Breaking News: Opposition to oppose $42 Billion package

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has dropped a bombshell this morning by announcing the Coalition will block the Government’s $42 billion economic rescue package.

More on this later as the story develops. Back to you in the studio.

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160 Responses

  1. And it seems the stimulus package before Christmas did work after all:

    The Rudd government initial’s $10.4 billion stimulus package gave a major boost to spending in the run-up to Christmas, new data released on Wednesday suggests.

    Also aided by cheaper petrol prices and lower interest rates on home loans, consumers spent a record $19.2 billion in December, a 3.8 per cent seasonally-adjusted increase on the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

    This was the largest monthly increase since August 2000.

    Economists had forecast a 1.0 per cent rise in December.

  2. As per the other thread: Min, on February 4th, 2009 at 12:06 pm Said:
    You mean that because of Turnbull my 85 year old mother doesn’t get the insulation for her house????

    And it’s true.

  3. Yep – will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

    My initial thinking is that Turnbull has now gone “all in” and that it is a very “brave” decision on his part as Sir Humphrey would say.

  4. Turnbull is a goner. He has nothing to say and nothing to offer other than being obstructionist.

  5. Saying that people don’t need the $950 is oh so out of touch. Incredible. Absolutely incredible. Yes Malcolm, every Australian has $125 million.

    And don’t forget that Joe’s not happy either, as his rant on radio this morning testifies. IMHO Joe the Goose is probably spitting chips because he won’t get the full $950.

    I’m wondering if the mission statement for this opposition is to ensure that the Rudd Government has a popularity as close as possible to 100%.

  6. Further to your first post here was the data Westfield released. Westfield has retail centres in many countries around the world so could directly compare shopping trends in those countries that did not invoke a pre-Christmas stimulus package and those that did.

    Australia was the only country where spending increased in Westfield shopping centres over Christmas, and Westfield’s puts this down to the government stimulus package.

  7. Turnbull seems to have nailed his colours to the mast, so to speak. Brave indeed.

    This can only end with the humiliation of the Government, a back-down and a stunning victiory for the Libs or the total destruction of Turnbull’s leadership and the Liberals’ credibility.

    Bets anyone?

    For my money, Rudd will crush him on this particular issue. People are shit-scared and the rescue package offers them hope. Anyone removing that hope does so at his peril.

  8. It’s already started Evan as some are starting to point out how much more money the wealthy will permanently get by bringing forward tax cuts as compared to the lower income group.

    So the Libs are being painted as pandering to the rich whilst dudding the poor, not a good look and one that I don’t think Turnbull can overcome.

  9. Min, I think Turnbull was a “never”. I have always felt that Costello wasn’t finished and I have said it right through. Call it petulant or whatever, but I think that he never saw much in Nelson or Turnbull and felt that eventually the Libs would turn back to him in much the same way as they did with Howard, and he would be more secure in the position as a result.

  10. 1. I don’t like Malcolm Turncoat – never have…and have posted many times why…

    2. I vote Labor always have…

    3. I am a self funded retiree (since 2005) – so there is nothing really in this package for me personally – but I have kids and g/kids

    4. $42 billion is a lot of money to throw around

    5. If one of my managers (when I was working) asked me to approve a “one off” budget for considerable money with no guarantee of outcomes, I would want longer than 48 hours to approve it, or agree with it…

    6. Politics aside this is the worst crisis in at least two generations, MT, is s turkey but he is the Leader of the Opposition – this should be a bipartisan crisis not a political one.

    Our national survival depends on the success or failure of how OUR money is spent by our government – they should also let the Opposition into the brainstorming sessions – there may be the odd spark there…

    That said – most economists (shiver) seem to agree wiith the package…

  11. Just an aside, what was that about Blogocrats reaching 200,000 by Christmas. I have dinner organised, hubby is warned and I looking forward to seeing it happen this afternoon or this evening.

    Very big CONGRATULATIONS to Reb and Joni.

  12. Re insulation, I find it difficult to understand why a lightning bolt didn’t descend from heaven.

    Turnbull: The grants for insulating homes should be halved to $500 and means tested, he said…

    Choke, choke..means tested….??? From a Liberal??

  13. Min

    I think that’s “meany tested” 🙂

  14. Min

    speaking of reb, where is he?

  15. On the topic – as I said on the earlier thread – dumb, dumb, dumb move by Turnbull. The Greens and X and F have agreed to work with the Govt and look at and have suggested improvements. The new houses being energy efficient is a good suggestion from the Greens and likely to be supported by Labor IMO. But the Libs to just oppose and say that the tax cuts should just be moved forward is stupid. It’s complicated to implement and delivers less than the one off payments. Besuides, the tax cuts kick in on July 1 anyway so it is like a second stage stimulus rather than being delivered in one hit.
    Turnbull 🙄

  16. Malcolm is gambling big hoping for a large pay-off (but with a large chance of catastrophic failure)… the kind of thing you learn to do as a Goldman Sachs executive, right?

    Personally, I think he will fail badly. Sticking to principles is all well and good, so long as you also take into account the best time to do so. Telling struggling families that they cannot get access to the money being promised without detailing a clear downside to them is asking for mobs to turn up at Mal’s mansion with pitchforks and flaming torches!

  17. “pitchforks and flaming torches”?

    Surely in Sydney’s east it would be seafood forks and creme brulee torches.

  18. Dave, I believe that reb is os. Joni can tell you.

  19. “speaking of reb, where is he? (D55)

    He’s on his honeymoon.

  20. Miglo, on February 4th, 2009 at 2:18 pm Said

    😆

  21. I have big, bigger and biggest problems with Family First senator Fielding. He who insisted that he would keep the bastards honest via Family Impact Statements. Howard made a token gesture and then Fielding rolled over to have his tummy tickled.

    As previous, the insulation thing is an important issue. Creates jobs – reduces bills for older households eg pensioners who would not be able to otherwise afford insulation. It’s a win, win situation.

  22. An absolutely devastating article by Bernard Keane at Crikey. Must read!

    http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090204-Turnbull-opposes-stimulus.html

  23. Caney

    I love this line from Bernard Keane:

    Overnight and in The Age, backbencher Peter Costello was saying something critical of the Government. Whatever. No one cares about you anymore, Peter. Go away

  24. Joni,

    True words there.

    Here’s another exciting sentence:

    And he’s going to hit the Liberals again, and again, and again, and again, and he’s not going to stop until they’re a bloodied mess.

    Bring out the baseball bats!

  25. Who cares about Bernard Keane…in my opinion his credibility is shot because he played the man not the ball!

  26. Caney.. re And he’s going to hit the Liberals again, and again, and again, and again, and he’s not going to stop until they’re a bloodied mess.

    Do you mean Rudd or Costello??

  27. LOL Min, Rudd’s gonna beat up on the Liberals (again and again and again etc). He’s flexing his muscles and twirling the baseball bat around in his hands …

  28. I’m in favour of a stimulus and spending on infrastructure rather than tax cuts.

    I just don’t like the spending priorities of this package.

    Put a few billion into rebuilding our ports. We should never again have 50-70 ship lined up outside Newcastle. When the economic growth returns, our ports must be able to cope.

