Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A totally delusory budget just released

These guys seem to believe their own fantasies and lies. They are relying on a "new mining boom" to balance the budget after just adding a tax that has closed most of the proposed new mining projects down!

I reproduce just the mad bits below. He really thinks his new tax will raise lots of money. That tax hikes often REDUCE revenue seems quite unknown to him. People always act to avoid new taxes and thus often cancel out entirely the expected gains in revenue

THE Rudd Government is using new taxes and the mining boom Mark II to base its re-election pitch on a claim of good economic management using an early return to budget surplus in 2012-13 and an extended cap on Government spending....

The economic recovery is built on a $100 billion “clawback” of tax revenue lost during the financial crisis with most coming from big companies and personal income tax.

The return to a a surplus in 2013 is also built on what Mr Swan described as “the mining boom mark II” lifting revenues and growth, the new Rudd Government taxes on cigarettes, which raises $1.13 billion next financial year, and the Resources Super Profits Tax, which raises $3 billion in 2012-13 and $9 billion in 2013-14.


Andrew Bolt's comment on the budget

THIS is a Budget worth boasting about - if it didn't rely so crucially on desperate tax grabs, heroic assumptions and broken promises. And if it didn't betray just how much we've paid for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's mistakes already.

The boast is that the Government got us so well through a global financial crisis that it promises a boom next year. Even better, we'll return to a Budget surplus by 2013, three years ahead of schedule.

This is indeed good news, and gives Rudd a powerful argument to take to the next election, given many people assume he really is responsible for a recovery he didn't see coming.

True, there were remarkably few new giveaways of the election-year kind, and the few that were announced on Tuesday rarely sang. One of the biggest was $467 million for "individual electronic health records", yet few voters will know how precisely that's meant to make them better.

But Rudd has not only run through our surpluses, but our patience. He's promised so much and delivered so little that another flurry of promises could only have increased the growing scepticism many voters seem to feel at his every word.

So, sober and steady was the key - and it was particularly vital that he honour his word last year to keep real spending growth to no more than 2 per cent a year until we're back into surplus.

On all these critical points, the Budget was good for Rudd. The 50 per cent tax rebate on interest earned on bank deposits should also help him, and help our savings, too.

But look deeper in the Budget and you can see the desperation - even trickery - that produced his most flattering numbers. And you can see the billions he's so recklessly wasted.

"We have offset all new spending," crowed Treasurer Wayne Swan. Yet how crudely - and perhaps unsustainably - they did so. Fully half the $30 billion the Government claims as "savings" over the next four years came not from real savings but from just two last-minute grabs for cash.

Nearly $5 billion is to come from smokers - for their own good, of course - and another $12 billion from miners, thanks to the new "super profits" tax.

These are huge figures, and the mining tax depends crucially on there actually being "super profits" left to plunder.

If China's growth stalls and our mineral exports shrink, Rudd's forecasts are finished. If the miners, furious at Rudd's smash and grab, keep announcing the cancellation or deferral of big projects in response, his tax take will shrivel, and our economy with it.

Then there's Rudd's other sign of desperation - the shelving of the emissions trading scheme that he once claimed was his answer to the "greatest moral challenge" of our times. The Budget admits that delaying the ETS to some never-never time when other countries Do Something will save it another $3 billion in outlays over five years, largely in the compensation it won't have to pay for the great green tax it won't impose, either.

That's the second desperate measure Rudd took (actually more of a book-keeping fiddle) to meet his self-imposed 2 per cent cap on real spending growth - which in turn was probably his real motive in dropping the ETS, the greatest promise he ever made.

But such "savings" would not be so desperately needed were it not for Rudd's colossal waste and bungling. His disastrous weakening of our boat people laws, for instance, triggered a flood of boats that forced extra spending in this Budget of $202 million for more places in detention centres, $97 million for Christmas Island infrastructure, $16 million for the lease of an extra ship; and $6 million for two officials to work in Kabul to resettle Afghans sent home.

Or take the $2.5 billion free insulation fiasco. The Budget effectively treats the whole of the $1 billion left unspent when the scheme was scrapped as money needed to fix the homes made unsafe and the manufacturers left facing ruin.

Yes, it promises to return anything left over to the Budget, but no leftovers are predicted in its numbers. That means Rudd's insulation and boat people disasters alone will soak up all the extra tax he's now ripping off smokers over the next two years.

