Budget 2016/17: Bill Shorten rebuffs the Budget

Bill Shorten last night gave his Budget 2016/17 reply speech.

Budget 2016/17: Bill Shorten rebuffs the Budget

By referencing the proposed Budget 2016/17 measures that started on the table then were taken off the table prior to Tuesday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made it clear from the start of his Budget reply speech that he was less than impressed with what had been delivered by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

What he also made clear is that Australia should plan to head to the polls on 2 July, with two references to an election on this date, despite no official announcement having been made. And that when voting on that date, Australians should understand that Labor was a better alternative. He promised that Labor would introduce legislation to protect Medicare from privatisation and legislate marriage equality within the first 100 days should he be voted in as Prime Minister.

Asking if the Budget was really the point of the “Turnbull experiment”, Mr Shorten listed the cuts that were still in the Budget, such as education, pensions and Medicare and noted that there was nothing for ordinary working people, instead just tax cuts for wealthy individuals. “From Tony’s tradies to Malcolm’s millionaires” was the phrase he used to describe how Budget 2016 helped big business rather than battlers.

Stating that the budget also failed the fiscal responsibility test, he questioned why debt had tripled under the Coalition, despite it claiming a budget emergency.

“Treating the Australian people with respect”, is how Bill Shorten believes Labor would deal with the nation’s budget, by being open and honest about what the budget can afford.

Labor plans to “deliver the national Budget without smashing the family budget” and stated it would:

  • support the tax cuts for individuals earning over $80,000
  • reject enterprise tax cuts but support a cut in the company tax rate for small business valued up to $2 million
  • not support the retrospective changes to superannuation reforms
  • make the two per cent temporary deficit repair levy permanent
  • impose an annual cap on loans to students studying at private colleges
  • support the tax cut for small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million.

In his speech he also noted that Australians don't want to be forced to work until they’re 70, a reference to the legislation that still exists to increase the Age Pension age by 2035.

On superannuation, he said he was pleased that three years after abolishing the Low Income Superannuation Contribution, the Government had decide to re-introduce it with a different name – Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset. And while Treasurer Scott Morrison has stated that only a small amount of people will be affected by the changes to superannuation, Mr Shorten responded that, "When the system is undermined, everyone is affected, everyone is at risk.

"Every single superannuation holder can now only guess what Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison will do next."  

Mr Shorten also 'congratulated' the Coalition for adopting policies that were actually developed by Labor.

Moving forward, Mr Shorten said that Labor would embrace initiatives that saw gender equality by closing the pay gap and properly funding childcare. Climate change would also be tackled under Labor, by investing in renewable energy and stopping the country’s top polluters from continuing to pollute the environment. "It's time to turn things around, which is why a Labor government will deliver 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030," he said.

Public transport would also get a boost, with a $10 billion infrastructure loan, potentially funded by investment from superannuation funds. Stating that it was time to build the nation rather than egos, Mr Shorten noted “Instead of taking selfies on the train, we'll get new projects under way.”

Increases to GST would not occur under Labor but already outlined plans for negative gearing would be brought in, however, any changes would not be applied retrospectively. He also noted that this would help first home buyers realise the Australian dream of owing their own home without having to rely on wealthy parents, as Mr Turnbull had suggested in a radio interview.

Do you think Mr Shorten is a worthy alternative to Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister? If the Coalition remains in power, are there any Budget 2016/17 measures that you think will struggle to be passed in the Senate?

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    COMMENTS

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    6th May 2016
    9:30am
    I have never likes Shorten personally, and I hate unions, but I think he's nailed it with his budget response. It makes so much more sense than the LNP's rantings and indulgence of the rich. It still doesn't go far enough in some areas and goes too far in others, but it's far more logical, much fairer, and much more likely - in my view - to drive economic improvement on a national scale than Morrison/Turnbull's disgusting indulgence of the well to do.

    I also think he did well composing a speech that appealed to the decency and traditional values of Australians. It was a speech that played to our desire for a healthy society and for security.

    Protecting Medicare is a big one for me. When health care becomes a luxury that isn't available to those who can't afford to pay, we've totally lost the plot as a society.
    Adrianus
    6th May 2016
    10:05am
    Rainey, how will the $100b in extra taxes "drive economic improvement on a national scale"?
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    10:14am
    All that this budget achieved was simply tax cuts for the wealthy. A common theme from this government.
    How will huge amounts of taxpayer money sent to big business bank accounts do anything other than increase the already bloated pay packets of CEOs and Boards?
    Ever been to a shareholder meeting Frank? All you routinely get is adopting Annual Reports and then ratifying more pay for CEOs and directors, and then re-electing the inner circle.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    10:37am
    Someone has to pay extra taxes, in some form, Frank, or the budget will continue to blow out. Logically, if battlers pay, consumption and demand falls, and economists are telling us this is where our big problem lies. It makes far more sense for the rich to pay, instead of hoarding their money in Panama and other tax havens!
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    10:40am
    Frank, do you seriously believe that making struggling retirees and single income families and sick people pay for handouts to million dollar + per year salary earners and $10 million dollar companies is going to drive economic improvement?

    Get real!
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    10:42am
    It's an old well understood principle that money only works when it goes around the system. Not when it is hoarded by the rich.
    Adrianus
    6th May 2016
    11:59am
    Rainey this is where you and I will not agree. I think the best way forward is to cut waste and grow the economy. Increase trade, increase productivity.
    You believe the best way forward is to increase taxes, increase largesse and grow the Public Service.
    I can only think you and your offsider MICK must be getting paid a lot to peddle that nonsense.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    12:57pm
    Frank, cutting waste is a great idea, but first you have to identify waste accurately. The LNP seems to think paying for decent health service is waste. Many here think paying disabled people and aged people enough to live on is waste. The Neoliberal thinking is that it's every man for himself, and if you weren't born privileged, you suffer crisis, you are handicapped in some way, etc. you should just be left to wallow in poverty until you die a miserable death. Sorry, I don't agree. I think social services and welfare are essential.

    There are areas of waste I'd love to see addressed, but the LNP is not tackling them. They are increasing tobacco taxes, which will cause serious hurt to struggling families and further deprive the children of addicts. Nothing to HELP people cure the addiction. Just a financial penalty for having the sickness. And while I agree it's good to deter people from taking up smoking and we should encourage quitting, I don't agree with bashing smokers and causing family hardship where an addict can't quit.

    But the bottom line is that the government CANNOT AFFORD TAX CUTS. It HASN'T identified areas of savings to cover them WITHOUT taking from people who need tax cuts or pension increases much more than those who received them. It HASN'T identified areas of savings without cutting necessary services. So it CAN'T AFFORD TAX CUTS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T NEED THEM. End of story! It's obscene over-indulgence of the wealthy at the expense of the nation, and it's grossly irresponsible.

    Economists have confirmed that it won't generate growth. It's widely stated that demand is the problem. Giving rich people more doesn't help demand. Companies won't invest until demand increases - no matter how much you give them to increase their investment capability. So the FIRST step has to be to drive improved confidence and demand, which requires taxing those who can afford to pay and putting more money into the pockets of the battling lifters, the retired, the sick and disabled, and the unemployed. When that money circulates, demand grows, profit grows, employment grows, and THEN the rich can get their bonus. Not before.

    Otherwise, find GENUINE SAVINGS without dismantling our health system, robbing education, and cutting pensions.
    Tom Tank
    6th May 2016
    1:05pm
    I am afraid Frank that you appear to fall into the category of "there is none so blind as those who will not see".
    It appears that your ideological brick wall prevents you realising that austerity measures simply shut an economy down and lead to a Depression.
    How can our economy grow if the ordinary person has their income reduced so their spending power diminishes?
    You probably haven't realised yet that the "trickle down" effect beloved by the IPA and fellow travellers simply does not work.
    A way to cut waste is to reduce the outrageous salaries being paid to people over and above what is reasonable for the contribution they make to our eceonomy and society. The avenue to that is to levy appropriate levels of taxation on that income to retrieve the wasted portion to finance the our ability to build the infrastructure we need.
    This is not socialism but common sense. We don't need more investment in real estate but in the things that generate wealth for the Nation.
    KSS
    6th May 2016
    1:19pm
    Rainey you seem to have things backwards; " They are increasing tobacco taxes, which will cause serious hurt to struggling families and further deprive the children of addicts" and "I don't agree with bashing smokers and causing family hardship where an addict can't quit".

    It is the person with the addiction that causes family hardship whether that addiction is tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sex, ice, heroin, cocaine or anything else. There is help out there for smokers and much of it is free. The simple, if unpalatable, fact is that many smokers (and other addicts) don't want to stop whatever the cost and yes their children will suffer for it. Short of taking the kids away, exactly what do you think the nanny state should do?
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:30pm
    Your accusations rings of your master Tony Abbott stating that he did not want class warfare, which he then brought on. Your cry of "getting paid" (I don't) is exactly what applies to you.
    Same tactic. Same team. Same lies.

    KSS: the one big assumption which both sides have made is that increasing the price of a packet of cigarettes will raise a whole pile of revenue. That may not work out as a black market in cigarettes may spring up and also you may get a heap of people finally quitting. It will be interesting.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:57pm
    Wait one... where did this $100bn in extra taxes come from? Tobacco and where else? Fat cat super used as a tax haven?
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    5:27pm
    KSS, doesn't matter whether you are talking so-called ''bludging'' or addiction, the holier-than-though will always blame the victim and rant about the availability of help, when in fact the help does nothing to address the cause. Why do you think they don't want to stop? People are just expected to change their ways with no change in the social conditions that led to their behaviour. Instead of condemning them, or milking their wallets, maybe we could actually ask the question: What it that drives your need, and what can we do to help you find other ways to fill that need?

    If only we could replace greed and selfishness with decency, respect, empathy, and caring, we might build healthy communities in which people don't need to rely on tobacco, drugs, or alcohol. If we could stop forcing talented people into soul-destroying labour because they weren't privileged enough to go to university and get a stupid piece of paper - which too often declares the holder and educated idiot! - and let people realize their abilities and gain some real satisfaction in life, we might see changes in their behaviour. But no, the privileged just want to punish and condemn, because that's the easy way out. And using the addict as a cash cow appeals to the ''holier than though'' and benefits the fortunate, so of course it's a popular policy.
    Rae
    7th May 2016
    4:35pm
    Frank I honestly don't believe I can afford improved productivity. We have been improving productivity now since WW11 and getting further and further in debt as it improves. As productivity improves wages have also declined in real terms.

    Workers probably can't afford any more productivity gains.
    Blossom
    9th May 2016
    12:07pm
    I agree that Medicare must be supported at all cost

    However one thing that really irks me is that if you opt to use a Private Hospital Emergency Dept. you are not entitled to even a small Medicare Rebate. I would be cheaper for the Govt to do that rather than people access Public Hospitals Emergency Dept. free.
    Chris B T
    6th May 2016
    9:33am
    This was Labor's "Slam Dunk" should have inflatted the ball first.
    PAYE tax collecting base on 50% taxable income on all your earnings. Not this Taxable income I can reduce my income to. Everyone starts with $18k untaxed as is now, would be fairer for all that we at least paid Tax on 50% of earnings. No Refunds Below The 50%.
    I would think it make the liberals take notice.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    10:18am
    Your idea has some merit although there need to be some deductions for definable business costs. But not the raft of crap which accounts come up with now.
    The other part of your concern Chris is the ability of the top end of town to fabricate 'deductions'. And then there is profit transfers to lower taxing jurisdictions. That has received some attention but unless there is proper legislation put in place (there hasn't from what I can see) then this government is just sabre rattling and multinationals will simply continue to plunder the public purse. It seems likely that this may be the intention just like the big banks only had a finger waved at them with no new legislation to stop crooked behaviour.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    11:49am
    Mick - your criticisms re offshore havens etc equally apply to Labor - nobody really wants to address that issue, since for some undefinable reason they seem to fear that companies forced to pay tax here will take their bat and ball and go home.

    Again - what is needed is an international convention that says that all companies operating within national boundaries pay a specified amount of tax there, regardless of where their home base is. They can then recoup that as a deduction in their home base.... hard to do if they already pay no tax there...

    Some such move has to come sometime, before all those countries currently being ripped off all go to the wall.

    Another issue is that companies really should not be receiving a company tax cut, since they get to remove from their profit all their running costs, something that Jo and Joe Bloggs cannot do, and thus paying a mere 30% on PROFIT after all costs is not such a big deal.

    I'm sure many individuals would love to pay 30% income tax.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:34pm
    Companies are not here for the fun of it TREBOR. If there were no money they would be elsewhere. By the same reason the calls to decrease company tax often are accompanied with claims that the extra money will be reinvested into the businesses. Whilst some might I would think that if there was more profit in these businesses then maybe that money would be sourced from banks.
    If they want to take their bat and ball and go home then so be it. Good riddance to the tax cheats! Maybe then some AUstralian companies will spring up to fill the void.
    Chris B T
    7th May 2016
    11:30am
    PAYE Tax payers, pay taxes on their taxable income not what there earnings are at a tiered rate after $18k non taxed amount. By filling out your tax return you will receive a refund.
    At no stage is there a cutoff where you can't travel down to this
    $18k non taxed amount.
    Individuals would be Livered To Pay 30% tax on there taxable income.
    I know I would be.
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    12:50pm
    I agree Mick,

    If Apple for example was told to go home and P off would that be the end of the world. There are more mobile companies out there that have just as good products.

    Apart from this a company will always stay in a market where there is money to be made whether it gives a 50% profit (when they are paying the correct tax) or 100% (Not paying tax)

    Take a gander at what many of our small businesses are making in profit and they are happy to stay in business.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    10:09am
    Debbie: you avoided to mention the main impetus of Shorten's response, that this government is engaged in class warfare and that the budget has been structured to benefit "the big end of town". This theme was clear from the outset.

    6th May 2016
    10:15am
    (Millionaire) birds of a feather flock together and Mal(evolent)'s the best for feathering their nests.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    10:19am
    The real question is WHO provides election funding to this government? When you understand that you understand whose interests have to be paid back first. Guess who?
    Retired Knowall
    6th May 2016
    11:07am
    Correct, but who supplies the funding for the Labour Party?
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    11:22am
    Labor is the correct spelling Retired Knowall, this has already been pointed out in numerous posts here.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    11:52am
    Indeed - Labor is Labour once they removed 'YOU' from it....
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    12:08pm
    That's your opinion TREBOR, doesn't change the correct spelling though whatever interpretation you put on the word.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    1:56pm
    Oooh- Play Misty For Me.... for those who miss the point, I am no Liberalite or anything-ite - but am considered somewhat left of the Dalai Lama.... the fact remains that since Labour became Labor and developed cafe` politics run by the 'educated' students - it has lost its way as much as the LNP has, since it now runs things for its own mates and chosen ones - exactly the same as the LNP does.

