Forget the surplus, now we’re talking

I was intrigued by Samuel J’s entry about department staff in Canberra being asked for their spending suggestions, no offsets required.  Does this imply that the government has decided to forget the whole surplus objective – note that the 2013-14 surplus commitment is looking every bit as dodgy as the one for this year, particularly given the deferring of major expenditures into next financial year – and is now deciding on the content of a politically motivated spending orgy?

No doubt, some sympathetic journalists will applaud this new-found, sensible thinking by the government.  Don’t we all realise that the Australian economy is fragile?  (None of the Labor government’s doing, of course.)  Don’t we all realise that the world economy, while stronger, is still pretty weak?  Nothing like an on-going sugar hit from the gummit – aka, ultimately taxpayers – to “boost economic growth”.

And then there will be the avalanche of praise for the innovative social policies that will now be funded, with lots of well meaning objectives and Labor values to their bootstraps.

Here are some of my thoughts of new spending in the new promiscious age.

  • Billions to the NDIS, notwithstanding the fact that the results of the trials are not in.  This will have the added advantage of cornering state governments who will be left pondering how they can possibly fund their shares.  Any sign of hestitation on their part will be interpreted by the government as what the population will get with a mean-spirited Abbott gummit.
  • Billions to Gonski, even though it is completely unclear what will even be achieved.  Ditto cornering the state governments.  And you can just imagine the rhetoric on this one – education is fundamental, our children are our future, etc.
  • Billions to childcare in the form of direct subsidy of higher wages for childcare workers and subsidies to the centres.  Forget this quasi-voucher arrangement we have at present, the centres want the money directly.  The escalating cost of childcare is an issue, no doubt.  Perhaps nannies, highly regulated of course, will also be subsidised.
  • Increase the dole, and this will have the effect of lessening the impact on the single mothers who have had their weekly benefits cut (and rightly so – this is just tidying up a Howard government initiative).
  • Billions on infrastructure, perhaps taking up McKibbin’s idea of using long-term government bonds bearing low interest rates.  But note the political choices that will be made in terms of the infrastructure – forget any recommendations from Infrastructure Australia.  Get that white board out, Albo, you will be needing it.
  • Upping the indexation of military pensions – this will play well in a number of marginal seats, including Eden-Monaro and the Coalition has already committed to doing this.

Of course, all this will be accompanied by a massively ramped up advertising and PR campaign to “inform” (sell) all these initiatives.  Could be expensive.  We are already see this with the Schoolkids Bonus this summer.

Any other thoughts?

Another issue:  I have noticed that the Tasmanian and South Australian governments, both Labor, appear to have thrown in the towel when it comes to fiscal responsibility.  Both are now running serious deficits and are racking up more debt.  SA will probably have its rating downgraded soon.  But is there are strategy here?  That the feds will bail them out – there are quite a few marginal seats in both states.

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72 Responses to Forget the surplus, now we’re talking

  1. Steve of Ferny Hills

    Nanny’s won’t be subsidised. They are non-union scum.

    The alcopops tax will NOT be extended to the youngun’s alcoholic drink du jour, cider. Not before the election anyways.

  2. Amortiser

    Asking for spending initiatives is routine in the process of framing the budget. When all these wish lists are tallied we have the “forward estimates”.

    The Treasury now becomes involved in a pruning process firstly to eliminate the wackier ideas and then to get the overall spending into some sort of shape that can be argued responsibly.

    This is where the propaganda comes in. All the cuts and adjustments to these forward estimates are sold as drastic spending cuts. Forget the fact that most of the programs have never been funded or expenditure increases on existing programs are just proposals. The adjustments to forward estimates are promoted as spending cuts. It is a complete sham.
    When the budget is produced spending will increase and spending on existing programs will increase even though the government will say that spending on those programs have been cut.

    I will explain this ruse with a simple analogy. My wife has been talking to her friends about how miserly I am. They urge her to nag me for more money for housekeeping and holidays etc. She comes to me and demands a 40% increase in the contribution from my pay. I point out the realities of the situation and that such an increase is not possible. I tell her that with adjustments to some of my own spending items and the small increase in my salary I can give her 10% extra.

    Is my standing raised in the eyes of her friends? They spread stories that I have cut her allowance by more than 20%.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is how the budget process of the Australian government works.

