        It’s the people who are dumping hundreds of thousands into super in the decade before they retire, sitting on untaxed and unearned capital gains in property, and the like.

        Yet we’ve just gotten a budget that targets the former and gives the latter a nod and a wink.

        I quite enjoy your contributions to MB, HnH, but on this one I’m getting a bit of a “he’s been kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a clone” vibe.

      • You’re out of your mind if you think this is the case. Neg gearing, wealthy SCG, etc etc, will all be untouched.

  7. Well, as expected, the big fish are still out there, but I don’t suppose they could have done anything in their first term. That’s how we elect ’em. Have to promise yes and no to all and sundry before the general election. If they all stuck to their pre-election promises we’d be right up there with the PIIGS in a decade.
    Particularly unimpressive was Chris Bowen when interviewed by the ABC. Apart from the obvious comment about the absurd PPL entitlement for millionaires, when asked what Labor would have done – fat nothing.
    On previous form I guess they would have announced another “money from helicopters” scheme…

  8. What prevents this is the government keeping a clean public balance sheet and AAA rating as the guarantor of the bank’s borrowings.

    As per your own reasoning, we have to tighten our belts in order to bail out the big banks and their property infestor customers in the future?

    And yet, you wonder why we whinge??

      • Sorry Ortega…I asked for a delete but everyone a bit busy obviously. By way of explanation I think we ought be very careful about demonising. Hockey wasn’t dancing about anything to do with the Budget. It was a purely personal matter.

      • flawse, i find it hard to believe the whole “we appreciate its a painful budget” BS after this sort of behaviour.

        Dancing, smoking cigars, flat out lying, coy games played with the states around hospital funding, schools, the gst?

        C’mon. He’s loving it. He is tearing us all a new-one and he’s DANCING IN HIS OFFICE THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BUDGET.

        Here’s a Q to Hockey asked earlier today:

        “You have applied a $7 Medicare co-payment to GP visits. That would seem likely to encourage more people to go to a hospital emergency department when they are sick to avoid paying that fee. That also seems to support the argument the states are making about cost shifting. For the record, should people be able to go to a hospital emergency department for free now that they would have to pay a GP fee as an alternative – or should the states apply a fee to those visits?

        Answer? “You are asking questions that the states should answer because they run the hospitals, we don’t.”

        We can all see what’s going on here.

        Its cowardly stuff from Hockey.

    • It is a whinge when you know full well Labor and the Greens won’t hurt them either. At least the Libs won’t get us into stupid debt levels ala Japan and all these other heavily indebted countries the lefties want us to follow off a cliff.

      A lot of specufestors are Labor supporters who want to make us all but communist salary wise and keep their 20 investment properties.

      The main core of Green supporters are Nimbys who want to maintain their $1m+ median house price “villages”, whilst using your tax money to pay for their superflous government jobs.

      The left is primarily a fraud.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Fiberals are pure lie also, as for won’t get us into debt like Japan: who does Japan owe money to?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The left is primarily a fraud.

        Still sounds preferable to the evil psychopaths that personify the contemporary right.

      • The main core of Green supporters are Nimbys who want to maintain their $1m+ median house price “villages”, whilst using your tax money to pay for their superflous government jobs.

        [citation needed]

        I agree with you that Labor are beholden to similar interests, but the Greens have been making some pretty sensible noises when it comes to tax reform and the budget.

    • And…to continue populating…Everyone knows we can’t continue the way we are, but this budget is so big business can continue gouging wealth from Australia…… Again…Your opinion is not wanted Opinion8red.

  9. hehe… thank yo. HAH .. this article lift my moods 10 folds immediately. lol… i hope this time Lib party gets it right, I remember when mr swan told us how much deficit we are in when he always said we will be in surplus by 20xx.. and shocked that if he were a CFO of a public listed company, and got the number so messed up. He will be out of a job effective immediately !

    • dumb_non_economist

      cicwx,

      Hahahahahaha!!! If Swan was a CEO he’d do what all CEOs do when they screw it up, grin and bare it, or if he did go it would be with 10mil as he walked out the door.

