Tax cuts and health set to top Opposition’s budget reply

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With a federal election set to be called within days, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is expected to put tax cuts and health at the top of his budget reply speech tonight.

As the Government belatedly added Newstart recipients to the list of Australians eligible to receive its one-off energy rebate – $75 for singles and $125 for couples – it is anticipated that Mr Shorten will promise 2.9 million workers who earn less than $40,000 a bigger tax cut from 1 July. For older Australians, that’s good news only perhaps for the 30 per cent who work full or part-time.

Fairfax Media reports that an independent analysis of the Government’s budget by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) showed that the biggest beneficiaries were middle and high-income couples with children.

The Conversation reports that the budget will “widen the gap between rich and poor” and that its effect on the poverty rate – the proportion of households living on less than 50 per cent of median income – is to reduce it by 0.2 percentage points by 2024-25.

An analysis led by Professor Robert Tanton at Canberra University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis says: “This is a fairly small reduction. But due to the tax cuts in 2024-25 raising the net incomes for high-income households, this means income inequality will be higher.

“The 0.2 percentage point decrease compares to an 0.8 percentage point reduction that NATSEM’s modelling estimates would result from raising the Newstart allowance by $75 a week from what it is now.

“The message from this analysis is that the changes to the tax and welfare system in this budget benefits those with higher incomes and who are paying tax, with little to no gains in future years to some of those low income earners who aren’t paying tax.”

The Opposition’s promise of more funding for public hospitals and for Medicare shapes as being of greater interest to older Australians than tax cuts. We will outline the key points as they relate to older Australians our eNewsletter tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Consumers Health Forum chief executive Leanne Wells has welcomed the Government’s $448 million primary care scheme for patients over 70. Under the scheme, if the Government is re-elected, general practices will receive additional payment for doctors and other clinicians to provide consultations, referrals, test results and scripts without having face-to-face consultations with patients.

“This is a welcome development in bringing Medicare into the 21st century by providing services and advice by doctors to patients without a face-to-face consultation as currently required under Medicare rules,” she said.

“For many older people with chronic illness, getting to the doctor for routine checks and the like is a major challenge. More than half of Australians over 70 years have two or more chronic conditions.”

Ms Wells said the scheme would also help older Australians to age in place, adding that the arrangements would be voluntary for both patients and doctors. She was critical, however, of “the absence of a national strategic plan to combat one of Australia’s biggest health problems, obesity”.

Some YourLifeChoices members were critical of the absence of any measure to make dental care more affordable.

“How about those rip-off criminals that call themselves dentists? Any changes in the wind to their Chicago-style racket? I’m considering dental treatment in Thailand in the future,” wrote YourLifeChoices member Oz in Or.

Ted Wards was more concerned about the volume of medications some older Australians were being prescribed. He said: “There are way too many people seeing doctors when they don’t need to and on medications they really don’t need! I work in aged care and some of our clients are on 20 different medications and don’t get reviewed until a crisis. Most often their medications are drastically reduced and their health improves. Why are we not looking at this issue?”

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Written by Janelle Ward

82 Comments

Total Comments: 82
  1. 0
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    The budget has nothing for age pensioners…Don’t mention the one-off energy payment of $75 as it simply does not count. It is a joke and an insult..
    Why is the OAP increased, so that pensioners share the nation’s spoils?
    The sooner retirees get a voice in parliament the better.
    In the meantime, kick out this LNP mob so that they will at least realise the age pensioners have some say in government, and then send a message to Labor that they forget us at their peril.

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      I presume you mean “Why ISN’T the OAP increased,..”.

      Yes, it is an insult – after whacking Part-pensioner couple by up to $14,000 per annum with the Asset Test changes of Jan 2017, they have the gall to offer a $125 one-time (note: only to those who didn’t miss out on pension altogether in those changes).

      Reversing those nasty changes (equivalent to up to $269 per week) was the priority instead of Tax Cuts especially for the wealthy – will be $11,640 for those on $200K income from 2024.

      No mention from Labor about scrapping the massive tax cuts for the wealthy as above – because ALL Federal politicians are going to get it! Hypocrites!

    • 0
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      Yes, George – hypocrites is a nice word…. I can think of better ones.

    • 0
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      Thanks GeorgeM….that was a typo……
      And you’re right about the other issues also…
      These governments, but especially the LNP, look after the rich and the big end of town, but couldn’t give two hoots for those on the bottom rungs of the ladder.
      Australia is a rich country and with this budget largesse going to all and sundry, there is absolutely nothing for pensioners or those on the dole..Labor won’t commit to increasing the dole (ie Newstart), which I can’t understand, as it should be a priority….and of course there is nothing for the homeless..
      We have a rich country, but no humanity…

    • 0
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      That’s why you should never vote for a wealthy candidate, their priorities are for themselves. Think of why and how they’ve become wealthy and those are the processes they’ll carry on with in parliament. Finding every loophole and changing rules to increase their own wealth and everyone else is invisible.

