Rudd’s Honeymoon Over.

The Liberals must be rejoicing with the results of the latest AC Nielson Survey! The honeymoon is finally over.

The poll, taken after the Federal Budget last week and published in The Australian, states that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s approval rating has slumped by 10 points.

The Nielsen poll, published in Fairfax newspapers on Monday, shows Mr Rudd’s approval rating at 64 per cent – 10 percentage points lower than the previous poll, in late March.

Mr Rudd’s disapproval rating is up 10 points to 32 per cent.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull’s approval and disapproval ratings remain steady at 43 and 47 per cent respectively.

Mr Rudd’s rating as preferred prime minister is down five points to 64 per cent while Mr Turnbull’s has risen four points to 28 per cent.

The poll shows the coalition’s primary vote has increased six points since March, while Labor’s has fallen by three points.

That result puts Labor only one point ahead of the coalition on primaries, 44 per cent to 43, the best result for the coalition in the Nielsen poll since the 2007 federal election.

Labor’s two-party-preferred vote is down five points, leaving it ahead of the coalition by 53 per cent to 47.

The national poll of 1,400 people was taken from Thursday to Saturday.

It also found 38 per cent of respondents said they will be worse off because of the budget, eight points more than for last year’s budget, while 23 per cent said they would be better off (down eight points on last year).

The Budget was seen as fair by 56 per cent, down one point on last year’s result. Sixty-two per cent were satisfied with it (down four points on last year).

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190 Responses

  1. As I suggested earlier today, it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that support for the government has fallen significantly, and the popularity of the PM has also fallen by 10%.

    It is a consequence of becoming just another politician who provides commitments and promises before an election and sets about breaking them just as soon as it is expedient to do so.

    Rudd will struggle as he is more widely perceived as “just another politician”.

  2. Rudd will struggle as he is more widely perceived as “just another politician”.

    I agree Tom.

    And it’s already started. Anything that’s “bad” that’s happening to the economy is a direct result of the GFC, whereas anything that’s “good” that’s happening is a result of the Labor Government’s “fast and decisive action”

    It all sounds terribly Howard’esque…

  3. I probably would have given Labor a large degree of faith for the foreseeable future… but Rudd revealed himself to be “just another politician” when the extent of this internet filtering business became apparent. That issue for me trumps all else. It could be the tightest economic policy in history and I’d still despise the bastards.

  4. The scoreboard is still grim for the LNP. The week of a budget that has hit middle income earners in the pocket, and in the middle of a recession (world wide and none of thier doing), jobless figures high due to the crisis, peoples Superanuation more that halved, and look the the (lack of) traction the opposition have established. Turdball is still very low in his approval rating and the LNP are just back to where they were at the last election. To the voters it was a matter of anything but Howard again, and the freshly painted kid on the block enjoyed the benefit of that shine, now the shine has faded the solid voters have still stayed solid. Given the circumstances this is still a good figure for the ALP, and I would think Turdball and his mob of negative whingers would love to have this set of numbers.

  5. I was expecting this and, truth be told, I think they deserve it. They have been trying to have it both ways (credit for good economic data goes to Labour, blame for bad economic data goes to GFC/last Liberal government). As soon as enough people realise this, the government is just another self-serving bunch of politicians.

    That said, I think Rudd would be quite happy to go to an election on these numbers. While it is a drop from the unsustainable “lofty highs” we’ve had for a long time, they are still pretty good numbers.

    If Malcolm & Co. can come up with some better (or even equivalent) alternate plans for the Budget – we could easily see these numbers close even more. At the moment, Malcolm is still coming across as the “No” politician. while his cigarette tax is a good thing in my books, it is not a replacement for the rebate in cold numbers (as predicted by many and proven out by the Treasury release).

    As an “addition” to the Budget, it is a good thing. However, it is being painted (and accepted) by many as a “political move” given their history on the “alco-pops” tax.

  6. So Shanahahahanan was right all along. How little do we realise how little we know.

    I think the ETS backflip-with-double-pike probably has more to do with the drop than the budget.

  7. Well david, that contribution can be summarised as – “allow me to state the bleeding obvious, and throw in some gratuitous insults while I’m at it.”

    Rudd had an extended honeymoon, it’s over now.

    He has broken election pledges for expedience.

    Do you remember when the ALP were in opposition they –
    • Opposed the secret ballot on industrial action, but changed their mind.
    • Opposed the Federal take over of IR tribunals, but changed their mind.
    • Opposed limitations of union right of entry , but changed their mind.
    • Opposed cash handouts, but changed their mind.
    Etc.

    Lots of NO!! there.

    On this record I don’t think the current opposition can be particularly characterised as opposing things any more than their predecessors.

    It’s the nature of opposition, just as it is the nature of politics that Rudd has become “just another politician.”

  8. And Tom, Turnbull has now changed his mind on the alcopops tax, just for political expediency.

  9. No worries Min, I’ve never had the expectation that any politician will behave as anything other than a politician.

    Some of the naïve had thought Rudd was different, but what he has done has simply reinforced cynicism.

    Probably a good thing too. Cynicism about politicians and their motives is necessary.

  10. Cynicism about politicians and their motives is necessary.

    Indeed. In fact the cult of celebrity surrounding career politicians – Obama in particular, but also Rudd, to a lesser extent – and the fawning adulation from the MSM, in supposedly mature western democracies, is astonishing.

  11. Tom. I don’t have a problem with politicians doing ‘adjustments’ as long as it’s good policy. Rudd and going back on an election promise viz middle and upper class hand outs has been lauded as good policy and sensible. Likewise Turnbull backtracking re the alcopops tax.

    However one thing that I didn’t like was Turnbull refusing to back a pullback on the handouts re private health insurance because means testing isn’t Liberal Party philosphy. Turnbull and Hockey were originally not going to dispute the means testing, but decided to go for it due to this ‘philosophy’. Philosophy of course does not necessarily make for good policy…for either political party.

  12. Min, do I recall that you were opposed to the cash handouts of the previous government, but now you think they’re ok?

    Why is it that a breach of an undertaking is fine/defensible/excused for one side of politics, but condemned in another?

    Whether policy is “good” or not is a matter of perspective.

    Your perspective may be that some promises shouldn’t have been made in the first place. In which case you should condemn the government for having made them, and again for breaching them.

  13. Tom. The handouts by the previous government were supposed to compensate pensioners for having to pay tax via the GST..that’s how it started. These replaced a permanent increase in the old age and disability pensions which the Rudd government are now tackling.

    I agree..the Rudd government should never have said that they would never means test private health insurance rebates, nor should they have ever said that they will maintain the status quo re handouts to the wealthiest of the private schools.

  14. Did anyone see the PM try to explain the money spent on ministerial travel on the news last night?

    All “ums” and “ahs”, I love it when he’s ear waxing lyrical!

  15. Scaper… but doesn’t he eat his own ear wax??

  16. Noooo..say it isn’t so. They’re replaying the replay of the replay of the replay of the John Howard interview on Sky News.

    Who said that pay to view television wasn’t value for money.

  17. Joni, I thought he used it as lip balm but have not been close enough to give him a big sloppy kiss to find out.

    The Greens pool their ear wax to make candles to save on electricity!

  18. Min, the stated purpose of the handouts by the previous government was to provide a benefit to pensioners without building it into recurrent expenditure.

    That also happens to be the same rationale for the current round of handouts, the government does not seek to build the payments into recurrent expenditure.

    At the time, I took the position that I was happy to see pensioners get something as opposed to nothing. Others seemed to think they were “bribes”.

    By the way I struggle with your suggestion that the beaches of unequivocal promises are ‘adjustments’. Our PM made on qualification at all on this issue. He has simply found it convenient/expedient to break his word.

  19. Tom, you did notice how I stated ‘adjustments’ and not plain old adjustments. It was tongue in cheek.

    I disagree that increases to the old age pension were not worthy of a recurrent expenditure rather than subject to the whim of government.

