Budget Q&A

It doesn’t take long for the radical left to unleash political warfare.

Just a week after the budget there are socialist university students threatening politicians, Labor activists popping up on television as disgruntled independent citizens and marches in the streets comprising the usual red and green political suspects.

Like most other elements of leftist activism, the truth appears to be an inconvenience that can be overlooked in their desire to be outraged. That said, there are plenty of regular people who are disappointed with aspects of the budget and their concerns are entirely legitimate. It is now up to the government to spell out the facts and convince Australians that the proposed changes are necessary and manageable.

Early indications are that the government will have to make some concessions as the Senate is unlikely to pass all the budget measures.

Thanks to the dozens of readers who contacted me with questions in regards to last week’s budget. While space precludes me from responding to every single item raised, I have responded to the most common areas of interest below.


I have noticed that the bulk of the new Medicare co-payment goes towards a medical research fund. Why doesn’t this revenue go to paying off our sovereign debt?

That’s a valid point, considering the enormous level of debt that the Labor Party left the country with after just six years in government. Personally, I would prefer to see the co-payment directed to debt reduction but the government decided otherwise.

Why wasn’t more funding cut from the ABC?

An excellent question. As our budget is in a parlous state, the government needs to consider reining in expenditure across the board.

Yet the ABC has seen a measly 1% reduction in their budget of over $1 billion a year. If it was up to me I’d limit the ABC’s public funding to current radio stations and two television channels. Other than that they should have to compete on commercial terms. This could save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Why is the Coalition introducing a debt levy when it promised no new taxes?

I’ve written before, the way to reduce our debt is to shrink the size of government while growing the economy. The best way to do this is to reduce taxes across the board.

But for better or worse, this is what the government decided. What Australians can do is make sure that this does in fact remain a temporary levy.

Isn’t this six month exclusion period for under 30s from Newstart unfair to those who have just lost their job?

Encouraging young Australians to help themselves, to take opportunities and build a better life for their families is more rewarding for all involved rather than letting young people get stuck in a cycle of welfare dependency.

For the unemployed who are fully able to work, those first few months without a job are crucial. We need to make sure they are fully motivated to get back into work as soon as possible.

Why is it that some climate change related bodies have been abolished while others have not?

It’s good news that the Budget abolishes the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and that the Government is still committed to abolishing the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. There is probably scope and justification to abolish more of these bodies established through AGW alarmism but this is a good start.

Why are you targeting families with your changes to Family Tax Benefit B

Family Tax Benefit was designed to help out those families on a single income and the income threshold for support has been lowered. Personally, I think a better way of supporting families is through the tax system- income splitting, tax free thresholds and so forth.

Taking taxes and then giving it back (minus a bureaucracy fee) seems inefficient to me.

I read that the foreign aid budget won’t be increased over the forward estimates. As a wealthy country, shouldn’t Australia be contributing more to help the world’s poor?

Australia does have an international role to play in offering assistance to those who need help.

But this has to be considered in the context of our national interest and the government’s duty to its own citizens. Why should we pay billions of dollars in borrowed money to other nations when we have pressing issues at home?

Why is the pension age being raised to 70 and when will this take effect?

With Australians living longer, the age we work until must increase. Pension eligibility will rise up to 70 years of age in the year 2035. Everyone born before 1965 will not be affected by this latest change. If we do not make these changes Australia will be setting itself up to have an unsustainable welfare system.

Why is the government budgeting to spend $90 million over two years to find Malaysian Airlines flight MH370?

I have no idea.

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