Budget Looms. What are your Predictions?

All will be revealed by Wayne Swan in next week’s Budget and, by all (media) accounts it’s going to be a “horror” Budget.

We’ve already been warned that “Middle-class” welfare will be targeted and that the looming Budget deficit may take several years to restore itself to the black.

Interestingly, we’ve had very few “precise” Budget measures leaked to the media as in previous years.

The budget is expected to record a deficit for next financial year of at least $50 billion but probably closer to $70 billion.

In a search for savings, and the billions needed to increase pensions, the budget will target those on higher incomes.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Such measures will include the means-testing of middle-class welfare, probably at a combined income level for families of $150,000.

The Government could means-test the $3.5 billion-a-year health insurance rebate, reducing the 30 per cent tax break for those on high incomes.

That would breach Labor’s election pledge but the Government could argue that high earners would benefit from tax cuts of up to $41 a week.

For the first time, the budget will contain long-range revenue and spending projections, beyond the standard four-year estimates, to plot a path back to surplus. It will pledge that once growth returns to trend levels, spending growth will be capped at 2 per cent and all tax revenues directed to pay off the deficit.

Speaking from a position of great experience, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has said that “Kevin Rudd will never deliver a surplus budget.”

So what would you like to see in next week’s Budget?

(Next week, I’ll post an analysis of The Budget and what economists think of it).

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80 Responses

  1. I used to intensely dislike the Libs/Nats for their ideology driven Workchoices and their absolutely bloody ridiculous amounts spent on no means tested welfare. Now its Labor’s turn at the ideology steering wheel with cuts to superannuation (read envy driven ideology)

    The smart money will now pour back into property/negative gearing as this will now offer a superior return to superannuation. In fact if my plan is to pay no tax at all byinvesting then selling property.

    I’m so fed up…………………….And yes Kittylitter………………….It’s all legal.

  2. Oh……………..will pollies be limiting their own super to the same degree or in a way that results in a similar outcome.

    Nope………………………!

    So why should I just accept being taxed all the time so someone on a huge salary can also receive Family Tax Benefit B or the Baby Bonus.

  3. Family tax benefit B is a great social innovation. It also provides a direct economic stimulus.

    It provides support for many trendy cafes around my area that would otherwise struggle. The money is well spent by the mums on a skinny latte and croissant after they drop the kids off at Trinity, Carey or MLC.

    It also helps support our vital tennis coaching (of young mums) industry.

    It is so typical that you would seek to limit this well targeted benefit.

    I say there should be more of it!!

  4. I suppose they are the same types of Mums that inhabit the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

    The types that attend funerals in …………………….a black tennis dress

  5. Just in case anyone’s wondering:

    Family Tax Benefit Part B gives extra assistance to single parent families and to two-parent families with one main income, where one parent chooses to stay at home or balance some paid work with caring for their children.

    Family Tax Benefit Part B is based on the income of the lower earner (eg in a couple this would be the stay-at-home parent or the person working part-time) and the age of the youngest child.

    Remember single parents always receive the maximum payment.

    Maximum payment for Family Tax Benefit Part B:

    Age of youngest child

    Under 5 years = $125.02 (per fortnight), $3259.45 (per annum)

    5-15 years (or 16-18 years if a full time student) = $87.08 (per fortnight), $2270.30 (per annum)

  6. How much of the deficit will be due to the reduction in revenue, and how much from an increase in spending?

    Of course, any amount of deficit will be blamed on the government.

    The percentage of GDP of receipts in the last 80’s/90’s was as follows:

    87/88 26.7
    88/89 25.0
    89/90 24.8
    90/91 24.5
    91/92 23.0
    92/93 22.3
    93/94 22.6
    94/95 23.3
    95/96 24.0
    96/97 24.5
    97/98 24.4
    98/99 25.0

    And so, revenue as a percentage of GDP fell from 25% in 88/89 to 22.3% in 92/93. This is where the deficit came from – not from the ALP government spending too much.