    Hence Rudd’s argument that he did not want to follow Turnbull’s idea of taxation as a short term stimulus measure but preferred a temporary handout. As we have seen recently via middle and upper class handouts a permanent measure once put in place is very difficult to ‘adjust’.

  20. Min – “As we have seen recently via middle and upper class handouts a permanent measure once put in place is very difficult to ‘adjust’.”

    Then Rudd should be blamed for not promising to reform middle class welfare.

    He had the opportunity to position himself as a reformer, but he deliberately chose to make a politically expedient promise. He has now broken it, because it is now expedient to do so.

    Rather than taking the position of rejecting some money for pensioners, I’ve taken the view that they deserve all that they can get. So to call one lot of handouts a “bribe”, and then defend another handout to the same pensioners seems more than a little inconsistent to me.

  21. And I think a difference between the handouts of the Howard government and the Rudd government was their purpose. The Rudd governments handout were to lessen the effects of the GFC – whether it would work or not is a different issue.

  22. No Joni, the purpose of both sets of pensioner handouts was to make a payment without building it into future budgets.

    Your explanation is a value judgement only.

  23. Shock: Rudd & Co. are ‘like other politicians’ What people expected? Mother Teresa?

    I always thought that Rudd and the ALP was coated with this ‘white knight’ glow was because Howard and some of his ministers were such a bunch of %$#@s.

    No ALP pollie who went through preselections and the party machine could be anything more than a politician.

    The stratospheric approval ratings that Rudd had were unsustainable. What we will settle now is what Howard had. Labor (especially with Beazley) was actually ahead in the polls but Howard always had the ‘better Prime Minister’ rating (that is why ‘The Australian’ though he was God – I am sure if Newpoll reflect the McNielsen result we cab see ‘Rudd faces defeat’ headlines there).

  24. Tom

    Beg to differ, the recent handouts to pensioners were made as part of the stimulus package, were they not?

  25. But, but, but Guido…

    Kevin Rudd was “our friend”.

    In the lead up to the last election, he laughed with us, joked with us, held up a laptop and gave us hope for the future..

    We laughed along with him and “shared the dream”

    Now it’s all turned to custard.

    Speaking of custard, it looks like Costello’s plotting his comeback.

    spineless.com.au

  26. Yes Joni, they were part of the stimulus package. A one off payment to pensioners.

    The previous handouts to pensioners were said to be a way of sharing the boom times more widely throughout the community without building the expenditure into future budgets.

    I think both are equally defendable positions, particularly based on the less than certain budgetary environment.

    I haven’t made any criticism of this government for providing handouts to pensioners, I think there should be more of it. Equally I didn’t disparage the previous handouts as “bribes”.

    I think the consistent position I’ve taken regarding this type of issue if entirely different from those that create artificial differentiation between one lot of payments (by the ALP) and so called “bribes” by the previous government.

  27. But the current government has followed the bribes with substantial increases in the pension.

    Also, the timing of the handouts by the previous government were also why some considered them “bribes” as (I think) they were closer to an election.

  28. Joni..have been thinking of you and your tummy…innards thereof anyway 😉 Hope that you’re feeling a lot better now.

    My thoughts too. Most of Howard’s one of payments were made close to an election whereas I doubt that Rudd will receive any brownie points for the stimulus package as it will be yesterday’s news by the time the next election comes around.

  29. Thanks Min for the thoughts… but no, still not good.

    Any form of hugs at the moment would result in a nasty situation. The boyf is lucky to be so far away at the moment.

  30. George has got an interesting article up.

    It’s not pretty reading, no matter which side of the political fence you sit on!

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/cartoon_arguments_that_cut_both_ways/

    His last sentence is disturbing.

  31. As I think others are stating, the reason Howard’s hand-outs were classified as “bribes” was the timing of their announcement & payment.

    Rudd’s handouts (while of arguably the same long-term worth) are going to be long forgotten by the time the next election rolls around. Howard made half (if not more) of his handouts dependent on him getting voted back into government. That’s known as a bribe in most circles.

  32. How is the boyf going with his new job?

    My mum recommends ginger beer with real ginger (sips) and some chamomile tea before bedtime. Mum has been into herbal remedies since the ’60’s and says that this will help.

  33. Again, we now know that the boom is over.

    The stated purpose of the previous handout was that it would not become part of recurrent expenditure. It was sharing the benefits of the boom.

    I simply cannot see the rationale for rejecting these payments, or the interpretation about timing..

    My position has always been – great, get both parties committing more to pensioners, make it an area of policy competition. But many others, particularly a number of the contributors here, chose to deride this position.

    Rudd has now taken equally expedient political decisions but here seems to be getting excused for it. This is application of standards in a very inconsistent manner.

    BT – then I presume you can nominate the date of the next election?

  34. then I presume you can nominate the date of the next election

    Nope, but I do know that the earliest they can realistically call for an early election (if they REALLY want one) is end of the year. the earliest they can achieve a realistic trigger is end of September. A quick check around blogs & “op ed” columns of both political persuasions suggest that an election would be much later than that (around March)

    Do you seriously suggest that people will be remember the handouts from now at the beginning of next year?

  35. what handout…?

  36. B.Tolputt, I believe the next election will be March or earlier as the government will want to get it out of the way before the next Budget is handed down.

    My pick for the DD trigger will be the ETS.

    I read somewhere that this government has included $15B in the forward estimates of revenue derived from auctioning of Carbon Credits.

    If the opposition could divorce itself from an ETS but still maintain a policy to reduce pollution this government could possibly serve one term.

  37. Tom of Melbourne, on May 18th, 2009 at 1:03 pm Said

    Rudd had an extended honeymoon, it’s over now.

    Really? Not according to Essential Research which shows Labor at 62% TPP (up 1%) and the LNP at 38% TPP (down 1%).

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/files/2009/05/essential-report_180509.pdf

    Newspoll to be the decider.

    Now is anyone keeping count re the ‘honeymoon over’ theme? Almost on the hour, every hour. Lol. Perhaps the discussion should be on what ‘ought to be’ rather than on the ‘is’. Much safer territory as any of the expert commentators here and elsewhere would, or at least, should attest.

  38. Who knows N5?

    Looking at link there is no history, so the accuracy of this survey cannot be judged.

    Having some history in this type of research I had a look at the “Your Source” web site, and found it totally unhelpful.

    I do though suspect that as Rudd becomes “just another politician” the dizzy heights of his popularity will decline the levels typically experienced by political leaders.

  39. Tom of Melbourne, on May 18th, 2009 at 9:17 pm Said:

    Essential Research has a pretty good history but that’s not my point. Clearly Rudd broke his promise re the Health Rebate and to give him his due he does not deny that. Whether he can politically justify his ‘broken promise’ problem in terms of good or better public policy (which it is) remains to be seen.

    Here in Queensland the Premier is about to track down that path with removing an 8 Cents per litre fuel subsidy even though she promised to retain same. Again it’s good public policy but will also be very unpopular.

    In a nutshell, the broader problem is how to get elected by telling the ‘truth’ in all its rawest forms and still defeat an incumbent government. Can’t think of anyone who has done that. Says so much about us, the voters. The real enemy is ‘us’.

    As for:

    the dizzy heights of his popularity will decline the levels typically experienced by political leaders

    He certainly retains those ‘dizzy heights’ regardless of which poll you view and yes his popularity will decline over time as he upsets interest groups such as unions and the like. But it might be a bit early to make that call at this time.

  40. N5, Essential Research uses data supplied by Your Source. Your Source appears to employ a small army of “panel members” to collect the data that Essential Research then use to write a report. I don’t have any data about whether the use of a panel is more accurate than the interview used by the traditional researchers.

    The 2 party preferred result seems to be skewed though.

    I’ve never heard of Your Source and their web site provides no real information about them or their capability. I’m not making any judgement, just an observation.

