Posts Tagged ‘Abbott’

 

“Paid parental leave is a workplace entitlement, it’s not a welfare entitlement, and that’s why it should be paid at people’s wages in the same way that sick pay or holiday pay is paid at people’s wages.”  Tony Abbott

Then, is the entitlement in this sentence from Mr Hockey, different?  “I say to you emphatically, everyone in Australia must do the heavy lifting. The age of entitlement is over, the age of personal responsibility has begun,” 

Words matter.

“We will strive to govern for all Australians, including those who didn’t vote for us.” Tony Abbott on being sworn in as PM

Of course, when you think about it, it’s a fairly meaningless statement. Can one ever imagine a PM announcing: “We will govern for those who voted for us, the ones who didn’t can please themselves about whether we’re the government or not.”

Yes, I know that Tony is trying to imply that he’ll be trying to help everyone. He does go on to say:

“We won’t forget those who are often marginalised; people with disabilities, Indigenous people and women struggling to combine career and family. 

“We will do our best not to leave anyone behind.” 

But I can’t help wondering what it means to not be left behind. I mean, where are we going apart from into the future. And, if anyone’s been left behind when it comes to the future, does that mean that they’re stuck in the past? 

Then again, our Prime Minister – who it’s alleged dropped out of the priesthood when he discovered that, even if he achieved his ambition of becoming Pope, some Catholics would still consider God in charge – did suggest that the ABC was un-Australian when it reported certain stories. Should one conclude that – in governing for all Australians – the government won’t be governing for those who are “un-Australian”? Surely, if all those foreign owned news outlets can surpress stories that are unflattering to Australia, then surely the ABC should do the same.

For example – apart from the un-Australian ABC – should we consider those who gain citizenship here but still want a connection to the country of their birth. Now, I don’t mean our English PM, Abbott, who argues against a republic. I mean, Italians and Greeks who cheer for their heritage in the World Cup instead of the Socceroos. 

When one takes on the citizenship of another country, one should forget all affection for one’s previous homeland. Take Rupert Murdoch, who after renouncing us to become a US citizen has never shown the slightest concern about Australia. He’s the sort of role model that we want for our migrants. 

Cory Bernardi had it right when he expressed concern about Muslims who want to impose sharia law which is opposed to sexual permissiveness and promiscuity. We shouldn’t allow Muslims to tell us what should and shouldn’t be allowed in Australia – that’s the job of Christians like him. 

Words matter. They have meaning, but when Joe Hockey says that we all have to the “heavy lifting” I have no real idea what he’s talking about. When Abbott talks about being “un-Australian”, I find it as confusing as when he suggested that the asylum seekers were “un-Christian”. When Barnaby Joyce talks, I’m usually confused whatever he says.

So when we hear that the age of entitlement is over, that wages are too high, that penalty rates are unnecessary and that because some unions are corrupt we need a Royal Commission (why was there no Royal Commission into the AWB?),  I can’t help but wonder if Joe’s actually saying that the age of work place entitlements is also over. We were told that Work Choices was dead. How long someone tries to argue that meant that eliminating choices in work was part of the Liberals’ mandate?

Words matter.

 

 

“Rat-a-tat” went Noddy’s door knob. He hoped that it wasn’t Big Ears, the Brownie, he wasn’t ready for company. He’d only just dressed and Big Ears, who’d allways been bossy, was even more so now that he’d been elected Prime Minister. 

“Rat-a-tat,” went Noddy’s knocker again. 

“Hold on,” called Noddy, before throwing the door open to see Barnaby Monkey. Noddy was not at all pleased to see him. In the past, Barnaby had been a naughty monkey, threatening to cross the floor and saying such silly things that everyone in Toy Town wondered how on earth he got there. Perhaps, he was a present from a deaf relative, suggested one of the other toys. 

“Good morning, Noddy,” said Barnaby, barging straight in. 

“Good morning,” replied Noddy, stifling a yawn.

“I need your help,” said Barnaby. “It’s about the magic rubber.”

“Ah, that magic rubber which could rub out anything which you stole in Book 9, and then we had to get it back before it fell into the wrong hands, because they could rub out all the wrong things.”

“Yes,” said Barnaby. “That’s the one.”

“Have you lost it again?” asked Noddy.

“Oh no,” said Barnaby. “It’s safe in Big Ears’s drawer. And he’s been using it to rub out everything that Labor did in the past six years – although he’s had a bit of trouble rubbing out that awful Gonski thing. No, it’s perfectly safe. But there’s a problem, and Big Ears wants to talk to you personally so he sent me to collect you.”

