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Abbott takes poll hit over budget, as Shorten surges as preferred PM

The budget has driven the government’s vote down and pushed Bill Shorten decisively ahead of Tony Abbott as preferred prime…

In the wake of the budget, disapproval of Prime Minister Tony Abbott has skyrocketed. AAP/Lukas Coch

The budget has driven the government’s vote down and pushed Bill Shorten decisively ahead of Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, in two polls today.

The Nielsen poll in Fairfax Media has the opposition leader with an 11 point lead over Abbott as preferred prime minister, while the Australian’s Newspoll has him with a 10 point advantage as better prime minister.

In the Nielsen poll, Abbott’s approval has plummeted 9 points since April to 34%, while his disapproval is up 12 points to 62%.

His net approval is minus 28%, a massive 21 point fall, after a budget that people see as unfair, bad for Australia and bad for them personally - although they are equally divided on whether it is economically responsible.

Abbott’s rating is in the territory of Gillard’s in her dark days.

The Coalition’s two party vote has crashed four points. It trails Labor 44%-56% in a result that will wipe out speculation about a double dissolution and strengthen the resolve of Labor and the minor parties to resist controversial measures in the Senate.

Government and opposition have reversed position on primary votes in a month. The Coalition is at 35%, a five point drop, with Labor’s vote soaring six points to 40%. Palmer’s PUP has risen two points to 6% while the Greens are down three points to 14%.

The opposition leader’s approval has risen four points to 47%, while his disapproval is 39%, down two points. His net approval is plus eight, up six points.

Shorten has surged ahead to lead as preferred prime minister 51%, up seven points, to Abbott’s 40%, down five points.

This is the first time Shorten has been in front as preferred PM.

Abbott has also fallen behind as preferred PM faster than any predecessor except Paul Keating, who started behind.

The public slapdown of the budget comes as Abbott rejected a call from premiers and chief ministers for a special meeting of the Council of Australian Governments to discuss the budget’s $80 billion cuts in health and education which they condemned in the strongest terms at a meeting in Sydney yesterday.

Nearly two thirds of those polled (63%) said the budget was not fair. This is 20 points up from the proportion who thought Labor’s last budget unfair. A question on fairness was asked after some eight of 19 budgets since 1996 - this was the first time a majority said the budget wasn’t fair.

Only one third believed the budget was fair – down 13 points since last year.

Nearly three quarter (74%) said they would be worse off from the budget; only 8% said they would be better off.

Almost two thirds (65% - up 17 points from last year) were dissatisfied with the budget; one third were satisfied.

More than half (53%) said it would be bad for Australia; 42% believe it will be good for the country.

While 49% said it was economically responsible, 48% believed it is not.

The poll of 1400 was taken Thursday to Saturday.

The government’s measure to increase the tax on petrol is strongly opposed (72% against, 25% in favour) but the income tax levy has public support (50% in favour, 37% against). Both measures broke Abbott’s promise not to increases taxes.

The abolition of the mining tax, which has not yet received Senate approval is opposed by 56% and supported by only 37%.

People are divided about the scrapping of the carbon tax, also awaiting the passage of legislation by the Senate - with 49% in favour and 46% against.

An increase in the GST - which the government has been trying to get the states to make a matter of active debate - is opposed by 66% and supported by only 30%.

In Newspoll, 48% said it was a bad budget for the country. The Coalition’s primary vote fell two points to 36% while Labor was up four points to 38%, giving Labor a two-party lead of 55-45%

When he was tackled in an ABC interview yesterday about his broken promises Abbott said: “People hear different things. But we constantly talked about Labor spending like a drunken sailor. It was always obvious that we were going to rein back unsustainable spending.”

He said that in the end it was for people to judge. “But I believe that we have fundamentally kept faith with the promises that we made pre-election.

“Yes, I accept that the deficit levy will impact on the top 3% of taxpayers. Yes, I accept that the fuel excise indexation will cost, in the first year, the average family 40 cents a week. I accept all of that. But we did say we were going to get the budget back under control and I believe that this was what the people of Australia elected us to do. If I’m wrong, they will cast their votes accordingly at the next election.

“Why would I be exposing myself, why would my colleagues be exposing themselves and ourselves to a world of political pain if we didn’t think it was absolutely necessary for the long term good of our country?”

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said there was “white hot anger in the community about this budget”. Labor is opposing measures worth some $18 billion. Bowen defended the size of its attack on the budget’s savings saying “what we are doing is voting according to our principles”.

Join the conversation

157 Comments sorted by

    1. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Victor Jones

      Good point. Worth setting the record straight! Otherwise a great post by David Stein. Thanks!

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    2. Greg Young

      Program Director

      In reply to Thomas Liszt

      "Just as a reminder, one of the tools used to bring down government’s and damage politicians reputations is the excessive use of polls. In other words telling an already severely fact impaired electorate what to think."

      After six months of negative poll results and a further massive crash now his real poiicy platform is in the public domain at long last, it is instructive to compare the handling of Abbott's polling challenges with Gillard's.

      Are we now going to see weekly articles based on…

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    3. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Greg Young

      Exactly!

      Wouldn't it be great if posters here on TC had a forum allowing for intelligent conversation on various topics without having to digest shallow, often one sided, opinion based commentary by the usual culprits?

      Fact based, researched, unbiased articles I am talking about.

      Is it even possible, I ask you, or am asking for too much?

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    4. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to David Stein

      “But I believe that we have fundamentally kept faith with the promises that we made pre-election."

      Clearly Abbott cannot be honest even with himself. He condemns himself with his own weasel words. At the rate he is going he will put himself out of office and hopefully drag the rest of the loony right with him.

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    5. Kai Chen

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Stein

      good point- the polls will determine when Nemesis will take her revenge.
      The revenge will happen on state election first, Vic, QLD election this year.
      It's like the time when Gillard is in power, the state labour party is punished by the fault of party in Canberra.
      Let's sit and watch.