    What will the percentage fall in revenue against GDP be as a result of the GFC?

  7. The smart money will now pour back into property/negative gearing as this will now offer a superior return to superannuation.

    Now, if only they had the guts to do away with negative gearing of investment property and shares!

    There is nothing I would like more than to see FTB and the BB go, although I wouldn’t mind seeing the baby bonus $ sunk into a Maternity/Parental Leave.

  8. I’d like to see the Baby Bonus ditched.

    I mean who needs to encourage the procreation of another generation of dole bludgers?

    I’d also like to see “work for the dole” broadened to “servant for the dole”. Under this proposal, I should be able to elect that a proportion of my taxes are allocated to some unemployed person coming around to tend to my modest garden – mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, topping up the bird bath etc, while I’m busy at work earning money to pay for their livelihood and stocks of plain brand groceries, Coca-cola, chips and fags.

    It seems fair and reasonable…

  9. Reb..also Part B is now means tested courtesy of the Rudd government. I personally think that $150,000 is far too high to expect a government welfare benefit.

    Just from memory but Howard refused any means testing because it was an attack on the ‘aspirations’ of middle Australia.

  10. I’d like to see the Baby Bonus ditched.

    I mean who needs to encourage the procreation of another generation of dole bludgers?

    Yes, those wealthy stay at home mums need to stop mollycoddling their kids.

    It seems fair and reasonable…

    Instead of doing your chores for you, wouldn’t you rather a dole bludger receive training and education so that they might actually get off the dole and become a useful and valued taxpayer themselves?

    After all, they won’t have the lurks and perks to minimise and hide income so they will end up paying way more in tax than the wealthy!

  11. “Middle Australia”

    Now there’s a term I’m glad we don’t hear anymore.

    Another “Howard-ism” destined to remain in the “anals” of history.

  12. “wouldn’t you rather a dole bludger receive training and education so that they might actually get off the dole and become a useful and valued taxpayer themselves?”

    But, but, but, then there wouldn’t be any servants….

  13. reb, on May 6th, 2009 at 9:54 am Said:

    reb I have friends who I went to Uni with who are on similar salaries to me. None of us need welfare but what shits me is that the Walrus and Mrs Walrus pay our taxes so people like my friends with kids can afford to have plasmas in their bathrooms.

    I can only afford to have all the bedrooms fitted out.

    Where is the fairness in that…………….!

  14. Walrus,

    I wanted to put a plasma in my bathroom, but it didn’t suit the decor.

  15. But, but, but, then there wouldn’t be any servants….

    You can have a servant any time you like – you just need to pay them appropriately for their services (so they may have a wage and pay tax too).

  16. Where is the fairness in that…………….!

    There is none Walrus. And what’s more, people who have no money get to walk on pavements and visit parks funded by the taxpayer!!

    What we need is a national ID card with “bludger” clearly emblazened on the undeserving public so that they can be excluded from visiting things like the Botanic Gardens (unless of course, they’re there to do some tidying up, empty the rubbish bins etc)…

  17. Scrap the means test on the family tax benefit b.

    Those mums cost a fortune, the government should kick in.

  18. Tony, on May 6th, 2009 at 10:19 am Said:

    Ah Tony………………You obviously occupy one of Miglo’s better properties ?

  19. Am in 2 minds about the baby bonus. For low income families it pays for medical expenses and baby equipment. Un-bl**dy-believable how as soon as the put the name ‘baby’ in front of an item that it automatically quadruples in price!

    However we do need to offload the potential for exploitation of this money..baby bonus spent on grog, fags and plasmas/teens coerced into having a baby for the $s. Therefore a solution would be vouchers or proof of purchase claimable against a set amount per baby say to age 6 months.

