Pre-budget nerves – my list of dos and don’ts

I am getting a bit nervous about the budget that’s brewing, no longer behind the scenes but with a few strategic leaks breaking into the news. As you may know, I am no Keynesian but I went back and took a look at my own Free Market Economics text since I could not remember whether I even mention the word “deficit”. The index has it listed once, three pages from the end on page 332.

Here are my thoughts on things. Why they left a Labor-supporting Keynesian to manage Treasury in the single most important budget they will ever introduce is beyond me. Anyway, here are my thoughts.

It’s not the deficit per se that matter but the level of public spending.

If you want to fix the economy, resources must migrate from being under the direction of the public sector and into the hands of the private sector. Therefore, the focus should be on cuts to non-value-adding forms of public spending. If it doesn’t show a positive return within a reasonable period of time, cut it off. This, by the way, is not an anti-welfare message although welfare too must be affordable. I am talking about infrastructure and the many forms of waste and mis-regulation that are found at every turn.

The economy will grow, employment will grow, real wages will grow if and only if economic activity is directed by private sector entrepreneurs. It will shrivel under the direction of government. Do not even imagine anything much beyond the first 10 percent of what you are already spending will create economic growth. Cutting public spending will create growth, not maintaining existing levels.

Raising taxes to fund public spending is a deadly mistake and wrong twice over:

. Higher taxes will allow you to maintain the level of public sector direction of our scarce economic resources.

. Higher taxes will reduce activity in the private sector.

The core aim must be to encourage entrepreneurial activity. There is no budget problem that cannot be fixed by:

. Reducing the level of unproductive public spending

. Fostering private sector growth (where unproductive spending has its own very brutal cure).

If the strategy is to balance the budget in ways that will diminish private sector investment and entrepreneurial activity, it will make things worse, not better. Economic conditions have been improving since the change of government with nothing much at all having been done. Leaving things alone is better than introducing new programs or raising taxes to fund existing forms of waste. Step back, get out of the way, cut your own take up of resources. But for heaven’s sake, don’t apply some bizarre Keynesian budget-surplus strategy by funding the existing level of public spending at the expense of the private sector.

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84 Responses to Pre-budget nerves – my list of dos and don’ts

  1. Rafe

    Peter Costello was good on Bolt, in reply to the ALP mantra that Australia’s debt is not very high by OECD standards he pointed out that you have to consider where the Rudd/Gillard administration started and the trajectory of the debt by the time they left.

    They started with zero debt and despite a massive boom in exports, favourable terms of trade etc they left with the debt rising at a very dangerous and unsustainable rate.

    The ALP is in total denial about the debt and we have to hope that the punters can see what this means because the ALP strategy is to promote fear and loathing by fair means or foul, with the assistance of the usual suspects.

  2. stackja

    Step back, get out of the way, cut your own take up of resources. But for heaven’s sake, don’t apply some bizarre Keynesian budget-surplus strategy by funding the existing level of public spending at the expense of the private sector.

    The problem is as Rafe says:

    The ALP is in total denial about the debt and we have to hope that the punters can see what this means because the ALP strategy is to promote fear and loathing by fair means or foul, with the assistance of the usual suspects.

    MSM again are the problem they only know the ALP/Green dogma which they willingly regurgitate without fear of condemnation.

  3. The Pugilist

    Leaving things alone is better than introducing new programs or raising taxes to fund existing forms of waste. Step back, get out of the way, cut your own take up of resources. But for heaven’s sake, don’t apply some bizarre Keynesian budget-surplus strategy by funding the existing level of public spending at the expense of the private sector.

    Very good advice Steve. Of course we live in a world where the politicians and the bureaucrats all like to think their activities are really truly crucial to the health and well-being of the nation. The sad thing is that most of the population believe them. Most people cannot imagine a world where governments are not involved in the provision of things like education, hospitals and health services, childcare, aged care, etc.
    Also the vast majority of the population have no idea about the true economic concept of a ‘public good’. Basically, people seem to believe that public goods are stuff people like that they think should be provided for free or at least below it’s true cost. Most politicians are eager to feed this idea, either deliberately or through ignorance…
    I fear this situtation will get worse with the advent of PUP (Palmer’s Unabashed Populists). I hope Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm, along with principled Liberal Senators like Scott Ryan and Mathias Cormann can educate the public and win the day.

