Budget 2012

By 8 May, 2012 55

budget12

Just putting this up as a placeholder until 7.30pm when Swanny either lays waste to Canberra or shows he was just kidding.

Comments on your reading of the budget below thanks.


So here are the papers. Get cracking.


So working through the Budget Overview we find. $33.6 billion in savings.


The Canberra Times anticipates 17,000 job losses in Canberra over the next four years.


The Liberals Zed Seselja say’s it’s disastrous!


All up as far as I can tell (with the best part of a decade spent looking at federal budgets) it’s a pretty crappy effort with the cuts mostly coming from shifting spending to out years and the spending going on electoral bribes unlikely to increase the wealth of the nation.


The ABC is calling it a double blow for the ACT.


BT Financial’s Chris Caton has produced a budget review and this summary:

The 2012/13 Budget was framed against an intriguing background; a Government in trouble and a two-speeded economy, both desperately seeking traction. In the past two Budgets, the Labor Government made a commitment to return to surplus in 2012/13. In the run-up to Tuesday night, it repeated this commitment at length. So it is no surprise at all that the Budget for 2012/13 projects a wafer-thin surplus of $1.5 billion. Given that a substantial deficit will be recorded this year (the current estimate is $44.4 billion), this will be a massive fiscal turnaround if achieved, equivalent to just over 3% of GDP (see table below). Not only would it be unprecedented in Australia, it would have rarely happened elsewhere. At present, probably only Greece and New Zealand are engaging in fiscal tightening of the same magnitude.


We did rate a mention for infrastructure:

Over the next twelve months the Federal Labor Government’s ambitious capital works program will continue unabated, with the 2012–13 Budget delivering a further instalment of $21.4 million in funding to start, progress and complete a range of projects in the Australia Capital Territory.

All up, we are providing an unprecedented $251.6 million from our six-year Nation Building Program (2008–09 to 2013–14) to rebuild and renew the Territory’s road infrastructure. Already, Federal Labor has almost doubled annual infrastructure spending per local resident in the ACT from $72 to $114.

As a result of this record funding, the new Majura Parkway will go from the drawing board to construction in the coming financial year (Federal contribution: $144.0 million).

At the other end of the construction cycle, we expect to complete work on the duplication of the Monaro Highway between Canberra Avenue and Newcastle Street by the end of June next year (Federal contribution: $18.5 million).

The 2012–13 Budget also maintains funding for a range of initiatives designed to make our local roads better and safer including:

– $1.0 million to eliminate dangerous black spots on local roads;
– $20.0 million to assist the ACT Government to maintain and upgrade their local roads.


Wednesday 9 May 2012 Responses

If you fancy a giggle Zed is weeping and gnashing his teeth for the lost public service jobs. With no mention of what his party would do in power.


WIN is tweeting that Chief Minister Gallagher is calling for a meeting with Julia Gillard to discuss the cuts. A bit late now Chief Minister.


WIN also reckon 20k families are in the gravy which seems like a poor return on all the job losses:


The Greens are keen to point out they alone are opposed to public service cuts.


Chief Minister Gallagher has announced what she’s going to do:

“I have sought an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the implications of the budget.

“In addition and for the first time I will establish a sub-committee of Cabinet, which will draw in business and community leaders to shape our response to the outcomes and impacts of the budget.

“What’s needed today, tomorrow and in the months ahead is stability, cool heads and a determination to do what’s right by Canberrans.

“I have asked the Head of the ACT Public Service and the ACT Commissioner for Public Administration to confer with the Australian Public Service Commissioner about what opportunities there may be for the ACT Public Service to absorb workers affected by the Federal Government’s cuts.”

The Chief Minister said the ACT’s economy is resilient, with low unemployment and skilled workers, putting it in a strong position to weather the budget. New measures from the ACT Government, such as payroll tax reforms that would create 575 new jobs, were already helping business.

“We will use the Federal Budget to inform our own budget decisions. Many would argue that maintaining our own expenditures in the upcoming ACT budget is essential. This may place additional pressure on our bottom line, but we have a strong balance sheet and a AAA credit rating. We have a tough couple of years ahead where our budget can provide some economic stability,” the Chief Minister said.

So basically it’s going to be used as an excuse for runaway ACT Government debt.


The local Labor members are engaged in some heroic turd polishing:

The 2012-13 Budget is a responsible budget that will deliver much-needed cost-of-living relief to families and businesses under pressure in Canberra.

The Government is returning the Budget to surplus, on time as promised, which will provide a buffer in uncertain global times.

The Budget outlines a reduction to average staffing levels across the public sector which means the Canberra public sector will contract by 1,500 positions through the uptake of voluntary redundancies and natural attrition.