    Unfortunately rolling the baby bonus into a maternity leave scheme does not necessarily assist those on the lowest of incomes as presumably lawyers, doctors, veterinary surgeons will also benefit from maternity leave scheme..maybe more likely to.

  20. Unfortunately rolling the baby bonus into a maternity leave scheme does not necessarily assist those on the lowest of incomes as presumably lawyers, doctors, veterinary surgeons will also benefit from maternity leave scheme…

    As they should.

    The only qualifier is that you work.

  21. But in all seriousness. It is ridiculous that I any of us are paying taxes to assist friends of mine on excess of $240K (household combined) just because they have kids.

  22. Min:

    “Am in 2 minds about the baby bonus. For low income families it pays for medical expenses and baby equipment”

    But even so Min, why should we non-offspring producing types financially subsidise those that want to have kids but can’t afford them?

    I’d quite like to own a Maserati, but I know I can’t afford it. I don’t expect the taxpayer to pay for my “lifestyle” – why should I (and other taxpayers) be expected to financially support people who decide they want to have kids but can’t afford to raise them?

  23. Seriously and only for a moment, I struggle with the idea that well off professionals should receive taxpayer support when having kids. It is better to direct scarce resources to those that most need it.

    The taxpayer funded maternity leave is a form of social engineering that we don’t really need right now.

    Some other time possibly.

  24. why should I (and other taxpayers) be expected to financially support people who decide they want to have kids but can’t afford to raise them?

    it’s the aspirations reb.
    They can afford to have kids and have a decent life of sacrifice, but they want it all. They want private schooling, private health benefits, the big house and a couple of cars. No public facilities for the aspirationals please. You can’t live like the privileged wealthy without taxpayer assistance!

  25. My prediction is that Wayne Goose’s “temporary deficit that will last for a longer period of time” will in fact last for a much longer period of time! What an idiot.

  26. The taxpayer funded maternity leave is a form of social engineering that we don’t really need right now.

    Gender equity is social engineering?

  27. As far as the Deficit is concerned the 2014/15 timeframe was alluded to last week in the Fin Review but you had to read between the lines.

    A hell of a lot of the big infrastructure spend has been brought forward from the forward estimates. That’s why 2014/15 becomes the “magic” years of surplus because even the many incompetent bureaucrats we have in Canberra have not yet sat down to see what needs capital expenditure beyond 2014/15. They don’t have any vision outward of 5 or 6 years.

    I actually think it will be in surplus around 2012 as China/India have not even really started to fully develop yet and once they do then the level of Company Tax receipts will rise dramatically.

  28. Kittylitter – I think there are far better ways of achieving this than getting taxpayers to cough up, particularly at present.

    For example – draw down superannuation, and allow the replacement contribution top up to be made from pre tax income upon return to work. Allow both partners (if applicable) to participate in funding this. Perhaps even provide a co contribution to this from government and employer.

    Simply having the government fund this at present is a low priority.

  29. For example – draw down superannuation, and allow the replacement contribution top up to be made from pre tax income upon return to work.

    So, not only does a woman’s career suffer (in comparison to a man’s) because anatomically, she produces the babies necessitating her to stop work, she must also fund her own maternity leave by using up her super – where is the male equivalent of that?

  30. Kittylitter – I think there are far better ways of achieving this than getting taxpayers to cough up, particularly at present.

    Taxpayers are already coughing up, this is what Howard’s baby bonus is, a de facto maternity leave – only he wanted wealthy stay at home mums (and by default, other non working mums) to get it too, because of ideology – now isn’t that social engineering?

  31. I thought everyone gets it, with some minor means testing. So it reflects a status quo. No one has to do something different to qualify.

    Arguably, it assists all to meet the additional cost of having a child. Though I’d be willing to support getting rid of the entire thing.

    With regard to drawing down super, I’ve suggested that both partners can contribute, and I’d be happy to have this apply to parental leave, rather than just maternity leave.

  32. Retail trade jumped by a seasonally-adjusted 2.2 per cent in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

    The expected jump was 0.5%.