  4. stackja

    I fear this situtation will get worse with the advent of PUP (Palmer’s Unabashed Populists). I hope Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm, along with principled Liberal Senators like Scott Ryan and Mathias Cormann can educate the public and win the day.

    Do not expect help from the MSM as I said they are the problem.

  5. stackja

    Fear, uncertainty and doubt
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
    FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information.

  6. candy

    The government promised to work towards surplus and build infrastructure, and not cut welfare, education, etc.
    They have to do that in the first instance, their first budget, to gain trust. Good government is not sustainable without electoral trust.

  7. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.
    — Robert Heinlein

    Sounds like TA socially unacceptable.

  8. A Lurker

    Can someone tell me if Trade Unions pay tax, and if not, why not.

  9. Des Deskperson

    Higher taxes will be significantly dissipated by the inefficiency and underperformance of parts – not all – of the Commonwealth public sector.

  10. The Pugilist

    Do not expect help from the MSM as I said they are the problem.

    Absolutely stackja. One just had to witness our Fran on our ALPBC lashing Sir Feit of calories with a feather today on insiders…
    Appropriately for this forum, I’ll repeat Rabz’s mantra:

    Shut. It. Down.
    Fire. Them. All.

  11. stackja

    A Lurker
    #1282438, posted on April 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm
    Can someone tell me if Trade Unions pay tax, and if not, why not.

    http://archive.hrnicholls.com.au/archives/vol2/vol2-4.php
    Section 23 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provides:
    ‘The following income shall be exempt from income tax: ….
    (f) The income of a trade union and the income of an association of employers or employees registered under any Act or State Act, or under any law enforced in a Territory being part of Australia relating to the settlement of industrial disputes.’

    Union why not? Why should they? They are special! Or so the ALP keeps telling us!

  12. stackja

    The Pugilist
    #1282448, posted on April 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    The whole public sector needs trimming but again the MSM keep up the FUD.

  13. tomix

    Unintended consequences. If unions paid tax they’d become tax collectors for the gummint and we’d all be unionised.

  14. Bruce of Newcastle

    Chris Bowen was on SBS News a short time ago slamming the Libs for “doubling the deficit”.

    He was Treasurer under Rudd II. Therefore this guy is the most appalling hypocrite on the Opposition benches given the ALP blew $350 billion in only 6 years.

    What breathtaking mendacity the ALP lives and breathes. Shameless bastards.

  15. Rabz

    Abolish anything with the following words in it:

    green
    sustainable
    multicultural
    climate
    carbon
    community(ies)
    indigenous
    human rights
    Australian broadcasting corporation

  16. Infidel Tiger

    If they introduce one new tax or one new levy, then they must be hunted down, beaten to a pulp, revived and then fed through a paper shredder genitals first.

    The talk coming out of Canberra sickens me to my core.

  17. stackja

    What breathtaking mendacity the ALP lives and breathes. Shameless bastards.

    And yet about 30% of people keeping voting for them.

  18. Rabz


    If they introduce one new tax or one new levy, then they must be hunted down, beaten to a pulp, revived and then fed through a paper shredder genitals first.

    This.

    I’ll be leading the hunt if they do.

  19. egg_

    green
    sustainable
    multicultural
    climate
    carbon
    community(ies)
    indigenous
    human rights
    Australian broadcasting corporation

    + ‘{insert title here} Studies’

  20. Alfonso

    Budgets at street level are for supercilious try hards.
    Your mission is to avoid/minimise your tax to the max.

    Therein lies the greatest return for effort……..not sales.

