Allan Takes Aim Blog

Posted on: 15 May 2013

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Budget day observations and other matters

For some households Budget Day is every day of the week while for other households it falls on one day of the week. Most countries on the other have a Budget Day at least once a year.

Budgets also fall into two categories.  Category 1  budgets often spell doom to the hopes and aspirations of many voters while Category 2  budgets are like the curate’s egg, good in parts though which part is good and which is bad is good will keep Government and Opposition at each other’s throats every day until the next budget is due.

Yesterday was national budget day in Australia and after voters heard what the Australian treasurer said in his budget speech, many Australians will know what doom feels like, not that the Treasurer will agree with them. Nonetheless as his pre-budget flow of leaks had done much to prepare most Australians for disappointment, they were not surprised.

However, when the Treasurer reiterated the bad news in his budget speech, in his best a politician to his bootstraps role he laid the blame on others. He blamed the Opposition and suggested that had it been in Government, its budget would have been worse. Of course in places other than parliament this would be called lying but because in politics ‘All’s fair in love and war’ if the Opposition were the Government it would be doing the same.

As for the budget, items the Government was relying on to persuade voters that it was responsible were: ‘Disability Care’ (formerly the National Disability Insurance Scheme), its Education Plan and Income support for pensioners. However, a close examination of budget details revealed these positives were being achieved by robbing Peter to pay Paul through the imposition of swingeing cuts on current programmes.

Despite these comments as someone with a severe disability I welcome the Disability Care initiative. However, while welcoming the initiative with open arms I long ago found out that when dealing with Government initiatives one must keep ones’ eyes open for possible faults. That said, it would thus seem churlish to complain about the time it will take to roll out Disability Care on a national basis because some people will die before the scheme becomes available to them.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the PR surrounding Disability Care which suggests that every person under 65 with a disability will receive money to cover every aspect of their care. This isn’t true but unless this issue is addressed promptly and before the preliminary rollouts take place, there’s no doubt some at the tail end of the rollout queue who harbour this false expectation could be even more seriously disadvantaged.

One might also question the new education initiative. Indeed, can education progress be measured?  I subscribe to the view that people receive the best education in the University of Life and so would hate to see schools and universities churning out robotic students with little life experience just to satisfy the ambition of certain politicians and academics. Should this happen, Australia will develop a culture of regression not progression.

This can happen when ideas are locked into long time frames without any idea of what will happen as time progresses. The advent of technology, not only in IT but in medicine and other aspects of life as new materials and new methods of doing things are created, requires constant monitoring of those ideas so that they can be adapted to the new technology.

Unfortunately, it seems me that too many politicians, academics, and social scientists plus others are attempting to create a womb to the tomb community that they and their successors can control. This has been tried in the past. The history of these failures make interesting reading.

Comment welcome.

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3 Responses to ""

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