Refrained from posting on the train as I wanted to peruse the press and find some tid-bits here and there about the budget.
Firstly let me start with the comment in p3 of the Aust Financial Review which says in bold writing about Peter Costello:
“He couldn’t risk things going pear shaped as he draws closer to gaining the Leadership”
Yes that’s right kids, the budget of the nation and where people base life changing decisions (e.g does the wife/mother work or stay at home?, do we retire now or in 5 yrs?) is determined on the basis of a single man’s political leadership aspirations.
When will we realise that we cannot combine the interests of the country at large with the interests of individuals and their political careers. Why is the fiscal responsibility of the country given to a man who is more self centred than right wing? I could live with high taxes and the like if I knew that the man making the decisions was doing it for the good of the country, but what I don’t like is that this budget was a cheap grab at electoral votes.
So a history lesson for us. During the last election, Labor was crucified because they refused to rule out interest rate hikes. Liberal’s lampooned Beazley about this and used a smear campaign that said a vote for Labor is a vote for higher interest rates. End result, the Liberals won but our rates went up under a Liberal leadership.
Now we are being bought by tax reductions, yet the main feeling is that this will increase interest rates. Whilst people will recall the days that we lived with 17% rates, the level of gearing in society was a lot lower and the mortgage to income ratio was also lower. Large rate rises should be avoided at all costs and as such, again I come back to Costello delivering tax cuts for votes rather than for long term benefit of the country. If Banks would stop being so ready to lend money against home equity, we wouldn’t be in this cycle, but the fact is we are.
What is the good if tax cuts deliver 4-5% savings on the income if the trade off is a 10% increase in expenditure. Whilst I am happy to receive my tax cut, I am also concerned of the knock on effects over the next 6 months.
On other things in general… why are we so caught up about High to Middle to Low income earners. I earn a “high income” by definition, but I am by no means cash rich. It seems that the Tall Poppy Syndrome is well in effect when everyone says that low income earners should be given a better helping hand. Well how about low income earners do something about it? When they were wagging school, quitting in Year 10 and saying University is for nerds, well I bet you regret it now. I know that that sounds harsh, but everyone I know at work worked hard to get where they are today and is now reaping those benefits. It seems that I can hear A Current Affair or Today Tonight now, knocking on the door of some dole bludger in “Struggle Street” who will complain about all us ‘Richies’ in our Porsches. *yawn*
Also, I hope whoever is sprouting the theory that there should be some tax relief to help people pay for Private Schools, they should be shot. Private Schools are already heavily funded by the Government greater than the schools that they are supposed to be running for us. To think that people should then get further discounts in their taxes to pay for that should be ashamed. If you want to go to private school, fine but it must remain user pays!
Superannuation – the less tax on this the better. We should try to make people self sufficient on their super to reduce pension costs and hence the removal of all exit taxes after the age of 60 is good. However, we are yet to see the first people retiring on full working life super (ie people who started work in 1987) and wont for many a year yet. The advice has to be don’t count on anything in this years budget being still in force when these people (namely myself) retire in 20-30 years time.
Funding for ChildCare places. I am all for making child care more affordable, but what about making life more affordable in general so that mum can stay at home during the child raising years? I would prefer to have a higher allowance for stay at home mums. It would have more social benefits too to ensure that kids are looked after at home instead of pseudo foster care via Child Care Centres. I never blame the parents for having to put kids through this as it’s the way society is now that 2 incomes is essentially a requirement today. If Howard was more about family values, he’d be doing all he can to assist people keep the family unit together.
That’s about it… I think I have ranted enough. Feel free to flame or praise me.