But there's more. His green loans scheme, which almost collapsed, is being saved with an extra $102 million. Another $13 million is being spent on a task force to check the rampant rorting reported in Rudd's $16 billion Building the Education Revolution.

Then there's the money being frittered on Rudd's global warming and global-posturing delusions - including more than $350 million to help other countries supposedly deal with a warming that's actually paused since 2001, another $652 million for the holy grail of renewable energy, and $30 million on a "national campaign to educate the community on climate change". Which means trying to persuade us that spending all this money on global warming isn't utterly mad.

Such waste. So little to show for the billions gone. Such frantic grabs for cash to make up for it all. But give Rudd credit. In three years, he cries, we'll be back in surplus again.

And quietly, just quietly, the Budget suggests he's finally learned from his many failures. It's on page 286 of Budget paper number 2 - a brief announcement that $12 million more is to be spent on Rudd's own department, to "support the delivery of the Government's reform agenda and implantation of its major new initiatives'. If only that help had come sooner.


Federal Government defends move to accomodate asylum seekers in motel

THE Federal Government is defending a decision to house 79 asylum seekers in a four-star Queensland motel, saying they are vulnerable families with children. "We don't think they should ever be put behind razor wire," Small Business Minister Craig Emerson told Sky News today.

The Palms Motel in suburban Brisbane reportedly has been awarded a $1.2 million government contract for at least six months to accommodate the group. A private security guard has been employed to protect them and other guests, Channel 9 said.

"These are very vulnerable families with children and it's something that needs to be done on a short-term basis," Dr Emerson said. The measure did not happen all the time, but it had occurred under the previous Howard government, he said. "Let's just have a little bit of space."

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison acknowledged the practice was not new, but said the latest move was due to an upsurge in boat arrivals. "It happens when all of your detention centres are full," he said. "That's why people are in motels."

The Government's asylum-seeker policy was out of control, Mr Morrison said, adding 16 boats had arrived since Labor announced it was suspending new claims by Sri Lankan and Afghan boat arrivals.

Family First senator Steve Fielding says the move will only encourage more unauthorised boat arrivals. "First it was Hotel Christmas Island, now it's Hotel Queensland," he said in a statement. "There is no way we should be detaining asylum seekers in hotels because it just gives the people smugglers an extra selling point."

The immigration department says the group is under 24-hour "monitoring and guarding". "They're not allowed to come and go," spokesman Sandy Logan said. "They've all been through full security and health checks before being transferred from Christmas Island."


There sure are some shitheads who drive government buses

No wonder parents drive their kids to school. This driver should be fired immediately

A four-year-old Tasmanian girl was left distraught when she was thrown off a bus and told to walk by herself to school. Tiarnah Fahey of Gagebrook was thrown off a Metro bus at 8.24am yesterday because her free school bus pass or Greencard didn't work, The Mercury reports.

Her family says the female bus driver told the prep student that she had to walk to school up a hill and across busy double lanes of the East Derwent Highway until she could get her Greencard working.

Her quick-thinking sister Chloe, 13, jumped off the bus to save Tiarnah from being abandoned alone to walk to school. The bus then drove off, leaving the girl in tears.

Ms Watts said Greencards were provided to all her eight children as part of the Government's free school bus travel policy for social-welfare recipients and that Tiarnah's card being out of action had nothing to do with her, or the family's, finances. She said it must have been malfunctioning when placed on the bus-pass validation machine.

"How could anybody, let alone a bus driver who has a duty of care towards these school kids, abandon a little four-year-old by the road and expect her to walk 20 minutes to school?" Ms Watts said. "I'm angry, really angry. She's only four and all she wants to do is to go to school."

Tiarnah finally arrived at Herdsmans Cove Primary with the help of Chloe, who then had to walk for another hour to Bridgewater High.

Ms Watts said she had immediately called the Government-owned Metro company, after talking about the incident with Tiarnah's teachers. Metro chief executive Heather Haselgrove was not available for comment yesterday. However, the company has agreed to immediately send Tiarnah a new school bus pass.

A public relations company hired by Metro confirmed the bus company had received a complaint from Ms Watts, which it was taking seriously. "We are reviewing CC-TV vision from the relevant bus and are investigating," public relations executive Nicholas Turner said.


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