Big Ears wanted him to help? How on earth can I help, wondered Noddy, but he knew he’d have to go over, otherwise Big Ears would be in a foul mood. 

“All right,” said Noddy, “let’s go.”

Once Noddy was in his little yellow car, he felt happier. “Parp! parp!” went the car. And Noddy laughed. 

“Look,” said Barnaby, “there’s a Greenie on the road, if you hurry, you can run him over!”

“No,” said Noddy. “I know that Brownies like Big Ears don’t like Greenies, but if I run him over, Mr Plod would have something to say.”

“Don’t worry,” said Barnaby. “When Peta the Puppeteer had too much Elderberry Juice, they just let her off because she’s a friend of Big Ears.”

“That wasn’t the reason,” argued Noddy. “It was because…” Strangely, Noddy couldn’t remember the real reason. 

“Ah, here we are,” said Barnaby.

Noddy lept out of the car, and ran upstairs to see Big Ears, who was talking on the toy phone. Noddy wondered who he was talking to as this was the only phone in Toy Town, but he waited.

“Ah, Noddy. I was hoping you could help. It’s about this magic rubber,” began Big Ears. 

“Yes, Barnaby said that you were using it to get rid of everything that Labor had done.”

“Yes,” said Big Ears, “and it works just fine for that. And it’s worked fine for eliminating our problem with the Toy Boats and any action on climate change. But unfortunately, it’s not working as well when we try to erase our promises.  We’ve rubbed them out in Toy Town, but they keep appearing. Unfortunately, it seems that people have kept them in this place called Cyberspace where the rubber can’t reach.”

“Oh no!” gasped Noddy.

“And that debt thingy. We were just going to wipe it out with a touch of the magic rubber, but Joe the Clown Doll thought we could just make it so big that nobody notices it. Sort of like the way we don’t notice the world.”

Noddy thought this strange, but he didn’t say anything.

“Someone suggested that because you’d had experience with the magic rubber before, you might have some ideas. Like could we use it to rub out people’s memories?”

“Well,” said Noddy, “I’ll do my best. But I don’t think that the rubber was meant to be used that way.”

Big Ears scowled. He didn’t like it when people told him that he was doing something wrong. 

“Leave it with me,” said Noddy. 

“All right,” said Big Ears. “You solve this for us and I promise you a great big new road just for you and your car.”

As Noddy left, he felt like he may have been better to tell Big Ears that some things just can’t be rubbed out. Magic rubber or no magic rubber. This was not going to end well!

 

Framing in the social sciences refers to a set of concepts and theoretical perspectives on how individuals, groups, and societies organize, perceive, and communicate about reality.  

Wikipedia

When you get asked a question, do ever consider how it’s been framed?

If you’re watching one of the tabloid current affairs programs, for example, you may be asked to participate in a poll. Obvious, to most of us, is the fact that the previous story will have affected your terms of reference for that poll. A story about a person committing a violent crime while on parole is likely to lead to a higher figure for the “get tough on crime” options than if the previous story had been about an effective prison drug rehabilitation program.

This is why the Coaltion continually used the phrase “putting it on the credit card” when refering to any of the previous Government spending initiatives. It frames the listener’s attitude to the debt. If Hockey had said that we couldn’t go “extending the mortgage” to pay for things, then there would have still been a negative association, but it wouldn’t have sounded as bad. When the Abbott Government increases our debt above the “disastrous” $300 billion that Labor borrowed, I suspect that no-one on their side of politics will say: “We can pay for some things but for everything else, there’s Mastercard “.

When it comes to the human psyche, the work of  Daniel Kahneman* and Amos Tversky should be of particular interest to politicians. To what extent, political parties are deliberately using their studies, and to what extent the political process is dominated by focus groups, polling and media advisers, I don’t know, but there is an enormous potential for using things such as “framing” for effectively changing the way a political party is perceived by the electorate. The whole asylum seeker debate, for example, is of no importance to most people in Australia, yet it was framed in such a way that it became a hot button election issue. If you’ve just been shocked by my assertion that asylum seeker debate is of no importance, then I suggest that the “framing” has worked extremely well. Were it not for the reporting of boats, most people wouldn’t know that it was even happening. People wouldn’t be able to distinguish between “boat people”, other refugees and people coming here as part of the immigration program. Yet “protecting our borders” was seen as extremely important by a large number of people, as was Australia’s “lack of compassion” for others. Now that the flow of information has been slowed, we don’t have the same level of hysteria about the invading armada  from Indonesia. Has the flow of boats decreased significantly? Is anyone in the MSM reporting the number of arrivals any more?

