Your $56 billion budget bill

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has conceded that the budget may never get back to surplus.

Your $56 billion budget bill

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has told the Coalition party room that the budget may “never get back to surplus”. Mr Hockey’s comment was made when addressing the damage done to the nation’s budget since May, which has blown out to between $46 billion and $56 billion. As Shadow Treasurer, Mr Hockey promised that if the Coalition won the next election, a budget surplus would be delivered in the first year and every year after that.

There are more than $15 billion in budget saving measures currently being held up in the Senate with little prospect of being approved. These measures include the cuts to higher education, reintroduction of fuel excise indexation, and cuts to the Medicare rebate associated with the introduction of a co-payment for bulk-billing.

The major blowout to budget projections has come in the wake of collapsing iron ore, coal and natural gas prices, which will cost the budget around $30–$40 billion per annum. Deloitte Access director Chris Richardson, has agreed with Mr Hockey’s assessment, saying that the budget may not return to surplus in the foreseeable future.

“The politics don't help, but the tide would be going out for whoever was in office; whether it was Tony, Malcolm, Julie or Bill,” Mr Richardson said. “Even if the Senate said yes to every measure now before it, the budget would remain in much deeper deficit than presently forecast because of the slide in iron ore, coal and gas prices.”

Read more at www.TheAge.com.au
Read more from www.TheGuardian.com

Opinion: Projections miss the mark, again

As a proud Australian, I find myself bemused by how often the Federal Government budget projections have been incorrect. The last two Federal Governments have promised budget surpluses, and both will have failed to deliver on that promise if current trends continue.

As our debt level increases, concern should also increase for every Australian. From where do you think the money to pay down this debt will come? It won’t be coming from the pockets of the politicians, and it’s highly unlikely that we will see another resource boom to save our bacon.

If the Government fails to create additional revenue streams through policy changes, the money will have to be pulled from current expenditure, such as the funding of education, roads, hospitals and even social security.

Some of the most important government work on policy and changes is achieved by bi-partisanship. It’s time for the Coalition and Labor parties to sit down and discuss the nation’s budget outlook and to implement cuts to the budget for the greater good of our nation’s future.

What do you think? How important is it to achieve a budget surplus within the next four years? Should the Federal Government and Opposition work together on the next budget to get Australia back on track?





    COMMENTS

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    GFW
    12th Feb 2015
    10:33am
    When one compares what we as a nation provide by way of services and support with what other nations provide and how those other nation levy by way of taxes particularly GST/VAT type consumption taxes, we appear to have a low tax regime. I conclude that we should both increase the rate of our GST and broaden it's base to include at least food, accompany that with real tax cuts for low income earners and we would soon get our nation budget back to surplus. How about some real leadership from both sides of politics with a co-operative approach to policy instead of the negative adversarial approach we have today.
    Finally extend parliamentary terms to 4 years to give 'pollies' the opportunity to introduce policies over a longer time frame, and give we the people a rest from being constantly being bombarded with political 'news'.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    11:26am
    Low tax regime? We have both a GST and Person Income Tax. Australia used to be called a high tax country. If you look at the US you will quickly see that we pay much more than Americans do. So lets not repeat the nonesense coming from Canberra which is simply softening uus all up for an increase in the GST rate. It is coming!
    mogo51
    12th Feb 2015
    1:10pm
    i agree there appears little option other than to raise and broaden GST, so long as you say, they give tax cuts to the poor, more pension to the Aged, etc
    I also urge an attack on foreign and local companies not paying their proper tax shares.
    MITZY
    12th Feb 2015
    5:29pm
    GFW: Just saw a photo of Christopher Pyne/Mathias Korman and Clive Palmer dining together at a Chinese restaurant! I presume to discuss the education portfolio sitting in the Senate awaiting approval. Just imagine, if we had an increased GST plus a GST on food, how much more it would cost of taxpayers' money to feed Clive Palmer!!!! And, the rest of these excuses for politicians feeding and drinking of the public purse? Tell me, how come they can't find the time to discuss government business in their offices? Oh no, of course not, its just a little bit more congenial attending to business over a bottle of wine, God only knows maybe they even get better outcomes making decisions whilst drunk, they don't make too many goods ones whilst sober.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:00pm
    It was very Palatable drop with a nice nose !! Piquant Really !! :-)
    Mrw
    12th Feb 2015
    10:34am
    Why not open up the Treasury Models to remote investigation? then -just as it did in the UK- the expert community can assess the unreality of the political claims based on their own variations and runs on the same models...and just as a piece de resistance, make STINMOD runs to get the tax and revenue and income impacts over lifetimes on 25 different groups of australians to assess the impact claims? Canberra departments have used it for that for years.. why cant we have access and use? Then some of the stupider claims and commentaries (please, no more three word slogans) and more preposterous claims could actually be debated with a sense of reality instaed of the LNP Cloud Cukkoo land we now have.

    BUT

    we must give Hockey credit- its the first fresh LNP promise that they are likely to be able to honour in full.. (:_)

    Adult government is clearly a bridge too far
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    11:27am
    Good observation.
    deepred
    12th Feb 2015
    10:39am
    At this point I need to state the obvious. Australia is not right now in a”budget crisis” - the problem - as we the informed know - is the projected disaster if nothing changes (especially with the aged pension and Medicare).
    The Government needs to explain this in simple terms!!
    The central issue is what can be done to make the cuts & changes fairer. The Govt needs to hit the better off. Obviously superannuation concessions, negative gearing and the Medicare levy…
    On superannuation, I think it’s simple. Anyone receiving superannuation over say $100,000 per couple should be asked to pay a flat tax on all $s >$100k (say 30%). This wouldn’t hurt anyone even a bit over $100k…..say you were getting $150k, the overall tax on this $150k would be just $15k (which is just 10% on total income of $150k) but those pulling serious super salaries would start to feel a little pain
    Negative gearing. This is a disgrace and we now find that because of the tight housing market, prices are escalating and most sales are to investors not struggling first home-buyers - this is ridiculous. Simple to fix. Abolish negative gearing but grandfather it for 2 years.. This allows time for investors to offload (make a nice capital gain but pay tax on the gain), feeds houses into the housing market for young first home-buyers over a 2 year period and stems the massive loss of tax income from investors paying no tax on their primary income.
    Medicare. Just up the levy by 0.5%. The public happily accepted the small increase for the NDIS and they would accept a further increase PROVIDING it was explained. And again, the biggest hit is to the people earning the big $$s.
    These 3 things would be seen as fair and they would bring in big $$s…..and, more importantly, they would give the Govt a much better chance of getting some of their tough spending cuts through (both the Senate and “the public”).
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    11:29am
    Whilst we have debt after the GFC what we are hearing from this government is a contrived situation so that it can tax average Australians and then transer this money to its rich supporters and constituents.
    Misty
    12th Feb 2015
    11:56am
    deepred Alan Jones said much the same thing on Q & A on Monday night he just added Negative Gearing to the list but on Tuesday Coalition MP said that they had no plans to make changes to Super so it is the same old same old as usual.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    12:14pm
    I have stated for quite some time that THE RICH are using superannuation as their way of AVOIDING PAYING TAX.....15% tax compared to 49% at the top marginal rate.
    There were changes made by the previous government to address this but the Abbott government on attaining government refused to let these go through for rich Australians.
    Alan Jones was on the money. Taxpayers are subsidising the rich and aiding them in avoiding the tax system which average Australians cannot avoid.
    This government will not change this rorts because this is the end og town which pays for the LNP re-election campaigns.
    Wstaton
    12th Feb 2015
    12:44pm
    Well Mick this is where the LNP are stupid. What is the big end of town going to do if they'd stopped all this stuff. Vote for Labor? I don't think so. Stop their contributions. Again this is playing into Labor again. I don't think so.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    2:06pm
    Mick, the ABS says the average fulltime wage in Australia is a shade under $75000.

    I earn less than that, yet I too could salary sacrifice into superannuation at 15% tax. It is open to anyone not just those with a high income. No doubt you would deny me and those like me the opportunity to save, or should that be rort, for retirement?
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    2:35pm
    KSS: This is the whole point. The misleading part of your argument is that average Australians ARE FORCED TO CONSUME ALL THEY EARN to just live. The rich on the other hand have large $ to put away. So the system in place is specifically for them, not average Australians.
    I am sure this government pays you better than you claim KSS.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    3:02pm
    No-one is FORCED to do anything. We all make our own choices. And for the record, I work for a NFP NGO - That is a Not for Profit NON-Government Organisation.