    The across the board home insulation is poor policy. This could be the stimulus for Queensland, where apparently they don’t insulate. It is probably needed more there.

    Victoria needs water infrastructure more than insulation. Put the equivalent money into a water tank for each home. This would be better directed, and saves the pressure on the ancient storm water drainage system.

    Figure out similar tailor made policies for the other states, but it is far too much for a one size fits all approach.

    The package is designed more for the politics. It does not provide well focussed, effective expenditure of our money.

  29. Do I win a prize for this – see Friday Frolyks

    Tom of Melbourne, on February 2nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm Said:
    So this site will reach 200,000 at 3.07 on Wednesday.
    Congratulations joni & reb.

  30. Tom

    I agree with no tax cuts.

    Im not sure we will ever have 50-70 ships at our ports anymore. Our ports are operated by private compnaies, why not let let them pay for upgrading because afterall they will make the profits.

    Home insulation is a wonderful idea. My home town has -8 in winter. Insulation is not only for heat. It will also insulate the elderlys homes which were built before insulation days in freezing cold areas.

    I agree put on a water tank for each home as well.

    Providing money for our run down schools is in my opinion very well focussed effective expenditure for the benefit of our whole nation and our future population.

  31. Tom of Melb

    No need to invest in the Newcastle Ports. The private sector finally pulled their finger out and are building it themselves (as they should – the NSW Gov’t had approved a large expansion in the late 90’s but the private operator (owned by the mining companies and predominately Rio) hadn’t implemented the full expansion – the current expansion will only slightly increase total capacity above that approved 10 years ago).

    Of course there was no need to expand the port while the capacity constraint remained in the rail system but with this (mostly) fixed, the Miners found themselves with a Port side capacity constraint that was their own fault.

  32. Careful Tom, reb still has the CD.

  33. Congratulations joni and sreb…!

    …and to all Blogocrats…”clink”!

    …’tis a bit early and just a virtual “clink” – but its gotta be 1700 hours somewhere!

    Hey, Tom, sreb might bring you back some of that Viatnese geetar music…

    Saw Gran Torino yesterday – a must see!

    _________________________________

    On topic

    Dave55, I think a similar situation existed at Hay Point (Mackay) but “the committe”, couldn’t reach agreement…

  34. The previous package resulted in a quarterly increase in Retail Sales of 3.8%, so much for the Libs mantra that Rudds first package was a dudder. With respect to Turdballs rejection of the second package, his party following the Bush hymn sheet were complicit in this crisi and, his party has no idea how to fix it…oh sorry, Turdball has an idea, isn’t it just keep letting the free market self destruct and it will right itself eventually. Now they want to get their hands in the publics pocket again and deprive them of much needed funds to get their kids back to school or to give the unemployed and low income earners a break.
    This is political suicide, irresponsible and just plain childish, playing silly politics against the advices of the rest of the world and most economic experts. Just plain stupid Turdball

  35. I’m quite enjoying watching the demise of Turnbull for personal reasons.

  36. Tom of Melbourne, on February 4th, 2009 at 4:00 pm Said:
    Do I win a prize for this – see Friday Frolyks

    Tom of Melbourne, on February 2nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm Said:
    So this site will reach 200,000 at 3.07 on Wednesday.
    Congratulations joni & reb.

    Yes you do win and now jon, reb, myself and I know that I can count on aquanut are about to lob on your doorstep. We expect vol au vents, however will bring our own Mateus.

  37. david, on February 4th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    But what about the rest of the economy?

  38. Are you kidding Legion, what economy. No one knows the answers, but the answer is certainly not doing nothing but trying to win political points, and it’s backfiring bigtime. The best thing we can do, is take advice from the best economic minds in the world, including Australia, work through a package in line with their thoughts and then have a go. Joe public can see that Ruddy is having a dig, and he is being held in high esteem for that. What did Rodent do, sang from the idiot Bush’s hymnsheet of greed and non regulation and look what happened. Turdball wants to go back to let the market forces run their course…that’s the cause of the problem and certainly cannot be the solution.

  39. More breaking news:

    Majority of readers back Malcolm Turnbull’s economic stance

    MALCOLM Turnbull’s move to block the $42b stimulus package has drawn support in a Herald Sun Online poll.

    At 5.40pm, out of a total of more than 7100 votes, 52% agreed with Mr Turnbull’s opinion that the rescue bid, which includes cash handouts to millions of Australians, is fiscally irresponsible.

  40. Link:

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25007831-661,00.html

    Update:

    Latest figures @ 8:30 PM: 53% agree with Turnbull, 47% against.

  41. Online polls are notoriously unscientific. This is the Murdoch paper that features (if I’m not mistaken) Andrew Bolt – whose column attracts reams of frothing rednecks.

    How do we know that Young Liberals (so-called) are not sitting around clicking interminably to rig the result? They seem to have been hitting News Ltd blogs in force in the last couple of days.

    I’ll give them credit for organisation and dedication if that’s the case. (God, what some people will do to remove pay and conditions form working Australians).

  42. Dave wrote:

    Turdball wants to go back to let the market forces run their course…that’s the cause of the problem and certainly cannot be the solution

    Exactly. As someone said on an ABC blog recently:

    Considering what Merchant Bankers have done to destroy the entire global economy, I think listening to advice from one like Turnbull would be economically suicidal.

  43. Caney,

    Scientific or not, this isssue has definitely caught the public’s attention. Go visit the comments thread at that poll – there are “reams of frothing” comments from both sides of the debate.

  44. Tony

    I have a personal principle against clicking onto any Herald-Sun or Daily Telegraph page, or, heaven forbid, paying money for their hard copy versions. I also avoid The Australian unless it’s a story I simply cannot miss, in fact any paper from that stable. But I’m sure you’re right about the frothing comments. ‘Twas just the same when I last did look therein.

  45. Just watched Mal Turncoat on Lateline (real time – we don’t play with the clocks in Qld – plenty of sun 🙂 )

    What a grinning monkey – kept asking Kerry o’Brien questions instead of answering them – no alternatives just platitudes…and like Mr Custard last night tended to avoid answers…

    However, this is a situation that requires some bipartisan approach – its way over politics – we are at “war” with the World Economy….

  46. I have no argument with Mr Turnbull opposing this package, in principle, and in practice.

    These bills are unprecedented in our history. There has been no modelling – none released, anyway – nor any consultation with the opposition, yet Mr Rudd expects the opposition to support them without question, and without due time to study their contents.

    These bills deserve thorough explanation and investigation. The independent senators appear to agree. No government should be allowed to spend 42 billion of our money, without full transparency.

    I look forward to the proposed senate enquiry.

  47. “MALCOLM Turnbull’s move to block the $42b stimulus package has drawn support in a Herald Sun Online poll.”

    lol…I imagine those pissed off they didn’t get their precious tax cuts are venting their anger via such polls…I guess if you consumed your way into worrying debt, based your life on collecting shiny things, built your self-esteem by showing off those expensive shiny things, created a career out of work that benefits the few at the expense of the many &/or the environment, and then you suddenly realise everything you idolised and kowtowed for is as permanent, substantial & worthwhile as sand castles…you’d probably be pretty pissed off that our government is using revenue to assist the growth of new & future generations rather than helping you to repair your castle walls, and buy more addictive shiny things.

