TE-BO: “The Australian” hits the mark – at last … a group of stories on the same day that ‘gel’ with my thinking …

TE-BO: “The Australian” hits the mark – at last … a group of stories on the same day that ‘gel’ with my thinking …
| Author: TE-BO – The Eye-Ball Opinion| Date: April 24th, 2014 |

the-eyeball-opinion6I began today looking for news stories that held interest, it’s a normal beginning. I have RSS feeds to several publications and the ‘troll’ generally takes about 30 minutes across about 3-400 headlines. On a normal day I might browse up to 10 stories and do searches for other opinions on the same subject to try and get objective opinion.

Today – I found a pot of gold in ‘The Australian’ and could not have wished some of the subjects referred to in these stories and how uncomfortable they might be feeling.

For starters a warning – this post is long. I intend to re-publish each story in full with some commentary. The reason for the full publication is of course the tiresome way one has to go around the on-line reading experience if you are not a subscriber to ‘The Australian’s’ digital service – so all to make your reading easier …

Click on any of the links provided below to skip to the story you want to next read – return links provided”

Index of Stories:

  1. Bob Hawke and Paul Keating’s brutal verdict on the Rudd-Gillard years – link to – Comments 1 …
  2. AWH questions for Campbell Newman’s offsider Jon Grayson – link to – Comments 2 …
  3. Dollar dives and shares up on slow inflation news – link to – Comments 3 …
  4. Mike Baird joins Libs’ lobbying ban – link to – Comments 4 …
  5. Joe Hockey’s budget warning: we all have to contribute – link to – Comments 5 …

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The Australian LogoBob Hawke and Paul Keating’s brutal verdict on the Rudd-Gillard years
| Author: Troy Bramston | Date: Apr 24th, 2014| Link to On-Line Story. |

BOB Hawke and Paul Keating have given a blistering assessment of Labor in power under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and warned that retrograde policies, ineffective communication, divisive class warfare and a lack of conviction will keep the party out of office if not urgently addressed.

The two former Labor prime ministers have urged the party to undertake radical reform to ­reduce the power of unions and factions, steer policy back to the centre ground and heed the ­lessons of the often chaotic and dys­functional Rudd-Gillard gov­­ern­ments. They argue that Labor must undertake structural reform to curtail union influence over policy, candidates and the party organisation.

For the first time, the two Labor elders say the party must slash the 50 per cent weighting given to unions at state confer­ences — a reform Bill Shorten this week ignored. “The reality is that the unions are now only a small percentage of workers,” Mr Hawke said. “They should still have a right to be affiliated with the party but they should not have an undue influence.”

He wants the 50 per cent quota for union delegations to conferences reduced. “I think that’s an undue weighting in the world in which we live today,” he said.

Mr Keating said: “I’ve always been in favour of a much more representative Labor conference structure, reflecting the participation by earnest people truly interested in the Labor Party rather than the blocs of people at conferences representing union members. As the level of unionisation has dropped in the workplace, so too should the representation at conferences drop.”

The exclusive interviews with the two former Labor prime ministers, Mr Hawke (1983-91) and Mr Keating (1991-96), are included in a new book, Rudd, Gillard and Beyond, published next week. Mr Keating said the party’s membership had become so “limited” and “confected” that it was unrepresentative of the community. As the authority of members has diminished, he said the power of party officials had increased. This had been “brutally bad” for Labor.

He said party officials have “an unerring sense of what they believe is right” and “lord it over the parliamentary party” to get their way. “The rot had set in to the federal organisation of the Labor Party when the state party secretaries raised their reasonably ugly heads” in the 1990s.

Mr Keating said the last Labor government struggled to define its purpose in a compelling narrative and failed to balance the political and policy work needed for successful long-term governments. “Kevin’s government was doing reasonably badly reasonably quickly,” Mr Keating said.

He argued that the global ­financial crisis “gave the government purpose” and it responded appropriately.

“After the crisis, or the immediacy of the crisis, it started fraying again.