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      Of course the $75 counts so stop whinging about getting nothing.

    • 0
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      That’s the pot calling the kettle black, OG, you’re always whinging about getting nothing.

    • 0
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      Ha ha I don’t expect anything so there is a big difference.

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      Unfortuanately Triss, that applies to all candidates because as soon as they are elected they become wealthy through their very generous salaries and all the other perks they seem to be eligible for as soon as they are elected and no worries about their future, with generous pensions.

  2. 0
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    Strange that no one has put up a thought bubble for a Universal Pension.
    It would save billions from Centerlink and boost small business.

    • 0
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      Actually not strange, because:
      a. They have NO interest in Pensions as they themselves are well taken care of on better schemes with better rules, and
      b. They assume Retirees will continue to vote like zombies for one or the other of the Major parties, hence why bother?

      Retirees have a duty, 3 Million+ of us, to vote OUT BOTH these disgusting Major Parties (and the Greens who help them both to attack retirees) to become recognised as a force. By putting all current MPs of Major parties (and the Greens) LAST (or just above the extremists) in voting preferences.

      Universal Age Pension is without doubt the only way to go now with our Broken Age Pension system – they can easily copy the simple NZ model and implement it in no time – if they wanted to. Say for all on Age 65 and Residency of 15 years, with NO other tests. They should also immediately scrap ALL other defined benefit pensions for politicians & bureaucrats to avoid them double-dipping.

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      Been discussed in the messages for ever, Ahjay. We had one of those and it won’t come back. If you ever look at the places where they have the universal system you might find yourself in the tax return system again. Most people I know overseas with that system pay income tax till they die. The pension (universal) is totally taxable, you will get the full amount, no problem but it will be added to all your other income. And the tax threshold might only be $5000 per year. You do your sums! I have connections in both places and at the moment I think most of us qualifying for the Aussie pension are better off. Remember: most places have no Medicare for free like here – does make a difference.

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      CJ, it’s a question of how it is designed and what level of exemptions from tax are defined, so let’s not condemn a system before any proper review is done here.

      Universal Age Pension system would be far more efficient than what we have, avoid the incentives for rorts to qualify, remove the need for pensioners to deal with Centrelink – thus also improve their health, people can upsize or downsize as they please, motivate people to earn more and save more without being punished, and generally be a fair system overall without Govt interference – unlike the current broken system which also allows politicians to give selective hand-outs and put one group against another – to their advantage.

      Don’t confuse it with Medicare which is a separate health welfare system available to all, not just retirees.

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      If there was a universal pension they could stop tax concessions for superannuation. It’s compulsory anyway and the defined benefits everyone think are wonderful were contributed to without tax concessions. Yes all employee contributions were after full tax.

      Stop super tax concessions, return capital gain to what it was before Howard and there would be enough funds for an equitable universal aged pension.

  3. 0
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    A breath of fresh air from Professor Robert Tanton at Canberra University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis: “This is a fairly small reduction. But due to the tax cuts in 2024-25 raising the net incomes for high-income households, this means income inequality will be higher.” Those large Tax cuts being $11,640 on Salaries of $200,000 from 2024, which means ALL politicians will get those massive benefits – not a word from Labor???

    • 0
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      High income earners pay way too much so it’s good to see they get a decent tax cut.

    • 0
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      They don’t pay enough and you know it, OG. Now get a grip – people are watching…

    • 0
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      OG, back from Liberal party boot camp with fresh training under your belt and ready to spout your usual nonsense? How much did they agree to pay you per post?
      The progressive tax system is sought to be destroyed by the Liberals by their changes, while seeking to grab huge undeserved benefits, with the greedy Labor MPs also colluding to get the same benefits for themselves.

      Regarding your claim of high income earners paying too much, see the link below about Millionaires paying zero tax:
      https://www.abc.
      et.au/news/2019-03-30/sixty-nine-millionaires-paid-zero-tax-in-2016-17/10954888

      Strongly reinforces the need for a Minimum Tax system with at least 30% rate on Gross incomes without allowing any Deductions.

      Retirees (never mind you, OG, you are a slave to the Libs), all 3 Million+ of them, have a serious responsibility now to get rid of all self-serving current MPs (and again next time if they remain) to ensure they don’t get the spoils of their greedy actions from 2024. Pu them LAST (or just above extremists) in voting preferences – Retirees have strength of numbers.

