26 May 2014

Minister labels public servants 'fat and happy'



Minister labels public servants 'fat and happy'

Defence Minister David Johnston is still saying 1200 public servants will be made redundant from the Defence Department even though his government's own portfolio budget statements say it will be almost double this number. 

Then he labelled them "fat and happy" apparently he doesn't like fat and happy people.

This is while Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey try with great difficulty to sell the brutal financial plan to the nation.
The budget will reduce defence staff numbers by almost 2300 over five years, according to the portfolio budget statements.

This is much higher than the "1200" by 2017-18 described in the budget.

The non-partisan Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the opposition agree almost 2300 bureaucrats will leave Defence in coming years.

It seems as though no one in the government really know what's written in the budget or the are deliberately not telling us.

Australia avoids French mistakes. French Join the List of Costly Engineering Errors

Australia has avoided costly errors in the construction of rail infrastructure by not upgrading their rolling stock or lines for about 40 years, it is estimated that they have saved billions of dollars.
They have one problem, not many people catch trains anymore because they're so old, but hey, they save on cleaning etc, say the federal government.

The authorities have had the bright idea to build roads instead, bugger upgrading railways, they believe they are on a winner with this one, people won't use trains because they're so bad so they are forcing people to drive. Building roads is the err...err..the future for Australia?

It seems as if we have had a surge in brain drain, the location of this brain drain seems to be located between two sets of ears at the very top of the Coalition(Abbott and Hockey).

French Join the List of Engineering Errors

PARIS May 21, 2014 (AP)
They measured the new trains, they checked against the latest specs on the book. But engineers at the French railway network forgot to go and measure the actual distance between tracks and platforms — a mistake that will cost 50 million euros ($68 million) to fix.
Nearly 1,300 stations are just a few centimeters (inches) too narrow for the 341 new trains that were to be introduced between now and 2016. The problem with older stations was first reported in the French weekly Le Canard Enchaine and confirmed Wednesday by French railway and government officials.

24 May 2014

Coup was needed for Thailand

Coup was needed for Thailand. The parties should wake up! 

General Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered members of rival political factions to sit still and talk, could they, no!
I believe the army was sincer in brokering some sort of compromise when General Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered members of rival political factions to sit still and talk to one another.
Sure in retrospect [the coup] must have been calculated if they did not reach an agreement with one another.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha gave them a chance and the political factions blew it, considering their behaviour over past for months and the damage it was doing to the country.

 I think they left him no choice.

Perhaps they should all be locked up together for a while until there is a compromise reached.

I think that General Prayuth Chan-ocha doesn't particularly want to run the country, I'm pretty sure he's just totally fed up with what has been happening and wants the parties to wake up to themselves.
No agreement was reached, they were so interested the rival leaders did tweet "selfie" pictures of themselves smiling and laughing together at the round-table discussions. These are the people who want to run the country?

21 May 2014

Joe Hockey, grow a beard

Joe Hockey, grow a beard:

'via Blog this'

One big lie comes home to Abbott. How many more, you may well ask?

Lenore Taylor
Tony Abbott has conceded the government is cutting a hospitals funding agreement with immediate effect, contrary to his weekend claim that the cuts did not take effect for years.
On Sunday Abbott said: “We’re not talking about next week or next month or even next year; we are talking about changes in three years' time”.
But Abbott now agrees the national partnership agreement on public hospitals, which begins on 1 July, has been cut. Budget documents say it has been cut by $1.8bn over the next four years.
The prime minister's blaming Labor once again, its his budget, his figures and he still blames Labor, what a wimp! 
So this prime minister has sort of overlooked the fact that $1.8bn has been removed, if this is not a straight out lie what is!
Abbott can't continue to blame Labor it just doesn't work, we are not dumb Tony, even though it's obvious that you think we are.

19 May 2014



We all would like to live in a world where civil society runs on trust.

 A world where our fellow citizens appreciate the value of mutual respect, kindness and compassion, it is care and concern that distinguish us from third world countries.
Trust is not just something between two people, it starts at the top. The integrity of our institutions, political, legal and commercial.
Trust in our leaders, above all is crucial, whether agree with them or not we still look to them for examples of probity,loyalty, charity and above all integrity.