This will take us back to 2009-10 levels and is based on each agency’s expectations of their staffing. The APS will continue to pursue graduate recruitment at levels comparable to the historical high of 2011.


The Property Council sees little to write home about:

The Gillard Government has delivered few positives for Canberra in a bitter Budget which will see Commonwealth public service numbers slashed and the Government renege on its regularly repeated promise to seed the retro-greening of commercial buildings.

Property Council ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter, said the proposed billion dollar Tax Breaks for Green Buildings incentive, announced during the last election, would have provided employment for the Canberra property and construction industry.

The incentive would also have delivered much-needed assistance to retro-green office buildings left empty by Commonwealth tenants that have moved on to newer buildings.

“This is not a Budget that treats the ACT well. However, there is some consolation for Canberra with the announcement of $11.9 million in funding for the National Capital Authority to assist with its ongoing financial sustainability. This funding is important as it will help the Commonwealth to maintain its role in strategic planning for Canberra, through a properly resourced NCA,” Ms Carter says.

“The Property Council also welcomes the announcement that $500,000 is to be provided by the Commonwealth to the ACT Government to assist in the development of a master plan for Civic – something that the Property Council has advocated for many years.”


Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has the intriguing proposition that planned Liberal cuts are better because they’re not going to be a surprise.


Thursday 10 May 2012 responses

The Liberals are enjoying twisting the knife, pointing out all the local Labor member promises of no job cuts.

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55 Responses to Budget 2012
#31
Deref7:40 am, 09 May 12

gooterz said :

GST upto 12.5% to pay for bludget blowout

TF!! Didn’t see that!

Someone should sue the “Labor” party for false advertising.

#32
Deref8:36 am, 09 May 12

Raise HECS rate for maths and science university students. Saves $314.9 million over four years.

Stupid, idiotic bastards. They deserve to go down in flames.

#33
dtc9:22 am, 09 May 12

Deref said :

Raise HECS rate for maths and science university students. Saves $314.9 million over four years.

Stupid, idiotic bastards. They deserve to go down in flames.

Why should science and maths be ‘special’? Go on all you want about how math and science create this and discover that, but in reality there are more science grads than jobs and any half decent math grad goes into banking, so can afford to pay for HECS.

#34
MsCheeky10:02 am, 09 May 12

From another news its, I saw this

“If you love natural therapies…
No more freebie crystal therapy or flower essences I’m afraid.

The government will crack down on taxpayers’ funds being used to subsidise ”natural therapy” services which do not present clear evidence they are clinically effective.

Services that are will be ineligible for the health insurance rebate include naturopathy, aromatherapy, ear candling, crystal therapy, flower essences, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, reiki and rolfing.”

Now, I didn’t think there was anything in the budget for me, as I’m a single on an above average wage, but I’m pretty happy with this. A silver lining for me.

But what is rolfing? In my day, it was something you did after a bit night on the turps.

#35
caf10:07 am, 09 May 12

Deref said :

gooterz said :

GST upto 12.5% to pay for bludget blowout

TF!! Didn’t see that!

Someone should sue the “Labor” party for false advertising.

You didn’t see it because it didn’t happen, gooterz was just engaging in baseless speculation.

#36
Postalgeek10:27 am, 09 May 12

Sounds like Zed has conveniently forgotten what his own party’s plans are for the APS.

#37
Holden Caulfield10:46 am, 09 May 12

Postalgeek said :

Sounds like Zed has conveniently forgotten what his own party’s plans are for the APS.

Yes, looking forward to his response (assuming he’s still around) if Uncle Tony gets the keys.

#38
watto2311:30 am, 09 May 12

happy with the no more duty free cigarettes and the crackdown on dodgy medical stuff.

The real issue I have is this budget isn’t great, but the Libs would do nothing much different. The only thing the government/opposition is doing of any potential benefit to me is the NBN and thats threatened by luddites who don’t understand it.

Meanwhile if you are single, worked hard to have a career, you are now considered wealthy ($90k is not wealthy in Canberra….) and are expected to pay for other peoples waste. I’d love a government that stops handing cash and bonus payments out for things and actually just provided a better service all round.

#39
Jim Jones12:07 pm, 09 May 12

Postalgeek said :

Sounds like Zed has conveniently forgotten what his own party’s plans are for the APS.

Gary Humphries pulls this crap very regularly too. Bleating about Labor cutting the public service. Whenever I hear him do that I want to vomit blood all over him.

#40
RaTTyRaTT12:12 pm, 09 May 12

as a business owner, this budget is pretty much devastating. Far as I can see, may as well close up shop. With much of our income derived from government project work, et al. That will all have been given the chop – considering that we already saw a drying up of work in the lead up to this.