  3. Gab

    Don’t we all realise that the Australian economy is fragile?

    Not according to Swan who says the domestic economy is robust, a firewall against what lays ahead. “Solid growth, low unemployment, healthy consumption, contained inflation and lower interest rates” he says. “The resilience of our workers and businesses, and our proven track record of dealing with global instability.” So, no worries then, the gummit will spend up big. He has no concerns over how all those promises will be funded, he assures us. It’s all fairy floss and unicorns for the future under a Labor givernment. /sarc.

  4. Alfonso

    McT is smarter than that, general spending has a short memory problem, what gets spent has to be sent by cheque to individual voters or the effect is diminished.

  5. Biota

    Amortiser, my father would often come home after a day driving and say that he made an extra couple of hundred that day because he didn’t get a speeding fine. Tongue in cheek by him, as opposed to labor/treasury.

    Also reminds me of the bookie when asked how his race day went said he lost a million (because he expected to make two and only made one).

  6. Sleetmute

    Re the ‘stimulus’ rationale for increasing the deficit, part of this is party-political and part of it is due to the RBA’s reluctance to ease monetary conditions sufficiently to maintain a reasonable level of growth of nominal GDP. As has been the case in the US, bad monetary policy begets bad fiscal policy.

  7. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Amortiser’s depressing description of the utter mendacity of the budget planning process is an accurate description.

  8. Norma

    “Other thoughts” Judith?
    Puff piece in today’s Tele says:
    “She put national security back on the agenda, describing it as a “foundation stone”"has
    If she is planning to undo all cuts she made to Defense we are looking at serious money.
    The Tele promises more detail at 11am. She may even have a bash at explaining why we should believe anything she says.

  9. val majkus

    Here are some of my thoughts of new spending in the new promiscious age

    I thought promiscuous meant something else

  10. Skuter

    part of this is party-political and part of it is due to the RBA’s reluctance to ease monetary conditions sufficiently to maintain a reasonable level of growth of nominal GDP.

    It is the RBA’s fault now? What a crock. This is ENTIRELY party political. Have you not noticed that it is an election year?

  11. Mark

    I really cannot understand why they didn’t do a similar reset at the last budget. By then they knew the game was over vis a surplus, well long before that but you get the idea, so why not with 18 odd months before an election flick the spending switch, get rid of the surplus deadweight, and simply go for broke on Gonski, the deplorable NDIS etc.

    They really do play politics badly. If they were to go into serious deficit spending on “Labor value” items the gallery would cheer. There will be no push back and they will be lauded as visionaries and any other adjective tools like Farr can search up in a thesaurus.

    It is the ultimate win strategy for them as Abbott will oppose and then they can continue on with the Dr No crap. Seems a no brainer to me to attempt to buy/steal the election.

    All that is left for Gillard is to try and get some positive legacy. She knows she has been a disaster and history will treat her poorly from both a Labor and performance perspective. She will attempt to buy some good news in the next few months. Guaranteed.

  12. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    She will say anything, do anything, lie about anything, anywhere, anytime, whenever it suits, and without thought for the longer-term consequences.

    If the electorate believe her then the consequences, not good, will be deserved. Money trees are dying all over the world.

  13. Skuter

    I really cannot understand why they didn’t do a similar reset at the last budget. By then they knew the game was over vis a surplus, well long before that but you get the idea, so why not with 18 odd months before an election flick the spending switch, get rid of the surplus deadweight, and simply go for broke on Gonski, the deplorable NDIS etc.

    Exactly. If Sleet’s ‘RBA is to blame meme’ were correct, that’s exactly what they would have done…that they didn’t shows that they thought they would gain political credibility by maintaining the surplus pledge. They just recalibrated when it was clear that 1) it wasn’t working and 2) the media and ‘economic commentators’ would give them a free pass. Politics was always at the heart of their concerns. Do anyone really think nominal GDP growth figured in any of the conversations between Slapper, Goose and Jock McSporran?

  14. Mundi

    We may be at a real tipping point in history.

    Voters will either reject this mad spending like they did in qld, or they will embrace it, like they have in the United States. I have no confidence that Tasmania or south Australia will turn liberal.

    I am a bit of a libertarian pessimist, I tipped the Obama win of the electrol college pretty much exactly. I think labor will surprise everyone here with the level they will go to win. K.rudd cheques are nothing compared to what they will announce to turn things around.

