MYEFO budget blues worsen

MYEFO budget blues worsen.

Yesterday the Treasurer released a Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which paints a dismal picture with a budget deficit of $40 billion.

In the May Budget this deficit was predicted to be $29.8 billion, so we have seen a $10 billion blowout in just seven months. The budget surplus promised before the last election is now on delay until the 2019-2020 financial year. But the Treasurer Mr Hockey has put a positive spin on this outlook, stating, “There is more work to be done, but we are on the right track” and that “The Government has made considerable progress. The majority of Budget measures have now been implemented. As a result, the budget position is fundamentally stronger than it would have been under the unsustainable trajectory of debt and deficits left behind by the former Government”.  

Read more at Budget.gov.au

However, the detail is anything but reassuring. A collapse in resource prices – including those of iron ore, coal and wheat – coupled with lower wages – have led to significantly lower tax receipts. Unemployment is increasing and economic confidence has bottomed. The Government’s inability to get its budget legislation through the Senate has been largely due to a perception that the proposed cuts in education and social services unfairly target the more vulnerable, namely students, the elderly and those on welfare. Difficulties negotiating with an unruly crossbench have only exacerbated the lack of support.

An extra $3.7 billion cut to foreign aid may help shore up the deficit to a degree, but it won’t fill the $10 billion slide any time soon. Meanwhile cuts to education, welfare and Newstart sit waiting to be reactivated when the Senate resumes in 2015.

Read the ABC’s coverage.

Opinion: Good luck with your retirement

Higher costs of living are a concern for all, but those on a fixed income suffer the most when household prices increase. So let’s not forget that a cut to the indexation of the Age Pension is still waiting in the wings as the Treasurer tries to juggle the nation’s books.

Yesterday’s delivery of the MYEFO was a predictable exercise in the budget blame game. Take one treasurer, mix with declining revenue due to a worsening in our terms of trade, stir in a dash of hyperbole and there you have it. “The previous mob left us with a God-awful mess, only our side can fix it, but the numbers are heading south faster than Speed Gordon, so hang in there for further cuts.” And so Mr Hockey told us that Mr Swan, as treasurer, could not add up, when Mr Swan was telling us that the declining terms of trade were the problem. Now Mr Hockey is telling us collapse in iron ore prices in particular is responsible for his government’s inability to balance the books on time – oh, and of course, the recalcitrance of the other mob in the Senate.

So despite claims that ‘grownups’ are back in government, the same old sniping continues. But rather than become cynical, perhaps it’s time we encouraged our politicians to stop the spin – and the inter-party slanging matches – and come clean about their limited ability to affect a global price for our commodities. If we can face up to this obvious truth, then perhaps we can look more closely at the things our politicians can control and that is taxation and superannuation breaks for the wealthy. These two levers are sitting there, waiting to be pulled. So come 2015 let’s encourage all parties to start an adult debate about the many ways our Federal Government can increase revenue without picking on the poor.

What do you think? Is a bi-partisan approach required to help fix our budget deficit? Is it time to accept that a surplus isn’t the most important thing to our nations economic future? Do those who ultimately find themselves in the role of Treasurer actually have the economic experience and qualifications to manage our country’s finances?





    COMMENTS

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    Grateful
    16th Dec 2014
    10:01am
    Yes, stop picking on the poor and start looking at the "rich" in particular those with hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets who still claim the Age Pension and the Health Benefits card!!!
    Bet they don't!!
    And why not blame someone else when you haven't got any ideas of your own??
    bedge
    16th Dec 2014
    12:47pm
    Whilst I agree that the rich should shoulder more of the pain where do you get the idea that you can have hundreds of thousands of assets and still receive the pension? Actually you can only have $268000 for a couple which includes all bank accounts, cars, furniture, any other things like a caravan or a boat so get your facts right.
    geomac
    16th Dec 2014
    1:20pm
    bedge
    I think it may assist you to check out this page. The family home is one among other assets not taken into account.

    http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/assets/
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2014
    11:11am
    I have been saying for some time that there are people who have retired, built a home worth millions/s of dollars in order to claim a small pension and access the concessions card. This if fact not fallacy as I now of a couple who did just that.

    However, the downside for them is that they are now asset rich and cash poor and grumbling about meeting all the associated bills that go with owning such a big home and now finding it too big for them as they get older.

    Yes, I realise there are some people who have lived in their home for 40 years and the value of their home has increased....I am not talking about them...the ones I am referring to are those who have been advised by a financial advisor how to structure their finances in order to access a part pension and concession card. There are many wealthy people accessing the pension (some only a few dollars in pension). These are the ones who should be targetted.
    nan
    17th Dec 2014
    6:54pm
    Wrong, grateful. Thats the point when the asset test starts.
    Patriot
    16th Dec 2014
    10:16am
    According to Tony's suggestions indexing the Age Pension along the lined of CPI does not make a difference.
    Judge for yourself by perusing the following web-page:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/RetirementIncomes
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2014
    10:37am
    Agree if it doesn't make any difference, why change it?
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    11:50pm
    Patriot, I don't have a recollection of PM saying that. Indeed, as MITZY points out, it would be rather a nonsense if he said that. But I remember PM during question time, when he was accused of stealing from pensioners and cutting their pensions. His argument was that the pensions are not being cut, indeed, they will still be increased twice a year as before, but the increase will be along the CPI, not the Average Weekly Earnings as before.
    On other forum I described what is happening to pensions, this way (my apologies to those, who have read it before):

    "Say, ever since I started working, my salary increased regularly every single year by 3%. This year, my boss says that he would have kept that increase, but because previous manager borrowed too much money, company has to pay too much in interest, and he has to limit my increase to 2.5% this year, otherwise he would need to borrow more money.

    Now, in your opinion, I am being ripped-off, and my boss is not worrying about future generations. That's also Green-Labor line, as we all know.

    In my opinion, exactly BECAUSE HE CARES about future generations, he does not want to increase our debt by borrowing more money to pay my increase. And, again in my opinion, I am not being ripped off - over the years I just got used too much to the regular increase, for which I don't produce anything anyway, since my role in this big company called Australia is to be a "pensioner". I am just getting free money that someone else, like my sons and your daughters, had to pay in tax.

    You may not know, that we are currently paying just over $1,000,000,000 in interest (please note: JUST in interest) on our loans every single month. That is one modern hospital thrown away, every month - and the tragedy is, that even after paying back all that money, our total debt of $300,000,000,000 does not decrease by one single cent. Time will come, sooner or later, to repay all of it. With budget deficits that Labor left behind, it looks like your and my children will need to repay what Labor borrowed in your and my name.

    For Green/Labor alliance, that's business as usual. Tell me, who ripped us off."
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    11:59pm
    Oh, and I just now happened to discover this:

    " Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index ranks Australia’s retirement system world’s second best

    AUSTRALIA is home to the second best retirement savings system in the world.
    The increase to employees’ compulsory superannuation payments and pension rises have helped the nation leap ahead of the Netherlands and take out second position in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.
    The index gave Australia a score of 79.9 out of 100 this year, rising from 77.8 per cent in 2013.
    Denmark is now the only country to be given a better retirement scorecard at 82.4 points while the Netherlands ranked third at 79.2.
    The index did a global comparison of pension systems, examining 25 countries and covered more than half of the world’s population using more than 50 indicators. "

    So - it cannot be all that bad. Unless one wishes to whinge, of course.
    Jen
    18th Dec 2014
    7:48am
    Bob, it's not whinging to want our nation's excellent standards to be maintained. Of course, they won't be, because this government is hell-bent in lowering standards for the Disabled, Carers, Families, Pensioners and average Australians, whilst maintaining the standards of well-paid women who have babies, multinationals and miners. If that makes sense to you then fine, but don't call those not enthralled with this ideology, "whingers."
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    10:21am
    Here we go again. Smokin Joe and Conman with the same spin. Bereft of any idea's. The iron ore price has been heading south since the other useless mob were in.
    mangomick
    16th Dec 2014
    10:23am
    Geez and I thought the FTA was going to be the panacea to all of Australias' fiscal ailments.
    More plonk sent over to Russia and a bit more cheese to China then a flood of cheap cars and tellys back to Oz and all will be good. Isn't that was supposed to happen ???
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    11:05am
    The FTA will allow the Chinese to bring in their own workforce. Add to that the fact that the Chinese own at least one Australian port, that they are buying our best farming land and they will use their own transport to ports and their own ships and you have a recipe for Australians being led to the slaughter. And I forgot to mention that trade barriers will also be removed so NOTHING will be payable to grow food on our land and take it back to the homeland.
    Are we not such a wonderful country of idiots. And we keep voting the same bastards in. We truly deserve what is going to happen to us but sadly our grandchildren will be the major recipients of this pain. It makes you want to cry.
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    11:55am
    And now a NT pollie wants the Vietnamese to purchase land to grow cattle on? Go figure.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    12:13pm
    I cannot understand why our (trusting) population are not lynching both sides of politics for what is nothing more than the betrayal of future Australians for a one off short term gain. YOU DO NOT SELL YOUR FOOD PRODUCING LAND, EVER. The Chinese understand this. Australians will only do so when we have a large population who, not unlike our gas crisis, are starving in a land of plenty.
    Jen
    16th Dec 2014
    7:38pm
    In case you missed it today's mid year budget cuts include:

    Cuts the Australian Government Solicitor
    Cuts the Telework Advisory Panel
    Cuts the Protection Zone Committees
    Cuts the Forces Entertainment Board
    Cuts the Antarctic Research Assessment Committee
    Cuts the Australian Antarctic Names and Medals Committee
    Cuts the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee
    Cuts the Climate Adaptation Outlook Independent Expert Group
    Cuts the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Advisory Board
    Cuts the Health and Hospitals Fund Advisory Board
    Cuts the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
    Cuts the Inspector of Transport Security
    Cuts the Reconstruction Inspectorate
    Cuts the Development Allowance Authority
    Abolishes the Artbank Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures Working Group
    Abolishes the Benchmarks Working Group which monitors acute hospital performance
    Abolishes the Department of Agriculture – Live Animal Export Division – Industry
    Government Implementation Group
    Abolishes the Forestry and Forest Products Committee
    Abolishes the National Surveillance and Diagnostics Working Group
    Abolishes the Laboratories for Emergency Animal Disease Diagnosis and Response Working Group
    Abolishes the National Strategies Working Group
    Abolishes the New Test Evaluation Working Group
    Abolishes the Rabies Preparedness Working Group
    Abolishes the Subcommittee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards
    Abolishes the Australian Defence Force Financial Services Consumer Council
    Abolishes the Department of Defence Diversity Advisory Group
    Abolishes the Committee which was overseeing reform to the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s ships
    Abolishes the Department of Defence CEO’s round table
    Abolishes the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood Joint Working Group to Provide Advice on Students with Disability
    Abolishes the Fair Work Building and Construction Independent Assessor
    Abolishes the National Precincts Board
    Abolishes the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group
    Abolishes the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics Advisory Board
    Abolishes the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group
    Abolishes the Local Government Ministers’ Forum
    Abolishes the National Disaster Recovery Taskforce
    Abolishes the Urban Policy Forum
    Abolishes the Australian Council of Local Government
    Abolishes the Official Establishments Trust
    Abolishes the ANZAC Centenary Public Fund Board
    Abolishes the Australian National Memorial New Zealand Advisory Panel
    Abolishes the Community Nursing Clinical Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the eHealth Technical Advisory Group
    Abolishes the Gulf War Study Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Practitioner Reference Group
    Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Veterans Reference Group
    Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Writing Group
    Abolishes the Peacekeepers Study Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the research working group
    Dismantles the Vietnam Veterans Education Centre
    Abolishes the Strategic Cross-sectoral Data Committee for Early Childhood, Education and Training
    Dismantles the Australian Qualifications Framework Council
    Wipes out the Education Investment Fund Advisory Board
    Cancels the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations
    Abolishes the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the Bureau of Meteorology Water Accounting Standards Board
    Abolishes the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water
    Disbands the Commonwealth Environmental Water Stakeholder Reference Panel
    Abolishes the Emissions Intensive – Trade Exposed Expert Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee
    Disbands the Iconic Sites Taskforce
    Gets rid of the Indigenous Water Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the National Landscapes Reference Committee
    Disbands the National Marine Mammal Advisory Committee
    Abolishes the National Marine Mammal Scientific Committee
    Disbands the Australia Awards Board
    Abolishes the Tourism Quality Council of Australia
    Disbands the Anti-Doping Research Panel
    Disbands the Department of Human Services Council on Strategy and Innovation
    Abolishes the Gas Market – Industry Reference Group
    Abolishes the Technical Advisory Committee for the Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package
    Annuls the Infrastructure Coordinator
    Silences the Northern Australia Indigenous Experts Forum on sustainable Economic Development
    Terminates the Expert Advisory Panel on Northern Australia
    Abolishes the Marine Council
    Dismantles the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum
    Annuls the Regional Australia Standing Council
    Cancels the Australia in the Asian Century Advisory Board
    Abolishes the First Peoples Education Advisory Group
    Cancels the Indigenous Development effectiveness Initiative Steering Committee
    Abolishes the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd
    Cancels the Aged Care Planning Advisory Committee
    Annuls the Aged Care Reform Implementation Council
    Cancels the Healthy Life Better Ageing Committee
    Silences the Minister’s Dementia Advisory Group
    Abolishes the National Children and Family Roundtable
    Silences the National Injury Insurance Scheme Advisory Group
    Abolishes the Australian Financial Centre Taskforce
    Abolishes the Current and Former Members of the ADF Emerging Issues Forum
    Cancels the National Health, Aged and Community Care Forum
    Abolishes the Operational Working Party which advises government on the needs of the ex-service community
    Cuts funding for the National Trade Cadetships programme
    Ceases payments to apprentices under Support for Adult Australian Apprenticeships program
    Abolishes the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency
    particolor
    16th Dec 2014
    8:10pm
    I didn't see Cuts to Independent Committee on that list ???
    Paddles
    16th Dec 2014
    9:08pm
    Jen

    Can you identify which (if any) of those quangos you listed will be missed to a degree that makes our lives poorer. Personally, I have heard of very few of them but there is one thing that we can all be confident of, and that is that collectively, they provided a pretty cushy number for a lot of public servants and camp followers.

    What they cost to maintain is anyone's guess but it is clear that their abolition will save a bunch of money and that is to be applauded. The fact that they were created in the first place without any public fanfare tells me a lot about how the Govt and bureaucracy work. A return to fiscal prosperity will no doubt see a fresh rash of largely useless bodies created without our knowledge.
    mangomick
    16th Dec 2014
    9:20pm
    Well Jen I reckon that is exactly what the government or any government should be doing. The ordinary working class stiff shouldn't have to be taxed to the hilt so Governments can waste tax dollars on committees that do what??? Now I'm ex services myself but really... a Vietnam Veterans Education Centre. Vietnam was wound up just as I finished recruit training and I'm a shade over 60 so what sort of useful education would Ex Vietnam vets be getting at their age that they would need an Education Centre for. All planning on taking up a law degree I suppose??? And all these other advisory groups. Far too many bloody Quangos eating into government coffers .
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    12:43am
    Jen, you did a lot of work to find and type up this information. You are to be thanked for that. What functions do these organisations perform? How much does the government pay out to keep them going? How many public servants do they employ? Will some of them be amalgamated into different organisations with the employees being "recycled" into working elsewhere? How many people will be out of work?
    I suspect the rationale for abolishing and disbanding so many of these organisations is based on cost cutting. How much duplication of effort exists by having so many "little empires" in place? Were they providing value for money?
    I for one have not heard of many of these organisations, and I think that for most of us, it is a case of out of sight, out of mind. And who really cares about obscure government departments unless you have friends or relatives working in one of them.
    I also wonder if these cuts represent the tip of the iceberg. Are there other little known taxpayer funded entities like these that will be facing the chop as other budgets are formulated.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2014
    1:02am
    Abolishes the Department of Agriculture – Live Animal Export Division – Industry, this worries me
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    8:23am
    Do these government agencies really do what their names would suggest they were created for? Or more appropriately, "did"?
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2014
    11:15am
    When I first heard on air about the departments that were going to be abolished I wondered why on earth many of them ever existed in their own right anyway!
    Absorbing them into another department makes eminent sense and abolishing many is definitely the right way to go.

    Makes you wonder why most even existed anyway!
    Jen
    17th Dec 2014
    11:38am
    That's exactly what they want you to think! Unfortunately it's another case of "I'm alright Jack!" Until you need that department, and are told no, it was abolished by the Abbott government in 2014, you won't miss them.