    If half my effort directed at avoiding govt theft of my income was directed at actual enterprise…what a wonderful world it would be

  21. Des Deskperson

    Rabz

    Suggest also:
    Fair Work
    Safe Work
    Gender
    Equality
    Diversity
    Review
    Appeal
    Arts
    Cultural
    Human resources

    Oh, and any public sector agency that has ‘strategic’ in its title almost certainly isn’t and should come under close scrutiny

  22. lem

    I’m in for hunting politicians if there’s a new tax. First I want to see Gillard/Rudd etc hunted down and all their assets/pensions removed as proceeds of crime. Then we move to the unions. Watch out Abbott you could be next.

  23. David

    Don’t disagree with your list Des except for “Review” and “Appeal” as they are the means for the ordinary citizen to have a miscarriage of justice inflicted on them reversed.

    Even the worst offender against sane laws is entitled to an “Appeal” option otherwise you are totally at the mercy of the “gummint”.

  24. Andrew

    If they introduce one new tax or one new levy, then they must be hunted down, beaten to a pulp, revived and then fed through a paper shredder genitals first.

    The talk coming out of Canberra sickens me to my core.

    They already effectively are with PPL levy

  25. val majkus

    Austerity should start at the top!
    I’m all for freezing Parliamentarians salaries and getting rid of those studies tours routs – remember Combet in France and Windsor in Spain and Rudd in just about every country in the world
    wonder if Labor and the PUPS would let that through the Senate

  26. val majkus

    As for the PPL Working mums paying tax are better for society and better for the economy. If you calculated say 10 years of Government payments to stay at home mums (Part A & Part B Family Tax Benefits) plus Government bonuses it’s going to come in at a lot more than the cap of $75,000 under Abbott’s scheme. Women who will benefit most from the scheme are those whose careers are advancing up the ladder – probably mums in their thirties who are getting satisfaction from their career. It’s been my experience those mums are keen to get back to work. And from a productivity point of view it’s better to have future generations growing up in a work oriented household than the opposite. It’s time that the contribution working mums make is recognised in a more than meaningful way. Women at the high end of the scale of child bearing age (the $75,000 mums the MSM keeps talking about) are a very low percentage of the female work force. I’ve seen a figure of less than 2%. These women will pay tax on their earnings as well as the maternity leave payments.

  27. val majkus

    I’m a bit of a virgin gardener and suddenly I’ve gotten a strip of lawn to keep tidy – I’ve got a manual lawnmower for the centre bits but does anyone have any tips for edges – I don’t want to get a whipper snipper but I was thinking those little saws on sticks that you roll along the ground might work – any suggestions?

  28. val majkus

    Back to the PPL there was a great comment on 21/8 last year:

    Andrew, I won’t go through the details again but Abbott’s PPS is not the fiscal burden it is painted. But to reiterate: only 2% of women in childbearing age earn $100 K or more and many of these women have no intention to have a baby. Women who already have one or more child either work part time, casual, job share or don’t work outside the family home. The average pa income for ALL working women is $60 K with those on the higher end of the scale well over childbearing age. This means that the mums planning another baby are mostly on a modest income of less than $30 K and more often $20 K. Therefore their maternity payment for six months is going to be around $10 K for the majority. Admittedly women on these low incomes will not pay tax, but any in your oft quoted income bracket of $150 K pa will, not only on their earnings but also on the maternity leave payments. This reduces their net income to around $100K pa. so after their tax payments they are $35 K in front of the part time working mum, but they are also more likely to rejoin the work force because of their ability to earn a higher wage, and keep in mind women who fall into this category are 2% of women of childbearing age, and that it is not a given that all of these 2% want or are in a position to have a baby.
    Where should Abbott target waste? Well, he could start with the Labor bloated Federal Government. Cut them back to a reasonable amount. Then set up a TPI style panel of medical experts to examine all of the “stress leave” public servants on sick leave. This is a huge drain on the public purse. For every “early retiree” still on paid sick leave, there is another employed in his/her position, and there may be more than one person on sick leave held against that position number. This is the real rort in the public service because it is rife at all ages and for both sexes. The Abbott maternity scheme for ALL women is chicken feed compared to the stress leave throughout Federal and State public services. I do wonder just how many of the chronic “stress leavers “ have been moved over to the “disabled group” to have that group now comprise 2.2 million people.
    Sammi (Reply)
    Wed 21 Aug 13 (09:08am)

  29. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.
    — Thomas Sowell

  30. .