“There was a sense of urgency which guided the big reform agenda in the 1980s and ‘90s. We knew what we wanted to do. We wanted to create a modern, efficient, outward-looking economy. You have to conceptualise the big reform ideas into a framework.”

Mr Keating said he told Mr Rudd in July last year, after he returned to the prime ministership, that Labor had to reclaim the model of governance that he and Mr Hawke had pioneered in the 80s and 90s.

“That was a model which ­fostered economic growth, which put a high premium on social ­equity and justice, which fathomed a way of us, as Australians, tying ourselves competitively to the East Asian economic renaissance,” he said. “What happened is that the public had fallen out of love with the Labor Party organisationally and as a government, Rudd’s demise being part of that, but they hadn’t fallen out of love with the model.”

Mr Hawke is critical of Labor for promulgating class warfare for political gain and criticised the development of the mining tax. “That sort of class-warfare rhetoric never resonates with me,” he said. “The simple truth about good government is that you need to have good relations with both sides of an industry, workers and business, not just one side.”

Mr Keating also spoke about the need for party leaders to win support from voters and work with business and unions to implement a reform agenda that was in the national interest. “We had to be able to garner the authority of the caucus and the wider Labor Party and trade union movement to make these kind of changes,” he said.

The problem Labor often had, Mr Keating said, was a lack of belief. “Leaders proselytising policies without deep inner belief in the end fail. Policies can’t be picked up like pretty boxes at a gift shop. They have to come from the innards of the politics.”

Both former prime ministers said the party was failing to recruit candidates with a diversity of life experience. “The organis­ational leadership has always got to look around for the people who are different and who have talent, spot it and help them through the party,” Mr Keating said.

Assessing the Rudd-Gillard legacy, Mr Hawke said the party needed to be “brutal” in its assessment and acknowledge that they “didn’t deserve to win” the September election. “They just distracted themselves with internecine strife.”

Mr Hawke said it was inevitable Mr Rudd would be toppled by Ms Gillard in 2010 “because he just wanted to run so much of things single-handedly” and a reaction against that was inevitable.

Both said that despite the many problems, there were policies that Labor could be proud of after six years in government. While Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard “deserved to lose”, Mr Hawke said, they “achieved a lot of good Labor things”.

But Mr Keating said it was wrong for Ms Gillard to challenge Mr Rudd for the leadership.

“I don’t think Kevin Rudd should have been replaced in 2010,” he said. “Leaders often have low to mid-points in a term. The party, I think, should have stuck with him through that.”

Troy Bramston is the author of Rudd, Gillard and Beyond (Penguin) published next week.

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Comments 1:

Not a word in the story above about what Hawke or Keating has to say about the ALP corruption scandals doing the rounds at the moment. Guess we’ll have to read the book to find out if they had anything to say.

If not then Troy Bramston as a journalist either was not allowed to ask the important questions, or he was just not brazen enough to corner two stalwart ALP Prime Ministers and extract opinions all ALP supporters want to hear.

There is no real debate against the observations reported above – but we all know there is a lot more going on in the background and everybody is keeping things very close with a Royal Commission and the ICAC inquiry’s in the wind.

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The Australian LogoAWH questions for Campbell Newman’s offsider Jon Grayson
| Author: Michael McKenna | Date: Apr 24th, 2014| Link to On-Line Story. |

CAMPBELL Newman’s top public servant is under intense pressure after conflicting accounts emerged of a meeting with a business partner in the company at the centre of a NSW corruption inquiry.

Former Ipswich City Council chief executive Carl Wulff last night disputed the recollection of Department of Premier and Cabinet head Jon Grayson — who had a joint venture with Australian Water Holdings — about an official meeting involving the company’s Queensland boss, Wayne Myers, in June 2012.

Mr Wulff said he was surprised there was no official record of Mr Myers attending the meeting and that Mr Grayson was unsure whether the businessman came along as part of a dele­gation with Mr Wulff.