    N’

  48. Tony of South Yarra

    I have no problem with the independants and the Greens asking for a few days to go through the package, this is what is needed. Labor should not be able to just push it through. At the same time, shouldn’t the Liberals look at it a little closer until they scream out they are blocking it. They complained about not being able to have the time to examinine it, and, in the next sentence, said they are blocking it??

    Are they sure they are not blocking it on purely ideological grounds.

    Certainly is going to be an interesting coupla months.

  49. Tony

    There has been no modelling – none released, anyway – nor any consultation with the opposition, yet Mr Rudd expects the opposition to support them without question, and without due time to study their contents.

    You mean that should have commissioned a review to look into the measures? 😉

    I don’t recall Howard and Costello seeking bipartisanship during the Asian banking crisis or the bursting of the tech bubble (which from memory actually resulted in a deficit for that FY – not budgeted mind you but actual none the less following a spending spree by Howard and Costello to keep us out of recession)

  50. Tom R

    Ditto – Very similar point to my comments over at LP.

  51. At the same time, shouldn’t the Liberals look at it a little closer until they scream out they are blocking it

    The Liberals can’t block it – not in their own right anyway. The bills will pass the house, then proceed to the senate. The bill can be blocked there if the Libs, and the requisite number of greens and or independents vote against it. This appears to be the likely scenario, as far as I can tell.

    / Isn’t democracy a wonderful thing?

  52. Dave55

    I have no problem with them going it alone, but they then forfeit any right to demand a rubber stamp from the opposition.

  53. Dave55

    Oops, hope you won’t be doing me for copyright now 🙂

    Perhaps I can get a gig righting (sic) up opinions for Liberal front benchers lol

  54. Tony, I don’t know what sort of modelling could be done on this. We are told daily we are in unchartered waters.

    And, no, they don’t have the numbers to actually block it alone, but that is their intent. Perhaps a more political response would have been that done by the Greens and Independants. Look at it first, then block it. It just appears too reactionary.

  55. Tom,

    Opposing the bill allows an open debate in the house. I’ve been fascinated for the last few hours listening to nearly every member have their say on these bills. This is our vibrant democracy at work.

  56. As I said, I have nothing wrong with the bill being pulled apart.

    It was the manner in which the opposition loudly and vehemently proclaimed it was crap and would block it.

    As I said, wouldn’t it have been more political to request more time to examine it. The Greens and Independants have done that.

  57. As I said, wouldn’t it have been more political to request more time to examine it. The Greens and Independants have done that.

    No Tom. They didn’t request more time. They will vote against it, and then hold an enquiry, against the government’s wishes that they approve the bills without question.

  58. Of course TOSY, but that is my point. To the average man on the street, they appear churlish. They could have appeared more like they want to work with the government by simply requesting more time before blocking it or not. Here, they have blocked it, without too much consideration. They could have used it to their political advantage, and actually done something constructive in the process.

  59. Tom,

    The government demanded the bills be approved in 48 hours. Not negotiable.

    The Libs decided they would like just a bit more time to consider the proposition – particularly when spending 42 billion dollars.

    So the choices were:

    1) Vote for the bills as presented.

    Or

    2) Oppose the bills in the house, and debate them. Then, oppose them in the senate, and if enough greens or independents do the same, hold a senate enquiry.

    Unsurprisingly, they chose option two.

  60. It’s disappointing that most of the discussion – not just here but on other blogs too – is about the petty politics of the situation rather than the substance of the government’s proposals. The latter seem to me to be on a par with Howard’s $10 billion ‘plan’ to save the Murray-Darling, except they will cost four times as much. I’d like to see much more analysis of the proposed spending … who cares what Turnbull or Costello thinks?

    For starters, why should we be subsidising anyone who wants a new laptop, to the tune of $600 each buyer? Is this supposed to prop up the Korean or Malaysian computer industry so they buy more steel from China which in turn will keep our iron ore exports buoyant? It’s a master stroke.

    This is unprecedented action by the government and smacks of sheer panic. Let’s critically evaluate their proposals instead of getting all excited about how Rudd’s scored points off Turnbull again. I’m all in favour of making Turnbull look silly but not at a cost of $42 billion.

  61. I don’t know if you are getting where I am coming from TOSY

    They cannot (from my understanding) just rush this through. They can certainly try, but the house can request the bill to be examined. This is not the path that was chosen. Outright condemnation was the path. And all we have heard is churnbull crap on about looking after children. Not much about wanting time to examine the bill. Their minds are made up.

    It is not a good look for them.

  62. Ken,

    I’m on the record as not endorsing Mr Turnbull as Liberal Party leader, but I would be appalled had he not taken this course of action.

    It may turn out that this is the master stroke of master strokes by Mr Rudd, but before we take that leap of faith, let’s at least examine his methodology.

    The seemingly inevitable senate enquiry should be enlightening, to say the least.

  63. I’m alive!

    We’ve just arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    We’ll be here for 3 nights then head to Hoi An for 3 nights.

    Battery is running low, so will pop in later on the hotel PC to catch up on what Talcums’ been up to….

    Now, to figure out where the best local tailors are…..

  64. Clearly our economy needs some form of stimulus. Clearly this package needs considerable scrutiny. This package should not be rubber stamped like Rudd wants. And it is outrageous that Rudd thinks it should be stampeded through parliament without scrutiny. However, Turnbull’s blanket blocking of the package is both unhelpful and unconstructive.

  65. With all this talk of having an inquiry, remember (as Ken wrote above) the MO of the previous government when spending $10 billion on the Murray/Darling.

    This from former Senator Andrew Bartlett:

    Estimates hearings last night, when the government’s Senate Leader, Nick Minchin, confirmed that the $10 billion package did not go to Cabinet for approval before it was announced. Further evidence provided this morning indicates that the Department of Finance was informed about the expenditure package just two days before it was announced, and they will cost the plan once the states agree to it.

    And:

    Senator Minchin suggests that it amounts to “one billion dollars a year, which is less than half a per cent of Commonwealth Government expenditure” and says “let’s keep it in perspective.”

    So maybe the opposition needs to get some perspective on the $42 billion plan too.

  66. Can anybody please explain why “F@ckers 2” is listed under the top article as a “possibly related post”???

  67. Toiletbloke… those links are brought in by default by wordpress. We have very little control over them. But I will see what I can do to remove it.

  68. As tempting as it is I haven’t yet clicked it to see what it’s all about…purely out of innocent curiosity of course. cough.

  69. Finally someone has the guts to stand up to CEOs and do what the majority are silently wishing for.

    In addition I see that tax cuts have been rejected as the saviour of the US economy becuse they put the country in the mess it is in now.

    I think the republicans will fade to a shadow of their former self if they oppose this new package.

    What an idle threat by big business claiming they would not be able to recruit the best talent, where on planet earth do they think these best talent workers will get a job at the moment. Oh, maybe Telstra lol.