(In fact, another good example of framing is an article by a columnist where he used a crime committed by a Sudanese refugee – and some dodgy statistics about his community – to argue why it was important to “stop the boats” and the “queue jumpers”. I suspect that most people wouldn’t stop to consider that these particular refugees DIDN’T come by boat – they were the non-“queue jumping” genuine refugees!)

Tversky and Kahneman’s work challenges the Economic Rationalist theory that people behave logically and do what’s in their best interest. Their studies in the field of behavioural economics have three main themes:

  • People frequently make economic decisions based on a vague idea and rather than logically thinking about them.
  • How things are framed, which is often based on things such as stories and stereotypes
  • The Market itself and its ineffeciencies.

To put it simply, when you see the headlines, “Housing Prices to Boom” and “Housing Bubble Risk”, do you put off buying your first home or investment property or do you think that you better get in quickly? Strangely, people warning about the dangers, may itself contribute to the boom.

Likewise, a decision by the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates to stimulate demand because it’s “worried about a looming recession” may make business owners concerned about their profits falling or workers about losing their job. Then, rather than spend, they try to put money away for the future.

When it comes to politics, the Coalition have largely managed to frame the economic agenda on their own terms. “We had a surplus, Labor has deficits” and “We had money in the bank, Labor has debt”. The existence of the GFC is acknowledged, then ignored. It’s been rare that anyone has ever questioned whether Hockey was arguing that there’d be no debt if they were still in charge, or even – in a time when the economy is “struggling” – whether they considern it a good idea to run surpluses sucking further funds out of the system.  Indeed, it’s interesting how they’ve been able to argue that the Carbon Tax is terrible because it takes money off us, while simultaneously asserting that running a surplus budget where you take more in taxes than you give back in services is always a desirable thing.

Perhaps, the most obvious argument against using  the politics of using polling as a way of determining a course action is when you look at the number of areas where the Labor Party’s policies were prefered by the electorate. Education the NDIS, and Gay Marriage were all pluses for Labor, and yet many people still decided against voting for them, in spite of not agreeing with the Opposition on most issues. Labor, they felt, was moving from one disaster to another. When pressed, the issues were either years ago or just part of the normal chaos of government such as when the states disagree with what the federal government intends.

The challenge for the progressive side of politics over the next three years will be to ensure that debate is framed in their terms – that means holding Abbott accountable for his promises and ensuring that important social issues don’t disappear of the agenda entirely.

*(Writer of “Thinking Fast and Slow”)

Interesting short interview with Daniel Kahneman.

Well, of course it’s getting a good run in the press. They have nothing else to write about. Ok, they could write about the “deal” that is being worked out between Australia and Indonesia, but the details are secret. Ministers don’t seem to be saying much, and we only get the “Shipping News” once a week. There’s only so much you can write about a meeting of leaders in Bali. There was a story that Abbott hopes to have a trade deal with China within twelve months, but again we’re still working out the details and there’s only so many ways of re-writing a sentence involving Trade Deal, China, Twelve Months and Abbott.

So that pretty much only leaves stories about travel allowances. The Liberal line seems to be that they’re being repaid, so what’s the problem? They’re “small change”, not significant amounts. And, in the future, if a claim is in the ambiguous column, they’ll be “erring on the side of caution”.

One could ask why they didn’t do that in the past, but that would be petty. Like the thousand of dollars involved.

One could go to “Labor’s Book of Waste” and look at the 60 examples of Labor waste which include such major items as the $660 of extra Carbon Tax at the Lodge (seriously, No. 20), or the ATO hiring a consultant on the mining tax for $30,000. Then one could ask, why waste all that time on a booklet over such “small change”?

See more of these outrageous examples of money being wasted at

Click to access The%20Little%20Book%20of%20Big%20Labor%20Waste.pdf

But it’s Peter Reith’s comments that get to the heart of the matter:

“As a minister, you are 24/7 a minister. This is all part of being a politician. If you get an invitation to go to a private occasion, then the judgment you make as a minister is, is this worth it from a political point of view?”

Of course, I could be pedantic and point out the India 3 were NOT ministers at the time of the trip – they were in Oppostion, but that’s not the main issue.