  15. Honesty

    There has to be a payoff for the unions that will be a poison pill for an incoming Coalition, I am just not sure what form it will take, maybe super? Any suggestions?

  16. JC

    Mundi

    If spending makes a dead cert, why was labor basically thrown out of office

  17. Anthony

    “Perhaps nannies, highly regulated of course, will also be subsidised.”
    And they’ll come from Asia on 457 Visas, mark my words. It’s only a matter of time before the government realizes it’s cheaper for them to allow that than to further subsidize the childcare centres. Plenty of room in those McMansions that young mums have to work to pay for to house a Filipino or Indian house girl.

  18. Mundi has a point.
    I wake at night in a cold sweat after a nightmare where the Bulbous Bint has cut PAYE Tax to 15% as a bribe to the working classes. Then is totally gobsmacked as the economy takes off and tax revenues explode to fund her promises.

    Now that’s a bloody nightmare, because the Labor Party won’t be able to work out why and their next move will be to raise the GST to get even more revenue.

  19. Mk50 of Brisbane

    The Lying Slapper, The Economic Illiterate and Haggis McSporran have not put a foot right yet. Their brand is toxic and people just aren’t listening.

    Do not mistake the frantic and increasingly hysterical masturbation of the Canberra and other pressitutes, the slobbering fawning of Farr, the pathetically mendacious simpering of Tingle, or the fact that Marr leaves no ALP-greenfilth cock unsucked for sufficient shelter from the rage out there.

    Do not forget that the presstitutes, media whores, left wing and ALP-greenfilth believe their own bullsh*t.

    People know they have been lied to and know they have been treated as stupid mugs.

    There will be retribution for that.

    And that, folks, is why we must support the continued ‘leadership’of the Lying Slapper.

  20. Sleetmute

    Skuter, I did say party politics (and incompetence) is part of the story and you will not find a bigger cynic of the GFC stimulus spending than me. My point is a more general one. Back when the pledge was made, the government and Treasury probably expected NGDP growth to return to recent trend of about 5-6% pa. Instead, it has averaged sub-4% since 2010. This is by far the biggest reason why we haven’t returned to surplus. To the extent that the failure of NGDP to return to trend is touted as a reason for maintaining (or increasing) the deficit, the RBA should share the blame. Now this idea (or ‘meme’ as you call it) can not and will not be used by the government. They can’t. The RBA is seen as independent and as such is too powerful an institution to trash. The only person who has tried this on is Stephen Koukoulas, but he is rightly regarded as rapidly pro-Labor and has put the case too strongly. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to it.

    To allow the RBA to escape any blame for our current predicament is a milder version of the free pass the Fed got in 2008-09 when it allowed NGDP to crash. The whole reason I became interested in NGDP is that I could never buy the notion that the Community Reinvestment Act was itself primarily responsible for the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

  21. Skuter

    Back when the pledge was made, the government and Treasury probably expected NGDP growth to return to recent trend of about 5-6% pa.

    Based on a rubbish model of the economy. Treasury and the government had been warned since 2009 that their forecasts for post-GFC growth were too optimistic.
    My problem with this market monetarist line that NGDP just ‘collapsed’ is not convincing. The question for me that needs to be answered is, what is the fundamental reason as to why velocity of circulation has fallen. To just say NGDP collapsed because of tight money is an inadequate explanation.

  22. John Comnenus

    Military pension indexation should be changed to reflect those used for pensioners. Hover this should be offset by changing the indexation arrangements for politicians to bring them down to being in line with the pension. Why are military pensions the only ones that go backwards over time?

  23. Entropy


    “Perhaps nannies, highly regulated of course, will also be subsidised.”
    And they’ll come from Asia on 457 Visas, mark my words. It’s only a matter of time before the government realizes it’s cheaper for them to allow that than to further subsidize the childcare centres. Plenty of room in those McMansions that young mums have to work to pay for to house a Filipino or Indian house girl.

    Anthony
    13 Jan 13 at 11:39 am

    And the downside for McMansion daddies?

