May 26, 2014
The judgement is that Treasurer Joe Hockey's first budget is harsh for lower and middle income earners and unfair as they bear the brunt of permanent spending cuts whilst the wealthy are subjected to a temporary lift in income tax. The young bear the brunt of some of the harshest cuts whilst the miners have their tax lifted.
Is it any wonder that the backlash about the budget hit on those who can least afford it continues to grow, despite acceptance of the need for structural budget repair?
It is also predictable that the Coalition and non-media and News Ltd media allies would turn on the budget's critics. It was no surprise that Abbott + Co would play a game of bluff about calling a double dissolution election if the senate blocked too much of Hockey's budget, whilst promising second term tax cuts.
It is as predictable as the Coalition locking the country into a fossil fuel future despite the current depressed coal prices, low profits and the structural decline in the demand for coal.
The negative reaction to the Coalition's 2014 Budget is to its neo-liberal mode of governance under the guise of having the courage to stand firm to save Australia from Labor's Debt and Deficit Disaster. It is realized that this mode of governance is taking steps away from a Howard-style conservatism towards the free market individualist governance of the United States. Presumably, this is being done in order to achieve higher rates of economic growth by supercharging the economy. In this type of society corporate profit comes at the expense of the environment and the most vulnerable members of society.
Therein lies the political poison, and the Weatherall Government in SA will make good use of it as the budget and economy crumbling around them. Their own slash-and-burn budget to cope with the changed budget picture will be sheeted home to the federal cuts to the states made by the Abbott Coalition.