“This is all part of being a politician” and “from a political point of view” seem to sum it up. As does, “If a shock jock invites you to a wedding,” we’re told, “you’d be a fool not to go.”

Why? How much influence does a “shock jock” have over the way you discharge your Ministerial duties? In what way is this connected to the business of government. 

Yes, as an MP, you’ll be spending a certain amount of time trying to ensure that you’re re-elected, but surely that’s not part of your role as an MP, any more than it would be if I chose to stand at the next election. “I haven’t been elected yet, but attending Bazza’s wedding is part of me networking and trying to ensure that I have enough votes to win,” I say, when trying to claim a travel expense. Travel expenses, of course, only applies to an MP in the course of the role as a Member of Parliament or as a Minister. Is being re-elected part of that role, or should that come from party funds?

I will agree that during an election campaign some things can be more ambiguous. And that when Christopher Pyne goes to a local event, he may be BOTH performing his role as a local member AND trying to ensure his re-election. (Although in his case, staying away may be better for the latter.)

But the idea that going to the wedding of someone who may has some influence and could help you in your quest for power is related to your role as a member of the Government doesn’t seem at all “ambiguous” to me.  

Jeff Kennett; Tony Abbott. I don’t know if anyone else is thinking the same thing here, and I realise that people who don’t come from Victoria are probably thinking Jeff Who by now. But it was when I read somewhere today about Abbott being the “most successful Opposition Leader in the last forty years” I was reminded about how people used to tell me what a smart political operator  Kennett was. “He’s only won two elections,” I’d argue, “and lost two. And one of the wins was when everyone conceded that he’d win because Labor had no hope.” Ah, but he’ll win the next one, because he’s so canny I was told. Somehow, this “genius” lost the next election and ended with more election losses as Leader than wins. Jeff was abrasive and had a take no prisoners approach to political debate – much like Abbott. And some of the things he said were just plain wrong!

As Abbott moves toward his showdown with Rudd, I can’t help but wonder at how people will end up voting. It’s close at the moment, but – I say this more as an observer than someone cheering Rudd on – that I suspect that when it comes to mind games, Rudd is tap-dancing on Tony’s hippocampus. Will Rudd lose more votes with his presidential style than Abbott loses with his capacity to say something that worries almost everyone?

Tony’s been on election footing for years. And we’ve had suggestions that Labor will go earlier than Gillard’s Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement – not a good day for an election!) date. But still no election. Of course, now nearly everyone concedes that Rudd will go to G20, which suggests that it won’t happen till October. Or does it? Is there still time for Turnbull to make a move? Could Rudd fool everyone and go in September still? What do you think, Mr Abbott? Oh, that he should call the election now? And you’ll see us in The Lodge for Christmas drinks? BTW, why are we building so much infrastructure in Nauru when the boats are going to be towed back? Oh, not all of them, but that doesn’t matter – you’re going to stop them. Oh, not straight away.

And the Government will take 80 years to roll out the NBN in Tasmania? Really. You expect this government to be there in 80 years? What, you expect to be the government? Then surely it won’t take 80 years! Surely, Turnbull – the man who “practically invented the Internet in Australia” should be able to move a bit faster than that.

Jeff Kennett recently said: “If you have had a couple of drinks and you want to absorb the alcohol quickly, Kool Mints will do it.” Who wants to bet that Abbott says something even more foolish in the next few weeks?

Thousands of words have been written about Julia’s “lie” on the Carbon Tax. And I’m not about to re-hash the condemnations and the explanations here. I’m more intrigued about why it was such a big issue and why it continued to be long the election. The thing is that we expect politicians to lie. I don’t mean it that cynical way, “He’s a politician so you can’t trust him!”

When Bob Hawke refused to honour his agreement with Paul Keating, he admitted that he lied to stop Keating from resigning as Treasurer. When an aspiring candidate for the Labor Party admitted last week that she had no connection with the electorate where she wished to be nominated, people mocked her. When politicians are asked about their attitudes on their party’s policy, they rarely say that they think it’s wrong, even when they’re on the record as arguing strongly against it. That’s politics, we say.

So, I’m not analysing Tony Abbott here because he lied. I’m analysing this because he’s made such a song and dance about Gillard’s so-called lie before the last election. 

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book called: Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception. It examined the techniques interrogators were trained to  look for in order to detect lying. 

