No Celebration Today

14 Comments

NOTE:  The subject matter of this post is political and includes my opinions.

Last night was Budget night here in Australia.  It was the first budget delivered since the election of the new government last year.  There have been so many leaks and hints over the past weeks that people may have been forgiven for thinking that they had heard it all by the time last night rolled around.  How wrong we were!

promises

The governement have been hammering the message about the dire straits of the debt and deficit in this country and how everyone has to share the pain.  From my assessment of the budget there is pain, YES (lots of it)………….shared, perhaps……………..equitably shared, NO!

I wanted to write this post last night but I was simply too angry to even contemplate putting my thoughts together in a coherent manner.

I would like to point out that my anger is not about what I or my family will lose personally, both now and in the future.  I am angry that the sick, disenfranchised, elderly and those least able to defend themselves have been viciously attacked whilst big business have emerged virtually unscathed.

Here is a list of some of the measures announced – it is not complete and the time frames for introduction vary.  I and most others do not have all of the details but I understand enough to be very, very unhappy.

As far as I can see I can expect to pay more for fuel with the reintroduction of the fuel excise to be indexed twice-yearly.  This will also affect the cost of everything, including food that is subject to transport costs.  I will have to make a co-payment to visit the doctor, have a blood test or an x-ray.  Prescription medicines will rise in cost.  The eligibility for an aged pension will rise to 70 years.

Our income is such that we are not liable for the debt levy which is being applied to all those earning in excess of $180,000 per annum.  However, we have sufficient room in our own budget to accommodate the increase in costs that I outlined in the previous paragraph.  We plan to have adequate superannuation to fund our own retirement without having to work until we are eligible to access the aged pension.

So, I should be pretty happy, right?  I am not because I fear for others in our society who are not so fortunate.  Check out this graphic for the ‘Winner and Losers’.

Here are a few examples of some of the negative changes.  There are far to many to list.

No unemployment benefits for 6 months if you are under 30
Changes from Newstart to Youth Allowance for 22 – 24 year olds
Eligibility for aged pension to increase to 70
Superannuation Guarantee Levy to be frozen at 9.5% until at least 2018
First Home Savers Account to be scrapped
Schoolkids Bonus abolished
$7 co-payment for Dr visits and also pathology and radiology
Funding slashed to CSIRO, ANTSO, ABC and SBS
Abolish PHIO (Private Health Insurance Ombudsman)
Increase in cost of prescription medications on PBS ($0.80 for concession card holders and $5.00 extra for the rest of us)
Abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency
Cut funding to the National Anti-Tobacco Campaign
Gonski school funding model disbanded – cuts in education funding
Allowing hospital emergency departments to bill for “GP-type” visits
Cut funding for human rights education
Higher university costs

Here are some of the beneficaries that you may not have heard about yet.

Increased funding for school chaplaincy services
A new icebreaker ship
Funds for Australian Drug Commission
Medical Research Future Fund
$1 million for accommodation for students of Australian National Ballet

A quote I found online:

“No progress on tax avoidance, no sign that Australia will responsibly lead the G20, no reform of expensive concessions to the rich: this budget is a massive moral failure”

And finally, absolutely nothing positive for the environment and the effects of a changing climate but that is hardly surprising since Mr Abbott does not believe it exists.

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “No Celebration Today

  1. Oh dear you have taken the words right out of my mouth, but in a more gentle way than what I was thinking lol. Last night the words in my brain would have made my curly hair spring even more 🙂 I was soooo angry and exactly for the same reasons as you have stated.
    I cringe thinking what is going to happen to the future of so many young and so many people struggling already.
    I am so very sick also of the comments, “”it had to happen, what??? had to happen to whom??? the weak, young and the hurting families again..
    I feel so sorry for those families and singles who are struggling now and am so ashamed of our Government for starting Australia towards a third world country…
    Hate to think what food is going to cost people now also with petrol going to shoot up again too….
    Also would love to know where the jobs are going to come from for those in need of them and the future generations who are leaving School soon. There are so many layoffs at the moment it is not funny… But the OLD and YOUNG have to fight it out between them to get a job. pfffft… Gobsmacked and as you can see very worked up at the callous budget..

    • Jeni, I really feel for you. Most pensioners have very little slack, if any, in their budgets and almost all of the measures seem to be aimed squarely at those who are least able to absorb the costs.

      It is just wrong!

  2. I can say Fairy, I’m as disappointed as you – though I was under no illusions I’d ‘like’ anything Tony and his government presented. That being said, the only thing i saw coming (and likely from either govt) was the increase to the retirement age, and something I have planned even in my youth. (I also think it blind to have the govt not enforce an increase beyond 9.5% on super, when it’s an expense that’ll cost all long term, and the sooner we introduce little increases to business, the better – maybe slower, but it needs to happen imo, as people do NOT independently manage their retirement enough) That being said, in my latest role, I dearly wish some of the less able staff would retire rather than continue with patchy attendance that makes life incredibly hard to plan!