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    6. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Do you think there will be a challenge to Abbott, Alice? Turnbull, Scott Morrison? Joe Hockey will likely be too damaged.

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    7. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Victor Jones

      Victor, something cannot be given if the recipient does not agree to accept it. Gillard made a promise before the 2010 election and then broke it.
      Gillard could have chosen to decline to accept the deal with the independents, but she chose to accept it. She admitted the carbon tax differed from her election commitments. In any event, I was trying to make the point that Abbott, more than anyone should understand the implications of a broken promise.

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    8. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Greg Young

      Greg, the polling articles are here to stay, unfortunately. While disastrous polls for Abbott may bring some a little schadenfreude, I agree the endless cycle of polls is horrible for intelligent policy debates.
      That being said, I'm not sure if there's anyone in the Liberal Party who is quite like Rudd. Michelle would be in a position to know who, if anyone, is leaking or backgrounding against Abbott. At this stage, I'd say the Liberal Party will try to keep it together and see what happens over…

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    9. Sonum Norbu

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Stein

      hahahahahahahahaaha You are talking about one "Broken " promise. Noe every single promist. lalalalaa

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    10. Greg Young

      Program Director

      In reply to David Stein

      "Gillard made a promise before the 2010 election and then broke it.
      Gillard could have chosen to decline to accept the deal with the independents, but she chose to accept it. She admitted the carbon tax differed from her election commitments."

      This is a very naive and nuance-free interpretation of political promises.

      Whenever a promise is made in the course of an election campaign, there is ALWAYS an implied condition of "If I am elected ...". This does not need spelling out to sensible voters…

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    11. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Unfortunately Alice the public was "that stupid" to vote him in the first place. Abbott has form as a liar and the Liberals have form as an anti-welfare, privatize and outsource everything ideologically driven bunch of misfits.

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    12. Ian Rudd
      Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

      In reply to Kai Chen

      Kai, if state liberal governments lose the next elections it will be their own austerity policies and lying promises that will be their undoing, helped along by their federal counterpart who are adopting the exact same policies.

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    13. Dave Bradley

      logged in via email @yahoo.com.au

      In reply to David Stein

      Yep and had she not done so these monsters would have gutted our health and pensions and education then like they are now. Ms Gillard I salute you.

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    14. Dave Bradley

      logged in via email @yahoo.com.au

      In reply to Victor Jones

      The assassin of our doesn't want to be forgiven, he's done the job he was employed to do, he will just flee the scene

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    15. Victor Jones

      Freelance

      In reply to David Stein

      And that promise was made based on leading with a MAJORITY government - anyone with an ounce of critical thought knows that is implied.

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    16. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Victor Jones

      Election commitments are not made subject to contingencies. With asterisks and fine print. Minority government does not mean a party's policy platform is thrown out the window - what an extraordinary idea.
      Governments make policy compromises all the time. The honest thing to do is admit the differences between election commitments and policy implementation. Which, to her credit, Gillard did.
      Critical thinking epithets aside, the caps lock thing is really rather unflattering, it's not quite October 22.

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    17. Victor Jones

      Freelance

      In reply to David Stein

      "Election commitments are not made subject to contingencies."
      Well, not in the case of parties that couldn't care less about outright lying, like the Simpleton Party (which is ironic considering their members are more likely to be founded on religious belief, that trumpets honesty and integrity - wouldn't you know it, there was even political/sociological research in the USA that tried to explain why right wing parties do this - I'll link it if you want)

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    18. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to David Stein

      DavidI think Sharman Stone might be good, but her own party don't like her because she stood up for SPC Ardmona, so she's on the back bench forever. (But Fiona Nash, was good news for Cadbury and Tasmanian Senator Abetz, so she stays in the Senate). Politics!!!

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    19. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Jane Middlemist

      I agree Jane. I think there are backbenchers in the Liberal and National parties who know their chances of promotion are pretty non-existent, so they chart more independent courses for themselves. As long as they retain support among their local branches, they are pretty much immune from challenge.
      I do think it's pretty pathetic, however, that we haven't heard a peep from a lot of National and Liberal party rural members about welfare and kicking kids off the dole under 30. Unemployment in the…

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    1. Candice Oliver

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Victor Jones

      Well Bolt's recent article is that we're being too hard on Tony and we need to lay off. From the sounds of him I think he's broken.

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    2. Sean Douglas

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Hi Alice, I heard the nsw minister on radio, if i got it right they have had 17 mea culpas with the current amnesty ..... yeah it;s a real "rort" of un-epic proportions. I doubt it would equal Hockey's $50K dinner all up.

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    1. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Frey

      I'm waiting for Bill And Christine to tell the electorate how they are going to turn the ship of state around and "balance the budget"
      This budget only minimally lowers the rate of "rise" in the National Debt, it does nothing to quell the explosive rise we have seen over the past seven years. Wait till you see the measures needed to turn that rise around.
      The opposition still has its head in the sand as to the repercussions of its current "do nothing" stance.

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  1. Peter Richard Smith OAM

    Retired

    Whilst as a pensioner I dislike some of the budget when are people going to realize we can not live on borrowed funds forever. The previous government gained popularity by giving and people got used to the free ride well now it is time to pay the piper. Suck up and just get on with helping Australia.

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    1. Victor Jones

      Freelance

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      It's the way they have gone about it. Try to be less dichotomous in your thinking.

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    2. Victor Jones

      Freelance

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      "Why are people still being gullible?"
      Because they lack the cognitive effort to think critically

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    3. Peter Frey

      Project Officer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      ... or even worse if you are a young person - the next generation, totally excluded and left with absolutely no hope.

      What sort of Australia does Peter Richard Smith want to live in?

      There is no budget "emergency" - that was a lie. As a lie, there is no mandate for the government - they need to go.

      There are many issues we all must sit down - together, and resolve but not at any time, if that means that specific sections of the community are going to be deliberately excluded, permanently.