    Agreed trood, that one in particular is a huge concern. This is going to ensure no checks are going to be made. To hell with millions of Australian animals. Roll on the election!
    Adrianus
    17th Dec 2014
    5:11pm
    Jen, thanks for that list. I take it they are all the new government departments created by the previous government. I thought there were 175 of them? Gee the ALP were busy creating jobs ha ha ha!!!
    Jen
    17th Dec 2014
    5:20pm
    I don't know Frank, you're assuming again. Anyway, it worked a hell of a lot better than destroying them. Simpleton ideology, family budgeting, it doesn't work when running a country, Frank. You've got the perfect example happening right now.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    7:12am
    Jen, The ALP can only look good for a short time by creating more public service jobs and destroying private sector business. People aren't stupid, they will eventually realise that their standard of living is being eroded. At least Keating and Hawke could see the value in a strong private sector. The current ALP has been hijacked by the unions and greens.
    Jen
    19th Dec 2014
    9:05am
    Destroying private sector business? The ALP did not do that. Yes, they did create more public service jobs because they are concerned about caring for the environment, small business, the disabled, pensioners, the non-English speaking, Aboriginal affairs etc. which the LNP are not concerned about one iota. If you're not big business, a miner, a church or Rupert Murdoch, the LNP are not interested. You say the ALP were eroding our standard of living? That's simply not the case, we were all better off under the ALP who were willing to spend money in order to make the country strong. They invested in the future, education, health. The LNP want to balance the books by lowering our standard of living, wages, entitlements, all things that might work in a household budget, but does not promote a strong future. I don't want a government that has its books in the black, I want a government which has vision, which sees the value in spending money in order to make the future stronger, which cares about ALL Australians. The ALP weren't perfect, but if you want that, you're on the wrong planet. However, the LNP are the opposite. They are all about destruction. And we're seeing the results of this already. All they can think about is balancing the books. Simpleton, childlike politics. Not a bright, new idea in the entire LNP team.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    9:20am
    Jen, I started a business. Had 40 employees and I can tell you from experience, the ALP/Unions are not in favour of private enterprise. We will just have to agree to disagree. Crikey, they didn't even have a minister for small business.
    mangomick
    19th Dec 2014
    10:34am
    And Frank the LNP s Minister for Science is who ???? Might explain why they prefer Mines to New Technologies like Solar Thermal.....
    Jen
    19th Dec 2014
    2:06pm
    And Tony Abbott is Minister for Women - gag.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    10:35am
    Such a surprise not to see the government trolls posting yet. Damage control needed boys!
    The rhetoric from this government is plainly more of the same: its Labor's fault, its the economy, its the lunar cycle. Everything other than bad government.
    Despite the blame game from this bunch of incapable misfits the reality is that the nation is in serious trouble. As I have repeatedly stated BOTH sides of politics have betrayed the nation by gambling its future on coal and iron ore whilst at the same time allowing our manufacturing industries to die. So now we are all shackled to importing almost everything needed to survive and THIS HAS TO BE PAID FOR WITH EXPORTS. With falling prices for ore we now face the same destiny as households who need to live but have no income: bankruptcy.
    Whilst the prices of coal and iron ore may well improve in time the no win bind we as a nation have been put into by deadbeat governments over the past 20 years is now playing out.
    Readers wonder why I keep plugging Independents. The answer must be becoming clear that voting for the same nags is the reason why nothing ever changes. Real government in the interests of the nation and requires forward looking decisions made by representatives who are not puppets. This is not happening and until Australians change how they vote nothing will much change other than the faces. Perhaps a tsunami of pain is what is needed before we all wake up to the real problem: those we elect.
    Stoker
    16th Dec 2014
    10:40am
    Really Mick, if any one is a troll its you.
    Anyway, quite frankly I believ we would be far better with only two 'parties' one left one right and at least 4 years, ownership of government.
    The last 30 plus years with independants, greens, democrats, has not been good for Australia.
    Patriot
    16th Dec 2014
    11:15am
    Mick,
    Agree with the above.
    According to the Aust Constitution interpretation, party politics if illegal and every elected representative MUST be an independent.
    Education of the Aust public is a major problem though as they have now been told for so long that "they cannot make a difference" that they believe it.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    11:18am
    Stoker: your comments over a period of time are the same as Frank, Solomon, miss aisle. These are all one poster posing as different people.
    Your comment about two parties is what the status quo wants. Both sides are terrified of Independents. What you refuse to address is the destruction which both sides have brought down on the nation. If they cared they would be making bipartisan decisions on some issues, but instead prefer to drag the nation into the gutter at huge cost to us all....and our descendants.
    Your last comment is what one would expect from people with vested interests. What you fail to mention is that Independents put bills up which try to address problems affecting us all which the big two turn a blind eye to. So have you forgotten that the pubs and clubs, who finance both sides, ran a vicious campaign so that they could serve alcohol all hours of the night and day irrespective of how many young people killed each other on the streets? And have you also forgotten that addict gamblers were considered fair game by the same big two parties? I will remind you that AN INDEPENDENT put up bills to stop this whilst Labor and Liberal tried their best to kill the bill. That is the difference!
    And while we are at it the Greens are NOT INDEPENDENTS....they are a minor party and became quite toxic. I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. True Independents are one man shows who, if one chooses well, are not owned by organisations which choose to pervert government. And if they show signs of this then the next election is available to fix this.
    The problem with you Stoker, or whoever you really are, is that you are not a patriotic Australians and your interests lie with keeping this bad government we have in power. But I suggest you are fighting a losing battle as average Australians have seen this crew for what it is: the servant of big business charged with the job of transferring as much of the national wealth to the big end of town that it can. So by all means take your blood money Stoker. I can sleep well at night because I seek what is good for the nation, not what is good for those you have enslaved yourself to. Cheers.
    Patriot
    16th Dec 2014
    11:44am
    Mick,
    That bit of "BloodPressure" was a flurry of TRUTH that can be admired.
    It certainly fits in with my investigations as being the UNCONDITIONAL true STATE of the NATION.
    The Longer we wait to SET-OURSELVES-FREE the more effort it will take.
    Let's get out buts moving !!!
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    11:49am
    Always good to hear some independent thoughts (sic) Patriot rather than the views of those who are paid to keep posting the one sided rhetoric we see. Its a pity that the Webmaster will not control the quite obvious political rhetoric.
    mangomick
    16th Dec 2014
    7:33pm
    Mick
    Perhaps you should have a closer unbiased look at the Greens. While not truly independent their policies are decided by ordinary rank and file members like you and myself. If you were a member of the Greens you would go along to the local branch meeting and voice your opinions and argument and if you were serious enough you would or could go down to the State Delegates meeting and again raise your point of view openly.
    Unlike the faceless white shoe brigade of the LNP or stacked branch factions of the Labor party, Green Policy is decided by their members.
    Unfortunately for a while there the Greens were nearly hijacked by the watermelons (green on outside and red inside)who had nowhere to go when the Australian Communist party was disbanded . Many Ex Communist Party members found their way into both the Labor Party, Greens and other minor parties and have probably done the true Greens a dis-service.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2014
    8:13pm
    Yes! But someone up there Blamed Labor for the Arse Dropping out of Iron Ore ????
    LENYJAC
    16th Dec 2014
    10:49am
    HOW ABOUT WE DEMAND THAT THIS FAT OVERPAID PRICK REDUCE HIS AND EVERY OTHER POLITCIANS (WAGE????) BY HALF AND SEE HOW THEY GET ON?????
    MICK
    16th Dec 2014
    11:52am
    I agree with sentiments entirely but maybe you could keep it clean Leny. It is always interesting that those who plunder us make sure that they are never subject to the same rules or outcomes. Not too dissimilar to the justice system either where the well heeled normally get a much better deal than average Joes.
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    12:41pm
    The reality is that even cutting there wage by half would not affect them. The perks they give themselves add up to more than what average wage earners get.
    wally
    16th Dec 2014
    1:34pm
    Great idea Lenny.
    Maybe we ought to do like the Red Chinese did during their Cultural Revolution of the 1960's and the Vietnamese Communists did after they won in the 1970's. That is, we could round up all the people we are jealous of because they have more money than we do. Next we would confiscate everything they own. Then we could put them all on collective farms (with the permission of the Chinese owners, of course) and make them dig weeds as a punishment for being better off than Lenny is. That would fix the mongrels.
    It is such a simple solution I am amazed that Lenny did not think of it.
    Paddles
    16th Dec 2014
    9:25pm
    LENYJAC

    You are obviously another poster who could benefit from a lesson in relevance.