    I’m saddened that universities will become ‘user pays’ to the extent that we have seen in the US (and I was shocked I’d missed the moves from a 1:4 ration student to govt to a 2:5 ratio split – missed that in past budgets!).

    My (right leaning) BF enjoyed the free GP recently (despite it take close to 18 months to get him there) but even he grumbled at the current cost of medications. To raise the price seems to be silly IMO. I already think the costs of medication in Australia is vastly different to elsewhere in the world, and pharma are INCREDIBLY profitable (if the perks are anything to go by).

    • 2 very good points here that I agree with totally.

      1. It is incredibly short-sighted not to increase the superannuation payment to encourage and support a more independent approach to retirement.
      2. I believe the pharmaceutical industry needs a good shake-up, some transperency and improved pricing.

      • Also – THANKS for your post. I choose not to read the news anymore, so your post informed me just in time to discuss the budget with my BF!

        I certainly believe point 1 you raise is something both govts needs to seriously look at. Labor (uncharacteristically) were looking to lessen the state’s bill – and Tony’s just trying to appease business… which is somewhat short sighted!

  3. I’ve been purposefully avoiding reading anything about the budget for exactly the reasons you outlined. Don’t start me on the School Chaplaincy Program! As the Business Manager in a school the political noose they throw out and strangle you with is appalling. Very fearful about sour beloved ABC. I must admit I’m turning into a bit of a ‘put my head in the sand’ person because I just get too angry and depressed about poor and sometimes globally embarrassing decisions.

    • The cuts to health and education are bordering on obscene in my opinion. The priorities in this budget are all wrong.

      School chaplaincy, icebreakers and accommodation for ballet students!! What are they thinking??

  4. You mention one of the knock-on effects, such as a rise in food and other costs deriving from the fuel tax, the rise in costs of medication and the co-payment for GP visits. These are the budget items that will most likely affect me and Tom. Nothing earth shattering there for us. However, our own budget will still be affected, and as we have been self-employed and on a fairly low income (currently less than $40,000) for over 30 years, and had no-one paying our sick or holiday leave, nor making superannuation payments on our behalf, we have consequently only a very small amount in super and will necessarily have to claim the age pension. We estimate our total income, including the pension, to be less than $40,000 a year, so even these small increases will affect us and we cannot even rely on the twice-yearly indexation of the age pension to provide a small buffer against rising living costs in the future, as this, too, is about to change. Yet, these are not my main concerns, as I know we will manage. We always have and always will.

    I am majorly concerned about the proposed increases in costs for university students, meaning most of them will pay back triple the amount they are currently paying for their HECS debts. It currently costs around $5,000 on average to repay a HECS debt of $20,000 over 10 years. This will triple to $15,000 and take a considerably longer time to repay. Will this be a factor in school leavers’ decisions whether to enter university or not? I am also devastated at the Federal Government’s decision to cut $80billion dollars of funding to states for health and education. That is an astronomical figure to strip from 2 essential services. Where is this going to leave our communities?

    From what I have seen today, it is the sick, the unemployed, the disabled and the lower paid who are paying for this budget. The PM will make an approximate sacrifice of around $6,000 per annum from his $500,000 salary. He has also told us they will freeze salaries for MP’s for one year. Isn’t that a good decision, especially as they have just received a pay rise in the past couple of months. How much hardship can that possibly cause them. Oh, and their retirement perks have been cut. Instead of a retired MP receiving a travel pass for 10-15 free flights per year for both the MP and spouse, this is now to be reduced (gradually) upon retirement, to only 5 per year and the spouse must pay their own fare. I suppose we are meant to applaud this “sacrifice”. Excuse me while I weep for them.

    • Oh dear, I will join you in weeping for the sacrifices that that top end of town are having to make. My heart bleeds for them!

      The Duke reckons this budget is designed to appease Gina Reinhart. She is probably not happy either as it probably hasn’t been harsh enough on ordinary people. 😦

  5. Absolutely agree really does make you think their reasons especially when all promises made pre election ignored. Robyn

  6. Honesty, trust and promises clearly mean nothing. The government are trying to hide behind their trumped up ‘budget emergency’ which simply does not exist. Let’s hope that voters remember the lies and deceit at the next election.

    Here is a quote from Alannah MacTiernan (Labor Member for Perth)

    “There is no budget emergency.

    “Tony Abbott knew exactly the state of the budget when he came to government. So this has been an elaborate farce to justify breaching every election commitment he made about there being no change to pensions, there being no cuts to schools and no cuts to health.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s