      If we cannot be socially cohesive then we will deserve the chaos that will result from losing the essential principles and values we had an Australians. Its time for every descent person to make a stand.

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    4. Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Retired

      In reply to Victor Jones

      If they are thrown out it will not be for at least three or is it four years. Yes my thinking maybe dichotomous but I always say what is on my mind what I mean.

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    5. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Peter!
      Nothing wrong with expressing how we feel. It is good to see that more people, hopefully, are starting to become engaged even though apparently initially only when their hip pocket is affected.
      Good idea for me personally and to keep things in perspective I keep abreast of various topics by getting information from various online sources (no hardcopies and no NewsCorp rubbish).

      Try IA for example:

      www.independentaustralia.net

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    6. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Peter, few would disagree that revenue and spending must over the medium term, be brought into balance.

      But the key issue is the objective unfairness of the budget. Its impact will be borne overwhelmingly by the lower income earners, pensioners (not self funded retirees) whilst the highest income earners are barely affected.

      For the first time since 2005 Joe Hockey's budget papers did not provide a summary of impacts of various groups and this was not an oversight but a calculated action to hide the impact.

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    7. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Peter, the previous government may not have been the epitome of financial responsibility but to blame that government while ignoring the porkbarrelling of the Howard government is a little disingenuous. It was Howard and Costello, remember, who started spending wildly when the polls were not in their favour. Does the baby bonus ring a bell? I think you'll find most governments spend unwisely. The current mob seem happy to spend billions on a dodgy fighter aircraft that hasn't met even basic reliability and performance standards. Why aren't you complaining about that?

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    8. Greg Young

      Program Director

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      "Whilst as a pensioner I dislike some of the budget when are people going to realize we can not live on borrowed funds forever."

      The thing is, this is simply not true; we can. Governments borrow on an unending basis - have you ever known a time when there was no government debt in Australia? The same is true of large commercial enterprises; the vast majority will always be holding some form of debt or other liabilities to enable them to invest for the future.

      A government is not a household, and our accumulated government debt is not a single debt. In reality, we pay off our government debts all the time and create new debt at lower rates to the debt we held before, due to the global interest rate climate and our AAA rating. If there were any qualms at all about our debt position, we would not have those ratings, being one of the very few countries in the world to have them. (A position never attained by any coalition government).

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    9. Doug Pollard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Even if you accept the fiction of a budget emergency, or a bad position re debt, it's obvious the 'pain' is being brought to bear on the people least able to bear it. It's ideologically driven, nothing to do with economics. If the govt wanted to be fear, they could end negative gearing, grandfathering current arrangements if necessary, end the $30 billion a year 'religious' tax exemptions rort, end the high income super perks, tax the overseas profit shifting by multinationals, perhaps via a turnover rather than a profits tax, restore the full mining tax, or better yet, create a tax to snaffle excess profits whenever and wherever they arise (hello banks, this means you) . . . . and that's just off the top of my head. The greatest pain should be borne by those with the greatest means, not those with the least.

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    10. Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Retired

      In reply to Blair Donaldson

      I am not sure weather the spending on the aircrafts is as you put it, "on a dodgy fighter aircraft that hasn't met even basic reliability and performance standards" but I believe in keeping up defense spending.

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    11. Ron Seddon

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I think you're being extremely over-dramatic with that analogy. We are still an overpaid nation, as the closing of Mitsubishi, Ford and Holden and others have shown, we have become uncompetitive on the world market. Australians really do have short memories, not helped by Labor's constant re-writing of history, which began with Kevin Rudd's 23 minute Defeat/Victory speech, and it's been constantly re-written ever since by Bill Shorten.

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    12. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Yes of course - it's defence - let's spend!

      But do we need these super high tech fighters to take out fishing boats? How many planes has China got? Can our pilots read maps any better than our sailors?

      What are we defending? From whom? We know who the REAL enemies to Our Way of Life really are - young people, their grandparents and especially sick people ... wandering about the countryside spreading their filthy diseases.

      Where is the extra funding for prisons and police that was implicit in the Commission of Audit - all benefits, no costs.... they just assumed you can cut things and the result is all plusses and black ink. Not really right is it?

      I'd much prefer to see the defence spend moved to fighting the real menace - the enemies within. Razor wire on our schools and hospitals NOW! The homeless and the beggars are coming!

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    13. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Tony Abbott seems to be giving borrowed funds a run for their money, 'Peter'. New fighter jets, parental leave the-more-you-have-the-more-you-get, marriage counseling, more priests in schools, even a company tax cut.
      I did see that the Joe and Tony deficits stretch out for the forward estimates too. Now... about that budget emergency?

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    14. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter, I think we may have seen "Peter" before. The lovely OAM suffix reminds me of a certain Knight we used to see around here.

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    15. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      Peter, the point is that Abbott and Hockey persist in peddling the myth that they are (or will be) great managers of our economy and keepers of the books yet there seems to be growing evidence each day that they are really only punishing the less well off while they pander to their business mates and party donors.

      Keeping up defence spending when the Defence Department has a proven record of abysmal maintenance and accountability of assets is one of the greatest wastes successive governments have turned a blind eye to. It was only a couple of years ago the Navy had to decommission a couple of ships because they were rotten with rust because of poor maintenance.

      If Abbott spent more time working with foreign governments instead of antagonising them (as with China, Indonesia and New Guinea) I think we could make defence dollars provide more bang for the buck, pardon the pun.

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    16. Janeen Harris

      chef

      In reply to Ron Seddon

      Yes, we are an overpaid nation. The sacked Qantas workers would think Alan Joyce was over paid. I think our CEO's in general are overpaid and upper-management could do a bit more for less. How do we get them to contribute more?

