Tony Abbott, whose campaign has been buoyed over the Coalition's supposed budget black hole, revealed he will not release detailed costings of his policy promises until the last few hours before the poll. Why aren't our clever journalists attacking Abbott, they, like the rest of us are to be kept in the dark.
We are not Mushrooms and shouldn't be kept in the dark and fed manure, we can read, can add up, are they really that frightened of us knowing the truth.
The Coalition plans to start axing federal public service jobs just three weeks after it is elected.
A Tony Abbott-led government will then need to cut more than 660 jobs a month between October and June next year as it looks to move quickly to lock in its projected savings.
Correspondence between the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and senior Coalition front benchers shows that the axe will fall on public service jobs in just over a month if Mr Abbott wins government.
The documents, which have been used to underpin Coalition costings, confirm the target of 6000 positions to be axed between October 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, with the opposition still insisting that the cuts will be achieved through natural attrition.
The Coalition believes its first tranche of cuts will be enough to reach its ambitious target of saving $303 million this financial year if it forms government after the September 7 election.
The Coalition will have to make swingeing cuts to government programs if it is to implement Tony Abbott's 10-year economic plan promising smaller government but massive new spending for defence, paid parental leave and the private health insurance rebate, economists say.
Unveiled at the Coalition's campaign launch on Sunday, many of the initiatives in the plan were not costed but the commitment to raise defence spending to 2 per cent of gross domestic product within 10 years will cost $35.5 billion in extra outlays alone over the decade to attain, a budget expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Mark Thomson, said.
By 2023-24, the annual defence budget would be $50 billion for the year to meet the 2 per cent of GDP goal, he said, compared to $24 billion currently.
Abolishing the means testing of the private health insurance rebate - which Mr Abbott said would occur ''within a decade'' - would cost $833 million a year in current dollars, and substantially more if implemented in the future.
The paid parental leave scheme will cost $5.5 billion a year once it is up and running, two or three years after its introduction in July 2015.
Combined with Mr Abbott's undertaking to create smaller government and deliver a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP, also made at the campaign launch, Mr Thomson said an Abbott government would have to take an axe to other programs.
''It's entirely possible they could do it,'' Mr Thomson said. ''But there will have to be a lot of people receiving transfer [welfare] payments, handouts and research grants, and the like, who are going to have to lose out to make it happen.''
Mr Thomson's remarks echo those of Treasurer Chris Bowen, who claimed big cuts to health, education and family payments would be required to deliver the promises.
''Now without the magic pudding, without fairy dust, there's only one way all those things can be true - and that is real and significant cuts,'' he said.
The chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Saul Eslake, said the Coalition's fiscal objectives should be viewed as only an ''aspirational goal'' that would only be achievable if the economy began growing rapidly.
''[Otherwise] there's not a lot of scope for them to find these sacks of money that are going to deliver them the savings they need,'' he said.
The opposition will reveal some of its savings this week, with the full costings not expected to be unveiled until the last week of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Fairfax Media has learnt the Coalition has prepared a detailed 30-page dossier of policies that will form a blueprint for its first term, should it win government.
Described by one Liberal Party insider as the work of an internal ''razor gang'', the document has been ready for almost two years, although it keeps getting refined ''endlessly'', largely due to repeated blow-outs in the budget.
''It's a 30-page policy document,'' Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said. ''We have 30 areas of policy and we have done a lot of work on it. All of the spending and cuts would be released before the election.
Yes it's time we asked what an Abbott-Murdoch government would hold in store for us in this 21st century Australia.
A Rudd government has forgotten to wash it's hands as often as it should, however a viral infection in NSW has rekindled their interest in hygiene and they now have an overwhelming desire to be clean.
Yes we only have a few short days left to decide the matter over which we have some agency.
I think it will be a grim experiment when the keys to the executive wash room of our modern state are handed to global mining, media and petrochemical companies.
First act will be to dispose Clean Energy Act, allow it to be forcibly dismantled at the hands of the coal and gas industries.
The long-overdue surge of investment in renewable power stations will be deliberately crippled even as the weather turns implacably more hostile.