    So – the stimulus did work and flow through to where it was intended!

  33. Kitty..re the qualifier being that you work. What about son’s partner, she is studying. A little bit of a help for female students who are also mothers would help and so I think that assistance should extent a little further than maternity leave. The above of course being means tested and an approved course (so as to avoid paying for a flower-arrangement course for a woman whose husband is on $25g+).

    Reb re ~why should we non-offspring producing types financially subsidise those that want to have kids but can’t afford them?~ Under that theory Reb only the wealthy should be permitted to have children producing a series of little Downers, Howards and Turnbulls. The fact of the matter is that women of all socio-economic groups fall pregnant. I personally don’t have a problem with giving a helping hand to those who need one (I knit and crochet for charity) but I do object to one’s hard-earned going to people who do not need the aforementioned helping hand.

  34. Disclaimer: all spelling errors and typos present, past and future are my keyboard’s fault.

  35. “The fact of the matter is that women of all socio-economic groups fall pregnant.”

    “Fall” pregnant? Like falling over while intoxicated?

    I thought that getting pregnant involved a pretty concerted effort on the part of the couple concerned.

    This whole idea that people just become somehow “accidentally” pregant is the stuff of nonsense.

    Can’t people use contraception like the pill or condoms, to prevent pregnancy until such time as they make the conscious and well-considered decision to have children on the basis that they have the emotional and financial resources to raise them??

    Instead we have a system that rewards teenagers (amongst others) to spurt out babies like a garden sprinkler while the taxpayer foots the bill for subsidising them.

    It’s harder to get a pedigree dog these days than it is to decide to have kids!

  36. Disclaimer: all rabid right-wing statements that I make are not necessarily the opinions of the author.

  37. Re ‘fall’ pregnant. I can but speak for ‘self Reb. It more like cornering and jumping as compared to a ‘fall’ in the literal sense of these words.

    This might surprise you Reb, but people of both genders enjoy sex and when these people are of the opposite gender sometimes this means a bubby.

    And when would you suggest is the right time to have a baby? Reb’s ans: When both are able to *make the conscious and well-considered decision…*. Yep, the bookwork is foremost in most people’s minds when contemplating having sex. In fact most foreplay consists of a visit to the accountants.

  38. “In fact most foreplay consists of a visit to the accountants.”

    Brilliant come back Min!!

    Luv it!

    🙂

  39. Well it must be the low life CPAs. I never get any visits or calls

  40. What was that joke about accountants and contraception again?

  41. What about son’s partner, she is studying. A little bit of a help for female students who are also mothers would help and so I think that assistance should extent a little further than maternity leave.

    Is this the son that is in defence force? Aren’t they in receipt of quite generous subsidising through taxpayer funded allowances and a home ownership scheme in comparison to non defence citizens?

    IATW might know more about it than me, I don’t begrudge them one bit BTW.

    Does son’s wife get HECS or other student assistance from the taxpayer already?

    To be honest, I’m more concerned about single mum students trying to study and support themselves and children on HECS and numerous part time jobs.

  42. My prediction: Because of responses to the GFC there will be a huge deficit and the Howard huggers and other RWDBs will scream blue murder that Rudd has rooned the country and is the sole reason for the GFC in the first place.

  43. Miglo,

    You’re cheating! Joe Hockey already said that a couple of weeks ago..

  44. “IATW might know more about it than me,…..”

    Not sure what you mean there Kitty. I musta missed somethin’

    Anyway……..I’m not against Welfare. But can we please start paying it only to the needy.

  45. Looks ok in theory doesn’t it Kitty. However, the reality is for service personnel is that they might be moved 5 times in 7 years as my son has. Current is son’s longest posting which is a little over 2 years..previous was 2 tours to The Gulf, 2 tours to East Timor and other out of Sydney. And so when is it that they are supposed to purchase a house when they’re not posted anywhere long enough to enable them to do so or if they are in Garden Island Sydney where a house or unit is $600+.