    • that if he were a CFO of a public listed company, and got the number so messed up. He will be out of a job effective immediately !

      You sure about that? I would have thought the CFO would be “punished” with a “smaller bonus” for that FY.

      • Geez Mav…why smaller? Anyway exactly…the private sector responsibility notion has been shot to pieces in recent decades.

    • “i hope this time Lib party gets it right, I remember when mr swan told us how much deficit we are in when he always said we will be in surplus by 20xx.. and shocked that if he were a CFO of a public listed company, and got the number so messed up. He will be out of a job effective immediately !”

      If Abbott, Hockey or Cormann had lied so much on their job application to a publicly listed company as they did during the election campaign, they’d be sacked immediately.

      • AB It’s not just Abbott et al who have lied to get elected. That has been stock in trade for politicians for almost my whole life…for at least 30 years anyway.

      • Hi Jason…Certainly at Keating’s election. I’ve posted a few times the Laurie Oakes Bulletin comment on that election where he called John Hewson a naive fool forbeing honest. The term Honest John Hewson was not a term of praise but of derision. I reckon for Oakes to pen that it had to be acceptable to the populace at the time. I can’t comemnt on Hawke’s election. I think he was elected on the basis that people had just simply had enough of the Libs at the time. I’d suggrest Whitlam and Fraser probably both elected on the same sort of basis. Prior to that the game was pretty ideologically based (I think! Others may have a different opinion)

      • dumb_non_economist

        Flawse,

        Unless I’m mistaken the term Honest John was in reference to JWH.

      • “AB It’s not just Abbott et al who have lied to get elected.”

        Abbott has told far more lies (and told them far more blatantly) than any politician I can remember but it’s not just the lies that get to me, it’s the absolute hypocrisy that irritates me the most.

        Read the quote from his speech below and tell me that he has any integrity at all. He truly is a pathetic shell of a man.

        Labor will say anything to get elected? Really?

        https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2013/09/02/tony-abbott-address-national-press-club-election-2013

        In the last week of the campaign, Labor will say anything to sway your vote including the most bare-faced lies about the Coalition.

        As Joe Hockey demonstrated last week, the Coalition can more than fund tax cuts without a carbon tax through the sensible savings that were announced months ago.

        There are no cuts to health.

        No cuts to education.

        Pensions don’t change.

        The GST doesn’t change.

        In reality, it’s Labor that’s cut $1.6 billion from hospitals, $3.8 billion from education and reneged on pledged cuts to company tax and increases in the Family Tax Benefit.

        Labor has form.

        At the same time in the last election campaign, five days before polling day, Julia Gillard made the fateful declaration: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.

        She said one thing before the election to win votes – and did the opposite after the election to stay in the Lodge.

        Labor can’t be trusted to tell the truth and it can’t be trusted to manage the economy – and the carbon tax is where Labor’s economic deficit and Labor’s trust deficit coincide.

  10. This budget was ideological in the extreme – there is no getting around the undeniable fact.

    Yes there are definitely serious issues we are facing – but this budget did not address that issue at all. This budget was a statement of ideology.

    Sickening outburst – indeed.

    • Haha yeah, $250 million for school chaplains while raising fees for university students by 20%, removing fee caps and raising HECS interest rates.

      Can’t wait to see Pynie’s new curriculum too. It’s very clear that they want to leave their mark on the young. Their boot mark, that is.

  11. Well if everyone else is, ill have my whinge.

    The medical research fund is a good idea, but its unnecessary large and it will get rorted. How much is going to be wasted with with the libs mates, big pharma getting thier sticky fingers into it. Make it smaller and more focused with conditions and a public available audit trail so it only pays for genuine research for actual medical treatments.

    The increase in the fuel levy is fine, but 100% of it should be pumped into developing alternative energy sources.

    Forget the billions on roads, it should be billions on public transport, and an expanded country wide rail transport network, with a move to 50% reduction on road/truck transport.

    Increase the fuel efficiency and emission requirements on all future vehicle sales and slam a big fat Levey on those that don’t comply.