Meanwhile the rich ladies on the gold plated parental leave will be holidaying in some resort with their new born.
How about we just hang the numbers again and vote not for parties but people, the people that work hard for us, that's what MP's are supposed to do, we should come first, not just the inner circle of head office.
Why not serve up another minority government, yes voters of Australia, yes we can.
That way parliament retains its role as a debating and negotiating space? The last time one political formation held all the cards in your parliament, Work Choices and the terror laws happened.
Under minority government even though we didn't much like it, many good things were done, unfortunately most of us forgot the good policies and were sucked in by the negative campaign.
Anyway I suggest we do it again, why, just to put a rocket up the major parties and prove to them that they can't take us for granted
Tony Abbott'[s daughters have told us their dad thought netball was just a different form of rugby, and gave advice the girls realised was advice for life, “Give it all you’ve got, play as a team, watch out for each other, look ahead, stay focused, enjoy yourself, always get back up and always shake hands.”
His daggy dad joke, yelled from the sidelines, was: “Run, Forest, run” – a nod of course to Tom Hanks’s blockbuster movie Forrest Gump.
The other thing that brings to mind is Gump's other saying: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get” this seems very true with the Coalition because we really don't know what we will get because they won't tell how they are going to pay for all this largess.
So “Life is like a box of chocolates", you never know what you are going to get from the Coalition.
My sources tell me that there is an election going on in Australia. Now I can not confirm or deny that this information is true however there are indicators such as advertisements on television and in the press that suggest it could be true.
To confirm that this is I need a bit more to go on, after studying the statements emanating from the different opponents it is not evident that an election is happening. There is an obvious lack of information coming forth from either side, so my conclusion is that it should be treated as an elaborate hoax.
All my training tells me that this is not a true election and it should be treated as such. My reasoning is thus, if it were truly an election we should see in depth arguments from both sides, instead what do we see "I can do anything better than you", honestly this can't be an election can it?
Then another indicator, the press are so interested that they generally don't ask any hard questions of either side, they must be bored out of their tiny collective brains, no honestly it can't be an election.
Debates, come on they wouldn't know a debate if it bit them on the proverbial b****m, no honestly this is Australia this is a no show by either side, it just can't be a real election.
THE major, long-term spending commitments of Labor and the Coalition - worth more than $50 billion each - threaten a blowout in the deficit beyond the three-year budget estimates without billions of dollars of additional savings.
Analysis by The Australian reveals the Coalition needs to find savings of almost $20bn a year from 2017-18 to offset its spending and tax cut promises, while Labor has to find annual savings of only $10bn, with the challenge rising sharply beyond the budget period. The ALP believe it will be easier for them to claw back the $10 billion than the Coalitions $20 billion worth of promises.
Total spending commitments in the four years beyond the budget projections - for major projects such as the Gonski school funding reforms, the DisabilityCare scheme and paid parental leave - are $56bn for the Labor and $89bn for the Coalition.
Chris Bowen claimed at the start of the election campaign that he was delivering a "structural improvement" in the budget over the next few years, while Coalition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has warned of an urgent need to find "structural saves" in commonwealth finances.Yet it seems that they don't know where they will find the extra money to reach brake even.
Do we need gold plated leave for the well off. States say no,no,no! The only people who will benefit from the proposed gold leave pass will be well off city dwellers, it will not benefit country people. So a farmers wife is about to have a child, does she take time off to spend six months of nurturing, never she just can't. Instead of this gold plated gift for the city rich women why not make free child care available for six months, or child care tax deductible, it would be far more equal for all, city and country people. No this deal has never been really thought through, it is designed for the cities not country Australia. Its all about making Tony Abbott look more caring and hiding his hang up with strong women.
TONY Abbott has come under fire from premiers from both sides of politics for assuming they will contribute to his $5.5 billion parental leave scheme amid a wider fight about whether the costings for his policy add up.
West Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett said the scheme was too generous and, although his state would co-operate, it wouldn't contribute any money.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill rebuked the Opposition Leader for announcing a plan that needed state funds to work, and declared he would not make any commitment to help pay for the federal scheme.
And Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings slammed the "ill thought out" Coalition scheme and said her state could not countenance returning any "savings" on parental leave to Canberra.
The Premier's comments came as Jeff Kennett declared that Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme was an "extraordinary extravagance" and must be means tested. The former Victorian premier predicted it would be manipulated by families who had a baby for the benefit of full pay without working rather than because they wanted one.
The world's richest banker, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, thinks Australia's fretting about its economic circumstances is a bit of a laugh.
"I've been coming here for a long, long time and during the last two decades of growth, growth, growth, people are always distraught, overwrought, wringing their hands about how horrible things are and to my observation, they don't look that bad," Mr Blankfein told businesspeople in Sydney on Friday.
One questioner asked how Mr Blankfein saw Australia, given it was "in a phase where our economy is slowing" and "there's a malaise between business and government".
"No, it's awful - you've now sunk to a level that we're trying to get up to. So, my heart goes out to you," Mr Blankfein replied, demonstrating that humour and investment banking can share a stage.
Mr Blankfein's assessment follows recent statements from the federal opposition that Australia is facing a budget crisis, a budget emergency and a productivity crisis, and that the economy's triple-A credit rating is misleading.
The Goldman Sachs boss said investment confidence globally was at a low ebb but was rising.
Australia is envied by many countries, if they had Australia's problems they'd be very happy. Why the political parties in Australia are talking about a financial crisis is unclear.
They should realise that such talk is not encouraging business investment.
To attend a forum of political candidates in a marginal seat?
It's not that you are better informed after attending,oh no.
What you learn is how many nuts are out there. You will not all agree on which ones are the nuts, but you can rest assured that if you attend, you will find some people whose views you think are off the planet.
Weather it be the Palmer United Party candidate, The Save the Planet candidate, The Country Alliance, or the Australian Sex Party and Australian Christian party.
Whatever your taste, one is sure to get up your nose or just make you laugh out loud.
Guess what, the majority of these minority nominees say what they think.(shock horror)
So the Australian Christian candidate, Alan Barron, told voters at a forum in the most marginal seat in Australia - Corangamite - that they should not worry about saving the planet. The planet could take care of itself. People should instead aim to be at one with God.
The Palmer United Party man, Buddy Rojek, was pleased to say he got an A-plus in environmental science back in '92, he said he had found a book "about this thick" to back his views and he had a theory that climate change was driven by urban development and black pavements on roads which trapped heat.
Jayden Millard from the Australian Sex Party was happy to tell us that his mum and dad were in the audience. He waved to them.
The candidates' forum of about 100 people had an audience of 100 per cent committed voters. There were no swingers to be won there.
So was it all worth while, or just a waste of time, no! It shows that there are still a lot of committed people out there, all with causes of their own.
A healthy Democracy, I'm not so sure, the people that attended probably thought so, I myself am not so sure. I base that on the fact that certain newspapers are blatantly one sided, and therefore people are not always given the correct facts with which to make an educated choice about who to vote for.
Joe Hockey says: ''If the whole election's going to be about costings rather than about policies like we're announcing today, then I think everyone is going to bored, this will bore the Australian people to death and we don't want to do that,'' this is the man who will be in charge of the nation's costings if the Coalition is elected.
Almost everywhere in the world, forms of majority parties are now in decline, reflecting rapid social change and challenged by greater voter volatility and much weaker and less hegemonic parties. This is not going to change any time soon, let alone by a return to the old party systems of half a century ago.
Governments increasingly have to adapt to 21st century realities in order to operate and survive.
In much of the world, this means that governments are formed by coalition, either formally or informally. This has long been a formal reality in much of continental Europe – notably including Germany, most Scandinavian countries and Ireland – and in several other democracies, including Israel.
In recent years, formal coalitions have become common in the UK — both in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and, since 2010, at UK level also.
Australia has had an informal coalitions and formal coalitions, this is the shape of a minority governments they have been operating here for years.
Politicians, especially from old parties, dislike coalitions. But voters increasingly like them and keep on electing parliaments which require them. So in modern politics the big question facing parties is not whether to compromise with others, but how to do it.
So for either of the major parties to deny their existence is complete HOGWASH!