    Mick you really need to abandon your continual allegations of who I am and for whom I work. They are unsubstantiated, unprovable and untrue.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    6:31pm
    KSS: you are seriously full of it. Average Australians HAVE NO CHOICE because they do not have extra money to squirrel away and avoid the tax system. This is what you pass as comment?
    When you stop posting like a troll I will stop calling you one. Your posts speak for themselves.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    6:42pm
    As do yours mick.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:41pm
    FYB I hate Peace !! :-)
    pate
    12th Feb 2015
    11:13am
    Part of the problem as far as I see it is no.1 Joe Hockey is not and never has been any sort of accountancy student if he were he would know that you can't rob the poor to give to the rich like he tries to do & secondly that one plus one does not add up tp five or whatever he chooses at the time. Another thing he might like to look at is taxes on earnings These huge companies like Origin Energy who rob the public blind ar least in NSW are registered as an off shore company in other words every penny they get goes out of Austalia without paying a penny in tax. Why Joe ???
    pom13
    12th Feb 2015
    2:00pm
    I totally agree, and why have I not yet seen any evidence of the reduction in cost of living because of the removal of the Carbon Tax & Mining Tax the only people profiting from these removals are the big Miners and Polluters.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    11:14am
    Follow examples that have worked. Cutting does not work. Injecting stimuli into productivity does. We have virtually no secondary industries because we have relied on service and primary industries such as mining and agriculture. This has to change if we are to grow economically. Stop the bleating that we can't compete against Asia. The Germanic countries have shown that to be false as has the US. Time to stop the "poor b....r me" syndrome and time to start working at developing 21st Century industries such as renewable energy industry et al.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    11:17am
    I agree with MIck that as long as the conservative parties rely on money from the wealthy end of town they will never expect them to pay for their good fortune. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    Jen
    12th Feb 2015
    1:51pm
    Totally agree Paulodapotter. Which is why we HAVE to get rid of this government ASAP. Not an idea amongst them apart from their household budgetary cutbacks.

    I hope Labor is watching and listening.
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    4:05pm
    Injecting stimulus money into productivity industry sounds like a
    good idea, So where does the money come from? How do you define what is a productivity industry? Are you suggesting that mining and agriculture are uncompetitive industries with Asian competition? Do you define Agriculture and mining as non productive industries? (if they are not, why are Asian buyers purchasing farms and wanting to create new mines in Australia?) You present interesting ideas, but you need to provide more detailed explanations to flesh out your ideas to give them justice.

    As for your suggestion regarding renewable energy, I wonder myself why, if it true that solar panel technology was developed and invented in Australia, why do we import solar panels from China? Why isn't Australian industry modifying and perfecting the turbines used in wind powered generators to reduce if not eliminate to he noise and other unpleasant side effects these things reportedly cause? I believe Australia has the brainpower to do these things. The question is whether or not Australia has the will power?

    PS And don't get me started on the greenie scaremongers denying the positive benefits of nuclear power generation.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    6:34pm
    wally: Australia was a world leader and had a solar plant at Homebush Bay. The company begged for some help and threatened to go to the US. Our government ignored the calls and the company left. When is it any different? When do our governments do anything other than sell off public assets and support the mining industry? And you wonder why AUstralia has become the laughing stock of the world.
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:00pm
    A mining industry now on the steep slide into oblivion. I long ago posted figures that current rate per tonne of iron ore was (then) around $95 (down from $140+), and the 'break-even point' was $87 per tonne. Now it is $60 per tonne and the Pilbara ore smugglers are beginning to tell their workers that costs of labour must go down etc.. maybe lay-offs.

    While ever this country remains a Banana Republic and invites in offshore investment capital, we will never be in the black for the simple reason that the majority of the revenue-rich cash is not here.... it is off again offshore.

    This is one primary reason for Black Holes of budget - cash vanishing overseas in several ways.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:02pm
    Trebor: You are on the mmoney.
    As our political criminals continue to flog the place off for little more than the sale price Australian workers being told they need to stop being "leaners" and to be paid less...at the same time as the other end of town is piling on the salary hikes.
    I get sick of the perverse game going on where not even our farming land will belong to us and we can grow our food on our rooves.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    10:58pm
    Where the New Spy Drones can keep an Eye On what we are growing ! :-)
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    10:58pm
    Where the New Spy Drones can keep an Eye On what we are growing ! :-)
    Adrianus
    13th Feb 2015
    11:15am
    You are making sense for once Paulo. And the way forward is to stimulate small business. It is the power house of the economy and will give us the growth we so desperately need. The economy is growing faster than it was 2 years ago but not as fast as it needs to, in order to keep pace with population growth.
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    1:19pm
    Mick,
    We actually missed the best chance of being the laughing stock of the world when Peter Costello spat the dummy and resigned.

    A liberal government led by Abbott and Costello was my ultimate dream for first place world championship joke of the century.

    But if you look at a picture of Tony and Shrek through vision blurred by the tears of laughter............ tall/short, skinny/fat, conman/fool, too many similarities to be chance. I suppose second place is not too bad, especially when it comes with good government which began on Monday.
    joyandles
    12th Feb 2015
    11:17am
    Deepred has raise the issue of Negative Gearing and that it should be abolished. Firstly let me point out that I have had investment properties but no longer have any. Investors will base rents on the cost of buying and maintaining investment properties. If negative gearing is taken away then the cost of rent will increase as there will be less investor in the market. Yes this may reduce the cost of housing but will hit those who cannot afford to get into the housing market. Rents go up, less savings for deposit, more renters, higher rent. And around it goes. We have to change the "Me, Me, Me' attitude in this country. Every year we want tax cuts! It cannot continue. Dropping paid parental leave was the best thing so far. If you want kids you take the moral and legal responsibility for them. Increase the Medicare levy, Yep no issues with that. If you want good medical care you should pay for it. When the Budget is handed down we should be thinking will I be worst off and if so buy how much rather then "I should be better off and it is not fair if I am not".
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    11:20am
    Piecemeal approaches to any problem will not solve a thing. Our country has no forward vision. If we did we would be encouraging growth instead of cutting ourselves to bits. It's time to start thinking bigger as our best leaders have in the past.
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:03pm
    Only if the price of property remains high.. at the moment it is being artificially sustained by various government policies, including the easy overseas investor syndrome. Without that life support and the life support of NG, it would collapse ad did the property market in Ireland, the US etc.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:03pm
    Low interest rates Trebor. If to be used for housing we ned to go back to the old days where home buyers save one third as a deoposit. GenY will not be impressed.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    10:59pm
    The Chinese buy them CASH !!
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    11:01pm
    Our Banks must Hate Them ? :-<
    Patriot
    13th Feb 2015
    7:51am
    Our banks don't casre as they are part of the international conglomorate that aims to won everything - including US!
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    11:23am
    Here we go again. Its the fault of average Australians. Not the rich but average Australians. So new taxes need to be directed at average Australians.
    Whilst Hockey and his cronies continue to beat the drum about 'budget repair' and 'its Labor's fault' what these cretins never own up to is,
    1. that they have given the fossil fuel industry an $8 billion taxpayer funded ANNUAL gift
    2. that the last budget contained a 1.5% tax cut for the the rich
    3. that they have no intention if taxing multinationals...despite sabre rattling to the contrary
    4. and that they have no intention of stoppng the rorts which the top end of society continue to use to avoid a fair tax bill.
    We are living in a casino and this government is 'the house'. The budget is NEVER going to be repaired and what we hear is nothing more than talk to hide the truth: that average Australians are targetted for huge tax increases whilst the top end of town will be the recipients.
    And NO I do not support Labor. I support average Australians who forthe most part are too dumb to understand how this game is being played.
    Patriot
    12th Feb 2015
    1:31pm
    mick,
    Don't forget the $8.8 billion donated the the RBA.
    This had to be borrowwed from somebody !?!?!?!?!?
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    2:40pm
    If this government had not given its mates in the fossil fuel industries $8 billion EVERY YEAR it would not have been necessary to to what you say. But your 'facts' are not fair genuine in any case because this government CHOSE to fund the RBA...which was doing quite well without all of this extra cash.
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    4:23pm
    mick,Reading about how you oppose tax rises for "average Australians" to pay seems to go against the indirect taxation burdens passed on by businesses as a result of the Carbon Tax you favour. Can you explain away this obvious contradiction?

    Regarding the state of the budget. If you as a private person inherited a large sum of money and within six years, not only managed to blow your inheritance but also borrowed an amount of money eight times the original inheritance and squandered that in the same six years as well, you might be bright enough not to boast of your economic good sense and criticise those that are trying to pay off the money you borrowed. But no. Shorten and his cronies in the senate are not only in denial about the economic vandalism Labor caused, but are hell bent on making it worse. If they care so much about Australia's future, why are they doing their best to sabotage Abbott's efforts to reduce the loan? Are they putting their own self interests ahead of the best interests of Australia?