    Truly Labor removed YOU from its considerations in its pursuit of a mythical equality by numbers. It is as over-run by self-interested groups as the LNP is....
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    2:04pm
    TREBOR it must be awful to live a life so devoid of optimism as you seem to be, try to put a bit of joy and hope into your life and look on the bright side for a change, I am sure you will feel a lot better and have a better outlook on life.
    Scrivener
    6th May 2016
    2:26pm
    Part of the problem is the 100 item IPA agenda - The Coalition have no other ideas and are simply implementing it item by item, whereas it has no effect on Labor at all. This means that Labor can have fresh and innovative ideas and need never refer to the IPA agenda (read 'PLAN') that the Coalition beard into their so-called 'Budget'. The Coalition don't know how to DO innovation, they merely talk 'about' it. 'ABOUT' is a favourite word the Coalition uses. For example, "This budget is 'ABOUT' (jobs, growth, security, investment - and so on)". It is all 'ABOUT' some pipe dream or other for Morrison and Turnbull. There is no PLAN other than the plan to use of the word 'PLAN' at every opportunity. It is the IPA plan, nothing more nothing less. The IPA plan is directed, item by item, at Americanising Australia and building wealthy elites off the back of the rest of the population.
    I think Shorten and the Labor team will 'DO' rather than be 'ABOUT'. I think the difference matters.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:39pm
    Retired Knowall: you have a good point. Whilst union members cough up some I have a growing concern that big business has its hooks into both sides.
    There was a call for the public to fund elections and it was pushed aside. It needs to be revisited and not be pushed off the agenda. I have advocated that the expensive election campaigns are banned as these are a waste of money with the biggest (business) backing normally winning the day. That is wrong because the donor is essentially the new member with the candidate being little more than a puppet. And you wonder why politics is close to terminal in Australia and why there is not proper government. Pretty darn obvious.
    Righto YLC.............story about stopping election funding corruption and keeping big business out of government.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    3:00pm
    So dealing with realities means one is 'devoid of optimism'... I rather thought the opposite - you can't cure a cancer unless you know about it and actually do something....
    Retired Knowall
    6th May 2016
    11:12am
    They have both missed out on the logical funding stream.
    Super was meant to provide for a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, not as a tax minimisation strategy.
    Earnings within the Pension Phase should be taxed when the earnings exceed a set limit, lets say $80K. The tax rate could be set anywhere between 15% to 30% on the excess.
    It make no sense to have some accounts earn in excess of $300K tax free.
    Sundays
    6th May 2016
    11:23am
    Tax was paid when the money went in the fund either 15% on pretax dollars or marginal rates on after tax contributions, so why should people pay to take it back out
    Goldleaf
    6th May 2016
    11:32am
    I agree with you, but you are incorrect when you say "They have both missed out on the logical funding stream". It helps to read Labor's policy on Superannuation which has been released for quite some time, here is the part that should be of interest to you-
    "From 1 July 2017, future earnings on assets supporting income streams will be tax?free up to $75,000 a year for each individual. Earnings above the $75,000 threshold will attract the same concessional rate of 15 per cent that applies to earnings in the accumulation phase." Hope that helps.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    12:09pm
    Does that include politician etc pensions/super? Or is that still some sacred cow?
    Retired Knowall
    6th May 2016
    2:20pm
    Hey Sundays, if I put my after tax money into a bank or other financial institution, I pay tax on the interest earned. Super should be the same.
    Thanks Goldleaf, you are correct, my mistake.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:44pm
    Sound reasoning Retired Knowall.

    Sundays: not sure you understand why the wealthy put money into super rather than invest it.

    Strategy: money put in only taxed at 15%, not 49%. Tax on earnings also 15%, not 49%. Tax free on lump sum withdrawal after preservation/retirement age. Not a bad little earner. The rich are not stupid with their money.

    I agree that there should be some tax payable on a sliding scale when money taken as an annuity in retirement. I mean how many bites at the cherry do people expect.
    Sceptic
    6th May 2016
    3:05pm
    Remember MICK there is a limit to annual contribution to Super.

    Funds in Super are not a passive strategy, the funds are usually invested. An investment within Super or outside Super is still an investment MICK.
    Sundays
    6th May 2016
    4:20pm
    I completely understand Mick and actually used to work in super. In my final years of working I boosted my super, but I am not wealthy and it is not only rich people who do it but you are still at the mercy of the market, and super funds charge fees. Your money is also locked away for many years which is why there are tax breaks. If there was no incentive to put extra into super people wouldn't do it and the idea is to be as self sufficient in retirement as possible rather than just relying on the government. It also makes a difference to have that little extra. I like the idea of tax on Pensions over $75k however
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    4:38pm
    I agree super was designed so that people could save for their retirement with the money locked away until retirement as this is the only way some people would save for retirement. In order for people to do this they needed to encourage them by using low tax rates. The by product of this was that it became a tax minimisation strategy for some as well.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    9:11am
    Super is one of many strategies which are used by some Australians but which are used extensively by the rich...who are milking the system. Just because they are available does not mean those with so much should be able to milk it. There needs to be more means testing so that this does not happen. Not open slather.
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    1:07pm
    Yes I agree Retired Knowall,

    I am undertaking the open uni course on inequality and post this as an example in a discussion group.

    "In Australia there may be a limit set of $1.6m one can put into Superannuation savings and still get all the tax concessions. On retirement if this earns at say 5% it will give $80,000 income that is tax free. This equates to about $18,000 tax not paid not taking into account the tax savings on accumulation. This coincidentally equates to the pension a single person receives yet it is this person who is supposed to be the burden."
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:41am
    I'm also doing a course on inequality and one of the strong - and very valid points made is that tax and pensions are essentially one and the same. Both are a benefit from government based on certain eligibility criteria. Both are used to encourage and support particular lifestyle choices or needs and to drive behaviour that the government deems beneficial to the nation.

    The rich take advantage of tax minimization strategies. The poor cannot, but receive pensions at certain stages of life to compensate.

    Problems - and massive unfairness - arise when pensions are classified differently to tax and the privileged claim the right to maintain their tax advantage but demand the pension advantage for the underprivileged be reduced or removed. Or when one group claims the right to BOTH advantages unfairly.

    We are seeing evidence of that problem here, with a small number continually insisting that pensions are different to tax - that they are somehow an act of charity by the well-to-do. Those posters couldn't be more wrong. The charity is on the other side of the divide. The underprivileged give their lives, their health, their strength, and their intelligence in war and in work, to a society that enables the privileged to continue to prosper and a select few to move from underprivileged to privileged class. The underprivileged are owed a massive debt. And payment of decent pensions is only a token repayment. That some want this token repayment withdrawn, or reclassified to insult, is a disgrace.

    Wstaton is right. Those who refer to pensioners as a ''burden'' are selfish and ignorant in the extreme. If you analyse the tax and pension system properly, you find the highest income earners attract the greatest benefit from society, both in terms of access to resources AND in terms of tax advantage. It is THEY who impose the ''burden''.
    Sundays
    6th May 2016
    11:19am
    I agree with Bill Shorten especially where he stated that we are all at risk with the constant changes to superannuation. The lack of retrospectivity of some of the changes are very unfair. I am not personally affected, (yet) but how can people plan for their futures when the goalposts keep moving. Also, cutting the clean energy supplement for new pensioners is grossly unfair. All those receiving a full pension should get the same amount.
    Retired Knowall
    6th May 2016
    3:05pm
    Your concerns are well founded as both sides of politics have manipulated Super over the years. I believe Super should only form part of your portfolio, it's very tax effective but subject to too much Sovereign Risk.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    4:51pm
    Super like everything in life changes and the goals posts get moved. As Retired Knowall says it should only form part of your portfolio. You need room to move and adjust for the changes as they come along.

    I see cutting the clean energy supplement as the first step in getting rid of it altogether.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    9:16am
    You would want to cut the clean energy supplement Bronny. That is what coal owned governments do and your LNP employer is little more than a puppet to big business, the coal industry being near or at the top of that list. In the meantime your government is relegating a future Australia to third world status. Other nations are already making the transition to clean energy and when it is done I predict there will be a carbon tax on exporting nations who produce their export goods using coal. Guess who?
    Misty
    7th May 2016
    9:48am
    So Bonny you are happy that unless we cut down on Greenhouse Gas Emissions we will lose the Great Barrier Reef?, that is a report that was on the news this morning, that is great forward thinking I must say..
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    7:59pm
    The mindset of the current government and its coal industry election funding. Bastards who need to be jailed.
    buby
    8th May 2016
    12:13pm
    >The mindset of the current government and its coal industry election funding. Bastards who need to be jailed.<
    i agree with u there mick
    And Misty perhaps with global warming we will be unable to save the Reef.
    It seems NObody including the government really cares about it?
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    11:19am
    I hope it goes down well with the majority of Australians but I think people are so sick of politics they will just ignore it.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:45pm
    The choice was never clearer (sorry, starting to sound like Shorten): one party run for the rich the other for all Australians with a focus on average Australians. The battle lines are drawn.
    Sceptic
    6th May 2016
    3:07pm
    One party to cut the cake into smaller pieces,the other to get a larger cake.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    4:02pm
    Hey Mick what happened to voting for a good independent ?
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:16pm
    That is precisely what should happen.
    buby
    8th May 2016
    12:15pm
    >I hope it goes down well with the majority of Australians but I think people are so sick of politics they will just ignore it.<
    You got that right Misty
    Goldleaf
    6th May 2016
    11:26am
    One thing that is never pointed out is that giving tax cuts to businesses has never created the jobs growth those who believe in this approach want. There is no evidence to support this idea, it did not work in the US under Reagan and it will not work here. If anyone knows of any examples, please reply. So that leaves us with looking at other ways we can grow the economy and ensure that programs which improve our society, like Medicare, Gonski, protection of the environment etc continue and are improved. This means raising revenue and giving tax cuts is not the way to go. Shorten made a good budget reply and I hope the Australian people listen to him. Finally this election looks like being about policies and not leadership and that can only benefit us in the long term.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    12:14pm
    The restoration of some industrial capacity, with some genuine forward-looking technology ideas included, would be a start.

    Unemployment will never be resolved, along with the escalating social and economic differences within our once great society, until there is a genuine opportunity for all to actually get a job of some kind.

    I come from a family of largely (in the generation before me) industrial workers - who could go to work, earn a living wage, and own a home etc at the end of it. Nowadays such a simple solution to life is simply not available to many and it is very much catch-as-catch-can.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:47pm
    I have heard it said that tax cuts for the wealthy almost always do not create more jobs. They end up in multiple holiday homes, more fancy cars and an extravagant lifestyle.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    4:05pm
    Yes, Mick - hey feel they've earned it by being 'lifters'....
    disillusioned
    6th May 2016
    11:27am
    Let's start building our country again with properly educated and trained people. Rule out $100K degrees and restore the TAFE sector so we can produce the people we need to advance our country. Stop funding those Mickey Mouse colleges that are ripping people off and get the well functioning affordable TAFE programs back into full operation. We can't keep importing tradespeople from other countries when we see our young people without hope of decent jobs.
    Stop the privatization of Medicare. Good start Bill.
    KSS
    6th May 2016
    12:19pm
    disillusioned the paucity of tradespeople is NOT really due to the cost of TAFE or any other training. It is largely due to today's 'entitled' youth refusing to undergo apprenticeships over 3-5 years for low wages (even with the potential to earn a six figure salary after completion) as they did in the past. Add that to the ability for them to go straight from school to Centrelink for about the same amount and why would they take the more difficult training route?
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    1:04pm
    I think that's a massive generalization and very unfair to those you slight, KSS. If good training opportunities are available, and the terms are reasonable, people will take them up. Life on Centrelink benefits is NOT appealing and very few would even consider applying for benefits if there were an alternative.

    It's far too easy for the privileged to judge the less fortunate. And in almost every case, they get it VERY VERY VERY WRONG!
    KSS
    6th May 2016
    1:27pm
    And you are not making massive generalisations Rainey?
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    8:46pm
    I'm not condemning victims of a social problem without a careful analysis of their individual circumstances, KSS. I am generalizing about those who judge, based on the vile comments that keep appearing slandering people whose lives and aspirations you know absolutely NOTHING about.
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    8:17am
    KSS, I heard yesterday that plumbers are now earning more than lawyers. Please don't anyone try to tell me that young folk REFUSE opportunity to enter trades that are so lucrative just a few years down the track. They are NOT that stupid. If they are refusing opportunity, there's something very, very wrong with the offer.

    I get really tired of ''holier-than-though'' ignorants who don't live in the real world, wear blinding glasses, and make irrational nonsense statements blaming the victims for social failure. I realize it must be hard for the ''I'm okay Jack bugger you'' brigade to have to share their world with people whose misfortune makes some feel a little uncomfortable at times. And I realize fixing problems means the selfish have to make a minor sacrifice here and there - and that's just NOT ON - but if people can't have even an ounce of respect for others, they should just keep quiet.

    If there are people here and there who actually prefer life on Centrelink benefits, then it's time society took a little more care to investigate what is so devastatingly distasteful about the job opportunities they are presented with that a life of being abused, bullied, hated, condemned and living on bread and water could actually be more appealing.
    BrianP
    6th May 2016
    11:43am
    Shorten's Labor still falls short of real help for everyday Australians but it is way better than the Coalition's way out of touch approach.
    MITZY
    6th May 2016
    12:26pm
    Not messing with Medicare is a real help for everyday Australians, we can't guarantee what any of them will say or do after they are next elected, but the very sick/chronic need all the help they can get with services. And what a discriminatory move to keep the carbon tax payment for those already on pensions and yet not to new recipients. That's a pretty petty move considering how many top earners/companies will gain more. I just can't see why anybody at present needs a tax cut, but of course they do, because we don't really have debt and deficit do we !!?? Its a pretty bland budget, typical of an election just around the corner.
    I've had my electoral boundaries changed and I was so hoping to still be in Eden-Monaro, the bellwether seat, which last night Channel 7 announced as one of the 5 out of 7 seats the Coalition is likely to lose but lo and behold the electorate of Gilmore (my new electorate) is also one of the 5 out of 7 seats the Coalition is likely to lose. Eden-Monaro's Hendy has hardly been sighted in three years in Eden-Monaro but then he was too busy letting all and sundry into his Queanbeyan electoral office plotting Abbott's downfall. I lost all respect for this man just as I lost all respect for the plotters and instigators of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle. I never had an Independent to vote for in Eden-Monaro so maybe I will find one in Gilmore!?
    MD
    6th May 2016
    12:32pm
    Agreed Brian, although we shouldn't count our chickens yet. Let's wait for the election to hatch 'em, perhaps then we'll get to realize what it was that the catchphrase of a former TV ad used to sucked em in - "but wait there's more". Then once the dust and feathers settle and there's more chooks than the roosters can handle we'll get to see more than the odd few with egg on their faces. Oh cluck!!
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    12:40pm
    love it MD.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    1:59pm
    Hendy has an office in town here... never set eyes on him.... wouldn't recognise him in the street or in a supermarket, unlike say Mike Kelly and Garry Nairn, who did make a point of getting around.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    11:43am
    I see the rhetoric continues to evolve - now it's a 'pay gap' and not the old, worn-out and discredited 'wage gap' that never was. So what does Bill actually propose to do? Offer women all the higher paying jobs so as to offset the myth that they are paid less for the same job for the same hours, something outlawed in this country for nearly fifty years now?

