The Coalition really missed a chance to release their budget announcement yesterday. It would have been the perfect occasion to reveal just how much of a joke it will be, and perfectly describes the people who over and over buy the same garbage every election cycle – fools.
There are a series of buzzwords that Coalition has latched onto desperately. Surplus, debt, strong economy; I don’t know where they get their economic advice from (that’s a lie, we all know who calls the shots), but ‘strong economic managers’ is the last phrase I’d use to describe them. On the surface level, however, these slogans and messages come across as wonderful and intuitive – action is being taken. My local MP, Andrew Laming, has been posting fanatically about how QLD Labor is cutting $39 million from Redlands Hospital – a claim that was proven false for a number of reasons – and his recent project has been childcare.
Attacking the opposition, posing for photo shoots with children, and promoting various functions attended by elderly white people is not action. We need a government that truthfully and properly manage our economy; certain public services and welfare should not be a partisan issue. It is easy to accuse Labor of throwing us into debt during an election campaign, but that’s old news considering it was over 6 years ago now. The debt has, since, skyrocketed, but no one will talk about that. Now it’s all about the magical surplus and strong economy that has boomed. Only problem is, both of those are false.
Getting rid of the deficit and bringing in a surplus, again, sounds great on the surface. But it’s easy to pretend we have a surplus when public funding is cut for multiple vital services, like healthcare (yes Laming, your party cut funding to Redlands’ hospital, not State Labor), education, etc. Privatising and contracting public services not only degrades the quality of said service drastically, but also – on metrics that actually matter – wrecks the economy in the long-term.
Soaring profits and stock values is not the only way to measure an economy, but for the Coalition it’s proof of how their calculated plans have succeeded. Only, it doesn’t help the majority, only the minority, many of whom don’t pay taxes anyway – tax cuts seem pointless when loopholes already exist.
There is some good news, however, and by that I mean empty promises. There is a promised rise in Newstart, spoken about as though Centrelink hasn’t already been brought to its knees. And what good will a small raise do there when the cost of living increases, and wages stagnate? Healthcare is being privatised and many are not able to afford it or are spiralled into debt for daring to be ill. Penalty rates were cut in a move that achieved none of its supposed goals, such as an increase in jobs. Instead it left many poorer workers with massive pay cuts that trickled right down into corporate pockets.
Shallow promises, a smoke and mirrors budget, and flashy PR. Another Coalition win will be devastating, but just like with NSW, it will not surprise me. The media will somehow manage to rip Labor to shreds (looking at you, Murdoch and Fairfax), so it is up to the people to take a solid look at the Coalition and realise they are not sustainable. First step would be swapping the Newstart weekly allowance with the daily transport and meal allowance politicians get – apparently we can afford such luxuries for some people, and maybe the politicians can show us how to live so frugally.
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