    Well might you bellow about %8Billion going to the fossil fuel industry, but at least that money stays in Australia whilst the $11Billion plus paid as annual interest to China for Labor's borrowing spree of 2007-2013 does not. It goes to China!
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:09pm
    wally: you are right there. Sadly the "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax" lie was let go and now that it is gone there are no lower prices, just businesses who pocket the difference. And you wonder why we had a wages push in the past? Coming again some time. Just wait till interest rataes go up wally.
    You ALWAYS fail to mention that Australians did not lose their jobs during the GFC. Clearly you would have been happy had this occured and then attacked Labor for not doing anything. So which is it to be.
    We both know that the real culprits are bad government on both sides and the sale of everything including OUR JOBS to the third world. There has to be a day of reconing wally. What we are talking about is coming. You must be able to feel it.
    So lets not continue the Labor/Liberal BS and start focussing on the real culprit: bad government only interested in itself and and repaying the vested interests who stump up money for re-election campaigns. This is where the game is.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    11:06pm
    UNEMPLOYMENT Worse for 13 Years !! Breaking News ...
    Young Simmo
    12th Feb 2015
    11:36am
    To put it in a Nutshell, all Politicians are all BULLSH*T*. When they stop giving 100s of Millions of Aussie Dollars away to other Countries every year, they might get a smidgin of credibility.
    I think from memory the Boxing Day Tsunami was about $2 billion, and that would have easily covered this pensioners annual beer supply.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    11:43am
    I keep suggesting that we all vote for an Independent Young Simmo. The only reason I do this is because this is the only way the game will ever end. When you kick Dracula out of the bloodbank then you have a chance to get it working again. Until that time don't expecy anything to change.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    4:42pm
    Yu will be Happy to know They Built a MAGNIFFICENT NEW MOSQUE with the Donation Simmo !! Google it !! While the Lowly Islamites are still living in Tents !!??..:-<
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:06pm
    .. and planning to shoot our homegrown drug smugglers who would be out of prison by now if jailed here.....
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:21pm
    and back in Ecstasy !
    pate
    12th Feb 2015
    11:42am
    Paulodapotter needs to speak to Joe & Tony as Tony spoiled the great idea that Julia gave us while she was was head honcho as he does not believe in Climate Change so gave the big Energy Companies another way to rip us, the public whether Pensioner or any other. off good & proper. They are getting away with Australia the gas the Electricity etc. And to mKE Mtters worse they do not pay any tax on bthe money.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    12:17pm
    The repeal of the Carbon Tax hands %4 billion EVRY YEAR to the fossil fuel industries. Coal, the dirtiest of all energies, gets $6 billion of this.
    Tells a story as to why the Carbon Tax was 'bad' and why it was repealed. Guess whose money supports re-election of LNP candidates? Bingo!
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    12:36pm
    This is the great untold story. Tony brags how he stopped the Carbon Tax. He stopped an industry that would have helped dig us out of the present malaise. He thought he had a mandate to do this from the people, but he forgets that people vote out governments. Every new government gets in by default because we have only two major parties. Mick's right. If we all voted independent, we would soon have a multi-party system that would get rid of this bankrupt lot.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2015
    6:22pm
    and then there was Jamie Briggs on Q&A this week, couldn't answer why the govt doesn't keep a percentage of gas for local consumption at a reasonable price instead we have to pay the killer market price. And then Abbott's mob want to cut pensions?!
    its tough enough now when you see the GST amount on utility bills!
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:13pm
    Not only that, Trood, but the capital invested in fracking that fracking gas is from offshore, and the conpanies doing it reside in tax havens (as does the Australian Government futures fund in the trillions - in the Caymans).

    We have been hoodwinked into the beleif that only offshore investment can keep the place going, and then that offshore investment, wsithout even taking OUR gas off OUR continent, sells it back to us at the price of their choosing - which is the world price PLUS the 'Australian premium' - the extra amount we pay because we are so 'prosperous' in comparison to Darkestovadare.

    The problem with that 'prosperity' is that it is for the few at the expense of the majority - and an overall figures that says twenty people make fifty billion each and 3 million make $500 a week each is in no way a reflection of GENERAL prosperity in a population of 21m or 22m.
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:15pm
    Problem is that as long as the states pick up royalties, they're content, and the Federal Government on BOTH sides has simply abdicated its responsibility to the Australian people FIRST, so they will not - with the exception of Western
    Australia which is copping heaps for doing so, Reserve gas for home use....
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:29pm
    I think all the Net info now has Kicked them in the Bum now ! They say they are looking into all the Foreigners Drilling Holes all over the joint, for Gas and Coal and shipping it off Home for Stuff all Tax !! What a lot of Crap !! They still think the Public is Stupid !! But will make it LOOK LIKE they are Interested !! :-<
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:20pm
    TREBOR: I have seen Bowen twice in recent months support the coal industry. We know that the Abbott government were handed payola from this industry but we now need to understand that the fossil fuel industry gives elcetion funding TO BOTH SIDES and, of course, owns politics becaus after the election its payback time.
    Be smart. Vote for an Independent and give the nation a chance.
    Aloysius
    12th Feb 2015
    11:43am
    Despite the flaws in the LNP government (and they are many) it is blindingly obvious that it cannot deliver when a hostile Senate blocks its economic proposals.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    12:06pm
    So its a hostile senate's fault? You miss the point that 'delivering' is not the same as 'lying' and then 'plundering'.
    We do need economic reform but what we need is not an all out assualt against the bottom half of society whilst the top 1% have their bank accounts enriched by this dishonest and deceitful government.
    This government has much more than a few "flaws". It is fundamentally discredited and probably needs to be compared with totalitarian states given its misconduct since attaining power.
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:17pm
    The reason the Senate is hostile is that the policies presented to it are not worth their time and are hostile to the Australian people in many instances, as shown by polls and the social media that Tony claims to despise so while his serfs check it out daily to get the pulse of the people.

    If the government came back with decent policies and such, the Senate would pass them. Simple enough.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:21pm
    That is th ejob of the senate. This government can cry foul but this is the ultimate hypocrisy.
    Aloysius
    13th Feb 2015
    11:57am
    So if the LNP put up Labor proposals, all would be fine.?? Both parties have crappy policies in my view and there's not a worthy leader between them.
    Small point - the Constitution set up the Senate to represent the States. It has not done that in memory. It's proportional representation has allowed radical extremists to get a voice and to stop governments achieving their purpose. The Constitution established the House of Representatives as the peoples' house and it should be allowed to govern. We are so over-governed that we have a hopeless mess.
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    1:50pm
    Cull the Herd !! :-)
    Misty
    12th Feb 2015
    11:53am
    I am sick of Joe Hockey and Matheius Corman blaming Labor for the DEBT AND DEFICIT when they themselves have added a substantial amount to the bottom line.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    12:42pm
    Not a point accepted by the one-eyed right, but blindingly obvious to the independent thinker.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    3:13pm
    Anything You can do WE Can Do Better !!
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    4:33pm
    Well might you be sick of Joe and Mathias blaming Labor for the Debt and Defetit they left Australia in, Misty. The TRUTH is Labor, led by the Three Stooges Rudd, Gillard and Swan DID squander the budget surplus they inherited, AND they also borrowed and squandered a sum eight times more than what they inherited.

    Or are you using and suggesting the "A big boy came along, broke the economy and ran away?" excuse? You had better get used to facing up to the facts and stop making up excuses for the "vandals".
    Misty
    12th Feb 2015
    5:44pm
    "Vandals" Wally?, I THINK YOU HAD BETTER GET USED TO THE IDEA THAT THIS CURRENT GOVERNMENT IS THE WORST EVER, why even the US is running a Think Tank on Tony Abbott," Is he the worst PM ever". Just look at the unemployment today, terrible news and doesn't seem like it will get better anytime soon as business confidence is so low no one is hiring. Labor had the GFC to contend with what excuse has the current Federal Government got Wally?.
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:24pm
    Trouble is, wally, that the alleged surplus was garnered at the cost of selling off assets, and those assets now no longer recoup the income for government they once did.

    That should show clearly that any further 'privatisation' will lead us down the same path - with no possibility short of extreme revolution (such as Nasser 1956 seeking to nationalise the Suez Canal for Egypt, which lead to an invasion by Brfitain and France) of regaining control over these assets once flogged off.

    I predict the inevitable collapse of the whole show unless utilities/assets held by government in trust for the people are retained and run properly, and unless governments themselves (back on subject) can curb their insane drive to spend, spend, spend on essential non-issues.

    Cutting pensions is a nonsense, as is cutting unemployment and students etc - for the simple reason that all of these p0eople make a virtually 100% contribution BACK into the economy of the country every fortnight, which generates tax revenue and provides for government a solid base it can rely on. If social security costs $10bn (no idea really) a fortnight - that is $10bn of economic activity the government can rely on - ALL of which will soon return to government via taxation as that economic activity moves around.
    Young Simmo
    12th Feb 2015
    11:58am
    Does anybody know roughly how our Politicians retirement benefits stack up against say, the Yanks and Poms?
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    12:08pm
    Good question. I don't but would like you to do a bit of research and report back. I am all ears!
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    12:47pm
    12th Feb 2015
    12:39pm

    remove
    see here UK:
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/briefing-papers/SN06283/mps-pension-scheme-2012-onwards

    And here USA:
    http://www.ipl.org/div/farq/pensionFARQ.html

    or here USA:
    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm

    And here for Australia:
    http://www.remtribunal.gov.au/offices/parliamentary-offices/parliamentary-offices-background

    to start.....
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    4:44pm
    Gracefully Simmo !!
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    4:54pm
    Or the Chinese?
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    7:51pm
    Some South American and Middle Eastern Countries give their EX Polly's their Retirement Benefits Behind the Shed !!
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    4:18pm
    Particolor, why wait for retirement?
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    12:08pm
    Debt is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can be an investment in the future. It's like going into debt to buy a home, which is good debt.
    As long as the interest can be covered, then there is no emergency.

    The trouble is that this government is asking the less well off to cover the debts caused by the more well off. Historically this type of rule leads to despotism followed by rebellion.

    If multinationals profits were taxed before they left the country, the sell-off of income producing assets was halted, and government handouts to the rich (eg tax concessions) were cancelled (and possibly if all accountants were murdered in their sleep, but that's another story), then this country could easily become debt free without penalizing the "lower" end of society.

    At the same time we need to invest in the future. I believe another half dozen or so "Snowy Mountain" type schemes on suitable rivers around the country would be an excellent start. We may even achieve full employment again, except that full employment is against underlying liberal policy.

