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Blog Post: A silver lining to a tough budget?

By Emily Morris - 18 May 2014 27

silver-lining

On Thursday morning I popped out to do a bit of shopping and ran into a friend.  I have known him a long time – more than 30 years and he is a mild mannered and generally fairly quiet man.  We said hello and I asked how he was going, expecting our usual mid shopping centre light chat before moving on for my coffee.  But, I was surprised when he stopped, looked me dead in the eye, threw his arms in the air and said ‘I’m just so angry about the budget.’

This started a long conversation about the contents of the budget, our social philosophies (we agreed on some things, disagreed on others) and where we would like to see the country going.  We talked passionately, unaware of what was going on around us, deep in thought and contemplation over what has happened to the country and what may be yet to come.

I must confess I walked away quite invigorated.  I have never spoken with this friend in this way before.  We usually talk kids and life and light stuff.  And it made me wonder if perhaps this would be one of the more positive outcomes in this changing country of ours.  I wonder if it will cause more of us to engage in our community and its politics, to really understand what is going on, what community leaders and politicians are planning, to be part of the discussion.

I remember watching Q&A a few weeks ago when the students protested.  I will freely admit that it annoyed the cr*p out of me.  Not the idea of protest, but the way it was done.  Ask questions, have your voice heard.  Don’t just interrupt for the sake of interrupting.  Tell us what you think of wrong and how you think it can be fixed, in real terms.

Will this budget make us more engaged as a Nation?  I say that knowing that the majority of Rioters are already pretty d*mn engaged, but for those of us out there (like me) who used to fill conversations with general ‘chit chat’, will the tone of those discussions now change?

I hope so.  I really hope this gives us the very positive outcome of people being more aware of what is going on, better ‘versed’ in the process, more interested, more vocal – not just to complain but to stand up and say ‘I disagree, and this is what I’m going to do to change it.’

Maybe it’s time for us all to take a more proactive stance in our politics.  I don’t mean to get people into the streets, but to meetings, have their opinions tabled, join political parties or start their own discussions.  Or, merely have a meaningful conversation with an old friend to get that thinking happening.  It’s good for the soul.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Blog Post: A silver lining to a tough budget?
1
gooterz 9:38 pm
18 May 14
#

Is that the only positive you can see with the budget?

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2
dungfungus 10:19 pm
18 May 14
#

When sovereign loan interest starts to be capitalised (Australia is borrowing $1 billion a month to pay the same amount in interest on our “envy of the rest of the world” debt), there is a crisis. The next step, if it is not reigned in, is insolvency. Forget the AAA credit rating BS; Leahman Bros. had the same rating the day they went round the S bend.
There, I’m talking about why the budget is being perceived by some as something to get angry about.
I’m angry too as Abbott and Hockey didn’t go hard enough. Is that positve enough?

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3
Az 9:17 am
19 May 14
#

– cheaper housing
– easier parking
– less traffic
– fewer queues
– less pretension
– lower cost of living

(Canberra only.)

Also, the wider community won’t become more engaged. Australia is an apathetic political country with a three month memory (at best).

Some disaster or confected war will distract the public between now and 2016 and the debate will change entirely.

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4
farout 9:18 am
19 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

I’m angry too as Abbott and Hockey didn’t go hard enough. Is that positive enough?

I agree, there is scope for cuts to CGT exemptions, private health insurance rebate, Superannuation taxes, tighter means testing of child support and pension.

But then again they have two more budgets to do those in once the current measures settle in,

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5
rosscoact 9:38 am
19 May 14
#

gooterz said :

Is that the only positive you can see with the budget?

No, there are other added benefits such as making it odds-on that Abbott will be out of politics within three years, perhaps considerably less.

Also, it means that as Annabelle Crabb pointed out, shock jocks have got nothing to whinge about.

All the toads in the bottom of the barrel are now squirming.

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6
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 10:05 am
19 May 14
#

farout said :

dungfungus said :

I’m angry too as Abbott and Hockey didn’t go hard enough. Is that positive enough?

I agree, there is scope for cuts to CGT exemptions, private health insurance rebate, Superannuation taxes, tighter means testing of child support and pension.

But then again they have two more budgets to do those in once the current measures settle in,

CGT exemptions (ie the 50% discount) was introduced on the basis that indexing was removed. It won’t be changed.

I’m suprised at the continuation of the non means tested childcare rebate. I also think it’s only a matter of time before superannuation tax concessions are played with, but then this will just encourage the wealthy to invest in other things, like residential property which is probably not a desirable outcome in the short term.

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7
dungfungus 10:06 am
19 May 14
#

farout said :

dungfungus said :

I’m angry too as Abbott and Hockey didn’t go hard enough. Is that positive enough?

