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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

a return to the past « Previous | |Next »
May 2, 2014

So the Business Council types on the Commission of Audit want to return to a small federal government, the states being the primary deliverer of services like health and education and a competitive federalism. The big picture story is about government being smaller, getting out of the way of the market, reducing complexity, targeting welfare, and fixing a broken federation.

cartoons.jpg David Rowe

In wanting to return to the past the Commission the commission wants to substantially dismantle Medicare, cut down on the age pension, leave superannuation tax concessions unscathed, reduce Medicare to something mainly for the poor, hit middle-income families and make the treatment of welfare recipients much harsher. The Commission of Audit’s full report would dismantle the social safety net and cause the pain to be felt disproportionately by the poor.

The return to this kind of small government wont happen because the radical proposals of audit reports are not put into practice by politicians hoping for re-election. However a genuine problem of a budget shortfall in the medium term is being spun as an immediate short term budgetary crisis entirely of the previous government’s making. This crisis will leave future generations of Australians saddled with excessive debt. So drastic action is needed now.

To assert that Labor's reckless spending is the culprit behind the deterioration by the government ignores that the main reason for the decline in government's finances has been on the revenue side of the ledger. Revenue is down from 26 per cent to 23 per cent of gross domestic product in the past decade, while spending has remained at a relatively stable 25 per cent.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:08 PM | | Comments (4)


Long time, no see - changed computers.

Fraser dismantled Medibank in 1976 - so the Liberals have form. Liberal politicians of my acquaintance are quite happy for user pays health care even if it means cancer patients without health insurance don't get treated, they also believe that care of aged and disabled people is the responsibility of their families - I guess they will be happy to see mentally disturbed people looked in the chicken coop out in the back yard. I think they often ignorant of how disabled people can be and how much care they can require.

Allowing the states to raise their own taxation will not be popular with states like South Australia and Tasmania.

Would Tasmania remain a state or would it get absorbed into Victoria - bye bye Senator Abetz

How does altering the way the minimum wage is calculated in order to lower it help reduce the budget deficit? The minimum wage does not directly relate to public expenditure.

The commission of audit's recommendations hit the poor while leaving the well-off largely insulated from change.

The old white men on the Commission propose cutting education and training.

The vision of the report’s authors seems to be one of Australia being a massive, foreign-owned quarry.