    Certainly son does get subsidised rental. This is necessary because as you can imagine, sailors posted to Garden Island or even in Cairns couldn’t possibly afford to rent within commuting distance.

    When son was home he said that the amount available on a low % loan was $15,000 but that this could be added to the FHBG of $17,000. Son is owed about 6 months long service but they’re not allowed to cash it in.

    No…Millie, son’s partner doesn’t get any assistance at all. Probably Family Tax whatever..from son’s tax now that they have had their status recognised. And wasn’t that a trial in itself! I had to send photos to ‘prove’ to the Department that she is a recognised part of our family. I sometimes wonder if they would have treated son and M’s this way if she wasn’t a Torres Strait Islander.

  46. Miglo, on May 6th, 2009 at 12:57 pm Said:

    Oh…………I see Miglo must believe he’s worked hard enough already for the taxpayers today and has decided to join in the discussion.

  47. The topic is predictions:

    Bye bye to lots of Howard/Costello’s middle class welfare. A perfect setup..to pay for increases in the old age pension. Turnbull can’t argue without looking even more like a complete turd.

    Bye bye to the health care rebate. This one has been a rort for how many years now?

    Bye bye to the baby bonus. However, I would like assistance in a voucher form for women struggling to be able to purchase nappies and other essentials. And where the baby came from (Reb) isn’t important..once the littlie is there then we as a society are responsible. And this means you too.

    Bye bye first home buyers grant. It is apparently (where are you John McP) just adding to the cost of low cost housing. It gives a lie to the ‘image’ that the first home buyers grant was to assist people purchase McMansions…but as above it has caused an unreasonable blow out to the cost of low cost housing.

    Agreed joni..this is what I would have thought too. Short term stimulus via retail and so next must be cutbacks for the non-deserving as long as this is tagged with long term infrastructure projects..the nation-building things. If the Rudd government doesn’t know that they have to come up with big-ticket items/bang for bucks (Min waves to Reb) in the forthcoming budget then they are going to be in deep poo.

  48. “And where the baby came from (Reb) isn’t important..once the littlie is there then we as a society are responsible. And this means you too.”

    Me? A responsible member of society..?? Say it can’t be, I already bear the burden of the world on my shoulders….

    (Well the burden of wondering where my next shiraz is coming from, which is perplexing enough I might add).

  49. V. Good retail figures for March and Jan-March Quarter as a whole:
    http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25437504-462,00.html

    Seems like the stimuls money is being spent after all, and we still have the second round to feed into April and May figures.

  50. My prediction:

    Increased money for Universities and no delay in implementation of the Bradley Review. Probably the $500M asked for by the Unis next year as a start.

    Pension increase.

    Slight increase in unemployment benefit and youth allowance (linked to training or university placement).

    Scrapping of baby bonuses and introduction of paid maternity leave (yep, they’ll do the match and while they probably can’t afford it at the moment, the productivity dividends are worth it and it eases pressure for companies looking at reducing staff by letting them go on Mat leave.

    Thresholds on just about all middle class welfare.

    Amendments to super to tax the payments from funds where the annual take exceeds a certain threshold (a bit like tax rates for super payments).

    They won’t do it but I would – defer the tax cuts for top brackets by 2 years.

  51. And yes Dave55, the sensible thing to do would be to defer the tax cuts for the wealthy. Or would this be political suicide viz core and non-core promises? Me thinks that they’ll give the upper crust their slice but shave away more than a few crumbs. (hehe).

  52. Yes, let’s make sure higher earners don’t get a cent.

    Spend the money far more effectively. On things like insulation.

  53. Walrus, I’m home crook. Back at work tomorrow.

  54. I’m wondering if this is the right forum to tell Tom that I bought another house last week. And in Victoria!

    Kitty, however, will be pleased to hear that it will not be negatively geared. We break even once you deduct the interest and management fees from the weekly rent.

