Financial Leprosy

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Politics

No doubt a lot of people expect a lot of things from this Tuesday’s budget, some expect funding, some expect pain, there is however one thing that we can all count on.

What we can count on is a lot of spin, mock outrage, bluster, and blame coming from Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, and the Coalition. You can bet your life on that…

There is however one prediction that I will make ahead of budget. That is Tony Abbott will call a press conference shortly afterwards and looking as upset as possible, will blame Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan for leaving him with no other option but to walk away from, or indefinitely put off his Parental Leave Scheme. This I can see coming a mile away.

Parental Leave - don't make me giggle...

Parental Leave – don’t make me giggle…

Abbott has already found his bunny in Alex Hawke who has broken the idea to the public to bring about debate on what was a ridiculous and expensive policy at any rate. I already knew that Alex Hawke was happy to treat his electorate as if they were stupid and would fall for any bullshit he shovelled, after all I live in it, but I suspected Abbott might have thought higher of the country’s IQ levels than to try this ploy. Alas…

I won’t go on too much about this policy and it’s dumping that I’m sure will happen, except to say this…

Tony Abbott and the Coalition called this a “signature policy”. Not an aspiration, not a token promise, a “signature policy”.

That puts it up there with stopping the Carbon Price, and stopping the boats. It is about as core a promise as one can make. I just hope the public realise that if Abbott walks away from this policy then he can’t be trusted to keep any of his promises, gospel truth or not.

Tony Abbott knew where to find the women in his family when he needed a photo... the kitchen. Nice of Tony to drop in...

Tony Abbott knew where to find the women in his family when he needed a photo… The Kitchen. Nice of Tony to drop in…

In the meantime we can expect to see Joe Hockey again tell us what a bad job last years IMF Treasurer Of The Year Wayne Swan is doing.

Joe Hockey told us all last Tuesday that the interest rate cut from the Reserve bank showed what a dire state our economy was in. He told us that if we were not in trouble then the Reserve Bank would not have cut interest rates.

He is right to a certain extent, the economy is slowing, but it is not anywhere near as bad as Hockey would have you believe.

Joe Hockey hides the lobotomy scar

Joe Hockey hides the lobotomy scar

You may also recall this is the same Joe Hockey that told us numerous times that,

“Interest rates have been, and will always be lower under a Coalition Government”

Currently we have a Labor Government, and the interest rate is the lowest it has been for 50 years. That would include during governments run by Liberal leaders such as John Howard, Malcolm Fraser, William McMahon, John Gorton, John McEwen, Harold Holt, and Robert Menzies.

I guess “always” must mean something different to Joe?

So if the economy is in trouble now because the Reserve Bank has cut the interest rate, then Hockey clearly thinks that the Coalition will do a far worse job of running the economy if he thinks the rate will be lower under a Coalition Government. That seems like the logic Hockey is using.

Well, Mr Hockey, you can’t have it both ways, someday you will have to make a decision and stick to it. While you’re at it, unless the budget blow out is greater than the $70 Billion black hole in your own figures, it seems a bit daft and more than a touch hypocritical to complain about a budget blow-out that looks microscopic next to your own.

The Coalition like to blame any less than favourable economic news on the Labor Government, specifically Gillard and Swan. It must be their fault because they run the economy, and after all it is only a conservative government that can run an economy well.

Some of you may remember a little thing called the Global Financial Crisis, the Coalition seem to have forgotten it like it was a non-event.

Well, after the GFC hit, there was one Western country that handled their economy superbly, came up smelling like roses, and are now the envy of the rest of the Western World. That country is called Australia, and it was guided through the GFC by a Labor government.

The Global Financial Crisis kicked off in America, under the watch-full eye of the Conservative government led by George W Bush. It was started by all those conservative voting billionaire bankers, insurance company CEO’s, and stock traders, most of whom came out better off while the rest of the world crumbled.

In the UK, the Conservative government led by David Cameron went into austerity mode and drove the country even further into the red.

In Australia the non-conservative government provided stimulus to the economy by targeting sectors of the economy and timing stimulus for maximum impact. Of course they were ridiculed by the Liberal Party the whole time who referred to the spending that kept us out of recession as “waste”.