    I think our Government should have made conditions on the guarantee they provided to our banks as well. You want us to guarantee your deposits then you sacrifice your disgraceful management wages and perks as well.

  70. Just checked & it’s also a political blog (how disappointing in light of the title) so maybe wordpress are onto the related topics afterall.

  71. Strange days indeed!

    Ken making sensible comments that I agree with entirely.

    $42bn is no trifling amount, in the good old days it would have taken several years for a US banking executive to make that sort of money.

    We do need to get rid of the wedge politics, experienced so often under the previous government, people will turn on this one very quickly if they show the same inclination.

    Once again, rain water tanks for Victoria, insulation for Queensland, transport infrastructure for NSW etc. The once size fits all approach of the stimulus package is too political.

  72. But there is one thing that this package is stimulating… blog comments 🙄

  73. The Lying Rodent provides yet more “ongoing commentary” (after previously ‘promising’ to be a quiet ex-PM):

    The former prime minister has said the “Democrat mantra” that the world financial mess is a result of former US president George W.Bush allowing Wall Street financiers to do anything they like is flawed and superficial.

    In his first written commentary since he lost the election in 2007, Mr Howard, writing in the Spectator Australia magazine this week, vigorously defends Mr Bush’s presidential legacy and directly challenges the claims that neo-liberals are to blame for the global financial crisis.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25010034-5013871,00.html

  74. Yes I nearly spilt my coffee agreeing with Ken. It’s also the raising of the borrowing limit to $200 billion (if I have that correct). From the limited talkback I’ve heard, it just may be Rudd rather than Turnbull that is taking the risk. I thought Turnbull’s argument as written was surprisingly well put. I still think he’s a lightweight though.

  75. Tom

    Please tell me why you do not want my aged mother to receive insulation becuase she does not live in Queensland.

    What about insulation for the aged in places where the temperature ranges from 45 to -8 for example my home town of Coonabarabran.

    Rang my mother today, She has stayed inside for 2 weeks now due to extreme heat and it is forecast to be higher by Sunday and 40 for the rest of next week.

    Her garden ( her love since the loss of dad) and lawn are virtually a dust bowl as she cannot afford the water costs in the sandy soil of the town.

    My mother is an aged pensioner, imagine her next electricity bill being required to run the air con 24 hours a day because her house is weatherboard and not insulated.

    Insulation for all of the country, it will assist employment in countyr areas, lower electricity costs thereby reducing blackouts at peak times and contribute to the lowering of green house gas emissions ( whether you believe in global warming or not it will still stop toxic fumes entering our atmosphere from the burning of coal)

  76. James

    I agree the raising of the borrowing capacity of the government from 75 billion to 200 billion is of concern and needs more than a passing glance thats for sure.

  77. I also note that Turnbull did not say that they wanted to examine the contents of the bills, he said:

    The Coalition will vote against the Rudd Government’s latest $42 billion expenditure package because it is poorly targeted and unnecessarily large.

  78. Well Shane, I think the water crisis is more severe in Victoria than any insulation crisis.

    Water is an urgent problem, and our state government is planning to charge us about 6(?) times the price for it to fund a desalination plant, that will be energy intensive and only add to out carbon footprint.

    I’m not in favour of a desal plant, I’d prefer rainwater tanks and recycling.

    And despite the plight of your mum, I think water is the priority here.

  79. Tom

    How many aged people have died in Victoria due to lack of water ?

    How many aged deaths are they now attributing to the heat wave going through SA and VIC ?

    I think mself and the elderly would disgree on your priority.

  80. Fine Shane, then give the elderly a choice. GIve everyone a choice between insulation and a rainwater tank.

    Give people mulch for their garden, or a voucher for painting and repairs if you want.

    Simply deciding that home insulation is the priority across the entire nation is wrong. It is stupid as well.

  81. I think that the elderly should have to make a choice. They should get both a rainwater tank and insulation. No ifs – no buts.

  82. Shane I don’t like to sound unfeeling, but if someone is crazy enough to build a house in Coonabarabran without insulation, I’m buggered if I can see why I should have to pay to install it for them.

    The government’s package is supposed to be an economic stimulus package that will protect us all from the effects of the global financial melt-down. It should be evaluated for its effectiveness in doing that, not in whether it helps someone’s mum or lets the local school finally fix the leaking bubblers. As an economic stimulus package I reckon it’s terrible and sends the message that Rudd and company are in a pants-wetting panic about what they see coming for Australia in 2010.

  83. Tom, you had better go and spend some time with my 85yr old pensioner mother in Hawthorn. No insulation of course and she worries herself silly about paying the power bills if she runs the portable cooler that I bought for her.

    My mother doesn’t need a rainwater tank as Dad years ago rigged up a system where the water from the woodshed is syphoned off into a series of barrels..ex home brew 🙂

    Mum does get upset about the demise of her beloved azaleas which my father planted not long before he died. However, she can tackle the garden which as for Shane’s Mum she needs to help keep her occupied.

    We were in constant contact last week and my mother said that she thought that she was going to die in the heat (and my mother isn’t a whinger). And now they’re predicting yet more 43 degree heat over the weekend.

  84. Ken

    The house was built over 50 years ago thats why there is no insulation.

    For heavens sake the majority of bushy retired parents still live in the same houses they did fifty years ago and swealter and freeze under corrugated iron roofs without insulation because there was NO super in those years and they were told they would be looked after and their pension will always cover the necessities in life, well it doesn’t now.

    Installing insulation and rebuilding schools will, employ the subbies that building contractors are laying off, so it makes absolute sense to me in helping protect us from the current financial crisis and providing economic stimulus.

    What are your alternatives Tom ?

    Tom

    I agree give them a choice, your blanket decisions on behalf of each state is no less blanket than the governments. I certainly know my mother can still get water out of her taps even though there is restrictions, but she certainly cannot turn off the temperature.

  85. Sorry previous post should read ” What are your alternatives Ken, not Tom

    I always do this when I try to repspond to more than one person at a time in the one blog.

    I’m male and cannot concentrate on more than one thing at a time 🙂

  86. The Rudd government’s economic stimulus package contains a $2.42 billion “typo”, the Australian Greens say.

    It was an indication the $42 billion package was prepared in haste, leader Bob Brown said.

    Non-government senators are preparing to force the government’s legislation, implementing the package, to an upper house inquiry when six bills passed by the lower house just before dawn on Thursday arrive in the Senate.

    The inquiry will delay parliamentary approval of the package until next week.

    Senator Brown said there were errors in the legislation which highlighted the need for further scrutiny.

    “A $252 million defence housing proposal turns up as $2.42 billion in the bill itself,” he told reporters in Canberra.

    “We’re told it is a typo, but it’s a multi-billion-dollar typo and it’s an indication that this was done in haste.”

    […]

  87. crazy enough to build a house in Coonabarabran without insulation…from Ken.

    My Mum was 14 when she moved into the house in Hawthorn. The house is about 80 years old. And so it’s not just bushys.