    Silly nonsense. Literally in terms of wages, you get what you work for in terms of hours and occupation - same applies to super - and I can assure you that women are not Robinson Crusoe when it comes to having been short-changed in life repeatedly. I see no reason to continue to offer all the PS jobs, for example, to women as a priority, since 70%+ such jobs are now held by women, reaping you beauty super etc.

    I think it's time that genuine equality held sway and a genuinely even chance given to everyone on genuine performance, and not in accord with some socialist myth of 'equality' by cherry-picked numbers.

    Affirmative action in all of its guises is one reason I will never again vote Labor.

    **Awaits the Usual Suspects assault....**
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    12:36pm
    TREBOR I am sure Labor, or any other party for that matter, certainly won't lose any sleep over the fact that you won't vote for them.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:01pm
    Oooh - the old ad hominem, eh? So you consider the right of one person to vote to be meaningless? You must be as much an elitist as our current crop of (failed) politicians.

    Put frankly - how dare you impugn the right of every voter to have a say, and if he/she so desires, make his position known?

    In that case I'm certain neither will lose any sleep over which way your vote goes.... so there.... **rofl emoticon required**
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    2:12pm
    TREBOR that is not what I meant at all, it is not my fault if you want to read a different meaning into my comments, put whatever interpretations you want on my comments I couldn't care less.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:20pm
    Well, picking back at the poster and suggesting that his comments are meaningless, is not something I would call a 'mistake in understanding'. More of an ad hominem, and a demeaning suggestion that the views of just another peon are of no value in this great society.... **ROFL emoticon required**

    As again - Labor has been over-run by special interest groups and calcified ideology and has become as leaden in its response to the ordinary person as the LNP - if that's not removing the YOU from Labour.. what is?

    Elitist is as elitist does, my old ma allus said down in Green Bow....
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:51pm
    TREBOR: I understand that you intend to vote Independent. This is the right thing to do and I hope that I have convinced enough readers on this site that this is the way to unnerve if not unseat candidates from both sides.
    Please just make sure that your candidate's preference does not go to Liberal as these bastards need to clean up their own party, get rid of the Howard era leftovers and rebuild from the ground up. The current lot are scum of the worst kind and need to be spat out asap.
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    3:05pm
    As I have already said TREBOR read what you want into my comments I couldn't care less what twisted interpretation you want to read into them to suit your own agenda.
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:02pm
    I have no agenda - twisted or otherwise - other than a fair go for everyone. If your initial comment was intended as a slur on the parties, and not on the poster - well - we got off on the wrong foot...

    But usually when someone says 'blah-blah is hardly likely to lose any sleep over you' etc - it is a put-down of the poster......

    What say ye?
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:03pm
    Hiss and make up?
    carmencita
    6th May 2016
    11:55am
    This not about turnbull or shorten.This is about the political party. As always the LNP is true to their policies which is pro rich. Whether Shorten is a better alternative, have we got a choice? Unless there is another political group that can rise up to form a major party.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    12:31pm
    You're talking my language, Carmencita. We need a new party with real direction for the people.... not just more ideologically driven short-sighted, selfish nonsense.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:53pm
    That is pretty well it carmencita. Perhaps vote for an INdependent who is preferencing Labor. That way you send a message whilst not putting the current big biz owned ratbags back in charge.
    Lockie
    6th May 2016
    12:32pm
    Would these issues arise if we have a stable strong manufacturing - creating jobs and prosperity to the country. Provide incentives to Miners who "add-value" to our resources (semi-processing) instead of dig-load-ship and bring back processed resources!
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:04pm
    You've been reading my GAIA** concept for the Pilbara... solar and wind and North Shelf gas powered industrial city/state using local iron ore to produce steel and other products, including ship-building.

    The old idea that we had to have heavy industry somewhere not so close to potential enemies is gone now - since any potential enemy has the ability to reach it anywhere....

    **Great Australian Infrastructure Advance... laboured a bit I know, but hey - nobody's perfect....
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:56pm
    Of course not Lockie. Nor would they be occurring if multinationals were not allowed to avoid their tax liabilities, if rich Australians were prosecuted for sending money to tax havens and if there were not (intentional) loopholes left in legislation to give the rich outs....like the superannuation tax shelter, now closed after years of pressure.
    jamesmn
    6th May 2016
    12:33pm
    shorten has a better plan and don't keep flogging shorten with the unions I had been in unions all my life and its a case of have to be in one or your company would rip you off shorten was found not guilty what about the corrupt liberals Barnaby joyce and his helicopter flight he should be brought to justice over this and sacked just to mention 1 corrupt liberal out of the ones that have departed under turn ball and abbot not to mention abbots personal advisor cremblim she as corrupt as anything and the cfmeu union is always about the safety on work sites there are too many construction sites that doo not care about workers safety grocon just to mention 1 plus with the wall falling down in Melbourne then try too pass the buck bring on the banks enquiry that labour wants but the liberals are shit scared of having the only thing we do NOT need all of this time before the election it should be sooner turnball has had it as has his rich mates .
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    2:59pm
    I suggest that if the electorate understood the financial relationship between the Liberal Party and big business and if all documents pertaining to exchanges between the two then the poo would hit the fan so badly that many government MPs would be forced to resign.
    Unfortunately there is total secrecy and both sides refuse to establish a federal ICAC. I wonder why.
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    1:39pm
    Yeh! I guess we would still be in the Dickinson's era if unions hadn't come about.
    Misty
    9th May 2016
    2:02pm
    Try explaining that to the Union haters Wstation, of which I am not one, they did a lot for me during my working life, why can't people see there are good and bad in all organisations and do a bit of research before always branding them with the one iron.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:51am
    Misty, the unions caused me a lot of hurt with their corruption and favouritism and illegal dealings. But I respect that they did a lot of good for the nation, and I think they are very necessary.

    People should recognize that there is bad in every walk of life. Corruption exists in unions - bad corruption. No worse than the corruption in business and in government. I suffered a lot more hurt from government corruption, actually, than from union wrongs. And nobody wants to hold the government to account. I reported the filthy bureaucrats and they were promoted!
    Supernan
    6th May 2016
    1:06pm
    I do like Bill Shorten simply because he doesn't rant & rave. Sadly this has gone against him in the past. He gets shouted over in debates, does not shout back, so often doesnt get a fair hearing. He also seems gentle, understanding & compassionate. Something most Aussies dont seem to appreciate. But I think are good assets in a Leader.

    Someone said about money circulating. Well "cutting waste" is polly speak for sack the working people. How does it help to reduce staff in the Public Service to the point it doesnt serve the need ?

    How does it help the economy to put people out of jobs ? Less people to pay tax, more on the dole, unable to buy clothes & goods etc. So shop owners cut staff or close. More people out of work. An economy works when its people work.

    Rainey, have you ever read Union history ? With out unions people would still be working long hours, no paid holidays, low pay, in terrible conditions while the rich get richer ! Yes extreme unions get out of hand sometimes. Yes sometimes they ask for silly things & go over the top. But their history proves much of our current lifestyle is better because of how they fought in the past - often losing their lives, starving & being shot just to help the poor. Maybe we need a militant "Oldies Union" to fight for our rights !
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:00pm
    Pretty long speech the other night. But good to see he did not look like a loser.
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    7:57am
    Supernan, you haven't been reading my posts. If you had, you'd note that I fully acknowledge the need for unions and the good they have done. I also fully acknowledge that there is more corruption and dishonesty in business and government than in unions. I've merely noted that I, personally, don't like unions. They caused my family a lot of hurt, through corruption, bullying, and dishonesty. That's my experience. I don't judge unions generally by that experience. There's good and bad among unionists, just as there is elsewhere. And I have to say Shorten came across rather well in his speech, and I approve of SOME of his ideas and values. I'd rather the ALP in power at present than the neoliberalist LNP with their feudal society aspirations, that's for sure. And I think right now we need unions more than ever before, but we need them to stand up for retirees and other non-working people as well as for workers.
    Joy
    6th May 2016
    1:21pm
    Shorten is not exactly on minimum wages he is very well off .so are a lot on both sides of politics .What I did want to say if it wasn't for the previous government we wouldn't have all this debt .One lot gets it all strait and the other lot mess it up again so why bother .The economic down turn they had in Europe would not have affected Australia that much ,our economy is mostly linked to Asia and if China goes down then we will know about it
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    1:43pm
    Joy there was a GFC in case you were not aware of it and the Abbott Turnbull Govt has since tripled the deficit, they are using the excuse Global turndown in world markets so how does that differ from a Govt having to cope with a Global Financial Crisis?. Australia came out of this better then most countries with a AAA Rating thanks to the Howard/Costello legacy and Labor's planning, Many of Labor's solutions were done hurriedly such as the Pink Bat debacle but a lot of the blame for that has to be taken by individual contractors the Govt cannot be at every job can they to supervise.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:04pm
    You are right about the debt Joy. Painful. What you fail to acknowledge though is that AUstralians never had a GFC, AUstralians were not chucked out of work when the rest of the world was and we have something tangible: NBN, solar hot water heaters and PV panels on our roofs providing free electricity. Imagine getting anything like that from a coalition government? Not likely. But Turnbull did manage to butcher the NBN and it is costing us all more than if the Labor fibre to the home plan had been carried out.
    There's an old saying: 'be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.'
    Cheers.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    5:09pm
    Joy, Labor inherited huge obligations from a profligate Howard/Costello Government that wasted the profits of the boom giving tax cuts, rebates, concessions and grants - 80% of which benefited the richest 20%.

    Howard and Costello were able to APPEAR to manage the budget well because they had boom revenues, but their policies were largely responsible for the debt that so many are quick to blame (entirely incorrectly) on the Rudd/Gillard government.

    I have a very low opinion of Rudd and Gillard, and not a high opinion of Swan, but please don't be conned into blaming them for that massive proportion of debt that resulted from Howard/Costello policy changes that Labor had to honour, or be thrown out immediately.

    Abbott and Hockey and Turnbull and Morrison have managed to triple the debt, while falsely blaming Labor and making rash promises that they can't keep, despite destroying our health system and the lifestyles of more than half a million retirees.

    6th May 2016
    1:25pm
    An article well worth reading: http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/05/04/bill-gross-what-to-do-after-the-robots-take-our-jobs/

    The bottom line is that the traditional approach to economic management can't work in a world where the need for labour is reduced. It's easy to blame the victims of the problem. It's easy to want to punish those who are displaced. It's easy to shout 'make people work until they are 70 so we pay lower pensions' of to scream 'the unemployed are bludgers won't work so stop paying them'. Those solutions are easy cop-outs. But they won't work.

    The LNP is so committed to looking after the privileged that it is simply incapable of formulating solutions to a problem that, naturally, primarily hurts the underprivileged (Victims of the problem rapidly become underprivileged if they are privileged when displaced).

    Labor has no real answers either. No political party of bureaucratic advisory body does. But if we don't get creative soon, we will see society collapse. And the LNP is far too wedded to Neoliberal thinking and pleasing its financiers to even contemplate getting creative for the benefit of those its policies disenfranchise. If it weren't, it would be LOWERING the retirement age, not raising it. And encouraging single income families and job sharing.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:11pm
    You, too, are speaking my language... in a mandatory social studies component of a computer programing course I was doing years ago - 1983 to be exact - I came up with the concept that in the future more and more people would be sidelined (for several reasons) from the workforce, and thus it would be a good idea to hold a selection process NOW to determine who should be permanently retired on AWE so as to ensure prosperity.

    Of course, this has all come to pass with the advent of the machines, downturn in OUR industrial capacity, and the virtual doubling of the workforce through the mass introduction of women into it. Something had to give, and it was, of course it is those without work or hope who are doing the most giving right now.

    I know full well what you are talking about with the 'privileged' falling through the cracks. I was earning $100k pa at that day's rate (around $260k now) in the early 90's and fell through the cracks, losing everything. No more Jaguar and Daimler in the garage... but my children came out of it all right.. I made sure of that.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:46pm
    Rainey: I can relate to what you say. We do have bludgers who intend to never work and who rort but the crooks in suits take many multiples of public money compared to the bottom end.
    The other issue we have is THAT THERE ARE JUST NOT ENOUGH JOBS TO GO AROUND and with robot technology upon us there will be less in the future. You cannot play the 'look for a job' game if there are no jobs. Add to that the fact that AUstralia has been and continues to close down productive businesses because they cannot compete with $10 a day labour rates and you have the perfect storm. On our doorstep.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    5:36pm
    Yes, Mick, and the stupid LNP continue to insist everyone has to work. They even want to boost paid parental leave. How idiotic! Let families make the choice for one parent to be a full-time parent or both to work part time and give the children the benefit of real active parenting. Reduce the retirement age - especially for those who started work young and slogged it out in unfulfilling jobs or jobs that wore their bodies out. Set creative and innovative people free to create. Pay people who have a productive role to play in society without doing traditional jobs. There are loads of beneficial things people can be doing outside the traditional workforce. We'd have much happier and healthier society if we took this approach.

    We should also be reducing working hours and encouraging more job sharing. Yes, it means some will take a pay cut, but many can well afford it, and if they gain in time to enjoy a quality lifestyle and pursue money-saving activities like growing food and making furniture, they might discover that money isn't everything after all. Goodness, we might even reduce the selfishness in society and reintroduce community spirit. Wouldn't that be nice?
    Not a Bludger
    6th May 2016
    1:31pm
    Here goes Bill again - fighting the"good fight" of the 1930's and singing The Internationale, thinking like a union thug boss and like Gillard &Rudd, taxing & spending everything that he can find.

    When oh when will Shorten and his Union mates realise that this is the 21'st century.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:07pm
    Come on. How about some facts. Not exactly rocket science that both Rudd and Gillard ran SMALLER DEFICITS than Abbott and Turnbull.
    And let's add that it was Abbott who removed the debt ceiling. Why? So he could borrow like there was no tomorrow, which he did. How else was the government going to make up the $8 billion of lost revenue after the Carbon Tax was repealed?
    You are simply repeating propaganda Bludger. Not fact.
    Not a Bludger
    6th May 2016
    1:31pm
    Here goes Bill again - fighting the"good fight" of the 1930's and singing The Internationale, thinking like a union thug boss and like Gillard &Rudd, taxing & spending everything that he can find.

    When oh when will Shorten and his Union mates realise that this is the 21'st century.
    roy
    6th May 2016
    3:15pm
    Hear hear.
    Adrianus
    6th May 2016
    7:11pm
    I was going to say that!
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:41pm
    Spoken like the true troll you are Bludger. Your other avatar is heemskerk yes?
    We need a federal ICAC to investigate the relationship between big business and the LIberal Party. Then we can gain an understanding of the huge amounts of money which flow to the rich. It will make your claims of union corruption pale into insignificance......which is why this government will NEVER agree to such an organisation.
    Bring it on trolls!
    Rosret
    6th May 2016
    1:52pm
    The company tax may be an issue in The Senate. However if we have a competitive company tax then perhaps more companies will remain in Australia and even have companies from overseas who are attracted to register here as a competitive choice. It is a tax benefit that may turn out to boost Australia's wealth. Imagine if we lowered our company to tax to match Ireland's. We could benefit from Apple's billions if they transfered to Aus!
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:14pm
    Lot of if's - the reality is that the companies will stay safe in The Caymans etc..... I don't believe lowering company tax will attract any, and the best solution is that international convention that an offshore company pays a specified amount of tax to the country in which it earns profit, and resolves that as a tax deduction in their tax haven.

