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John Passant

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May 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



A Budget of the rich, by the rich, for the rich

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Joe Hockey enjoy cigars outside Parliament House in Canberra.


We are all in this together. A person on $250,000 will pay an extra $1400 in tax for a few years. A 24 year old unemployed person will lose $2500 a year.

For the rich person it might mean they cut back on their cigars or their Grange. For the young unemployed person the choice may well be between lunch and dinner.

Capital of course bears no burden. Hockey argued that they are doing the heavy lifting because big business is missing out on a tax cut. I am missing out on a tax cut too Joe, so why all the extra heavy lifting for me but not the rich and powerful?

And tell me Joe, how are the 50% of big businesses which pay no income tax bearing any burden even under your warped logic?

My 85 year old father wants to know if the $5 Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme increase will apply to his $6.00 prescriptions. You know, the ones that keep him alive. While I will pay an extra $5 for mine,so it will be around $42 a month for each of my five prescriptions.  Dad’s will increase from $6.00 to $6.80 for each of his. Meanwhile Fortescue Metals Group hasn’t paid any income tax for the last 18 years. Seems fair. FMG pays no tax and my Dad gets slugged an extra $15% in his life saving medicines. We sure are all in this together.

For patients who need lots of medicines the PBS safety net will increase to $1597.80 from next January, an increase of $150. This means they can’t get subsidised medicines until they spend another $150.

Every time my Dad goes to the Doctor for prescription renewals and other matters he’ll pay a $7 co-payment. Too right that bludgers like him (extreme sarcasm) start paying their way. Who needs a universal health scheme when there is profit to be made? The wealthy will get gold star medical treatment and the rest of us can see the snake oil salesmen.

Blood tests and X-Rays will now also include the $7 co-payment. Dad has regular tests.

The Medicare refund for people like me who pay shitloads to see their family doctor, who doesn’t bulk bill because we have barely modest incomes, will be cut by $5.

My son is a great guitarist, currently unemployed. He is under 30. He will have to work 15 hours for the dole from 1 July if he doesn’t get some music work. Work for the dole is a way of undermining the pitiful minimum wage. The hours will increase to 25 hours a week from 1 July next year.

My son could end up as part of Abbott’s direct action green army. Left, right, left, right, don’t think, pick up rubbish to give the impression of work. Plant a few trees to give the impression of addressing climate change. Put your finger in that environmental dyke young boy.

Even worse, people under 30 will have to wait six months before getting the dole for the first time. And when they do they too will have to work for it. So what do they live on before then? Stealing? Prostitution? Drug dealing? Begging? This is not sa one off.For every year a person is unemployed there will be six months off the dole and then six months on.

The government will deregulate University fees.  The loan repayments will kick in at a lower rate, just over $50,000 in income. Students undertaking higher degrees by research will now be expected to pay almost $4000 a year towards the cost of their degrees. Oh, and the government will also cut funding for Uni courses by 20%. derugalted fees and competition between isntiutiosn willd rive higher and higher fees. $100,000  courses are on the agenda. There’s gold in them thar campuses. 

Every time you fill up the car, Joe Hockey will be there with his hand in your pocket. The reintroduction of fuel excise indexation will hit poor people and people who live in regional areas the most. It will increase basic consumption costs since much of the supermarket supplies are shipped by road.

Labor put in train increases in the pension age to 67 by 2017. The Liberals will continue this logic and increase the age to 70 by 2035. Meanwhile the $15 billion in revenue forgone through superannuation tax concessions to the top five percent of income earners remains untouched. Oh, but if we get rid of that they’ll just go into negative gearing. OK. Limit negative gearing losses to rental income. Pretty simple really.

The mining boom investment stage has ended and is moving into the production stage. So the government that is so opposed to government ‘interference’ will spend tens of billions on roads, rail, ports and airports as part of an infrastructure program. This is welfare for the mining companies to be able to get their resources to port cheaper. And where the money is spent on roads for we plebs, it is just what we need – more roads for more cars at higher cost petrol for more greenhouse gas emissions.  Public transport anyone? A very fast freight and passenger service down the Eastern seaboard anyone?

This government has all the vision of Mr Magoo, the Mr Magoo of 2020 vision only for the rich. They are blind to the rest of us.

Scrooge and co are also going to cut school and hospital funding  by $80 billion over the enxt decade and ask the States and Territories to pick up the slack. , nay demand, a broadening of the GST base and an increase in its rate. The likelihood is that they won’t have the money to bridge the gap so public schools and hospitals will be left to rot. And since the States have few revenue opportunities, they will ask for, nay demand, a broadening of the GST base and an increase in its rate.

Sole parents and families with one parent at home will lose their Family Tax Benefit B payment when their youngest child turns six, instead of 18. Those same groups with incomes between $100,000 and $150,000 will lose Family Tax Benefit B. Family tax benefit A+B payments will be frozen for two years. These changes will save $8 billion over 4 years. They will also cut the living standards of millions of Australians.