Some of the verbal techniques which suggest lying are:

1. A failure to answer the question. 

2. Denial problems. (Instead saying, “No, I didn’t” the person may say, “I find that allegation offensive” or “That’s not the sort of behaviour that my record would suggest”)

3. Reluctance to answer the question. (“You’ll have to ask the Leader about that one.”)

4. Repeating the question. (Repeating the question? Why would anyone do that?)

5. Nonanswer statements. (“That’s really the question” or “I’m glad you asked that”)

6. Inconsistent statements 

7. Going into attack mode. (“There’s no need to be offensive” or “That’s just typical of the ABC”)

8. Overly specific answers. (“I’m sure that the figure isn’t $2billion” Actually it’s $2.1 billion)

So i present the following excerpt from that interview which Andrew Bolt called “gotcha”journalism with my annotations in bold.

TONY ABBOTT: Thanks so much. Thank you. Ok, do we have any questions?
QUESTION: Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of
travel expenses and then paying it back? How are the situations different?
TONY ABBOTT: Well look, this matter was fully dealt with last year. There’s nothing further to add. 1. A failure to answer the question. & 3. Reluctance to answer the question
QUESTION: Well he’s facing charges and you just got to pay $9000 back. How are those two situations different?
TONY ABBOTT: Well as I said, this matter was fully dealt with by the Labor minister last year who said that the matter was closed. 5. Nonanswer statements.
QUESTION: And why were the travel expenses incorrectly claimed? How did that happen? Can you explain what happened in your office that you
incorrectly claimed $9000 worth of travel expenses?
TONY ABBOTT: The matter was fully dealt with last year. (1, 3 and 5 again)
QUESTION: But you’re not explaining how it occurred, why it occurred, why it happened in the first place?
TONY ABBOTT: As I said, it was an oversight in my office. It was fully dealt with last year. (1, 3 and 5 again)

QUESTION: Why did you use Comcars on your book tour? Surely you would have known when you were using the Comcars that you were on private business?

TONY ABBOTT: Fully dealt with last year. The Labor Minister at the time was perfectly satisfied that there had been nothing that was deliberately done wrong and the matter was closed. 2. Denial problems. 
QUESTION: Do you take responsibility for the mistake?
TONY ABBOTT: I think I’ve fully dealt with it. Time to move on. 1, 2, 3, 5

QUESTION: It’s been reported that you have been forced to repay the amount? Are the reports inaccurate?

TONY ABBOTT: This was dealt with two years ago. This is old news. Old news. Now, why is Kevin Rudd now trying to dish this sort of dirt? Kevin Rudd
came into the prime ministership a few days ago and he said let’s have a kinder, gentler polity. Now, that was a bit rich from someone who’d spent three
years and three days plotting against a prime minister, but he called for a kinder, gentler polity and he called for positive politics. Now, we’ve got the
Labor Party spinning this kind of stuff. Now, let’s move on.
QUESTION: It’s not the Labor Party. It’s an independent website who did an FOI?
TONY ABBOTT: Let’s move on. Let’s move on.
QUESTION: On the carbon tax, Malcolm Turnbull said you could find better advocates than him last night on Q&A about moving away from an emission
trading scheme are you lacking team support within your own team?
TONY ABBOTT: Look, I thought Malcolm did a very, very good job on Q&A last night and Malcolm was pointing out that President Obama made a
magnificent speech on climate change and what President Obama is supporting are direct action measures like the measures that the Coalition’s been
supporting now for well over three years.
QUESTION: Mr Abbott, do you agree with Malcolm Turnbull that your direct action plan is short term?
TONY ABBOTT: Well obviously, if the world changes, we’ll change with it but as I’ve always said, the world is moving away from carbon taxes andemissions trading schemes, not towards it. The world is moving towards the kind of direct action measures that the Coalition has long been proposing and what we’re proposing is smarter technology, more trees and better soils and the great thing about what we’ve got in mind is that what we’ve got in
mind makes environmental sense to everyone. It makes environmental sense to everyone to have more trees, to have better soils and to use smarter technology. 8. Overly specific answers.

QUESTION: Mr Abbott, why didn’t you say yesterday you had incorrectly claimed those travel expenses?
TONY ABBOTT: Look, I think we’ve fully dealt with this. Gary Gray dealt with this… Here we go again!