    As for telling the truth during an election campaign, many would suggest that Howard went to an election promising to introduce a GST, and was re-elected. While others often choose to identify his commentary at a previous election, the fact is that he sought re-election on a GST platform and succeeded.

    Rudd knew that middle class welfare required reform, and chose the expedient path instead. To me, this makes his current statements of qualified contrition even more infuriating.

  41. Newspoll shows an increase to Labor as well – 56/44. I think it’s probably about right.

    Neilsen is the outlier here.

  42. Well Showpony has finally given a figure. Federal debt is going to hit $300B. i always new that this new Labor govt wanted to outdo Keating.

    HA!!!! $96B. Thats nothing. Paul Keating didn’t try hard enough. We can do better than that. We can outdo him in just two budgets. Furthermore we are going to set a record that can never be broken.

    “We’re aiming to a gross figure of 13.8, which comes out at about 300 (billion),” Mr Rudd said.”

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25504755-29277,00.html

  43. So, the honeymoon is over eh?

    Dream-on.

    Neilson might be running 44/43 on primaries, with a Labor lead of 53/47 TPP, but since it came-out we’ve also had:

    Essential Report: With Labor leading 52/32 on Primaries and 62/38 TPP; And

    Newspoll with Labor ahead 46/37 on primaries and 56/44 TPP.

    I wouldn’t be betting the family silver on a Coalition victory any time in the foreseeable.

    As The Possum says over on his website: “stick that in your narrative and smoke it”

  44. Evan, on May 19th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Whats your point???? I do not care about the coalition. However I do care about the country i was born and raised in.

  45. Neil of Sydney, on May 19th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Consider yourself thankful, Neil, maybe; in other places, not aiming has resulted in a gross figure of near 100, and they’re aiming there for a gross figure close to 200, with unfunded liabilities of over 500, and without any real discussion about how budgeting across a cycle or cycles will be bringing the gross figure of 13.8 100 200 500 back down to zero. And, just think, that 13.8 goes some ways to ensuring that the budget across the cycle(s) is in some position to do that; a tradesman down on his luck doesn’t sell his tools of trade if he can help it; and might even think of borrowing to up-tool, if it means the extra productivity will both allow him to keep his existing tools and pay off the debts of up-tooling, and he has budgeted for doing exactly that.

  46. Ryan, on May 18th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I try to cut Rudd some slack on that, because it’s an agenda that is not just a domestic political one, and is potentially propelled by external imperatives as much as by internal desiderata; a quick poke around on who is trying to control whom and how and why on and for the net soon reveals that there are complex legal, cross-jurisdictional and practical interrelationships between a variety of multinational actors and forces at work – mostly from the defence, intelligence, and policing arenas; and Australia has established interfaces with those cross-jurisdictional fora, and has tentative commitments to increasing those interfaces and integrations of control systems, even as they are developed apace ‘there’ and (not) ‘here’. One key relationship would be the UKUSA Group; but there are others, and the ‘filtering’ seems to fit better into a pan-European initiative nominally sponsored by Interpol.

  47. scaper…, on May 18th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    It is an interesting analysis; how does one un-do a deficient, pre-existing structure which made little allowance for crisis in the middle of a crisis in a way which doesn’t add to the crisis that is, and which doesn’t spawn a breeding ground for fresh crisis or reinforce an inability to respond effectively to the likes of the crisis that is or that fresh crisis? Cue Cher’s ‘If I could turn back time’ to make Neil’s ears bleed.

  48. run-on sentence: (an ungrammatical sentence in which two or more independent clauses are conjoined without a conjunction)

    Geez……….

  49. From the OO. And with their ‘headline’ we know they have a sense of humour.

    Labor’s primary support stands at 46 per cent – up four percentage points from the poll conducted two weeks earlier.

    ‘Up four percentage points’ – must be the Budget. Lol. Or could it be explained by the MOE?

    In two-party-preferred terms, Labor led the Coalition by 56 per cent to 44 per cent – up from its 55-45 lead in the previous survey.

    More here. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25504455-601,00.html

    Yesterday’s LNP ‘joy’ evaporates with the dawn of a new day even though Rudd’s popularity fell to ‘his lowest rating since early October’.

  50. Did anyone see the PM on TV in regards to the poll results?

    All surly denying he doesn’t take any notice of the polls…unbelievable!

    Oh well, I suppose he fooled some people.

  51. “Yesterday’s LNP ‘joy’ evaporates with the dawn of a new day even though Rudd’s popularity fell to ‘his lowest rating since early October’”.
    Nature 5, on May 19th, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Joy!!!??? What joy??? Would you really like to be the next incoming Liberal govt if/when elected to clean up the mess the ALP is now creating?? 300 billion dollars of Federal debt!!!

    It would be nice if just once when the ALP loses an election it doesn’t hand over a complete and total mess.

  52. scaper…, on May 19th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Abysmal performance…jumped around like jack in the box and was really pleased with is “cricket analogy” – “leg wicket” (?) question.

    Never answered the tough ones’s like, “how do sixty year olds survive till 67 when most can’t get jobs now – particularly those in “blue” collar roles…

    One approach woukld be a “social contribution period” ie proof of taxed work for 40 years (or whatever you like) and then eligible for pension at 65 – most of the people I knew when I was young started at 15 – my circle of acquaintances now includes many who didn’t get a pay check till they were in thier early twenties…and they’ll retire before 55…

    Makes you wonder about these Robber Barons and the cannon/mill fodder that we are – live longer we’ll make ya work longer…very ALP…

    Nothing is new (especially in politics)…

    Neil – how old are you again?

  53. Neil of Sydney, on May 19th, 2009 at 11:33 am Said:

    300 billion dollars of Federal debt!!!

    Neil is that ‘net’ debt or ‘gross’ debt? or doesn’t it matter?

    Try this paper and yes it looks at the concept of ‘debt’ in some detail. http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/1496/PDF/01_Debt.pdf.

    And it might be useful to develop some understanding of ‘accrual’ accounting as distinct from ‘cash’ accounting. A quick Google should do the trick.

  54. TB, I doubt if many people now in their late 50’s and early 60’s will be able to afford to retire anyway..not having anywhere near enough superannuation.

    However, as this won’t clock in completely 2023 hopefully people will plan for it and save their $s so that they can take early retirement if needed.

    If people cannot work at 60 or 65, the current option is the disability pension.

  55. Some people around here have a problem with debt.

    Betcha Neil has a credit card. And a mortgage. Maybe a car loan too.

    They’re all forms of debt. He’s borrowed dough so that he can do stuff. He’ll repay the deby in future and have a house, a car and maybe some lovely snaps of that holiday in Thailand to show for it, too.

    This makes Neil a happy.

    But when the Government borrows money to do things, this makes Neil mad.

    They’ll have Hospitals, schools, roads, railways, toys for the Boys and Girls in the armed services and jobs to show for it, but Neil reckons this is a bad idea.

    Go figure.

  56. Hi TB, nice bit of rain we are receiving.

    I wonder what happened to the idea from the Summit concerning the mentoring by the elders for training the young and passing on their skills?

    I thought that was a great idea.

    Min, I’m not up on the raising of the pension eligibility, if it does not kick in until 2023 then I would question the announcement as I don’t expect the PM to be still in by that date.

    I don’t expect him to be PM in 2013 to be frank.

  57. Scaper, the rise in the pension age start in 2017 in 6 month increments. But wasn’t it the Howard government who decided to do the same thing viz females, increasing the age for women from 61yrs to 65yrs.

  58. Min, the last government was defeated and this government can reverse any of their policy if they see fit.

    They reversed Workchoices didn’t they???

    Now they have to be held accountable and cease the blame game and govern responsibly.

    If the PM is not up to the task I would expect he makes way for Gillard to have a crack!

  59. Evan, if one gets into debt there must be capacity to repay said debt.

    From what I gather this government is reliant on growth rising to 4.5% in the future.

