SO, THE BUDGET has been released, and while Joe Hockey dances in his office and smokes a fat cigar the bulk of us are left to pick up the pieces of what were once our lives.
With all of the cuts to services and the new taxes and tax hikes that were announced under some strange new titles like 'Temporary Budget Repair Levy' that the government of no surprises surprised us all with, there were a couple missing.
Usually when a government wants to increase revenue the first thing they do is lift the taxes on tobacco and alcohol. The good ol’ beer and smokes tax hike is almost a tradition.
So why not this time?
After all, there is a "budget emergency” we are being told.
Wouldn’t an extra few billion in income be better than $50 Billion being ripped out of our health system? I would have thought so.
I wonder if the decision not to lift the taxes on smokes and grog has anything to do with the Liberal Party reliance on the lobbyists and donations from those industries?
After all, the Liberal Party was notorious for taking millions upon millions from “Big Tobacco” in donations over the years. The Nationals still accept donations from Big Tobacco.
We have also been made aware that the Liberals fundraising organisation The Millennium Forum is run by a man by the name of Paul Nicolaou, who is also NSW Chief Executive of the Australian Hotels Association, which one of the biggest lobby groups for the alcohol industry in this country.
No conflict of interest there...
Paul Nicolaou, you may remember, has been called before ICAC recently as the Liberal Party in NSW implodes over a corruption scandal the likes of which we have never seen before.
Despite Abbott’s and Hockey’s reluctance to lumber their tobacco and alcohol pals with a tax hike, prices will still rise on these items due to the Coalitions budget.
The increase in the fuel excise levy will also guarantees these companies freight costs will be pushed up and this will end up being passed on to the consumer — as it will for all of our groceries.
There has been a lot of talk about Abbott’s many broken promises since the budget reared its ugly head.
For those that were surprised by this, maybe they should watch the video below regarding a new tax as a memory refresher:
Now we are hearing a lot about what Tony Abbott’s "fundamental commitment" during his campaign was — like we are the ones with bad memories.
Apparently, one of his promises trumped every other promise — and that was to bring the economy back to surplus as quickly as possible.
In an interview with Chris Uhlmann on ABC AM:
"Look, there will be a lot of people, Chris, who will be disappointed ... [but] in the end, the most fundamental commitment that I made was to get the budget back under control."
Granted that was something Abbott mentioned during the campaign often, however I don’t recall it ever being a solemn promise — let alone a gospel promise.
There were four main promises that I recall which stood out above all else.
- No New Taxes
- Scrap the Carbon tax
- End The Waste
- Stop The Boats
So let’s look at these now suddenly not so important promises.
No New Taxes
When Julia Gillard implemented a levy to help out the people of Queensland after a natural disaster, Abbott called it a tax. In fact Abbott referred to virtually any rise in the cost of living as some sort of tax from Julia Gillard.
However when Abbott introduces what he would formerly call a tax, he calls it a 'Temporary budget repair levy'. But no matter what Abbott and Hockey desire to call it, most of us call it a broken promise.
I also note that this – the only part of the budget that has the rich 'sharing the pain' – has the word 'Temporary' in its title. Noticeably, there are no 'temporary cuts to welfare, the pension, education or health — only the new tax for those on a stratospheric $180,000 a year.
On top of the 'Temporary budget repair levy', we have a hike in the fuel excise. That is a tax rise no matter how you look at it.
Also we will now have a surcharge to go to the doctor, because apparently the country can’t afford for everyone to have free medical care.
Funny, I seem to recall paying a Medicare levy out of every pay cheque, which in my mind means I’ve paid for my medical needs.
As Treasurer Joe Hockey finally conceded on Q&A on Monday night there are new taxes and tax rises in this budget — though he calls them a "rabbit". OK...
Anyway, this co-contribution” of Abbott's is nothing more than a sick tax.
Scrap The Carbon Tax
The Carbon Tax that Abbott promised he would “immediately” legislate against still remains in place with no legislation raised yet.
By my calculations, we are around 28% of the way through Abbott's term as Prime Minister and still what he promised to do immediately has not come into effect, nor does it seem to be on the horizon as we head towards the one year mark.
Given that Abbott has not included income from the Carbon Tax in his budget, I have a hunch that he is glad to see it stay in place so that the Coalition can sneak themselves into a surprise surplus on the back of an outright lie just in time for the next election.
End The Waste
The families of the thousands of public servants who are now set to lose their jobs may have a different view on waste, I imagine.
In fact, Government spending has changed little in dollar figures — just what it is spent on.
Some may see the spending on schools as a waste, but not me. Nor do I think securing jobs is a waste of money.
Some of the things I find wasteful are little things such as a virtual library in George Brandis’s office, and spending a few Billion dollars on fighter jets, despite them still never having got off the ground once.
While Tony plays Top Gun, Granny opens another tin of cat food.
Stop The Boats
The boats have stopped we keep hearing.
What utter nonsense.
It was only recently that our courageous PM cancelled a trip to Indonesia, making up some lame excuses as to why he couldn't go.
The real reason was that he didn’t have the courage to front up, because a storm was brewing over a boat that we had just towed back into Indonesian waters illegally. Not only that, it was alleged that there were three extra passengers, thereby board making the Government people smugglers.
If the boats have stopped, then where did this boat come from? Coober Pedy?
Admittedly it does seem that the boats have slowed down, or perhaps it is that we just don’t hear about them anymore due to the censorship of information from Scott Morrison, who gets his approach to transparency direct from North Korea.
Let’s, just for the sake of argument, assume the boats have slowed down.
I’m pretty sure if I were to tell a policeman that I slowed down to 40kmh when I went through a red light, it would not get me out of a ticket and a fine.
Nor do I hear of doctors asking nurses to slow the bleeding down so the patient bleeds slowly to death, rather than straight away.
That is because slowing and stopping are two different things.
Apparently, that was on an episode of Play School Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison must have missed.
Abbott has broken virtually every one of his promises related to the cost of living, welfare and the tax system.
One of Abbott's last remaining promises on tax was that he would not alter the GST.
"The GST won't change, full stop, end of story.”
One wonders how long until that promise is also broken, with $80 billion cuts to state health and education budget seemingly designed to wedge the Premiers into demanding a GST rate hike.
And what started out as a lone Coalition senator calling for changes to the GST model has now turned into a full-scale Coalition Brandenburg Choir singing to slug us all with GST changes.
It would appear it's only a matter of time.
If the Liberal Party really wanted to bring about a surplus that quickly, why not just take all of their dodgy donations and backhanders being uncovered by ICAC and put them in the countries bank account rather than their own?
Abbott promised tax relief and a better standard of living for families.
He is now taxing us into poverty just so that he can promise us the same lies in his next election campaign.
Don’t be fooled again.
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