  4. 0
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    I don’t have a problem with people earning a lot of money but who pay tax. I do have a problem with those who pay no tax including both individuals and companies.
    As for the poor, remove the tax for them as they will spend it all probably moreso than the top end who will not spread it around the community.
    If you only get $35000 and you have a family and bills and rent to pay then they really cannot afford more than the GST.
    A pensioner couple receive that but it is later in life hopefully owning a home at the very least.
    The environment is number one concern of a big percentage of the population and that is what I want for our grandchildren and beyond. That will do me for what they give to pensioners and us oldies!

    • 0
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      If you are stupid enough to believe in climate change Paddington why don’t you contribute some of your ridiculous pension to the cause?

    • 0
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      The lesser minions having more spending money means that retail businesses will not continue to be carried out feet first on a daily basis (or so it seems).

      I’ve said it times many – 1000 low income earners buy 1000 microwaves – one mega earner buys one microwave… who do YOU think should have a little extra spender to benefit the ailing economy being over-run by the global nonsense, li’l bit o’ the ol’ ready, eh?

      I posted elsewhere last night that the global economy was failing as we speak, and gave the example of the car manufacturers – as I stated when they abandoned ship. Retail here is failing due to undercut wages for the many and rising costs of living that place many in the same COMPARATIVE position as the peons in those Third World countries to which the jobs have fled.

      They can afford to buy a bag of rice and have a temporary roof over their heads… so can our peons (if they can afford a roof at all). Superficially, ‘we’ may be ‘rich’ compared to that peon – $275 a week sounds like manna from heaven to someone on $5 a day …. but our comparative costs of living dictate that $275 a week won’t keep you in noodles with a roof over your head.

      **How’s Gina going with her operations moved to Africa? Warlords etc being nice? No killings, no sabotage, no wars passing through the mining area, no ‘sides’ in a national dispute trying to take it all over by force of arms and bloodshed?

      Oh – that’s right – she was only speaking rhetorically when she said she could get an Afro work gang for $10 a week…. just a stupid joke from an abysmally stupid woman who would have nothing without an accident of birth.

      Justice ain’t got nothing to do with it, I’m afraid, when it comes to the handing around of the ready. And don’t expect Labor to do much more than kow-tow to her and her ilk… they have bigger socialist fish to fry than YOUR well-being (refuses the word welfare since it became a negative term for Social Security), regardless of the reality that ‘welfare’ is well-being – not cash for pensions and unemployment etc.

      They’ve got women to save from being abused financially for not working…. (Jesus)…

    • 0
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      Robbo – that is unnecessary… people may believe what they like on their interpretation of the facts presented – I’m a CC skeptic myself, but please… those with a different view are not ‘stupid’ – they simply arrive at the wrong conclusions in my eyes.

      We all fliend here… as the Japanese camp guard said in September 1945 …. and respect one another’s views now that Lothario has gone….

    • 0
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      I’m not a climate change sceptic, I’m a climate change realist. Yes, climate is changing and has been for millions of years. there is an article about the Arctic ice melting from 1947 and the link is here: https://trove.
      la.gov.au/newspaper/article/248478445?searchTerm=%22arctic%2Bice%2Bmelting%22&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales

      Let’s clarify one sticking point before we go further; the world’s leading climate scientists who are quoted as being 98% agreed that there is man made climate change were asked in a survey, “Do you think man has contributed to climate change?” and the obvious answer is yes. The next question was, “What percentage of change has man made?” It’s no surprise that the answer to the first question is the one released to the media and is being trumpeted by left leaning groups.

    • 0
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      Robbo, Can you tell me your level of education? You surmise so much about people you do not even know. Stupidity, in my humble view, is when you are faced with so much evidence you still deny it. Let’s assume you maybe right though, but just in case you are not are you willing to risk the future of your grandchildren and their grandchildren on the offchance that climate change is real as you watch the ice melt and the bees and insects disappear?
      So many countries are now onboard and most scientists conclude that it is so. I won’t risk my descendants’ lives by refusing to do anything about climate change.
      As for my pension, you have no idea what I do with that and how many I help. You do not know me and I certainly do not know you.
      In that vein, have a great day!

    • 0
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      Paddo, that sounds like Donald Rumsfeld talking to Dubb-ya* about WMD in Iraq… “If there was one chance in 100 of that lettuce on your sandwich being toxic.. would you eat it?”