    No standard lender would entertain granting a loan on speculation like this, the IMF doubt such growth also.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25504452-601,00.html

    To my knowledge no hospitals, schools, railways or the like have commenced construction as yet.

  60. Evan – That is a pretty dumb comment about debt, even from you.

    The government plans to go $300billion into debt. We have 20 million people.

    It is a simple calculation.

    It represents $60,000 of debt for my household!

    I’ve remained debt free for years, I’m not happy about the government spending so much so frivolously and so quickly. Racking up so much debt that will limit the ability of future governments to introduce the policies that my children will require.

    They’ve wasted so much, you shouldn’t excuse them with this lame commentary.

  61. Scaper. I personally didn’t have problem with the previous government raising the pension age for women and I have no problem with the current government doing the same for men. This is the first time in 100 years that the age for males has been raised.

    In 1909, the average life expectancy was 56yrs for males and 60yrs for females.

    In 2009, life expectancy is 79yrs for males and 84yrs for females. **Note, I don’t know whether these stats include Aboriginal Australians.

  62. They’ll have Hospitals, schools, roads, railways, toys for the Boys and Girls in the armed services and jobs to show for it, but Neil reckons this is a bad idea.

    In the ideal Liberal world the government would build or maintain no infrastructure. The ideology quite faithfully followed by the show rodent.

  63. Scaper, the government reversed SerfChoices, and a good thing too. The ever-present risk is that the Coalition would re-impose it – with a vengeance to make up for lost time.

  64. Speaking of ‘frivolous’ spending. I am particularly chuffed with a government FINALLY! doing something about the public transport system in the Gold Coast area.

    As a start 13kms of lightrail from Griffith University to Broadbeach with this eventually connecting with Coolangatta.

    Unbelievable that currently one cannot get from Brisbane further south than Robina via rail, although the Qld government is extending this south to Varsity Lakes. And to get from Robina train station to Broadbeach..ummm???

  65. Caney, could you detail the bits of “Serfchoices”/Workchoices you found so objectionable, and also detail how the ALP government has addressed your objections.

    Length is no problem to me, I promise I’ll read the lot and respond in equivalent detail.

  66. Caney

    I agree.

    If the Libs get back in, the first thing they’ll do is ressurect serf choices and do away with that pesky minimum wage.

    The rationale being, that rather than having ten people working for 10 dollars an hour, we’d be able to have 100 people working for 1 dollar an hour thereby dramatically reducing unemployment!

  67. Caney, on May 19th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    That isn’t true! They’ll have just one unviable hospital somewhere in Tasmania for $50 million, thank-you very much! (if there’s $50 million’s worth of bribes votes aspiration in it for a tragic electoral campaign).

  68. Tom,

    Obviously you’ve forgotten about Minchin’s apology to the business community for the fact that WorkChoices Version One didn’t go far enough!

  69. No Reb.

    • When the ALP posed a secret ballot for industrial action, many were also against it. What is the opinion now?
    • When the ALP opposed limiting right of entry, many also opposed. Have they now also changed their minds?
    • ALP opposed establishment of a single tribunal structure. Now?
    • They opposed continuation of individual contracts/AWAs. Current view?
    • Opposed code of practice for industrial relations construction industry. Current opinion?
    • Shut ABCC!! Now?

    There are dozens of similar examples.

    I’m just interested in some sensible response from someone that was so opposed to lots of things that seem to be continuing in a way that has become acceptable.

    Many got excited by the politics rather than by the policy outcomes.

  70. Caney, reb et al. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the way and the only way that a Liberal government would tackle rising unemployment is WorkChoices.

    Legion..whatever happened to that hospital in Tasmania? Do we still own it?

  71. The following was from a different context, but apply the principle to the manner in which the Liberals rained SerfChoices from out of the blue onto the heads of an unsuspecting, trusting electorate following the 2004 election….

    Howard told Parliament in April 1998:

    “The Australian public are entitled to be told before an election what a government will do after the election. They do not deserve to be misled. They do not deserve to be deceived.”

    Quoted by By Alan Ramsey, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 2004

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/08/17/1092508474312.html

    Legion, May 19th, 2009 at 2:18 pm,

    LOL. One hospital. And only as a means of trying to dodge annihilation.

    Meanwhile between the 2004-2005 budget and the 2007 election, they blew away 314 billion dollars, or 94% of the mining boom bonanza, in the mother of all cash splashes.

    After governing during the most spectacular resources boom in a generation, they did manage to leave $20 billion in “surplus”. Something they’ve done nothing but brag about ever since, though this was less than half the value of one stimulus package.

  72. Reb

    The rationale being, that rather than having ten people working for 10 dollars an hour, we’d be able to have 100 people working for 1 dollar an hour thereby dramatically reducing unemployment!

    That’s the route (sic) to a Bangladesh-style economy. The Liberals’ Grand Economic Vision for Australia. Slavery for our grandkids, never mind debt.

  73. Caney..any guesstimates about how many $s went down the gurgler during the Howard latter years with absolutely zilch to show for it?

  74. “any guesstimates about how many $s went down the gurgler”

    They didn’t bother to pay for everyone’s home insulation.

  75. Min,

    any guesstimates about how many $s went down the gurgler during the Howard latter years with absolutely zilch to show for it?

    There’s a revealing article here from Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 2009. I’ll quote just a passage:

    … The big picture of Howard fiscal policy was much worse. As the Treasury reported last year, from the 2004-05 budget to the 2007 election the China boom and a robust economy added $334 billion in windfall gains to the budget surplus. Of this, the Howard government spent, or gave away in tax cuts, $314 billion, or 94 per cent.

    A Treasury report compared Howard’s fiscal policy with that of that touchstone of recklessness, Gough Whitlam.

    Howard and Costello should have set aside much larger sums from the once-in-a-generation mining boom.

    John Whitlam Howard. Who’d have ever thought!

  76. Quite right Tom. Nothing for lowly tradespeople, nothing to help reduce power bills, nothing to help the elderly.

  77. The slaves workers in the Liberal ideal world would have no use for ceiling insulation. Cardboard cartons don’t have ceilings, and cardboard is a perfectly adequate insulation material anyway.

  78. Exactly Min, no tradesperson would be capable of climbing into their own ceiling and putting a some insulation batts down. And make sure the well off people don’t have to pay for these home improvements either.

    No way should people have to do this themselves. Far better that the government spends $4 billion doing this for them.

    And it only represents an $800 contribution from my household. An absolute bargain!

    Wise, prudent investment of our finances by the treasurer, as always.

  79. Caney..that’s what I thought.

    Speaking of Costello, isn’t he going to be a wee bit miffed about Turnbull’s ‘surge’ in popularity which sadly hasn’t transformed itself into a better TTP for the LNP. But at least Turnbull is now one of the popular kids..well sorta.

  80. I don’t quite understand you Tom. Insulation has to be professionally installed. Certainly you might be able to buy batts but I doubt that many people would be able to cut to size, depending on the battens, likewise people with angled roofs which requires the blow in stuff (Note, avoid this if you can). And although my Mum is a feisty 84yr old, I doubt that she would be able to shinny up into the the roof all by herself.

  81. Min, Turnbull really is MT isn’t he. What’d he really propose as a budgetary measure? Slug the smokers. Gees, how unoriginal is that. That’s the oldest budgetary measure in the book. Governments have been doing that for generations. The Liberals obviously have nothing but:

    SerfChoices
    Dismantle Medicare
    Politics of Fear, Smear and Union-Bashing.

  82. Whoops TPP not TTP..but you lot know what I mean…hopefully. Or else it would be Two Tarty Preferred 🙂

  83. Min

    No way will your Mum be shimmying into the roof – she will be too busy dancing in the kitchen! hehe

  84. Min, I trust that you are not starting to suggest (again) that I oppose home insulation for pensioners.

    I oppose it for those that are entirely capable of paying for it themselves.