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    17. Suzy Gneist
      Suzy Gneist is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Multi-tasker at Graphic Design & Montville Coffee

      In reply to Peter Frey

      "What sort of Australia does Peter Richard Smith want to live in?" better to ask what kind of future PR Smith wants to live in or wants future generations to live in (I can't be sure if PRS is looking further ahead than his own lifetime). The ideology behind these cuts will stay with us much longer than the cuts themselves - the damage done by breaches of trust will be long lasting, even if the measures are ameliorated in the near future. The next generation will be based in the world view that is being established by the LNP and may well find it difficult to establish future trust with any government and society in Australia, having been betrayed and future-loaded by the current system.

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    18. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Blair Donaldson

      Ha! "Peter OAM" is rather Monty Pythonesque - very true. A certain titled commenter has had a remarkable number of incarnations - if indeed the same person. The stuffier and more preposterous the name the better. Although, it seems the Knighthoods have run dry and now we are being treated to the lesser Australian honors.

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    19. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      Spot on Janeen, imagine all those poor suffering CEO's having to have their excesses wages and perks reduced for the good of the country and/or companies they frequently mismanage? Imagine the rush on hospital beds and counsellors after CEO's and company directors were forced to cut back on their posh lunches and after-dinner liqueurs. I suspect their frequent demands of the workers would suddenly take a backseat as self-interest intruded on their pontifications.

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    20. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to David Stein

      It's funny how some "gonged" folks like to display their baubles (no, not those ones) to the great unwashed. The good folks who generally deserve such titles generally feel embarrassed and tend to hide their light under a bushel – so I'm always a bit suspect when folks like Peter OAM (only a mammal?) insist on tacking letters on after their name as though it confers some extra authority to their commentary.

      Now that our PM has restored knighthoods, it can only be a matter of time before stocks are required to be the pre-eminent bauble in all town squares/malls. The old OAM will look decidedly tarnished by comparison.

      Failing that, expect flag stones describing the brilliance and ability of our PM and treasurer – so that we all may feel suitably privileged being ruled by such personages.

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    21. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Janeen Harris

      Yes Janeen, the country was in a better financial position last year, but the last Swan budget added another $40 odd billion dollars to our credit card. Remember we are now paying interest of $1,000 million dollars a month. We were not paying that under the last Coalition Government. Worst of all we have nothing to show for it.

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    22. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Thomas Liszt

      Thomas is sounding like someone reliant on the government purse for a livlehood.

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    23. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Jack Ruffin

      Jack, comparing nations within the OECD is a furphy. Countries such as Italy with massive debt, are funding that debt from within.
      Our AAA credit rating is thrown up as a signal as to our fiscal position, it is worth remembering that Lehmann Bros. had a AAA rating right up to the morning that it collapsed. Tell that to the people that bought their bonds!

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    24. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Murray Shaw

      Hi Murray,

      "Thomas is sounding like someone reliant on the government purse for a "livelihood".

      Sorry to disappoint, wrong assumption!
      Fortunately, through foresight and wise investments, I am not reliant on government handouts.

      My main concern at the moment is the health (economic and otherwise) of my country, which at present is threatened by incompetent ideological vandals.

      I intend to do my bit to get rid of them – NOW – before any more damage is done!

      Hope you'll join me!

      Cheers.

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    25. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Thomas Liszt

      Sorry Thomas,
      I am all for the actions of this government, if anything they have not gone far enough, but my guess is there is more to come as they move towards a balanced budget, which is so far not on the horizon.
      I choose to look in here occasionally to see what my political enemies are thinking, and see that they are still talking only to themselves.
      I do get some enjoyment seeing the build up of angst as the contributors here see their time in the sun disappearing over the hill.
      The performance…

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    26. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Murray Shaw

      You obviously do not look in here often enough Murray, otherwise you might actually have learnt something about what this government is doing. It is clearly spearheading us into a recession. It has withdrawn support for investments into niche industries which will cause a slowdown in growth. Particularly as our mining sector is slackening. Now that Modi and the BJP have won the election in India, we can expect no joy from that country with regards to fossil fuel exports. China now has the worlds…

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    27. Robert Tony Brklje
      Robert Tony Brklje is a Friend of The Conversation.

      retired

      In reply to Peter Richard Smith OAM

      What about corporation hiding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax havens. Perhaps we maybe should target them first. Talk about a free ride.
      Don't ever forget the rich get a free ride on the cost difference between what workers get paid and what customers pay, it's called profit, another free ride.
      So who exactly has to suck it up and how are should they be sucking, pensioner and the unemplyed or cheating corporations and the rich and greedy.

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    1. Peter Frey

      Project Officer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Hi Ronald .... you might remeber that Abbott and co have already boycotted you.

      Pre-budget, Abbott took great pains to warn every minister, every backbencher, every coalition member and staffer to noty listen, not hear and not see the electorate - bunker down!

      So I agree with you ... in the democracy that we still think we have for the moment, where the elected leaders have lied and deliberately exclude the electorate we don't have a choice.

      The government is not in a position to govern. It has no mandate. It has ceased to function.

      It must go.

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    2. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Peter Frey

      Case in point. Only on an online publication did I see a recent Parliament video where Pyne used the 'c' four letter word in reference to a Labor front bencher. Bronwyn Bishop, who thus far has only expelled Labor MPs for the most minor infractions, gently told him to retract. He laughingly did so. I can imagine the media frenzy if a Gillard or Rudd Minister said the same word. Instead we get silence! How is that for bias?

      Pyne, perhaps the most obnoxious of the LNP Front Bench, keeps telling everyone that he represents the adult Government now in charge. Abbott in his first speech to Parliament said that decency and decorum would be re-introduced. Now, folks, how do you think that is going?

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    3. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Sorry Ron,
      We just had a vote and your side LOST! So just suck it up and wait till the next round. If your lot had not been so incompetent and disunified, they could have still been there. But then again that was never going to be.....was it.

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    1. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Rhyme required for double dissolution
      causing pollution, seeking absolution,, no convolution, just retribution, double dissolution, tum te tum tum DUMB.