    But alas, I can't see anything actually changing until our politicians start governing for the country rather than for their parties. And that's not going to happen while we have only two major parties to choose from.
    We desperately need independents and minor parties to hold seats in the lower house so that the ruling party must negotiate to pass legislation rather than the despotism that comes from rule by "captain's choice". The fact that this is so in the upper house is the only thing keeping us safe from the despots Tony & Joe and their GOVERNMENT BY THE RICH FOR THE RICH.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    12:18pm
    Which is why I continue to advocate that we all vote for Independents. Until we do nothing will change this game.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    12:33pm
    Yes, and that is why we need YOU and a couple of other "Senator Micks" from each state to vote for in the next election.
    Come on mate DO IT!!!!!!
    The revolution has to start in the Senate, with its "proportional representation" system of voting. The corrupt voting system for the House of Representatives makes it virtually impossible for anyone outside the two major parties to win a seat.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    12:46pm
    Here in SA, we are lucky enough to have Mr X to vote for, and he receives so many votes that he has had to form a loose "party" type group to distribute all his excess votes. He was very good in SA state government and has been extremely good in Federal government, because he thinks for himself and will not be dictated to or be bullied around.
    Polly Esther
    12th Feb 2015
    12:47pm
    there you go Mick, the balls in your court, now hit the bloody thing.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    1:02pm
    Willie, In a previous thread, Mick admitted that in the past, he had stood as an Independent candidate but his 'brainwashed public' did not elect him.

    Guess that's what happens when you insult the people you want to vote for you.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    1:12pm
    KSS: Do you also go under the names of Frank, Solomon and miss aisle? Your posts sound identical to the poster who uses these aliases. And I notice above you have all the information: to be expected if you are working out of Party HQ.

    Hawkeye: I would stand if I had broad support as somebody has to do this eventually. But no use at this point in time because unlike this government I do not have support from the fossil fuel industries, the mining industry and bankers...all of whom gott their pay-off when this government came to power. Whilst I am a moral person I could not get the sort of advertising you see during campaigns.
    There are some good Independents around in most electorates and you just need to find them, ask them where their preferences are going and then make a decision and vote.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    2:11pm
    Mick the information I have about you is only that which you have declared on this public forum just last week.

    And no! I am not posting under any other persona other than my own. I owe allegiance to no political party. I do not need the validation of others to express my own opinions. I am "Independent" you might say.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    2:42pm
    KSS: yeah right. And the pope is a muslim.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    3:30pm
    KSS, are you trying to threaten/bully Mick with the "information you have on him" and that "he had stood as an Independent candidate but his 'brainwashed public' did not elect him".

    My god, what planet are you on?
    I see that as a compliment for Mick. He has actually had a go, but it seems he might have been a bit too honest to succeed at this game.

    The mad monk and his cigar smoking latte drinking mate Shrek will soon see what happens when you insult the people you want to vote for you.

    MICK FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:00pm
    Whether or not debt is a good or bad thing and that it might be an investment in the future. While it is true that Australia's debt to China is an investment in China's future, it doesn't quite have the same rosy glow for Australia we would like to see. Hawkey might say that Australia's grey (debt) cloud has a silver lining, but that does not take away from the fact that we still have a grey cloud hanging over us.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    6:42pm
    Hawkeye, I threaten or bully no-one. It is mick himself who refers to 'information' I may have. The "brainwashed public" was a direct quote from mick's own post. You need to look at your own posts if you are concerned with bulling as do several others including mick himself. People have the right to their opinion which if you bother to read previous posts I regularly defend. However, I do not call people names, insult people, I do not question their honesty or integrity. I do not accuse them of insanity, of being a troll, of having hidden agenda or impersonating others. I merely provide my opinion, answer questions, ask questions, and at times provide links for further investigation. Just what is so bad about anything I have said or done?
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:29pm
    Just time before the next election to install and get up and running the Shirtfront Leaners Australian Party.... or whatever... SLAP.

    Give us our poor, our downtrodden, our huddled masses yearning to be free....
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:24pm
    KSS: I stand on this comment. You know th eold saying "advertising sells". Lets face it, the lead up to every election is the lying and deceitful saturation of the media by the two sides of politcs with an often biased media playing their merry games. It is what it is.
    john
    12th Feb 2015
    12:32pm
    if the people who had the "open cheque" book, which caused the deficit, would think of the nation instead of themselves we would be well on the way to being in the black by now.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    12:38pm
    Micks right. This is the great untold story. Tony brags how he stopped the Carbon Tax. In doing so, he stopped an industry that would have helped dig us out of the present malaise. He thought he had a mandate to do this from the people, but he forgets that people vote out governments. Every new government gets in by default because we have only two major parties. If, as Mick says, we all voted independent, we would soon have a multi-party system that would get rid of this bankrupt lot.
    Jen
    12th Feb 2015
    2:01pm
    If only people would...
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:03pm
    Yes. Australia needs more Jacqui Lambies!
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    7:16pm
    Why not? We'd have a Wally and a Lambie
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    7:55pm
    What a Package !! :-)
    Radish
    15th Feb 2015
    12:33pm
    Good article in yesterday's West Australian paper. Probably in other papers as well. Written by Noel Whittaker the financial expert of many many years.

    One of his conclusions is that the GST has to be raised. I believe he is correct. Raising incomes taxes will not be enough.
    particolor
    15th Feb 2015
    2:19pm
    He aid it was an Alternative to Raising the Roof !! :-)
    Troubadour
    12th Feb 2015
    12:45pm
    How much would we gain if the politicians reduced their salaries and lived within the
    pay structure they ask the rest of us to do?? Their pay rises always seem bigger than the rest of the working population. That pay decrease would certainly help, and they would still have a bigger pay packet than most - this also applies to those top CEO's who are grossly overpaid.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    1:04pm
    Troubadour, I have been advocating this for decades, not because of the cost savings (which would actually be miniscule in the scheme of things, but because THEY ARE PAID AT A LEVEL AT WHICH THEY DO NOT FEEL OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR DECISIONS. This is a large contributing factor to the underlying reason why we have such poor government.
    Proof of this was Hockey's condescending "latte" comment when the $7 doctors fee was first mooted. I know I can't afford $7 for a coffee.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    3:45pm
    Google Havana Cigar Prices ,Hawkeye, And I'll see You back when You Stop Gagging ! And You haven't even LIT ONE !! :-)
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:06pm
    While we are discussing how much politicians, both past and present, get paid, let us not overlook how much money is paid to the bureaucratic department heads and their underlings in the public service. Some of them are paid more than the Prime Minister.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:08pm
    WE ARE Quiet aware of that Fact Wal !! BUT WHY ??????
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:25pm
    Don't often agree with you wally but you are correct here. Heads of department get around $800 000 pa. Ridiculous and not worth a quarter of that figure.
    ray from Bondi
    12th Feb 2015
    12:47pm
    thank god these clowns were no in power during the financial meltdown trying to protect the surplus they gained by selling the farm, how good would the bottom line be now with the profits of telstra and the commonwealth bank, he would have surplus with no effort, and that is not counting all the other cash cows sold off, but that is what the libs are about, giving the profits of the australians to their ultra rich mates and punishing the poor for being poor.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    1:15pm
    If they had been ray then ordinary Australians would have been thrown out of work whilst the rich bought their homes during the ensuing fire sales which would have occurred. Whilst Labor keeps getting blame from this worst of all governments and its puppets the reality is that we have debt but we also had full employment whilst the rest of the first world burned. Funny how you onl ever hear the bad.
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:11pm
    Yep. Thanks to Kevin07, those whose jobs were saved can now look forward to seeing the taxes they pay go to China to pay off Kevin07's debt. And their kids' taxes. And their kids' taxes. Sort of a tidal flow, or a Karma like "what came (in) around, goes (out) around".
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:42pm
    I thought Tones just signed off on all those FTAs.. though Kevie, in the same thoughtless mold, certainly pushed for them....
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:33pm
    What would you have done? Created a 10-15% unemployment queue? I believe that this government would....as it voted to double its double its salary.
    Your choice wally.
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    1:58pm
    Wally,
    What is this fixation on a debt to China?

    Where are the current lot borrowing from to service their hugely increased debt?
    We still have our AAA credit rating, which proof that there is still no budget emergency as far as the rest of the world is concerned (especially since good government began on Monday).

    China is a great place, full of happy people with fantastic optimism. It's current mixture of communism and capitalism, although still not perfect, seems to be working much better than ours. Go there and see for yourself. It is not the big bogeyman that you seem to believe.

    I'd much rather be in debt to them than the USA. I hear from my brother who lives there (inside a walled estate for protection), it is a country full of violence, crime and fear. It is also the only country to actually unleash nuclear weapons on civilian cities with civilian populations. And this is Tony's dream model of the future for Australia.
    guyra2
    12th Feb 2015
    12:48pm
    If measures to cut expenditure and return the economy to black includes politicians aligning their salaries with pollies in similar positions in other countries
    We have a better chance of eating a meat pie underwater
    After all isn't the annual rise in the price of living applicable to everyone or is that only for those that are struggling to survive...particularly pensioners so many of which have been
    compelled to raise another family through no fault of their own...I have seen in the past
    self funded retirees knocking those of us that never had the luxury of a super fund
    The Grey Army is growing every day support us if you expect support from us
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    12:54pm
    Leaving aside multinationals, corporations and the like, and at the extreme risk of attracting insult and derision, can someone please define what "the rich" means? What puts someone into the 'rich' bracket? Is it anyone who has more than 'you' or is there a threshold which one must cross? If so what is that threshold?