    And indeed you are right, what self respecting tradesman would carry out this type of improvement on their own home?

  85. Tom, I should imagine that insulation tradies already have insulation, likewise new homes, likewise the more well to do already have insulated homes. The homes that are not insulated are: rental properties (hence the government’s inclusion of these), older homes owned by our poorer citizens which includes pensioners.

  86. Speaking of fertilizer, I’ve been using this stuff at home called Charlie Crap.

    It’s made out of dead fish and works wonders in the garden.
    .
    KAMAHLODERATOR: Would we mind bringing the discussion back to the topic at hand?

  87. I for one am pleased Rudd has broken that promise and given the private health pork barrel the flick. If people on large incomes can’t afford around $1,000/annum per person for health insurance, maybe they ought to go to budget school.

    They seem to be able to afford high mortgage payments, expensive cars, hefty private school fees and sundry other high end lifestyle choices with nary a twitch, all of which are far in excess of private health insurance premiums. So why the squealing over having to pay full tote odds for their private health insurance?

    I saw Malvolio’s interview with Laurie Oakes on Sunday and am now confirmed in the opinion that he is a total idiot! His lame excuses for retaining the private health rebate were completely unconvincing and aren’t resonating with those who really do it tough most of the time.

    I was pretty disappointed that the unemployed were ignored yet again, though. There will be a lot more jobless in the near future as the recession continues to bite.

    I don’t like the increase in pensionable age, either, although I understand the reason for it and I’m very strongly opposed to preventing people accessing their super until 67, if they want to retire early. The PM might love his job, but I’d be very surprised if the majority of wage slaves feel the same.

    The worst epitaph I can think of is “She died in harness.”

  88. “The poor don’t have insulation? Let them live in cardboard cartons!”

  89. There will be a lot more jobless in the near future as the recession continues to bite.jane, on May 19th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Jane this is incorrect.

    The increase in unemployment will be due to ALP policies and the people who voted for them.

    If I am correct this means it will be your fault

  90. Rebski..it’s Charlie c-a-r-p and made from that environmental disaster, the European carp. They are bottom feeders and destroy the habitat for our native fish species such as Murray Cod.

    European carp are inedible but they make excellent fertilizer. Another example of Australian innovation.

    By the way where is Aqua?

  91. “The poor don’t have insulation? Let them live in cardboard cartons!”

    Visy cardboard cartons where as a result of crooked price fixing, they cost as much as insulation 😛

  92. Min, the requirement for insulation installation is the owner has to hold the appropriate licence and the installers don’t require any trade training.

    The cost of supply and install has risen in the last few months just like the cost of construction.

    The main players have locked up the supply side to ensure that no others can enter the industry!

    On the technical side…all ceiling studs are at 450mm centres as per AS (Australian Standards) and the smaller gap that is usually on one side of the ceiling can be cut with a pair of scissors.

    Cathedral ceilings have no air space so they have to be insulated during construction along with the standard sisalation to prevent deterioration.

    In short, it is a feel good policy that only a limited number of people will be employed on a minimum wage and the players will benefit greatly at our expense!

    Bad move.

  93. Min – “should imagine that insulation tradies already have insulation”

    Really, why would you imagine this? Is there any evidence?

    And why should I subsidise improvements to investment/rental properties as you suggest?

    This stupidity costs my household $800, and there are better things to spend $4billion on, such as spending it on improvements to the houses pensioners live in.

  94. Scaper…but what about 650mm rafter spacing and older homes that are pre-metric? Although batts cater for the former, with the latter they have be cut to size.

    Houses with Cathedral ceilings can still have insulation of the blow-in variety.

  95. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on this link

    Apparently our commodity prices are still at boom levels. Furthermore we are exporting more to China than during the boom times.

  96. Neil

    Did you even notice the downward gradient?

  97. Tom..duh..yes I stick by my opinion that insulation tradies would have insulation in their own homes. Mind you a friend of mine’s husband was a tailor and he never ever made himself a suit…so probably there are exceptions.

  98. Did you even notice the downward gradient?joni, on May 19th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    No I am so dumb I did not notice.

    But if you have a closer look it is still high. If fact it look liked it peaked after Showpony got elected.

    It is still much higher now than in 2003.

    Therefore our loose of revenue must be due to the stupidity of the ALP

  99. Min, never saw 650mm centres in my life, if that was so the plasterboard would hand like a pagoda unless it had noggins at 450mm centres!

    All Cathedral ceilings with limited air space would have to be insulated or the house would cook.

  100. Our balance of trade has been in surplus for ten months in a row and we are exporting more to China than we ever have.

    Why isn’t the government crowing about that?

    Because it shoots a hole in their rhetoric and focuses the critique on their superb economic management.

  101. Really Neil. It is a simple as that, eh?

    Nothing to do with the fall in company profits at all eh?

  102. Scaper. This takes me back eons ago when I was working for Australian Gypsum.

    Trussed rafters are usually spaced at 600 mm to take advantage of the greater economies they offer, but where heavier loads need to be supported they are often positioned at 400 mm and 450 mm

  103. *Min, on May 19th, 2009 at 3:05 pm Said:
    …likewise people with angled roofs which requires the blow in stuff (Note, avoid this if you can). …*

    What’s wrong with the “blow in stuff”, Min?

  104. TB, if you can have batts I would go for these. The blow in stuff tends to be messier and you end up with lots of fibres floating around the house for weeks. However, the important thing is the efficiency rating..nothing less than 3.0 and 3.5 is preferable. But if there isn’t enough roof space such as cathedral ceilings, then certainly the blow in stuff is better than nothing.

    The blow in stuff is less certain as to the rating and depends on the expertise of the installer..that is lots up one end and less down the other. If you have to have the blow in stuff make certain that it’s of the vermin proof variety.

  105. Min, you are right…in non cyclone areas the truss spacings can be up to 650mm.

  106. Good for you scaps. I was on Lilydale council when these building regulations were altered..less timber, cheaper housing was how it was supposed to be.

    Did you get the rain yesterday arvo? It seems that we might me in for another dose in the next hour or so, or maybe it has reached Bris already.

  107. The blow in stuff is utter shite.

    If you have an old house, it can tend to cause dust, and the dust particles are the next best thing to asbestos (according to one tradie I spoke to).

    Builders loathe the stuff…

  108. Tom of Melbourne, on May 19th, 2009 at 1:51 pm Said:

    The government plans to go $300billion into debt. We have 20 million people.

    It is a simple calculation.

    It represents $60,000 of debt for my household!

    Well it is a simple calculation and it is also ‘simplistic’ as you well know. Thus those types of ‘political’ calculations are terribly misleading and I am sure you know that as well. It’s a bit like adding up all of Australia’s ‘wealth’ then dividing by 20 million and therefore concluding each and every Australian, including children had a net worth of X dollars.

    Both the Packers of this world and the Aborigines of the western desert would be somewhat amused.

    The truth is this ‘debt’ won’t be paid off by a singular entity such as the ‘individual taxpayer’ but from a whole range of sources including corporations, customs, superannuation funds, royalities, petroleum resource rent tax, and the like.

    As for the poor children (Lol) who will be burdened with this ‘debt’, they will also own a whole lot more infrastructure (both physical and intellectual) that will improve their capability to manage that ‘debt’.

    By the way under Trunbull’s scheme the ‘debt’ is calculated at $275 billion or 8% less.

  109. Plus Reb..try to make repairs in a roof that has blow in insulation.

    BTW, that maroon suit looks good on you, however the orange tie…ummm…I personally would have gone for a nice sky blue stripe effect.

  110. Thanks Min. The maroon suit is part of my Autumn collection.

    Also, that blow in stuff is a fire hazard if you have hallogen down lights.

    It’s a scourge on society and ought to be banned…!