    If the Liberal Party doesn’t support the same plan for income tax as the LDP (20% rate with 40k TFT) or something better or its eventual abolition, why do they even exist anymore?

    What is their raison d’être right now?

    This should be in the same vein as now new taxes, promised tax cuts and balancing the budget within two election cycles.

  31. Des Deskperson

    ‘..except for “Review” and “Appeal” as they are the means for the ordinary citizen to have a miscarriage of justice inflicted on them reversed.’

    Of course, and they are a key element in procedural fairness in decision making by government. My point – made perhaps a little crudely – is that these processes – often expensive and time consuming – tend be hijacked by activists and the grievance oriented. The Refugee Review Tribunal is a classic example. Elimination of membership bias, streamlining process and tightening grounds for review are probably what is needed.

  32. val majkus

    Trimming fat where ever it exists – including at the ABC – is not a broken election promise IMHO

  33. val majkus

    The Refugee Review Tribunal is a classic example.

    Des I think there’s been a change to the availability of Legal Aid for those proceedings

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/…legal-advice-for-asylumseekers/story-fn9hm…‎
    Mar 31, 2014 – Mr Morrison said in a statement: “Australia’s protection obligations do not … The removal of legal aid to agencies that assist refugees and …

    sorry can’t link on my phone

  34. Andrew

    + ‘{insert title here} Studies’

    Ahem, Actuarial Studies probably should be exempt.

  35. Bruce of Newcastle

    does anyone have any tips for edges

    Val – I just use a pair of garden shears…like big scissors. The catch is it means you have to bend over though, whereas the whippersnipper or edger lets you stand straight.

    The old way was to use a manual edger, which looked like a wheel on a stick with a circular knife blade on it. Not serrated as you suggest – just a sharpened circle of steel on a stick. Maybe they still exist, but I can’t recall seeing one for years. Try Bunnings.

  36. Rabz

    I don’t want to get a whipper snipper

    Then you will be toiling for no good reason, val.

    You can buy an electric one that is light and will do the job and has a rechargeable battery.

    I’d recommend one of these.

  37. Andrew

    – tend be hijacked by activists and the grievance oriented. The Refugee Review Tribunal is a classic example.

    Hijacked? St Kevni of Griffith was informed that the RRT was knocking back too many appeals for the liking of his masters. So he Fired. Them. All. But instead of Shutting. It. Down. he appointed Big Refugee to all the spots. Bolt666 blew the whistle on it in 2010 (it’s out there in Google somewhere). So suddenly the “genuine refugee” stats went up to where Sarah Hyphen-Seapatrol was claiming.

    This was as much a hijacking as that pisstank on the Virgin flight that tried to take a wiz in the cockpit.

    Thr real question is, why? Why would Kevni not welcome the non-genuine being sent home?

  38. val majkus

    Then you will be toiling for no good reason, val.

    thanks Rabz – I’d never thought of an electric rechargeable – that’s a great tip; thanks so much

  39. val majkus

    thanks Bruce – I did see one at Bunnings today and wondered about efficacy – my lawn is buffalo and grows prolific edges but if I did them more than once a week …

  40. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    The theory which seems to unpin all left-wing governments is that they can afford to borrow and spend when things are good and must borrow and spend when things are bad for fear of making them worse. They have insuperable difficulty in seeing any flaw in this theory.
    — Peter Smith

  41. Boambee John

    “Trimming fat where ever it exists – including at the ABC – is not a broken election promise IMHO”

    Leave the ABC budget untouched in $ terms, but increase (massively) the charges for radio frequency spectrum (and also for the commercials, who got the great Kevni discount a few years back (Remember his statement about how ludicrous it would be to suggest that Bonge would give Kevni more favourable treatment, just because Channel 10 got a windfall gain? Well, AbbottAbbottAbbott666 isn’t going to get any less favourable comment for this change, they already hate him viscerally, and hardly try to hide it).

