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

it's the inequality folks « Previous | |Next »
August 12, 2014

It is now pretty clear that the Abbott Government, in turning away from the public service, has contracted out its public policy to the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) turned away from the public service and that the task of the Abbott Government is to implement the recommended policies. When Hockey refers to the federal government having an overarching plan that will balance the books and avoid a fiscal crisis he means the outsourced plans.

The economy i is being managed for our benefit for the benefit of the big businesses that dominate it. Increasing inequality is the consequence, and people are acutely aware that the 2014 Hockey Budget is designed to increase this inequality. They are seen to be seeking to reduce income support provided to the lowest income earners in Australia.

RoweD EconomicStrategy.jpg David Rowe

As the economy transitions away from its reliance on resources projects the Abbott Government is seen to have little interest in reduce inequality, as it moves to unwind both welfare provisions and the progressive nature of our tax system. Senior ministers imply that inequality (including gender inequality) is not just unavoidable, but also beneficial.

They are seeking to exacerbate it (both income and wealth) rather than lessen it because their position is that greater inequality boosts productivity and economic growth. Hence their unpopularity--the electorate is sold that Australia requires greater inequality to ensure economic growth and prosperity.

However, in the political short term, with the LNP both lacking the Senate majority it needs to pass the budget, and the skills for good negotiating, compromising, and dealing in order to get policy through, it is in Clive Palmer’s political interests for the 2014 budget deadlock to continue, and a sense of chaos to envelop the government.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:54 AM | | Comments (6)


"lacking ....the skills for good negotiating, compromising, and dealing in order to get policy through"

Joe Hockey is all bluster and bluff---his response to the budget gridlock is to threaten even more draconian measures.

The new agenda: what is good for Big Business is good for the country. So they should be unfettered in doing what they need do do to make the profits demanded by their shareholders.

Hockey is a bumbler who resorts to bluster when people ask him questions about beyond the days talking points. He is unable to persuade us about the budget emergency; the debt and deficit disaster; or long term structural reform.

An example of the deepening inequality by the Abbott Government is the proposed $7 original GP copayment plan. The plan represents a move from universal coverage to universal fees that is unfair on those on low incomes.

The latter will move from seeing the GP to the hospital where treatment is much more expensive and blow out waiting times.

The sales job on Hockey's 2014 Budget has been pretty poor.

It's been about fixing Labor's debt and deficit disaster by sharing the load and heavy lifting when the budget loads the sharing and “heavy lifting” on to the less well off with high-income earners feeling very little pain.

They then attack the critics who point out the gap between rhetoric and reality. Hockey says the unfair/inequality argument is all wrong because its really unfair that just 2% of taxpayers pay more than a quarter of all income tax; and that just 10% of the population pays nearly two-thirds of all income tax.

And Hockey wonders why he is disliked.

For Joe Hockey, the Australian Treasurer, taxation is wealth confiscation and as a disincentive to work hard.

His neo-liberal view favours indirect or "user pays" taxation arrangements: infrastructure tolls, university student fees, GP co-payments, fuel tax excises, GST.