Overseas? Hmm I didn't think people knew about that....

Overseas? Hmm I didn’t think people knew about that….

A quick comparison of the current economies of the UK, the USA, and Australia will tell even an amateur that the conservative approach was an epic fail in both nations, whereas under the guidance of Labor, we have come out in comparatively good shape.

This September there are clear choices when voting, economic stability, or the Coalitions $70 Billion Black Hole.

The choice of a Coalition government and austerity, or a Labor government and prosperity.

The choice doesn’t sound like Rocket Science to me….

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  1. Tricky says:

    Gordon Brown “conservative”????????

  2. Iain Hall says:

    +To be honest Peter I think that if the Libs decide to drop any scheme in the light of the budget position I think it will be their climate change policy which costs more and comes entirely from consolidated revenue.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    You may be right on that and I don’t think that either will be much lamented by conservatives or that Abbott will take any kind of hit in his electoral position if he does drop them, not that it matters when you are facing an ALP that is utterly unelectable

  4. lance says:

    what right do you have to argue against the course of history
    lets face if thats the way( big ) Gorge Pell and Alan (cottage industry)Jones–wants it
    thats the way Murd(“ouch”)Tony will deliver it

  5. BillK says:

    Hey Wixxy, there is another thing we can count on in the budget.

    There will be no surpluses under the government she leads.

    • wixxy says:

      Nor any Abbott or Hockey leads….

      • Iain Hall says:

        Nor any Abbott or Hockey leads….

        but it will be Labor’s fault and they won’t be insisting that there will be a surplus when they know it is impossible the way that Gillard and swan have been doing.

      • wixxy says:


        GFC Labors fault?

        Here is the Coalition surplus backdown you seem to have forgotten despite it being only a short time ago….

      • Iain Hall says:

        As I said the coalition can not be blamed for being realistic about what will be economically possible after six years of Labor mismanagement. Further they have learned from the Labor folly of over promising and under delivering and clearly they would rather promise less and deliver more.

      • wixxy says:

        OK I get it, if the Coalition change their mind its being realistic and if Labor do the same it’s somehow dodgy…

        Labor have already delivered the first govt Parental Leave scheme the country has ever had, while Abbott & Co are looking like backing out of the ridiculously expensive and irresponsible one they promised…

        That stuff you’re shovelling smells remarkably like crap Iain….

      • Iain Hall says:

        its no big deal politcally if any political player changes their mind, but the trick is to pick your moment in the narrative when doing so will be accepted as being wise or understandable. Labor have been particularly woeful at picking the right moment. Take the desperate assertion that they would have the budget in surplus, it was literally months after it was obvious to everyone that the surplus would not happen that Swan finally admitted the obvious. That sort of bad timing is usually the difference between acceptance and derision. Same story with the Mining tax.

    • Dez says:

      Who cares about a ridiculous surplus when there is much needed infrastructure to be built, school reform required and a decent disability scheme needed.

      …and….in the future, I’d also rather dental properly added to medicare than a useless surplus.

      It’s only a true cretin that falls for the Noalition vuvuzela siren call for surpluses at all costs.

  6. Elizabeth Evans says:

    Hi Peter, A bit off subject, but I thought there may be some interest in the comment below (at bottom of page) on Bruce Billson MP home page www.* billson* Seems to be very relevant to the condition of copper cabling in some areas, Billson is shadow minister for small business in Abbotts “cabinet”, I don’t know if Mr. Ranken ever received a reply to his comment, I suspect he didn’t by way of email or phone! I wonder how many similar responses to the Coalition Broadband Survey they received.. 24 Coalition Broadband Survey Monday, 24 September 2012 Today the Coalition launched a nationwide broadband survey which allows every Australian to see for themselves the speed of their existing fixed line and mobile broadband services.

    The survey will provide important information to the Coalition about the speed of existing broadband in Australian cities, suburbs, towns and regions.

    We urge all Australians to complete the broadband survey to help us ensure better broadband is available across the nation sooner, and those who need upgrades the most get it first.