    But as the house is brand spanking new, I’m sure that Walrus will see the benefits for us.

  55. Duck Flu ???????????????

  56. Camel flu.

  57. Miglo – “Back at work tomorrow.”

    Does this make any difference to work getting done?

  58. “But as the house is brand spanking new, I’m sure that Walrus will see the benefits for us.”

    Ah Yes………………….some very good depreciation allowances available.

    Make sure you can also retire to it that way Kitty and Tom will pay for your house via negative gearing then when you retire you sell up from Canberra (tax free since its your residence) with a fat lump sum and retire to your negatively geared joint (paid for by Kitty and Tom) which will after a qualifying period also become tax free as a residence in your children’s hands.

    Kitty and Tom will be so happy for you as you wallow in your wealth.

    PS. It’s what I’m gunna do. I just gotta find a nice sunny seaside spot out of ghastly Sydney.

    Oh………….thanks Tom………………..thanks Kitty…!

    Hehehehehehehehehehe….!

  59. Tom

    On things like insulation.

    Actually, that’s one thing I don’t think should be means tested.

    What would you say if they deferred the tax cuts so little old pensioners can get their houses repaired?

  60. What would you say if they deferred the tax cuts so little old pensioners can get their houses repaired?

    Or alternatively, allow pensioner’s landlord’s to offset these repairs as part of their negaive gearing – 100% depreciation? 😉

  61. One bright light in all this doom is our trade surplus.

    Eight months in a row is pretty good going in a downturn.

  62. I was thinking about ‘a something’, a something that would help reduce power bills, also help the old dears re the recent extremes of temperature, also the well to do not by not having to turn on their ducted air-con as often..and therefore power useage aka ‘the environment’. A something that would help small and large businesses. A something where if a business needed workers that it wouldn’t require a 4 year TAFE course. A something where bums could be put on seats ASAP while waiting for longer term infrastructure projects to click in/needed workers to be trained.

    It could be something other than insulation.

  63. So Miglo is off today with the sniffles.

    While us taxpayers sweat, he’s hanging around at home, figuring out how to take more money out of our pockets, and bidding up the price of houses while he’s at it.

    To sick to work, but no doubt has been out for a few hours doing wheelies in his hoon car.

  64. From: http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25437504-462,00.html
    Consumers spend record $19.3bn in March

    However: ACT dwellers were the misers in March, with sales falling 0.1 per cent.

    The reason obviously for the above poor results for the ACT is that Miglo buys for the cellar online. Miglo..you owe it to the local bottlemart, purchase locally. The ACT needs you!

  65. but no doubt has been out for a few hours doing wheelies in his hoon car.

    Tom of Melbourne, on May 6th, 2009 at 4:45 pm Said

    Hehehehehehehehehe……………………………!

    Yeh……….!

    On all those bloody taxpayer paid for Canberra roundabouts no doubt…………..!

  66. Dave on insulation – “Actually, that’s one thing I don’t think should be means tested.”

    I don’t see it as making any realistic difference to carbon emissions, and there are plenty of other, better and more socially advantageous ways to creat jobs.

    If the government was serious about this, they would simply adopt the same rules as they do with pool fences.

    They have to be fenced before a house is sold, or within 10 years. Just apply the same rules to insulation, and find something more worthwhile to spend a few billion on. Such as fixing up the houses pensioners live on.

    …if on the other hand, an insulation program was applicable only to pensioners. Possibly.

  67. pensioners live in.

  68. Tom,

    I assume you mean fixing up the slumlord houses that Miglo rents to pensioners

  69. Walrus, no need for Miglo to obtain additional taxpayer funded benefits.

    He’s already paid by us. He then uses all sorts of shady schemes to make sure he doesn’t ahve to pay his share.