      * keypad error initially said ‘Dudd-ya’…. (ROFL ) … in typo veritas…

      I agree more with Old Man’s point about man having contributed – but zero certainties about anything really. I mean – like a massacre of innocent Muslims in the West, given world events, it was inevitable at some time – similarly, it is inevitable that given world events produced my Mankind, it is inevitable that Mankind has contributed to climate change…. the question is how much…

    • 0
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      If you have a family and your family income is under $60,000 you get more back from the government than you pay in tax.

    • 0
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      Then hedge your bets, Trebor, in case you are wrong which is more likely than not.
      It is simply not worth the risk of being a climate denier as the risk is beyond dreadful.
      And what does it hurt to stop using plastic and put solar on your roof and reuse rather than dispose which saves money as well. It makes sense for more reasons than believing in climate change and the planet will benefit as a bonus.

    • 0
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      You better get used to the idea of Climate Change Robbo, because the voters of the future, our children and grandchildren certainly believe in it, and will vote out any govt who tries to deny it, not just here in Australia but world wide.

    • 0
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      TREBOR your dislike of women is coming across LOUD AND CLEAR in most of your posts, however you deny it.

    • 0
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      Good point Misty about the young ones believing in climate change. They are obviously better educated than some dinosaurs on here.
      Also, a few men have issues with women. Guess they have been hurt by some nasty women.
      However, if they have daughters or granddaughters that should water that dislike way down. Some amazing women around!

  5. 0
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    Hmm – tax cuts unfunded again… oh, well….. two can play that game, it seems…

    Appreciated that it for the lowest paid in the land… still there are better ways to resolve the current impasse about pensioners/retirees working for a bit of extra (often needed). Back to the old ‘tax earned – leave pensions alone’, and the same for the low level SFR – still… to not get part pension …. you’re on $80k or so already. Correct me if I’m wrong on that figure.

    A $75 kick for the unemployed might help, but watch for the kicker(s), and should be the increase in Unemployment Benefit, not just a one-off.

    Claiming travel refunds for older people can be a nightmare – the system has some funny quirks – once we move I’m considering doing a day volunteering at the local commserv to help people out there.

    In defence of dentists – they do have high costs in equipment etc…. but still…

  6. 0
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    WE could give you welfare receivers a $100.00 a week rise and you would still all complain give me more ,give me more.
    You all sound like a bunch of left wing bogans

    • 0
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      Well – provide them all with meaningful jobs…. I’m retired now for ages, but moving house, and have already applied for jobs where I’m going.

      Maybe some of this outstanding ‘infrastructure’ that is supposed to be the benchmark of both ‘sides’ will provide some meaningful work for the many….. but then,apparently Australians are so dumb they can’t even turn out their own medical students… what a hoot….. we’ve got some of the best practicioners in the world born and bred here and certainly some of the best surgeons in my experience … (my own preferred GP is Sri Lankan and a lady, so don’t chew my ass, as Shrek would say) .. so what went wrong with our homegrown students?

      Maybe we need a new approach – you can get a reduction in fees in return for working outside a major metropolitan area for X years… jeez – I would given the comparative lifestyle … the nitty, gritty, s*itty city filled with muggers and thieves compared to green pastures and oceanfront??? No comparison…..

    • 0
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      Robbo, haven’t you noticed that your posting is a complaint and, in my opinion, the tone of your posting definitely puts you in the bogan camp.

    • 0
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      Robbo, I don’t whinge but others may not own their own homes and have experienced marriage break ups etc. People are allowed to voice their concerns and they feel what they feel. So long as they are not attacking others and name calling they are free to vent on here. I suspect you are unhappy in yourself to be so threatened by pensioners in particular.

    • 0
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      Well, Robbo why hang around on this site?

    • 0
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      Exactly right Robbo.

    • 0
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      Exactly right, Sundays.

    • 0
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      Robbo – everybody always wants more, wage and salary earners as well as captains of industry and finance. Human impulse! But only a few actually want to know where it is all coming from. The longer one is on a pension the more distance the reality becomes, and the want increases. Unfortunately.

    • 0
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      I don’t want more at all.

    • 0
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      Robbo that is a very unfair prejudicial comment. Pensioners are doing it tough If you have a disability then your costs are more if you need extra help. Need to live in the real world

    • 0
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      Robbo that is a very unfair prejudicial comment. Pensioners are doing it tough If you have a disability then your costs are more if you need extra help. Need to live in the real world

    • 0
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      Why KB? I was in at the hospital today and they were surprised when I said no I wasn’t on the pension. They then said I was the only person they knew who was classified as chronically ill that was not on the pension. Just because you are disabled doesn’t mean it cost more than anyone else. You just learn to do things differently that’s all.