    Do the research to establish just what percentage of the country's GDP represents politicians pay and allowances. Then get someone more mathematically adept than yourself, to explain the real meaning of all those zeros at the start of the final figure.

    The bleating of people like you (and there are many who infest this site) clearly demonstrate your inadequate thinking and your Socialist tendencies. Why not consider the scenario of paying our parliamentarians at least twice as much as we currently do, and thereby attract better talent from the private sector?
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    11:06pm
    Paddles I can go along with that plan. but do we really need so many Parliamentarians.
    Could we not have the GG acting as our head . Employ top business Men and Women to run the portfolios of there expertise. Pay them well for performance.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2014
    3:36pm
    Put a CEO to run Australia like a company.

    I have just the right person in mind...he has made billions so surely he can run the country at a profit. "Clive Palmer" !!!!!!!!!! That will also satisfy those who wants Independents to run the country.
    mangomick
    20th Dec 2014
    7:51pm
    No radish I'd prefer Clive Palmer as Treasurer. When the boys up at the Yabulu nickel plant in Townsville turned the company around he lashed out and gave a lot of them a new Mercedes Benz. Now if he was treasurer and if as "Team Australian " we were able to turn the economy around he'd give each and every Australian a new car or boat. No more lousy 1% tax cut s.
    tisme
    16th Dec 2014
    12:41pm
    who spent us into debt ?? mostly on themselves ?? yet they dont have to pay it back , you cost your company money and see who pays
    wally
    16th Dec 2014
    1:23pm
    Do you remember before the 2013 election when the Labor government signed protocols and promised money they did not have to spend? They called it Abbott Proofing". These deals were done so when LNP gained power, their government would be stuck fulfilling these obligations that the outgoing Labor government had committed Australia to. These obligations were like land mines left by a retreating army. That is they were intended to damage or hinder who ever came next, ie the LNP government.
    What we are seeing is the delayed result of Labor's "Abbott Proofing" scheme. They made the mess, do everything they can in the Senate to prevent Abbott and Hockey from cleaning it up and even have the hide to deny that there is a mess. Well might you blame the LNP for the $40 B deficeit but you are ignoring whatLabor did to/with the $29 B surplus left by Howard and Costello? So let's stop crying about the rich getting off scot free on paying their fair share of taxes and remind ourselves that those who made the Labor mess of Australia's finances in the first place want a second chance to continue running up Australia's debt.
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    8:02pm
    Well put, Wally. Many people do not want to remember that.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2014
    3:39pm
    What you said was totally correct Wally.
    Adrianus
    20th Dec 2014
    4:03pm
    wally, how could anybody forget. Like a retreating army they threw Rudd back into the front line because they found some of the deserters liked the sound of his voice. And they sandbagged like there was no tomorrow. What a pitiful lot they are.
    wally, it's worth mentioning because some have the attention span of a gold fish.
    geomac
    16th Dec 2014
    1:27pm
    The main problem with this govt is it only looks at savings in an ideological sense and avoids revenue or more correctly revenue lost because of largesse to the well off.
    " The Treasury says the present tax arrangement will cost the budget $17.8 billion this financial year, $19.15 billion next financial year and $20.7 billion the following year. The figures exclude the incredibly generous concessions for the income earned within super funds, which needn't be touched. But they do include the tax concessions on extra contributions made over and above what's compulsory. To the extent that they are made merely to avoid tax they will vanish, cutting the benefit for the government to about $12 billion a year – which happens to be about what's needed. "

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/advice-for-hockey-sting-super-and-fix-the-budget-in-one-hit-20141215-1272tu.html
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    8:35am
    What we seem to have is a government running the show with the "head" and not the "heart". The opposition would run the show with the " heart", but not the "head". If one side or the other could come up with a more balanced style of government and balanced both "heart" and "head" in the approach to the problems facing Australia, I think Australia would benefit. Instead we have two opposing sides spitting venom at each other thus preventing any change without the support of the "cross benchers". But it isn't a perfect world, is it?
    lauren
    16th Dec 2014
    1:30pm
    At the end of the day, everyone seems to blame someone for somethings, beats looking at the 'self' and spending habits, one only has to look at the Christmas season. It's amazing, the more people have, the more they complain. Maybe all the complainers need to shipped off to 3rd world nations for a year, they'd be crying , 'help, get me back to the best country in the world' Have a blessed Christmas everyone, share what you have with some of those that really are doing it hard. Thank you also to all the staff at Life Choices, may you all have a lovely, blessed Christmas, good health, and an amazing 2015.
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    6:54pm
    Lauren - and may you have a great Christmas. And a top 2015.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2014
    9:43pm
    DITTO !!
    fedup
    16th Dec 2014
    1:39pm
    The aged pension should increase not the other way around these poor people paid their taxes so when they reach the pension age they can get what they already paid the government in their working years.
    Paddles
    16th Dec 2014
    9:43pm
    fedup

    Apparently, you are another one of the many who seem to believe that your taxation contributions over your working life were treated as superannuation fund contributions and were amassed, by Government with interest duly added, to be paid out to you a pension upon retirement.

    Where do you imagine the Govt got the money over all those years to build, expand and maintain infrastructure which you have used all your life?

    Where do you think that they got the money to maintain our defense forces, fund a largely free medical service etc?

    Please think it through! This is not "your" money that comes back to you as a pension. Your pension (and mine) iws just one of the many disbursements that our Govt is obliged to make and it bears no direct relationship to oue taxation contributions. If it did, then in all fairness, we would all be receiving a different rate.
    PlanB
    16th Dec 2014
    2:11pm
    The Libs sound like a bloody broken record every time they get on the band wagon and tell us how Lab' left a big hole, I say get over it and remember that Lab' got us out of the GFC
    particolor
    16th Dec 2014
    8:24pm
    Those that Yell the LOUDEST Have the Most to Lose !!
    Paddles
    16th Dec 2014
    9:49pm
    PlanB

    Labor did not "get us out of the "GFC". We survived the meltdown better than most because we were in a much sounder financial position than most countries when it hit.

    That sound position was largely due to the fiscally responsible Govt that preceded Labor and it was the excesses of Labor that reversed that situation.
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    8:43am
    Plan B, you forget to mention that the broken record syndrome also infects Labor and the Greens. Just saying that Labor saved
    Australia from the GFC does not make it so, as you fail to support your assertion with any facts as to how it was done.
    You also fail to give Tony Abbott for saving us from Labor and the Greens! So there!
    PlanB
    17th Dec 2014
    8:48am
    Lets face it Wally Abbott is an idiot and has NO idea how to be a statesman, no idea how to conduct himself, and is one of the most insincere hypocritical lying mongrels we have had in a long time
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    9:00am
    Plan B, I'd like to point out that Labor had six years of idiocy running Amok in government and it took the voters six years before they woke up and voted Labor out. It is no wonder, then, that Labor holds its "True Believer" support base in conrempt as a bunch of mugs who will swallow any tripe Labor feeds them and then cry out and beg for more!
    Your opinion that Abbott is an idiot may or not be borne out until after he leaves office, but the real idiots are the rusted on "True Believers" (and swallowers) of the Labor line.
    PlanB
    17th Dec 2014
    10:02am
    Wally at this time I would not vote for either party --they are both useless --trouble is one or the other gets in on preferences
    maxchugg
    16th Dec 2014
    2:47pm
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-26/janda-tax-avoidance-name-and-shame/5478450
    This address is for an ABC site where it is stated that according to ATO statistics, 75 Australians who earned an average of $2.6 million each paid no tax, no Medicare levy and no Medicare surcharge.
    Meanwhile the government continues to leave these people well alone and continue to go for the soft targets who can't afford a QC to defend themselves.
    dougie
    17th Dec 2014
    10:17am
    The site does not state how many ABC employees are able to utilise tax minimilisation schemes to ensure that such employees pay the minimum taxation and the minimum contribution to medicare levy but maximum amounts to Superannuation schemes. If we are to throw stones aim them at all who benefit with the many schemes that have been presented as legal. Those with minimum income cannot afford to take advantage of these schemes. The ABC always only tells that part of the story which they choose. Ask their CEO or Managing Director what he does to minimise taxation from his glorious package. Ask all Politicians Labor - Liberal and Independents - what actions they take to ensure tax minimisation.
    Travellersjoy
    16th Dec 2014
    2:48pm
    Stealing from pensioners and students is as low as it gets.

    Time to TAX WEALTH rather than just income.

    Death duties hurt no one except the kids who did not earn the money and want to live off an inheritance subsidised by tax payers.