“Wayne organised the meeting for me, and then made the introductions between me and Grayson,’’ Mr Wulff alleged.

“I remember because it was the only meeting I had with Grayson.’’

The comments follow Mr Grayson’s statement to The Australian last month categorically ruling out any contact with representatives of AWH since a one-off meeting to cut board ties in March 2012, when he first joined the government.

Last year, Mr Grayson was among six equal shareholders who set up a new venture company, Gasfields Water and Waste Services, alongside Eddie Obeid Jr and AWH boss Nick Di Girolamo, and headed by sole direct­or Dennis Jabour, a former AWH employee and cousin of Mr Obeid Jr. The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption is examining whether former NSW Labor MPs Eddie Obeid Sr, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly misused their positions to favour the privately held AWH, in which the Obeid family held a ­secret $3 million, 30 per cent stake.

Emails tendered to the ICAC emerged this week revealing Mr Myers discussing a then looming 2012 meeting with Mr Gray­son and Mr Wulff to discuss infrastructure funding for a housing project in Ipswich.

AWH was hoping to win the rights to build the water infrastructure for the 4000-home Ripley Valley development. “I am meeting with DG Premiers (I believe you know him) and Carl Wulff CEO Ipswich City Council at 11am next Monday to discuss the operational and logistic ­issues surrounding (council) ­taking control of the Ripley ­Valley development and how the associated infrastructure can be funded,’’ Mr Myers wrote.

AWH had already negotiated a $5 million agreement with land developer Sekisui House, which partly owns the Ripley Valley development, near Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

On Monday, Mr Newman’s spokesman issued a statement saying that, while the meeting went ahead with Mr Wulff, there was no record of Mr Myers attending. “Mr Grayson recalls Mr Wulff brought other people with him to the meeting, but he cannot be sure Mr Myers was one of them,’’ it said.

“No matters were discussed that presented any conflict of interest for Mr Grayson.’’

Mr Myers has not returned calls to The Australian.

Mr Wulff said last night he had sought the meeting to ­discuss looming changes to Boeing’s operations near Ipswich. “It was an important business for our area and that’s why I asked Wayne for help because I knew he could get us a meeting quickly. That’s what I discussed, but I’m not sure if Wayne stayed behind with Grayson and talked about other things.’’

Mr Wulff quit Ipswich City Council last year amid a Crime and Misconduct Commission probe about a rental arrangement involving a Brisbane ­apartment he owned and a ­contractor on Ipswich flood ­recovery works. The probe found no evidence he had engaged in “official ­misconduct”. At the time of publication, a spokesman for Mr Newman’s had not responded to Mr Wulff’s comments.

The Premier’s statement on Monday confirmed the ­Ripley Valley project had been on the table at the meeting. “The meeting discussed the transfer of responsibility for the Ripley Valley Urban Development Area to the Ipswich City Council in accordance with the government’s election commitment,’’ it said.

Mr Newman’s office and Mr Grayson have since failed to ­answer written ­questions about who was at the meeting and if there had been other contact with representatives of AWH or its subsidiaries.

Mr Grayson, hand-picked by Mr Newman, was revealed by The Australian as AWH’s sole partner in Gasfield Water Management, set up in 2011.

Last year, Mr Grayson became a partner with Mr Obeid Jr, former AWH boss Nick Di Giro­lamo, Mr Jabour, Mr Myers and Tony Bellas — appointed to the Newman review of the electricity market — in Gasfields Water and Waste Services.

Mr Grayson said he had only a passive interest in GWWS, with Mr Jabour as its sole director. Mr Obeid and Mr Di ­Girolamo have since transferred their holdings in GWWS to Mr Jabour, and Mr Grayson has ­retained his stake.

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Comments 2:

On the strength of how memory is playing its role in evidence – there should be one outcome that affects all Local, State, and Federal Committee meetings dealing with Government contracts and the like to be recorded in video and audio. Then the memory defense would be no longer an issue. I suppose then there would be the ‘missing’ tapes evidence as corrupt representatives find an alternative way to lose ‘the evidence’ of conversation and attendance.