  24. M Ryutin

    I don’t know about the situation left in Queensland but if the corrupt NSW ALP government is anything to go on, once Gillard and co realise that all is lost they will sell off anything and everything in a financial ‘scorched earth’ policy. Even if they think they have some chance they will flog off or promise anything, financially commit to everything to try and buy the last few votes needed to survive. What’s even worse, going by the Libs so far, they will promise to match all those bribes anyway!
    The ALP always presumes that the incoming coalition will start to pay everything back and will then suffer electoral damage because of the pain inflicted. That’s why stating openly that the ALP debt will be left for them sounded like a good idea to me in my worst and most malicious moments.

  25. Alice

    Val says

    ” Here are some of my thoughts of new spending in the new promiscious age

    I thought promiscuous meant something else”

    Craig Thompson is in charge of that part of the budget.

  26. Sleetmute

    Skuter, I’m not talking about returning to the elevated rates of NGDP growth we had in 2006-08, which were more like 7-8%+. I’m talking (5-6%) about the average rates of NGDP growth from the mid-90s to the mid-00s. The failure to return to those rates has led to sluggish growth in company profits and wage incomes, which in turn has led to lower tax as % of GDP, lower rates of employment growth and higher spending due to automatic stabilisers.

  27. Greg James

    Someone on this site – I can’t remember who – many months ago suggested that an incoming Coalition government should not even attempt to pay down the debt left by the outgoing ALP government, but should simply just quarantine it and name it as “Labour Debt” and then just assign the $10B or so per year in interest in the budget to service it.

    Sort of like a reverse ‘Future Fund’.

    At the time I thought it was a pretty dumb idea.

    Now, I’m not so sure; at least from a political perspective.

    I’m wondering why it can’t simply be quarantined as was suggested, even if it means a $10B or so hit per year on our economy in interest payments, simply as a reminder to the Australian electorate – year after year – of the profligacy and incompetence of this Labor government.

    After all, they created it, so why not make them own it, even if it takes 10 or 20 years for them to do so.

  28. Alice

    “And they’ll come from Asia on 457 Visas, mark my words. It’s only a matter of time before the government realizes it’s cheaper for them to allow that than to further subsidize the childcare centres. Plenty of room in those McMansions that young mums have to work to pay for to house a Filipino or Indian house girl.

    Anthony
    13 Jan 13 at 11:39 am

    And the downside for McMansion daddies?”

    The downside is this will cause a lot of trouble in 100 years. Ask the Fijians.

  29. .

    The downside is this will cause a lot of trouble in 100 years. Ask the Fijians.

    The trouble in Fiji is that George Speight was a traitor and a racist nationalist.

    Commodore Bainimarama is doing a bang up job of ending Fijian natives ideas of a race based system of entitlement that exists in Malaysia for example.

  30. Alice

    They still own all the land Dot. Has Bainimarama changed that?

  31. Skuter

    Sleet, George Selgin and Scott Sumner had a debate about this a couple of months back. Basically, trying to determine which trend rate of NGDP growth is pretty arbitrary so it does make a little bit of a mockery of market monetarist claims as favouring rules-based versus discretionary monetary policy.
    Also, a key issue for me is, why has velocity of circulation fallen? That is what causes NGDP to fall below its trend. This is where the focus on NGDP gives us no answers. For mine, there must be a structural answer as to why nominal spending collapses. Why has demand for money changed?

  32. .

    They never owned “all of the land”, Alice.

  33. Skuter

    Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, it is the government through their erratic decision making and lack of commitment to anything but staying in power that has led to a fall in business and consumer confidence. That is at least part of the explanation of the fall in velocity of circulation.

  34. Scott

    Noting that deficit spending is nothing more than deferred taxation I think the true reflection of Labor’s economic management is shown with a graph that shows personal tax revenue + deficit spending as a percentage of GDP. On the same graph, Howard Government tax revenue – debt principle payments

    This ensures that the government who incurs the debt or makes a payment has that reflected against there record:

  35. H B Bear

    Tasmania is a failed State propped up by the Feds. South Australia is rapidly approaching the same status. GST distribution mechanism provides no incentive for keeping State finances in any sort of good order.

  36. .

    Excellent work making that or finding that.

    I reckon you should send it to the Coalition, or even to the LDP.

    It should be used next election mercilessly.

  37. Craig Mc

    Worth showing to an 18 year old who thinks governments should pay for everything.

  38. .

    Craig

    Outrageous. Swan, the ABC, SMH and assorted lefty dickwads have the temerity to complain about the US “being held hostage to the mad, sad and bad tea party”.