    Comments [image: Arthur Ranken] # Arthur Ranken Monday, 8 October 2012 2:48 PM I have been having great difficulty with the telephone service in our court, (Arundel Court, Mt Eliza). So much so that I took up a pertition of all 20 residents in the court and got a discription of their problems as well. This with a covering letter was then sent to the Chief Executive Officer of Telstra in May2012 and copy to Bruce Billson’s office. The problems mostly related to badly corroded 40 to 45 year old underground cable wiring causing phone connections to break, noisie telephone lines, very slow internet services and internet drop outs. Even with ADSL high speed broadband the internet service speeds are really no better than the old dial up braodband. Two proper telstra technitions spent 6 days replacing cables in the lower part of the court which helped some residents but others are still experiencing very slow internet and drop-outs including myself. Last week my phone was put on restricted servise after I had “no productive conversations” with 8 phillipino women in the phillipines call centre resulting on my being put on indefinate “Music Hold”.! NBN Broad band conduets have been installed in Humphries Rd from Baden Powel Drive up to Overport rd. When I spoke to one of the workmen on that job they mentioned that a resident in Walkers Rd was complaining of phone line troubles such as we have been having in Arundel Crt. Thus it is likely that there are line corrosion problems through out the ‘Woodland’ Area of Mt Eliza which is all about 40 to 50 yeaars old. The Woodland area of Mt Eliza is about 750 Hectares of land between Nepean Highway,Humphries Rd. Moorooduc Highway and Canadan Bay Road in Mt Eliza. Extra details or further details can be obtained from the copies of my 2 letters (with about 15 pages attached over both letters) to the CEO of telstra which are in your Bruce Billson’s office and you have my approval to access them (Referr to Cain in Bruce Billson’s office). The workmen working on the NBN conduet instalations could not give me any idea at all as to when the NBN cables would be installed or when local connections might occure, may be years they said. My problems with telstra are still ongoing after about 5 months and 2 years plus of problems.

  7. Blinking Red Light says:

    “This September there are clear choices when voting, economic stability, or the Coalitions $70 Billion Black Hole.

    The choice of a Coalition government and austerity, or a Labor government and prosperity.”

    You need to lay off the crackpipe son.

    You use rational thought and logical argument all the way through your post, then drop that insane comment at the end.

    I guess you forgot that under the last Liberal government Australia propsered to the point of leaving office with 40 billion in the kitty. Which your beloved Labor party criminals have turned into a 260 billion dollar DEBT. All in 7 years, I guess the IMF really know how to rate the successes of a countries Treasurer. But then again, the only interest the IMF have is ensuring that EVERYONE is in debt, it’s not in the IMF’s interest to not have people, sorry, COUNTRIES, not owing them money, how would feed themselves otherwise?

    All that aside, your agenda is unclear. On one hand you want to expose the ineptitude of the entire parliament, upper and lower houses included. But on the other hand you feel the need to suggest that the current government is doing us all a favour by ensuring that the nest 3 generations will have to pay off their debt.

    WTF man? Lay off the smoko and get your head clear. Neither of the 2 parties will do what is best for this country. Politics in this country is nothing more than a mad scramble for the gravy train of taxpayer retirement funds.

    Woe behold Australia if Joe Hockey gets his stumpy little claws into the taxpayers coffers.

    Woe behold Australia if the Goose continues his insane spending without finding the funds to pay it back.

    We are fucked either way.

    • wixxy says:

      The spending done to save us from recession was attempted to be voted down every step of the way by Dr No and his Coalition.

      Easy to get a surplus during a mining boom with no GFC, a fool could do it, as proven by Costello

      Austerity has been the way of conservative govts and a look at the savage cuts by Coalition State govts in Australia is a further example

      Neither side will deliver a surplus anytime soon, but Abbotts drivel about how Gillard is to blame, when there is a slump in trade worldwide is just stupid

      • Iain Hall says:

        Peter I’m not talking about either the rational for seeking a surplus or stimulatory spending my point is all about timing and the way that the Government keeps the public in the loop about the budgetary state of play. Labor have been so wed to their own propaganda that they have treated the public as a bunch of mugs. Its far better to be honest and when things like the mining tax fails to meet expectations then you shou8ld be up front to the people about it ASAP other wise when the truth comes out you look like a total knob head. As swan does now. Further every budget delivered by Swan has been wildly wrong in just about every prediction, Revenue is not down on what was collected last year its up but Wong and Swan made some very stupid exaggerations of what they expected to collect and when they were proved wrong they give us a the faux surprise and claim its not their fault which is the biggest lie imaginable.