On another spike – the story is raking over coals involving another Coalition Premier – am beginning to smell rats in the Prosecutors direction … that ‘rat’ smell is something to keep an eye on.

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The Australian LogoDollar dives and shares up on slow inflation news
| Author: Troy Bramston | Date: Apr 24th, 2014| Link to On-Line Story. |

LOWER than expected inflation has reduced the prospect of stagflation, quelling fears that the Reserve Bank might be forced to increase interest rates later this year and sending the Australian dollar tumbling.

The currency dropped sharply to below US93c yesterday after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that annual inflation rose to 2.9 per cent across the year to March.

This confounded expectations that it would soar past the top of the Reserve Bank’s target range, after a surprise increase in consumer prices in the lead-up to Christmas.

JPMorgan economist Ben Jarman said the RBA’s “period of stability” guidance for interest rates looked “safe from the spectre of hikes”.

He noted that price pressures on imported and domestically produced goods and services appeared to be dissipating.

Investors welcomed the news. The benchmark share index rose by 0.7 per cent in trading yesterday to a post-global financial crisis high of 5517, helped along by a slew of positive corporate earnings reports in the US.

In what will be welcome news for Joe Hockey, who has criticised the Reserve Bank for entertaining the possibility of rate increases, the quarterly pace of inflation slowed from a high 0.9 per cent in the December quarter to 0.6 per cent in March.

Citi chief economist Paul Brennan said: “While some forecasters may interpret the result as keeping alive the possibility of another rate cut, in our view this is highly unlikely given the strength of the housing market and signs of positive momentum in household demand.”

Economists had feared inflation above the Reserve Bank’s target band, combined with ­rapidly rising house capital-city house prices, would have compelled the RBA to lift rates, ­regardless of the sluggishness of the wider economy.

The latest quarterly price rise masked sharp increases in school fees, pharmaceuticals, petrol and cigarettes, partly offset by falls in the price of furniture, clothing and travel.

“All of the upside pressure came from regulated prices, e.g. the tobacco excise, education, medical services, pharmaceuticals, public transport fares,” Mr Brennan said.

Electricity prices rose 5.2 per cent over the year to the March while rents rose 2.9 per cent.

Underlying inflation, which strips out volatile items, was also subdued, rising 0.6 per cent over the quarter, comfortably within the Reserve Bank’s target range for annual inflation of between 2 per cent and 3 per cent.

Launceston mother Sonia Mellor said she was all too familiar with the sacrifices many parents made to send their children to independent schools, but was surprised to learn yesterday that secondary education prices rose 6 per cent in the year to March, more than double the CPI.

Ms Mellor said the fee pain was only just beginning for her and her husband, Parks and Wildlife manager Chris Colley.

The couple’s sons, Finnian and Roo, are in Year 8 and Year 6 respectively at Launceston’s Scotch Oakburn College, where Year 12 fees are $9650. Ms Mellor said she believed the school offered value for money and its fees were considerably lower than those of elite schools in mainland capital cities.

“But I do have to say it’s a bit like the price of milk,” she said. “I don’t always notice when it’s gone up, because I don’t see it as a discretionary spend.

“My concern for education is that there will be a cut-off point where suddenly parents go, ‘we can’t afford this any more’, even with both of us working, and then that choice is taken away.”

Brisbane lawyer, author and father of six David Gillespie, whose children attend state schools, said he was not surprised to hear that the greatest increase in CPI had been in education.

“The private schools are having to increase fees because they’re spending so much money on marketing: whether that’s indirect, building multi-million-dollar sporting arenas and equestrian centres, or direct, in paying marketing managers,” said Mr Gillespie, author of Free Schools. “It’s not resulting in improved education.”

