Going through the books program by program

Let’s suppose we had what we need: some form of balanced budget amendment. What would the Government then do? Labor left the hole in the revenue stream relative to the expenditures it chose. So this government is going to fix it if it can and subject to the detail, I’m all for it. From The Australian, Joe Hockey to swing axe on public sector:

MORE than 200 spending programs will be slashed in next week’s federal budget as Joe Hockey vows to shrink the size of government in a “big, structural change” to save billions of dollars.

Agencies will be closed and thousands of staff retrenched over the coming months in a drastic overhaul that will start with the loss of 3000 positions in the Treasurer’s own portfolio.

The axe will fall in major portfolios including environment, transport, industry, agriculture and indigenous affairs.

Mr Hockey told The Australian that spending cuts would do the “heavy lifting” in fixing the deficit, despite growing criticism of looming tax hikes including a lift in fuel excise.

“Revenue is not doing the heavy lifting in this budget,” Mr Hockey said.

The question will end up being whether there is a constituency for a government that lives within its means. Watching Anna “I’m a Socialist” Burke the other night on Q&A was too much of a reminder of the kinds of idiocy we are up against. Labor has not learned a thing from the problems it created. If anything, it is more proud of itself than ever for its waste and misdirection. What we are going to find out over the next few months, it seems, is whether there is or is not a constituency for a genuinely smaller, more efficient government. And since it is impossible to rid ourselves of the NBN and everyone is signed up for the NDIS, the rest is now a process of going through the books program by program. I only wish they did the politics better.

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71 Responses to Going through the books program by program

  1. Hendrix

    I reckon there would be a constituency for smaller government and less nanny-state interference if someone from the liberal party could string two sentences together and present a coherent argument for it. More people need to read the cat.

  2. Blogstrop

    There can only be a constituency formed by the messages the lumpenvoten are given. At present the left have the numbers in most of the mass media. The fact of life will not be explained properly.

    There will be no properly functioning democracy in the absence of honest media.

  3. Tom

    When half the population are moochers who believe in the fairytale of the magic government money tree, and a majority in the Senate being ferals who represent the moochers (Filth, Liars, Agrarian Socialists Mk II [PUP] and Liberal Wets), the next year is likely to see a full-blown constitutional crisis, an eventual double dissolution election and a return to the fiscal death spiral — the poor white trash of Asia, a Chinese Communist Party client state like most of the black trash of Africa.

  4. steve

    Remember that the motto of the Australian people is

    “Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Country but What Your Country Can Do For You”

    We are screwed!!

  5. Tom

    Greenfilth Online’s Lenore Taylor agitates for a constitutional crisis to bring down the hated Abbott Labor government:

    Australia could be gripped by another constitutional dilemma about the Senate’s ability to delay supply bills if the government tries to get its planned deficit levy through the upper house by including it in appropriations legislation.

    If the controversial deficit levy – temporarily increasing tax rates for higher income earners – is presented as separate legislation, it is highly likely to be blocked in the Senate, because it is opposed by Labor, the Greens, the Palmer United party and other crossbench senators.

    But seeking to get around this obstacle by including it in appropriation, or supply, bills – which are usually passed unamended – would be “highly problematic” and could lead to a showdown with the upper house, according to the clerk of the Senate, Rosemary Laing.

    Asked whether the levy could be included as an appropriation, Laing told Guardian Australia: “I can’t really see how it could be … that would be highly problematic.”

    “The constitution says you can’t tack extra things on to those bills, and it says a bill imposing taxation can only deal with that tax … the Senate has always taken the view that whether it is a new tax or a rise in an existing tax it should be subject to those rules and be presented as separate legislation,” Laing said.

  6. dianeh

    Tom,

    Interesting about the Govt rolling their tax increases into a single budget package, that would allow a constitutional crisis to occur. It seems the govt is calling the bluff of the opposition and minor parties. May not end well.

    Labor on the other hand, would be foolish to think that we would thank them for blocking supply. They caused the bloody mess, and no matter how disappointed we are with Abbott, I cant see many LNP voters wanting a return to the good old days of Labor waste and incompetence, and lets not forget the lies. Labor would be foolish to mistake a protest against the govt as a vote of confidence for them.

    But Labor are foolish and constantly believing their own echo chamber.

  7. Unfortunately, a reasonable proportion of those in favour of the government living within its means are also dead set against the introduction of new taxation.

  8. entropy

    What would happen in that scenario, Dianeh, is that a constellation of main chancres, led by the doomsday machine himself, will stand for election and be elected. We would become governed like Italy. Because Abbott and co are just the same sort of liar as Gillard/Swan and the punishment will be brutal..

  9. Fibro

    I can only hope that Hockey and Co. really have got the message. The issue is expenditure, not revenue.

    932 Government departments back to 600 for a start
    Efficiency divided of 75% allocated to the ALPBC, same for SBS
    Gold Cards gone, indexed super gone.
    Middle Class actually paying some tax instead of getting bonuses.

    That’s probably about $60B for starters.

  10. struth

    Fibro is so right.
    While there is an ABC or an SBS, there is absolutely no credible reason for a tax increase.

  11. Rabz

    Unfortunately, a reasonable proportion of those in favour of the government living within its means are also dead set against the introduction of new taxation.

    Yes, funny that. Who’da thunk it?

  12. Bern1

    Fibro. What have you got against the Gold Card?