    Tough boobies if they pay no tax there and can't claim a deduction... if they pull up stumps, they know their opposition will get in and corner the market share they've just given up.
    Paulodapotter
    6th May 2016
    2:46pm
    Spot on TREBOR.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:09pm
    Yes guys. If you were right Rosret then would you really want to see Australia be in a race to the bottom for company tax? This is the game the multinationals are playing to find a nil tax regime. Their aim in life!
    Alex
    6th May 2016
    2:00pm
    Just a comment on one item. Bill Shorten said he would grandfather the super changes for high end super. There was no question of grandfathering the harsh measures that were enacted last year that affected low income self funded retirees. The changes to defined benefit pensions that he voted for were enacted in less than 12 months. The changes to the taper rate and limits came a year later. He and Labor did not support these changes but he has made no mention of reversing them.
    TREBOR
    6th May 2016
    2:16pm
    Of course no, Alex - that is precisely why I term the government of LNP/Labor, The Tag Team. One side gets in and hammers us with all the nasties, then the other firstly fails to withdraw them even though they 'opposed' them while in Opposition - but then sets about adding its own nasties onto us.

    The peasants can just take it or leave it....
    Paulodapotter
    6th May 2016
    2:47pm
    Stay tuned Alex. There's a long way to go before the election.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:10pm
    Good point Alex. Not sure if it was an oversight and it needs to be put to SHorten for comment.
    Rae
    7th May 2016
    5:00pm
    I put it to Labor MICK and got a weasel word reply.

    Never did answer the question of how non concessional savings could be classed as income for a second time when paid out of an unfunded fund.

    Nor how the returns in the fund managed to be 3% year after year for quite some time. Very dodgy.

    Or why the 9% surcharge wasn't paid to a portion of workers.

    The reply to my letter was along the lines of not mentioning the war.

    Needs to be put to the High Court in my opinion for a constitutional decision. Wouldn't be surprised if it is unconstitutional but as not a single union is the least bit interested in retirees we might never know.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:03pm
    Labor Mick? Me? Have not voted Labor for decades. Always vote Independent as this is the only way to fix a broken political system run by vested interests...FOR THEMSELVES.
    I am not a lawyer Rae and suggest you take this up with one. Sorry. Wish I could have helped you more.
    Rae
    9th May 2016
    9:20am
    Thanks MICK it doesn't affect me as such because of investments I kept out of superannuation.
    A couple can earn about $56000 a year before paying tax using the Senior and Pensioner Tax offset.

    My point is that if tax of super starts, and for those holding over 1,6 mill it already has will the non concessional amounts be counted again as income? I do have after tax savings scattered in funds outside of super etc and I certainly don't want a new lot of income to be taxed because I did not immediately consume.

    If they can class savings as income for one bunch of savers and get away with it then the future could be very risky indeed.

    This is the aspect of the changes in the 2015 budget that no one is discussing as only a few people are affected so far.

    It doesn't include double taxation quite yet but is headed that way.

    If you have more than the 1.6 mill in super the extra will be taxed at 47%. I'm not sure if that is just on earnings or on the savings. If it is the savings and tax has already been paid on a portion then that is the situation I'm trying to point out.

    IF you have say $10 000 in the bank at what point will it be classed as income when you withdraw it?

    Not satisfied with paying savers very little I do believe they are now coming after the money. There is over 1.5 trillion and it is extremely tempting to a broke and desperate government I would imagine.
    Paulodapotter
    6th May 2016
    2:44pm
    Without being a supporter of either of the major parties, I can look at the alternatives with a jaundiced eye. To my utter surprise, despite the ALP's gutlessness on the debacle which is the refugee policy, I find Labor has done the LNP like a dinner and I have no compunction in endorsing their policies way beyond the tepid nature of the LNP budget that sets the course on a long term blow out of the budget. The ALP has shown, it is no better or worse than its rivals. As much as the LNP would like to bleat the ALP are financial mismanagers, it's akin to the teapot calling the kettle black. I will be supporting the ALP with bells on and this is the first time in decades I've done this.
    Paulodapotter
    6th May 2016
    2:49pm
    And this is despite my admiration for Malcolm Turnbull before he became compromised by his leadership of the LNP.
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    3:00pm
    And I too was ready to vote for Malcolm after years of voting for other parties, I had high hopes for him but unfortunately he is just another TA in disguise.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:12pm
    I agree Paulodapotter. Only thing is remember that there were a lot of money spent and we need to know where it is coming from. Don't want it to end up like honest John's (Turnbull's) 10 year big business tax cuts which are intentionally not funded.
    MmtuMoja
    6th May 2016
    2:55pm
    Why do people say they hate unions without explaining why? I hope it's not because they are parroting mainstream media propaganda which they have swallowed without any critical analysis.
    Political parties solicit donations from unions, big (and small) business, industry lobby groups, wealthy individuals and the few people who still choose to join the party and as such are pulled in multiple directions as they try to keep all their donors on side.
    Unions represent only their members, they sink or swim on attracting members and representing members and for the last 30 years have been under almost continuous propaganda and spin attack by Rupert Murdoch's media doing the work of the likes of the Institute of Public Affairs https://ipa.org.au/publications/2080/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia , read the list and bear in mind they have come up with more since this and it all reads like instructions to be followed by the Liberal Party - in fact some items are eerily familiar.
    If it were not for union activism in the 19th and 20th centuries we would not have annual leave, sick leave, OHS law, parental leave, compassionate leave, compulsory super, support for the disabled, Aged Pension, Medicare, to name a few things which make being working class (and if you are PAYG on tax, with no other sources of income YOU ARE WORKING CLASS) in Australia liveable.
    For ordinary people tax revenue raised fairly and paid willingly BY ALL including multinationals and those fortunate enough to have investments in the Caymans has a far greater payoff for living standards when invested in public healthcare, education, TAFE's, research and development, public transport e.t.c. That way those with a limited disposable income can devote it to good food, rent, heating / cooling their homes rather than worrying about not being able to afford essential medications or the next doctors visit! It's what Commonwealth means!
    A wise man once said something along the lines of "I like to pay taxes, with them I buy civilisation".
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    3:16pm
    Hey guys, there is some big brewing methinks.
    Frank and Bonnie are not posting and these posters are government trolls given their history.
    I suspect that in the next couple of days there will be an 'announcement'. But it could be they have been reeled in to help pull apart Shorten's reply to the budget.
    We'll see. I can hardly wait..........
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    4:16pm
    Yes I have been to a long lunch where we pulled apart Bill's reply.
    FM
    6th May 2016
    8:36pm
    Mick you know what they say about sleeping dogs.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:37pm
    Looks like they let you out of Party HQ at 3 pm Bronny. Not a lunch as all. Frank too. Why does that not surprise me.

    6th May 2016
    3:26pm
    Do I think that Mr Shorten is a worthy alternative to Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister? This question in itself says a lot about the bias exhibited by this forum. To use a person's surname only when referring to them is a show of disdain towards that person, to use a Christian name as well as the surname shows a familiarity lacking in respect but to give a title of Mr in front of the surname shows respect. The question has a subtle bias that could elicit a predictable response.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:43am
    Is that lie the media showing giving the government a lot of air time as they 'rub the flesh'? Or like Turnbull attending children's activities?
    Horses for courses I might think.
    Oldman Roo
    6th May 2016
    3:27pm
    With whatever argument the Liberal Supporters come up with , there is no doubt that Shorten has a lot more to offer for people on lower income . All the old scaremongering about unions and bygone Labor policies do not count for much in these days when you realistically weigh up the overwhelming evidence that the LNP is governing for the wealthy , which includes Politicians .
    If Labor would also promise to revoke the impost on part Pensioners in the Pension reform they would certainly have my vote . The recent lowering of the interest rate was most likely not the last punch below the belt for the people who made the mistake and saved to live without welfare .
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:44am
    The election campaign is clear: class warfare. Rich vs poor. This government started!
    Chrissy L
    6th May 2016
    3:30pm
    Hey Guys and Gals, whether you vote for Malcolm or Bill. Just think of those in America, could be worse, you could be getting Donald Trump!
    particolor
    6th May 2016
    8:02pm
    And you'd prefer Hellery ?? :-( :-(
    Her Lying makes Tones look like the Pope !! :-)
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:36pm
    Funny if it were not true Chrissy.

    6th May 2016
    3:53pm
    The Coalition has laid out a budget which has been costed over the forward estimates period whereas Labor has put forward a lot of ideas that as far as can be ascertained have no supporting costing. It is noted that the proposed tobacco tax which has been costed by Treasury and has shown a deficit in calculations of some $19.5B has not been mentioned by Labor. Was that an oversight or have they decided to try and hide the truth from voters?

    Being in opposition is easier to make promises because the costings do not have to be produced to Treasury until the very last minute at which time, it's too late for a government to use errors against an opposition. Labor is wanting to bring back a charge on carbon and 50% renewable energy and they state that there will be no costs involved yet when Mark Butler spoke to 3AW, he conceded that those companies which didn't reach agreed targets would have to pay a "cost". He couldn't say whether those costs would be handed on.

    This is becoming a scare campaign which includes lies and half truths. The lies by Labor include that the Coalition ripped $30B out of education and $80B out of health when these claims were debunked in 2014. There is also the lie about $100,000 degrees which has also been proved wrong by a number of sources. The half truths revolve around posing questions to the voters asking if (place a minister or PM here) really can be trusted not to (increase taxes, reduce pensions, privatise whatever.)

    I don't know who I will be voting for because the seat has had a boundary change and I'm right on the edge of one of 3 boundaries and I have not yet bothered to follow it up. The Labor candidate will triumph here I'm sure because that's what Newcastle people do. They then sit back and complain that the Gummint doesn't do anything for the area. Why should they, the Coalition won't spend any money here because it won't translate to votes and Labor won't spend any money here because they will get the votes anyway.
    Oldman Roo
    6th May 2016
    7:30pm
    Bonny , I know you just love putting the boot into part Pensioners and your Party must be proud of you . Money talks !
    Oldman Roo
    6th May 2016
    7:30pm
    Bonny , I know you just love putting the boot into part Pensioners and your Party must be proud of you . Money talks !
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:35pm
    You make a few half truths yourself Old Man. Labor indicated IT WOULD COST IT'S PLANS BEFORE THE ELECTION. So let's wait rather than fire.
    You seem o have a short memory for an 'old man'. Abbott costed NOTHING, lied like nobody else I can remember and as soon as the election was done started to discard promised policies.
    You are being most unfair and one sided.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    11:55pm
    Just what I said MICK, Labor will produce their costings before the election, just before when there is a media blackout. Abbott costed everything MICK, he was required to by law. You keep going on about Abbott lying so go ahad and list them. Please don't include Labor lies or those promises that were put to the Senate and rejected.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:50am
    Where have you been for the past 2 years Old Man. Google 'Abbott broken promises' and find the list.
    Just a few to whet your appetite: less taxes and no new taxes, paid parental leave scheme, Gonski....
    Have a look at:

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-budget-backflips-bring-broken-promises-tally-to-85,7722
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    5:47pm
    Bonny will be joining the cash poor people!...Soon.
    Share dividends are falling flat and lower. Australia's big four banks finally feel the economic slowdown. Bank bosses concede their shareholders may need to lower their expectations. The little piggy (bank) will be feeling the pinch. Dividends, once the bedrock of many share investors' portfolios, are now staying flat or falling.Soon the 'have' will be joining the ranks of the 'have - not'. Choose your political sides wisely.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:14pm
    HS, The top 1% of Australian wealthy own 50% of Australia's wealth. I don't think they will be suffering in the near or distant future.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    2:19pm
    No, Paulodapotter, it's the battlers who've been stripped of part pensions who will be hurt by the fall in dividends. They will be forced to cash out assets and drain their capital and will rapidly fall to the level of those who have no savings for retirement. Then the taxpayer will feel the pain. But the wealthy will be just fine. They will continue to party and they will continue to condemn the disadvantaged and blame so-called ''leaners'' for all the world's woes- just like Nero and his crew, who fiddled and parties while Rome burned.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    4:02pm
    Well I am just dumb founded as there was one big omission in his reply that a lot of people here have been holding their breath to get.

    No mention of reversing the new January 2017 age pension assets test. For that I give Bill Shorten full marks.

    Medicare and health are currently very inefficient and a lot of money could be saved just by making them more efficient. Same with education.

    I agree with cutting the company tax rate for all companies as we are now part of the global economy with many countries around the world with low company tax rates then us. If we want companies to pay more tax in Australia we have to make it more attractive for them to pay their tax. Remember high flyers in the taxation area don't come cheap so the less companies have to pay the less they will save by using these people.

    Negative gearing under Labor favours the high income earners and disadvantages the low income earners. New properties come with high depreciation and capital cost deductions which give higher income earners a lot more tax back than lower income earners. Bad one there Bill as you have just make it definitely a tax scheme for the rich.
    Rodent
    6th May 2016
    4:26pm
    Hi Bonny, and others

    Today I attended, along with approx. 200 other Electorate members a lunch to say good bye to our local sitting ALP member, who is resigning. I asked him will the ALP have Pension Policy before the election, his answer was he believed so and that Jeny Macklin would be working on it. I said I would be surprised if Labor came up with a viable alternative policy. We shall see.

    Also had a new learing about this site which may be of some help to others so I post it here as info

    Q: Some posts have both Reply and Report after the posters name, along with date time etc, others have only Reply, others have only Report. Please explain the differences so I can better understand the system
    A: Comments that have been made by a member that are not in response to another member’s comment will have the ‘reply’ and ‘report’ options. A comment that is made as a reply to another member’s comment will only have the ‘report’ option available.

    Q: Also I can see that the number of Posts to a particular Topic increments as items are posted, but any specific posting may be NEW or in REPLY to a much earlier post on another date or time, which makes it hard to follow
    A: I’m not quite sure what you are asking here, but I’ll give it a go. If you’re replying to a member’s comment, your comment will appear at the bottom of all other responses. That’s because our system works so that the earliest replies are read first, so there’s a flow when reading them. Most people who make a comment in response to a top level comment will direct it to the member they wish to address (i.e. if Bob writes a comment, and you want to address your comment to them, then write ‘Bob, further to your comment’ or something like that).

    Q: Is there any way of searching to find the posts of a particular Poster, either by Name, Date or Time
    A: Not at this stage, but it may be something we include when we redesign the website. The easiest way to get around this at the moment, is to hit ‘Control F’ (Windows) or ‘Command F’ (Mac) and search for the user name, time or the date you are looking for.
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:32pm
    They let you out of Party HQ at 3 pm Bronny? So your spiel is the latest set of lies to be circulated? Not anything new here: money for the rich and taxes for everybody else!
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    2:01pm
    Rodent, If you want to find all the comments of a particular poster Click on "edit" then "find" a box will appear at the bottom left of the browser. Type in the posters name.

