Advertisement

Blog Post: A silver lining to a tough budget?

By 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.

Please login to post your comments
27 Responses to Blog Post: A silver lining to a tough budget?
#1
gooterz9:38 pm, 18 May 14

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

#2
dungfungus10:19 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?

#3
Az9:17 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.

#4
farout9:18 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,

#5
rosscoact9:38 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.

#6
VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:05 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.

#7
dungfungus10:06 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.

#8
dungfungus10:15 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.

#9
Madam Cholet1:35 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.

#10
farout2:48 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.

#11
watto235:03 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.

#12
urchin6:29 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.

#13
justin heywood7:53 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.

#14
chewy148:33 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?”

#15
Walker8:42 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!!

#16
milkman8:42 pm, 19 May 14

chewy14 said :

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?”

Best comment of the thread.

#17
davo1018:24 am, 20 May 14

Walker said :

How about Turnbull?…He seems relatively sane

Automatic disqualification for the position.

#18
Madam Cholet8:35 am, 20 May 14

davo101 said :

Walker said :

How about Turnbull?…He seems relatively sane

Automatic disqualification for the position.

It’s a shame that Turnbull is not the leader of a different party – something a bit more centrist. There’s so much room for someone to occupy the middle ground – now that the Coalition have drfited back to the right under Abbott and Labor are reacquainting themselves with the left under Shorten.

I think that he stays with the party which best reflects his sensibilities and puts up with the rubbish bits to stay in a position where he can perhaps make a difference.

#19
VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:44 am, 20 May 14

davo101 said :

Walker said :

How about Turnbull?…He seems relatively sane

Automatic disqualification for the position.

Being a self-made multimillionaire, building and running a successful business, he’d be a great PM. The self-entitlement mentality would really be under pressure then!

#20
davo1019:21 am, 20 May 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Being a self-made multimillionaire, building and running a successful business, he’d be a great PM.

Didn’t say he wouldn’t be. Just not going to happen as leader of the Liberals. Remember he was rolled for having the temerity of saying that climate change is real and that an emission trading system would be the best response. He’s going to have to develop a far more anti-science view of the world before the dries are going to let him drive the bus.

#21
dungfungus9:54 am, 20 May 14

milkman said :

chewy14 said :

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?”

Best comment of the thread.

I agree, good comment.
Joe Hockey is like the collection agent who knocks on the borrower’s door in the evening to try and come to an arrangement for the borrower to get the arrears paid on the car loan and restore the contract to a current basis. This would normally be by way of increasing future monthly payments (a levy) until the arrears (deficit) is cleared.
He would get two responses aligned to the people who answer the door.
First “the takers” who will abuse and threaten him and blame everyone but themselves for being in arrears and they usually cite the “greedy” bank or finance company for exploiting them ignoring the fact that they signed the contract. It will transpire that the borrowers at this address are heavily in debt and pursue a lifestyle that means they are not prepared to realign their priorities. Payment of the current rental will be made when the next welfare entitlement arrives but the borrowers do not have the resources to rein in the arrears so they will struggle on to the next crisis incurring overdue interest as they go. The collection agent is not looking forward to calling again.
The second group would be “the givers” who are facing a temporary hardship usually resulting from matters beyond their control. They are polite but embarrassed and contrite and immediately put forward an acceptable arrangement to pay the arrears and collection costs. This arrangement would probably involve foregoing other planned expenditure like a holiday.
The collection agent leaves the address knowing he will probably never have to return as the borrower has accepted sole responsibilty for debt incurred in his/her name and he/she is not likely to be in a position where income is reliant on welfare.
If the defaults cannot be corrected then the borrowers will recieve a call from a repossession agent who has instructions to collect the arrears and costs in cash (not sovereign bonds) or lose the car.
If you ever think no one cares about you, miss your car payments for a couple of months.

#22
VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:13 am, 20 May 14

davo101 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Being a self-made multimillionaire, building and running a successful business, he’d be a great PM.

Didn’t say he wouldn’t be. Just not going to happen as leader of the Liberals. Remember he was rolled for having the temerity of saying that climate change is real and that an emission trading system would be the best response. He’s going to have to develop a far more anti-science view of the world before the dries are going to let him drive the bus.

Yeah ok, good point…

#23
HiddenDragon11:29 am, 20 May 14

After last night’s Q&A, I’d say good luck to any political party/parties who have to deal with Australia’s economic realities over the coming years and decades. Certainly, there are less than clever and sensible elements to the recent Budget, and it has not been particularly well explained, but there are serious long term fiscal problems to be dealt with, and no amount of soothing words about “there’s no emergency” and “the credit ratings agencies think we’re bonzer” will change that.

There will be a silver lining if Labor eventually puts forward workable realistic policies to address these issues – then there could be a real debate, not just a big national dummy spit, cheered on from the sidelines.

#24
watto2312:35 pm, 21 May 14

HiddenDragon said :

After last night’s Q&A, I’d say good luck to any political party/parties who have to deal with Australia’s economic realities over the coming years and decades. Certainly, there are less than clever and sensible elements to the recent Budget, and it has not been particularly well explained, but there are serious long term fiscal problems to be dealt with, and no amount of soothing words about “there’s no emergency” and “the credit ratings agencies think we’re bonzer” will change that.