  8. […] Financial Leprosy. […]

  9. Blinking Red Light says:

    “Easy to get a surplus during a mining boom with no GFC, a fool could do it, as proven by Costello”

    Dude the mining boom hadn’t even reached it’s peak.

    There is no excuse for this governments inability to deliver a surplus. Mind you “Surplus” at this present time just means that funds have been found to pay back the debt incurred.

    You cannot bring the argument that this country will fail if there is a change in the government. Australia is doomed to fail because both sides cater to multi national economic investment. And without that investment the bar would just be lowered until it is removed all together.

    Both sides have sold us out and until there is someone who actually grasps the concept of conservative spending in the treasury then Australia will continue to amass State and Federal debt.

    If they had left Barnaby in his ministerial position of Shadow Treasurer, sorry, I’ll rephrase that.

    If Joe Hockey and Co hadn’t knifed Barnaby and internally removed him from the ministerial position that Joe Hockey now holds then maybe some proper mitigation of the debt we are in now would have been avoided.

    The endless shifting of blame, the name calling and the infighting is laughable. Criminals, the lot of them and they all need to be outed. Well aside from Barnaby, the guy hasn’t backpedaled on a single issue and has made a lot of enemies from sticking to his guns.

    As for Abbot, or Dr no as you put it, he isn’t fit for PM. Then again neither is Turnbull or Gillard for that matter. This country needs people in ministerial positions that are actually trained in the position they hold, like Barnaby who has a Masters in Accounting. Endless reshuffling of cabinet positions on both sides does nothing for either sides credibility and does little for the country they purport to “govern”.

    All that aside I know that if something isn’t done about the combined Federal and State debt then my grandkids will suffer. And I don;t like that idea at all.

    • Maureen Butterworth says:

      The only thing, Blinking Red Light, that your grandkids need to be protected from is the negativity and anxiety that they are getting from you. You should treat your ignorance and anxiety by reading some macro-economic articles, whereby, you might learn that having a deficit can be quite healthy for the economy. The budget brought down by Howard/Costello in 2004/2005 is having a major impact on today’s deficit. This most profligate Government handed out middle class entitlements of which I am sure you gladly held your hand out for. The impact of global markets is now affecting our revenue raising ability this current financial year. I won’t go into that, but, you should be smart enough to work that out. The budget will always return to surplus when markets improve and Governments react, accordingly. Conservatism and right wing lunatic Tea Party “wingnut” policies will be detrimental to this country as proven in the US, Britain, Spain and anywhere else where the IMF has dictated austerity programs, only now, to detract that policy as flawed. Can’t wait for Abbott, Hockey and Joyce, for that matter, to inflict some of the same to this great country which currently has the second lowest global debt of all nations. Your rhetoric is anxiety driven and inane. Look around you mate. The only thing you need to worry about is Abbott’s denial of climate change. That is the biggest threat to your grandchildren

  10. Anne says:

    Thanks again for telling the obvious.
    Now we have the miserable lib supporters spoiling your website. Go back to where you came from.
    abbott has caused terrible damage to this Country with ALL the lies, just because he lost. He is just a wicked man and will do nothing to make this Country prosper. What goes around comes around and I hope it is soon. Start with his corruption behind Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper and now David Ettridge.
    Not even fit to be a Leader of a Party.
    I can’t even look at him on TV or the computer. He is despicable.

  11. BillK says:

    Even Graham Richardson from The Australian today can see the writing on the wall.