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    2. Fred Pribac

      logged in via email @internode.on.net

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      " Cue the banjo "

      The banjo is too refined for this mob's lament.

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    3. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Yes indeed Fred- particularly those more delicate and refined banjos that might make reference to classical physics ... so I've opted for wailing pedal steel guitar, a bit of howling harmonica and perhaps a few mournful dog yelps at the intro.

      The rollicking chorus runs on a theme of him not respecting us in the morning... he said he'd call ... but he shrugs and walks away ... laughin with his mates chompin on their stinkin ceegars ... left me feelin cheap and used... that sort of thing.

      It's an age-old theme. Geez who knew eh?

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    4. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Max Bourke AM

      Mr Max, and Mr Peter (to whom, thanks). I used to think slogans and chants were silly until the last election, when I noticed how well they worked - for the LNP.

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    5. Jeremy Culberg

      Electrical Asset Manager at Power Generation

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      A double dissolution is a trouble solution? Brings the revolution? Brings absolution? Not sure quite which way to go with that.

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  2. Barry White

    Retired

    The change in ratings is not a surprise when you read the comments here.
    There is a profound ignorance of the situation in which the country finds itself. The GFC will be back around 2017 if not sooner if interest rates rise, but the public generally, as indicated by the comments here, do not realise that they
    DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY !

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    1. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Barry White

      Sorry Barry.

      I believe your response is inspired by the narrrow focus of the shallow types of articles that are so dominant in our mediocre media. They never, and are not even trying to, present the whole picture. That's the problem.

      I am afraid, in my opinion, and with respect, your response comes across as very simplistic.

      Peter Frey, good onya, explained it very well when he said (worth repeating):

      The GFC will be back not because the interest rates have not risen, but because no…

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    2. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Michael Rowan

      Hmmm... Yes.

      Every time I hear about Australia's AAA credit rating given by the three major ratings agencies I think of the AAA rating given (by the same agencies) to the sub prime derivative packages sold by the millions around the world that eventually brought the world economy to its knees.

      We live in flaky times.

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    3. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Hi Felix.

      I think what we have here is a government that has opportunistically taken their confected "budget emergency" as an excuse to sculpt an Australia that is in keeping with their ideological vision. They are trying to do it all in one hit.

      And it's not a very nice place, as far as I can see.

      Now let's see. I am an age pensioner who has rheumatoid arthritis and Meniere's disease. This requires me to have blood tests every 8 weeks plus regular visits to specialists and my GP. Every day I take a toxic cocktail of prescription drugs that prevent my joints from gradually falling to pieces and my inner ears from being destroyed. I don't have to do much adding up to know that Tone and the boys have, at a stroke, completely compromised my future.

      I would love an election tomorrow.

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    4. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Ross Barrell

      Well, I'd rather we invested in keeping you out of the ER at your local hospital than a bunch of non-functional aircraft to fight nobody in particular...

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    5. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Barry White

      "DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY"
      This is arguably a false statement. The larger section of those they are taking money from, do not have the money.
      As a result, will their behaviour make the economy grow, or atrophy.
      No. Their winners and losers strategy will fail, as will their poll numbers. There aren't many who still believe in their model of conservative land, or its 'effect'.
      If they went to the last election stating; we will cut pensions, unemployment benefits, health, education, shift responsibility for these two to the states, cut the ABC and SBS, CSIRO, surprise everyone with a brutal series of cuts etc, lie about the grand plan to 'modify' the Australian economy, lie about not lying .. what would have happened?
      They will be punished because their plan is a radical conservative assault upon the poorer in Australia.

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    6. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Yes, Felix

      I don't mind doing some heavy lifting as long as the big end of town lifts to their capacity as well. This will not be happening in Tony Abbott's world.

      And of course, "heavy lifting" is only necessary if there is a genuine budget emergency - and there is not.

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    7. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Yes Alice. But such candor as you are proposing would be mind boggling. Maybe Gina and members of the IPA would have voted for them.

      My understanding is that Tony also has plans for the Federation, and apparently all this stuff is in his book, Battle Lines, published in 2009. We were all warned in advance; and who actually paid attention?

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    8. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Peter Frey

      Peter, if the interest rtes in the US rise the financiers will pull out of the tight oil financing and production will decline sharply in a couple of months. It was the rise in oil prices that set off the 2008 GFC and even if interest rates do not rise the prices will rise again somewhere around 2017 and set off the next GFC.
      You might find this enlightening.
      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-16/does-peak-oil-matter

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    9. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Barry White

      Had a look at that interview on oil and the GFC ... bit of a stretch really ... lots of volatility in the oil price that didn't trigger a financial panic.

      There's a better explanation of the origins of this particular asset bubble is found here ... it's modelling (WARNING)... but the introductory explanation is nice and succint. http://melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/conferences/mckibbin_stoeckel_session_5.pdf

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    10. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Michael Rowan

      Michael,
      As I have posted elsewhere, Lehmann Bros. had a AAA rating right up to the morning that they collapsed. A AAA rating is not worth a toss since 2008.

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  3. R. Ambrose Raven

    none

    What are the gutless wonders at the top of the trade union movement doing?

    ACTU and national trade union leaderships were always going to be keen to do nothing and protest-shift onto the general public. On the day after the Budget they (understandably, in this case) circularised: “The fight back starts now and we need you to play a central part. We are hitting the airways with new ads that spell out simply and clearly the damage that Tony Abbott is doing to the Australian way of life. You can…

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  4. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey and the LNP do NOT have a mandate to redistribute public wealth (our taxes) so that the education and health systems are gutted, and companies get tax relief (down 1.5%) while working people do the 'heavy lifting'.

    This is a totally deceitful government, which is prepared to spend mega-billions on defence (mainly to benefit overseas corporations), and see more and more Australians face harsh financial futures or destitution.