And the party of creating jobs (irony alert) will sack 16500 public servants. This will throw up to 50,000 people – the employees and their families – into chaos and possible poverty. It will also deliver worse services from an already overworked, understaffed and underfunded public service.

There is more, much more of these bliztkreig attacks. I’ll talk in detail about them tomorrow.

Hockey tells us the pain is necessary for future gain. You’ll get pie in the sky when you die too. Even the government predicts unemployment will rise to 6.25% and stay there for the next two years. Real unemployment is much higher.

The silence of the trade union leadership lambs condemns them. Where is the call to action? If they gave one, rather than just urging us to vote Labor, many workers would respond. They could call us out to shut down the country to protect jobs, wages and the social wage. They won’t because the culture of class collaboration and trickledown economics is now so embedded in their thinking that, with a few exceptions, struggle is a thing of the past.

Meanwhile the bosses’ class war not only continues but is accelerating.

This is a budget of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Only class war by our side can stop the attacks now and into the future on our jobs, wages, health care, education and other elements of the social wage.

Like all posts on this blog comments – hit the link under the heading – close after 7 days.



Pingback from A Budget of the rich, by the rich, for the rich | OzHouse
Time May 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm

[…] May 13 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Peter
Time May 14, 2014 at 8:59 am

Unfortunately, comrades like you are only ever interested in class war and getting your own (and your son’s) snouts in the trough.

Comment from John
Time May 14, 2014 at 9:08 am

Well Peter, let’s hope the unemployed don’t steal food or riot in your neighbourhood. And what an example of class war on the poor and workers this budget is. Labor paved the way for this.

Comment from Ross
Time May 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

If they tax the share market, including derivatives, currency exchanges etc , just O.1% our Govt can collect an extra $135 billion in taxes pa. This represents an extra $22,000 tax paid by all households in this country. Who is really not paying their fair share ?

This market turns over $135 trillion pa. Just taking $1 in $1000 as tax will solve all their debt and tax problems. They expect we the people to do all the work and pay all the taxes.

Comment from Hasbeen
Time May 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

So you & your son think he should be able to sit around on his butt playing with his guitar, & being supported by the checkout chicks & truck drivers. Yep supported by those who would think they had gone to heaven if they had your “modest” income for just a month.

Talk about chardonnay socialists.

Comment from John
Time May 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

Yes, it is all the fault of the unemployed…the refugees…the pensioners…the building unions… Muslims. Fill in your favourite scapegoat here instead of addressing the real issue – the global crisis of capitalism and the Australian ruling class’s pre-emptive strikes for when or if the Great Recession hits our shores.

Comment from Dion Giles
Time May 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

The bottom line to this Budget is the same as for all Lib government.
Net overall transfer of wealth from those without it to those with it.
Accompanied by the usual chorus from the bogan element: Poverty is the fault of those who suffer it. Wealth belongs rightly to those who personally create none of it.

Comment from Jaime Mejia
Time May 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm


Your analysis was very accurate. I must add that Joe Hockey is a hypocrite when he says that we all must bear the burden at the same time that he is cutting corporate tax. The budget is not a broken promise: they lied to the electorate; it was part of a hidden agenda before the elections. I hope that the unions stop placing all illusions in the ALP and start putting on a real fight soon.

Comment from Arjay
Time May 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

We are in for a huge economic collapse. In 2008 they did not correct the faults and propped up the too big to fail.

Currently there are two economies. The share market and derivatives and the real productive one we all work in. The world derivative market is 10 times the GDP of the planet. They use these phoney derivatives such as credit default swaps, collateralised debt obligations ,shorting stocks etc as a means of stealing real assets from us. Our Councils and super funds were stung by the sale of sub-prime mortgages being sold as first grade investments. Both the banks and rating agencies lied and the fraud has not been addressed.

The money printing continues and this devalues our money via inflation. They create this inflation as debt. We are paying to have our money devalued, hence the debt can never be repaid unless we move back to Govt owned banks.

China and Russia are moving towards gold backed currencies. They and Aust are using the US $ less as a trading currency. When the US $ collapses this will bring on a huge economic down turn.

Be careful where you put your money because as a depositor banks define you as an unsecured lender. Our banks exposure to derivatives is 6 times their assets. Their assets are our mortgages and our property market is 40 % over valued.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 18, 2014 at 12:01 am


Every worker has the right to drink chardonnay. Only fat, cigar belching capitalists think otherwise.

Comment from John
Time May 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

Well said Chris.

Comment from John Richardson
Time May 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

Hi John.
FYI, the number of corporations that pay no income tax has now risen to just under 60%, whilst the number of mining companies paying no income tax has now reached 70%.
Maintain the rage.

Comment from John
Time May 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Thanks John. Where’d you get the data from? My memory is the ATO data now just talks about business, which includes unincorporated as well as small, medium and large companies. That figure, again from memory, was greater than 60%, rather than the figure for big business overall. I think I wrote about this a year or so ago.

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