The traditional reason for a budget reply speech is to talk to the budget. Not to personally hammer the Prime Minister.
The old saying put up or shut up remains true. The budget delivered by the Labor Government was conservative and attempted to redistribute wealth to those who can least afford to pay. It also overlooked some of the neediest groups, namely pensioners and those who are unemployed as I noted in my blog on Tuesday.
But the traditional reason for a budget reply speech is to talk to the budget.
Not to personally hammer the Prime Minister.
So Mr Abbott has hit a new low, even by his standards.
And if he refers to the Prime Minister as ‘she” one more time I will definitely send him a note reminding him about old fashioned courtesies.
Factually, he is also on very thin ground.
He accuses the Labor Party of cancelling previous commitments to the company tax cuts – conveniently forgetting his party, coupled with the Greens, opposed this legislation, so it was never going to become law.
Correctly he noted that there was no plan for long-term economic growth or support of investment or employment. But nor was there a shred of policy or costings for the same initiatives from his side of the House.
Mr Abbott notes the surplus is very dependent upon favourable trade with China and the situation in Europe. But he has given this government no credit for managing these turbulent times to date.
Mr Abbott summarises by saying:
“I regret to say that the deeper message of this week’s budget is that the Labor Party now only stands for staying in office.”
This from the politician who claimed upon becoming Liberal Leader by a margin of one vote, that his job was to oppose. That is what an Opposition does. That is what he would do.
Mr Abbott continues to oppose everything and anything the government puts forward.
In the long run only Australia can – and will - be the real loser.
What do you think?
Is Mr Abbott’s role to oppose all? Or should he be offering a more detailed alternative plan for governing Australia?
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