I agree, there is scope for cuts to CGT exemptions, private health insurance rebate, Superannuation taxes, tighter means testing of child support and pension.

But then again they have two more budgets to do those in once the current measures settle in,

I was hoping you would nominate negative gearing also but then again, this is Canberra and that subject is taboo.

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8
dungfungus 10:15 am
19 May 14
#

rosscoact said :

gooterz said :

Is that the only positive you can see with the budget?

No, there are other added benefits such as making it odds-on that Abbott will be out of politics within three years, perhaps considerably less.

Also, it means that as Annabelle Crabb pointed out, shock jocks have got nothing to whinge about.

All the toads in the bottom of the barrel are now squirming.

At last someone has admitted that they read Annabelle Crabb’s musings. She was best in the kitchen.
Tony Abbott may very well retire from politics before the next term; who would blame him?.
Someone like Scott Morrison (a proven achiever) could take over and continue the work of saving Australia from becoming a banana republic.
We had the Howard Haters, now we have the Abbott Abhorrers.

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9
Madam Cholet 1:35 pm
19 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

gooterz said :

Is that the only positive you can see with the budget?

No, there are other added benefits such as making it odds-on that Abbott will be out of politics within three years, perhaps considerably less.

Also, it means that as Annabelle Crabb pointed out, shock jocks have got nothing to whinge about.

All the toads in the bottom of the barrel are now squirming.

At last someone has admitted that they read Annabelle Crabb’s musings. She was best in the kitchen.
Tony Abbott may very well retire from politics before the next term; who would blame him?.
Someone like Scott Morrison (a proven achiever) could take over and continue the work of saving Australia from becoming a banana republic.
We had the Howard Haters, now we have the Abbott Abhorrers.

I read Annabelle Crabb’s article at the weekend (don’t normally), and actually thought she made a good point. I don’t think that she was coming down on one side or the other, just saying that the right leaning shock jocks were a little stumped as to what to say now that Abbot has taken away their major bone of conetention with those receiving benefits. It’s about time they were shut-up, even if it is temporarily.

It remains to be seen if Abbotts’ star has waned permanently. Spending his political capital early and fast obviously. The Australian public have now been burnt by both major parties in terms of apparent ‘election promises’.

On the topic by the OP regarding more engagement by the nation as a whole…well you are a numpty if you aren’t always engaged. No point in engaging and only having an opinion after the fact. I know people who don’t bother to vote or listen to what’s going on or who do not know who their local representatives are. It’s just lazy. But it applies to more than just politics.

What I hate is the general population not actually reading more than the headlines. Being ‘engaged’ is about reading or listening to both sides and making up YOUR mind about something. Obviously this will be tempered by your own personal idealogies, but it’s ok to disagree and it’s ok to agree, regardless of which way you voted in the last election. Just because you voted one way, does not mean that you doggedly follow that parties idealogies.

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10
farout 2:48 pm
19 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

I was hoping you would nominate negative gearing also but then again, this is Canberra and that subject is taboo.

If people are stupid enough to lose money subsidising their tenant’s accommodation, let ’em.
Given the stagnation – and dip in some cases – of house prices, negative gearing is not all that it was cut out to be in the 90s and upto 2003. Owners who are negatively geared now will be negatively geared for a while given the dip in the Canberra rental market. I like to think of them as making a tax-deductible donation towards a renter’s accommodation.

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11
watto23 5:03 pm
19 May 14
#

Madam Cholet said :

What I hate is the general population not actually reading more than the headlines. Being ‘engaged’ is about reading or listening to both sides and making up YOUR mind about something. Obviously this will be tempered by your own personal idealogies, but it’s ok to disagree and it’s ok to agree, regardless of which way you voted in the last election. Just because you voted one way, does not mean that you doggedly follow that parties idealogies.

+1000
I agree, too many people are ideologically based and refuse to accept that something by the opposition is actually a good idea. Also they blindly follow whatever their chosen party is.
If more people changed their votes we’d have a better system IMO. The NBN is a classic example of a great policy, but the coalition used the we can’t afford it line to ruin that policy, rather than saying, hey we can build it better. In light of the current budget though coalition refuses to do anything that might benefit everyone it seems.

The budget also highlighted some of the lies. Spending in this budget is up on the previous labor governments budget. So surely if there was a crisis you’d spend less……
The whole health sector needs a reform rather than some tinkering at the edges.
I’ve got no issues with making cuts and helping the budget bottom line, but the majority of cuts are to things that the coalition are ideologically opposed to just to spend where they want to spend and not to fix the actual budget.