    Images of Joe Hockey's cigars and Tony Abbott's sharing wine with the media say it all: this government is governing for the rich and powerful, and is prepared to let vulnerable Australians face unemployment, sickness, disabilities suffer further indignities of poverty.

    Labor, The Greens, the PUPs and Independents must vote against this Budget and force a new election.

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  5. Jack Ruffin
    Jack Ruffin is a Friend of The Conversation.

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Many T C writers and most of us who write comments have demonstrated that this government is not about helping Australians get a fair go. The Abbott government is about social engineering. The only people who will be well off under the liberals are the very rich. There was no crisis and we are being lied to.

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    1. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Jack Ruffin

      The LNP regularly and hypocritically accused the Labor government of "social engineering" or "class warfare" whenever Lbor tried to introduce a tax that would affect the well-off.

      But they are attempting social engineering and class warfare of a much more far-reaching and significant extent than labor ever did.

      All under the cover of "repairing the budget" and we "must all help to do the heavy lifting" of course.

      Disgraceful and appalling. Hope those impacted do not forget and that all opposition parties do not let them get away with it!

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    2. Peter Frey

      Project Officer

      In reply to Jack Ruffin

      And to prove your point look at The Age today ....

      "Information hidden from budget shows huge chunk of population could lose 10% of income."

      Bill and Christine ... this has to stop!

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      But, Henry, God tells us who He likes and dislikes by the way He distributes wealth to the worthy and punishes the lazy and wicked with poverty...so it can't be 'social engineering' to simply assert God's ordained natural order nor can it be 'class warfare' to defend the very same natural order.

      We'll have to send you back to school, Henry - just as soon as we've sorted out the Judeo-Christian curriculum...

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    4. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      It for ever surprises me that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being would need help from anyone to do anything. :)

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  6. R. Ambrose Raven

    none

    Abbott’s and Hockey’s Brutal Cuts are Not Just Another Example of Politicians At Work! Their 2014 Budget signals that “our” ruling class is going in for the kill - it intends to take all our money plus our future.

    Having seen the success of Austerity overseas as a weapon of social plunder, our ruling class has declared that it is no longer willing to accept incremental looting (such as grabbing all productivity gains by insisting the workers are given only CPI increases).

    Just remember…

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  7. Brad Farrant

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Abbott asks - "Why would I be exposing myself, why would my colleagues be exposing themselves and ourselves to a world of political pain if we didn’t think it was absolutely necessary for the long term good of our country?” - IDEOLOGY. An ideology that has completely failed as a wealth of evidence from around the world has convincingly shown. Yet science and evidence clearly mean very little to this government. Maybe the Australian people are seeing thru all of this because they are smarter than the current government?

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  8. Danah Xue

    employed

    Putting out an unpopular tough budget, it is hard not to believe that Abbott is genuinely confident that his political pain will be paid off by the time of 2016 election - the budget has improved, the economy is growing, the infrastructure projects are running providing jobs, the border is secured.

    Good on him for preparing to put his political life on line for the nation's good.

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    1. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Danah,

      No compassion for the sick and the poor who are being unfairly targeted in the Abbott/Hockey budget?

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    2. Danah Xue

      employed

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Why people keep saying the poor are hit hardest by the budget?

      The various welfare payments are the biggest government expenditures and without reining them in , it will not be sustainable for the long term. This is a responsible budget.

      The budget will give less generous welfare payments ( other taxpayers's money) to the dependents but it is not taking away the money they have earned. On the other hand, the high incomers have already paid high taxes to help to pay these welfares. The budget now asks them again to pay 2% more from the money they have earned.

      Why did you say the poor are hit hardest? The poor are always getting free handouts by the safety net but they may just have to get a bit less, given the budget mess Labor-Greens have left.

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    3. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Spoken like a rusted on Coalition supporter Danah.

      Of course those who have the most capacity to pay should pay the most to support the society on which their income and wealth depends. Surely you are not arguing that those on $180k plus are struggling to survive?

      In what universe is this fair? - "Worse off: Single parent on the parenting payment with one child aged six will be 10.2 per cent worse off.

      Better off: Someone earning three times the average wage will lose only 0.9 per cent of their take-home income.

      Better off: A high-income childless couple earning $360,000 a year will lose nothing."

      https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/budget-to-leave-poor-families-worse-off--report-000918704.html

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    4. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      I've been wondering that myself Felix.

      Really young poors might be OK but if they're not workin or lernin they're gunna have a dodgy dumpster diet and all the stringy sinewy, disorders that come with malnutrition. Ricketts - erk!

      You'd want to be getting them straight from the finishing-off paddock where they've been working for the dole.

      The old ones are another issue altogether... old, tough as old boots, riddled with disease, hard to herd, the diabetics are really fatty for the most part, the arthritics are all skin and bone. Might curry up OK - just for flavour but there wouldn't be much of a margin in them.... wrinkly, old fruit is really only good for the juice.

      Perhaps if we fed the old poor to the young poor before sending 'em to market we could kill two birds with one stone. I'll whip off an email to Mandy Vanstone.

      Speaking of stones - when are we bringing that back ... public stonings after mass. And slavery - you know it makes sense.

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    5. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      The table in this analysis by Whiteford and Nethery makes it very clear that Abbott and Hockey are going after those who can least afford it in this budget while the wealthy contribute little if anything. This is a very cruel and unfair budget which has been utterly rejected by most of society and rightly so.

      https://crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/news/files/2014-05/sharing_the_budget_pain_background_note.pdf

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    6. Danah Xue

      employed

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Because there are more and more of them for us to handle.

      In the language of progressive socialists, the range of the poor and the vulnerable is getting wider and wider - people > 65, people <30 (hilarious), single parents, families with young children, rebellious teenagers running away from home, high school students who don't want to study nor to work, asylum seekers, migrants, gays and lesbians, indigenous people, etc. The list goes on.