    • 0
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      Why KB? I was in at the hospital today and they were surprised when I said no I wasn’t on the pension. They then said I was the only person they knew who was classified as chronically ill that was not on the pension. Just because you are disabled doesn’t mean it cost more than anyone else. You just learn to do things differently that’s all.

    • 0
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      Old Geezer, I don’t know why you bother to comment on YLC’S topics anymore, as no one believes in your B–l S–t. I am sure you do it just to get a rise out of people or annoy them.

  7. 0
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    My wife and I were 2 of those 70,000 who lost their pittance of a part pension due to changes in the assets test a few years ago. My wife has a severe disability and requires constant care at home and the latest “gift” in the current budget is the plan to means test my carer’s allowance of $129 per fortnight. With home aged care its current pathetically underfunded state we are quite frankly feeling the economic strain of everyday living. This is all so remote from the lives of the wealthy including our parliamentary members that they have no concept of it at all. Yes there are lots worse off than we are, and in our opinion God help them, because nothing in the current budget will!

    • 0
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      Didn’t hear about carer allowance, Buggsie – thanks for the heads-up. I get that too and it doesn’t cover the costs. If/when I go back to work after the last move, I’m sure I’ll run up against that one…

      Paid home care costs a lot more than a meagre $129 a fortnight… even with the recipient contribution .. $129 wouldn’t cover a single day’s wages for the paid home carer, so $129 is a good deal for a government serious about caring for the disabled at home.

      Bloody parasites all…

  8. 0
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    I don’t really care about the Shorten response, it will only address those areas where there is a difference between the government and the opposition. I’m betting that the ridiculous electric car policy won’t get a run nor will the franking policy or even the negative gearing policy. It’s also safe to say that the scare tactic about wages will be front and centre but Shorten won’t explain how he intends to bully the Fair Work Commission into doing Labor’s bidding over a “living wage” or reinstating the penalty rate cuts. FWC is supposed to be an independent body. Incidentally, not all workers lost penalty rates as Labor is suggesting, some workers in hospitality lost a very small percentage of their penalty rates on Sundays only, no other working day was affected.

    • 0
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      Many employers refused to pass on penalty rate cuts…. where I last worked did that…

    • 0
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      And Shorten called for the penalty rate review by the FWC and told Neil Mitchell that he would abide by the decision of FWC unreservedly.

    • 0
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      Typical pussy-whipped mangina, is Ahr Billy ….

    • 0
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      They need to sack the Parliamentary Salary Tribunal and let FWC decide how much should be cut from excessive Political salaries. Maybe CEOs and management salaries as well and commissions to sales people of all sorts.

      Set them loose on prices as well. I’m sure they could lower energy bills easily.

  9. 0
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    ““The message from this analysis is that the changes to the tax and welfare system in this budget benefits those with higher incomes and who are paying tax, with little to no gains in future years to some of those low income earners who aren’t paying tax.”

    So how much did the taxpayer provide in funding this research/analysis of the bl–ding obvious? Even without such largess I could tell you if you don’t pay income tax you don’t get a tax rebate, reduction or refund because there is nothing to rebate, reduce or refund. Doh!

    • 0
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      Well……………………….. out-sourcing by all parties costs more than a public service body… we all know what happened to job service provision with the demolition of the PS employment agency, and what happened to practical training provision with the demolition derby on TAFE ….

      After that last failed experiment, the move is afoot, far too late in my eyes, to reinstate TAFE as a viable training ground (re-education camp?), instead of the double costly out-sourcing of training, which has resulted in countless rorts…..

      (BTW – welcome to Around The World with Trebor – we cover every issue in a single bound….)… so many issues… so little time….

    • 0
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      .. and if we lose sight of but one issue – it may vanish forever and never be rectified….

      Send no to ask for whom the road/healthcare/super/taxation/petrol/gas/power tolls …
      It tolls for thee!

  10. 0
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    I’m looking forward to the right of reply. Better health outcomes and fairer tax cuts seem good to me. Two days in and the Liberals have already backflipped on giving the electricity rebate to Newstart recipients. Now, I read where they are winding back the Detention Centre on Christmas Island after they have just spent a fortune to reopen it. A desperate Government on their last legs.

    • 0
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      Labor is far more desperate than the government.

    • 0
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      No need for a detention centre when all the Centrelink seekers are arriving on the shores again. They will be housed in community housing presumably within hearing distance of the minarets in Sydney and Melbourne. Remember we only get a government we deserve in a democracy. I would have ceded Christmas island to the Indos long ago, too far away from our shores anyway with the population wanting to be treated as Aussies. Next time you go there find some Aussies that look like us.

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