Budget 2014 - heavy lifting from the weakest Australians

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  1. Presumably, this was designed to pre-empt accusations that the poorest and most vulnerable Australians would be expected to contribute a disproportionate amount to Treasurer Joe Hockey's 'savings'. It didn't work; the story has been out there long enough for even organisations and individuals who normally give the government their unquestioning support to protest.
  2. Unless, of course, one inherits their prosperity.
  3. Hockey carefully didn't mention his government's own contribution to the deficit. He also didn't mention that the government's own Department of Finance's numbers, which suggest that the current deficit is about half that level.
  4. This is Hockey's big announcement; that the revenue from new taxes - I'm sorry, 'co-payments' - on going to the GP and buying prescription medicines would go into a Medical Research Future Fund. Presumably, this is an attempt to shame those opposed to the idea of medical research.
  5. But of course, no Treasurer would say that, would he?
  6. This is one of those meaningless statements that sound good on Budget Night, but don't actually stack up to much in the light of day. Hockey's not talking about building new hydroelectric schemes. In fact, he didn't talk about anything to do with renewable and sustainable energy production. Could it be that he doesn't want to emphasise the fact that the government still wishes to abolish government programs of this kind? 
  7. This is ... astonishingly offensive. And vintage Hockey. Back in 2012, he banged on about it on the ABC's Lateline program ( http://consciencevote.com.au/2012/04/19/were-entitled-to-be-outraged-mr-hockey/ ). Hockey likes to portray Australia's welfare system as a bloated tick hanging off the side of a virtuous government that is only trying to protect the 'taxpayer'. 
  8. So, let's get this straight. This is a 'Budget emergency'. Everyone has to contribute and feel a little pain. That's why company tax is being cut.

    Oh, and let's not forget the 'carbon tax' and the mining tax - those unmitigated evils that must be abolished in order to save business in this country.
  9. Not a lot of detail in Hockey's speech, but you can bet that won't include mining.
  10. 'Temporary Budget Repair Levy'. Isn't that just a lovely piece of bureaucrat-speak? What's it mean? It's a 2% tax increase over the next 3 years. It's also capped at $500,000. Now that's what I call spreading the pain. 
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