I note that families will get a nice benefit (say wha?) so all the little CABS and bogans can get a second plasma for the bedroom. Honestly, I am sure an APS person who gets dumped – will be happy to receive some money that way, if he has a family. They giveth & taketh away.

Note, for all the people who are saying ‘slash’ jobs in the APS – please do remember that you are talking about more impact than just knocking off some middle-manager (or lower peon) who may actually be necessary… the flow on effect will impact their family, both immediate and possibly extended. With the ACT already a difficult place to live in on a lower salary, I am sure these people won’t be happy with your response.
Oh, and remember that’s one family less (if they take the hint and leave the ACT) buying milk, spending here, etc. Or worse, if they stay but end up on benefits…
So please don’t whinge about APS numbers without some more thought about what those numbers mean. You sound like a CAB.

#41
astrojax12:57 pm, 09 May 12

MsCheeky said :

From another news its, I saw this

“If you love natural therapies…
No more freebie crystal therapy or flower essences I’m afraid.

The government will crack down on taxpayers’ funds being used to subsidise ”natural therapy” services which do not present clear evidence they are clinically effective.

Services that are will be ineligible for the health insurance rebate include naturopathy, aromatherapy, ear candling, crystal therapy, flower essences, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, reiki and rolfing.”

Now, I didn’t think there was anything in the budget for me, as I’m a single on an above average wage, but I’m pretty happy with this. A silver lining for me.

But what is rolfing? In my day, it was something you did after a bit night on the turps.

named for its founder – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolfing – a sort of holistic approach to massage, basically ‘deep tissue’. have a friend state-side who is a practitioner, but can’t attest for its capacity to do any special healing beyond the effects calmness an stress-relief from a good massage has anyway.

#42
c_c1:00 pm, 09 May 12

Postalgeek said :

Sounds like Zed has conveniently forgotten what his own party’s plans are for the APS.

Of course he has, the entire Liberal Party is speaking hypocritically. Judging by the sound bites, most of the response were written long in advances of he budget and with little regard for the actual budget details.

Those familiar with political history should see this is 1972-75 all over again. And just like that period, Labor will lose, Libs will get in, and promptly look like fools making the same mistakes and going back on what they’ve said.

Voters should probably stop caring about this government, and even the next one, and start thinking who on the benches is going to take over after that. Gillard > Abbott > ???

#43
dtc1:03 pm, 09 May 12

Why is it that ‘elites’ (ie self proclaimed non bogans) insist that the ‘working class’ will spend every handout they get on flat screen TVs?

For a start, everyone owns one anyway. However, it seems somewhat contradictory to argue that ‘the govt’ has caused incredible cost of living pressures but then say that the people suffering these cost of living pressures will spend their money on TVs or other non essentials, rather than school material or electricity or food or whatever.

You either argue that people dont need assistance (because they have enough money/there are no cost of living issues), so the school kid payment is a waste of money; or they do need assistance (because of the cost of living pressures), in which case you just can’t claim people will spend the money on flat screens.

Now I may well spend my money on something pointless, because I earn enough not to require the handout. So save your criticisms for the middle class, not the ‘bogans’.

#44
Gungahlin Al1:10 pm, 09 May 12

PantsMan said :

I was hoping for about 25,000 public service job cuts. There is just waste everywhere.

Like, did http://www.toiletmap.gov.au survive the razor?

I have that app – incredibly useful when you’re away from home turf.

#45
johnboy1:41 pm, 09 May 12

Katy Gallaghers response, to borrow money to replicate commonwealth spending, is an unusual approach to economics.

#46
neanderthalsis1:45 pm, 09 May 12

dtc said :

Why is it that ‘elites’ (ie self proclaimed non bogans) insist that the ‘working class’ will spend every handout they get on flat screen TVs?

For a start, everyone owns one anyway. However, it seems somewhat contradictory to argue that ‘the govt’ has caused incredible cost of living pressures but then say that the people suffering these cost of living pressures will spend their money on TVs or other non essentials, rather than school material or electricity or food or whatever.

You either argue that people dont need assistance (because they have enough money/there are no cost of living issues), so the school kid payment is a waste of money; or they do need assistance (because of the cost of living pressures), in which case you just can’t claim people will spend the money on flat screens.

Now I may well spend my money on something pointless, because I earn enough not to require the handout. So save your criticisms for the middle class, not the ‘bogans’.

Your fundamental mistake is presuming that people will do the sensible thing.