    Enough already. Tax the dead.
    PlanB
    16th Dec 2014
    3:15pm
    Like hell Traveller, I worked bloody hard and paid taxes And stamp duty etc etc as did all who own their own home -- if I want to leave it to my hard working Son I should be able to !
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    7:00pm
    Have to agree with PlanB on this one. What you fail to realise TJ is that the wealth left behind in a lot of cases is used in businesses bug and small. So it pays someone's wage a long the line.
    Patriot
    16th Dec 2014
    7:07pm
    PlanB
    You got it right in my opinion
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    8:47am
    While we are taxing the dead, maybe we should also tax God, Allah, Jehova, Buddha and all the the other religions too. And while we are at it, we could make the volcanoes pay Carbon Tax too.
    PlanB
    17th Dec 2014
    8:51am
    Wally I agree that ALL religions should be taxed, they would fix the budget in days
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    9:23pm
    That's an interesting suggestion, Travellersjoy, but one that has been around for a while. Death tax is often discussed by young Socialists, that is by people who would prefer to distribute *existing* rather than create *new* wealth.

    While it may be attractive to some, in reality, its 'unintended consequences' would kill one of the most powerful forces that drive our society. If you want to hear it in more detail, please spent few minutes watching this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRpEV2tmYz4#t=113s

    It is an explanation given by Milton Friedman to exactly your suggestion, offered by a young idealist. I hope you will enjoy it, I sure did.
    rtrish
    16th Dec 2014
    3:54pm
    Stop the spin, indeed. I'm over it.
    Nadine
    16th Dec 2014
    3:58pm
    Where is the difference between Liberal & Labour?
    According to the SMH

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-16/koukoulas-myefo-warning-fails-to-curb-spending-spree/5969364

    Quote: Having been in control of the budget for 15 months, the MYEFO reveals that the Abbott Government has boosted government spending to stunningly high 25.9 per cent of GDP in 2014-15.
    Quite extraordinarily, this is just 0.1 per cent of GDP below the 2009-10 level of government spending that incorporated the massive fiscal stimulus measures from the Rudd government, which were implemented to counter the global financial crisis.
    What is also extraordinary is that the forward estimates for the budget out to 2017-18 confirm government spending remaining above 25 per cent of GDP in each and every year. To put this spending spree in context, in Labor's last three full budgets, government spending was under 25 per cent of GDP in each year.
    end quote.

    There has just been a re-allocation from the less wealthy to the wealthy!
    Why then does Joe look so grumpy?
    dougie
    16th Dec 2014
    4:13pm
    Do not forget that the forward estimates also include all of those commitments which were made by the previous government. These have no bearing on the expenditure committed to by this government but must be part of their expenditure. Remember the booby traps set by Labor for Abbott. Still thats the way the cookie crumbles and we shall crumble too.
    wally
    17th Dec 2014
    8:52am
    Joe would not exactly be thrilled to have to clean up the mess that Labor made of Australia's finances and then have to listen to Labor deny they had made the mess. Worse, Labor does everything in its power to interfere with the LNP efforts to clean up Labor's mess by obstruction and a campaign of telling lies.
    Jen
    20th Dec 2014
    5:12pm
    And when Labor gets in at the next election, they're going to have to clean up the mess the Libs have put us in - and I intend hammering that home ad nauseum just like you do now, Wally!
    wally
    22nd Dec 2014
    2:00pm
    Go your hardest Jen. It ought to be a fun couple of years throwing the metaphorical hand grenades at each other!!
    Jen
    22nd Dec 2014
    2:33pm
    I think it just got even more interesting, Wally!
    B5YCK
    16th Dec 2014
    4:16pm
    The previous government ( labor ) got in with a surplus in the government coffers.
    Why did they have to spend it all and got into a deficit?
    If they want any credibility at all, they should have maintained this surlus or improved on it.
    To try to repair all the damage will be a mamouth task.
    PlanB
    16th Dec 2014
    4:20pm
    Yes they had surplus because they sold off Telstra etc and never spent anything -- we could all have extra money if we sold off the furniture -- plus Telstra was ours -- belonged to the tax payer !
    PlanB
    16th Dec 2014
    4:25pm
    Really there is no difference they are both --puppets and do what they are told --except the Libs do favour more of the BIG end of town
    B5YCK
    16th Dec 2014
    5:02pm
    PlanB
    And who do you think sold of the Commonwealth Bank?
    This was the Bank created in 1911 to keep the banks under control.
    It was Bob Hawk who did that. He sold our table silver!
    And have a look what that Bank could have contributed to the wealth of Australia!
    Patriot
    16th Dec 2014
    8:27pm
    B5YCK
    PlanB suggests that they are ALL controlled by the same "Puppet Masters".
    In my opinion, there is NO DOUBT that this is correct !!!
    Liberals intruduced the GST that was NEVER to be as an election promise!

    Once we realise that the "Style of Execution" is somewhat (per each party) different but the results are identical there are only THREE things to do innitially:
    1 Recognise and lament that we - the Real Australia - have lost control of our own & Australia's destiny completely
    2 Recognise that such happened because we did not practice "Due Dilligence" by dragging our Elected Representatives "Over the COALS" because of NOT doing what is right for Australia., She'll be right mate!
    3 Get "Off our Collective ASSES and devise a plan to regain control of Australia by beating the 2-party political system which is further rigged via preferential voting.

    After we "Got it Sorted" we must remain dilligent and keep thos who attempt to govern us honest and at the highest level of Integrity!
    And just remember, this could get very ugly.
    Also remember, the longer we wait, the uglier it will get.