    And Shane spot on. I have heard comments made about ‘lazy’ pensioners who didn’t save for their retirement. My father did have superannuation, my mother of course did not, even though she worked for the same firm as a book-keeper for 30 years. My father used to relate how he always put in his sixpence, then shillings year after year and that when he retired he got his sixpence back.

  88. The economic stimulus obviously should be evaluated for effectiveness in stimulating! But it ought to get the best value for money in social benefit.

    Water scarcity in southern Australia is a genuine problem, and I think it is a higher priority than putting pink bats in a couple of million ceilings.

    But I’d also be happy to install insulation in the homes of every pensioner or give them a voucher for the equivalent value in home repairs and maintenance.

    The national broadband roll out is likely to provide plenty of regional employment. I wonder whether the timing of this is being revised? Why not bring this forward?

  89. The oldies payment was a great idea regardless.
    I hear stories of how hard they did it to keep this country going and paying there taxes. They deserve this tiny thank you and really who has the right to tell elderly people how to spend there money, which im sure you would get a good mouth full if you attempted it.

    i say live with it. Nicely.. 🙂

  90. Tom

    I am not sure the national broadband will even happen, technology via wireless and satellite continues to improve dramatically almost rendering the cable networks obsolete in the future.

    The roll out of insulation will not only create regional employment it improves the well beasing and health of our elderly and also contributes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. You get three bites of the cherry not just 1 economic stimulus.

  91. Tony of South Yarra, on February 5th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the link, ToSY

    I see Brandis is dribbling s#it again about “having to clean up the mess” – his lot helped to create.

    As for the $252 million morphing into $2.42 billion, I agree pure incompetence by treasury – and who bothered to proof read the bill…?

    It does remind me of a certain Treasurer suddenly “finding” $10 billion…

    Neither excercise is funny – one wonders how much other “spillage” of our money is not discovered and/or reported ?

    However, as I said in my post yesterday (1:28pm) this crisis should be dealt with in bipartisan way – one of the issues I have always had with the Westminster system is that it is confrontational.

    Under the circumstances we find ourselves in I find the concept of tax cuts ludicrous.

    I find the concept of “giving’ taxpayer monies away to spend ridiculous.

    I find developing short, medium and long term government infrastructure projects commendable, practical and a means of absorbing, maintaining, expanding and enhancing the skills and knowledge developed within the mining industry…

    …those very people who are at most risk of losing jobs…

    …as well as some in the finance industry and I would welcome the sight of some of them on the end of a shovel…earning real money in the real world…

    …from my observations there are many schools that do need assistance – its part of building our nation – environment impacts on learning – learning/knowledge develops nations…

    The multiplyer effect should take care of the rest – eg workers and their families need to be fed, clothed, housed, watered, transported, entertained, trained, educated etc etc

    It is work and productivity that make a free market economy go round…not shuffling money around…

    …handing out money for people to spend…that’s just a false economy…and that’s what got us here in the first place…

  92. TB

    I agree with much of what you are saying, but why don’t either of our political leaders have the balls of Barack as per this announcement. And why don’t they act before we are destroyed, not after.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25010534-23109,00.html

  93. Shane

    Didn’t a few on here ask for that sort of cap a few weeks/months ago?

  94. Shane, I reckon that providing rainwater tanks in southern Australia will save more greenhouse gas, because we may not be as reliant on the energy intensive desal plant.

    Most people don’t actually have air conditioners in their home, so the power savings for cooling are notional.

    I’ve suggested in the past that if we are serious about saving energy, we ought to have a regime similar to water restrictions – eg air conditioning cannot cool below 25 degrees, heating cannot heat above 18 degrees.

    We’d get a far better energy saving with this simple measure. This type of mechanism is a better first step than most others the government proposes.

    Too many wimps that require constant temperature of 21, in all conditions hot or cold.

  95. shaneinqld, on February 5th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Good link Shane!

    Oh! I do hope the Yanks have got the right President for the times ahead…

    …this crisis must be treated as seriously as a “war”…not only our lifestyles are being attacked but our survival as a nation…

    …even Jeremy (Top Gear SBS) knows it now…his description of Kevin Rudd is classic…

    “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a world leader admit we really are in deep shit … He geniunely looked terrified. Poor man, he’s actually seen the books. We have this one-eyed Scottish idiot who keeps telling us everything’s fine.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25008112-2702,00.html

    Obama’s cap of $US500,000 is still too high for salary and should be for the “package”…

  96. Tom

    I disagree on the your claim that rainwater tanks will save more energy than insulation but we will have to agree to disagree unless I can find the equivalent savings.

    If people do not have air conditioners they have fans or evaporative conditioners which also use power.

    It depends on the person Tom some people feel the heat and others feel the cool. I feel the heat and suffer for any temperature above 22.

    I must remmeber to let the town know that they are whimps for not being able to suffer the 40 degree summers and -8 degree winters.

    Tom, does where you live suffer extremes of temperature, do you have air conditioning and unsulation in your home ?

  97. WOW!!! Big call from Barak. Not certain about the ideology of limiting salaries but I am offended by multi million dollar bonuses to executives of companies going down the tube. Maybe they can also start limiting the salaries of sportsmen as well?

  98. Shane, I have air conditioning, heating, insulation, rainwater tank, water recycling system, solar heating (for the pool)…My house has wide eves, a veranda front and back, window awnings.

    I don’t use air conditioning to lower the temperature of the house below 25. I use fans, I wear tee shirts at home. I don’t heat my house above 18, I wear a jumper inside during the cooler months, and so does the rest of the family.

    I reckon if my father, mother, grandparents were able to put up with summer and winter, I probably should be able to as well.

  99. There’s a way to fund a stimulus package without borrowing one cent – one I haven’t heard discussed around the traps: Use all or part of the 59.6 billion dollars of our money currently sitting in the so-called Future Fund.

    (We could change the fund’s name to the ‘crisis fund’ or the ‘fighting fund’ if it helps appease those who think the term ‘future fund’ precludes us from using the money now.

  100. James

    Sportsmen did not destroy the company on their watch. He is only limiting the salaries of the companies that ask for a bail out. And rightly so. In addition the perks must be detailed and rightly so to avoid underhanded techniques to circumvent detection.

  101. James @ 11:41 am.

    What offends me is that some goose at Telstra gets paid $13m to run the most incompetent organisation on the planet.

  102. Tom

    Having insulation in your house means you do not need to turn on the fans as early when the temperature rises outside. It also means you do not need to turn on your air conditioner as early as the outside temperature is being absorbed by the insulation. So instead of turning fans on when the temperature outside is 25 degrees you may only need to turn them on at 28 degrees and the same goes for your air con.

    Exactly the same applies to heating. If peoples houses were insulated then they would not need to use fans or air con for those few more degrees until the weather cooled further.

    I have no doubt that you do not in any way shape or form put up with what your granparents put up with many years ago. I know I don’t as my grandparents didn’t have air con or ceiling fans.

    Its not a matter of putting up with it, its a matter of providing comfort to the elderly who feel the extremes much more than those of us in their younger years.

  103. Tosy

    We may need the future fund yet, so at least it is being held as a backstop.

  104. Tom of Melbourne, on February 5th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    When did you talk to my wife?