    Cuts are the only way. Cut, swinge and privatise.

    Debt 14 trillion
    Income 2.17 trillion
    Expenditure 3.82 trillion
    New debt 1.65 trillion
    Amount “cut” 38.5 billion (1% of debt)

  39. Honesty

    @Greg James quarantined debt named “Labor/Green Debt” and slowly paid off is an excellent idea. It would be a continually reminder, I have never heard of this before – has it ever been done? PS I added “Green” to the label I hope you don’t mind it only seems fair.

  40. Dan

    She will say anything, do anything, lie about anything, anywhere, anytime, whenever it suits, and without thought for the longer-term consequences.

    It’s deceitful Dada

  41. Alice

    They do own all the leand Dot. Its all leased.

  42. .

    They do own all the leand Dot. Its all leased.

    Why did you bother asking?

    Alice, check your sources. Mine indicate 80% of privately owned land is owned by Fijians, Fijian Indians must lease it (as many do being the bulk of sugar growing bloc), and in 2006 public land retrospectively had a royalties based native title tacked onto it.

  43. Borisgodunov

    RETRIBUTION! This is the year of Retributionmwhen The People FORCE the New Government to Punish the alp/green/dependents for Willfull Deceit,Total Disregard of the Peoples Will and any other charges we can find or invent,throw in the union crooks ,lefty public servantsvand anyone who profited from this Pack of Criminals,No Super,No Pensions No Perks ,Plenty of Jailtime,pass Retrospective Laws if Needed.No courts ,judges or lawyers .Peoples Tribuals to sentence the crims.
    Them cut pollies and PS wages by a minimum of 50per cent ,with no perks or pensions ,Then we Get Serious!!

  44. .

    Boris

    I like your enthusiasm but it goes too far.

    I like well paid public prosecutors here in NSW, I just wish they didn’t prosecute victimless crimes and could put 100% of their efforts into prosecuting the worst fraud, rape, murder and armed robbery, etc.

    Mark Tedeschi and Margaret Cuneen have made lunch out of some real scum, and rightly so.

  45. Samuel J

    It is quite unusual to ask departments (I’m not sure if all departments have been asked) to provide new spending proposals without offsets. I think you’re right Judith to be concerned about a spending spree and the areas you nominate seem right. I’d also add support for the manufacturing sector.

  46. Grey

    As I understand there is a proposal for a carbon version of Howard’s higher incomes medicare levy – which applies if you don’t take out private health insurance.

    It is going to be a Carbon levy of 1.5% of income for people earning about 80% who have not put some investment into carbon efficiency. So for example if you have put in solar panels or are running a hybrid vehicle or you can prove you have disposed of a SUV for a smaller fuel efficient car, you would qualify for an exemption.

  47. Andrew

    NDIS is a dud. Massive amounts of money for it to be funded and
    the majority of people on the disability pension won’t have access to it…completely useless

  48. John Comnenus

    So let me get this right we have 1.5 million on Aussies on the disability pension and have another 400,000 who need an NDIS. That means almost 1 in 10 Australians is disabled. Bullshit. This is just a massive fraud on tax payers that leaves little money for those who really need it. Hence i am against the NDIS unless it is funded out of savings from prosecuting frauds on the disability pension.

  49. candy

    I sure hope the Coalition gets their policies out there soon. They’re going to find it hard to catch up if they leave it too late and the election is only probably not more than six months away. What are they doing.

  50. John Comnenus

    Yes Candy,

    I think the smart move for the ALP is to go before June with a house of reps only election keeping a lft wing comtrol of the senate and forcing the LNP to go to a half Senate election when they are trying to do unpopular things.

  51. Alfonso

    Wasn’t there a figure out there….NDIS per first Billion : $600 mill to run it via public service, $400 mill as combat dollars. I musta misrecollected.

  52. John Comnenus

    Alfonso,

    It is all just a fraud on taxpayers. The only people who benefit are the Australian Public Service (APS). The APS is the biggest, most powerful, most destructive vested interest in the country. If itnis going to be an insurance scheme – get a bloody insurance company to run it. The APS can’t even insulate roofs without massive rorts, loss and deaths. Give it to professionals. The LNP should only support the NDIS if it is funded from a crack down on rorts of the disability pension and is given to an insurance company to run.

  53. Alice

    John Comenus

    “That means almost 1 in 10 Australians is disabled. Bullshit.”