    Just some small issues to consider during the Festive Season.
    Oars
    16th Dec 2014
    4:30pm
    For those who read deeper than the local spin doctor's pages,m the facts are that the top 10% of tincome earners pay 85% of the total tax. The rest of us are paying the balance (15% (yes, I too can count !). So if the top 10% are alaready paying a large portiuon of the tax, and we dopes are paying seeet ef all, why do we try to ring more tax out of them. The obvious answer lies much deeper than petty jealousy and tall poppy syndrome that we Ozies are very good at. The answer is WORK HARDER and be rewarded by your efforts- rather than some artificial award system put in place by a power group that play bluff politics with the "workers" who should really be called pawns in these thugs game of wage escalation. Our unskilled are paid almost as much as a middle manager, so why would anyone take on a middle- management role ? Those middle managers are getting slugged with poor wages relative to the unskilled people they supervise/train/accept their sickies etc.. They are also paying too much tax and get little reward except a sense of achievement. The deeper we dig, the worse it gets. We have been on the sheep's back - no coal exporters back- for decades, and now it's time to all put this country first, and the lazy- bludge mentality second, and reduce unnecessary spending to overseas. First step is to remove all perks from past politicians and that includes superannuation. Second- no Parental paid leave, third: work the full week ( 40 hours) and less sickies. That is what our neighbors do, and they are picking up out of the mess of GFC. Try that for a post budget rally. !!!
    mangomick
    16th Dec 2014
    7:51pm
    The Work harder line isn't always true Mate and I'll give you an example. If I have a $100k job and decide I will buy a farm and work it every spare minute so i can get ahead I cant write my expenses off against my wages unless I meet certain criteria but the wealthier lets say Doctor or Lawyer who can afford a bigger farm to begin with can write off all his losses against his income from being a Doctor because he meets the certain criteria . One of those criteria being he can afford to buy a much bigger property to begin with which puts him inside one of the criteria. So yes if you are wealthy to begin with you can get wealthier if you work harder but the Government certainly don't want the working class to get ahead by working hard as a lot of the Tax laws are stacked against him.
    Reeper
    16th Dec 2014
    4:45pm
    The blame for this fiscal debacle rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd, and the continued debacle is on the shoulders of Bill Shorten and his policy of 'pass nothing'. Be that as it may, it is now up to the current government to dig the country out of this deepening mire and it is out of the pockets of every Australian. How many of you sitting out their crowing about getting the ALP back in power realise that few ALP governments have ever achieved anything but deficits. And, no, the rich should not be expected to pay more because they have the wherewithal to make lots of money...there isn't a whinging bastard out there who wouldn't change places if they had the chance. Get the message, get some unpleasant bills passed and suffer for a little while or keep going, change government and suffer even more
    geomac
    16th Dec 2014
    5:15pm
    Reeper
    Like the govt you see only one side of things. The govt sees spending cuts but is blind to revenue raising by cutting back largesse to the well off. You see the govt as the solution instead of the problem.
    Do you know Menzies never delivered a single surplus Reeper ? Do you know Bolte put Victoria 60% in the red to build things yet is considered to have had good govt. Howard and costello created structural budget deficit and in 2007 Rudd joined the party.
    Hockey increased the deficit and cannot blame Labor because it was all his own work. The irony is that now he sounds like a Swan clone with his excuses. The very excuses Hockey mocked he is now using himself. That quarter of a billion for religious only chaplains is the same amount it is ripping out of the ABC. Yeah they have their priorities right don,t they ?
    Jen
    16th Dec 2014
    7:35pm
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/medical-research-future-fund-how-the-trick-is-done-20141214-126rpw.html
    maxchugg
    16th Dec 2014
    7:37pm
    Oars says that the top 10% of earners pay 85% of the tax, but cites no evidence in support of this claim which sounds fanciful, especially in the light of the information obtained from the ATO which paints a very different picture.
    Oars
    16th Dec 2014
    8:52pm
    These facts were published in Financial Review about three months ago. These figures were not from the ATO but from Bureau of Stats. I was not surprised, and in fact thought they were rather generous. These taxes include all the consumer taxes that the top 10% spend. Example: $300K pa income arev taxed approx $120K spend about $150K on goods * services that gives the Govt $15K to start with. Then there are those tricky wee hidden taxes in petrol, food ( taxes paid for all the wages to land a sack of spudsa at the supermarket, then the overheads and insurances that pay other wages and so on. The other pont that may have been missed is that it takes a SPECIAL person to get up there, so if you are envious, why not have a crack at it yourself instead of "lopping off tall poppies?". If you want a lesson in Economics please take up a Taif or Correspondence coarse. I can assure you the exercise will be enlightening. Nothing ventured- nothing gained- except sand burrowing. !
    mangomick
    16th Dec 2014
    9:30pm
    On the other side of the coin though Oars quite a lot of those in the $300k+ group have assets that are tied up in family trusts. So in effect a lot of the money they make is not taxed at a high rate at all but is split up amongst family members who pay little or no tax on a large amount of salary. Also their vehicles are usually leased and not bought and written off against their business profits along with many other strategies that minimise their tax burden.
    Kato
    16th Dec 2014
    11:10pm
    yep that is the hole which needs plugging.
    maxchugg
    16th Dec 2014
    11:12pm
    Sorry, Oars, your figures don't stack up.
    For a person on $300k the maximum amount payable, Medicare levy included is $112,957 if that person does not have a single deduction to claim.
    If that person really does spend $150k on goods, adding another $15,000 GST brings the total contribution to revenue to $127957.
    It is unlikely that a pensioner on $22,213 per year will work up much sympathy for someone who can afford to spend around $3000 per week on goods. Nothing to do with the "tall poppy syndrome" but everything to do with managing a tiny income.
    Personal economics, if you like.
    Oars
    18th Dec 2014
    6:32am
    Mangomick. If what you say is true for the $300K pa workers, then why are there only a few (like 10% ) up there ? No you have missed the point. The top 10% are there from a series of long term competition from others and have achieved that spot. They may also lose that spot unless they keep on being better than their competitors. This idea that money drops out of the sky is typical from the "non-competive types- jealous because they can't get that spot. So again I repeat the top 10% are carrying the tax baby, one way or the other- including creating work for the lower income mob. It's simple economics and it works- just the tax thing is a bit wonky at present.
    Oars
    18th Dec 2014
    6:36am
    Machung. I'm glad someone out there took the lead from my "thumb-nail" sketch. The point you make is the $300K boys pay huge tax like -as you correctly suggest about $130K plus those hidden taxes in everything they purchase. The $150K spend includes buildings ( that employ workers) cars ( that keeps the petrol tax going) holidays ( that keeps the hospitality and aircraft industry alive) and so on. The reference to a pension is irrelevant.
    mangomick
    18th Dec 2014
    8:47am
    You answered your own question Oars. Very hard for many to get up there because the tax laws and business laws and regulations are now stacked against those in the lower salary band.
    Again if I bought a cattle property for $300k and if I spent $50k in a year improving that property I cannot claim a cent of the cost of improvements against my salary in my current job because my property doesnt meet the tax mans criteria. But if a bloke bought a $3m property and spent $1m in a year improving that property he can claim the cost against his other salary.Thats because his property meets one of the criteria i.e it costs more than $1m. So me working harder to get wealthier i.e starting small and working up has a lot more hurdles put in front of him than the other bloke who is wealthier already. Great system though if you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
    maxchugg
    18th Dec 2014
    9:32am
    Oars, I didn't realise that you were attempting to respond to my last post because my name isn't machung.
    If you are correct in stating that people on $300k are ploughing half of that money back into the community then that expenditure would be tax deductible and further reduce the amount of personal income tax they pay, but it is highly unlikely that your claim realistic.
    You also again state that the top 10% are carrying the tax, but the Treasury disagrees with you. The latest available figures on personal income tax show percentage of tax paid by people in various income groups:

    $ 6001 - $35,000 4.0%
    $35,000 - $80,000 38.6%
    $80,000 - $180,000 33.5%
    $180,000+ 24.0%
    There is a huge difference between the 85% of tax paid by the top 10% and the Treasury figures.
    I also take strong exception to your comments that my reference to a pension was irrelevant and that I should take a tafe course on economics. Try that argument on people who are trying to live on the current rate of pension.
    I would suggest that you cancel your subscription to Australian Financial Review because, as has been seen, far better statistics are available from ATO and Treasury for free.
    maxchugg
    18th Dec 2014
    10:16am
    I have found a typo in my last comment. What I meant to say was "There is a huge difference between the 85% of tax paid by the top 10% according to you (Oars) and the Treasury figures."
    PlanB
    17th Dec 2014
    8:31am
    Once again it is becoming impossible to find the posts that are sent to me, last one from Wally.

    I am opting out of this thread as I have done with others.

    WHY can't we have a NORMAL Forum FGS!
    dougie
    17th Dec 2014
    9:06am
    When I see some of the rude and rabid comments made on this page, I ponder and wonder how far away from a terrorist mentality we really are. I love to see the comments that are polite and forthright but find some of the rude and deliberately provocative statements and name calling to be particularly odious.
    The thrust and parry of argument is wonderful and does not have to involve rudeness to those being debated nor about those whom the debate relates to. Where are the managers of this site hiding and why do they not delete such scurrilous remarks and statements?
    mangomick
    17th Dec 2014
    10:50am
    rude comments like beauty are in the eye of the beholder. What one person sees as rudeness another may see as a bit of a playful ribbing.
    Be a shame if the managers of the site have the extra burden of filtering comments on the site based on trying to ascertain whether those comments meet your criteria of acceptability or mine.
    Maybe not all posters of comments have had the same delicate upbringing as others and can accept a bit of rudeness and argie- bargie in a robust debate.
    So without trying to sound rude or rabid maybe you need to harden up just a little. Oh and Have yourself a Merry Xmas..........
    maxchugg
    17th Dec 2014
    11:23am
    Dougie, I agree with you.
    But I usually find encouragement when subjected to personal attack from the knowledge that the offensive person is secretly aware of having lost the argument and is substituting heat for light.
    I'm reminded of a quote from Robert Green Ingersoll: "Insolence is not logic, epithets are the arguments of malice."
    dougie
    17th Dec 2014
    11:50am
    Mangomick

    Rudeness is never beautiful - good banter yes -giving people offensive names is rude.
    What is banter to some could be offensive and very disturbing to others and I just think that a little bit of thought as to what can be deemed to be offensive is necessary. We do seem to see a number of people not prepared to carry on on this site. What a pity!

    Maxchugg
    thanks for the support.
    dougie
    17th Dec 2014
    11:50am
    Mangomick

    Rudeness is never beautiful - good banter yes -giving people offensive names is rude.
    What is banter to some could be offensive and very disturbing to others and I just think that a little bit of thought as to what can be deemed to be offensive is necessary. We do seem to see a number of people not prepared to carry on on this site. What a pity!

    Maxchugg
    thanks for the support.
    mangomick
    17th Dec 2014
    3:28pm
    See that's what I mean dougie. I was not saying that rudeness is beautiful. What I said is that people have different views as to what is beautiful just as people have different views as to what constitutes rudeness.
    Maybe what this site needs is a system so posters can determine who is really delicate and who isn't rather than try to cater to some unknown common denominator .
    leonYLC
    19th Dec 2014
    12:38pm
    Hi Dougie,
    Thanks for your concern with regards to comments. I've had a read through and I must admit, I agree with the sentiment that maintaining an 'open' forum is important as we value your right to share your opinion. That said, if there is ever anything 'specific' which you deem offensive, please let us know and we will be more than happy to review.
    Jacks
    17th Dec 2014
    1:19pm
    Falling income tax revenue from low wages growth is a problem. Low consumer spending is a problem. Falling company taxes are a problem. Whines the LNP.

