One of Joe Hockey’s first acts as Treasurer in 2013 was to gift the RBA $8.8 billion. The main reason for this was to make Labor’s deficit look bigger. As a side bonus, it allowed the RBA to invest in the forex market, banking on the Australian dollar losing value as the mining boom subsided.
And that is exactly what happened allowing the government to draw…wait for it…$8.8 billion in dividends over the last six years. That’s all very well (if we ignore how the Coalition screamed like stuck pigs when Labor took a one-off dividend of $500 million in 2013) except Hockey borrowed the $8.8 billion so we are still paying interest on it.
- Major newspapers feature “censored” front pages to show the impact of government secrecy
- It follows a television campaign launched on Sunday night
- Media organisations want greater protections for journalists and whistleblowers
Fair and unbiased reporting is disappearing in Australia as the Coalition Government and Murdoch Mafia gain control of our news, writes Ranald Macdonald.
When the Coalition under Malcolm Turnbull won 76 seats in the 2016 election, it was generally accepted that Turnbull had “blown it” and the knives were quickly sharpened. Yet when the ad man wins 77 seats, he is hailed as a messiah that has delivered a decisive victory enabling the Coalition to do whatever they damn well please.
Let’s be clear about that election result.
Leaving out Queensland, in the rest of the country, Labor won 62 seats compared to the Coalition’s 54. That is a resounding victory.
We have the government that Queensland thrust upon us against the wishes of every other state and territory (except WA – the only other state where the Coalition won a majority of seats).
It seems just a few days ago that the Liberals were telling us how good they’ve been at creating jobs. I suppose if you use the word “creating” in the sense of a making up a thing that’s not really there, then one would have to agree.
Then again, Scottie is very helpful these days. When it was discovered that one of the councils being given drought relief was actually experiencing a bumper season, our PM told us that he made no apology for being generous… which would be fine, were it not for the fact that the councils to which he was so generous didn’t seem to be in any Labor electorates. I’m mildly surprised that the metropolitan electorate of Chisholm wasn’t given drought relief, not because it’s a marginal electorate, but because city people have to pay higher food prices thanks to the drought…
And then there’s the NDIS which is so generous that it had more money than people needed. How else do you explain the $4.5 billion in unspent funds this financial year? Incompetence in its administration? Ridiculous. The Coalition is in charge! An obsession with returning the Budget to surplus no matter who suffers? You cynic! As if the government would do such a thing.
Your NEUTERED your a PUBLIC SERVANT you can’t join a UNION? (ODT)
Having a public service where employees are denied a platform for expressing political opinions makes for a poorer public service and distinctly poorer policy. To regard public servants as apolitical is tantamount to seeing them as amoral, executing the policies of the day with blind obedience. Precedents of history demonstrate how dangerous that path can be.
There will be no social reform under this government – no Voice for Indigenous people, no help for the unemployed, no fair distribution of the wealth earned from 28 years of economic growth, no action on cutting emissions.
They are paralysed by the bullet lodged in their spine.
WHEN FACED with criticism or hard questions about the state of the economy and the current economic downturn, the Morrison Government has developed a very simple narrative to base its responses around: ‘Everything is Awesome’.
Despite a number of economic indicators ringing alarm bells and warnings from the Reserve Bank that interest rate cuts alone were going to be insufficient to get the economy out of its current downturn, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continue to insist that the “fundamentals are strong”.
Succsesive LNP governments have continuously cut the ABC’s funding. They killed Radio Australia after 75 years in the Pacific under Abbott. They gave $30 mill to Murdoch under Turnbull and have cut $300 mill off the ABC since 2013. Now having given China the freedom to broadcast throughout the region they wan’t to appear tho reverse the Abbott trend by not calling it a gross error but by giving the funding to commercial free to air TV $17 mill to represent their shareholders and not Australia. This gov is on a 3 year mission to smother the ABC (ODT)
The ABC has complained to the Morrison government about a plan to give $17 million to commercial television networks to bring Australian shows to the Pacific Islands, with the public broadcaster arguing it should receive the funding instead.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the three year, multi-million dollar funding initiative with FreeTV Australia in January and negotiations between the government and the commercial television group are underway.
He blew it and so did Abbott but…. don’t believe their gone (ODT)
Bernardi says Scott Morrison helped steal his party’s thunder and millions of dollars was spent on a message ‘no one listened to’
So there was a problem a bigger one than they made Peter Slipper face, (ODT)
I say to those who work on the ‘it’s ok when we do it’ philosophy, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Except, despite what Taylor has claimed, investors are actually calling on governments to put in place policies that will support a transition away from fossil fuels, including the reintroduction of a carbon price, a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and an end to thermal coal.
A collection of 477 global investors have issued a joint statement ahead of a meeting of G20 leaders in Osaka, calling on governments to do more to tackle climate change and plan for a world without coal.
