Budget Day Open Forum

Tomorrow we will finally discover what the ALP are all about. No more symbolic gestures but concrete action with both winners and losers.

Treasurer, Wayne Swan, is clear who will be the main beneficiaries.

“They are the focus in the budget, low- and middle-income earners who go to work day in day out, cook the tea, go to work again the next day, do a long commute. We’ve got to value those, so we will be providing our increased support in this Budget to those people – which is why we’re so committed to the tax cuts, so committed to the increased child care relief.”

Opposition Treasury spokesperson, Malcolm Turnbull, is determined to maintain middle class welfare in the form of Family Tax Benefits and not means-testing the baby bonus. He also sees no need for spending cuts and is not worried by inflation. Andrew Norton highlights the enormous increase in middle class welfare under Howard that Turnbull wishes to maintain. 

Despite playing the politics of envy over a ‘luxury car tax’ and increasing the Medicare threshold which will further strain health care funding, the ALP is so far making more economic sense.

The increasingly belligerent Turnbull, the useless Nelson and the paternalistic Tony Abbott are a shambles. What is the point of the Liberals?

20 thoughts on “Budget Day Open Forum

  1. Turnbull may have a point about administrative costs on means testing the baby bonus (which I’d like to see scrapped entirely). But as I’ve said in the past, Turnbull is all too willing to sell out all of his principles for power. I still don’t understand why so many libertarians like him.

    Can’t say that I’m all that pleased with the envy politics – but that’s what you expect from ALP (I’ll be posting shortly on who pays what percentage of income tax).

    So far, their first budget related acts were to increase taxes – on “alcopops” and luxury cars. They’re stuck with keeping their promise on income tax cuts, so are clawing it back where they can.

  2. There is nothing to be impressed with on either side.

    Certainly not Labor.. increased child care subsidies, taxes on alcohol and now “luxury” cars.

    Certainly not Liberals, for bringing us to where we are today.

  3. Can anyone estimate, how expensive is means testing the baby bonus? Or means-testing generally.
    I don’t think the general public realise the potential for extra expense, bureacracy with means testing.

  4. Tim – i agree that means testing is a boon for advisors and accountants and raises EMTRs (which is a really bad outcome) but i just cannot see any economic or political reason to give a $5k baby bonus to a guy earning $1mm a year.

    introducing a new tax on expensive cars is terrible economics, though. pure envy politics straight out of a Year 8 economics class.

  5. I sent a few letters to editors today saying the baby bonus should be canned altogether.
    I can’t believe there’re people in our community that actually believe they have a right to forcibly receive other people’s money just because they pop out a kid. These type of schemes encourage irresponsible community attitudes.

    I read a good quote the other day from Richard Ralston that sums up my feelings on politics quite well, (Ralston writes for Capitalist Magazine):
    “Don’t worry about changing the politicians. The politicians will wear their fingers to the bone sticking them in the air to test which way the wind is blowing.
    Instead, work on CHANGING THE WIND. If you change the wind, the politicians will follow.”

    I think it’s good advice. Public attitudes need changing.

  6. hehe… I like that quote.

    “I can’t believe there’re people in our community that actually believe they have a right to forcibly receive other people’s money just because they pop out a kid.”

    Yeah – I think a lot of people see it as a way to get back some of their own money…

  7. Their money ? Other peoples money ? Who can bloody tell these days.

    Its all a big shell game … taxes are churned around.. money is thrown into the air.. it circulates and lands into some peoples pockets as rebates.

    Lets just say that there wouldn’t be anybody who doesn’t feel that they are getting enough value for their taxes these days – so if they can get a little bit more back, then screw the people who have to bear the burden.

    Even the biggest leeches of society, uni students, who don’t pay a cent in income taxes, feel like the government is robbing them blind – because they accumulate a deferred HECS debt to be repaid once they start earning money. The debt amounts to 25% of their education costs, whilst the taxpayer foots 75% of the bill.

  8. Hmmm… seems ALP still gets pretty good spin:

    HE first Rudd Government Budget tonight will dump work for the dole and middle-class welfare – flagship policies of the previous government.

    It will also give single mothers more money and ease penalties on unsuccessful job seekers.

    The measures, aimed at looking after the disadvantaged, may help the Government to cut spending and fight inflation because they are aimed at encouraging more people into work.

    How would this help people find work? Increase welfare for single mothers and reduce obligations of dole bludgers to look for work?

  9. how do Rudd’s precious ‘working families’ feel about paying tax to dole bludgers? we import 150k migrants a year and we still can’t fill all the job vacancies !

  10. Work for the dole was nothing but a conservative sham. It preyed upon the envy that a puritan work ethic gives some people.

    60% of people would come out still unemployed and without any additional training.

    End job network, end work for the dole, end poverty traps and free the labour market. There are plenty of jobs if we simply let people be employed (notwithstanding macroeconomic problems).

  11. Mark

    60% of people would come out still unemployed and without any additional training

    And this proves what exactly?

    In a time of full employment, it is an affront to the ‘fairness’ that binds Australian society together that people should be eligible for welfare if they choose not to work.

  12. I agree with Mark. I think that the philosophy behind Work for the Dole was good (moving people able to work into work) but the implementation was poor. Same as getting single mothers onto work. I don’t think an authoritarian approach is the right way to do it. But definitely, people should be encouraged to get into work- it increases their own skills and own self-esteem in addition to getting them off the public purse.

  13. “And this proves what exactly?”

    That it is a dreadful waste better given back as tax cuts.

    The money such an awful programme was funded by should have been given back as an increase in the TFT.

  14. I am shocked!
    I was expecting wholesale nationalisation of industries, entrenchment of union privileges, and anti-rich tax scales.
    What sort of Labor government is this?
    They’re almost normal, and rational!
    Looks like another three years in the wilderness for the L&D party.

  15. Maybe the liberals are no longer good for anything because Labor has stolen it all from them?

  16. The Liberals and Labor are pretty much the same parties these days, both pretty much centrist (labor leaning a bit left while liberal leaning a bit right). They defer just by names and it sucks, because they are the two biggest parties.

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