    I am interested to know because day after day there are mostly negative comments about 'the rich' but I have never seen a definition of who these people are. I am sure someone (Mick?) will no doubt tell me I am a brainwashed, uninformed Liberal Troll and so on but I would really like to know who people are exhorting to pay more.
    Sceptic
    12th Feb 2015
    1:00pm
    Of course it is anyone who has more than the person talking at the time.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    1:04pm
    The rich are the 1% of our population who own 50% of the wealth and growing. What planet are you from KSS? Until they pay for their good fortune and the opportunity this country has given them, we will not see this imbalance redressed. It may not solve our fiscal position, but with wealth comes responsibility and this goes right down the line proportionally. Our fiscal position will only alter when productivity is improved and this is not done by cutting. Every CEO has three metaphorical letters in his draw. One says he will resign if restructuring does not work. Another says he will resign if cutting costs does not work and the third is his resignation when all has failed and productivity has not improved.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    1:28pm
    KSS: never mind KSS Paulodapotter as he is a government sponsored poster posting to change opinion for his employer. Rest assured it is not working with this community.

    The rich are of course the 1% whose wealth is such that the money they earn to sustain themselves is nothing more than a drop in the bucket for them compared to their total income. These folk use their large excesses for investing and then grow their wealth....at the expense of wage and salary earners who are not protected. The rich and their big business interests also make election contributions to both sides of politics but specifically the LNP. Once in power they have an assurance that the rorts in place for wealthy Australians will be protected and not tampered with.
    You would recall the reals of the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax. Both were done for no other reason than to send huge amounts of the nation's wealth to the richest amongst us. The repeals had absolutely nothing to do with jobs or average Australians, just the nation's money sent to the rich.
    Having referred to the mechanism above I need to add that the rich are not just restricted to the 1% and there are varying degrees of acces to the mechanisms put in place to benefit the wealthy. The question from KSS is not too dissimilar to the question "how long is a piece of string?" to which there is no definative answer, just an indication. But then KSS intends to confuse. What else would he do when his position, like that of his Fuhrer, is terminal.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    1:35pm
    Pretty simple KSS, the rich are the ones with enough wealth/power/influence to call the shots. There is no definitive line where those with $1 more are rich and those with $1 less are not.

    Also you are correct when you say being such a stupid brainless moron will "attract insult and derision", but I am not going to do that.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    2:00pm
    Glad to see mick and Paulodapotter never fail to live up to their abusive reputations. However, taking their agreed definition of "the rich" being the top 1% of the population:

    A study by Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne published in July 2014 in the Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/study-the-income-of-australias-1-hasnt-increased-for-nearly-a-decade-2014-7

    It states the income of the top 1% has not increased for nearly a decade! The top 1% earned on average $400,000 a year. To be a member of this group you had to have an income of at least $211,000 a year. 180,000 people were in this group.

    In contrast 1.8million people had an income above $88,000 and accounted for nearly 29% of all income 2011/12.

    Somehow, this doesn't seem to be as much as many would have thought. But hold on, there's the mega rich..... a whole 200 people with a combined wealth of $193.6 billion. Yay!

    So who exactly do we go after:

    •18,000 Australians in the top 0.1% of income earners each earned more than $600,000 in 2011-12, and had an average income of over $1,100,000.
    •90,000 Australians in the top 0.5% of income earners each earned more than $290,000 in 2011-12, and accounted for just over 5% of total income that year.
    •900,000 people in the top 5% of income earners each earned above $115,000 and accounted for just over 19% of total income in Australia in 2011-12.
    •1.8 million people in the top 10% of income earners each earned above $88,000, and accounted for nearly 29% of total income in 2011-12.

    Or the 200 (0.0000084% of the population only 39 of which are billionaires) people on the BRW 2014 rich list?

    Strip 39 people for short term gain or 1.8million at a lower rate for a longer period?

    Tough one that.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    3:08pm
    Well I only get 21 Grand a Year But ! I think I'm RICH !! :-) When I look at Bangladesh Figures !! ..YAY !!
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    3:10pm
    KSS: so glad the Treasury has given you some handy figures. Now lets have a look at a more honest picture. Check out the graphs compiled on the link:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-25/jericho-equality-does-not-happen-by-accident/5546634

    The graph called "Growth in Australian real average incomes since 1982" tells the real story with the top 1% increasing its wealth by a multople of 5 times the bottom 90%. This means that a businessman on $100 000 in 1982 is now earning $948 000 in 1982 dollars whilst a labourer on $20 000 is now earning only $27 000 in 1982 dollars. And remember that these figures are only up to 2010 and we are 5 years further down this road. It gives a compelling picture.

    You are simply throwing in a whole pile of facts which avoid the comparisons. Good try! Tells me that you are not to be trusted KSS, but why do I already understand that.
    KSS
    12th Feb 2015
    3:26pm
    I note your figures are from the ABC that erstwhile non-biased institution much loved by all! Must be true then.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:35pm
    That's right KSS, the respected ABC do not agree with your bosses views and so needs to be sold off to private industry for behaviour modification. And you say you are not a paid troll. Most likely the next alias of Frank/Solomon/ miss aisle going by the content of your posts.
    Sceptic
    12th Feb 2015
    12:59pm
    What on earth is in the water as more and more posters on this site advocate the stupidity of electing a Senate of independents?. What they really mean is people e who hold the same view as them. Believe me, that can never be possible.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    1:06pm
    Do you really believe that the members of any party all share the same views? What they do is compromise themselves. Is this what you want leading you?
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    1:20pm
    The party system basically consists of "paying/bullying elected officials to vote/act in certain way". Where else in society is this legal. Would it be tolerated if it happened at, for example, a meeting of the local Scout Group?
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    1:30pm
    The only stupidity is in electing Labor and Liberal candidates and wondering why nothing ever changes. Indeopendents have a variety of views and I have to wonder whose interests you are posting for Skeptic.
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:14pm
    The trouble with independents is (with a very few notable exceptions) that when they get elected, they turn into politicians.
    Misty
    12th Feb 2015
    5:59pm
    Sceptic with this government we have now in charge I wouldn't hold my breath hoping what you stated in the above comment to come true. People are a lot more cluie
    Misty
    12th Feb 2015
    6:05pm
    What I mean is that people are a wake up to governments now and won't put up with any lies or broken promises and continually blaming previous governments, 24 hour news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have made sure of that.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:36pm
    Not very often wally. In your dreams maybe. Independents try to keep the bastards honest but need more in their ranks to make it work.
    Judy in the hills
    12th Feb 2015
    1:02pm
    I think we need a preferably INDEPENDENT re-reckoning of all government books- (but I don't know how you actually would get an "independent re-reckoning done) of all government records, both federally and state by state to "get the picture" of the apparent financial mess previous governments (mainly Labor. one would have to say) have apparently gotten us into. John Howard had the books balanced - but I don't know whether any State has managed the same result. Of course the rich spend a lot of time avoiding taxes (and apparently managing to succeed in this) while the rest of us can find it a struggle if we don't keep a very careful eye on our expenditure. Australia donates huge amounts of $'s to all sorts of other countries where perhaps we need to get our books balanced, before we become so generous. And there shouldn't be so many ways people with lots of money seem to be able to avoid paying their share of the tax. We cannot go on making the black hole deeper and deeper - or we will end up like Greece. AND if you live in South Australia the Premier has announced plans to hit ALL HOME OWNERS, whether you still owe money to the bank or not, whether you have a decent income or not, with an annual levy - judged to be about $1,200.00 per annum on a house currently valued at $400,000 for example! Please tell me why people keep voting Labor in - I cannot follow any logic that makes me think they know anything about running a state or a country.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    1:08pm
    The same logic can be applied to the other side as well, Judy. This leads nowhere and will never bring about change. Do you really want a conservative government to stay in power indefinitely. How many illegal wars are you up for?
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:17pm
    The moral of the story, according to Judy, is not to buy a house in South Australia.
    SGW
    12th Feb 2015
    1:42pm
    Working together, iv'e said that before, but can you ever see it happening from our self serving pollies.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    2:56pm
    NOYN... Not On Your Nelly !! :=(
    bobbalinda
    12th Feb 2015
    2:14pm
    About time the opposition pulled their head in and worked with the govt on getting the last budget measures passed. They have no alternatives and was they that made the mess in the first place!
    Misty
    13th Feb 2015
    12:03am
    Bobbalinda, when this government gets their policies right, and by that I mean fair, then maybe the Opposition will see fit to pass them but if the budget is not changed then a snowflake in hell has as much chance of surviving as the current budget does.
    Judy in the hills
    12th Feb 2015
    2:28pm
    Maybe an alternative to the opening of all government bookwork re finances, would be to have the top of the two most vote getting parties in power for 3 or 4 years and the second best vote getting party in for the next 3 or 4 years - This would be open only to the top two parties (total vote count). That way perhaps we could skip the bickering and get something sorted. AND a totally independent body looking over the wages of the politicians. Of course politicians are not the only ones on large wages that do NOT reflect the level of effort made for such pay. This arguing between the two major parties continuously doesn't seem to achieve any progress. AND its all started a trend where people borrow huge amounts from banks for their homes, holidays, caravans, cars, general living costs, drinking, pokies and gambling and many don't seem at all concerned about the huge amount of borrowed dollars they are booking up. My vintage borrowed for their home purchase, scrimped and saved like mad to buy new items to replace those borrowed from our parents, etc. So many of us had handed down furniture, etc. We expected to save and pay and when we'd piled up some money then go ahead and buy a new lounge or whatever. That trend has faded, and the government books are following the same trend.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    2:52pm
    Well it looks like He and all The Staff will have to SUFFER a PAY CUT !! ..
    :-( :-< :-< :-< < Joe and Staff !! CPI Them in Future
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    8:50pm
    Mining companies in the Pilbara are looking to cut labour costs - perhaps by wage reductions. Time the same was applied to management and boards and politicians as well. If the peasants have to accept wage cuts and job losses - so do they.