      How the government is going to provide and maintain these ever increasing poor and vulnerable groups? -it has to be one of these: increase taxes, reduce expenditures, borrow money.

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    7. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Increase taxes, reduce expenditure and (when economics demands it) borrow money. See, you already knew.

      Danah - this is not some "Budget Emergency" brought on by Gillard and Rudd spending our way through the GFC ... these are long term problems that economists and policy makers have been working on for literally decades. We've been watching this closely for a long while. It's what Ken Henry's review was ALL about really... http://taxreview.treasury.gov.au/Content/Content.aspx?doc=html/home.htm

      How much does this budget address the "debt crisis" and winding back uncontrolled stimulus spending from the economy? Not at all really ... the deficits continue, the economy flops along and the pain all starts in the never never. Eventually.

      This is a bad budget - not just for the unequal burdens imposed on the poor and the sick, but because it is quite literally a "do nothing" document economically... gutless but spiteful. A bully's budget this.

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    8. Jane Middlemist

      citizen

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      . . . . . . . "Come here,' says he, with a proper pride, Which his smiling features tell, ' 'Twill soothing be if I let you see, How extremely nice you'll smell.' "And he stirred it round and round and round, And he sniffed at the foaming froth; When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals In the scum of the boiling broth. "And I eat that cook in a week or less, And -- as I eating be The last of his chops, why, I almost drops, For a wessel in sight I see! " And I never grin, and I never smile, And I never larf nor play, But I sit and croak, at a single joke I have -- which is to say: "Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold, And the mate of the Nancy brig, And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, And the crew of the captain's gig!" From: WS Gilbert's Yarn of the Nancy Bell

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    9. Danah Xue

      employed

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      At least, you seemed to admit there are some problems with the budget bottom-lines and deficits ( a bit better than Bill Shorten).

      But you seemed to ignore the predictions in the budget if all the measures were implemented, the projected deficits would be $59 billion (2014-2015), $27 billion(2015-2016), $5 billion (2016-2017), and a possible surplus in 2017-2018.

      If the Abbott government is doing nothing, there will be at least another 10 years of budget deficits, even by Labor's account. Labor and their socialist supporters never care about the deficits and never care about the fact the country is paying an interest of $1 billion per month alone on the borrowed money.

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    10. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Danah Xue

      No I'm saying there is a problem with the economy: we have growth without jobs... there is a problem with society: we are all getting older... we are all getting sicker and health care is getting too good and costly ... and now we have this non-budget.

      The LNP came to government promising no changes - but also claiming there was a debt crisis. The first thing they did was to double the debt borrowing money to make the Reserve Bank bigger than it has ever dreamed.

      Rather than addressing debt…

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    11. john r walker

      artist

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      peter
      The last government (and the two before it), dodged the issue, because it is electorally 'too hard' , the fault is in all of us...

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    12. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to john r walker

      Yes I think there is a lot of merit in that John ... the gutted MRRT seemed to be the really dramatic political failure on the Government's part. Badly handled from the start. It will inevitably provoke a massive reaction from miners, the media and conservatives of all sorts (including sections of Caucus and the ALP) - it required a political strategy and it got negotiated away to nothing... effectively swept away.
      Ken Henry pretty much left no stone unturned in his paper on the future of tax…

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    13. ernest malley

      farmer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      As Jonathan Swift proposed in his "A Modest Proposal" which preceded Soylent Green by several centuries.
      I think that it was Napoleon who opined that religion is all that prevents from the poor eating the rich.

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    14. ernest malley

      farmer

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Bad pun alert - a solution to the "bottom" line problem might be found in Voltaire's "Candide" - 'Cut off only one of the buttocks of each'...

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  9. Danah Xue

    employed

    Australians' welfare dependence and entitlement mentalities are so entrenched. I start to think that Abbott and Hockey may have overestimated Australian people's aspirational ambition - it is very hard to wean people off the public teats.

    53% said that the budget is bad for the country - do they really understand about a responsible budget? Do they really want to end up like some European countries in true austerity pain?

    New Zealanders pay $15 to see a doctor. They pay 15% GST. And they just announced a budget surplus in 2014-2015.

    Australians are fifth rated people.

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    1. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Danah,

      A responsible budget would not target the sick and the poor.

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    2. Candice Oliver

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Have you read much about neoliberalism and its effects on the countries that have taken on that ideology?

      First of all, we DON'T have a budget emergency. That has been well documented and fact checked so many times it makes my head reel.

      Secondly, I agree, there are a number of people out there that take advantage of the welfare system but that's a very small percentage in comparison to those that genuinely need it that you are excluding from getting the help.

      Not everyone has been lucky…

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    3. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Danah, this budget disproportionately disadvantages people below $45,000 a year. That figure is just below the median wage in Australia of $47,000 a year. If you were a single mother, you would be the worst off of all the different sectors of society. You would be hit with a loss of income of $2,000 now, increasing to a $4,000 loss of income by 2015. Combining working with childcare is a juggle. If you are a single parent without family support it is nigh on impossible to combine full time work at…

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    4. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Danah Xue

      Here Here, or should that be Hear Hear ( never know which to use)
      Thank you Danah. Good to see the employed commenting here.

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    5. Amanda Barnes
      Amanda Barnes is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Voter

      In reply to Murray Shaw

      Mate, I am a business owner who pays into the highest income tax bracket. Before I had children I had over 80 employees. I also have a degree in poliitcal science, industrial relations and fine arts for which I achieve an honour society status. So don't patronise the people on this site who think differently from you thank you very much. You and Danah Xue haven't made one lucid comment between you. All you spout is ill informed, facile prejudice. No wonder. No one with any education that has real value would support this budget.

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  10. Rod Andrew

    Editor, teacher, engineer

    Maybe I've missed it, but is there any actual 'comment' in this articel? I can't see anything that I've not already read in The Age. It seems to be just simple reporting.