    The same LNP that has Work Choices II in its back pocket? The same LNP that wants to eliminate the minimum wage? The same LNP that wants cheap workers on 457 visas displacing Australian workers and repatriating what little discretionary income they have overseas? The same LNP that wants to casualise the workforce and eliminate job security? The same LNP that told Australian manufacturing to piss off? The same LNP that is flogging off income producing assets to foreigners? The same LNP that wont tax the profits on OUR resources which are dug up and flogged off without value adding by a couple of freebooters? The same LNP that is secretly negotiating TPP and TiSA to ensure USA big pharma, big agriculture and big media can wring every last cent from Australia? The same LNP that intervened in the NBN to give Telstra and Foxtel a present for their obsolete copper and HFC networks? The same LNP that is building a railway for a foreign coal project that even banks wont touch and which threatens the biggest tourist and aquaculture asset we have? The same LNP which slashes funding to science which has the potential to enable whole new industries? The same LNP which killed off the renewable energy industry and lost the revenue from the carbon tax? The same LNP which is flogging off LNG overseas for a pittance while Australians can't pay their energy bills?

    This government must be stupid stupid stupid
    mangomick
    17th Dec 2014
    4:23pm
    Can't argue with that...........
    Jen
    17th Dec 2014
    4:44pm
    Thanks Jacks. No arguments from me.
    particolor
    18th Dec 2014
    1:07pm
    Yep !! Sounds about Right to Me !!
    Kopernicus
    18th Dec 2014
    10:22pm
    There's probably more, but what a comprehensive summary Jacks! Paints quite a picture, don't it?
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    6:15pm
    This is off-topic, but concerning: Yesterday afternoon, I left at least four, possibly five comments on "Economy faces gloomy outlook". Today afternoon, all but one have been removed.
    Has anybody else experienced something similar?
    BobK
    17th Dec 2014
    6:21pm
    My apologies, looking at wrong thing. My bad, all is fine.
    particolor
    18th Dec 2014
    1:10pm
    Looking at the Wrong Thing should be left to Treasurers !!
    mangomick
    19th Dec 2014
    4:30am
    When you say ," Has anyone else experienced something similar?" .... I guess you don't mean senility, total confusion and absent mindlessness ...........
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    7:32am
    Jacks, I am not convinced that consumers are spending less. Today you can buy a box of goodies from anywhere in the USA and have them shipped to anywhere in Australia faster than a local Aussie business can. In this case the USA collects the tax, the Aussie business collects nothing. I noticed a jump in share prices yesterday which was a result of a remark by US Chairman of the Federal Reserve indicating that their cash rate could be increasing soon. This could mean that while the US economy is getting stronger the Australian economy could be heading in the opposite direction. Why is that do you think?
    mangomick
    19th Dec 2014
    10:42am
    Think you'll find the markets jumped because she said a rate increase won't be until at least their Summer or towards the second half of 2015. Markets have been expecting rate rise sooner.

    The Fed was in a particularly giving mood Wednesday when it announced it was going to take its sweet time raising interest rates
    The central bank said in a statement it would be "patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy." It also kept closely-watched language saying rates would stay low for a "considerable time," which investors took as clear signal that rates won't rise until next summer or later.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    11:19am
    mango, the Feds language delivered some certainty that their period of "freeze" on the cash rate and continual stimulus was coming to an end and giving fair warning as to the timing. This offers even more certainty to business, investors, fund managers and individuals in knowing 2 things.
    The rate rise is near and the growth is assured. Under those assurances, why wouldn't they gear into a parcel of shares? To have the view that private sector stimulus occurred simply because the Fed kept there cash rate at 0% is to ignore the value of the offering of certainty.
    The opposite has occurred here in Australia for the past 5 years. The RBA and the government have kept us guessing for 5 years. Throw in a double D crisis and It almost feels like somebody is deliberately trying to kill our economy.
    Jacks
    19th Dec 2014
    12:39pm
    Frank,

    70% of the economy is driven by consumer spending. The national debt is the result of the private sectors decision to save and hoard their wealth and not spend.

    Conservatives believe the economy functions better if the rich have more money and everyone else has less. But they’re wrong. It’s just the opposite.

    The real job creators are not CEOs or corporations or wealthy investors. The job creators are members of America’s vast middle class and the poor, whose purchases cause businesses to expand and invest.

    America’s wealthy are richer than they’ve ever been. Big corporations are sitting on more cash than they know what to do with. Corporate profits are at record levels. CEO pay continues to soar.

    But the wealthy aren’t investing in new companies. Between 1980 and 2014, the rate of new business formation in the United States dropped by half, according to a Brookings study released in May.

    Corporations aren’t expanding production or investing in research and development. Instead, they’re using their money to buy back their shares of stock.

    There’s no reason for them to expand or invest if customers aren’t buying.

    Consumer spending has grown more slowly in this recovery than in any previous one because consumers don’t have enough money to buy.

    All the economic gains have been going to the top.

    The Commerce Department reported last Friday that the economy grew at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter of the year.

    So what? The median household’s income continues to drop.

    Median household income is now 8 percent below what it was in 2007, adjusted for inflation. It’s 11 percent below its level in 2000.

    It used to be that economic expansions improved the incomes of the bottom 90 percent more than the top 10 percent.

    But starting with the “Reagan” recovery of 1982 to 1990, the benefits of economic growth during expansions have gone mostly to the top 10 percent.

    Since the current recovery began in 2009, all economic gains have gone to the top 10 percent. The bottom 90 percent has lost ground.

    We’re in the first economic upturn on record in which 90 percent of Americans have become worse off.

    Why did the playing field start to tilt against the middle class in the Reagan recovery, and why has it tilted further ever since?

    Don’t blame globalization. Other advanced nations facing the same global competition have managed to preserve middle class wages. Germany’s median wage is now higher than America’s.

    One factor here has been a sharp decline in union membership. In the mid 1970s, 25 percent of the private-sector workforce was unionized.

    Then came the Reagan revolution. By the end of the 1980s, only 17 percent of the private workforce was unionized. Today, fewer than 7 percent of the nation’s private-sector workers belong to a union.

    This means most workers no longer have the bargaining power to get a share of the gains from growth.

    Another structural change is the drop in the minimum wage. In 1979, it was $9.67 an hour (in 2013 dollars). By 1990, it had declined to $6.84. Today it’s $7.25, well below where it was in 1979.

    Given that workers are far more productive now – computers have even increased the output of retail and fast food workers — the minimum wage should be even higher.

    By setting a floor on wages, a higher minimum helps push up other wages. It undergirds higher median household incomes.

    The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage.

    It also requires better schools for the children of the bottom 90 percent, better access to higher education, and a more progressive tax system.

    GDP growth is less and less relevant to the wellbeing of most Americans. We should be paying less attention to growth and more to median household income.

    If the median household’s income is is heading upward, the economy is in good shape. If it’s heading downward, as it’s been for this entire recovery, we’re all in deep trouble.
    Jen
    19th Dec 2014
    2:12pm
    Thanks Jacks. You make absolute sense.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    3:08pm
    Absolute political nonsense that you have cut n pasted Jacks.
    If the real job creators are workers than why didn't the Unions organise these same workers to create their own jobs while they were in government. I'm talking about the real world here in Australia.
    Jen you are easy to please.
    Jacks
    19th Dec 2014
    4:38pm
    Sorry Frank but your wrong and what I wrote above is modern macro economics in a nutshell taught by all of the leading experts in economics at university. Trickle down economic theory has already been discredited and we have moved on.
    Whilst the example was America it's essentially the same in Australia but the inequality is not so large.

    All theories change as new research evidence comes to light, medicine, technology, dentistry, engineering etc. Decades of evidence has shown that trickle down fails. These very issues were discussed at the recent G20 summit in Queensland. I doubt they thought it was political nonsense.