    Did figures on the equivalent of Tone losing penalty rates for Sunday out of his salary - which encompasses all hours etc... he stood to lose around $25k a year... minimum.

    Cuts across the board or no cuts.
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    9:31am
    Hell will Freeze Over before that happens !!
    retroy
    12th Feb 2015
    2:53pm
    What a rubbish statement about an empty promise.
    It amounts to deceptive and miss-leading conduct.
    He predicated his promise on a compliant senate but the labor control prevented the promise from being kept.
    Bias in internet commentary is getting even more ugly.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    3:15pm
    Which of the many "promises" are we talking about? The ABC funding promise? The Medicare to be left alone promise? The we will not touch Gonski promise? The no tax increases promise? Or was it the "what you see is what you get" and "what I say is what I will do"?
    Need to be careful about laying blame. And remember that the other issues blocked by the senate are fair game. The reason we have a senate is not to be a puppet to the incumbent government but rather to be a body to moderate legislation. Otherwise we would have a dictatorship, which is precisely what this business owned government wants and expects.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    3:32pm
    Hear Hear !!
    wally
    12th Feb 2015
    5:20pm
    There's that biggest of small words : "IF". again
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:19pm
    Fly's follow Garbage Trucks !!
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:45pm
    You are thinking of the Time Machine wally...the remake, not the original.
    Time for a drink at the bar.
    Reeper
    12th Feb 2015
    3:42pm
    We could get a clearer picture if the recalcitrant ALP allowed the government to pass some budget measures. Regardless of who wins the next election, this ALP opposition will forever be remember as a party that spent everything in the bank, then borrowed and spent more, then committed the incoming government to spending more when they knew they would lose the election and then, they have blocked every budget measure put up.
    The funny part is if the ALP win the next election they will be facing budget deficits they created....and the answer will be true ALP style - new taxes with fancy names. Regardless the money will come from one source.......the Australian electorate
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    3:52pm
    In the Time Honoured Tradition !!
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    7:21pm
    Same old Bull, Reeper. I have seen successive right wing and left wing mismanage the economy. I've seen good things done by both sides of government that no one would deny. What we have to do is concentrate on the now! It's more than labor who's unhappy with the present government and if the polls are to be believed, they should do the right thing and give someone else a go.
    Davymac
    12th Feb 2015
    4:23pm
    GST is direct taxation and should never have been implemented because the States while Labor run are unable to manage regardless of how much they receive. Minor adjustments to ALL expenditure are necessary. It is no good Bitching about it, it must be done. The Labor scare campaign of an $80 a week pension decrease is an example. Pensions may not go up as much as they have in the past but I have heard of NO intent to cut the pension. I am NOT in favour of raising the pension age but if people have hundreds of thousands in the bank I would question their entitlement to a pension. I think that the deficit can not be removed in one term of Government but must be programmed to accur within a decade. Whoever is in government MUST be compelled to ensure that it happens.
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    7:19pm
    Been attending the liberal school of fantasy economics have you Davymac.

    Here in the real world, a pension increase which fails to cover inflation is a pension decrease.

    Funny how their precious business partners always call a price increase that doesn't cover inflation a price decrease. Come on fella's, you can't have it both ways.
    Paulodapotter
    12th Feb 2015
    7:23pm
    Hawkeye, we are on the verge of deflation. Should we actually cut the pension to keep pace?
    Hawkeye
    12th Feb 2015
    11:41pm
    Paulo, I thought you were on my side.

    Technically,yes. All other things being equal, it is probably justified.
    However, it would be political suicide. Therefore the mad monk might just be out of touch enough to try it, with a bit extra to help with the deficit.

    But hey, he did say good government began on Monday, which means the bad government that began Sep 2013 has now stopped. But its probably just another lie.
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    12:29am
    Funny about that.
    ndibs
    12th Feb 2015
    7:31pm
    There was a great Q&A the other night with a panel of pollies from both sides as well as the opinionated Alan Jones.
    Up till then I wasn't really much of a fan of Alan Jones, but what he said and the path he provided was right on the mark and that solution for the Government to demand that Superannuation Investment include a significant portion of Australian Infrastructure had real merit.
    The analogy of having no Labour Government in over 60 years achieving a surplus says it all. If this Government can't then at least give them some points for trying and stop using personal and party agendas to preclude and obstruct solutions being achieved.
    Yes - I deplore the lack of environmental concern by the government but I also object to paying my hard earned to provide a free education to someone who'll only stick their nose in the trough (ie Albanesi and cronies).
    Want to be a polly - be a statesman and find a party of statesmen.
    All of us will be remembered - some for the good things we did, others for the right royal stuff-ups we made.
    Try to be remembered as a contributor rather than a taker.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    9:48pm
    It was loaded with a pro government panel. And the government troll on this website says the ABC is biased???
    I agree though ndibs. It was a good discussion and subjects like the rich were not killed off as the discussion went on. I congratulate Tony jones for letting it run. Even Alan Jones had a good contribution, which is saying something for a card carrying liberal supporter.
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    12:41am
    Alan follows wherever the dollars are to be found. He's now with Fairfax so his audience is a bit different. I don't know why people can't see through him and the rest of the shock jocks. They don't believe a thing they sprout even if they hit the nail on the head occasionally. Truth isn't the object for these guys.
    Radish
    14th Feb 2015
    6:40pm
    Put Wayne Swan back in as Treasurer he will bring us back into surplus ;)
    particolor
    14th Feb 2015
    7:30pm
    Rubbery Figures !!
    Radish
    15th Feb 2015
    12:34pm
    I think 1989 was the last time Labor had a surplus.
    particolor
    15th Feb 2015
    2:22pm
    And 9198 will be their Next Surplus !! :-)
    TREBOR
    12th Feb 2015
    7:53pm
    What will NOT get us out of the red is chopping away at pensioners, unemployed and low income earners, while adding overheads and costs by imposing the same 1.5% on companies in order to fund childcare. Many have suggested taxing imputed dividends - i.e those dividends paid after the company pays company taxes are deemed to be tax-free.. this is a long argument and I disagree, and say that payment to a separate legal entity after company taxes is income to that legal entity and should be reviewed for tax. this would affect many self-funded retirees who partially receive income from dividends.

    I've said for a very long time that governments need to look at both revenue and expenditure - there is massive expenditure on areas that are non-core (shudders at the word) and which are not the rightful place of government anyway. I also happen to believe that a lot of the 'consultant' f\costs are unnecessary - like the 'commission of audit' there are handsomely paid public servants already in place to do that wsork, and all consultants do in themain is order the papers. Not worth $1500 a day.

    Sell-off of public assets is a short-term grasp for money - nothing new right now, and I've elsewhere compared the One World Economy to the same short-term grab, a position sustained by the current seteepening decline in trade etc and resource revenue. After any sell-off or '99 year lease' (sell-off by another name) it is inevitable that the same government will find itself, within a few years, strapped for cash again and without the resources to recoup any, since it no longer has paying utilities.

    Taxation of offshore companies is a must, and I personally have been advocating for a long time asn all-Australian investment organisation that will keep as much capital as possible from all projecvts in Australian hands - which means that more internal economic activity takes place and thus more tax is generated, as well as more work for Australians.
    MICK
    12th Feb 2015
    10:01pm
    Companies got a 1.5% tax cut to compensate for the Parental Leave Scheme. But employers wanted the tax cut but not the Leave Scheme. So now the PPL is dead but the tax cut is still on the books. Soinds like the normal way business works in Australia.
    The rest of what you say is spot on. I wish more voters had an understanding of the facts so that a lying salesman was not able to so easily deceive them. This is of course the game.
    Mar
    12th Feb 2015
    10:54pm
    How to get back in the Black? Cull the parliament and no perks for life would help.
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    11:39pm
    Well that's bound to OFFEND !!
    Finni
    13th Feb 2015
    8:21am
    Well first off 3 years fix terms of parliament.
    Then only pay our elected people their super when they turn 70 like the rest of us pensioners.
    That may be a start to get some trust back for parliamentarians in the eyes of the people
    After they have all pick themselves up maybe bring in a system where 10 percent of the people can recall parliament for a joint sitting, could run a petition online though here. But to get back into the real world now
    A super tax on profits that are exported off shore
    Make available to the public the financials accounts then maybe refinance at a cheaper rate
    After all they did borrow about 4 Billion dollars extra on our account to stop all of this
    If all of this happens then the sky will maybe fall in and then we will have no problems
    Anyway i am taking my wooden leg and going back to bed

