Budget 2016/17: Bill Shorten rebuffs the Budget

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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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Written by Debbie McTaggart

263 Comments

Total Comments: 263
  1. 0
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    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.

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      Rainey, how will the $100b in extra taxes “drive economic improvement on a national scale”?

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      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.

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      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!

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      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!

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      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.

    • 0
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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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      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.

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      Wait one… where did this $100bn in extra taxes come from? Tobacco and where else? Fat cat super used as a tax haven?

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

  2. 0
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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

    • 0
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      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.

  3. 0
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    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.

  4. 0
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    (Millionaire) birds of a feather flock together and Mal(evolent)’s the best for feathering their nests.

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      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?

    • 0
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      Correct, but who supplies the funding for the Labour Party?

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      Labor is the correct spelling Retired Knowall, this has already been pointed out in numerous posts here.

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      Indeed – Labor is Labour once they removed ‘YOU’ from it….

    • 0
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      That’s your opinion TREBOR, doesn’t change the correct spelling though whatever interpretation you put on the word.

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      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….

    • 0
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      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.

    • 0
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      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.

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      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.

    • 0
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      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….

  5. 0
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    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.

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      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

    • 0
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      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.

    • 0
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      Does that include politician etc pensions/super? Or is that still some sacred cow?

    • 0
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      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.

    • 0
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      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.

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      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.

    • 0
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      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

    • 0
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      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.

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      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.

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      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.”

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      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”.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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      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..

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      The mindset of the current government and its coal industry election funding. Bastards who need to be jailed.

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      >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?

  7. 0
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    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.

  8. 0
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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      Yes, Mick – hey feel they’ve earned it by being ‘lifters’….

  9. 0
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    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.

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      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?

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      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!

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      And you are not making massive generalisations Rainey?

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      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.

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      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.

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    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.

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      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!?

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      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!!

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      love it MD.

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      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.

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