    Make a deal that if the car manufactures delay closing their factories, a subsidy for low income earners to upgrade old fuel inefficient vehicles to new models.

    Cutting funding to the states is nothing more than a transparent move to force the states to demand a gst increase. Nothing as lazy as a govt that taxes its citizens unfairly to pay for the rorts and tax rip offs available to the well heeled mates, and the crooked politicians that run this country.

    • I’m shocked AngryMan
      I hope you’re not suggesting taxing the compulsory SUV’s I see pulling up to drop off their children at the school at the end of the road? Nor yet, the V8 utes essential to go with the bogan pit bull?
      You’re right about big pharma – what a barn door of a target this fund is going to make. Improving public transport is the only answer if you have to accommodate the population Ponzi irrespective of whether Australians want it…

    • Forget the billions on roads, it should be billions on public transport, and an expanded country wide rail transport network, with a move to 50% reduction on road/truck transport.

      If it is public transport, how will the “private” FIRE and construction sector gravy train (Maq, PwC, Transfied etc etc) get to suck the government teat?

      • Well its a radical idea but i guess i was thinking that they might not be allowed to rort the taxpayers this time. But what are the chances of that. Taxpayers get screwed at every turn regardless if labour or liberals. Politicians across the board are crooks.

      • “If it is public transport, how will the “private” FIRE and construction sector gravy train (Maq, PwC, Transfied etc etc) get to suck the government teat?”

        Don’t you worry Mav, they’re working on that down here in Melbourne. Hint to the government – when you receive an “unsolicited proposal” from a private company, it’s not going to work out in the public’s favour.

        http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorians-hit-for-1-million-a-day-for-rail-upgrade-20140502-zr3b6.html

        Victorians will have to pay up to $5.2 billion, or almost $1 million a day, for the Napthine government’s Pakenham/Cranbourne rail upgrade, the first long-term major privatisation of a key part of Melbourne’s rail network.

        Leaked cabinet documents reveal the government has fast-tracked the multibillion-dollar project – Australia’s biggest-ever rail public-private partnership – to ensure contracts are signed ahead of the November state election.

        Critics, including academics and Labor, have slammed the private-sector proposed upgrade – dubbed ”Project Flinders” in the documents – as a corporate hijacking of transport planning in Victoria.

      • When will the left actually get their act together and give us good public transport? Even saying so would be a start. Will never happen, they just want their cushy jobs and their ips, and nimbyism to keep the unwashed hordes out. Massive, massive frauds.

        At least a shitty toll road is better than 0.

    • Jumping jack flash

      +1 AngryMan, I had missed this thinly veiled payout to the medical lobby, thanks for pointing it out..

      Ahh the medical lobby, the darling of the liberals. But, there’s nothing better than being a doctor…

  12. I think it goes beyond mere ‘whinging’.

    The payback shouldn’t be viewed as a snapshot of now, and therefore proportional.

    The last 10-15 years have definitely seen certain segments make hay, and others suffer.

    Certain segments have seen 1 million lump sums go into their super in 2007, have high incomes and low interest rates expand their investment property portfolio and embedded their middle class welfare as normal.

    Losers such as …”youth and welfare cuts for the needy” haven’t gained at all.

    Shouldn’t the payback for such hubris come from those that have ‘won’?

    One of the major tenets of attempting to get more taxes from mining, was that the person born today sees no benefit from a one off extraction of these resources.

    Now we a re saying to the youth and financially vulnerable ‘after a once in a millennium mining boom, and nationally what do we have to show for it? More expensive universities, more expensive health care, categorising under 30’s as second class citizens (as Japan did, see ‘freeters’).

    I think a whole bunch of disadvantaged would have preferred no mining boom in that case.

    People who made nothing, to part pay for the hubris of the winners.

    Obscene.

    • Humungous mining boom and a torture-budget for a nasty, simple minded, backward looking Australia ensues.

      Abbott’s class.

      WINNING.

    • have high incomes and low interest rates expand their investment property portfolio and embedded their middle class welfare as normal.

      Isn’t the average specufestor on only $80k?