Additional reporting: Rachel Baxendale

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Comments 3:

A story where if it were not so important, one might think that levity over the ‘currency’ and ‘inflation’ levers is not a serious issue. Let me state – the rise of the A$ from its mean average since the float in ’83 of A$0.75c or close enough – to the early 2000 rises above A$0.90c and onto A$1.10+ levels under Rudd/Gillard, cost Australian exporters at a conservative calculation somewhere near A$4 trillion.

Over say the recent 15 year period where the A$ has appreciated and remained high with respect to the mean average – this A$4 trillion is A$270 billion a year. That is almost the entire new public spend during the Rudd/Gillard term in office. Who is watching the value of the A$ and the damage to Australia’s competitiveness – it is certainly not the Reserve Bank.

The chart below gives a appreciation of the A$ movements up until late 2013.

You want a reason as to why jobs are being shipped off-shore, why car manufacturing is closing down, why petroleum refinery is shutting down, why our farmers are screaming at the cost to their bottom line – all because nobody wants to think outside the square on what a ‘floating currency’ without tariffs and subsidies costs a Nation over time.

Glen Stevens should walk down Pitt St naked and hang his head in shame. Global markets have ripped A$ trillions out of our economy without any concern shown from the RBA. It’s a tragedy and when the number of words written about the Rudd/Gillard deficit spend is counted by comparison – there is not a goddamn financial journalist in this Nation worth a pinch of crap.

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The Australian LogoMike Baird joins Libs’ lobbying ban
| Author: DENNIS SHANAHAN and MARK COULTAN | Date: Apr 24th, 2014| Link to On-Line Story. |

LIBERAL Party officials will be forced to choose between business links and party posts as Tony Abbott and NSW Premier Mike Baird join forces to head off even “messier’’ evidence about the peddling of political influence expected to be aired at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The Australian understands Mr Baird is considering regu­lations to match the Prime Minister’s proposal to ban party officials from lobbying government. The proposals would not prevent business ­people from becoming party officials, but would capture individuals who promote corporate interests but are not identified as lobbyists on the register, such as “consultants’’.

An announcement is expected as early as next week.

Federal and NSW Liberals are concerned the taint of NSW ALP corruption — the original target of ICAC’s inquiries — is being passed to the party through evidence exposing mates’ networks, hidden business links and political access being used for commercial gain in deals with the private infrastructure company Australian Water Holdings.

The NSW corruption commission is due to hear more evidence next week in relation to Liberal figures and lobbyists mixing business and politics.

Last week, Barry O’Farrell dramatically resigned as NSW premier after admitting he had inadvertently misled the ICAC when he denied receiving a $3000 bottle of Grange Hermitage wine from AWH chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, who was lobbying for NSW government contracts.

Mr Baird, who replaced Mr O’Farrell, is working with Mr ­Abbott on tougher regulations to head off further corruption taints for the Liberals. He has made it clear that lobbying reform will be one of the first things he tackles.

Government sources indicated a complete response may be some way off, however. The ICAC has made recommen­dations to tighten regulation of lobbyists, including written records of meetings, and rules about the location, conduct and who should attend meetings.

This would include not just registered lobbyists, but also corporate government relations per­sonnel or anyone lobbying government.

Mr O’Farrell banned success fees for lobbyists but they are legal at a federal level.

Liberal sources said there were probably only a handful of people who would be affected by the crackdown, with Victorian-based federal Liberal vice-president Tom Harley and NSW state president Chris Downy, who have extensive business links, the most likely to have to change.

Mr Downy heads the Australian Wagering Council, the lobby group for betting companies.

There is no suggestion either Mr Harley or Mr Downy have done anything wrong but Mr ­Abbott is determined to ensure all potential for lobbying is denied to Liberal Party officials.

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Comments 4:

All talk at this stage, but I like the concept. We all know that the relationship between big business and Government will always be there, the crux is in how they both get what they want as opposed to someone paying for what they want.

It’s early days for Baird and I cannot believe that the media think O’Farrell’s exit will give the NSW ALP any good news. If voters are in agreement with the theme of Waleed Aly’s story last week then heaven help the Nation.