    He just walks around on footpaths we’ve paid for, and does his hoon wheelies on the roads we’ve funded, in the hoon car that he has a a tax lurk.

  70. Tom of Melbourne, on May 6th, 2009 at 6:36 pm Said:

    Hehehehehehehehehehe…….!

  71. reb, on May 6th, 2009 at 10:00 am Said:

    “I should be able to elect that a proportion of my taxes are allocated to some unemployed person coming around to tend to my modest garden….”

    Yes, reb. It’s only a 500 room mansion with 50 bathrooms, but I like to call it home. (with thanks to Neddy Seagoon)

    reb, on May 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:

    “The fact of the matter is that women of all socio-economic groups fall pregnant.”

    “Fall” pregnant? Like falling over while intoxicated?”

    reb, you sweet innocent you. Yes, indeedy, exactly like that. Lol.

    You’ll be interested to know that 3 of my 4 pregnancies occurred while I was using contraception. And I know there have been plenty of pregnancies after tubal ligations
    and vasectomies.

    Having said that, we are just like all other creatures on the planet; there is a biological imperative to reproduce, otherwise the species is extinct. I’m not saying that a few squillion less humans would be a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

  72. ” I’m not saying that a few squillion less humans would be a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.”

    Yes, it’s a pity that isn’t it.

    Could we just start with the white trash, and ask them to stop procreating…?

  73. $2.50 extra in excise on a packet of coffin nails.

    Thank God I don’t smoke anymore.

    Holy shit………………………………..But I drink a lot…..

  74. Yeah, all the bludgers and low life always complain about not having enough money to spend on the pokies, but they always seem to have plenty of cash for fags.

    If I was the Emperor, cigarettes would be fifty bucks a pack.

    Good quality Shiraz however, would be offered free of charge to those bearing a platinum american express card…

  75. Its gonna be one of those Tax and Spend jobs the Tories hate.

    These guiys have true grit, that’s for sure.

    I mean, if you’ve just worked your bollocks off scamming the market, why the farrk should you have to fork-out your hard-earned in taxes to fund a bunch of snivelling wankers who can’t hold-down a job? Sod ’em. They shoulda had the foresight to get into a bit of inspired insider trading, just like you did.

    If they’re poor and unemployed that’s their bloody fault, right?

  76. It looks as if private health insurance is likely to now face means testing with the rebate cutting out at $240,000 for couples. Unfortunately it seems that Xenophon is set to be obstructionist in the Senate.

    From the SMH, Opposition Health Minister Peter Dutton (who?) states:

    If hundreds and thousands of people are driven out of private health insurance by the Government that will make it more expensive for those who remain on private health insurance and this is a huge broken promise by Kevin Rudd and he should stand condemned for it.”

    Yes Peter, ‘hundreds and thousands’ of people earn more than $120g for a single and $240g for a couple.

    I agree that it will be a broken promise, but one worth breaking.

    And I can’t find the link, but the gist of it was that the money was better spent on public hospitals rather than propping up private health insurance companies.

  77. …the money was better spent on public hospitals rather than propping up private health insurance companies…

    Here! Here!

  78. TB,

    I’ve always had a problem with the argument that people would leave Private Health Insurance if the 30% subsidy was dropped or the threshold for the medicare levy raised. If people leave it it is because they don’t see value for money in the product – pure and simple. Why then should the Government (ie, tax payers money) prop up a poor product (although admittedly I have argued the benefits of the car manufacturer’s subsidies :roll:) or at least discourage improvement in the products offered by private health insurance.

    So, I support you in the “here, here”

  79. And absolutely Dave55. Perhaps (shock) the private health insurance companies might have to become competitive and offer value for money. For example, offload the non-essential items. Wait for it. Mutual Community is offering free Movie Tickets…?????

  80. I looked into private health insurance fifteen years ago, ten years ago and last year.

    It’s cheaper to put the money away and pay for health care when one eventually gets sick.

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