    Don't punish me because you can't keep up
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    4:58pm
    C'mon Jacks, I just got back in from mowing the lawn in the hot sun and cop an earful? I don't have to listen to your insults.
    For a start we are nothing like US. Their minimum wage is half that of ours.
    The balderdash you wrote about the Conservative view, they believe the rich should have more money is not necessarily true.
    I want to live in a country where a battler can become PM. Where a kid on the wrong side of town can become an industry leader. Where the crooks go to gaol and everyone is treated fairly. This will not happen if we put up a glass ceiling.
    Jacks
    19th Dec 2014
    5:02pm
    I don't think you understand what I have written, at all so there is no point in continuing. You sir, were the first to sling the insults my way.
    Adrianus
    19th Dec 2014
    5:41pm
    Jacks, an excerpt from your cut n paste from the US.

    "The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage."

    If this were true how is it that Australian businesses are lagging behind, closing down at an unprecedented pace as your cheer leeder Jen suggested earlier.
    We have stronger Unions, cripes we put them in charge of Treasury for 6 years!
    We have a higher minimum wage it is twice that of the US.
    So why isn't it working Jacks?
    Do you believe that stuff you wrote?
    mangomick
    19th Dec 2014
    7:03pm
    Many are closing because our Government doesn't even buy or support Australian industry. Look at the building of the new subs. They are willing to give massive subsidies to mining but not manufacturing. They embrace digging holes but not fostering innovative technology. They see Australia as a giant sand pit and Australians as potential maids and waiters. They would even mine our wilderness areas instead of embracing eco tourism ventures unless that venture is run by a large multi-national overseas company. And high tech solar thermal of which Australia could be a world leader is left to other countries to develop .
    miss aisle
    21st Dec 2014
    12:35pm
    Whatever government policies you choose to follow,
    I would like to wish you all
    a wonderful Christmas day,
    & a happy & healthy 2015!

    "Recharge your batteries"
    so there may be many more
    robust discussions
    about how we have carved our unique
    little niche
    in the special country
    we call "home".
    Take care & keep smiling.
    Special greetings to Frank & particolor.
    Adrianus
    21st Dec 2014
    2:02pm
    Special greetings eh? I feel special now. :) Thank you miss aisle, I also wish you and all at YLC, it's members and contributors a very Merry Christmas, well maybe not too merry. And may 2015 bring all you hope for, unless of course if it is not good for the majority.
    Look after your health. Take care.
    Bemused
    29th Dec 2014
    1:10am
    All the usual political and "I'm entitled" rants.
    First, the current lot good or bad, have had little success in pushing their budget plans through the senate, so no one knows if any of it would have been successful.
    However the debt left by the previous lot is still there, and worse, the reasons for that debt are still in place and are continuing to eat up money we do not have. Ergo, we are still in the doo-doo, and will be increasingly so, for the long foreseeable future regardless of who is in government.
    We are spending very greatly more than our income, and to cover it we are borrowing money. Lots and Lots of money.

    Perhaps those of us who are contributing to that cost can offer some more meaningful ways to - (1) Reduce that expenditure back to within our income levels to stop the borrowing, and, (2) Figure out how to repay the enormous amounts we owe.

    If, like some here are advocating, we are going to clobber the "rich" it might be a good idea to define where the definition of "rich" begins.
    Keep in mind "the rich" by popular legend, are not in vast numbers, and do not hoard cash in bags under beds or even in safes and strong boxes. They invest in all sorts of things that is why they are "rich. They incest by way of shares and direct private investment in Retail Shops and Shopping Malls, Hotels, Resorts, Private Schools, Private Hospitals, Manufacturing, Farming, and Transport (Aircraft, and Shipping, even Taxis). They invest in TV Stations, Radio Stations, Movie Theartres, Child Care, Aged Care and even Sporting Clubs, and Clubs for the Elderly. The list is enormous. To get at that wealth we would need to "cash them in" by selling them off. To Whom? Because with no "Rich" left there would be no one to buy those going concerns. Our government, of any side of politics, could not afford the cost. Not even by borrowing more. We are already in deep and serious debt.
    Of course any funds raised by this would be rapidly used up funding our current expenditure and debt, and once gone would be gone permanently. With it would also be gone the income, and the taxes paid by all those organisations and by the employees of those enterprises.
    So all of the above would have to be shut down and would therefor have NO Value at All.
    Exit all the so called "Rich", but then exit also the millions of jobs that these concerns provide. Not to mention the loss of those facilities to ourselves.
    Someone mentioned an ABC program that identified 75 "Rich"people who are paid an average of $2.6 million dollars per year. Big Bucks. But in total adds up to around $195 Million. A drop in the ocean of our National Debt. Let us assume that ABC only identified a portion of those big earners and pretend that there are in reality 10 times that number.
    Total $1.95 BILLION. If we can get our hands on every cent of that pretend income, it would yield enough to pay just ONE HALF of our interest bill for just ONE MONTH.
    So we would need to find a whole lot more people we can classify as "RICH" to make even the smallest dent in our financial circumstances.
    Better start doing some research - hey.

    As to family homes, the vast majority are purchased by Mortgage, and paid off over many years. Those that succeeded do not need to be penalised to fund those who have not been successful - for whatever personal reasons. Be honest, sit down and add up faithfully all the money you spent on other pursuits throughout your life. Different choices over the years may have provided you with a better level of security in your senior years.

    On the subject of Independents versus Party politics in Government, take a look at other governments around the World where the proportion of independents is substantial. Scary! Take Italy for example: a decade or so ago, a very good looking lady ran for, and was elected TWICE to the Italian Parliament. She could have been elected a third time according to the Pundits, but she decided that twice was enough.
    Respected observers reported that she was a very good member of Parliament and took the job of Politician very seriously.
    Her name is "Cicciolina" and her campaign consisted of riding around in a topless Cadillac, while she herself posed topless in the back seat.
    Before becoming a successful Politician, Cicciolina's previous job was as a very successful and popular PORN STAR.
    Says something about Italian Politics, don't you think.
    Perhaps we should try something similar here?

    Bemused
    mangomick
    29th Dec 2014
    9:12am
    The thought of Bronwyn Bishop riding around topless in a Cadillac scares the hell out of me and I would pay the Government as much tax as I can to stop that.
    On a serious note the main problem is that too many Western Governments rely on growth growth and more growth to maintain this big ponzi scheme of ours and we cannot keep growing our economies on this little world of ours with finite resources.This will eventually end bad for all of us as Governments and househols alike do not know how to lve within their means and Governments try to encourage people to spend spend spend instead of encouraging thrift.Perhaps we should move away from elected governments to be ruled by a committee of highly educated persons who can see out long term plans instead of this mish- mash of policies we see today that push and pull society in every direction and festers waste at every corner.
    Bemused
    29th Dec 2014
    1:29pm
    To mangomick,

    You have identified the hard core of the problem.

    Perpetual growth of any kind, including population and economies, cannot be sustained for ever. A long time ago, my economics professor marked me down because I constantly asked the question of how, in a finite World, with finite resources, perpetual growth could be possible. I am sure the fellow knew the answer, but because it conflicted with current economic theory, he did not want to get involved in that kind of discussion. Pursuing it cost me dearly.

    I am not sure about committees. Having had a bit to do with committees. There is no guarantee of the competence of all members, and it seems that inevitably, personal interests, delusions of grandeur and good old bully tactics seem to be the outcome. Committees generally do not tolerate criticism and eventually, vote themselves into an invulnerable position where anyone who questions their actions will be punished brutally. e.g. recent football and cricket clubs fining and suspending members who criticise.
    Have a close look at the management committees of any organisation, including clubs of various kinds, body corporates in blocks of home units, and in retirement villages. erk!

    History demonstrates that for relatively short periods of time,the happiest and most prosperous communities have been ruled by BENEVOLENT DICTATORSHIPS! But, and more But, where do you find a benevolent dictator, and how long do they last! Inevitably it will evolve into something quite different. Dangerous concept.
    Our Governments are poor performers because we do not select our candidates for the right reasons. (when was the last time you and I got to choose a candidate)
    Parties choose candidates from their own party ranks, based not on proven ability, (the only important job where an applicant does not have to have a resume proving experience and capability), but rather on perceived loyalty to the party, and the assessment of how electable the candidate is seen to be by the organisers; who then set about convincing us that their choice is the best for us.
    Älways that persuasion involves promising to give us all something for "free"; disguised as "Policy".
    Common sense and logic plays no part. A "free drink", is, after all, a "free drink" and we do not care who pays for it, provided it is not us!
    As for topless candidates, I have probably reached the age when I no longer can be very choosy. Even Bronwyn could well be an experience!
    The truth is I can remember "what", I just can not remember "why"!

    Bemused


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