ABC News radio yesterday interviewed the owner of an outer Melbourne adult shop about the likely outcomes of cash handouts and her response is that they would expect get a 25% jump in sales to middle aged women. She stated that after the Kev handout of $900 and the cash payments to victims of the Vic bushfires, business increased dramatically. You can’t tell me that porno’s, dildos and naughty nurse outfits are essential kit for bushfire victims.

For the record, I still have a CRT TV.

#47
c_c1:54 pm, 09 May 12

dtc said :

Why is it that ‘elites’ (ie self proclaimed non bogans) insist that the ‘working class’ will spend every handout they get on flat screen TVs?

Speaking from experience presumably. Having worked in retail, I have the commission cheques to prove bogans with government handouts will blow it on shiny electronics. If they already have one, they’ll buy a second, a third, and so on.

Come in with a $900 government check to spend on a TV or computer, sell them on interest free and a bunch of accessories because in effect they have $3000 to spend and there you have it!

Now that’s something scholars should be looking at, why are brogans programmed to love the phrase “interest free?”

#48
poetix2:33 pm, 09 May 12

Hopefully the first stages of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will do some good; the way we treat people with a disability is quite appalling for a wealthy country.

#49
Holden Caulfield2:50 pm, 09 May 12

neanderthalsis said :

For the record, I still have a CRT TV.

Oh man, you need to keep up with the Jownzes.

#50
devils_advocate3:21 pm, 09 May 12

c_c said :

dtc said :

Why is it that ‘elites’ (ie self proclaimed non bogans) insist that the ‘working class’ will spend every handout they get on flat screen TVs?

Speaking from experience presumably. Having worked in retail, I have the commission cheques to prove bogans with government handouts will blow it on shiny electronics. If they already have one, they’ll buy a second, a third, and so on.

Come in with a $900 government check to spend on a TV or computer, sell them on interest free and a bunch of accessories because in effect they have $3000 to spend and there you have it!

Now that’s something scholars should be looking at, why are brogans programmed to love the phrase “interest free?”

^This. Also, there are behavioural biases that affect how people spend their income – people treat lump sum cash payments differently to “income”; and they also treat “found money” or windfall gains differently to other income. Differently in the sense they tend to get spent more frivolously. The vast, vast majority of people do this.

#51
dvaey5:57 pm, 09 May 12

While it might be ‘devastating’ to the ACT public and public servants if the PS is culled, it has to make you wonder that if the service can be culled that much, how much wastage is there?

Also, for all those being ‘culled’ who have skills, you’ll be back into your jobs soon enough thanks to outsourcing and contracting. For those of you that are ‘culled’ who dont really have skills and just enjoy an easy job working for govco, Im glad were no longer paying you a salary for a job that isnt needed.. maybe you can go and find a job where you can actually contribute to society rather than just being one of the 17,000 excess staff in the bloated PS.

#52
G.R.R8:41 pm, 09 May 12

dvaey said :

Im glad were no longer paying you a salary for a job that isnt needed

How is giving money to couples for having kids any different? It’s not exactly a skill to have a baby…Let’s reward them with free money!

Your quoted comment above would prove somewhat ironic if you were inline for a handout.

#53
helium8:45 pm, 09 May 12

We could very well do without a few PS positions, what on earth they all do is beyond me, many useful positions and very many not.

Why does ATO need 24 THOUSAND staff (at June ’10), to administer one tax system which is highly computerised and automated. 27 THOUSAND in Centrelink, 7 THOUSAND in Immigration, 3 Thousand for Foreign Affairs. Stats not from ABS (who have a mere 3 thousand number crunchers).

#54
thatsnotme9:27 pm, 09 May 12

helium said :

We could very well do without a few PS positions, what on earth they all do is beyond me, many useful positions and very many not.

Why does ATO need 24 THOUSAND staff (at June ’10), to administer one tax system which is highly computerised and automated. 27 THOUSAND in Centrelink, 7 THOUSAND in Immigration, 3 Thousand for Foreign Affairs. Stats not from ABS (who have a mere 3 thousand number crunchers).

Some perspective wouldn’t go astray here. 24,000 staff sounds like a lot – until you look at a business like the Commonwealth Bank, who employ 52,000. Now when you consider that while not every wage earner or business is a customer of Commbank, but they all end up being a customer of the ATO in one way or another, the numbers don’t seem so extreme.

Westpac employs over 30,000, and I’m sure the other major banks would have similar numbers. So now two of our major banks have many more employees than all of the departments you’ve listed above combined. Who are the bloated organisations again?

#55
I-filed11:28 pm, 09 May 12

Lovin’ how Katie Gallagher is trying to distance herself from her Labor mates on the hill all of a sudden!

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