  105. Home insulation has been available for at least 40 years. I remember my parents – who were certainly not wealthy – installing it when I was a kid. If it really would make such a huge difference to people’s comfort I’m amazed they haven’t invested in it long before now.

    However that is beside the point, as are discussions about which program might have the biggest impact on carbon emissions. The package isn’t being introduced to counter global warming; if that’s worth doing it should be done with properly designed and costed long-term programs. The package is ostensibly about boosting employment. As such, it’s crap.

    For example: every school in Australia will get a new building of some sort. Every one. Is unemployment in the building industry spread evenly across the whole country? Obviously not. Therefore the package will not do as much as it could in some areas and do more than is required in others. Why? (1) Because Rudd and company are so panic-stricken they can’t wait to design a more effective scheme and (2) because Howard’s mob ran down the public service so badly there aren’t enough capable public servants left to administer the kinds of programs that would actually do some good.

    Consequently we’re left with the option of throwing $42 billion into the air and hoping it does some good. Which it no doubt will, but nowhere near as much good as could be done by a government with intelligence and character.

    Shane I’m not avoiding your question but having damned Rudd for developing a $42 billion plan on the back of an envelope I’m not about to do the same thing. We’re talking about breathtaking amounts of money here. How many infrastructure projects have been dismissed by governments in the past on the grounds that there was not enough money to pay for them? Now suddenly there’s enough money to rebuild our decrepit hospitals and instead, it’s going to be frittered away with nothing to show for it.

    It’s the government’s job to develop good programs, using the vast resources that are available to them to gather and analyse information. One is perfectly entitled to criticise the outcomes without having to come up with an alternative.

  106. Tony of South Yarra, on February 5th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    …and what about all those industry, commercial and DIY funds? If there’s any left of course…

    …maybe the government gets smart and a sets up a national infrastructure fund just for retirees to invest in and shield from market uncertainty but at a guaranteed fixed return (6-7% should be enough)…

    …know what your retirement return will be…

    …actually retire – rather than fret over the market, or cash or property returns…

    …easy for planners…

    …reduces the risk or need for financial advisers and thier “trailers”…

    …long term (forever)…

    …alternative to allocated pension…

    …levels out the bumps for government and business…

    …provides a source for government funded projects rather than overseas…also at the fixed interest…

    …our wealth remains here…

    …develops the nation…

    …cares for our senior population…

  107. Once again Ken, a very sound sound comment.

  108. TomM

    The othr thing about water tanks is, I think most states and the feds already offer subsidies on these.

    National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative

  109. Yes Tom R, there is a small subsidy for insallation of water systems. It probably covers about 10 – 15% of the cost.

    Splashing around $42bn!! That’s about $2000 for every man woman and child!! It should be targetted carefully, and I have no idea whether teh chosen targets are the best. I doubt whether the government knows either.

    I note in your comments that you agree that this ought to be scrutinised carefully.

    I don’t think this has been thought through at all.

  110. Ken,

    I thought that was a very fair comment. The infrustructure spending could be more specifically targeted to gain the best value for money with regard to jobs.

  111. Is $42 billion too much?

    A little perspective on the 42 billion, though I agree like the 10.4 billion parts of it are misdirected and wasted.

    Also Ken I read a piece in Core Economics on the insulation and the break down of costs and carbon saved and then the cost of carbon factored in. Insulating insulation

  112. Does anyone know if you can use the money in your super to pay mortgage payments when you are unemployed?

    I know that this has the effect of drawing down on the capital in your super, but isn’t it better to keep people in their homes than to make them default on their mortgage?

  113. Joni,

    Early Release of Superannuation Benefits

    http://www.apra.gov.au/superannuation/early-release-of-superannuation-benefits.cfm

  114. Am biting the bullet here..what I like about the stimulus package is:

    Insulation: Obviously..because I would like my mother for once in a blue moon to receive something. 30 deaths in Victoria directly attributed to the heatwave and another horror weekend due. Creates jobs re manufacture and installation.

    20,000 new public housing units reversing an umpteen year trend of disinvestment – pulls the reins in on so called ‘affordable housing’ via market providers. Creates jobs, brickies, plumbers, sparkies and also scapers 😉 Tackles the absolutely abysmal situation of public housing eg in some regions, a 7 year wait.

    Investment in schools – as above, reversing years of disinvestment and creating jobs.

    Defence force housing – you should see the digs where some families are expected to reside. As above, creates jobs and helps these families.

    The cash in hand $s I’m not too fussed about, but it’s better than tax cuts.

  115. Thanks ToSY,

    So it seems that only when under the threat of default that you can access the money.

    Would it not be prudent in this economic climate to allow access to the money before the banks come for repossession?

    Just a thought.

  116. Unfortunately you cannot, Joni.

    It’s not so much that it’s $42 billion, Adrian, it’s that the measureable benefits remain unclear to me. $10.4 billion went on what was effectively a Christmas party. There is simply little ongoing benefit.

    What would be the cost of a decent sized canal running from North Queensland to the Darling River? Anyone?

  117. Tony of South Yarra, on February 5th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    And the millions being paid in fees to maintain that fund.

    But chopping into that would cause a future liability for our kids as Turnbull likes to harp on about, as who would pay for the superannuation liabilities of our public servants and of course the million plus for our ex-PMs?

    That fund was one of the very good things the previous government did with its windfall revenue.

    So chopping into that fund in the long run could be worse than going into deficit.

  118. Joni, you could always go for: alleviate acute or chronic physical pain re your shoulder. Worth an application if this is what you want to do.

  119. And what would the environmental and ongoing costs of the canal be James?

    Things are never as straight forward as, “Build a dam”, “Pipe water from the North to Perth”, “Build a canal etc.

    Yes these things would have been done in an instance over 50 years ago but now the consequences of doing them can be fairly accurately measured, and a lot of the time the short to medium term benefit doesn’t outweigh the long term degradation they cause.

    Then there is the amount of time that would take to get up, you are looking at two to three years just to get off the drawing board even if fast tracked. Finally there is the limited benefit to just one small part of the country, so do we build canals all over the continent?

  120. Adrian,

    So chopping into that fund in the long run could be worse than going into deficit.

    Maybe, maybe not. I would like to see the idea floated, and a comparison done; ie going into debt to fund a stimulus package vs using funds we already have, and funding future super liabilities some other way.

    My personal philosophy is not to borrow for something if I have the cash, unless there is a very good reason – like tax benefits – for doing so.

  121. James of North Melbourne

    This is going to be the sticking point for most debates about this crisis. How do you measure success. From all indicators, we a screwed. How much?? We don’t know. How much will this help?? We don’t know.

    The Christmas bonus caused a huge jump in Decemeber spending.

    Did this save jobs?? Possibly

    Will these jobs be saved temporarily?? Who Knows.

    The government was going on data available at hand, and did not know if this had ended or just begun.

    If it had ended, the saved jobs would probably have remained saved. If this is just the tip, then those saved jobs could be temporary.

    The next package might help.

    Unfortunately, everything is held up by an opposition who want the free market to run its course. The same people who changed the redundancy laws for centrestink who now want to beggar me before paying anything.