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The Australian LogoJoe Hockey’s budget warning: we all have to contribute
| Author: DAVID CROWE | Date: Apr 24th, 2014| Link to On-Line Story. |

WELFARE spending will be put to the knife in the federal budget on May 13 as Joe Hockey outlines a radical overhaul that could slash government outlays by $65 billion a year within a ­decade.

Warning of the huge costs of social programs, the Treasurer said “nothing is free” and more income tests and co-payments would have to be applied to government payments to prevent the burden being passed to the next generation.

But he declared last night that the new “age of responsibility” would have to include corporate Australia as well, signalling cuts to $10bn in annual industry assistance. Mr Hockey set out an ­ambitious turnaround in federal finances based on a Commission of Audit report he will release on Thursday, May 1, using a speech in Sydney to reveal some of the confidential findings.

“Support must be targeted to those in most need,” he said as he made the case for more means tests and co-payments to moderate demand for government services and payments. “Nothing is free. Someone always pays. It is appropriate that those who use government services should contribute towards their cost.”

Mr Hockey cautioned that the Commission of Audit conclusions and its 86 recommendations were not government policy but he appeared to endorse the broad goal of capping future spending at about 1.75 per cent in real terms each year, a tighter restraint than a Labor cap that was introduced in 2009 but adjusted over time.

Included in his address were previously secret charts from the Commission of Audit projecting a deficit of 1.5 per cent of GDP in 2023-24 without reform compared with a 1 per cent surplus in the same year if Mr Hockey makes big cuts to spending.

The budget overhaul means turning a projected $40bn deficit in 2023-24 into a surplus of $25bn, with a similar turnaround in earlier years. This estimate, drawn from the charts released last night, is based on nominal GDP of $2.6 trillion in 2023-24, the Audit Commission’s own figure. “The fiscal consolidation program that we reveal in the budget will establish a clear path back to a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2024,” Mr Hockey said.

Illustrating that goal, he issued a chart showing a small surplus in 2019-20 if the government’s ­actions met the Commission of Audit’s targets. “Every sector of the community — households, corporates and the public sector alike — will be expected to contribute,” he said.

The comments came with a table from the audit report showing spending on the age pension, the disability support pension, hospitals, schools and the Nat­ional Disability Insurance Sch­eme were growing too fast compared with other government programs and overall economic growth. The cost of the age pension alone was forecast to rise from $39.5bn this year to $72.3bn in the next decade, with the NDIS costing $11.3bn a year by 2023-24.

The Treasurer named the age pension and aged care as key concerns as the population grows older and young workers have to bear the burden of large welfare programs.

Mr Hockey appeared to question the value of the tax concessions offered to superannuation — worth more than $30bn last year — by noting that most retirees fall back on the pension anyway.

“Despite spending billions of dollars in taxation benefits for superannuation, by 2050 the ratio of Australians receiving a full or part pension will still be around four out of five,” he said.

“On top of this, aged care is now the eighth largest category of spending. We spend more on aged care than we do on higher education or childcare.

“And the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is the 10th largest category of spending. Nearly 80 per cent of the scheme’s expenditure is attributable to concessional recipients.”

Mr Hockey made it clear each of these would be tackled in the budget because of the looming impact of the ageing population. “So the policies must be changed, either now or more dramatically in the future.”

At a forum hosted by The ­Spectator magazine in Sydney after the speech, Mr Hockey confirmed there would be yet another downgrade in revenue estimates in the budget.

“Income tax revenue is not going to be what it was,” he said. “It is even less than we forecast in December last year because wages aren’t growing at the rate that was expected.”

He also said that keeping people working until they were 70 would require a change in attitudes in the business community and more flexibility in the workplace, with many people unable to keep working in physical jobs beyond the age of 50 or 55. “We’ve got to be having a national dialogue about a restart of a career at 55 or 60. Most people want to continue to work,” he said.

While Mr Hockey did not name any program that would be immune from cuts, his cabinet colleagues stood by election promises to maintain spending in key areas.