Specifically, investors have called on governments to “put a meaningful price on carbon” and to “phase out thermal coal power worldwide by set deadlines.”
The group of investors, that manage a combined $US34 trillion in investment assets, with signatories to the statement including Australian investment managers, including Australian Super, Cbus, Hesta, First State Super, IFM Investors and BT Financial Group.
During his tenure as federal energy minister, Angus Taylor has overseen a period of increasing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and has raised fears among members of the COAG energy council that he has no plans for reducing emissions in the electricity sector and may disengage with the council altogether on the issue of emissions policy.
The problem is, the economy seems to be running out of puff because it’s caught in a vicious circle: private consumption and business investment can’t grow strongly because there’s no growth in real wages, but real wages will stay weak until stronger growth in consumption and investment gets them moving.
Policy has to break this cycle. But, as Lowe now warns in every speech he gives, monetary policy (lower interest rates) isn’t still powerful enough to break it unaided. Rates are too close to zero, households are too heavily indebted, and it’s already clear that the cost of borrowing can’t be the reason business investment is a lot weaker than it should be.
That leaves the budget as the only other instrument available. The first stage of the tax cuts will help, but won’t be nearly enough. “Structural reform” is always a nice idea, but fixing a problem of deficient demand from the supply side would take far too long to be of practical help.
Investors haven’t been this pessimistic since the global financial crisis of 2008.
The 180 degree turn around by the Media is as remarkable because we had just as much to worry about when Abbott delivered his first budget. Yet the media in the main were puffing up Frydenberg and Morrison as the primo money managers of our economy. Interest cuts won’t have the retired spending their savings and that’s the cash they are after Superannuation because the middle class and working class workers are in debt and it’s growing (ODT)
Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?
So don’t moan if the Coalition continues to stuff things up. They have been doing so for six years. You gave them another three. That’s not my fault.
My thought for the day
The right to vote in an election is the gift that democracy gives. Therefore, it is incumbent on the voter to at least have a rudimentary understanding of politics and to take an interest in the political landscape.
He said the government’s fixation on jobs and growth had had some positive outcomes – higher company profits combined with tax concessions mean investors have done well, and jobs growth has resulted in more people being employed – but the glaring hole is the forgotten middle who have not seen commensurate wage rises. This is placing a drag on the economy and financial stress on wage-earning households.
“But really it’s no surprise considering Angus Taylor has continually argued against climate action and is part of a government that has continually lied about what their emissions data actually shows, which is that emissions are rising and we’re not on track to meet our international climate commitments.”
Apparently this government has a mandate to operate in secret and will continue to do so. (ODT
Christensen spent 25 per cent of the year in the Philippines making woopee with his girlfriend at the taxpayer’s expense.
Turning to Craig Kelly, he:
” … has been described as a climate sceptic. He was appointed chair of the backbench Environment and Energy Committee, giving advice to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. He has previously written that convict arrivals to Australia in the 18th century found the weather warmer than in recent years and has invited climate sceptics from the Institute of Public Affairs to present to the government prior to the Paris Agreement. Kelly has criticised renewable energy, saying that it causes higher electricity bills. He has furthermore stated that this could kill people who are afraid to turn on their heaters.”
“… stated on his Facebook page that he would vote with his electorate in the marriage survey. In the conscience votes which sought to amend the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Kelly voted for all the amendments, none of which passed.”
“In February 2019, after Cardinal George Pell‘s conviction for child sexual abuse, Kelly posted a series of Facebook posts labelling the trial a “grave miscarriage of justice”, and the media a “lynch mob”.”
FAKE NEWS THE LNP HAVE IMPROVED THE ECONOMY. $80 Mill MEDIA CON (ODT)
That points to an exceptionally weak economy, susceptible to a growing list of potential international shocks; a message starkly at odds with that presented at the budget and the election.
Just two months ago, we were promised a decade of federal budget surpluses based upon a strong and recovering economy.
When a housing slump collides with rising unemployment
That’s the problem with booms. They tend to unwind, occasionally in spectacular fashion, especially when they’ve been supercharged with debt.
Labor’s short-lived carbon price raised $15.4 billion in revenue from polluters which was passed on to the public via a large increase in the tax-free threshold and additional payments to welfare recipients and families with school-aged children. Trade-exposed industries also received assistance to transition and had incentive to invest in more sustainable practice.
Conversely, the Coalition have spent billions of public money on their Direct Action strategy only to see emissions rise again.
When more people voted for Labor and the Greens, to claim a mandate for the Coalition’s inaction on climate change is beyond despicable.
You can’t have a mandate for a lie.
LNP’s MOthers Day Launch Screw The Lunch Mum (ODT)
Rolling out John Howard in marginal electorates may not be the best tactic since he represents the “golden era” before this unsettled Coalition Government.
