Since The Australian Labor Party, under the direction of Julia Gillard PM, began its electioneering campaign for the forthcoming Federal Election, called for August 21st, 2010, there has been no sign of economic restraint or ‘fiscal responsibility.’
At the end of April 2010 the Federal Budget was handed down by (the then) Treasurer, Wayne Swan. He is reported as saying: Fiscal responsibility, an earlier than expected return to surplus and a narrow escape from recession are the central messages .
This was before the election had been called and ABC News reported: With an election only months away, the budget features few big-ticket expenditure items. But it consolidates Labor’s focus on health spending with a further $2.2b to add to the $5.3b pledged in recent weeks.
It begs asking just how the country can return to a surplus by 2012/13, as guaranteed by Mr. Swan, when Prime Minister Gillard is going around the country throwing money around, left right and centre, to get the voters on her side. Perhaps she is no good with figures? Perhaps she is no good with promises? Perhaps it’s all just political spin? Whatever her motivation (let me not be accused of making judgements), one only has to look at some of the figures being promised, and then ask the question – just who is going to pay for all of this when we already have a deficit of $57.1 billion dollars.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a Labor government would spend $277 million to help Australians at risk of suicide, with a priority on providing services for men.
The government promises to give motorists a $2000 rebate if they trade in a car built before 1995 for a low-emission, fuel-efficient model. The scheme is designed to take 200,000 clunkers off the road and turn them into scrap metal.
The car industry has welcomed the $394 million proposal to give motorists a rebate on trade-ins between January 2011 and the end of 2014.
Students weighing up whether to learn a trade or study at university would benefit from a $3.2 million program promised by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Ms Gillard announced today that, if re-elected, she would establish a National Cadetship Program for students in year nine to year 12. The program would be available from 2012, she said during a visit to Richmond High School, where she inspected progress on the trade training centre and met aspiring chefs.
Ms Gillard visited Launceston and Devonport on Monday, where Labor is hoping to keep the marginal seats of Bass and Braddon. The PM promised local residents that more than 3000 emergency department nurses and doctors will be trained if Labor wins next month’s election. The whole health package would be worth around $100 million, Ms Gillard says.
PARENTS will be able to claim almost $800 a child to cover the cost of school uniforms under Julia Gillard’s first election promise. The tax refund is worth up to $390 a primary school child and $779 for secondary students. The cost of expanding the scheme will be $220 million over four years.
Ms Gillard also announced $11.5 million in funding for the ageing Launceston flood levees, if her government is re-elected. Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten says the council’s been lobbying the Federal Government for months.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says workers who lose their job when their employer goes bust will no longer have to worry about whether they’ll get their redundancy pay. Labor plans to replace the existing general employee entitlements and redundancy scheme with the fair entitlements scheme, costing an extra $60.8 million over four years.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced more than $740 million to build a rail link to Redcliffe, north of Brisbane.
OK, OK that’s just a sample, but I hope you can see that our Prime Minister is making promises and handing out money like she and Wayne have their own printing press stashed somewhere out the back of Parliament House in Canberra!
Dominic Knight tells us: her policies are gossamer construction, delightfully ornate and yet entirely flimsy. They’re artfully designed to appeal to left and right alike, and delivered in speeches that feel like a cup of hot Milo before bedtime. Gillard speaks calmly and placidly, accompanied by constant hypnotic nods of her head which lull the viewer into a slumber.
Under the blazing spotlight of analysis, her plans melt like an ice sculpture – or a polar ice cap, given her approach to climate change, which was announced on the weekend with a commitment to setting a carbon price that was firm in every respect except the date.
She committed a billion dollars for renewable energy to try and safeguard those Green preferences, but the major thrust of the policy felt like an attempt to placate those, like Tony Abbott, who think its crap. She’d toss the problem to a Citizens’ Assembly, a proxy for public opinion that conveniently delays her own decision until a year after the election.
AH YES that Citizens Assembly: Oh Dear, I have to say that when I first heard about this, I cringed big time, it sounded so? Socialistic! Julia Gillard will go back to the people to gauge their support for an Emissions Trading Scheme…….
In an attempt to stamp her consensus-building style on the ETS back down by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, Ms Gillard will pledge to lead the case in favour of a carbon market. But she will argue that such an enormous change must be based on genuine community support.
As well as the year-long citizens’ assembly – where participation is voluntary for the ”ordinary Australians” chosen by an independent body through the census or the electoral roll – a re-elected Labor government would also set up an independent climate change commission to explain the science and report back on international negotiations.
Ms. Gillard is going to lead the case in favour of a carbon market…… hummm sounds like she has already made up her mind, but is hedging her bets until there is also ”credible action” on reducing emissions in the United States, China and India.
She tell us: ”If I am wrong, and that group of Australians (her Citizens Assembly) is not persuaded of the case for change, then that should be a clear warning bell that our community has not been persuaded as deeply as required about the need for transformational change,”. Guess that also tells us that obviously she is right and they are wrong if they disagree with her.
I’d also like to know how you set up an Independent Climate Change Commission, when Australia has signed the Kyoto Protocol, and has a Climate Minister who will not even consider opinions that are different from her own. Will this Independent Commission be equally stacked with pro AGW and those who strongly disagree with the theory… yes remember, it is still a theory.
Till next time, please think before you vote…… three years is a long time in politics.
What the government spends today, we and our children – and YES, their children too will be forced to pay back, and more!
PS…. as I was so kindly reminded and incase you too have forgotten:
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has refused to deny Opposition claims that Labor is borrowing $100 million a day to pay back Government debt, but says the Opposition is skewing the figures and they do not represent how strong the economy is.
Mr Swan says the Government borrowed the money to support the economy during the global financial crisis.
Excuse me asking two questions here (a) to whom are we indebted – who did you borrow the money from, and (b) how they heck are we going to pay this back ($100 million per day!) whilst you lot are still throwing money around like its printed on toilet paper…… FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY MY LEFT FOOT!