Central to the government’s argument is that its budget reforms will scrap some Labor programs and curb spending growth without leading to a net reduction in education and health spending.

Tony Abbott yesterday said the budget would be about “long-term structural reform” but added it would also be a budget that “keeps our commitments”.

Mr Hockey sought to make a virtue of the government’s hard-line stance on industry assistance in recent months.

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Comments 5:

Joe Hockey is a very limited Politician. His positioning as Treasurer was as a block for Tony Abbott against Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott’s advisers – after he won the spill to replace Turnbull by a single vote, ensured Turnbull was kept on the front bench but out of the limelight.

It was a move designed to protect Abbott and not the Australian people from successive idiot Treasurers. Obviously Swan is the biggest fuck-wit ever to be crowned ‘Treasurer of the Year’, and the greatest blunder the ALP made under Rudd and Gillard Governments. Joe can only aspire to do better with his limited knowledge of global finance. He’s a politician first and a financial wizard wannabe is way down the line.

Hockey has yet to match that extreme dumbness – but when the PM decided his position is more important then putting the best man in the job to run the Nations finances, you just know it is not going to work out for the good or all concerned.

The story above is written by equally dumb journalist who never challenge a Treasurer with a better idea ‘on the record’.

All successive Treasurers try to do is limit expenditure and to inflation index’s whilst the revenue is a crap-shoot dependent on how the public feel about how they are being governed. All business’ rely on revenue before they make plans about expenditure. Governments are never trained to think like that. So budget forecasts are a waste of time. No new Government is going to freeze index budget increases until revenues are shored up. That would make then an automatic one term Government.

The changes needed to balance expenditures with revenues whilst not increasing the higher threshold tax levels is a magicians challenge. The hype about the GST increasing to 12:5% or higher is the simplest way to spread the tax collection needed. It does discriminate and the ways to avoid this provide a race track with speed bumps every 100 meters … nobody would finish the race …

All it would do is pressure the CPI and expand the ‘black/cash’ market which was the selling point Howard and Costello used to get the GST legislated in the first place. I bet there is not one reader who has not offered or been offered a cheaper deal for cash to avoid the GST since it was invoked. We were all conned in the late 90’s – the States did not argue because they saw the cash cow as an answer to their own budget issues. How many States still have mortgage stamp duty, and transfer fees, one of the things they all said they’d get rid off once the GST came in.

Joe – I know your limited ability is impacting on your health in the job you have to do – you don’t get much help from a bunch of Treasury Bureaucrats who embarrass the term ‘public servant’. It’s time for you to sweep them all out and hire a team of wiz-bang financial guru’s who will give you options that are far more palatable for the masses. I guarantee you that Politicians and the extremely wealthy will not like the ideas – but you are a Government steeped in democracy where the majority should be more favoured than the minority.

So in that vein, the welfare threats you make – are you willing to sacrifice your own remunerations to the same degree – or go a bit further to show the Australian public you understand that leadership is best tested when they set the example?

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This entry was posted by TE-BO - [The EYE-BALL Opinion].

One thought on “TE-BO: “The Australian” hits the mark – at last … a group of stories on the same day that ‘gel’ with my thinking …

  1. On the comments above relating to the story: “Dollar dives and shares up on slow inflation news ” – the $4 trillion number is conservative as stated. To come at that number I used the RBA FX turnover in all A$ transactions against all currencies as reported by the RBA and totaled some A$24.3 trillion since 2007.

    Given the mean average of the period between when Rudd/Gillard/Rudd was elected in 2007 through to 2014 is A$0.9316, up against the average since 1983 of A$0.7553. Then the percentage difference [23.35%] was applied to the volume of FXA$ trading, the number came out at A$16,778,204,000,000 or some A$16.8 trillion. Therefore, 23.35% of the FX turnover = A$3.91 trillion.

    The RBA volume reporting is turnover reported by Australian Financial Institutions.

    Link to the RBA data:


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