JOHN HOWARD has been exhumed as the great grey hope and is being paraded among the marginal electorates to enthuse the faithful and woo the undecided — assuming, that is, that they know who he is, or at least was.
Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have been brought into to cameo roles in the Labor campaign, but those two can be counted in living memory. Little Johnny’s reign ended some 12 years ago when a great many younger voters – who have enrolled in record numbers – were not even in their teens and will see him, if they notice him at all, as a relic from a bygone era.
His legacy, divisive at the time, is now little more than a footnote in history: gun law reform (good), the GST (reluctantly accepted), the 2001 dog whistling and deceit at the Tampa election (bad) and the loss of his Government and his own seat in 2007 (depends where you stand).
So fucking much for women (ODT)
I’m not making it up.
Six days before the election, you launch your campaign. And on Mothers’ Day!
Still, I listened to Scott Morrison on 7:30. He didn’t answer the question about whether he’d have three ex-PMs at his launch preferring to tell Leigh Sales that he was more concerned with talking to the people… I’d take that as a no, personally.
Perhaps, Scott should have replied by suggesting that they couldn’t make it because it was Mother’s Day… although that may prompt someone to suggest so those mothers had to celebrate their special day elsewhere!
But is there a hidden motive behind the Murdoch media’s pro-Coalition frenzy? According to the Friends of the ABC, the secret agenda of News Corp and the Liberals is the post-election privatisation of the ABC.
Given the Coalition’s historical dislike of the national broadcaster, privatisation may well be the fate of the AB
Rather than defending us from the exploitation of unscrupulous merchants and employers, the government has decided it is best to leave us at the mercy of the free market – unless a donor needs a boost like underwriting their new coal-fired power station because no-one else will.
Whilst the Coalition asks who do you trust on national security, it seems clear that our greatest need for protection is from other institutions and from the abuses of government itself, particularly its collusion with these other institutions.
Politicising the Public Service
The AFP’s ties to the Coalition have almost turned our nation into a police state, using terrorism and immigration as political tools, writes Bruce Haigh.
AS THE HOWARD REGIME progressed, through time it perfected the art of smoke and mirrors, reaching the art of the ridiculous under Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Abbott and Turnbull made notable contributions.
Over this twenty-three year period, the politicisation of the public service and associated institutions has aided and abetted the show business of the LNP and, to a lesser extent, the Labor Party. We have seen the trashing of truth for political ends. As an example, sustained pressure from Howard saw the Bureau of Statistics decide that one hour of work a week constituted employment. By what flight of common sense did that become accepted? It is nonsense intended at the time to boost the LNP’s political fortunes.
But the communications bureaucrat Richard Bean and the former chief executive of News Corp and Foxtel Peter Tonagh concluded the ABC needed expensive new infrastructure to keep up with rapid changes in technology, and long-term funding certainty was preferable to the current triennial funding.
The ABC has lost $393m over five years under the Coalition government.
Handed to the government in December, the secret $1m report has languished in Mitch Fifield’s office for months and may never be released if Labor wins the election.
Cash and ScomosMona Lisa Smirk (ODT)
The idea that Morrison will run a “truth campaign” is laughable. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the word.
My thought for the day
The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.
What a tangled web they weave (ODT)
Anyway, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with Greg Hunt where he tells us that went on the record as saying that he never heard Scott Morrison express anti-Muslim views at a Cabinet meeting and the revelation that he wasn’t at the meeting only proves that he couldn’t possibly have heard anything that ScoMo said, before telling everyone that he’ll be available for speaking engagements in a couple of months… Or, if you like, he can twist balloons into whatever shape you want and entertain the kids because he’ll have a lot of time on his hands come post-election.
Is it any wonder the LNP do what ever Newscorp asks they just might print the facts (ODT)
Annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the December quarter was a dismal 2.34%. The quarterly rise was just 0.18%. The latter ranks an appalling 32nd out of the 36 OECD members. It ranks 77th out of the 92 countries worldwide which record growth quarterly. Lowest ranking ever, by far.
With an election looming these numbers should remove any lingering doubt regarding the Coalition’s incompetence in economic management.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hailed this week’s growth data with the mix of half-truths and blatant falsehoods we now expect from this Government:
‘With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in seven years … our economic foundations are in good shape’
Again, quite false. Australia’s jobless rate is at 5.02% is the same as it was back in 2011, when the whole world was in the worst global financial crisis in eighty years. Australia’s jobless rate then ranked sixth in the OECD. Now, after five years of strong global recovery, Australia ranks 17th.
It also ignores Labor’s proposed income tax cuts which would see everyone who earns less than $125,000 a year – that is, most Australians – hundreds of dollars a year better off compared to what the Coalition is offering.
Coalition policies got the budget in trouble in the first place. They facilitate tax avoidance by those who can most afford to contribute at the expense of government services and payments to those who can least afford to pay.
If you call that success, then you patently care more about the wealth of the few than the well-being of the many.