This Australia I am writing about, its not Nigeria, can you believe what we are seeing, a government that promised us open honest government has barred the press from carrying out investigative journalism and now has dismissed any remnant of honesty. 

Why are we Australians let down so badly by our leaders, we see corruption, the breaking of promises and straight out lying to attain power.
We are let down by them more so by them showing a heartlessness for the aged and sick.
Then we have the stupid remarks, such as "It's only the cost of two beers, Only two coffees", this is from a treasurer who smokes cigars worth much, much more.

Do these uncaring politicians have any idea of how heartless this sound to someone who can't afford a coffee or a beer now.
Soon they are going to be asked to pay more health care and more for prescriptions, this is from pension that is to be reduced by tying it to a new base, the CPI which is lower.

This is not the economics; it’s meanness it shows us that this government doesn't care about the sick and the elderly.


18 May 2014

Pensioners slugged by Coalition again this time it's the changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

We thought the co-payment to the doctor was bad, think about this one, the devils in the detail!

Budget 2014-15: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – increase in co-payments and safety net thresholds

Description of the measure

From 1 January 2015 the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment and Safety Net threshold amounts will increase:
  • patient contributions for PBS subsidised prescriptions will increase by $0.80 for concessional and $5.00 for general patients above the annual indexation
  • PBS general and concessional safety net thresholds will increase by 10 per cent and two additional prescriptions respectively for each of the next four years. This is additional to the annual indexation.
The PBS subsidises the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines.
The PBS Safety Net reduces the costs of PBS medicines to individuals and families once they have reached a particular cost threshold during a calendar year. There are currently two tiers—general and concessional.
All Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors are provided with access to affordable medicines through the PBS. Each year the government sets a patient co-payment for general patients and concession patients, the amount of the co-payment is adjusted on 1 January each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index. The co-payment is the amount a patient pays towards the cost of their PBS medicine, and the government pays the remaining cost.
The changes under this measure are in addition to annual indexation.

16 May 2014

Aged pensioners with no superannuation will feel the pain. A co-payment they will never benefit from.

Research is a great thing.
 Why ask the most vulnerable to pay for it?

The co-payment for GP's visits is all promise and no return for aged pensioners, a future fund for research sounds great but is really worth asking pensioners who have already paid their taxes for years to contribute once again to a fund that not one of them will be alive to benefit from.

Many of these people never had the opportunity to have superannuation. 

The co-payment does not sound much to anyone who works, however it's a hell of a lot for aged couples who have the normal ailments associated with old age and who may have to visit a doctor quite often.

For couples renewing prescriptions and regular check up's are the norm, the average outlay will probably be in the region of over $200 per year plus $7 for each blood test, these tests are required quite often.

Surely they are not saying that pensioners are the ones that over use the system.

I can assure you that just getting to the doctor is a chore for many, arranging for transport, quite often a taxi or arranging for a carer is a pain, to suggest that they can jump in a car and zoom to the doctors without taking into account the cost shows they have no understanding of what's involved, its obvious they don't care.

What the hell did aged pensioners do to this Coalition government to deserve this?

14 May 2014

The holy Australian budget

Hope you are all as blessed as we were by this story.
There once was a man named Tony Abbott, he was a wannabee priest  in a country called Australia and he was telling a story about what happened to him some months ago. This is that story.

"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a truck coming toward me, there was a sign on it which said electors that don't count, on the back was a large cage.

On the bottom of the cage were three people one was an old aged pensioner, one was an unemployed person and the other was a disabled pensioner, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the truck and asked, "What do you have there, son?"

"Just some old electors," said the driver.

"What are you going to do with them?" I asked.

I'm going to take 'em home and have fun with 'em," said the driver. "I'm gonna tease 'em with promises and pull out the rug from under them. "I'm gonna have a real good time."said the driver.

I thought for a moment and realised, what a great idea, maybe I could do something similar.

I knew I'd get tired of these people but I can always pretend I care.

I thought I'll buy them, so I offered to buy them.
"When you get tired of them what will you do, asked the driver.?"They're just plain old electors. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!"

I told him I could find a use for them.
I thought,  I can use them, in a couple of years, they all have very short memories and at the next election they'll vote for me again.

How much will you give me for them said the truck driver? Hoping for a big profit.