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    1. Rod Andrew

      Editor, teacher, engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      Thanks David, and apology to Michelle.
      But I would still ask, why is TC repeating the news that I've readily found elsewhere? I can't see anything in the charter about just being a standard news source. A source of news resulting from new research - yes. But not your common or garden reporting.

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    2. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Rod Andrew

      Michelle probably judged the polls important and dramatic enough to file a news story. It also gives TC commenters a forum to share their views rather than trying to wade through the insanity on some other blogs which of course remain nameless!

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  11. robert roeder
    robert roeder is a Friend of The Conversation.

    retired

    If you think about it the LNP has done us a big favour, what they have managed to achieve with their first budget is the awakening from complacency the sleeping masses. The people are now beginning to look at our political system and see the many shortcomings and lack of regard for the wishes of we the people. Both major parties consistently tell us that they know what we want which judging by their actions is just another lie. Telling us that if we don't like what they dish up can be rectified at…

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  12. john r walker

    artist

    As a number of people, notably Ken Henry, have repeatedly pointed out over the last few years, we have as much (or more off) a revenue problem ,than a spending problem. The tax cuts that John Howard introduced and Kevin Rudd matched were too much, in the long run. Our tax system is inefficient, full of special treatments, anachronisms and anomalies.

    Surely it is time that we took a deep calm breath and reopened the recommendations of the Henry review?

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  13. Sonum Norbu

    logged in via Facebook

    The truth is that everyvoter knew exactly what was going to happem eight months age when the voted the adults into power. Admittedly the choices were difficult, but you all went for the lying Tories and now everyone is unhappy, including me, but I saw threw the lies and voted against them. If you claim that you didn't expect this, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. It as so obvious. What did they promise? 'Stop the Boats' get rid of the, 'Great big tax' , Climate change is crap". 'God is great', One slogan after another, and you all fell for it! The best of all was "I'm a Feminist". Fortunately for me I began voting 1960 (you know mid way through last century. I've seen it all before. And now you will see it all, because by 2016 you will all be up the well known creek with the barbed wire canoe.

    Maybe, just maybe you fell think before voting in 2016, but I doubt it.

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    1. Sean Douglas

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Sonum Norbu

      "If you claim that you didn't expect this, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. It as so obvious."

      I agree. It was as clear as day ........... A Unity ticket on Gonski -- yeah sure .... won't touch medicare, yeah right. LOL

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  14. Tony Simons

    Director at Bedlam Bay Pty Ltd

    Gospel truth Tony's fake sincerity fools very few people. He will never regain the public's trust and like that other failed leader and political adolescent, Dolly Downer, Abbott will have a very short career.

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  15. Ian Rudd
    Ian Rudd is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Retired accountant & unapologetic dissident

    I would like to see these interminable polls list Christine Milne as a candidate for preferred prime minister - that would be a paradigm shift in the media landscape wouldn't it.

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  16. Lynne Newington

    Researcher

    Regardless who is in or out of government, neither side of politics will consider making the church pay land tax on their properties, worth millions of dollars....why not?
    Every home owner has too, many forced to sell up and more to come with all these austerity measures wait and see. ...
    I believe Bishop Anthony Fisher has renovated an old convent in Parramatta worth a fortune.....all tax free..

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  17. Grant Hayward

    logged in via Facebook

    Budget Poetic Licence?

    Well the budget’s been read
    and it’s going to hurt
    society’s most vulnerable
    will be losing their shirts
    Big sweaty Joe, cigar chomping “hero?”
    has told us its bad, and they “just didn’t know!”

    They’ve got to make cuts or Australia is buggered
    but its more of a ploy based on lies we’ve discovered
    “You’ll all have to pay, it’s the ALP’s fault”
    as we smoke our cigars and hope we don’t get caught.
    in the spin and the slogans that got us in power
    well mark my words…

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    1. Bruce Shaw

      Retired Hurt

      In reply to Jason Murphy

      thomas the think engine and the fat controller have left the station minus the driver.

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  18. Dave Bradley

    logged in via email @yahoo.com.au

    I thought the LNP accusation that the public are using the polls to destroy Tony Abbott the best Double Speak of the day. Tony Abbott used the polls to destroy the public now he is attacking the public to destroy the polls.And anyway he got the numbers he done the damage he's probably packed to leave for his posting to somewhere even better than they sent Amanda Vanstone (dont think the Vatican has a surf beach but then again he could hang with George Pell there and i bet they have a great Turkish bath house.

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  19. Sean Douglas

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Thanks Ms Gratten, nice tight summary and wonderful news. Abbott the Record Setting PM ....

    On Q&A tonight, I suspect that Hockey was actually surprised by his reception and the high quality (scathing) questions that received scant realistic or honest replies (imo) The man is utterly out of touch ... as are his peers.

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  20. Murray Shaw

    Farmer

    As SMH columnist said,

    "What we have here is a PM who is prepared to sacrifice his career to save the country, and an Opposition Leader who is prepared to sacrifice the country to save his career".

    A stark choice really! Hopefully the reality of this message will seep into the consciousness of the silent majority before too long, the dust will settle, and all will be well in paradise.

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    1. Murray Shaw

      Farmer

      In reply to Murray Shaw

      Sorry the SMH columnist was Paul Sheahan. Not sure if I omitted it or it was edited out by the moderater.

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    2. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Murray Shaw

      "What we have here is a PM who is prepared to sacrifice his career to save the country, and an Opposition Leader who is prepared to sacrifice the country to save his career".

      That is sooo funny, Murray! Silly,dumb, stupid even, but funny!

      Hope you'll be happy in "paradise" (wherever that is?)!

      NB: You might consider a German saying:
      "Das Volumen der Nachtschattengewaechse is reziprok proportional der Geistigen Kapazitaet Ihrer Produzenten!"
      Translation (short form).
      The dumbest farmers have the biggest potatoes!

      Make of this what you will. Keep on ploughing and digging,. Cheers

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