    Well after what they did to single mothers and their kids – expect 2 in 10 Australians to suddennly become mentally disabled.

  54. John Comnenus

    Alice,

    And then we can add in the carers, pensioners and children and its wonder anyone is left to pay tax at all!

  55. Alice

    BS JC2
    Yours is a “if we help some disadvantaged the stream of disadvantaged will never end” attitude.
    Im not buying your crap tonight.

  56. John Comnenus

    No Alice, I am saying a lot of people who are not disadvantaged are claiming they are disadvantaged hence reducing the overall assistance available to those who really are disadvantaged. I am all for helping those who are truly disadvantaged.

  57. JC

    Alice

    The only thing you’re buying tonight is the 4th bottle of gin so don’t worry about what I’m selling.

  58. John Comnenus

    Alice,

    Welfare is like pink batts, if the government is giving em away to a supposedly good cause, expect organised crime, various conmen and sharpies to loot the program. The program then doesn’t achieve its objectives because of the looting. It happens to the pension, superannuation, family benefits, diabilty pensions, austudy, and will happen to the NDIS. The government is certifiably hopeless at running everything, including it’s core responsibilities like Defence, Justice and Border Protection. We should, therefore, let them run as little as possible – ie only the departments we don’t want privately run like Defence, Justice and Birder Protection. Outsource just about everything else.

  59. Andrew

    So let me get this right we have 1.5 million on Aussies on the disability pension and have another 400,000 who need an NDIS. That means almost 1 in 10 Australians is disabled. Bullshit. This is just a massive fraud on tax payers that leaves little money for those who really need it. Hence i am against the NDIS unless it is funded out of savings from prosecuting frauds on the

    The figure I read was that 800,000 people were on the disability pension yet only around 300,000 people were going to have access to the NDIS. It is going to be a massive program to fund and still people are going to be left behind.

  60. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Gheyboy: It is going to be a Carbon levy CHurch of Gaia tithe of 1.5% of income for people earning about 80% who have not put some investment into carbon efficiency paid off the cult’s Priests. So for example if you have put in solar panels or are running a hybrid vehicle or you can prove you have disposed of a SUV for a smaller fuel efficient car, you would qualify for an exemption indulgence from the Church.

    FTFY, Gheyboy.

  61. John Comnenus

    Andrew if your figures are correct then there are 1.1 million Aussies totally unable to help themselves. That’s 1 in 20 Australians. Think about it, if you know 100 people, 5 of them are totally disabled. It’s still bullshit. Australia is one of the healthiest countries in the world. Anyone who thinks 5% of the population are totally disabled and can’t help themselves is full of shit. Even people who work in the disability would struggle to know more than 5% of people they know who are disabled. It is bullshit to cover a massive fraud on tax payers. When will someone stand up for te tax payer?

  62. Andrew

    Andrew if your figures are correct then there are 1.1 million Aussies totally unable to help themselves

    What I meant to say was that of those 800,000 people on the disability pension, only 300,000 of those people are eligible for the NDIS. My poor explanation has led to a misunderstand and you adding the figures together. I do agree that it is quite large number but if true, it sure makes the NDIS a massive joke.

  63. Alice

    JC
    I dont drink gin you old fool. It has to be better than that.

  64. Louis Hissink

    I heard years ago that the terminally unemployable, older people mainly, were put the disability pension prior to going onto the old age pension. The new start payments were designed to cater for this demographic.

  65. Louis Hissink

    never designed – sigh,,,,,

  66. Craig Mc

    Too true Louis. A family member got on disability in his early sixties for alcoholism. It’s a government grant to stay home and drink, which of course he did until he had an aneurism.

    If you walked into Centrelink and told them you were addicted to lap dances and comic books they’d put you on disability.

  67. H B Bear

    The disability pension is mainly used to get the long term unemployed off the dole to make the employment numbers look better.

  68. Pickles

    Don’t forget that 1 in 4 Australians are medically diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, according to the ad on tv hawking the stuff that fixes it.

  69. David

    With regard to military superannuation pensions, any prospective initiative by the Parliament is only to fix an employer obligation that has been broken for 20+ years. If a future Government / Parliament does not address its contractual obligations then there is a danger of the issue being dealt with by the highest court in the land where the resulting bill could conceivably be substantially higher.

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