Not very much I'm afraid I said, because I knew I could buy middle class voters very cheap, they always believe everything I say before the next election I thoight.

I'll just take them of your hands. I said because no one else wants them but me.

The truck driver was silent for a moment, then he agreed.

In another world there was a story being told:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation.  Satan had just come from watching a budget television show, and he was gloating and boasting.
"Yes, sir, I just caught a country full of people down there.  Set me a trap, I used a new type of bait, I call it Tony Abbott, I knew they couldn't resist.  Got 'em all the whole lot of them, it was so easy all I needed was the bait to tell lies and he was so good at it!"

12 May 2014

'Gun-ho' Saint Tony and Smoking Joe wage 'shock and awe' warfare on Australia's public service.

The Coalition government creates 'shock and awe' warfare on Australia's public service. This 'Gun-ho' approach to shedding jobs shouldn't be such a terrible shock to anybody, every change of government brings with it an efficiency out cry, they always blame the previous government for terribly inefficient behavior.

This time its brought with it. the creation of a fear factor, 'The Australian Economy is dying and needs urgent heart surgery', what can we do they say?
After a deluge of propaganda they have frightened the life out of the electorate to the point where they are prepared for serious surgery. This was a planned attack, the Commission of Audit was created to back up the Coalition, that was its only purpose.

Now the fruit is ready to be picked, we have the of slashing jobs, amalgamating agencies and abolishing others, of course they have many other changes in mind for the future. What will they do in the future?
It will all depend on the polls, if they think that they are in danger of loosing an election they will do nothing to upset the electorate. This is a typical early first term budget, hit the electorate hard early, they will forget by the time of the next election.

Well once upon a time there were governments of the same ilk that carried out the same things that this government is doing and guess what, once they'd been in government for a while they found that they needed some of the experts they had sacked because business was ripping them off and some of the agencies abolished were really needed for the same reason.
So what happened, well by the time there was change of government we found that they had increased the public service well beyond what they had found when they took power originally.

If there's a moral to this story it's this:-Governments are all immoral they will promise anything to attain and retain power, this I'm afraid to say is just politics.

8 May 2014

Fairfax Media does the dirty on staff. Sacks photographers for little or no gain..


Fairfax Media is an organisation I have respected for years for its integrity, sacking staff is something we know happens in this cut throat world, however consultation costs nothing.

How its done is important and Fairfax has shown us that they have no idea how to do it with any sort of compassion for their loyal staff.
These days it appears that loyalty is a dirty word, it has no value, its all about dollars and cents not people anymore

Sacking Australian photographers in favor of outsourcing their jobs to an American firm is pathetic and the amount they will save is also pathetic.Why would you use a company that has almost no photographers based in Australia.

Don't we want to see someone take photographs with an Australian slant anymore.

News in Australia is already in a sad state with the same articles and photographs spread across each of the two separate major news group's papers.

The days when we saw lots of local news about things that were happening all around Australia in independent papers(there are very few independent ones anymore) are long gone they are now just feeding the chickens the same mash or trash or whatever you like to call it.

Good Australian journalism is slowly being being condensed into a twenty four hour news cycle that is chosen for its 'bling', stories, there are no stories about average Australians they aren't seen as being newsworthy anymore, half the stories we read are the same stories rehashed to make us think they new.

2 May 2014

Audit Report is a step back from the future. It's head in the sand stuff.

The states should have more control over Commonwealth money.

Competitive federalism is the new in thing, the new thing that has floundered in history. The countries that have been lumbered with such a system, all wish they could be rid of it.

For all their whingeing about vertical fiscal imbalances, the states already have plenty of responsibility for trashing their own tax bases and they are extremely adept at trashing their finances. 

Having ditched death duties, they routinely whittle away at their pay roll taxes and refuse to use their powers to get serious about land tax – removing all exemptions – while continuing with their inferior, inequitable stamp duties.

Oh yes, and they do from time to time compete to convince a company to set up its headquarters in one capital city rather than another, generally of great benefit to the company concerned  but adding additional costs to revenue and of no benefit to the nation

Then there is the matter of the quality of state politicians. It's difficult to get people to trash their lives by entering federal politics let alone state parliaments?
State governments and oppositions tend to be a sorry lot, to think that they would handle matters more efficiently  than the Commonwealth is beyond belief, just look at the Pandora's box being opened into state politicians behaviour.