    This is applicable to firefox but I assume it will work for other browsers also.
    Rodent
    6th May 2016
    4:33pm
    For those interested in the Real Dollar figures. Within 10 days of the Election writs being issued Treasury must release the real state of the nation re its $ This is called PEFO
    Pre Election Fisical Outlook, should make interesting reading
    Hoppy
    6th May 2016
    5:31pm
    I like the negative gearing policy and especially the increase in capital gains tax. My daughter and her husband have good jobs but can't get into the Sydney housing market. My house is worth $2m but has the same value to me as when I bought it for $100,000, i.e. a nice place to live in. Why should an investor pay a lower rate of tax than a worker? Why do people buying their fourth or fifth house get more government financial support than a person buying their first house.
    Overseas shareholders and companies will be greatest beneficiaries of the company tax cuts because they have never received franking credits. That means overseas investors get the full cut where as Australian residents' tax benefit is discounted by their franking credits.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    6:06pm
    I don't like Labor's negative gearing at all because it favours the high income earner much more than the current system does.

    Also the increase in capital gains tax will limit investment as why should one take risks for the government taxes to take the lions share?
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:29pm
    Rubbish Bronny. Shorten outline his negative gearing changes. NOT RETROSPECTIVE and only on new projects.
    A wonderful policy. The government hates it because the rich will lose some of their taxpayer funded payola going forward. They should.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    10:35pm
    Mick please research how negative gearing really works and you will see that Labor is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes on this one. High wage earners just love negatively gearing new properties because they can write so much off their income.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:52am
    Normal government BS Bronny. High income earners buy properties in good locations, often for the land. And then they gamble on the share market.
    Not an honest bone in our body dear is there.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:19pm
    Rubbish and balderdash Bonny. Not even you could believe that. Are you doing a shock jock speil or a low form of Andrew Bolt suck up to the idiot column?
    Rae
    9th May 2016
    9:31am
    Bonny it doesn't affect you or I. Retirees now can't use negative gearing as a SMSF will never afford it limited to 1.6 mil.

    As for high income earners everything from the IR system to the financial system favour them. It is just the way it is.

    Some people get paid millions while the majority pay for it with falling wages and declining real term incomes. Welcome to neo liberalism.

    And of course they will negatively gear now that income tax can't be easily written off through SMSF strategies.

    The really rich will continue with the tax haven strategy and there is nothing at all to do about that is there?
    Observer
    6th May 2016
    6:31pm
    Shorten has a great capacity for obfuscation ie burying the truth in fog. Would be nice if he could speak a bit of plain truth for an change. Thefact is that the huge and growing debt is directly due to Labour mismanagement. They inherited a huge surplus for God's sake! I wonder if they will ever have the integrity to own up to their colossal economic catastrophe which threatens our entre economic future. Not likely! But the capacity for lies grows exponentially with the Shroten ambition for power.....
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    6:55pm
    Observer you must be only observing one particular party, namely the LABOR PARTY otherwise you would have observed lies coming from the LNP as well.
    particolor
    6th May 2016
    7:58pm
    Of coarse ! I see your point ! Of coarse Pinocchio Tony had no Ambition of Power ! :-) Ambitions of Power seem to be Flavour of this Century ?? Hullo Kevin ! :-)..Goodbye Kevin !:-( Hullo Julia ! :-) .. Goodbye Julia :-( Hullo Tony ! :-) Goodbye Tony ! :-( Hullo Malcolm ! :-) ....... NEXT !! :-)
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:46am
    Observer, you are not at all observant, otherwise you would have noted that the Howard/Costello government accumulated a surplus in a boom, and they gave that surplus away by pledging tax cuts, rebates, grants and concessions of all nature - 80% of which benefited ONLY the top 20% of society.

    Labor had to honor those irresponsible pledeges while they were struggling to deal with the GFC.

    It is well established, if you read FACTUAL HISTORY instead of political bias, that Howard and Costello bore most of the responsibility for the deficit, despite the appearance of a surplus resulting from boom conditions.
    Observer
    6th May 2016
    6:32pm
    Shorten has a great capacity for obfuscation ie burying the truth in fog. Would be nice if he could speak a bit of plain truth for an change. Thefact is that the huge and growing debt is directly due to Labour mismanagement. They inherited a huge surplus for God's sake! I wonder if they will ever have the integrity to own up to their colossal economic catastrophe which threatens our entre economic future. Not likely! But the capacity for lies grows exponentially with the Shroten ambition for power.....
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:28pm
    What a lot of right wing BS. SHorten was pretty clear in his response and made it clear that giving the rich more money whilst taking from working Australians was not on.
    Your post is unfactual and you are either repeating propaganda from the Liberal Party or have joined Frank the liberal party crank.
    The lies you mention all come from the government. Abbott lied his way into office and now Turnbull appears to be on the same page....caught out twice in the past week: once by citing 'research' which he then could not corroborate and then a second time when he said that the costings for his company tax cuts to the rich had not been done. They had! Official tonight.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:20pm
    You're no observer Observer. You're a paid up member of the LNP. Not even you could believe that hackneyed old rot.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:57am
    Shorten will have his work cut out to compete with Abbott's lies, Observer. I don't think anyone could outdo Abbott. And Turnbull hasn't remedied any of the terrible wrongs those lies caused. In fact, he's made things worse.

    I don't like Shorten at all. When he became leader of the ALP, I said he was a dangerous man and I hoped he'd never be PM. Now, I think he's by far the lesser of the evils we are forced to choose from.

    We MUST get rid of the LNP, whatever that takes. They will destroy our society with their class warfare if we don't remove them now.
    Mez
    6th May 2016
    6:42pm
    Without going into a lot of details about one's private life, I believe that the budget is basically designed as an economic stimulus that obviously those in the lower socioeconomic levels are unable to provide but it is fair in that those in upper socioeconomic levels are to pay more taxes excepting company taxes.
    Labour's budget proposals sound good because it is all about spending on the needy but no figures nor costings were given so again, it was all spend, spend, spend like kids at Christmas time.
    Of course, I would have liked to see more spent on Rental Assistance for Age Pensioners like myself and more on housing for the homeless and domestic violence victims, etc. but it is obviously no good spending big if we have a big hole in the budget caused by Labour and because of global economic downturns in the resources area and China, it is very difficult to significantly reduce the budget deficit but the Liberals are slowly succeeding.
    Hopefully we will have thè other areas attended to in subsequent budgets.
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    7:01pm
    Mez when things go wrong for the LNP they blame it on the Global Downturns but when things went bad for LABOR WITH A BUDGET DEFICIT no one would accept that we had a Global Financial Crisis, funny that isn't it Mez.
    Adrianus
    6th May 2016
    7:19pm
    Misty could that be because Rudd told us we would not be affected because of our pipeline of forward contracts locked in with China? Could it be because Rudd told us not to worry, that it was something which was happening in the USA and other countries?
    That's why most people saw the Labor antics which followed as political BS. The gifting of set top boxes and pink batts etc was purely a vote buying exercise which didn't work. We were saved by the pink batts?? Give me a break! really???
    particolor
    6th May 2016
    7:22pm
    I always Slowly succeed by Slowly Increasing my Debt :-) I'll probably drop off the perch one day and leave that Success to someone !!:-)
    MICK
    6th May 2016
    8:23pm
    Mez: never mind Frank the liberal party crank, here to post misinformation for his party.
    The facts: both Rudd and Gillard had lower deficits than Abbott and Turnbull. The difference is that Rudd/Gillard enacted policy outcomes which produced something for the nation whilst Abbott/Hockey had little interest other than sending money to the bank accounts of the rich. There is a difference.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    8:31pm
    The current higher deficits include all that interest paid on the Rudd/ Gillard debts. No wonder we currently have higher deficits especially since the LNP gets blocked in the Senate whenever it tries to fix the problem.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2016
    8:40pm
    You are like a broken record, Bonny, spewing gross misinformation that is so biased it's pathetic. I think most people are smart enough to research for themselves and note the FACTS, that Howard and Costello and Abbott/Hockey and Turnbull/Morrison have contributed far more to Australia's debt than Labor. Labor inherited huge commitments thanks to Howard/Costello's waste of the resources boom over-indulging the rich, and combined with the GFC, naturally faced a massive challenge - which they managed quite well overall.

    Labor has traditionally spent more heavily than LNP, but that trend has reversed over the last decade.

    As for the Senate, it did it's job. It protected Australia from seriously bad policy that would have caused major social and economic problems.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    8:49pm
    If the Senate hadn't been running the country instead of the government we would not be in such a mess financially. The way we are going we are headed for serious social and economic problems which shouldn't be the case.

    Whoever governs this country for the next term is going to have to make some very unpopular decisions. That is a given not a maybe.

    There will be nothing available for any form of welfare that's for sure.
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    10:28pm
    Frank what Treasurer got a AAA Rating?, as far as I can tell Wayne Swan has been the only one in the last few years and they don't get that for nothing.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:55am
    Bronny: being an ex MP you are FULLY aware of the job of the senate. IT IS NOT A RUBBER STAMP FOR A BAD GOVERNMENT. You and your party may well want a dictatorship but our political system was designed so that bad legislation should not pass. It does its job well and yes I understand the frustration of the current side of politics used to getting its way.
    Rae
    7th May 2016
    5:27pm
    Come now Bonny. We will soon join the US and Europe and all the other guys with negative interest rates.

    Think of the fun of borrowing a couple of million to buy a mansion and the bank pays you to do it. Not just a home but and income as well.

    The genius of these Central Bankers id brilliant. Surely we deserve to join them in the game. It is neoliberalism at it's finest.

    Never a saver be but borrow like there is no tomorrow.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:22pm
    Mez, did I see the same speeches as you? Where did you get that drivel from?
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:25pm
    Love it, Rae!
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:11pm
    China - the Coming Sick Man Of Asia when the markets it is so intent on destroying in order to establish economic hegemony actually fall below their level of sustainability, and nobody can buy all that Chinese production.

    Than it's Hasta La Vista, Baby, in many ways... including WW III (or is it IV since some call the current Islam/Christian divide WW III)... I suspect in that case IV will sweep III under the magic carpet for some decades to come......

    When nobody has the wherewithal to buy your product.... who are you going to sell it to? When your own workers wage rates equal those of the countries you are selling to, and your production workers out-number theirs........ how are you going to sell products to anyone?

    By force? Keep thinking, people.
    particolor
    6th May 2016
    7:14pm
    Ay Bill Nope Nope Nope and Nah ! Work well :-)
    FM
    6th May 2016
    8:16pm
    This page provides values for Government Debt to GDP reported in several countries. 5/6/2016.
    • A surprising number of people appear to have fallen for the Debt and Deficit slogan and believe Australia is on the edge of a catastrophe.
    • We can see that most advanced countries such as US, UK , Germany, the Baltic States, Japan and China have a Debt to GDP ratio that is significantly higher than Australia’s. Just as company debt allows a business to grow a country’s debt can be used to grow the economy. It is only problematic when it approaches GDP and returns do not cover it and provide a profit.
    • Countries that have a lower debt to GDP ratio include Afghanistan, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Having a lower Debt ratio does not make them more prosperous. Australia’s biggest problem is its balance of payments. It is importing more from overseas than it is exporting.
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/government-debt-to-gdp
    Country List Government Debt to GDP

    United States 104.17 Dec/15
    Euro Area 90.70 Dec/15
    China 43.90 Dec/15
    Japan 229.20 Dec/15
    Germany 71.20 Dec/15
    United Kingdom 89.20 Dec/15
    France 95.80 Dec/15
    Brazil 66.23 Dec/15
    Italy 132.70 Dec/15
    India 66.40 Dec/14
    Russia 17.92 Dec/14
    Canada 86.51 Dec/14
    Australia 33.88 Dec/14
    South Korea 35.98 Dec/14
    Spain 99.20 Dec/15
    Mexico 30.70 Dec/14
    Indonesia 27.00 Dec/15
    Netherlands 65.10 Dec/15