    I’m sure there would be other services used by the ABC that could also be subject to “user charges”.

    Promise kept, and desired result obtained.

  42. Boambee John

    “thanks Bruce – I did see one at Bunnings today and wondered about efficacy – my lawn is buffalo and grows prolific edges but if I did them more than once a week …”

    val:

    My lawn is Buffalo too, whipper snippers generally don’t cut the mustard (at least, not the ones I have tried).

    If there isn’t a lot of edge, a sharpened spade will work OK, otherwise, you have to go the full lawn edger, but there are also electric/battery powered versions.

    Caution: Lawn edgers are dangerous, they can remove the incautious finger or toe in a flash.

  43. val majkus

    thanks Boambee – I’ve been here 5 weeks and so far I’ve tried the scissor method which didn’t work well for me and then the weed spray method so at the moment I have dried edges
    The sharpened spade is a great tip; especially if I use a bit each side for narrow plant beds – I haven’t decided exactly what to do – but narrow plant beds and the sharpened spade method would probably work quite well

  44. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    Of course, if enough welfare junkies band together behind their inalienable right to be spoon-fed by the rest of the country they can become a political force.
    — Anson Cameron

  45. val majkus

    Of course, if enough welfare junkies band together behind their inalienable right to be spoon-fed by the rest of the country they can become a political force.

    Describes Labor to a tee

  46. Rabz

    If there isn’t a lot of edge, a sharpened spade will work OK

    Spadework is also quite satisfying for those big fat weeds that are crying out for it.

  47. val majkus

    agree Rabz; when the grass grows right against the brick house on one side and the brick retaining wall on the other, ragged edges can really be seen
    but against garden beds a bit of raggedness looks okay especially if you have spillover plants

  48. mundi

    I am becoming skeptical of anything significant.

    At the very least I want to see tax brackets adjusted for inflation. The bracket creep under Labor has been pathetic, with Gillards ‘carbon tax compenstation’ not even being enough to account for bracket creep. Howard seemed to always manage it.

    I can’t see Abbott making the big cuts to outlays that are needed.

    I guess we will have to wait and see.

  49. val majkus

    I reckon Abbott should go for it – they’ve talked the talk and the MSM will deride them anyway
    and not forgetting that austerity starts at the top

  50. egg_

    Ahem, Actuarial Studies probably should be exempt.

    Unfortunate title – perhaps ‘Actuarial Science’, lest they be lumped with Wymminses Studies, et al?

  51. Shelley

    There is so much existing public sector/public spending that can be cut now. No need for a deficit levy. No need to spend more taxes on ‘infrastructure’. Cut the behemoth that is the APS (and indeed State government should look at their public sectors too). Cut the ABC. Stop the ridiculous grants. Stop sending money to the UN for no reason. I really hope some of the sensible Senators support the Coalition where they can. I wouldn’t mind so much paying the levy if these cuts were made, and the PPL/NDIS pulled back, and could be assured there would never, ever again be another government that pillages the budget as Labor did over the last six years, but of course in time we are likely to be back there, so no, I do not want to pay a deficit levy for that reason. But yes, we will just have to wait and see.

  52. Shelley

    if enough welfare junkies band together behind their inalienable right to be spoon-fed by the rest of the country they can become a political force.

    Simple. Turn off the tap that feeds them.

  53. val majkus

    I wouldn’t mind so much paying the levy if these cuts were made

    I would resent having to pay a levy and I’m totally against it – but if there is a levy it should be called Labor’s waste

  54. Shelley

    I would resent having to pay a levy and I’m totally against it

    Me too, I was trying to make the point (in a very clumsy way) that if we paid a one off levy for a very limited time that actually got the economy back and track AND (very importantly) we never, ever had to put up with the crap that Labor dished out that caused this situation – then I would agree with it. But as that is something that will never come true, as Labor are bound to get back in down the track and squander the silver again – I am against the levy.