    We are going to be hearing lots of claims from both sides, and nobody is going to be too sure who is right.

    Even if this next round does have a major impact, we will still probably suffer through a recession, and the opposition will claim they were right. And it will be difficult to argue against.

  122. Tony, fair enough you are right in that it should be raised and the consequences of using it calculated.

  123. min

    I am not thinking of myself with the super – I am OK with my equity in my mortgage. It is others that I am thinking of.

  124. Rudd’s statement was that this is one time where a quick fix is needed, and I agree. There is no time for EIS studies taking 2 years to complete. Money needs to be injected into the economy, as in now and so it must be projects where bums can be put on seats asap.

  125. Gotcha joni. Tony’s link provides the rules and sometimes one needs to think laterally. If things get as bad as they say, then we’re all going to be out on the street.

  126. James

    Regarding the canal I totally agree on this type of infrastructure. But I will bet you anything you like that all the economists will say the cost does not equate to the measurable benefit and that is why nothing happens. You James, can see a benefit and so can I but if the dollars don’t add up today then it will not get done. NO imagination or visions for the benefits of the future population these days, only instant results based on short term return, much the same as private enterprise.

    Measurable benefits are at best guesses. If we used measurable benefits I have no doubt many of our icons in this country that generate massive amounts of tourism dollars and pride would not be in existence today.

    Governments for the last 30 years have avoided infrastructure because they were continually told it was too expensive or the return did not support the investment by either their servants or big business who preferred tax cuts than development of the country with those taxes, and they MUST run budget surpluses.

    If this was the case in the past we could kiss goodbye. The Opera House, The Harbour Bridge, The Snowy River Scheme and most other big ticket developments of the past which now bring amazing benefits to our country. Any vision was knocked out of them, but incredibly they had vision to build a new parliament house and a fully cemented and bitumened road from Sydney to Canberra. Those 2 items proceeded.

  127. Spot on Shane. This is something that always concerned me about Howard. Where is his Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Snowy Mountain Scheme? A small man with small vision.

  128. TomR, I’m quite comfortable with the spending of $42 billion if the benefits are described as “will”. The problem is that the best anyone can say is “might” and “possible”. Not good enough for $42 billion for mine.

    Adrian, the question was an innocent one. I’m sure there are environmental costs, but I see no evidence that genuine “nation building” projects like these are even being contemplated. Except with the Murray Darling Basin thing before the last election. I don’t think this is a quick fix, I think it is a quick spend.

  129. What would be the cost of a decent sized canal running from North Queensland to the Darling River? Anyone?

    Isn’t this the kind of thing Scaper’s interested in?

  130. James

    The problem with your wanting a “Will” answer is that by the time a 2 year study and royal comission into the investigations of the possible benefits of the package are tabled we will either be down the tubes or no longer needing stimulus.

    I suppose it just depends whether you wish to risk that chance.

    As for me there is good and bad in the package, but overall good in my opinion so I say roll it out as I do not wish to take the risk of turning the country to total crap by procrastinating.

  131. But Shane, as great as the Snowy scheme is, environmentally it’s a disaster and has killed one of the most beautiful rivers in this country. The amount of tourist dollars and farming lost because of that is incalculable, as is the loss of many other natural icons around the country destroyed in the name of development.

    In all things there is a balance and many of those things don’t balance.

    Opera House, Harbour Bridge etc would be build today as there is a long term cost benefit and need. An example is The Grand Pacific Drive in NSW. There were other cheaper and less dramatic alternatives, but that option was chose because of the long term thought to tourist dollars.

    Mini, Howard did build a North to South railway.

  132. Here’s a suggestion: instead of chucking $950 at 8.7 million workers, why not use the money to give a $10,000 payment to anyone who is laid off over the next 12 months? It’s much more likely to be spent rather than saved and has the added merit of going to someone who is actually being affected by the recession. I suspect we could afford to give them another $10,000 if they remained unemployed after 3 months and still save a few billion on Rudd’s handouts.

    Before anyone starts to point out the obvious potential for rorting and inequality in such a program, just consider the rorting and inequalities inherent in what Rudd has already announced. Any broad brush scheme implemented in haste will have major deficiencies but I reckon mine beats his hands down.

  133. Thank you Adrian. I have asked the question on numerous occasions about exactly what did JWH do. Finally an answer: the North to South railway…over 11 years and with money to burn and this is it?

  134. “Ken Lovell,

    but I reckon mine beats his hands down.”

    In deficiencies?? (wink) 🙂

    And I hope you are including those who have already been made redundant.

  135. Adrian

    I agree all things in balance but etreme conservation or extreme pro development are both as bad as each other IMHO.

    I disagree and doubt that the Opera House or Harbour Bridge would be built today as long term benefits are very rarely factored in owing to politicians only looking at the next election.

    Ken

    Good idea and I agree however I can see far more rorting of $10,000 payments than rorting by those on incomes of $100,000 or less to claim $950 which is less than 10% of your suggestion. The only rorting of the $950 can be via how it is spent. The $950 is baing paid to those who have completed and lodged a tax return with the ATO. So for starters the tax dodgers won’t be getting it and if you did not complete a 2008 tax return then tough no payment.

  136. I know that people are saying that the $950 will not get spent and will be used to either save or pay off debt. But doesn’t that then release money to be spent that would be normally be spent on interest repayments? And so the effect of the stimulus cannot be simply be record by spending – the effects of putting the money into the economy are bigger than that single stat.

  137. And I still point out that I will get three fifths of nothing in this stimulus package.

    You all know that this blog costs reb and I nothing to run – just our blood and sweat. 😛

  138. I’m interested in a pipeline from the Burdekin directly to the Warrego…a canal will be constructed for flood mitigation which will either go to the Barcoo or Thompson to be directed to lake Eyre.

    The project viability will depend on the sale of water for irrigated food production which will reinvigorate the inland from central Queensland to the mouth of the Murray.

    Side storage’s will be constructed to create wetlands and fish breeding habitat and also native rehabilitation will be undertaken to create corridors for wildlife.

    By creating guaranteed food production the regions will prosper and be repopulated by various industries to support agriculture…this in turn will create increased tax receipts for the Federal and four state governments.

    The Federal minister has been advised of such and it is a matter of working through the environmental issues together opposed to other proposals that have been stalled.

    I have put a lot of time and money into this without any assistance…I see it possibly consuming all I’ve got but I don’t care as I know my vision will be eventually realised.

    This is stage one of the Great Southern Cross Project.

  139. Joni..just sweat and blood.. And nary a bottle of mateus??

    Hubby and I sweet ba either, but I would still like my mother to have insulation – 8 degrees cooler in summer and 10 degrees warmer in winter.

    Cringe..I am actually the culprit behind the advert with Gus Mercurio, There Ain’t a Better Bat and That’s That. Worked for Australian Gypsum, later taken over by Boral.

  140. Min in the old house i set up a vacuum cleaner in the roof with the blowing instead off sucking, stuck the nozzel out under the tile and in 10 mins it would suck the hot air out. After my wife learnt to kick me in the head i stopped such activities.