QUESTION: You just repeated your lines over and over again to me you haven’t answered any questions.
TONY ABBOTT: Calm down. Gary Gray looked at this matter two years ago. He said there’s nothing to see here. Ok. Next question. 7. Going into attack mode.
QUESTION: After you repaid. Do you take responsibility for the incorrect claim of $9,000?
TONY ABBOTT: I didn’t claim travel allowance. I never claimed travel allowance. My office inadvertently booked some travel as official, which should not have been booked that way. It’s been fully dealt with. Not me, blame my office.
QUESTION: No, there were expenses. Gary Gray wrote back after you repaid the initial $6,000 and said there were travel expenses that had been claimed, such as Comcars.
TONY ABBOTT: Ok. Are there any other questions? 2. Denial problems.

Ok, we could do the same to most political interviews. But generally it’s been Abbott squawking about “lies”. He conveniently ignores the most significant question about how do he not know that he shouldn’t have been using a Comcar for a private trip, by asking for other questions.

Bolt sees this as ‘gotcha’ journalism, but sees pursuing Gillard over events twenty years old after she held a press conference where she asked and answered all questions on the matter as entirely reasonable. Ignoring the obvious – it’s ok to ‘gotcha’ the side he disagrees with, but not his mates – it’s hard to argue that what Gillard did twenty years ago goes to character, but an Opposition Leader ripping off the public purse is an entirely legitimate thing to do. But one, I suppose it could be argued, was a legitimate mistake from a man who just wasn’t thinking. And there’s plenty of evidence of Abbott acting without thinking. 

From the man himself: ”I know politicians are going to be judged on everything they say but sometimes in the heat of discussion you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark.”

Quote for the day:  “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw

Response from Tony Abbott: “No, that socialist G. B. Shaw will still have no idea!”
Response from Campbell Newman: “We’ve just introduced laws which forbid this sort of thing!”
Response from Gina Rinehart: “I still own my idea, and if Shaw’s was worth anything, I’d already own it.”

Response from Alan Jones: “I have my own ideas, and, for the right money, I’ll have yours as well.”

Response from Pauline Hanson:”An idea? Please explain!”

Response from Rupert Murdoch: “My editors don’t need my ideas – they are all free to have their own ideas on what’s wrong with Julia Gillard.”

Response from Barnaby Joyce: “The last time I had an idea, people laughed, so I’ve made it a rule to keep my ideas to myself”

Response from Andrew Bolt: “I can’t share my ideas because my free speech is under threat, when all I want is for us not to live together in harmony, but those bloody Muslims and aborigines keep picking fights with me.”

Response from Joe Hockey: “We have ideas and you’ll see them closer to the election!”

I actually read things. You know how you just click on “I agree to these terms and conditions”  when joining something? Well, I’m the guy who often reads them. I confess that I don’t do it all the time, but every now and then I wonder just what I’m agreeing to. So far – I’m pleased to report that none have signed away the rights to your first born child or agreed that the person hosting the site has the right to eat anything in your fridge.

So, of course, I read the Liberal “Labor’s Little Book of Waste”, and for the part I was unimpressed, but then Number 59: It’s costing the taxpayers $110,000 to supply 900 bureaucrats in Treasury with 350 litres of milk. It seems unclear from the document whether this $110,000 is per week or per year. However, if it’s per week I don’t know what the dairy farmers are complaining about. Until a Liberal troll reads this and tells me that I’m wrong. I”m taking the liberty of presuming that it’s per year. (To save them all the trouble, Dick of Sydney: “Youse is all morons, Labor puts everything on Mastercard so a litre of milk will cost the taxpayer $215,000 by the time the debt is paid of in 2054. I know coz I am an accountant like Barnaby Joyce.”) 

When the Liberals said that they’d be able to fund their abolition of the Mining Tax, which has they can’t afford to pay but which is only bringing in $200 million this year, or the Carbon Tax, which is costing every household lots and lots of money, yet still keep in place the compensation for the Carbon Tax, I was a little cynical. Just as I couldn’t see where the money for Abbott’s maternity leave scheme was coming from. Yes, I know that he planned to put a 1.5% levy on the big companies, but he also planned to reduce company tax by 1.5%. I didn’t see how he ended up with any net gain after that. (Dick of Sydney: “That’s just typical of you feral lefties, youse is all idiats and just resort to abuse. The witch lied you know, and Labor can’t add up so stop trying to blame the future government for things witch are all Labour’s folt”) But now it’s clear! They have identified 60 items of waste from Labor and once that milk money for those bureaucrats is stopped, we should be well on the way to the first billion. 

Of course, they have a bit of problem with the fact that some of the things they identified were once only items, so you can’t expect every one of the 60 to yield a billion going into the future, but at least they haven’t listed the money going to elite private schools or subsidising millionaires as an example of waste!