  55. dan

    As for the PPL Working mums paying tax are better for society and better for the economy. If you calculated say 10 years of Government payments to stay at home mums (Part A & Part B Family Tax Benefits) plus Government bonuses it’s going to come in at a lot more than the cap of $75,000 under Abbott’s scheme. Women who will benefit most from the scheme are those whose careers are advancing up the ladder – probably mums in their thirties who are getting satisfaction from their c

    yada yada

    Sorry I didn’t finish reading that, because I don’t give a shit about the women, their jobs, their satisfaction or their children, I will be happy as long as I’m not paying for any of it. I don’t care if they have children and their career goes down the toilet completely. When we had our first, we went down to one income and ten years later we are still on one income and I don’t expect anyone else to sort that out for me.

    Oh and I think it’s the Bosch rechargeable battery trimmer that has a plastic blade rather than a wire thing that will drive you insane.

  56. dan

    that if we paid a one off levy for a very limited time that actually got the economy back and track

    LOL

    If that kind of scheme works, why not just charge a 90% tax for one year so we can have a surplus that can survive ten Labor governments? Maybe Shelley thinks that if we donate our jewellery to the government to be melted down the economy will surge ahead.

  57. JC

    that if we paid a one off levy for a very limited time that actually got the economy back and track

    It’s gutless. Spending has gone up 3.5% for the past 40 odd years, so it’s not as though governments have been stingy. It’s time to bring it back. This country has a spending problem, not a tax problem.

  58. val majkus

    I will be happy as long as I’m not paying for any of it

    and you won’t be unless you are a large company

  59. val majkus

    the policy is here
    http://lpaweb-static.s3.amazonaws.com/The%20Coalition%E2%80%99s%20Policy%20for%20Paid%20Parental%20Leave.pdf
    funded by a 1.5% levy on companies with taxable incomes in excess of $5 million
    Don’t know if Dan is in that category

  60. Infidel Tiger

    I will be happy as long as I’m not paying for any of it

    and you won’t be unless you are a large company

    The costs of which will be completely passed on to consumers.

    The whole scheme is an epic socialist disaster in the making. Abbott should be imprisoned for even thinking of it.

  61. Armadillo

    This country has regulation problem as well as a spending problem. They are interlinked.

  62. Ant

    I use a Stihl petrol line trimmer and it is awesome. In a few minutes I’m done with my decent sized lawn area, straight after going around with my excellent Husqvarna mower, finishing with a Stihl blower.

    Go fossil fueled, val. You can’t lose.

  63. I think Steve missed a perfect opportunity to make a strong counter-welfare point, simply, after a decade long welfare binge that has cost the tax-payer over a trillion dollars what has the real benefit been? Other than even more people addicted to welfare, an ever growing number of poor and a government sending itself broke trying to pay for it all.

    Shouldn’t government now be asking the question, is welfare helping? Is there a better way of making investments in people that actually lift them out of poverty other than sending them a cheque every fortnight to keep them there?

  64. The Pugilist

    @Seditionary1, you are right. But I think your point can be taken further. Surely, when too many individuals and businesses become dependent on the state for a good proportion of their income and agencies are created that gain a life of their own when it comes to promoting growth of the state as a means to prosperity, we are on the fast track to destitution and poverty…it can happen in a generation.

  65. Shelley

    Maybe Shelley thinks that if we donate our jewellery to the government to be melted down the economy will surge ahead.

    Maybe if Dan re-read what I wrote and referred to other posts I have written he would realise the stupidity of his comment. Are you the same Dan that has been race-baiting the past few days?