  111. Reb, this blow is insulation that you are referring to?

  112. Correct scaper…

    There’s another type of blow that requires a rolled up twenty dollar note, and that’s not to be scoffed at.

    There’s also another…

    Em, nup, I won’t go there…

  113. *reb, on May 19th, 2009 at 4:41 pm Said:
    The blow in stuff is utter shite.*

    WRONG

    *If you have an old house, it can tend to cause dust,*

    CORRECT

    *and the dust particles are the next best thing to asbestos (according to one tradie I spoke to).*

    UTTER BS! (Don’t start me sreb, believe me, I know.)

    *Builders loathe the stuff…*

    COULD BE – none of my tradies seemed to bother about it much…

    *Also, that blow in stuff is a fire hazard if you have hallogen down lights.* (halogen)

    MORE BS! Has a fire rating of zero…(believe me I tested it with a gas blowtorch!)

    Talk about urban myths…!

  114. Oops!

    *If you have an old house, it can tend to cause dust,*

    CORRECT – IF the installer doesn’t seal the finished job correctly with a bonding spray…

  115. Scaper, sorry to hear about the firm.

  116. Tony, I saw the writing on the wall and stripped out the cash holdings.

    When the dust settles I’ll bid for the blue chip assets under the new structure…Crapperville Holdings, LOL!

  117. Nothing to do with the fall in company profits at all eh?
    joni, on May 19th, 2009 at 4:04 pm Said:”

    Sounds like you have some extra information. What i would like to know is where has all the money gone. Daffy Duck had a predicted budget surplus last May of $22B. It is now predicted to be a $35B deficit and $58B this year.

    We seem to have lost $57B in revenue since May last year. I guess most of this was due to the most wonderful fiscal stimulus.

    But leftoids have a look at this again

    Our terms of trade are still good and we are now exporting record amounts to China. The minerals boom is still happening (i think)

    i think i will go with the obvious answer for our problems.

    The ALP is stupid

  118. Well N5, I’m not sure whether I’m particularly relieved by your clarification.

    You mentioned the disposed and a tax dodger. From what you say the burden will fall even more heavily on me. It’s now up to $120,000 for my household.

  119. TB..how did I go with my descriptions? I was responsible for There Ain’t a Better Batt and That’s That advert with Gus Mercurio (in part..it was better that the advertising manager’s suggestion). This was with Australian Gypsum before they were taken over by Boral. This was when the factory was in Nunawading Victoria.

  120. Min, on May 19th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Ha! Ha! Prejudice and bias! I knew it! 😉

  121. those types of ‘political’ calculations are terribly misleading and I am sure you know that as well

    Surely a Liberal wouldn’t go around misleading people?? /sarcasm

    When they turn back to their tradition of fear campaigning and the oldest tax in the book – a smokers tax – it’s clear the Miserable Liberals have got nothing.

    … (nothing except SerfChoices (slavery for our grandkids), the abolition of Medicare, and taxing the poor to give to the rich).

  122. You have TB, I was indoctrinated at a young age as to the benefits of insulation 😉

  123. Whoops..that didn’t read well. I meant, You have it TB.

    On that note, have to now choof due to dinner duties.

  124. Can’t resist..spuds on the boil…

    Yes Caney, Turnbull has already mooted the demise of public hospitals..as if the former government’s running down of the system wasn’t enough..by stating that everyone should have Private Health Insurance.

    Re giving to the rich..but the theory was the trickling down effect. The more that one gives to the rich, the more jobs created. Well, that was the theory in the olden days, in the last century.

  125. By the way under Trunbull’s scheme the ‘debt’ is calculated at $275 billion or 8% less. Nature 5, on May 19th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Well I cannot see how this could be predicted since the Liberals are not in government. The ALP has abolished a lot of Liberal party programs, Workchoices for example, so how the hell would Treasury know what the deficit would be if the Libs were in power??

    Another thing that would be different is the stimulus. They would be blowing $50B on handouts like the ALP has done

  126. whoops

    I meant to say they would NOT be blowing $50B like the ALP has done

  127. http://ten.com.au/media/MTP0802.doc

    ‘Meet The Press’, Channel 10, 8 February 2009

    ______

    MALCOLM FARR, THE ‘DAILY TELEGRAPH’: Let’s just, remembering those kiddies, were the Government to abandon its measures and immediately adopt yours, how much debt would that involve?

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Malcolm, what we have said is that there should be a package.

    MALCOLM FARR: You must know how much debt your scheme would involve. How much?

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Malcolm, it would involve at least – somewhere between $22 billion and $27 billion less debt and less spending.

    MALCOLM FARR: So we’re talking $180 billion versus $200 billion.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: This is, this is, this…

    ______

  128. Neil, In future I’ll just let your scribblings go straight through to the keeper. Clearly you haven’t read my links and as for Turnbull’s utterings, they also went over your head apparently.

    As for the ‘honeymoon’, Possum has some interesting and confirming graphs on the situation.

    The first shows a clear consistent decline in Rudd’s Approval regardless of the the pollster’s findings.

    .http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/files/2009/05/ruddapp.png

    The second graph shows a consistent decline in Rudd’s Disapproval.

    As for the full story, try this link to Possum.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2009/05/19/budget-pollytrend/#more-4782

  129. Sorry Caney they are not in power

    We know what Showpony and Daffy Duck are doing because they are in power. We do not know what the Libs would have done. They certainly would not have given handouts.

  130. I’m not sorry.

  131. Here are some figures on the Liberal deficit during their last recession…

    Howard treasurer, Fraser prime minister:
    Budget deficit (underlying cash balance)

    1981-82 0.3% of GDP surplus
    1982-83 1.7% of GDP
    1983-84 3.3% of GDP

    http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20070627-Why-John-Howard-never-made-the-cover-of-Euromoney.html

  132. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25498284-5013871,00.html

    George Megalogenis, The Australian, 18 May 2009

    … A projected surplus of $18.87 billion for that year is now a deficit of $44.53 billion – a turnaround of $63.4 billion.

    This is the bit the Coalition will want to ignore. Labor’s spending in 2011-12 is worth $13.2 billion, of which $6.95 billion came from the budget. The remaining $50.2 billion gap is largely Peter Costello’s doing. He left behind a budget structure that couldn’t return to surplus in recovery.

  133. Caney, on May 19th, 2009 at 6:07 pm Said:

    I’m not sorry”

    I know. all you care about is the ALP. What i would like to say is what recession???

    We have inflation at 2.5%, interest rates at 3%, unemployment at 5.4% and a small predicted fall in GDP at -0.1%. We are actually having trade surpluses and are exporting more than ever to China.

    Where has all the money gone???

    PS. What would George Meglamaniac know. Excuses, excuses. trying to blame everyone but the stupid ALP

    NO MORE BLAME GAME

  134. Re Daffy Duck. You mean that Miglo is in power! I knew that he Miglo works in Canberra, but WOW I didn’t realise that Miglo was..

    We shall have to roll out the red carpet next time Miglo appears on the blog.

  135. I know. all you care about is the ALP.

    No, Neil. I care about my children and grandchildren to come, and, believe it or not, for yours also. I don’t want to leave to them a country with an army of working poor where people are treated as dispensable second-class citizens.You obviously have no problem supporting the bastard party that has that agenda for your descendants, but I sure as hell will never support them.

  136. TB

    You must be talking about some new type of blow in stuff.

    Our old house (1890), has some blow in stuff that was put in the 1970’s. It’s made out of old newspapers (or something like that)

    It’s bloody awful stuff.

  137. I don’t want to leave to them a country with an army of working poor where people are treated as dispensable second-class citizens.
    Caney, on May 19th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Neither do i. I would be really interested in what evidence you have for these “over the top” allegations????

  138. Where has all the money gone???

    Where did the THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN BILLION DOLLARS the Liberal Party spent or gave away in their last term in office go?

    What is there to show for that money?

    All they had left to show for the mining boom was a lousy 20 billion dollars “surplus” – less than HALF the value of ONE economic stimulus package.