Also cutting taxes is what got us into this mess and yet they want to cut more taxes. So on one hand they won’t break promises of removing the carbon and mining taxes and spending on the excessive PPL scheme, but will break promises that don’t suit them. If the budget was as bad as they say it is you’d keep all your revenue streams at least in the short term to get the budget into surplus quicker.

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12
urchin 6:29 pm
19 May 14
#

“Ask questions, have your voice heard. Don’t just interrupt for the sake of interrupting. Tell us what you think of wrong and how you think it can be fixed, in real terms.”

why? what indication has there been that the government has any interest in the thoughts or plans of the peons? the budget is very cynical and the politicians fronting it even moreso. tony abbott is blaming the voters for not seeing through his lies when he was promising them no deficit with lower taxes and no cuts (yet, at the same time, remaining remarkably coy on the details and telling people to ‘trust me’). it is not that the gov’t is unaware of the impact and damage that their policy will cause, it is that they do not care.

nor is this limited to the liberals. you see the same cynicism in labor of years past. governments do not work for the people, they work for the vested interests that got them into power. sometimes, perhaps, there might be a brief window where that does not hold true, but it is the exception that proves the rule.

oh, and while i’m at it, there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy, easter bunny or santa clause.

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13
justin heywood 7:53 pm
19 May 14
#

watto23 said :

+1000
I agree, too many people are ideologically based and refuse to accept that something by the opposition is actually a good idea. Also they blindly follow whatever their chosen party is.
If more people changed their votes we’d have a better system IMO. The NBN is a classic example of a great policy, but the coalition used the we can’t afford it line to ruin that policy, rather than saying, hey we can build it better. In light of the current budget though coalition refuses to do anything that might benefit everyone it seems.

The budget also highlighted some of the lies. Spending in this budget is up on the previous labor governments budget. So surely if there was a crisis you’d spend less……
The whole health sector needs a reform rather than some tinkering at the edges.
I’ve got no issues with making cuts and helping the budget bottom line, but the majority of cuts are to things that the coalition are ideologically opposed to just to spend where they want to spend and not to fix the actual budget.

Also cutting taxes is what got us into this mess and yet they want to cut more taxes. So on one hand they won’t break promises of removing the carbon and mining taxes and spending on the excessive PPL scheme, but will break promises that don’t suit them. If the budget was as bad as they say it is you’d keep all your revenue streams at least in the short term to get the budget into surplus quicker.

Watto, for someone who claims not to be ‘ideologically aligned’, you seem awfully keen and persistent in pointing out the failings of the Libs. Here’s a hint; if you find yourself always coming to the conclusion that one side of politics is good and the other bad, you are biased, no matter what you tell yourself (and us).

For myself, I am shocked at some aspects of the Liberal budget and dismayed by Abbott’s performance as PM so far. The only thing that could possibly be worse than this mob would be the other mob. That people can wish for the return of the shambolic, dishonest and dangerously reckless regime we endured under the Rudd/Gillard baffles me. But then I am probably biased as well.

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14
chewy14 8:33 pm
19 May 14
#

The problem is that there is a large proportion of the population that is ignorant and self centred when it comes to financial matters. They see a good budget as one in which they get extra government money and a bad budget is one in which they don’t get government money or even *shock horror* have government money taken off them.

There is plenty wrong with this budget but the number one problem is not what they have cut, it’s what they haven’t. The general populace will p$ss and moan about this budget for a while but it won’t engender any long lasting political awakening or engagement. Next year the process will be exactly the same, “what’s in it for me?”

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15
Walker 8:42 pm
19 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

rosscoact said :

gooterz said :

Is that the only positive you can see with the budget?

No, there are other added benefits such as making it odds-on that Abbott will be out of politics within three years, perhaps considerably less.

Also, it means that as Annabelle Crabb pointed out, shock jocks have got nothing to whinge about.

All the toads in the bottom of the barrel are now squirming.

At last someone has admitted that they read Annabelle Crabb’s musings. She was best in the kitchen.
Tony Abbott may very well retire from politics before the next term; who would blame him?.
Someone like Scott Morrison (a proven achiever) could take over and continue the work of saving Australia from becoming a banana republic.
We had the Howard Haters, now we have the Abbott Abhorrers.

Scott Morrison, achiever? Unless he’s about to get a part as the first character ever to smile in one of those World’s Greatest Shave commercials, then no.

If he ever gets what he deserves for his “achievements,” I don’t want to know about it, it’ll probably involve Satan, and pineapples. And, operational secrecy, returned in kind. What can you do eh? Nothing to see here, move along.

How about Turnbull? Something tells me his story ain’t over yet. He seems relatively sane, and also more popular with the public than Abbot ever was or will be. He even understands science. Gasp!!

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