Competitive federalism is joke it does not work.
Competitive federalism tends to keep the poor states poor and the richer states much richer. The Commission of Audit's big, radical recommendation is flawed when one looks at it objectively.

Then there are the commission's two big misses, two dogs that didn't bark at all.
They passed the buck to the taxation review to have a look at the overly-generous aspects of a system that’s become an on-shore tax haven for the wealthy and they really didn't investigate welfare entitlements available to the wealthy.

They were like doctors concentrating on which incision to make without checking to see if the patient is still breathing and likely to survive the incision.

Secondly, the commission failed by making its recommendations in a vacuum: it lacked any context beyond a narrow focus on reducing government spending. 

Based on an article by Micheal Pascoe



They came they saw and they conquered, yep The Commission of Audit rode into town and they didn’t like what they saw, they new that people in Australia didn’t like Canberra.(Everything bad comes from there)
They Know that Canberra is strong Labor area so it would not hurt the Coalition at the ballot box if it got a great big kick up the arse.

To this end they invented a very large boot that could be aimed directly at Canberra’s rump. The public service, what a great target, no one cares how it hurts Canberra or its economy (because everything bad comes from Canberra)

The Commission of Audit was given a task, to be adventurous and inventive provided their ideas conformed to the Coalition’s ideology, in other words it wasn’t a true commission of audit.

Now let’s see what some of their recommendations were:-
Lowering the minimum wage
The Commission of Audit wants Medicare, pension and family payments to be run by private companies for profit.
Remove up to 15,000 more people from the public service than was expected.They live in Canberra,who cares)

Privatising 10 bodies including  :-  Australian Hearing Services -  Defence Housing Australia -  The Australian Submarine Corporation -  Snowy Hydro Ltd by 2016 -  Royal Australian Mint - COMCAR and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
The bodies it suggested should be abolished included: The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, Low Carbon Australia, the Climate Change Authority, and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.(If it lives in Canberra kill it)

These are but a few of their recommendations, anyone going through the report could easily have written something similar provided they followed the Coalition’s ideology. This is not a report written by experts it was written by an ideology.

Is all this baloney news, not really, it gives us all something to write about or whinge about but is it news, never, the next change of government will see it all happen again....Ho,Hum.
Common senseIdeology

1 May 2014

When is Deficit a cliff. Only when we can't see the bottom!


The Abbott government is selling us the end of the world story with regard to the ballooning deficit as if it all must be fixed tomorrow.

Indeed it will become a problem if not planned for, however a conservative government can't do it because it would mean addressing middle to high income welfare.

The rich and upper middle income earners in this country have hidden most of their funds in this system, capital gains, home ownership for pension, low tax in superannuation or no taxing of trusts.

No Conservative government can put their benefactors offside so much, so what are they about to do, not much me thinks, oh they'll tinker here and there, downsize some government departments and abolish others.
Guess what, at the end of their time in power the public service will be the same or larger than when they started.

The only way we will achieve the modifications to the tax system and welfare system in this country is to get bipartisan support for a proper review, not a review by the left or right of politics because they'll never come up with a logical outcome.

Oh yes didn't treasury do such a report, no it must have been a dream because both sides of politics ignored it, didn't they?

We are still a very lucky country in spite of our flawed and sometimes stupid politics and politicians.

Excerpts from an article by Jonathan Swan 
Most countries would be envious of Australia’s public finances as they currently stand,” said Barclays Australia chief economist Kieran Davies, who, like the other economists interviewed, believes long-term, structural changes to the economy are required rather than short-term fixes like a debt tax.

Ideas floated by the economists included abolishing negative gearing, taxing trusts like companies, broadening or raising the GST, reducing the capital gains tax discount and tightening tax breaks for high income earners’ superannuation.

There was no budget urgency that would justify temporary “debt tax” rises, they said.

“We don’t need a surplus tomorrow,” said Chris Richardson, economist and partner at Deloitte Access Economics.

“We don’t even necessarily need it in five years time. I’m more than happy with us getting back to sustainable fiscal finances over the long term.

 “The politics would tend to suggest moving earlier rather than later but on the economics there’s no rush.”

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