    Afghanistan
    6.60 Dec/13
    Albania
    72.13 Dec/15
    Algeria
    8.76 Dec/14
    Angola
    31.00 Dec/14
    Argentina
    48.40 Dec/15
    Armenia
    42.23 Dec/15
    Australia
    33.88 Dec/14
    Austria
    86.20 Dec/15
    Azerbaijan
    16.00 Dec/14
    Bahamas
    73.40 Dec/14
    Bahrain
    42.00 Dec/14
    Bangladesh
    18.00 Dec/13
    Belarus
    21.12 Sep/15
    Belgium
    106.00 Dec/15
    Belize
    66.30 Dec/14
    Benin
    18.30 Dec/14
    Bhutan
    98.90 Dec/14
    Bolivia
    32.40 Dec/14
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    30.40 Dec/14
    Botswana
    23.10 Dec/14
    Brazil
    66.23 Dec/15
    Brunei
    2.30 Dec/14
    Bulgaria
    29.30 Mar/16
    Burkina Faso
    28.30 Dec/14
    Burundi
    14.20 Dec/14
    Cambodia
    33.88 Dec/14
    Cameroon
    19.90 Dec/14
    Canada
    86.51 Dec/14
    Cape Verde
    114.22 Dec/14
    Cayman Islands
    19.50 Dec/14
    Central African Republic
    41.83 Dec/14
    Chad
    23.80 Dec/14
    Chile
    17.50 Dec/15
    China
    43.90 Dec/15
    Colombia
    38.00 Dec/14
    Comoros
    25.40 Dec/14
    Congo
    19.69 Dec/14
    Costa Rica
    58.32 Dec/14
    Croatia
    86.70 Dec/15 86.5 86.7 35.5 % Yearly
    Cuba
    17.10 Dec/12 20.2 21.1 14.8 % Yearly
    Cyprus
    108.90 Dec/15 108 109 45.1 % Yearly
    Czech Republic
    41.10 Dec/15 42.7 45.1 11.6 % Yearly
    Denmark
    40.20 Dec/15 44.8 58.1 27.3 % Yearly
    Djibouti
    44.56 Dec/14 48.1 67.8 44.56 % Yearly
    Dominican Republic
    45.79 Jan/16 46.14 46.14 16.43 % Yearly
    Ecuador
    29.80 Dec/14 24.2 85.5 16.4 % Yearly
    Egypt
    90.50 Dec/14 87.1 102 73.3 % Yearly
    El Salvador
    62.38 Dec/14 61.37 62.38 37.35 % Yearly
    Equatorial Guinea
    7.60 Dec/14 8.99 326 0.8 % Yearly
    Eritrea
    45.00 Dec/13 29.1 62.5 29.1 % Yearly
    Estonia
    9.70 Dec/15 10.4 10.4 3.7 % Yearly
    Ethiopia
    28.60 Dec/14 27.4 41.8 24.7 % Yearly
    Euro Area
    90.70 Dec/15 92 92 64.9 % Yearly
    European Union
    85.20 Dec/15 86.8 86.8 57.8 % Yearly
    Fiji
    50.60 Dec/14 51.4 56.2 33.69 % Yearly
    Finland
    63.10 Dec/15 59.3 63.1 10.8 % Yearly
    France
    95.80 Dec/15 95.4 95.8 20.7 % Yearly
    Gabon
    27.70 Dec/14 26.9 86.96 16.73 % Yearly
    Gambia
    47.70 Dec/13 44.5 117 35.1 % Yearly
    Georgia
    36.80 Dec/13 37.9 43.62 21.55 % Yearly
    Germany
    71.20 Dec/15 74.7 81 54.8 % Yearly
    Ghana
    67.60 Dec/14 55.64 125 26.2 % Yearly
    Greece
    176.90 Dec/15 180 180 22.6 % Yearly
    Guatemala
    24.31 Dec/14 25.36 50.45 20.82 % Yearly
    Guinea
    20.81 Dec/13 22.97 113 20.81 % Yearly
    Guinea Bissau
    30.80 Dec/14 26.7 210 21.4 % Yearly
    Guyana
    65.80 Dec/14 63.9 136 59.9 % Yearly
    Haiti
    26.45 Dec/15 26.61 60.88 11.81 % Yearly
    Honduras
    42.63 Dec/14 42.17 68.06 23.07 % Yearly
    Hong Kong
    32.00 Dec/14 33.84 35.47 13.7 % Yearly
    Hungary
    75.30 Dec/15 76.2 84.5 51.7 % Yearly
    Iceland
    82.40 Dec/14 85.2 95 23 % Yearly
    India
    66.40 Dec/14 66.2 84.2 66 % Yearly
    Indonesia
    27.00 Dec/15 24.9 87.43 22.96 % Yearly
    Iran
    16.36 Dec/15 15.76 22.67 8.93 % Yearly
    Iraq
    37.02 Dec/14 32.1 335 32.1 % Yearly
    Ireland
    93.80 Dec/15 108 120 23.6 % Yearly
    Israel
    67.50 Dec/14 67.6 96.7 67.5 % Yearly
    Italy
    132.70 Dec/15 132 133 90.5 % Yearly
    Ivory Coast
    36.41 Dec/14 39.92 84.2 29 % Yearly
    Jamaica
    132.72 Dec/14 136 136 87.31 % Yearly
    Japan
    229.20 Dec/15 226 229 50.6 % Yearly
    Jordan
    89.00 Dec/14 86.68 220 60.24 % Yearly
    Kazakhstan
    14.86 Dec/14 12.86 17.6 5.9 % Yearly
    Kenya
    52.80 Dec/15 49.8 78.3 42.8 % Yearly
    Kosovo
    12.98 Dec/15 12.47 12.98 5.51 % Quarterly
    Kuwait
    6.90 Dec/14 6.5 203 1.09 % Yearly
    Kyrgyzstan
    55.20 Dec/15 46.7 122 43.8 % Yearly
    Laos
    44.48 Dec/14 38.66 81.7 33.61 % Yearly
    Latvia
    36.40 Dec/15 40.8 47.5 8.4 % Yearly
    Lebanon
    134.41 Dec/14 133 185 131 % Yearly
    Lesotho
    45.80 Dec/14 37.7 88.66 36.9 % Yearly
    Liberia
    33.20 Dec/14 26.6 721 26 % Yearly
    Libya
    6.10 Dec/14 6.8 21.2 5.9 % Yearly
    Lithuania
    42.70 Dec/15 40.7 42.7 11.5 % Yearly
    Luxembourg
    21.40 Dec/15 22.9 23.3 6.1 % Yearly
    Macedonia
    45.90 Dec/14 40.4 48.8 23 % Yearly
    Madagascar
    34.90 Dec/14 34 112 24.3 % Yearly
    Malawi
    18.00 Dec/14 25.5 120 14.6 % Yearly
    Malaysia
    54.00 Dec/15 52.7 80.74 31.8 % Yearly
    Maldives
    20.40 Dec/15 24.3 47.35 20.4 % Yearly
    Malta
    63.90 Dec/15 67.1 72 34.4 % Yearly
    Mauritania
    66.90 Dec/14 65.6 280 60.8 % Yearly
    Mauritius
    61.60 Dec/15 60.1 63.7 48.4 % Yearly
    Mexico
    30.70 Dec/14 28.6 37.2 17.1 % Yearly
    Moldova
    24.60 Dec/14 23.6 159 19.27 % Yearly
    Mongolia
    51.70 Dec/11 45.3 106 24.5 % Yearly
    Montenegro
    61.40 Dec/15 53.97 56.84 27.5 % Yearly
    Morocco
    63.89 Dec/14 61.7 118 21.66 % Yearly
    Mozambique
    55.40 Dec/14 46.9 138 37.5 % Yearly
    Myanmar
    31.60 Dec/14 34.8 141 31.6 % Yearly
    Namibia
    24.60 Sep/15 24 27.49 14.22 % Quarterly
    Nepal
    28.80 Dec/14 31.9 69.5 28.8 % Yearly
    Netherlands
    65.10 Dec/15 68.2 73.1 42.4 % Yearly
    New Zealand
    30.43 Dec/14 31 61.02 14.55 % Yearly
    Nicaragua
    45.30 Dec/15 49.2 169 45.3 % Yearly
    Niger
    24.80 Dec/14 23.8 69.9 15.8 % Yearly
    Nigeria
    10.50 Dec/14 11 88 10.5 % Yearly
    Norway
    31.60 Dec/15 27.3 53.8 27.3 % Yearly
    Oman
    4.80 Dec/14 4.9 38.57 4.1 % Yearly
    Pakistan
    64.80 Dec/15 65.1 87.9 56.4 % Yearly
    Palestine
    17.30 Dec/14 19 26.36 2.93 % Yearly
    Panama
    45.60 Dec/14 41.7 116 41.7 % Yearly
    Papua New Guinea
    38.80 Dec/14 32.7 71.06 23.6 % Yearly
    Paraguay
    19.05 Dec/14 16.79 67 12.99 % Yearly
    Peru
    20.70 Dec/14 20.3 47.1 20.3 % Yearly
    Philippines
    45.05 Dec/15 45.4 74.9 45.05 % Yearly
    Poland
    51.30 Dec/15 50.5 56 36.5 % Yearly
    Portugal
    129.00 Dec/15 130 130 50.3 % Yearly
    Qatar
    31.48 Dec/14 32.11 67.13 8.03 % Yearly
    Republic of the Congo
    34.00 Dec/14 32 270 22.89 % Yearly
    Romania
    38.40 Dec/15 39.8 39.8 6.6 % Yearly
    Russia
    17.92 Dec/14 14.02 99 7.9 % Yearly
    Rwanda
    28.00 Dec/14 29.42 120 21.27 % Yearly
    Sao Tome and Principe
    68.23 Dec/14 72.45 309 33.3 % Yearly
    Saudi Arabia
    1.60 Dec/14 2.2 104 1.6 % Yearly
    Senegal
    35.20 Dec/14 29.6 72.6 17.7 % Yearly
    Serbia
    73.40 Dec/15 70.4 201 28.3 % Yearly
    Seychelles
    60.00 Dec/15 65 87 49 % Yearly
    Sierra Leone
    37.65 Dec/14 36.9 247 34.96 % Yearly
    Singapore
    104.70 Dec/15 99.3 106 66.9 % Yearly
    Slovakia
    52.90 Dec/15 53.9 55 21.7 % Yearly
    Slovenia
    83.20 Dec/15 81 83.2 18.3 % Yearly
    South Africa
    50.10 Dec/15 47.1 50.1 27.8 % Yearly
    South Korea
    35.98 Dec/14 34.52 35.98 8.24 % Yearly
    Spain
    99.20 Dec/15 99.3 99.3 16.6 % Yearly
    Sri Lanka
    75.50 Dec/14 78.3 103 75.5 % Yearly
    Sudan
    79.00 Dec/14 70.7 139 56.3 % Yearly
    Suriname
    26.20 Dec/14 29.2 115 16.86 % Yearly
    Swaziland
    9.90 Dec/14 9.98 26.16 8.78 % Yearly
    Sweden
    43.40 Dec/15 44.8 72.4 36.8 % Yearly
    Switzerland
    34.40 Dec/15 34.7 51.6 25.1 % Yearly
    Syria
    30.01 Dec/10 31.21 190 30.01 % Yearly
    Taiwan
    36.50 Dec/14 35.8 36.5 11.19 % Yearly
    Tajikistan
    28.34 Dec/14 29.18 112 28.34 % Yearly
    Tanzania
    39.90 Dec/13 39.5 66.6 31.1 % Yearly
    Thailand
    45.70 Dec/13 43.7 57.8 15.2 % Yearly
    Togo
    20.80 Dec/14 17.3 124 13.6 % Yearly
    Trinidad and Tobago
    41.60 Dec/14 38.6 58.84 13.18 % Yearly
    Tunisia
    47.50 Dec/14 44.38 69.9 40.2 % Yearly
    Turkey
    32.90 Dec/15 33.5 77.9 32.9 % Yearly
    Turkmenistan
    16.80 Dec/14 21.1 64.41 2.42 % Yearly
    Uganda
    34.70 Dec/14 33.26 84.4 22.1 % Yearly
    Ukraine
    71.21 Dec/14 40.65 71.21 12.3 % Yearly
    United Arab Emirates
    15.68 Dec/14 15.87 24.1 2.7 % Yearly
    United Kingdom
    89.20 Dec/15 88.2 89.2 31.3 % Yearly
    United States
    104.17 Dec/15 103 122 31.7 % Yearly
    Uruguay
    62.80 Dec/14 62.1 112 54.9 % Yearly
    Uzbekistan
    8.70 Dec/14 8.58 59.38 8.58 % Yearly
    Venezuela
    49.80 Dec/13 45.9 71.9 26.3 % Yearly
    Vietnam
    50.50 Dec/14 54.98 54.98 31.9 % Yearly
    Yemen
    49.95 Dec/13 51.7 51.8 27.2 % Yearly
    Zambia
    31.00 Dec/14 28.8 278 28.8 % Yearly
    Zimbabwe
    77.00 Dec/14 66.2 148 31.4 % Yearly


    Costa Rica
    58.32 Dec/14
    Croatia
    86.70 Dec/15
    Cuba
    17.10 Dec/12
    Cyprus
    108.90 Dec/15
    Czech Republic
    41.10 Dec/15
    Denmark
    40.20 Dec/15
    Djibouti
    44.56 Dec/14
    Dominican Republic
    45.79 Jan/16
    Ecuador
    29.80 Dec/14
    Egypt
    90.50 Dec/14
    El Salvador
    62.38 Dec/14
    Equatorial Guinea
    7.60 Dec/14
    Eritrea
    45.00 Dec/13
    Estonia
    9.70 Dec/15
    Ethiopia
    28.60 Dec/14
    Euro Area
    90.70 Dec/15
    European Union
    85.20 Dec/15
    Fiji
    50.60 Dec/14
    Finland
    63.10 Dec/15
    France
    95.80 Dec/15
    Gabon
    27.70 Dec/14
    Gambia
    47.70 Dec/13
    Georgia
    36.80 Dec/13
    Germany
    71.20 Dec/15
    Ghana
    67.60 Dec/14
    Greece
    176.90 Dec/15
    Guatemala
    24.31 Dec/14
    Guinea
    20.81 Dec/13
    Guinea Bissau
    30.80 Dec/14
    Guyana
    65.80 Dec/14
    Haiti
    26.45 Dec/15
    Honduras
    42.63 Dec/14
    Hong Kong
    32.00 Dec/14
    Hungary
    75.30 Dec/15
    Iceland
    82.40 Dec/14
    India
    66.40 Dec/14
    Indonesia
    27.00 Dec/15
    Iran
    16.36 Dec/15
    Iraq
    37.02 Dec/14
    Ireland
    93.80 Dec/15
    Israel
    67.50 Dec/14
    Italy
    132.70 Dec/15
    Ivory Coast
    36.41 Dec/14
    Jamaica
    132.72 Dec/14
    Japan
    229.20 Dec/15
    Jordan
    89.00 Dec/14
    Kazakhstan
    14.86 Dec/14
    Kenya
    52.80 Dec/15
    Kosovo
    12.98 Dec/15
    Kuwait
    6.90 Dec/14
    Kyrgyzstan
    55.20 Dec/15
    Laos
    44.48 Dec/14
    Latvia
    36.40 Dec/15
    Lebanon
    134.41 Dec/14
    Lesotho
    45.80 Dec/14
    Liberia
    33.20 Dec/14
    Libya
    6.10 Dec/14
    Lithuania
    42.70 Dec/15
    Luxembourg
    21.40 Dec/15
    Macedonia
    45.90 Dec/14
    Madagascar
    34.90 Dec/14
    Malawi
    18.00 Dec/14
    Malaysia
    54.00 Dec/15
    Maldives
    20.40 Dec/15
    Malta
    63.90 Dec/15
    Mauritania
    66.90 Dec/14
    Mauritius
    61.60 Dec/15
    Mexico
    30.70 Dec/14
    Moldova
    24.60 Dec/14
    Mongolia
    51.70 Dec/11
    Montenegro
    61.40 Dec/15
    Morocco
    63.89 Dec/14
    Mozambique
    55.40 Dec/14
    Myanmar
    31.60 Dec/14
    Namibia
    24.60 Sep/15
    Nepal
    28.80 Dec/14
    Netherlands
    65.10 Dec/15
    New Zealand
    30.43 Dec/14
    Nicaragua
    45.30 Dec/15
    Niger
    24.80 Dec/14
    Nigeria
    10.50 Dec/14
    Norway
    31.60 Dec/15
    Oman
    4.80 Dec/14
    Pakistan
    64.80 Dec/15
    Palestine
    17.30 Dec/14
    Panama
    45.60 Dec/14
    Papua New Guinea
    38.80 Dec/14
    Paraguay
    19.05 Dec/14
    Peru
    20.70 Dec/14
    Philippines
    45.05 Dec/15
    Poland
    51.30 Dec/15
    Portugal
    129.00 Dec/15
    Qatar
    31.48 Dec/14
    Republic of the Congo
    34.00 Dec/14
    Romania
    38.40 Dec/15
    Russia
    17.92 Dec/14
    Rwanda
    28.00 Dec/14
    Sao Tome and Principe
    68.23 Dec/14
    Saudi Arabia
    1.60 Dec/14
    Senegal
    35.20 Dec/14
    Serbia
    73.40 Dec/15
    Seychelles
    60.00 Dec/15
    Sierra Leone
    37.65 Dec/14
    Singapore
    104.70 Dec/15
    Slovakia
    52.90 Dec/15
    Slovenia
    83.20 Dec/15
    South Africa
    50.10 Dec/15
    South Korea
    35.98 Dec/14
    Spain 99.20 Dec/15
    Sri Lanka 75.50 Dec/14
    Sudan 79.00 Dec/14
    Suriname 26.20 Dec/14
    Swaziland 9.90 Dec/14
    Sweden
    43.40 Dec/15
    Switzerland
    34.40 Dec/15
    Syria
    30.01 Dec/10
    Taiwan
    36.50 Dec/14
    Tajikistan
    28.34 Dec/14
    Tanzania
    39.90 Dec/13
    Thailand
    45.70 Dec/13
    Togo
    20.80 Dec/14
    Trinidad and Tobago
    41.60 Dec/14
    Tunisia
    47.50 Dec/14
    Turkey
    32.90 Dec/15
    Turkmenistan
    16.80 Dec/14
    Uganda
    34.70 Dec/14
    Ukraine
    71.21 Dec/14
    United Arab Emirates
    15.68 Dec/14
    United Kingdom
    89.20 Dec/15
    United States
    104.17 Dec/15
    Uruguay
    62.80 Dec/14
    Uzbekistan
    8.70 Dec/14
    Venezuela
    49.80 Dec/13
    Vietnam
    50.50 Dec/14
    Yemen
    49.95 Dec/13
    Zambia
    31.00 Dec/14
    Zimbabwe
    77.00 Dec/14
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    8:27pm
    You can't compare a country's debt to a business debt. A company needs to grow it's revenue to service that debt whereas for a country to grow it's revenue to service that debt usually means higher taxes that stifle that country's growth.