      This budget will hurt a lot of specufestors and the Mega Mortgage McMansion Mafia too.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha too funny. It might but only so fiberal Insiders can get them cheap and pump the ponzi right back up again.

      • Maybe mig, but at least we can take out some lefty pro high house price hypocrites.

  13. What would be good for the country is reduce population. This budget is for the exact opposite. It’s a disaster for the country. Opinion8red, don’t reply. I don’t want to hear from you wanker.

    • Jumping jack flash

      If the “earn or learn” catchphrase actually means anything, and is implemented well, then after a couple of years we should have swarms of unemployed that have been trained up with useful skills looking for work.

      Then, if policy is implemented to replace the “temporary” hired help, (help which was definitely required for the past 10 years because welfare was too easy and it paid too well) with this newly trained army of unemployed who will work on the cheap, then it indeed has the potential to reduce population.

      • More than enough unemployed graduates to slow immigration now. And even if the number doubles or triples, businesses will still need to take a chance on people who are unproven and give them training and time to learn the ropes – the effort of which is the reason they are so in love with importing skills.

    • Not only do you fail to provide any evidence whatsoever to support any argument you make viz. population, you cannot even maintain any semblance of consistency and/or a clear distinction as to whether your concern is primarily:

      (a) Australia’s population, or
      (b) global population.

      Here, you seem to be bleating about Australia’s population. But last time, it was all about global population.

      Fix the usury-based monetary system, and all real and/or imagined “population”, ecology, and sustainability problems, whether local or global, are very easily resolved.

    • intertubernet

      “What would be good for the country is reduce population.”

      Yup, totally agree.

      “Opinion8red, don’t reply. I don’t want to hear from you wanker.”

      Surely not necessary?

      • Seriously, think this through. How would it pan out, financially, for you, if policies were implemented to actively reduce Australia’s population?

        A usury-based economy relies on ever more financial transactions — which necessitates ever more debt — else it implodes.

        It requires ever more people, to take on said debt, and transact with it.

        Hence why you will never see public policy that actually limits Australia’s population growth. You may see smoke ‘n mirrors games, indeed, we already do; distract all the fools with dog whistling about alleged hordes of “boat people”, “solve” that contrived fear with inhumane policies … while quietly ratcheting up legal immigration via all manner of means, while the great unwashed masses of fools are distracted by the “illegal” puppet show.

        Like I say … if you are concerned about population, or environment, or anything else where MONEY is involved, the solution is to support an end to usury-based money, because that is THE root driver of all public policy.

  14. “But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn almost six times as much as the bottom 20%.”

    I expect that this gap will keep increasing.

  15. Living in Western Sydney I was concerned about the hordes of unemployed, starving under 30 year olds that would be roaming the streets. I was thinking that Bunnings and others are going to do a roaring trade in home security upgrades.

    Then I saw that Defence spending is due to rise to 2% of GDP. How many extra battalions of cannon fodder does that buy you?

    • @Swifty, not to mention the number of unemployed youths that will be required to plant Abbott’s 20 million trees.

    • Swiftly

      There was a study, maybe 20 years ago, that showed that if you excluded security expenditure Aus GDP had not increased at all over the previous decade or so. Again memory is not exact as to whether that we GDP total or per head. I THINK it was total.
      The stupidity is that spending on security DOES add to GDP. – that’s how much of a stupid cock-up the adoption of GDP as an economic measure actually is. Spending on security is actually declining living standard and therefore should be recorded as a negative ion teh economic growth equation.

    • So rise from 1.9% to 2.0%…

      0.1% of GDP is about $1.5 billion.

      Maybe 1 AWD ? with no crew

  16. Jumping jack flash

    What a good budget.

    Some bad points, but mostly good.

    “reducing” welfare (well, indexing to the fallacy that is the CPI) is better than nothing in my opinion. The only bad side to it is my missus may whinge that she can’t afford her 21st pair of shoes she never wears or each of the kids’ 15th pair of shoes they never wear when our FTB A+B is reduced, and then removed completely in a few years.

    That said,

    If this budget succeeds in promoting growth then I wouldn’t want to be a mega-mortgage mug… If and when interest rates rise on the back of reduced welfare payments for indebted families… oh dear.