    “IN the Macquarie Dictionary the word shambles is defined as: “1. a slaughterhouse; 2. any place of carnage;. 3. any place or thing in confusion or disorder”. There can’t be a better word than shambles to describe the state into which this government has descended.

    The unravelling of budget predictions and projections continues apace. There won’t be much news next week because it’s all being leaked to prepare us for the ugly truth: government finances are in a mess on every front”.

    You know Labor’s days are numbered when Labor stalwarts like Richo are rubbishing the budget.

    • wixxy says:

      Richo has been a turncoat for ages

    • Maureen Butterworth says:

      BillK, you should stop reading the Murdoch press like the Australian. It narrows your insight into true analysis and factual information. There is no balance in this paper and all the journos including the turncoat Richo, like the dribbling Libs , are into Rupert’s cheque book. There is no shambles in this minority parliament except for the disgraceful negativity, displayed by the LNP. Nearly 500 Bills have been passed and Australia has three AAA ratings by the agencies. None of this has been achieved by resorting to the ridiculous lack of transparency and austerity measures adopted by the LNP here in Victoria. Their budget was a treasure chest of hidden, secret deals that will not eventuate and no money for Gonski!!! How can Richo rubbish the budget when it doesn’t come down till Tuesday evening? He’s full of the proverbial!!!

      • BillK says:

        So Maureen…… you suggest I get all my news from Wixxyleaks, where the opinions are much broader?

        Just because nearly 500 bills have been passed, it does not make Australia a better place. It just means we have more controls, more regulations and more bureaucrats watching over us. What’s so good about that?

        Lenin famously said ” The goal of socialism is Communism” . Labor are showing their true colours.

      • wixxy says:

        Nobody would suggest you get all your news from here, that would be daft
        But a bit of balance is a good thing

    • Marilyn says:

      Richo has been a spiv for Murdoch for years, he is not worth listening to.

      What annoys me about this is that the media in the country run by Murdoch like to pretend that with 5.5% unemployment, low inflation and so on we are a basket case but they fail to see what has happened in places like Spain and Greece with 25% or more unemployment and people being evicted left and right.

      Foreign Correspondent gave us a microcosmic story of Ireland with the horses story a few months back, if you missed it try and catch up because it is a truly terrible blight on Ireland and shows how tough it is there.

      But the wests idea of tough is the developing world’s idea of vast wealth, you know the 2 billion of the population who subsist on less than $2 per day while fat selfish whites like us whinge.

      There is no such thing as a legal requirement to have too much tax taken, it is theft without the supply of services.

  12. JB says:

    Wasn’t it Joe Hockey who said, ‘there are three types of people in this world, those who can count and those who can’.

  13. clarittee says:

    BillK, You cant consider yourself informed If you call “Richo” a Labor man. He’s a total mercenary turncoat, and heaps on the party he belonged to at every opportunity. No doubt this improves his financial position significantly, but counts not at all for integrity.

  14. JB says:

    Oops – typo in first attempt.
    Wasn’t it Joe Hockey who said, ‘there are three types of people in this world, those who can count and those who can’t.

  15. silkworm says:

    But I don’t want Abbott to keep his promises. I want to keep the carbon pricing scheme, and I want asylum seekers treated with respect and compassion, and according to the law.

    • Marilyn says:

      What like Gillard has been? A new wasteful illegal prison to be built on Manus to torture people in.

  16. Barry S says:

    Here is a blog from Prof. Bill Mitchell frmNewcastle &Darwin Univerities on the pros and cons of surplus and deficit for 2013/14. Also posted on Crikey. I find his arguments very credible.

  17. clarittee says:

    When the rest of the western world is in recession and has zero interest rates, and America is printing money like crazy, so our dollar goes sky high how can WE with a proper floating currency cope with all of that any better than we have done?
    We are certainly NOT in normal times. A LieNP that consistently ignores the existence of the GFC is hardly presenting an honest position.
    Governments properly borrow to INVEST. This could be infrastructure, education, health issues etc which would cause more costs in the long run if not done properly.
    Maintaining employment at a high level HAS to be a worthwhile aim as employed people pay tax and buy consumables instead of being a COST as well as the legitimate social issues, and stability.

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