Do politicians care what you think?

YOURLifeChoices are grateful to all our subscribers who answered our questions on the Government’s Report Card. But what do our politicians think? Given that only one bothered to respond – not much! So let’s congratulate the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP for taking the time to reply.

Q1. Despite the financial crisis, has the Rudd Government managed to keep the economy on track?
No, the Rudd Labor Government has continued to spend taxpayers’ money recklessly. Whether it’s the $1 billion that has been borrowed to fix up the home roof insulation mess, or the nearly $1 billion borrowed to fund the extra detention of boat people, or the BER school halls cost blowouts, everywhere you look the Rudd Government is wasting yours and my hard earned money. In fact the current repayment on the Governments debt is sitting at $700 million each and every week.

The financial crisis is not an excuse to go out and waste money. The Rudd Government’s reckless spending is putting upward pressure on inflation and interest rates and is damaging the Australian economy. Wasteful spending only hurts seniors and makes our economy worse and has plunged Australia into massive debt.

Q2. Do the health reforms go far enough to reduce waiting lists?
No, because the health reforms are really only smoke and mirrors. The health ‘reforms’ are just a cleverly designed example of spin doctoring, whereby the Government has merely fiddled with the funding mechanisms to make it appear as if they are doing something. The recent Budget revealed that Labor will spend half a billion dollars employing more health bureaucrats in Canberra. How will more bureaucrats in Canberra reduce waiting lists or improve patient care? Only the Coalition’s plans to re-introduce local hospital boards will help to reduce waiting lists and give power back to local communities.

Q3. Is the extra money promised by Prime Minister Rudd just a sweetener to get the health reforms through?
Absolutely. Mr Rudd only offered the extra money when the Victorian Premier refused to sign onto the agreement the Prime Minister’s bullying tactics failed to work. If Mr Rudd was fair dinkum he would have offered the extra money in the first place.

Q4. Dental health – has anything been done?
Again the Rudd Government has been all talk and no action. We all want Australians to have access to quality dental health care, but the Rudd Government has been dragging its feet. Mr Rudd promised big reform on dental health – so my question after two and a half year is, where is it?.

Q5. Do we need an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)?
Absolutely not! Kevin Rudd’s great big new tax on everything will only damage the economy, hurt seniors, and will do nothing to help the environment. Mr Rudd’s ETS will lead to significant rises in electricity costs, coming down hardest on seniors, and particularly on pensioners. And for what?

An ETS will just further fuel inflation and put Australian jobs at risk. It clearly will also not help the environment – how will some banker trading carbon permits (pieces of paper) make sea levels go down? But we must remember that Mr Rudd has kept this great big new tax in his back pocket and if he wins the next election, we will see this ETS Tax introduced.

Q6. Have the recent government grants gone far enough to help households cut greenhouse emissions?
No, in fact under this government you can be penalised for putting solar panels on your roof, especially if you are a pensioner.

Government grants were provided to encourage seniors to take up solar panel energy. But only recently we have been informed that pensioners could have their pensions docked if they have a solar panel on their roof. Whilst the tax office has advised that it will not class ‘feed-in tariff’ payments as ‘income’, Centrelink has advised that they do. Any money or credits received for feeding excess power usage back into the grid could lead to the person’s pension being cut.

Pensioners who are trying to do the right thing and cut their emissions by installing solar panels should not be punished by the government for doing so, its clear they have a double standard.

Q7. Has the National Rental Affordability Scheme really helped with rent affordability for most Australians?
I am alarmed by a recent Housing Supply Report which shows that we have gone backwards over the last year in relation to housing affordability. After Labor’s 2 long years to posturing on this issue, they have clearly failed to solve the problem.
This growing affordability gap shows that the much-touted, multi-billion dollar measures such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme have largely failed”.

Q8. Has the Rudd Government delivered on its promises?
Absolutely not! Kevin Rudd’s growing list of promises seems to get longer by the day. I am currently aware of over 43 broken promises and counting.

What ever happened to the promise of a computer for every school student? Childcare centres on school grounds? The GP Super Clinics? Being an ‘economic conservative’? A referendum in 2009 for a federal takeover of hospitals? Or the best yet – ‘the greatest moral and economic challenge of our time’ climate change and the ETS?

The fact that Kevin Rudd dumped the ETS legislation so quickly once to polls turned shows how little backbone he has. If Rudd can’t be trusted to deliver on promises made at the last election, how can we believe anything that he promises at the next election?

Many thanks to the Hon Bronwyn Bishop, MP for Mackeller, NSW