  66. val majkus

    thanks to everyone for help for my edging problem – my head is teeming with ideas

  67. Tel

    Val, easiest way to put grass edges in their place is to buy one of the pump-up spray bottles with the hose and the stick. Mix up a weak solution of weed killer and spray along the edge once a month. Give it a bit extra spray where the runner is heading out across the path. With the right spray bottle you can accurately place the weed killer without bending down, and it’s a fast, easy job.

  68. val majkus

    Tel, like your thinking; that’s my current method but I’ve been a bit enthusiastic with my weed spray and currently have dead edges too wide but with practice I’ll get there but I’m amazed at the diversity of edging problem solving techniques which have been mentioned
    Who knew you were such a diverse and creative lot?

  69. Indeed you are correct Pugilist, as much as I agree with the idea of a welfare safety-net what we have now is a crazed obsession with the government giving people money for a never ending list of things.

    If the government took less off me to begin with they wouldn’t have to give it back, that’s my thinking anyway.

  70. dan

    Maybe if Dan re-read what I wrote and referred to other posts I have written he would realise the stupidity of his comment. Are you the same Dan that has been race-baiting the past few days?

    Yes and no, I’m sorry I didn’t realise you were (mostly?) opposed but have now read your other comments. And no I definitely don’t race bait, I’m a “person of ethnicities” – is that how we say it these days? – myself.

    and you won’t be unless you are a large company

    funded by a 1.5% levy on companies with taxable incomes in excess of $5 million
    Don’t know if Dan is in that category

    Now seriously Val…
    Companies don’t – as you would well know – have magic reserves that can be spent without affecting anyone else. I own shares and pay companies for services. Dividends have to be affected and prices have to be affected, and to pay for other people to have children that I don’t care about. I mean, OK, if orphans are starving I do have some sympathy but otherwise, no.
    And why are you so certain my company isn’t in that league? It isn’t now but I definitely would aspire to make $5m profits per year at some point.

  71. dan

    I would just add that you don’t have to be an ASX 200 company to be affected. I’m not a lawyer or accountant but my understanding is that if my colleagues and I incorporated we would instantly hit that figure.

  72. Roger

    If the government took less off me to begin with they wouldn’t have to give it back, that’s my thinking anyway. The economists call it “churn”, Seditionary1, and all it does it keep some public servants employed and extend the illusion that government has a bottomless bucket of money to dole out. By all means have a safety net for the genuinely poor and debilitated who cannot support themselves, but we should let working people keep as much of their earnings as possible through decreased government spending and consequently lower income taxes and encourage them to make their own decisions about health, disability and unemployment insurance, provision for childcare and retirement, etc..

  73. .

    Armadillo
    #1282768, posted on April 28, 2014 at 12:13 am
    This country has regulation problem as well as a spending problem. They are interlinked.

    Correct. Starve the beast and watch the economy grow.

  74. Val, don’t listen to the misfits above.
    Only one thing can fix your problem.
    Concrete.
    And if you really want to have a maintenance free backyard, get ‘em to chuck a bag or two of green dye in the mix before they deliver it.

  75. dragnet

    The manual edger on a stick is my recommendation. It does the neatest and most durable job out of any of the other options.

  76. val majkus

    Winston you’re a hoot and I think you might have southern Croatian or northern Italian ancestry
    When I lived in a Croatian village in the 70′s it was the height of sophistication to have a wholly concreted yard – admittedly it did have a bit of mud and pig shit into the house prevention ability
    But the curious thing is that Italian friends from Padova who bought their first house in Leichhardt at about that time concreted their whole front yard – no green tinge just the boring grey that concrete is – and to them it was good taste personified

  77. Dan

    If you want your backyard to survive 2000 years like the Parthenon, concrete is the way to go.

  78. Notafan

    I saw a council worker in a little town in France using a small flame thrower to kill weeds, looked pretty effective and a lot of fun too.

  79. Mitch

    You do realise the liberals wanted to do their own keynesian stimulus in the form of a temporary payroll tax cut?

  80. .

    We ought to permanently abolish payroll taxes. We owe it to the unemployed.

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