    Gazz
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    11:44am
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Chortle.....chortle... OMG......he, he, he, LOL gasp, gasp, thruuuupppp!
    sybilla
    13th Feb 2015
    11:31am
    What happens when a family deals with the same threats of impoverishment faced by our country? They pull together. They tighten their belts in every aspect of their lives. They stop reacting to individual whinges about how deserving they are. They simply knuckle down and make the cuts that have to be made.
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    11:49am
    Like we did when Howard and Costello was in. Cut everything, starve services and infrastructure, bribe like hell, but while we tightened our belts they bragged how they had delivered a surplus. Oh come on! Who's whinging. Sounds like the LNP to me complaining about how it's all Labor's fault instead of getting down and rebuilding this country's productivity.
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    12:16pm
    Traditionally, the conservatives cut to show how good they can manage the economy. Equally the Labor movement spend on services, usually to make up lost ground created by the conservatives. We vote out the LNP when we find the country grinding to a halt because of cuts to services and infrastructure. Then we vote out the Labor mob for spending too much to make up the difference. This is the chicken and eggs system of government we've had since I became a voter about fifty years ago. Unless we change that pattern, it will continue to the detriment of this country. It's pleasing to note that there are more and more Australians voting for minor parties and independents such that hung parliaments are becoming the norm rather than the exception. This is because the public is becoming more aware of the shenanigans of pollies and the party system they operate under. Keep it up non Labor/Coalition voters. It will only be you who changes the political landscape for the better in Oz.
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    1:31pm
    I've never seen it put Betterer ! Flat Tyre ! :-( Fix it :-)
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    1:35pm
    Doesn't 56 Billion look Horrible when You write it the other way ? :-<
    $56,000,000,000 :-(
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    2:25pm
    Here's another bloody Americanism that has crept in.

    I'm sure that when I was at school, $56 billion was $56,000,000,000,000 (56 million million).
    These days it only the American $56,000,000,000 (56 thousand million).

    Who stole the other $55,944,000,000,000?
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    2:30pm
    We spent $7,000,000,000 in Afghanistan on an unwinnable war.
    We spent $1,000,000,000 in Iraq on an illegal war which has led to the invasion by IS which we have budgeted another $1,000,000,000 to get rid of (as if).
    Now wait for it -- we will spend over the entire GDP of the country on the F35 fighter bomber to buy and maintain this lemon, which can't stack up against it's Russian competitor the Sukhoi. That's $1,000,000,000,000. It hasn't the ability to fly to Indonesia and back without refuelling and they already have a fleet of Sukhoi that can. Now that's just defence.
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    2:38pm
    I don't know what School You went to But A Billion is a thousand Million !! The Yanks are Greedy and always add some more Naughties !! :-) I'm surprised they don't have 1000 Cents in their Dollar ? :-)
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    2:44pm
    Google... Millions in a Billion !! :-).. Wikypeeedia will explain it for You best !!
    Yanks just like thousands more Naughties !! :-)
    Young Simmo
    13th Feb 2015
    2:45pm
    That's right particolor, and a trillion is a million, million.
    Also my dollar is only worth a cent.
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    2:48pm
    PS.. A TRILLION Has 12 .. 000,000,000,000...
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    2:55pm
    If we are Still speaking English here ? Trillion is One thousand Billion !! :-)
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    3:58pm
    OK I just googled it and top answer was the following;

    "Historically, however, in the UK the term billion meant 1 million million – 1,000,000,000,000 - but in the United States the term was used to refer to 1 thousand million."

    And our roots are definitely British not American, so as I said above, the lower thousand million is just another Americanism to make things appear bigger than they really are, as is the American way.
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    4:06pm
    Also googled trillion uk.
    Answer;
    A million million million (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 1018).

    Line up to the right for apologies please
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    4:17pm
    GAGS !! :-)
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    4:27pm
    There is a very good trick to googling correctly;
    Don't google the question - GOOGLE THE ANSWER

    If you google a question you and up with millions (that's 1,000,000 Particolor)
    of different answers to wade through, but if you google the answer you very quickly find if it is correct or not
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    10:29pm
    Bugger Historically !! Did You Break into the Zero Factory ? :-)
    particolor
    15th Feb 2015
    7:54pm
    I went to School Not like some of You who went Fishing instead !
    Each Name change is upgraded by a thousand times its predecessor !..
    ONE THOUSAND = 1,000
    ONE MILLION = 1,000,000
    ONE BILLION = 1,000,000,000
    ONE TRILLION = 1,000,000,000,000
    ONE ZILLION = 1,000,000,000,000,000..
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    9:04am
    Yeah !! I know I forgot MEGAGAZILLION = 1,00000000000000000000000000........ :-)
    Hawkeye
    16th Feb 2015
    1:17pm
    According to Wikipedia, there are 2 numbering systems for large numbers;
    - Long Scale (1 Billion = 1,000,000,000,000)
    - Short Scale (1 Billion = 1,000,000,000)

    Up to the 1600's large numbers were written in groups of six, and were named accordingly;
    1,000000 = million (from Old French meaning "a big thousand")
    1,000000,000000 = billion (orig bymillion) bi = 2 groups of 6
    1,000000,000000,000000 = trillion (orig trimillion) tri = 3 groups of 6
    In the 1600's, large numbers began to be written in groups of three, and some started erroneously using the existing names for the smaller groupings, leading to the current confusion
    1,000 thousand = thousand
    1,000,000 = million (no change)
    1,000,000,000 = milliard (or billion)
    1,000,000,000,000 = billion (or trillion)
    1,000,000,000,000,000 = billiard (or quadrillion)
    1,000,000,000,000,000,000 = trillian (or quintillion) ......and so on.

    Long Scale is used by most of Continental Europe, Latin America, and most East African countries.
    Short Scale is used by USA, UK, Brazil, the old USSR, and most Arabic countries including Northern and Western Africa, and Oceania including Australia.
    Both scales are used by Canada and South Africa, while China, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Greenland have different systems.

    The UK changed to the Short Scale in 1974. In Australia, the Australian Government Department of Finance and Deregulation (not sure if the name is still correct) currently recognizes the Short Scale, however, at least up until 1999, it recognized the Long Scale as the standard, although the Short Scale had become common usage.

    So, as my schooling was completed in 1971, it seems I was correctly taught the Long Scale system.

    Also, Particolor, there has never been a value for a Zillion. It's definition is simply "an indeterminately large number".
    And Megazillion, I believe, refers to the size of the deficit when Tony and Shrek are finished with it.

    END OF LESSON
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    2:23pm
    Thanks for the information Hawkeye, but I have just been through 60 years of bank statements, and I can not find a single reference to any of those numbers.
    Arrrr yes there is, 1,000 will pop up in the year 2020, after Scott Morrison gives us that $80.00 per year. ($1.53 per week )
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    3:27pm
    Was that Necessary ? :-)
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    3:38pm
    Not sure what you mean, please explain.
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    3:49pm
    I left school a decade before him and came out with an Education !! :-)
    You know what the learn in school nowadays Simmo ?
    Absabloodylootlynothing ?? :-(
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    4:15pm
    Yeh, but they know how to take a Selfie, that should get them through life.
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    7:33pm
    While we are on this numbers thingy, did you know?
    And I quote.
    Most of the time, you’re probably blissfully unaware of your heart's ceaseless activity -- nearly 100,000 beats per day, or about 37 million beats per year and 3 billion in an average lifetime.
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    7:41pm
    And it can fill an Olympic Swimming Pool in 8 Weeks !! But Who wants to swim in Blood ? :-(

    Yeah I know ! But keep that to Yourself !!
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    7:47pm
    I drink a few reds each night, maybe that is close.
    Hawkeye
    20th Feb 2015
    1:03pm
    Young Simmo,
    Perhaps if you were to go thru all those bank statements again, and add up all the fees!!!!!!
    particolor
    20th Feb 2015
    2:26pm
    He Missed the Sneaky Fee ? :-)
    Young Simmo
    20th Feb 2015
    2:34pm
    No Hawkeye, what's that old saying? "The truth hurts."
    I will stay in La, La land and let the world float by.
    It works for particolor.
    particolor
    20th Feb 2015
    3:10pm
    See how happy people are when they have no worry's ?? No Interest No Fees !! :-)
    Blossom
    13th Feb 2015
    2:56pm
    Cut luxuries to retired politicians. Stop funding unnecessary luxuries that the general public don't need. Make all basic food GST free. Make all medications (not other goods) sold in pharmacies GST free not just those bought on perscription. Stop Medical Professionals charging huge gaps and less people will use the public system. This includes chest xrays -
    Charged $70.00 gap
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    3:08pm
    Cutting Retired Politian's Luxuries would be like Poking Your finger in a Wasps Nest !! :-(
    Paulodapotter
    13th Feb 2015
    9:19pm
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Chortle.....chortle... OMG......he, he, he, LOL gasp, gasp, thruuuupppp! Plonk! RIP