    The lowlife Liberals are such poor economic managers they have obviously never heard of saving for a rainy day.

    Now that it’s pissing down in buckeftuls the government has to BORROW money because the Liberals gave it all away buying votes.

  139. “No more blame game” says Liberal Neil. The same character who still goes on about economic conditions under Paul Keating.

    No more blame game … unless the double-standard Liberals can do the blaming!

  140. So why do you want SerfChoices for your kids and grandkids? Don’t you think they deserve a better social inheritance than that??

  141. All they had left to show for the mining boom was a lousy 20 billion dollars “surplus” – less than HALF the value of ONE economic stimulus package.”

    You must have been reading some dishonest leftoid journalist. The mining boom is still occuring. i don’t think it ever ended. As Scaper said we have had 10 months of trade surpluses. we are exporting more to china than ever.

    Also there would have been no mining boom if the ALP was in power. if they were in power they would have wasted the lot. The ALP does not have a tradition of saving money.

    it only knows how to spend money

    Furthermore the Libs saved plenty. They paid off $96B of Federal debt and had $40B in the kitty. Plus billion in HEEF and the Furture Fund

    The ALP are just hopeless

  142. Neil, they left just 20 billion “in the bank”, less than half the value of one economic stimulus package. This after blowing THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN BILLION DOLLARS in just one term in office.

    Why do you want SerfChoices for your kids and their kids?

  143. Neil,

    Question: Under which Government will interest rates always be at record lows?

  144. Question: Under which Government will interest rates always be at record lows?
    reb, on May 19th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    O.K. Reb you have a point.

    But we are going $300B into debt. How is the govt going to get this money?? Govt bonds. What if no-one wants to lend the govt money at the interest rate on offer?? Well they will have to increase the interest rates.

    They may be low now but for how much longer???

  145. Why do you want SerfChoices for your kids and their kids, Neil?

  146. Neil, HEEF was cleaned out at the end of last year and is under government control under the Education Investment Fund.

    It was $6.48B and I suspect it might have been earmarked for the last stimulus package.

    At least they can’t touch the Future Fund.

  147. Please excuse my earlier comment at 5.16 pm – should have been “dispossessed” not “disposed”.

    I blame the predictive text.

  148. Must admit though, Neil has convinced me at the immense hopelessness of the Rudd government. They are not only managed to stuff our surplus, but also that of most of our trading partners too!

    Amazing effort that.

    But Neil, the Australian deficit will be one of the lowest in the world in terms of % of GDP.

    Australia’s debt will be 4.9% of GDP in 2009/20, whereas the debt for Japan, US and the UK will be at around 10% or greater.

  149. Why do you want SerfChoices for your kids and their kids, Neil?
    Caney, on May 19th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Well you obviously think Serfchoices as you call it is bad. i do not know enough about Workchoices to comment.

    But i do understand debt. Do you want $300B of debt for your grandkids?? Because that is whats coming. And you just know Treasury is going to be wrong. It will be $500B for a country of $20 million people.

    And furthermore- what recession??? This from earlier “We have inflation at 2.5%, interest rates at 3%, unemployment at 5.4% and a small predicted fall in GDP at -0.1%. We are actually having trade surpluses and are exporting more than ever to China.

    Where has all the money gone???

  150. “i do not know enough about Workchoices to comment.”

    Since Neil has dodged answering why he wants SerfChoices for his kids and grandkids, I’ll answer for him …

    He wants SerfChoices because the ALP doesn’t want it. He wants whatever they don’t want, and he resists whatever they do want.

    If, hypothetically, the ALP proposed SerfChoices for his descendants, Neil would have no part of it!

    He wants SerfChoices to spite the Australian Labor Party.

    He hates the Australian Labor Party so much that he would inflict SerfChoices on his own descendants as a means of spiting that party.

    Spiting the ALP is more important to haters like Neil than leaving a decent country for their descendants to inherit.

    Most people would do anything to leave a better country for those to come after them. Not the hate-filled LIBERALS. They will happily sell their own kids’ future if it means being able to strike a blow against the ALP.

    That’s taking “cutting off one’s nose to spite his face” to an obscene, intergenerational level.

    And borne out of nothing but hatred.

    … Neil, do you think you would have appreciated your ancestors setting you up for virtual slavery simply because they happened to have a grudge against a political party in their time??

  151. Hey Caney, that’s all very well, but did you see my earlier request for you to be a little more specific about the bits of “Serfchoices” you used to hate, but probably now approve of?

  152. Tom of Melbourne, on May 19th, 2009 at 8:18 pm Said:

    specific about the bits of “Serfchoices” you used to hate, but probably now approve

    No doubt Rudd’s public position re WCs has changed considerably but that’s because he is a captive of the unions? Right? Lol. The Unions run the ALP? Lol.

    Note, I did say his ‘public position’ because privately he has little or no time for unions, particularly their political machinations.

    Truth is – Rudd’s dominate ‘ideology’ or ‘common sense’ is that of a ‘technocrat’.

  153. Yes N5, and this point only helps illustrate the paucity of independent thinking.

    If the political party they barrack for makes a pronouncement, they fall into line.

    The way the ALP has swung behind so many of the Workchoices reforms which they originally opposed, illustrates exactly how ridiculous it is to barrack for a political party.

    Nonetheless, the ALP remains the toy of factional warlords and union hacks.

  154. The Government is by-and-large delivering for working families but is constrained by fragile, authoritarian, reactionary leadership.

    The Carr and Blair models did not work. So why is the ALP and Cabinet allowing their Hollowman to speed down a dead end street?

  155. Tom of Melbourne, on May 19th, 2009 at 9:14 pm Said:

    Nonetheless, the ALP remains the toy of factional warlords and union hacks.

    And the evidence is? Or is it the case that the Unions run the ALP but not the ‘leader’? That there are real and significant limits to union power re the parliamentary ALP government? Or that the Unions are simply ‘straw men’ masking a blacker, but sincerely held, position?

    As for:

    illustrates exactly how ridiculous it is to barrack for a political party.

    Indeed it is in the parallel universe. But in the current context, it is the political ‘reality’ unless of course you are arguing for a future ‘polity’ whose members have a desire to be ‘informed’ and ‘involved’ and where the technology is developed to facilitate same?

    I note that Turnbull is highly critical of Bishop because of indiscipline so it’s an issue that crosses the political divide.

  156. Caney, on May 19th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Caney thats too funny. Thanks for giving me a good laugh

  157. Thankyou for the vote of confidence Min but I’m quite happy with the way my boss is running the country.

    Aren’t we all?

  158. Oh my god. Tom, Neil and Sparta all posting at the same time.

    It must be a full moon.

  159. It must be a full moon.
    Miglo, on May 19th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Hay Miglo do you want to add something constructive or useful???

    How about something like this. Interest on $300B at say 4% means we will be paying $12B/year on Showpony’s debt.

  160. Nice and sunny on this side of the planet….LOL….

  161. Hay Miglo do you want to add something constructive or useful???

    Neil, please feel free to set an example.

    Sparta, I didn’t realise you had a sense of humour. I’m warming to you.

  162. Neil, please feel free to set an example.
    Miglo, on May 19th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    After you

  163. OK Neil, if I must.

    Hockey is a goose.

  164. Sorry Miglo very poor attempt. Wayne Goose is the Goose. whats more you actually voted for him.

    Furthermore Hockey is not in power.

    What is it with you people and the scrunity of people who are not running the country???

    How about some comments into the people with all the power who are going to send us bankrupt???

    Hey Miglo the liberal party is not in government.

    Any comment on the at least $12B/year interest we will have to pay because of this recent ALP splurge???

  165. Nature 5, the disappointing thing about the behaviour of the affiliated unions is the way they lock up pre selection. It is a very low grade of candidate that comes through this process.