    Debt eventually needs to be repaid with interest and it thus an impost on our future generations and is not a good thing at all.
    FM
    6th May 2016
    8:39pm
    did not mean to post all that
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    5:57pm
    So let's have no taxes Bronny.....or at least no taxes for the wealthy who 'create jobs' (a chestnut!). These belong to the poor to pay, right?
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    8:08am
    That's right, Mick. The ''Gospel according to Bronny'' says the poor are only put on earth to slave and make the wealthy richer. Don't you get that?

    I feel I should apologize to Bronny and all her filthy rich mates for being a battler who might one day need, and qualify for, a bit of pension money. I am really, really sorry that the fact that both my partner and I were orphaned by our fathers sacrificing themselves to protect the society that has given Bronny so much left us struggling and unable to achieve the dizzy heights of self-sufficiency that she so lauds.

    I am deeply sorry that my father and father-in-law and his ilk gave the vile greedy, selfish, self-serving power-mad narcissists of this nation so bloody much! And I think those who benefited from that sacrifice and now begrudge a mean little bit of pension to those who are still suffering as a consequence should be put in stocks and mocked and tormented until they die a painful and miserable death. They are SCUM -the very worst kind!

    Sadly, lots of my good friends also put their lives on the line for this scum who just keep taking and boasting and condemning the good lifters to whom the real credit for theirs and the country's wealth is due.
    FM
    6th May 2016
    8:29pm
    A surprising number of people appear to believe the Debt and Deficit Disaster 3 word slogan and believe Australia is on the edge of a catastrophe.
    This page provides values for Government Debt to GDP reported in several countries. 5/6/2016.
    • We can see that most advanced countries such as US, UK , Germany, the Baltic States, Japan and China have a Debt to GDP ratio that is significantly higher than Australia’s. Ours is modest. Just as company debt allows a business to grow a country’s debt can be used to grow the economy. It is only problematic when it approaches GDP and returns do not cover it and provide a profit.
    • Countries that have a lower debt to GDP ratio include Afghanistan, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Having a lower Debt ratio does not make them more prosperous. Australia’s biggest problem is its balance of payments. It is importing more from overseas than it is exporting.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/government-debt-to-gdp
    Country List Government Debt to GDP

    United States 104.17; Euro Area 90.7; China 43.9
    Japan 229.2; Germany 71.2 ; United Kingdom 89.2; France 95.8
    Brazil 66.23; Italy 132.7; India 66.4; Russia 17.92; Canada 86.51
    Australia 33.88
    South Korea 35.98; Spain 99.2; Mexico 30.7; Indonesia 27; Netherlands 65.1

    Our balance of trade is of greater concern. We make far too little of what we consume in Australia and import much more than we export.
    FM
    6th May 2016
    8:46pm
    That would be correct Bonny only if countries were using their debt to live on and pay interest. Companies could do that as well in the short term. If the debt is used for infra structure and projects that provide a return as it is in countries like Germany, US and the Baltic States it increases GDP and repays itself. It is about providing income. We sold off assets such as Telstra which paid off debt in the short term but left the Government without the significant income it generated.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:57am
    Deb should be repaid Bronny. So that is why Tony Abbott removed the borrowing debt ceiling? Oh yes....we had to make up the $8 billion a year lost revenue after the Carbon Tax was abolished for the mates in the coal industry.
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    3:45pm
    The former governor of the Reserve Bank says we should stop worrying about debt and start focusing on driving up demand (the LNP is doing EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE - it's cutting incomes of spenders and driving up hoarding of wealth where it will do no good!)

    Apparently, many very eminent experts agree with this philosophy.

    Makes sense to me. If you want more tax revenue, give more to those who spend. Increased consumption means more profit, more jobs, higher tax revenues. More profit and jobs means more consumption which means more profit, more jobs, more consumption.

    Cutting taxes for companies is dumb. There's no reason for them to invest the extra money if nobody is going to buy the extra goods they produce. They won't invest to make more goods that will rot on shelves!
    Pamiea
    6th May 2016
    9:54pm
    I will vote Labor but wish to know what their policy is concerning boat people. We don't need any more Muslims.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:28pm
    Naughty little bigot, Pamiea. We don't need any more Pamiea's either.
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:14pm
    My great-great-grandparents from Ireland, Scotland and Germany were all boat people... some of them were the Dread Pirate Catholics, too!
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:15pm
    Some were The Dread Pirates Jews, as well.
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:16pm
    I think there's a Chink in there somewhere, too... my gorgeous eyes and my olive skin.
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:16pm
    The Horror... The Horror........
    Pamiea
    6th May 2016
    9:54pm
    I will vote Labor but wish to know what their policy is concerning boat people. We don't need any more Muslims.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    8:58am
    My understanding is that Labor will not tamper with the current policy. Shorten stated this recently. If it does then it deserves the obvious.
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    2:15pm
    He may not tamper with it but lets hope he adds some humanity to it.
    Jack
    6th May 2016
    10:22pm
    Looking at the comments below, all I can discern is that Frank is either very misguided or on the NLP payroll. Whilst I do not personally like the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, I do believe that Labor has a much fairer budget for the general populace. The people who need the consideration will get a fairer deal....
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    10:30pm
    Spot on Jack, that comment of yours about Frank took the words right out of my mouth.
    LiveItUp
    6th May 2016
    10:36pm
    Fairer might have a nice ring to it but can the country afford another Labor government?
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    1:40am
    Let's see. Labor left us with a $18 billion budget deficit in 2013 and the Liberals over last 3 years doubled the ante. The coming year's deficit is expected to be $37 billion.
    No, we can't afford another Liberal government in addition to the fact that it imploded itself just like Labor did last time.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    9:01am
    Frank is on the LNP payroll. So is Bronny. DId you notice how they disappeared until 3 pm day after the Labor response. Clearly called in for a strategy session. At any rate the posts from these supposed individuals are clearly liberal party propaganda designed to win voters over. Good that you saw through it Jack. A few on this site have not yet made that discovery.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:29pm
    Well and honestly said, Jack.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:31pm
    Oh, go away, Bronny. You speaketh with forked tongue.
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:46pm
    So Frank and Bronny, sorry - Bonny - are kind of The Piltdown Persons of YLC?
    Hoppy
    6th May 2016
    10:46pm
    Pamiea, don't forget that the Liberals and the Greens voted down the Malaysia Solution that would have stopped the boats without reverting to the cruelty of Manus Island.
    They did this because it was to both their electoral advantaged for the ALP's migration headache to continue to the next election.
    Misty
    6th May 2016
    10:51pm
    And no doubt Peter Dutton is now trying desperately to find a 3rd country to take the refugees and who knows Malaysia might be one of them, how ironic that would be.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    1:49am
    Look Misty, put then on-shore, middle of the Simpson Desert, plenty of freedom to move about in.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    9:04am
    I forgot about that Hoppy. Whatever place boat people are sent they will not like it. Australia is targeted for the same reason as Germany: plenty of free money to get your hands on and no dictatorships. Having said that Tony Abbott was likely working on one when he tried his best to sell off the ABC to his commercial propaganda story business partners.
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:32pm
    Were you trying to be funny, HS?
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:34pm
    New Zealand who is way ahead of us with moral fibre were willing to accept the refugees off Manus Island, but WE REFUSED. What does that tell you about the Australian fair go?
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:23pm
    They had a detention camp over on the WA coast....
    TREBOR
    7th May 2016
    11:30pm
    I've long advocated that asylum seekers be trained in machinery use etc and put to work on outback infrastructure work at full pay, paying tax and learning the ropes, pending the outcome of their application. At the very least they would go home with a dollar or two and a skill they could market if they were rejected.

    Cure a heap of the overseas aid budget and the lack of infrastructure and the net cost of detention and actually provide skills for the home country in those who are returned.... and give those accepted a good start....

    But I guess I'm a dreamer...
    Misty
    8th May 2016
    12:41am
    We just don't have any forward intelligent thinking people in the Parliament anymore TREBOR, I think since 911 when Terrorism reared it's ugly head Governments feel they must be extra vigelant about who comes here, and in some ways I don't blame them so many crimes in Europe have been shown to be committed by Asylum Seekers.
    MICK
    9th May 2016
    10:23am
    Misty: our political representatives are more like prostitutes and guns for hire. All they think about is their entitlements and repaying their big business election funders for having put them into office. The country is always the last concern. That's why western nations, like Australia, are in such a bad way.
    Misty
    9th May 2016
    1:09pm
    Mick there is a petition not long started at change.org to have retired MP'S no longer able to be paid those huge lifetime amounts after they have stopped working as an MP. Have a look everyone posting here and see what you think, it is on Facebook too.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    1:12am
    Bill Shorten made it clear from the start of his Budget reply speech that he was less than impressed
    -Of course he said that. That's his job, to oppose.

    legislate marriage equality within the first 100 days should he be voted in as Prime Minister?
    - are you sure Bill? You will need the numbers in the Senate. It's been tried 7 times in the past and failed in the Senate.

    nothing for ordinary working people, instead just tax cuts for wealthy individuals.
    - That's true. But how come Bill voted strongly against an increase in the pension in the past?
    “Treating the Australian people with respect”... well Bill,l the vote against age pension increase wasn't a demonstration of respect for the age pensioner...In case Bill and Bonnie forgot, pensioners are people too.

    Mr Shorten said that Labor would embrace initiatives that saw gender equality by closing the pay gap and properly funding childcare.
    - OMG! So why did you not initiate it when Labor was in the office under Rudd and Gillard?

    Increases to GST would not occur under Labor?
    - How about broadening GST? Your'e crazy if you don't.

    The rest I agree with.

    Shorten or Malcolm?
    - Neither.

    So if Labor can produce a better leader, I may consider.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    9:06am
    I'll never agree with homosexuAL MARRIAGE. It goes against everything which a Christian (used to be) society considers moral.
    In the end what you gonna do? Vote to give the wealthy more money again and tax the poor? Not me!
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    6:44pm
    Mick, it's the state governments that 1) tuned up the discrimination laws and then 2) introduced the decriminalisation of homosexuals.
    Once that was achieved the homosexuals wanted equality for same sex marriage. So far there's been resistance in the federal parliament to legalise same sex marriage, but it will happen.
    Homosexuality existed in the biblical times and before that. Sparta, for example, had two separate types of armies, hetero and homo.
    Priests of religion of all denominations have committed acts of homosexuality and pedophilia, many supposedly with Christian, Judo and Islam morals. There is decadence in societies, including Australia, all around us. However, just because the decadence is there and homosexuality exists with political approval does not mean that you or I have to embrace it and participate in it. We can ignore it (them) for as long as it does not interfere with our personal life.
    As for giving the wealthy more money? As long as they are taxed without concessions and favours, stopped from dodging tax and sending profits off shore, prosecuted for their tax criminality,I really don't care if they get richer because their rate of tax will be higher which proportionally should result in the Treasury having more funds for distribution to the poor needing welfare such as aged pensions and the disabled.
    Consider the other side of thinking, if a government complains that welfare costs 30% of tax revenue and laments that it can't manage on the other 70% of tax revenue, such a government is simply grossly incompetent because the sign is that they wouldn't be able to manage even if they had 100% tax revenue for all their indulgences.
    Malcolm and his party are a huge disappointment.
    MICK
    7th May 2016
    7:56pm
    Homosexualty and prostitution have alwwats existed. Those are so inclined should be happy that they are free to practice their way of life.
    I agree on wealth. The reality is that the rich get richer using taxpayer dollars rather than just making money. A bit like the proverbial tick feeding off the host.
    In regard to social security this is a nightmare which both sides cannot fix without bipartisan support as the low life who live their lives never working will vote any government which tries to fix it OUT. We all pay for that! And the nation suffers.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    9:22pm
    Mick, social security is a nightmare only as a perception. Sure, there is a minority of fraudsters and major segment of home-grown bludgers as well as the 90% of refugees who can't find work or don't want to find work. But, is there a nightmare with people retiring as age pensioners? Only as a political perception. I have yet to read or hear on the TV media the transparency of the home truth, that if 10,000 people retire and go on an age pension...10,000 younger people will fill in the vacancies. 3 years ago the average annual income was (say) $60,000 at a rate of (say) 32%, today the average annual income is $80,000 (say at the same rate). That's a $6,400 pa increase in tax revenue from the average working person. So how is the nation suffering with this scenario? It isn't. The nation is suffering because our resources boom collapsed. Baby boomer pensioners are suffering because the little money they saved up through super and savings is earning bugger all interest to give them sustainable living and forcing them onto Aged Pension welfare.The ever mounting cost of giving refugees humanitarian financial assistance welfare and keeping 90% of them on welfare because they can't or will not seek employment, is another reason for the nation's suffering. The growth, like mushrooms, of boutique religious charities receiving government grants ( some in millions) and 'con-cessions' such as GST exemption to buy themselves motor vehicles and other goods, all add to the so called 'nightmare' of reckless government spending ...the list goes on and on and on and when will it end? So how are the Liberals going to fix the pension problem? Easy, by thinking up of a communist ideology of dispossessing home owner cash poor age pensioners of their homes with a gun to their heads, "Sell up and live of the proceeds or get a Pension Loan by way of a Reverse Mortgage if you want to keep your pension". You are right, in more ways than one our Nation is suffering!
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:36pm
    So what Mick? I'm an atheist. I don't care if same sex dogs marry. It doesn' affect me. Why should it affect you?
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:37pm
    On that logic HS. We should all leave and give the country back to the original owners. After you of course.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2016
    12:00am
    Pay gap? What pay gap? You get what you earn at the rate you are paid - and plenty of people are currently earning The Suite Of Fanny Adams....
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    12:58am
    Australian indigenous people never owned this land in the first place Paulodapotter. They didn't create this continent, they didn't build on it nor did they form a one united nation to control it. There is no such thing as "the original owner" of Australia. They simply occupied, colonised or invaded this continent ages ago and perhaps they killed off the other inhabitants that were there already before them; who really knows? They didn't keep a valid,written historical charter, did they? So there is nothing to give back to them except the offer of welcome and encouragement to join our society. A welcome, they never extended themselves over last 200 years.
    If they can't live among us because of their racial discrimination against Anglo Saxons and Europeans that's their problem, they have deal with it like you have to deal with the reality that other people, except you, believe that this nation is suffering from government's financial and socio- economic management incompetence. Since I am not leaving, to your relief, you wont have to follow me.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    1:04am
    Trebor, I am not sure why they refer to it as 'pay gap' because it's not pay gap. The issue is pay equality for all genders who do the same amount of work hours, duties and responsibilities. Inequality exists because some employers pay women less than men for the same hours, duties and responsibilities. Gender pay gap?
    MICK
    8th May 2016
    9:39am
    Agree with much of what you say HS but it comes down to some of the same old issues: tax not being collected from multinationals and some wealthy who stash their money and offshore and send their (Australian) profits to zero tax Tax Havens, the breakdown of the church and the loss of christian behaviour which has always been the glue of society which kept us decent and the refusal to treat taxpayer money with any respect whilst wasting billions on a regular basis.
    Welcome to bad government all over the world who believe that money is like confetti and that you can get more by either taxing people like there is no tomorrow or printing up truckloads of the stuff.
    We live in interesting times. I suggest that the system is at breaking point and indeed some well credentialled long term spruikers are predicting some outcomes which none of will like. Time will tell.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    12:10pm
    MICK, All of the above, I agree also. Just one comment about "printing up truckloads of the stuff (money)", Germany did that before the Second World War and the workers needed wheelbarrows to take home their weekly pay. We don't want that to happen here, that would be totally irresponsible and reckless of the government.
    It's near a breaking point but not quite yet, not until the class war escalates to something very more serious. Need to review what caused Greece the financial woes and prior to that The Argentine debt restructuring of 2005 due to their 1998-2002 great depression plus there are something like 11 other smaller countries around the world, who are not at war, near bankruptcy because of debt problems they can't manage. Interesting times, indeed.
    MD
    7th May 2016
    3:54pm
    Particolor, love your sense of humour (re entry @ 7.58 of 6th). The conga line-up of leaders ? was due to the revolving doors in the Govt House (dunnies) perhaps ? It's enough to keep everyone on the trot.