    Realistically, I think there will be some contraction before we see some growth. It’s the 90’s all over again, and the recession we need to have! I’m hoping to see some deflation while prices readjust to actual incomes without the foam of unsustainable debt and welfare spending added to them, followed by some solid growth based on sound principals including a viable and globally competitive manufacturing sector. I can dream…

    One thing they could have done better was scrap the debt levy and increase GST – but unfortunately that’s the States’ and can’t be touched. Thanks, Howard.

    • Stephen Morris

      “One thing they could have done better was scrap the debt levy and increase GST – but unfortunately that’s the States’ and can’t be touched.”

      Nonsense.

      The GST is a purely federal tax. In fact, since Capital Duplicators the States have been forbidden from collecting such taxes.

      The proceeds are paid to the States pursuant to Section 96 “on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit.”

      The whole arrangement could be altered overnight by ordinary legislation. Indeed the Gillard government proposed just that with part of the GST proceeds to be re-directed to health care.

      Under Australia’s system of “power-without-responsibility” for the central government, and “responsibility-without-power” for the States, it is convenient for federal politicians to maintain the fiction that GST is some sort of State tax.

  17. The Patrician

    Can anyone identify one budget feature/initiative specifically designed to increase new housing/land supply?

    • surfbeach2536

      I don’t think we need those features, the poor (targeted in this budget) will not be able to afford a new home and the people who already have housing don’t need yet another investment property.

      Since our labour costs need to be competitive with Chinese and Korean and South East Asia labour costs we should be looking to their standard of housing to see what is next.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Why would you whinge about that? Unemployed under 30s don’t have IPs… Or even taxable income

      • Any income at all you mean.

        Anyone seen the Vice Guide to Liberia ?

        Really interesting to see what the vision of Abbott and co actually looks like.

  18. migtronixMEMBER

    This budget was all about f#&£ing the under 35s for voting Green, and that’s all it is.

    • intertubernet

      There’s an interesting thought behind your rant (usually is).

      What is the political landscape going to be in 10-20 years after the under 35s get really angry? If they’re currently voting green what happens when they get *really* disenchanted with the establishment?

      More radical politics? Or will they just inherit a couple of IPs and join the wallowing?

  19. Did anyone notice what Hokey said about mean test for the age pension.

    He said that a person in a $800,000 house is eligible for a pension and another with a house of $1,000,000 is eligible too and that is not fair. I think he just threw the bottom threshold for inclusion of main residential property for the pension mean test. This will be his next step. It is strange that no one in the media comments on this part of his speech (at the beginning).

    • intertubernet

      Oooh. Maybe maybe. Testing the response?

      Who cares anyway, the boomers will be grandfathered out…

    • Yeah I noticed that. Looks like the oldies are up for it next year. That should placate a bit of the youth rage, and the Mega Mortgage McMansion Mafia. The MMMM. Who likes my new acronym? 😀

  20. Bad Bad Bad budget for housing.
    Family tax benefit cuts will reduce demand for low-medium priced housing, as incomes will be slashed.

  21. does anyone really believe growth of 4.75% in a year or two?
    Sure some of the infrastructure spend will grow the economy but I imagine the family tax benefit cuts will reduce discretionary spending

  22. It’s not wingeing to call out the lies of a fraudulent government.

    Abbott was liar liar liar liar liar.and he deserves to be pilloried for it.

    Bring on the double dissolution.

  23. In “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” (1933), Wilhelm Reich suggests the classic, pro-fascist argument that the government was out of control (sound familiar?), and that the ordinary citizen simply lacked the power to bring government back under control. It was only corporations that were big and strong enough to take on the out-of-control government behemoth, and for that reason, the average citizen should honor and give his/her loyalty to the corporation. Corporate positivism and market fundamentalism are one side of the coin of fascist power; hatred of the government that can stop these is the other.

    Skippy…. A 3d1k and posse bed time story….

  24. Of course the one measure where Australia far exceeds the OECD average is the sheer skill of our landlords to lose an unprecedented amount of money year after year.