Australia’s federal Treasurer Joe Hockey could retire today and he’d live comfortably on his parliamentary pension, apart from his accumulated wealth and income from property investments. But he’s still working, because he wants to ensure millions of Australians have a smaller pension to live on. He refers to this as “making the pension sustainable into the future”.
Joe Hockey also wants to ensure poor people are paying more for their health care and education, because “the Age of Entitlement is over”. Meanwhile, Joe ensures that his entitlements and those of other wealthy Australians go absolutely untouched.
The Liberal Party of Australia, directed by the policy makers of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), rather than its membership, wants government spending reduced (less welfare, States paying more for health and education through increased GST revenue) and smaller government (fewer departments, fewer public servants). This is designed to lead to “lower, fairer taxes” because the Age of Entitlement is not over for the wealthy who already reduce their taxes to the bare minimum. They can afford to buy taxation minimization advice and set up trust funds. Poor people don’t have access to these things.
Australians’ rights, freedoms, jobs, welfare and democracy are all being simultaneously trashed by the Liberal Party of Australia while our once great Australian Labor Party and trade union movement sits on their backsides and say and do nothing about it.
Critics in NGOs, the Public Service and the news media have been silenced, some under threat of jail for speaking out. The ABC’s independent voice has been questioned, its departments, producers, presenters and panelists are stacked with Liberal party operatives and moves are under way to censor and silence the ABC even further.
A former Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, warned Australia was in danger of becoming “a Banana Republic” — an unstable country whose economy is dictated by a single export (say coal or iron ore) owned by foreigners. Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, warned that Australia could become “the poor white trash of Asia”.
Both men were right. They just didn’t predict that the Liberal Party of Australia and a complacent and compliant Australian Labor Party would combine to make these predictions a reality.