    HS, now that the initial post budget hyper ventilation has settled I was pleased to read your balanced take on same. Earlier I posted the comment 'but wait there's more'. Not sure at this point if 'more' will prove to be; promises, deficit, tax (increases) or just shameful pork barrelling. Can't wait, the suspense is killing me !
    HarrysOpinion
    7th May 2016
    10:31pm
    Hear you all, hear you all, the 'Big Top Political Circus" will be in your town soon. It will begin with the Clowns first, of course, then the 'Trap"-eze artists followed by the Elephants, Tigers and 'Liar'-ons. No doubt, we will get to see that big fat seal doing its tricks, flapping and 'craping' its flippers and; grunting, "Vote for me. Vote for me" There will not be ...(insert a lie)... under my leadership during the first twelve months of the government. :)
    MD, thanks. Hope the suspense does not kill you but if it does I read today that Costco are selling coffins at a bargain price. I might just wait myself until Woolies or Coles start selling their 'Home-Brand' coffins at a cheaper price...although I believe that body bags would be cheaper and better for cremations rather than timber, plastic/veneer going up in smoke through the chimney polluting the environment :)
    Paulodapotter
    7th May 2016
    10:38pm
    I'll make the cremation urns, of course.
    Misty
    8th May 2016
    12:45am
    Weird sense of humor you you 2 have but I did get a chuckle out of a couple of your comments.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    1:13am
    Misty, we've got to laugh at something, someone or our self.Yes...I know...
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    1:25am
    Start making the urns Paulodapotter because mark my words, there will be few political cremations after the outcome of the 2016 federal election.
    Chris B T
    8th May 2016
    9:35am
    I belive it will some sort of Feral Rabbit.
    The Rabbit's that escaped from the Circus, they will just pop up everywhere.
    There not camera shy, showing there teeth and nodding.
    ;-(o)
    MICK
    8th May 2016
    9:41am
    My hope is that Frank and Bronny will be out of a job and that Turnbull will resign and/or be replaced by Morrison. But I could be dreamin'.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    12:25pm
    Chris B T, I don't know where you are from, the bush or from overseas but here's a website that can help you with your vocabulary, it's free and ever so educational. Great use of one's pastime while living on the dole. It may even help you finding a job.
    https://www.vocabulary.com/
    Misty
    8th May 2016
    1:57pm
    Mick I wouldn't call it dreaming, Morrison as leader?, that would be a NIGHTMARE.
    Chris B T
    8th May 2016
    4:42pm
    HS
    You should bend over and smell the Roses.
    As you only speak crap.
    MICK
    8th May 2016
    6:33pm
    Careful Chris.
    HarrysOpinion
    10th May 2016
    12:55am
    There you go Chris B T, your spelling has improved but your vocabulary needs to reach a higher civil standard. Keep using the recommended website, pass all the tests and whilst you are at it,take some lessons in anger management.
    Rosret
    8th May 2016
    12:01pm
    Why is there a $500K limit on deposits into super. If a person has been on a high income all their lives they are going have a good super fund. Why if an individual on a lower income sells a home, receives inheritance, wins the lottery or some other win fall can't they put it all in super? Wouldn't it be fairer to have a ceiling on the amount you can have in super rather than limiting the amount a person can deposit to make their super viable.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2016
    12:53pm
    The hit to the ­Coalition’s own electoral base was a $1.6m “transfer balance cap” that imposes bigger taxes on sums above that amount. Those with big accounts will have one year from July 1 to get their balances below $1.6m or face bigger taxes, while a separate $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions cap will also restrict the size of retirement ­savings.

    https://www.stateplus.com.au/news/federal-budget-2016-highlights/key-changes-to-superannuation

    http://www.superguide.com.au/boost-your-superannuation/your-guide-to-non-concessional-after-tax-contributions

    http://www.unisuper.com.au/about-us/super-informed-enews/may-2016/proposed-changes-to-super-federal-budget-2016

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2016-17/content/glossies/tax_super/downloads/FS-Super/04-SFS-NClifetime_cap.pdf
    Paulodapotter
    8th May 2016
    3:10pm
    It's too complex. Accountants, Financial Planners & lawyers are already sitting down to find ways to circumvent the system. Politicians and their advisors know, they can make a policy look good while building in conditions that allow it to be rorted by their support base. They've been doing that for decades and is the reason why our tax system is so rediculously complex.
    MICK
    8th May 2016
    6:39pm
    So true Paulodapotter. It is no accident that policies have a weak link so that the ticks at the top end of town can latch on and feed as much as they choose.
    The real crime is that politicians refuse to end the rorts once they are brought to their attention.
    Wstaton
    9th May 2016
    2:31pm
    Probably because they are into it themselves Mick.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:27am
    Worse than that, they plan deliberately and build them in on purpose, for their own and their mates' benefit.
    PeteK
    9th May 2016
    6:09pm
    Bullet point 4•make the two per cent temporary deficit repair levy permanent. It appears by this point that labor has absolutely no intention of getting the country back into surplus any time soon, the sole reason this levy was introduced.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2016
    6:54pm
    Or maybe they regard it as fairer to tax the rich a little more rather than keep bashing battlers and stripping the nation of services, PeterK?
    PeteK
    10th May 2016
    7:42am
    Hi Rainey, please define 'Rich'. Is it A: Someone that has more than you B: Someone that has the same as you C: Someone that has less than you. Please don't take offence at the use of the word 'you' as I've meant it as a generalization to everyone on here that seem to have an affinity to the word 'Rich'. I personally am not 'Rich' yet, but it's my goal. If I don't make it I'll live very comfortably and won't die wondering. As with my above post I was just pointing out the hadn't been discussed in any of the above posts and that's my view of it.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:22am
    PeterK, it was fine with the LNP supporters when the government lied to claim that part pensioners with a few hundred thousand in the bank were ''millionaires'' and ''didn't need a pension'' (despite the fact that this claim was absurd when objectively analysed). But when someone says high income earners should pay more tax, there are screams everywhere shouting ''define rich''.

    Okay, perhaps I should have used ''very high income earners'' - referring to the highest 20% of income earners in the nation. They CAN afford to pay more tax, and it's an absolute disgrace that the LNP has reduced their taxes while slugging struggling single-income families and depriving battling part-pensioners of a the lifestyle they worked so hard and planned so carefully for.

    My son-in-law also aspired to be rich, and I asked him whether he wanted to be rich or wealthy. He said they were the same thing. I replied that they are not at all. ''Rich'' (and I should not have used that word in my post) means having a great deal of the things in life that make you happy. ''Wealthy'' refers to material wealth only. I know many paupers who were rich. I'm rich, but I'm definitely not wealthy.

    My son-in-law isn't wealthy. He had some bad luck that changed both his financial status and his outlook - the former negatively, the latter positively. He now says he's very, very rich.

    Don't count on living very comfortably, PeterK, if the current ruling class have their way. I SHOULD have lived very comfortably in my twilight years. I worked hard and planned carefully, and until recently I was confident. But recent attacks on retirees by government have changed the landscaped completely. Now they are coming after those accumulating for retirement. We can no longer have confidence. We can no longer trust. The social contract that underpinned our lifestyle for decades is broken. Bonny's comments are proof of that. There is no longer any basic respect among the social classes - no appreciation of the contribution of battlers who fight to protect our way of life (giving either their lives or the best of themselves), nor of the contribution of the workers who make the growth of wealth possible and keep our society working.

    It's all about ME now. Use and abuse others, and then discard them on the scrap heap and demand all they have earned be taken from them if they didn't get as rich as you. (And I also mean ''you'' as a generalization). Don't pay decent pensions to people who worked their guts out for 50 years to maintain a world in which you could prosper. Take the houses of people whose struggle resulted from the disadvantage of being orphaned by war - whose father's made the ultimate sacrifice so the wealthy can prosper. It's a sick mentality, and I'm very glad I'm in my twilight years and won't see it worsen much more. But I grieve for the grandchildren who have to live with it. They should be able to celebrate the wonderful gift their great-grandfathers gave this nation, but instead they will grieve that the sacrifice was so futile, because the greedy and the selfish have done as much - if not more - harm than the enemy would have caused.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    7:23am
    Sorry, PeterK, my answer got lost I fear. I believe the top 20% of income earners should be paying more tax. The definition of ''rich'' is really irrelevant, because it's entirely conditonal on what you value in life.
    PeteK
    11th May 2016
    9:39am
    Thank you Rainey for your very balanced reply. I was getting very disheartened by a lot of the abuse that goes on here. I'm lucky that I'm still working and able to create some more wealth before I'm allowed to go fishing on a more permanent basis. I've also taken Scott Morrison's lead and am moving my TTR money into a better nest egg now that the major party's are focussing on super, after all is was designed to give retirees a better lifestyle in the first place with less reliance on the pension. It's not high risk but offers very good returns when done right. (search Value investing) . Thanks again.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2016
    5:43pm
    PeterK, I will look into value investing. Thanks for the tip. I'm always keen to find ways to improve the returns on my little nest egg.

    As for balanced replies, I try (not always successfully!). I also get very disheartened by some of the nastiness and the utter selfishness that I see here. It's sad, because productive discussions conducted respectfully could achieve a great deal of good for all of us in the retired and soon-to-retire community.

    11th May 2016
    2:15pm
    A smoker just pointed out to me that he will soon be able to buy ICE much cheaper than cigarettes. Good move Morrison!
    The other thing we discussed - that I already knew a lot about, having studied addiction - is that addicts, whatever they are addicted to, use substances to fill a void. There is something missing in their life that causes deep pain. The substance relieves it. It fills the hole. Giving up doesn't help anything really. It just leaves a huge hole that has to be filled some other way.
    From a selfish perspective, I kind of like the idea of higher cigarette taxes. They don't affect me, and I hate cigarette smoke. I am always very pleased to see tighter restrictions on smoking in public places. But I recognize that smokers will either keep smoking, thus depriving their families and creating - in many cases - serious financial hardship, or they will revert to some other, potentially worse habit to fill the void that drives their addiction.

    If ICE is indeed likely to be cheaper than cigarettes, that worries me greatly.
    Mez
    12th May 2016
    10:46am
    That hole that you mentioned is in fact the lack of dopamine produced by the brain.
    It is a natural opiate substance which gives us those feelings or rush of pleasure.
    Some people are born with a lack of this being produced and that can give rise to addiction. Also called an addictive personality so it is known that those people will tend to seek anything to fill that void, especially when times are tough and feeling very emotionally hurt.
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    6:09pm
    Yes, Mez, people do tend to seek something to fill the void when times are tough or they are emotionally hurt. Thus, addiction is often seen among the seriously disadvantaged and those who have suffered severe crisis or trauma. I don't support taxing them to death as a solution.

    11th May 2016
    2:25pm
    I just read Chris Bowen's budget rebuttal speech and - sorry to disappoint you Bonny - he HAS said the pension assets test changes will be reversed by Labor. He recognizes that they were neither fair nor sustainable, but were cruel and stupid cuts that will drive the cost of pensions UP.
    Mez
    12th May 2016
    10:57am
    Have read most of the comments which all stated very valid points and thus making it increasingly difficult to determine which party to vote for.
    However, as a swinging voter, the Liberals are the better choice in my opinion so far although both have their good as well as their bad points.
    Voting for the independents or a smaller party is not going to improve matters really.
    It is essential to weigh up all the odds and this I will continue to do before finally deciding.
    Anonymous
    12th May 2016
    6:07pm
    Mez, if you want taxes increased for battlers and reduced for the wealthy and the pension system decimated, then yes, the LNP is the right choice to support.

    I have never liked or supported Labor, I dislike Shorten, and many of the ALPs policies disturb me greatly. But I could NEVER support this dishonest and corrupt LNP with their vile neoliberal policies and their obvious desire to return Australia to a feudal society, where the poor bow and scrape and have nothing, there is no middle class, and to have a decent standard of living, you must be born rich. This is NOT the Australian way, and I can't believe any Australian would support it.

    Just look at the LNP's policies: Demolish the savings of retirees who have struggled to accumulate a small nest egg but can't be self-supporting due to low investment returns; raise GST so the battlers carry more of the tax burden (okay, they moved away from that, but wait until AFTER the election), give huge tax cuts to million-dollar-a-year income earners at the expense of struggling families on low incomes (who lose up to $4000 a year), give tax cuts to companies that aren't paying any tax anyway (and reclassify HUGE businesses as ''small'' so they get the cut as well!). Slash public health and education. Demolish Medicare. Freeze rebates for doctor's and specialist visits. And if people complain, insult them with disgusting comments like ''Poor people don't drive'' and ''If you can't afford a house, get a better job or get your parents to buy you one''.

    And then there's the lies. Yes, all politicians tell them, but this LNP have made an art form out of it. They actually lie about lying. (''No changes to pensions'' wasn't a lie, they claim, because the change doesn't take effect until next term!) They have taken dishonesty and corruption to new heights. And their class warfare will destroy what used to be the best society on earth.
    Not Senile Yet!
    12th May 2016
    9:36pm
    Return all the UNFAIR CUTS TO THE AGED PENSION and drop the retirement at 70 and Labor are In by a Landslide!!!
    So whydon't they???
    Because the Liberals have tripled our debt to stop Labor from affording it!
    Slimey tactics...pleading poor..but running up debt on the credit card by signing contracts!!!
    Corruption has taken over the Liberal Caucus and their Party!
    They want a De-Regulated Economy like the USA have had for 20 years....and that only makes the rich richer and the poor Poorer!
    It failed them in the GFC.....and we want to copy them????
    Their housing and jobs All crashed....Big Time!
    Wake up you Party Loyal Idiots......Party Puppets are only there to serve their Party Masters....Not the Country...and definitely not the People!


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