In today’s SMH, Tim Colebatch writes:
The real disappointment of Abbott’s campaign is that he doesn’t trust us. Economists estimate the funding gap in the Coalition’s promises at $30 billion to $35 billion over the next four years. But Abbott won’t tell us how he will close that gap until the final days, fearing we would be less likely to vote for him if we knew what he plans to do.
How can we trust anyone who won’t tell us how he will make us pay for his promises? Let buyers beware.
And then there’s the latest flurry of
brain farts policies released yesterday, including this little gem (apologies for the link):
TONY Abbott will pay people on the dole who are under 30 a cash bonus of up to $6500 if they remain in a job and off welfare for two years, and toughen up the work for the dole scheme in a pitch to cut long-term unemployment.
Mr Abbott will also re-commit to a generous scheme he promised at the 2010 election to give the long-term unemployed cash bonuses if they relocate for work, with those with a family standing to gain up to $9000.
An unemployed person aged between 18 and 30 could do even better under the new rules.
One with a family who chooses to relocate to a regional area could stand to gain $15,500 with all the bonuses Mr Abbott will offer.
Mr Abbott’s relocation promise comes despite the fact Labor has faced problems making its own relocation scheme work.
“These are sensible, targeted measures to help get people off welfare and into work. More the than 140,000 Australians have been unemployed for more than 12 months. If elected, we will take real action to get them into work,” Mr Abbott said yesterday.
Apart from the inevitable – and unanswered – question of how
the wannabe government we the taxpayers would pay for it, there are several other unanswered questions. The foremost one – for me – is what happens if WHEN the young long-term unemployed get retrenched through no fault of their own – perhaps because of a downturn in the economy (what? Under a Coalition government? NEVER!) as a result of all those austerity measures the Coalition is just dying to bring in? Or if an employer of any size decides to retrench just because it can? After all, it would save the Coalition government a whole heap of money, and besides, we all know that …
In the same way, a Coalition will purge that naughty entitlement mentality from the nation – except, of course, that won’t apply to the big end of town, women of calibre, etc – because we all know the plebs just blue the moolah on beer, ciggies, and the pokies while the big end of town and women of calibre are entitled er um because they deserve to be entitled …
And the plebs don’t need any tax breaks on their superannuation because they’ll just fritter the money away …
While we are about it, the tax base needs to be broadened, so let’s jack up the GST and reduce that threshold to its ordained position …
because there’s nothing the plebs can do to avoid it, but our tax lawyers and accountants will make damn’ sure we don’t lose.
The opposition will reveal some of its savings this week, with the full costings not expected to be unveiled until the last week of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Fairfax Media has learnt the Coalition has prepared a detailed 30-page dossier of policies that will form a blueprint for its first term, should it win government.
Described by one Liberal Party insider as the work of an internal ”razor gang”, the document has been ready for almost two years, although it keeps getting refined ”endlessly”, largely due to repeated blow-outs in the budget.
”It’s a 30-page policy document,” Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said. ”We have 30 areas of policy and we have done a lot of work on it. All of the spending and cuts would be released before the election.
(Not that I have any doubt about the razor gang – and it will be vicious.)
As Tim Colebatch wrote,
Let buyers beware.