    15th Feb 2015
    7:17pm
    We have the Labour scum who have done us so we have very little
    hope 0f a surplus
    Misty
    15th Feb 2015
    7:50pm
    Well Robbo I think the ratbags in charge now, don't know what happened to the "Grownups in Charge", they seem to have disappeared, are doing a better job of running up debt and deficit then Labor, which by the way does not have a U in it, ever did, they at least had the GFC as a reason this lot have none except bad policy decisions that are unfair.
    particolor
    15th Feb 2015
    8:04pm
    Don't be picky ! ROBO Laboured A long time over that sentence about a Sluplus ! :-)
    Young Simmo
    15th Feb 2015
    8:19pm
    Don't take too much notice of Misty ROBO, Labor supporters have always been shorty of credibility.
    Misty
    15th Feb 2015
    8:34pm
    There is nothing credible about this current Coalition Government, you would have to be deaf and wear blinkers to think they are or maybe have your head in the sand.
    particolor
    15th Feb 2015
    9:58pm
    Sounds like You've Ostrichized them Misty ? :-)
    Misty
    15th Feb 2015
    10:55pm
    You think so particolor?.
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    12:29am
    I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on the Labor supporters because they really are behind the 8 ball, before they even get out of bed.
    But when you think about it, RUDD, GILLARD and POTATOE HEAD all in a row, PHEW! Come on Pauline Hanson, now is your best chance.
    Yeh I know, I am good at making friends.
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    1:29am
    Watch out parti, Misty might be using her secret, promise a lie is the truth Labor strategy.
    Let's face it, they do suck a few in every 10 or so years, then the majority wake up.
    OH well, it's 10.30 pm over here in the Wonderful West, I had better save myself for tomorrows barrage.
    HIC,,,,,,,, Bloody reds.
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    8:54am
    One of these days You will wake up that most of them are gone ! :-) And I don't care ! :-) I don't live in the past ! I wouldn't give any of them the Pleasure of My One Lonely Vote ! Toony would only say."But But they Voted for Me !!"
    Misty
    16th Feb 2015
    10:28am
    Robbo and Young Simmo I am now firmly convinced that you 2 are blind and deaf otherwise how can you talk about Labor, JG, KR and PH when the biggest liar of all TA is still in charge of your party but I don't think for much longer the way things are going. Better get used to it you 2 they will go down as the worst govt ever and the most disliked PM ever, why even the USA is running THINK TANK on Is TA the worst PM ever.
    Misty
    16th Feb 2015
    1:41pm
    Big Whoopi Do, I can't believe the generosity of this Federal government, if TA and JH and MC believe they have won voters support with their $80.00 a year pension increase then they are in for a big shock, how demeaning is that increase, these fellows have no idea how to live in the real world and the quicker they get chucked out the better, Malcolm Turnbull for PM.
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    3:22pm
    What are You gunna buy with Your $1.50 a week extra Misty ? :-)
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2015
    3:29pm
    Come on parti, do the numbers it's a $1.53.
    particolor
    16th Feb 2015
    3:41pm
    Not another Mathamabloodytichan ?? :-( You forgot the .006 of a cent Repeater ?
    If I knew I was going back to TAFE I would have Packed a Ham Sandwich and a Thermos of Irish Coffee !! :-)
    0606
    16th Feb 2015
    2:59pm
    Maybe the time has come for the "consensus" government for the crucial elements i.e. finance, health,education and climate change? Surely members from the government and opposition can "nut" things out with the very informed and knowledgeable civil servants skilled in these areas and come up with a half decent result?
    It's a crazy system where every three or so years everything has to be changed, at great cost, financially and to the people/businesses concerned. We could all do with some stability in long term plans.
    Misty
    16th Feb 2015
    6:46pm
    Most sensible comment I have seen here in a long time but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.
    Adrianus
    18th Feb 2015
    4:30pm
    Labor prides itself on being the party to raise the tax free threshold, so why didn't Chris Bowen know what it is?
    In 2007 Kevin Rudd did not know what the GST rate was and he was elected Prime Minister.
    In 2015 Anastasia Palaschuk also didn't know the answer to that question and immediately became Premier of QLD. My question is, what fate awaits Chris Bowen? Will he be rushed to the leadership of the ALP?
    particolor
    18th Feb 2015
    4:53pm
    What is the GST Rate by the way ?
    Adrianus
    18th Feb 2015
    5:25pm
    I'm not coming on here to be subject to a pop quiz!!
    Misty
    18th Feb 2015
    9:50pm
    And John Hewson couldn't work out the GST on a slice of cake and he never got elected so that shoots your theory down in flames Frank.
    particolor
    19th Feb 2015
    8:54am
    I think My Goose is Cooked ? That's good for GST ! :-)
    Adrianus
    19th Feb 2015
    9:46am
    During the same conversation, Chris Bowen also told Alan Jones that the bottom marginal tax rate is 15% when it is actually 19%.
    It's also worth mentioning that the same Chris Bowen while in government claimed that with the help of Wayne Swan his ALP government had returned the budget to surplus ahead of time. Trouble was a week later we find the budget deficit was actually $54b. A career union boss, politician who couldn't make it in the private sector. Anyway, the numbers that really count are the polls. How many idiots can we convince this week?
    Misty
    19th Feb 2015
    9:57am
    WRONG AGAIN FRANK, I just Googled the deficit when the Abbott gov won in 2013 and it was $18.8 Billion not the over inflated amount you say it is, anything over this amount you can blame it on your friends Abbott, Hockey and Corman.
    Misty
    19th Feb 2015
    10:06am
    And go back and have another listen to that conversation with Chris Bowen and Alan Jones, Chris was talking about tax on super not general income, the threshold for tax on income starts at $0-$18,200.
    Paulodapotter
    20th Feb 2015
    6:41pm
    Ahhhh, don't you like partisan politics? Poor old Frank is blind in one eye.
    particolor
    20th Feb 2015
    7:04pm
    Should have gone to Speck Savers ! :-)
    worker
    21st Feb 2015
    10:06am
    As employees of the Australian voters both need to work as one to get how nation back to surplus because both are responsible A large start would be to reduce the overall costs to keep MPs.
    particolor
    21st Feb 2015
    10:13am
    It would be Cheaper to keep them in Jail !! :-)
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Feb 2015
    1:05pm
    What absolute con-men our politicians have become...they refuse to offer a comparison with other countries as to the actual figure per person that our deficit amounts to....I suggest this is because we actually are far les in deficit per head than our counterparts....why?
    Because we actually performed better in the Global Financial Crisis .....again...we have a regulated banking system that protected us!!!
    However, yes we are in deficit...and yes we need to reform to ensure we do not stay there!!!!
    But the reforms offered are not spread across the board and are indeed discriminating against our Senior to say the least without equally hitting business for their fair share!!!
    Reform needs to start at the top not the bottom....Why have we got a PM who is paid more than the US President???? Why do we have more members of Parliament both Federal & State plus local than every other Country....I refer to the per head ratios'.....Yes we need reforms...but they need to address the issue across the broad spectrum of our Society....not individual groups or the Vulnerable!!
    If we are broke..in deficit....why has the Liberal Party signed up for more very very expensive Planes (60Billion quoted) before we have balanced our Budget???
    Why have the Liberals extended our credit expenditure when the US Congress has stopped their own runaway debt extension???
    They are not telling the Whole truth about our deficit...they are also avoiding the fact that neither Party has brought in a Budget that is in the Black......yet both have increased their tax intake and cut funding!!! They each say the other is to Blame....yet they are both in fact guilty!!!! No one believes either Party Machine anymore.
    The Seniors are outraged that they are being blamed....and are considered a burden....yet at the same time being labelled as an entitlement generation!!! What a lot of CROCK!!! Both sides raided the fund put aside for Pensions....raided during the Nineties....to public spend to boost the economy but never put back...never continued to be separated to fund the retirees!!!
    The TRUTH is that Both Parties have become so corrupted to their own IDIOLIGY (idiots) that the people they serve and the future of this great Country is being put a poor second!!!!
    Not Good Enough!!!
    The people need to show BOTH Parties the Way by refusing to elect anymore of their Puppet Mp's......by voting for anyone NOT sold out to the Party Machines.....just to remind them that we can!!!!
    Imagine their horror......a Parliament full of Independants in both houses......dreams are free they say.....then again...Are They really???
    particolor
    21st Feb 2015
    3:01pm
    From what I read Greece is only 9 Times Ours !!
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Feb 2015
    1:36pm
    Sceptic really believes that an all Party Senate to rubber stamp the low House all Party members suggestions is the way to go eh????
    What is the confusing part of the word Dictatorship????
    Because that what the Party Animals want as well.....who would stop them from legislating anything they wanted for a whole three years??????
    Oh hang on .......party whistles blowing the background.....we can do whatever we want and no one can stop us!!!!
    Sceptic you need to find the other half of your brain.....the one that is sceptical about your on eyed incredibly inane point of view!!1
    Regardless of Left or Right Wing POV.....it would result in irreversible Mayhem!!1
    pate
    7th Mar 2015
    5:55pm
    well the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing so how can they deliver a surplus when Joe can't even add up. PLUS Abbott taks tough but when it comes down to reality he is so busy giving money to the likes of Indonesia when he is pretending to be tough with them. We cannot afford to give Billions of dollars worh of goods and money to them and make a surplus.
    particolor
    7th Mar 2015
    6:13pm
    You should have tuned in to the Talk Back on Radio this afternoon !! There were some choice Words about our Donations ! :-( Australia the Benevolent Society !! :-)
    While Being told we are Poverty Stricken !! :-(
    pate
    8th Mar 2015
    6:44pm
    I can well imagine what went on on an afternon radio show I hear a lot at night when Tony & Joe are probably tucked in asleep they wouldn't be able to nswer a lot of questions that are put on then.
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    7:19pm
    Yes !! :-) One of them was probably Breaking in His Brand New Nikee's on the Private Tread Mill for the FUN RUN next week !! :-) Before Retiring for the night ! While the other was just having a few Expensive Ports and a Cigar with some friends before being Tucked in by Noddy from Toyland !! :-) :-)