There will be a silver lining if Labor eventually puts forward workable realistic policies to address these issues – then there could be a real debate, not just a big national dummy spit, cheered on from the sidelines.

Sounds like you’ve swallowed the magic pill as well.
There is no budget emergency. That is all made up by one party to spread fear. Both parties are to blame for the current budget situation, however they don’t need drastic changes to fix it. The only reason drastic changes are needed because the coalition is sticking to wasting money the way they like to waste money vs the way labor likes to waste money. If you think the coalition is good for the country then you have a problem. Before you start calling me a lefty, Labor as well has it flaws and both parties are blinded by their ideological values that they refuse to budge from just for the sake or winning an election by lying to the public. They both have done it.

But please the budget emergency is a myth, when you can afford to spend more than the last budget, add additional spending, cut several sources of income and taxes. If I have a budget problem at home, I certainly don’t stop earning income from one source, buy some new shoes but go without food on the table. By all means bring in the ideological based decision but do it in 2 years when your so called budget emergency is over.

#25
astrojax1:03 pm, 21 May 14

the op speaks [obliquely] to the real issue here, which is the dearth of understanding of civics by the broader population, a significant failing of the education system. which is being further cut – clearly, this is a government who wish to keep the masses uninformed. when will their three word slogans become invitations to the colluseum..?

we have no formal civics education in our curriculum yet expect [nay, demand] all citizens to cast a valid vote. how can such a dullard community be said to exercise ‘democracy’?

#26
JC12:31 pm, 25 May 14

justin heywood said :

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.

Serious question, what exactly was dishonest about the last government? Now don’t give me Julia Gillards supposed ‘lie’, because that isn’t a good example of dishonesty. That was a case of changing policy due to changing situation, specifically the people not delivering a majority in the house. You could probably cain Gillard for changing her mind or back-flipping to get power, that would be fair, but at least she wasn’t going to sell her bum to get into power unlike your bloke. He might have got there except Tony Windsor has some standards and didn’t want his bum.

Craig Thompson, maybe though his dishonesty was before he got into government so don’t see how the government can be blamed. Their protection of him, maybe but then again this country does have a strong belief of innocent until proven guilty. Peter Slipper maybe, but oh he wasn’t actually government was he, he was Liberal turned independent and again innocent until proven guilty. Though in this scandal Mal Brough and Abbott still have some questions to answer.

Also what was wreckless? Keeping the economy out of recession? Yeah that’s right isn’t it?

And yes I am biased, but I too a baffled as to how anyone could have seriously believed the c$#p that came from Abbots’s mouth before the last election, or the lies they have spread about the economy for the last 3-4 years. Though at least Abbott did have the common sense to tell the truth about the economy at least once, when overseas. Guess the guy was silly to not realise that something he says overseas can pretty quickly be transmitted to our screens in Australia. Anyone would think he was living in the 50′s, where he wants to send the country where comments such as they may never have made it home, except maybe over he telegraph.

I find it ironic that everything Rudd said before the previous election about the trustworthiness of the PM and about the Noaltions direction they wish to take the country have come true.

#27
dungfungus3:54 pm, 25 May 14

JC said :

justin heywood said :

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.

Serious question, what exactly was dishonest about the last government? Now don’t give me Julia Gillards supposed ‘lie’, because that isn’t a good example of dishonesty. That was a case of changing policy due to changing situation, specifically the people not delivering a majority in the house. You could probably cain Gillard for changing her mind or back-flipping to get power, that would be fair, but at least she wasn’t going to sell her bum to get into power unlike your bloke. He might have got there except Tony Windsor has some standards and didn’t want his bum.

Craig Thompson, maybe though his dishonesty was before he got into government so don’t see how the government can be blamed. Their protection of him, maybe but then again this country does have a strong belief of innocent until proven guilty. Peter Slipper maybe, but oh he wasn’t actually government was he, he was Liberal turned independent and again innocent until proven guilty. Though in this scandal Mal Brough and Abbott still have some questions to answer.

Also what was wreckless? Keeping the economy out of recession? Yeah that’s right isn’t it?

And yes I am biased, but I too a baffled as to how anyone could have seriously believed the c$#p that came from Abbots’s mouth before the last election, or the lies they have spread about the economy for the last 3-4 years. Though at least Abbott did have the common sense to tell the truth about the economy at least once, when overseas. Guess the guy was silly to not realise that something he says overseas can pretty quickly be transmitted to our screens in Australia. Anyone would think he was living in the 50′s, where he wants to send the country where comments such as they may never have made it home, except maybe over he telegraph.

I find it ironic that everything Rudd said before the previous election about the trustworthiness of the PM and about the Noaltions direction they wish to take the country have come true.

“Serious question, what exactly was dishonest about the last government?”
Do you mean the first Rudd government, the first Gillard government, the first Gillard minority government or the first Rudd minority government?
Reason I ask is that if you say “all of them”, my response will be four times as long.

Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.