Does the Budget really matter?

Forget the budget because it will never happen. Nearly all of measures won’t take effect until after the next election, and if Abbott wins the next budget will revert to Hockey’s first budget and we will be living in the Fourth Reich. If Labour wins the budget will change to suit Labour Party philosophy. The budget is a total non-event dressed up to con the electorate into believing that the Abbott government has become warm and cuddly.

No-matter what economists and pollies may say all economics is ideology driven. If Australians want a caring compassionate country that does it’s best to look after all it’s citizens then we would follow one set of economic guidelines. If the desired outcome is to screw the poor to give to Murdoch and Rinehart then Joe Hockey is your man.

The moral and humanitarian attitudes of the party in power mean more than any short-term vote getting arse saving measures like the second Hockey budget. The Abbott government is still an extreme right government with an extreme right agenda. It is a government that runs concentration camps and treats Australian citizens as beasts of burden who’s only function is to serve the rich and powerful.

Concentration camps is the only way to describe overseas prison camps where refugees are stripped of their names and are known only as numbers, kept caged in appalling conditions with no hope, and who’s only crime was to seek our help in escaping repression. The Abbott government is a government that only changed its plan to withhold unemployment payments for under thirties for six months only when the Australian public comprehensively rejected it. It is a government who wanted to cut aged pensions whilst pretending that aged pensioners would be better off. It is a government that blackmails senators in to passing odious legislation. It is a government that refuses to understand that if we do not start looking after our planet in a short while we will not have an economy. The list of the evils of the Abbott government could go on forever but back to the budget.

Gross national product is not a good measure of our countries prosperity. What matters is how the gross national product is distributed. Does it matter how wealthy Australia is if one percent own everything and the rest of us scrabble for the few morsels falling from the snorts of the few with their heads in the trough. Joe Hockey will call it ‘trickle down’ but is it more like a very slowly dripping tap.

There are no universal economic rules. Economics is about who gets what from what is available. Economics is a about distribution. How do we want our wealth distributed? Is the distribution to be for the maximum good of all Australians or is our wealth solely for the benefit of the one percent?

Instead of discussing the Hockey non-budget the discussion needs to be about what sort of country we want to live in? Do we really want to live in the Fourth Reich? For those who do not like the idea of living in the Fourth Reich Abbott and his complete extreme right front bench must be buried under the same rock as Azazel, never to be seen again until the day of judgement.


Is Budget Day Redundant in the Google Age?

Last Tuesday’s budget announcements mean little because it was based on information that was at least six months old.

Since Treasury and the Australian Bureau of statistics began many years ago they have both laboriously compiled the best information they could from obscure sources, and have taken at least six months, often years to come up with any meaningful information.

But that was in the days when the world turned much slower. With the digital age everything happens at an alarming rate. Six months ago was an alien planet and Budgets made on information about what was happening six months ago are not in anyway connected with today’s economic reality.

Do you want to know what I had for supper on Tuesday? If it does interest you ask Google. Data in the digital age is instant.

The Government have been caught out several times lately by making decisions based on six-month old information. When they compiled the Budget for the year ahead it was based the world that existed six months ago. They are flying blind.

What is going to happen in a year’s time? The only thing that can be guaranteed is that it will not be what is predicted.

It is time that government in Australia, whoever holds power, took advantage of the data available and gather data and analyse it in a timely manner. If that means that the government of the day releases data and modifies policy several times a year that how it is. We need to get used to shifting economic realities and shifting budgets.

Labour made a mistake in asking treasury for the current and forecast economic conditions when they formulated last Tuesday’s Budget because it was based on historic, not current data. For current data they should have asked Google.