    Even the report by Hawke and Wran acknowledge that this undermines the rank & file branch participation and structure.

    Unions blocked many of the recommendations of their report, even though they were very modest and politically oriented (surprisingly!)

    However, Rudd has done well to maintain political control, though I’m not an advocate of the “personal authority model” for any organisation. It is never sustainable.

  166. Sorry Neil, that’s the best I can do at the moment.

    The $12b is a fact of life, and it won’t be around for as long as you think it will. We haven’t seen the last of the China boom and it won’t be all that long and we will again be reaping the rewards.

    This time we won’t spend the money on vote getting. It’ll be used to pay back the debt we had to incur to stave off the full effects of the global recession.

    Did you know that China has the fastest growing middle class in the world? That’s good for the rest of us.

  167. Neil

    The fact is that the coalition would have a deficit nearly as big as the ALp – Turnbull admitted it. And you continue to ignore the facts.

  168. Ducky

    And do not forget the growth here in India either.

  169. True joni, but Turnbull would have saved the country with his 3 cents tax on each cigarette.

  170. We don’t need India joni. We have China. Failing that, we can always add a 3 cents tax on each cigarette sold.

  171. We haven’t seen the last of the China boom and it won’t be all that long and we will again be reaping the rewards.
    Miglo, on May 19th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Hey Miglo or whatever your name is have a look at this link

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25440881-2702,00.html

    “However the export story would have been very different were it not for the contribution of China, whose purchases of Australian goods leapt from $3.5billion in February, itself a record, to $4.4 billion in March. China’s purchases from Australia had never exceeded $3 billion a month until last August.”

    Up to August last year we have never exported more than $3B/month. Since August last year we do this all the time and we exported $4.4B in March.

    A RECORD.

    We are exporting more to China than we ever have.

    Sorry to let the facts destroy your perverted beliefs.

  172. Joni, imagine if Howard were still PM and Turnbull was his Treasurer. There would be a 3 cents tax on each cigarette and smoking would be compulsory.

  173. Sorry to let the facts destroy your perverted beliefs.

    Neil, you urged me to offer a comment. I did, and you responded thus.

    It is a perfect example of why I generally don’t bother to even acknowledge your existence on Blogocrats.

    Go piss in the wind somewhere else.

  174. So Neil, you are still sticking to the meme that all revenue comes from the export of commodities to China?

    And ignoring the fact that the collapse in revenue is the major contributor to the deficit.

  175. Go piss in the wind somewhere else.
    Miglo, on May 19th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    The facts are we have never exported more than $3B/month to China up to August last year.

    In March 2009 we exported $4.4B the highest amount ever.

    I have called your beliefs perverted because that is exactly what they are.

    furthermore you do not care about Australia.

    All you care about is your Lord and master Kevin Rudd

  176. Joni, please tell Neil that I do care about Australia. That’s why I helped vote Howard out.

  177. And ignoring the fact that the collapse in revenue is the major contributor to the deficit.
    joni, on May 19th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    O.K. we have a collapse in revenue.

    Why is this so??

    I am not blaming Kevin Rudd for the GFC. But he has to face up to it.

    I would like to know why this revnue has collapsed.

    We have 5.4% unemployment and our terms of trade are still good.

    we exported $4.4B to China in March 2009- a record.

  178. I think Neil might be suffering from a structural deficit of some sort. Is that possible?

  179. Yes.

  180. Look at the budget papers which show the collapse Neil. You know – the recession – which caused company profits to fall (less tax), the stockmarket to fall (less capital gains tax), etc

    But you just blame it all on the ALP.

    And how come most other countries have also had a collapse in revenue Neil? Is this also a mirage?

    And if it is the ALP that is responsible for all of the deficit (as you seem to keep implying) – why has governments payments not increased by the same amount as the projected defiict? It the difference between revenue and payments must have come from somewhere?

  181. Joni, you have a way of structuring an argument that I admire. You present facts. You put up a good case. I wish I had your skill.

    I just take to ’em with the baseball bat.

  182. Neil of Sydney, on May 19th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I think it’s because running Government and stewarding the economy is costly; finely-tuned Ferraris, especially second-hand ones, require up-keep and servicing after all, and can’t just be red-lined for years and years, nor driven without any insurance or money set aside for repairs, can they? I had also heard talk that Rudd was considering excising Sydney from Australian territories and selling it to China, which seemed eminently sensible to me, given that NSW is basically a bankrupt money-pit, and the worst of it can be handed over to someone else as their problem with just a dash of knock-inhibitor.

  183. Ducky

    It is because I have to deal with ID 10 T’s all day at work, the only thing that works is facts facts facts.

    I actually think that in reality, governments have very little effect on the economy in the short term, it is only over a long period of time that they have any true effect. I think that it would not matter who was in power at the moment (in regards to the deficit).

    My gripes with the Howard government were over human rights and the direction that he was leading the country (Hanson, Workchoices, Haneef, etc) – not over his handling of the economy.

  184. But you just blame it all on the ALP.”

    Well it is the obvious starting point.

    I think the ALP is very keen to blame everything on the GFC. They know that they have a blind dead tribal following of at least 45% of the Australian population.

    The media, ABC and basically everybody like the ALP.

    Let us all surrender and blame everything on the GFC, Howard, Liberals anything other than the current government

  185. Haneef, etc
    Joni

    i notice you have been/are in india. did you bring up haneef???

    i actually work with people from India and guess what. They don’t trust him either.

    Just wondering if people from India blamed you for haneef’s treatment

  186. Min refers above to the lifting of the pensionable age, putting it in the context of average life expectancies.

    Interesting point.

    One of the first (if not The First) countries to introduce something we’d recognise as a modern Pension was Germany in 1889. Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor hisself, was the dude responsible for it, too. And his pensionable age was a nice hoary 70.

    Old Iron Britches was no fool.

    See, he’d had a chat to some actuarial bean counters who’d advised him that the average Prussian was likley to be dead by 45 (courtesy of a French bullet, excess ham-hocks & bier, or some such) and figured-out that only 0.5% or thereabouts of the working population would ever live to 70 to collect Der Wunderbar Volkischer Pension.

    That way he could keep the punters happy with a dangling carrot and still be able to sling most of the dosh to those nice people over at Krupps because nearly all of the mugs would be Kaput before they ever qualified at age 70.

    Since then, I suppose we’ve moved-on a bit.

    But not much.

  187. We haven’t seen the last of the China boom and it won’t be all that long and we will again be reaping the rewards.
    Miglo, on May 19th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Miglo you told a lie and i cannot stand dishonesty. This mining boom did not start until 2003. Costello had run many budget surpluses before this.

    Furthermore we are exporting more than ever to China. $4.4B in March 2009- a record

    You were trying to say like the leftoid you are, that Howard/costello got lucky.

    We had good government for 11 years and people like you voted them out

  188. I see JA over at the Australian has an article on the proposed new legislation on the new unfair contract terms legislation snuck in the pre-budget week and has only eleven days of consultation!

    This could render the contracts I use as an unenforceable piece of paper.

    It will also cause uncertainty for both parties and be the cash cow of the legal fraternity and be inflationary as it will increase the proportion of risk that will be built into pricing.

    This government is increasingly looking inept as every week passes.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25508672-7583,00.html?from=public_rss

  189. Neil of Sydney @ 11:57 pm.

    What the f*** are you an about!!!!

  190. This is a comment by George over at Meganomics that might shine some light on how long the debt will take to repay.

    “You need a run of surpluses to pay off the debt.
    A decade of $20bn a year surpluses gets you $200bn. The first year of surplus is said to be 2015-16. So I’d say 2025 at the earliest, assuming an asset sale here or there.

    Problem for this Government is the last two governments sold all the silverware. This time, debt retirement has to be done the hard way, through public savings.”

    I will add that paying off the interest could add eight years to his prognosis…especially if we suffer another economic shock in the interim.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/debt_dodge_stretches_logic/

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