  141. scaper

    sounds a good vision to me, do you think you can get a politician to look past there next 2 terms.

  142. Aquanut – maybe that is my problem, I should be blowing when I should be sucking…. and I am taking about vacuuming, of course.

    bad joni – bad bad joni

  143. yes the dust cloud should give that away,

    I also had a solar electric motor which ran a car air-con in the bedroom for free.

  144. Joni,

    I don’t object to the government returning taxpayers money to taxpayers, either through tax-cuts or one-off payments; after all, it is our money, and I’m sure I can spend my own money more wisely than any government bureaucracy.

    What I do strongly object to is the government wasting my money.

    If there is a genuine need for some kind of stimulus package, then I want the government to explain to me how each spending measure will create jobs, and how they will save us from sliding into recession.

    I then want to be convinced that the measures chosen are the best ones – above all others – to put into such a package, and the huge amount of money spent is completely necessary.

    In lieu of any such transparency from the government, we will will be forced to rely on the pending senate enquiry for this information.

  145. Shane, this project will outlive many governments so it can not be a political football.

    I have been working behind the scenes for the last eighteen months to sure up support from all the camps to eventually create consensus…if any one tries to claim it or politicise it certain sections of the media will jump on them!

    At the moment there are two stumbling blocks…one will hopefully lose the election this year and the other is doing a fine job of self destruction.

  146. Tony of South Yarra..interesting, how many times you mention my money, my money, my money in just a couple of phrases.

    One needs to think beyond the neat little houses with the super surround sound in South Yarra/Toorak and to consider the elderly, the homeless.

    Tony, I invite you over to the other side of Glenferrie road where people honestly do need help.

  147. Also funny how ToSY is so concerned about taxpayers money and how it will be spent, when the previous federal government was the biggest and highest taxing ever.

  148. Min @ 2:58,

    Just a little bit judgemental there.

    Why do you think so many people on the Andrew Robb thread – including yourself – are objecting to waste? Surely it couldn’t be that they, too, don’t like to see their taxes – their money -squandered.

  149. Joni,

    I’m not too sure what you mean by that comment, but I have always objected to government waste, regardless of who is in power. I also object to the future funds, as this comment on blogocracy 13th November 2007 (Howard Government) will attest:

    “You may see it as ‘government money’ but there are those of us who understand that these huge surpluses are taxpayers’ funds which must be returned to their rightful owners. Whether this is done through tax cuts, rebates on education expenses or funding for new roads is a matter for debate, but to remove these funds from the economy (by squirrelling them away in another version of the future fund, or some other method) solely to slay the dreaded inflation dragon is wrong.”

    http://blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/mr_howards_welfare_state/P0/

  150. Tony, I think that’s it’s a fair stretch suggesting that my inputs re the Andrew Robb thread relate to ‘objecting to waste’..’don’t like to see their money -squandered’.

    The closest of my comments that I can locate is: The Howard government is renown for having no enforcement clauses in any of it’s contracts, hence the reason that anything/everything it ever did ran years and years over contract.

    As above, it’s a stretch to see how this comment was judgemental (which via my english teacher Miss Klemm refers to personal attributes). But yes agreed re ‘squandering’.

  151. Tosy

    Do you save up for future major purchases in your life ?

    If you do not have enough savings for a major purchase that is needed do you source funds by way of a loan and then pay that loan back over time because the major purchase is beneficial to yourself and your future wealth ?

    Do you put away more than what your earn ?

    A surplus is exactly that for a government, keeping more than what it makes for the times when it does not make enough. Sounds like commonsense to me if it can be done. If not, and infrastructure is required for the good of all, then issue bonds to raise the funds for the development.

    A business keeps a certain amount of surplus funds for repairs and maintenance. These days we expect our government to operate like a private business so why should it not keep 15% of each years tax as a surplus to provide for development, growth and maintenance.

    A business certainly does not give away all its profit to its shareholders just because that is their money.

  152. Shane, the federal government could buy all the insulation they want, fix all the schools (not fixed by state governments) they want, and hand out all the cash they want, providing they can budget for it. I have no problem with that per se.

    I do have a major problem with such a massive spend being dressed up as economy saving infrastructure spending. It’s not. Upgrading electricity grids, road building, Canal building (as I mentioned), securing water supplies…..THAT is infrastructure. Home insulation is not, it might employ a few builders, sure, but it’s not infrastructure and it won’t help an economy going into recession.

  153. James: and I’ll say it again. How many YEARS would it take to upgrade electricity grids, roads, canals and yes water too due to the necessity of EIS…that is unless you want to try to rush through electricity grids, upgrades of roads (buying land) etc minus EIS? Perhaps make special exceptions???

    Unfortunately (and sadly) due to current circumstances we need a series of quick fixes and in my opinion insulation for homes for the oldies and an additional 20,000 homes for public housing and then upgrading the long neglected schools for kids is an excellent start.

    You are mentioning long term projects, and so what would be your short term projects?

    [ps I agree with all your long term projects].

  154. If I were trying to stimulate spending, I’d be sending money to areas where the recipients have little choice but to spend it. Pensioners for a start. Anything that gets money circulating around the economy. Infrastructure projects are by definition “long term”. I wouldn’t be spending everything we had in the bank. I wouldn’t be doing it at a day’s or even a week’s notice. Boy, when kids were getting raped in the NT people were complaining about the solution being formulated on the run. THAT was a crisis.

  155. James

    I do consider fixing schools as infrastructure spending, what bigger infrastructure do we have than the education of the youth of our country?

    Home insulation may not be infrastructure per se but it will keep a few builders and their families employed. Whats wrong with that.

    Isn’t this what the rescue package is designed to do, keep jobs while the world economy recovers ?

    According to the so called economists recovery will start in late 2009 or early 2010. If this is the case then by the time all environmental concerns have been investigated we will no longer need the package or the building of infrastructure but in the meantime allowed the population to be thrown on the scrapheap without any assistance.

  156. James, would you like to provide some specifics re where the recipients have little choice but to spend it.

    You suggest pensioners, but recently Rudd was shot down in flames by the popular press because they stated over and over that it all went into the poker machines. Surely insulation, creating jobs, helping with power bills is a far better choice.

    You mention as an aside about kids being raped in the NT. My criminal law lecturer was David Heilpern. Worth a read at: http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/ljf/app/&id=66E13626C7EA9776CA2571A7001F075B

  157. Oh c’mon off it James. You accuse me of being loose yet here you are doing exactly that. Kids being raped in the NT requiring instant action.

    Can you quote all the facts and figures on all those rapes and supposed pedophile rings Brough went on about many times that didn’t exist?

    There were sexual assaults on both children and women, and it was more than the national average, but not that much more than some of the poorer suburbs in Australia.

    Then look at Howard’s rushed through postage stamp legislation he bought in for political reasons (as stated by Downer). It did not follow one of the recommendations of the report that Howard quoted as being the reason for the emergency legislation. And whilst some parts have been successes others have been complete failures.

    Now that will be the case with this stimulus and the emergency is real, not an emergency that was trumped up at a time of low opinion polls and using a marginalised people as a beating stick.

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