  13. Roger

    Unfortunately, a reasonable proportion of those in favour of the government living within its means are also dead set against the introduction of new taxation.
    And against aged pension reform.

  14. Fibro

    Bern1, the Gold Card is just more symbolism that pollies think that we work for them. They don’t, they work for us. I have no data, but I would stake a claim that the Gold Card is used exponentially more by the majority of Labour, who have never had a real job in life other than a union rep and believe entitlement is the way the world is.

  15. AP

    It is not impossible to rid ourselves of the NBN. The government can cancel contracts or pass legislation to nullify them. What is lacking is the political guts to do so.

  16. whyisitso

    to bring down the hated Abbott Labor government:

    Davidson and his commenter cohorts are leading the surge in this direction.

  17. Bern1

    Fibro. I think we are talking about two different things.
    I have a Gold Card issued by the DVA. This entitles me to Private Hospital,free dental,free optical and free medical.There are other benefits.They try to take that away and I will start digging trenches .
    Are there two different Gold Cards?

  18. whyisitso

    What is lacking is the political guts to do so.

    As usual, Cat commenters are forgetting that the Abbott government cannot pass new statutes. Nor will they be able to do after June 30.

  19. .

    And since it is impossible to rid ourselves of the NBN and everyone is signed up for the NDIS, the rest is now a process of going through the books program by program.

    I call bullshit.

  20. Uber

    I think Steve underestimates the overall sensibility of voters. It’s loose cannon Abbott they are worried about, not spending cuts.
    I would also add that these sort of cuts without structural changes to IR policy to free up the labour market are only going to cause pain, and are being conducted carelessly. Where are these public servants going to find work in a closed job market?

  21. .

    whyisitso
    #1298327, posted on May 9, 2014 at 8:21 am
    What is lacking is the political guts to do so.

    As usual, Cat commenters are forgetting that the Abbott government cannot pass new statutes. Nor will they be able to do after June 30.

    So if Abbott can never introduce legislation that will be law, save for budgets which fund the promises of the ALP, why doesn’t he call a double dissolution as soon as he possibly can?

  22. Fibro

    Bern, the pollies free travel Gold Card.

  23. whyisitso

    why doesn’t he call a double dissolution as soon as he possibly can?

    You’d love that, wouldn’t you, and Sinclair et al! Let the green filth in, and THEY WILL PASS laws that will restrict your freedoms far more than you lot continue to have in your childish foot-stamping tanties with the Coalition.

  24. struth

    Uber, the public servants are an unnecessary drain on everyone else, plus in many cases they are actively engaged in hampering and adding cost to business. Employed in many cases to bite the hand that feeds them. Australia will be far better off as a whole, with them on the dole. It will cost less and help the true job and wealth creating private sector. Besides there are plenty of jobs available at road houses, cleaning toilets. They can never find enough staff for that.

  25. .

    So Abbott can’t win any new election and he can’t pass any legislation except budget stuff that underwrites the previous ALP agenda?

    So what you’re saying is that we’re inevitably going to get a authoritarian Green-ALP regime in the future and Abbott is forestalling this?

    So how do we make the ALP and Greens unpopular so that Abbott or his successors can govern successfully?

    We had six years of bad governance with questionable mandate in 2007-2013, and if this didn’t deliver the Liberals the majority they require, heaven forbid what will convince the public.

    Even if that is so, why not do it earlier?

    You seem to be saying “we’re all fucked” but you’re just wanting to prolong the wait until the end.

    This is nonsense. Abbott ought to be sticking it up the ALP and Greens. Cut their poison pills. End their ABC. Cut spending. Cut taxes. Pay off the deficit. Cut the MRRT and carbon tax. Raise no new taxes. If there is an election, form and alliance with FF, the LDP and Aus TEA Party. Destroy the ALP and Greens primary vote, and a second horn of the attack – have all agree to the following: Preference the ALP and Greens last.

    It is a better approach to your mopey and tragic admission to and acceptance of defeat.

  26. Bern1

    They propose to cut 3000 positions at Treasury.
    What could 3000 people do at Treasury?To my mind 30 or perhaps 40 analysts could see where the money comes from and where it goes.Some support staff,call it 100, all up.If they shed 3000,how many are left?
    I would wager, after the cuts ,that treasury will continue on with the same level of incompetance as before.
    3000 inflated salaries,3000 super,long service etc,etc,huge savings, against 3000 doles.Done Deal..

  27. struth

    “whyisitso” thinks foot stomping tanties by those that disagree with the policies of government should not occur.
    “Ve Vill Have none of zis anti government speak”, says he.
    You vill remain faisful to ze party at all costs.
    Unfortunately he speaks to those with a mind of their own .
    People that understand political pressure.
    Government employ people to read these sites.
    We stand for freedom and a political ideology that promotes free markets and competition.
    We follow no one individual blindly. Or party for that matter.
    Just because Abbott is better than Labor does not mean he is good enough.
    If you want to roll over and take it , go ahead, but don’t have a go at the rest of us for fighting for our values and beliefs.

  28. Notafan

    Treasury includes the ATO, and by the way I’ve heard some stories about serious abuses and straightout frauds of DVA benefits too, both by third party providers and beneficiaries, which includes war widows.
    By the way my mum’s a war window so I know all about the sacrifices that have been made by veterans

  29. Bruce

    It was reported on 2GB this morning that Martin Parkinson has advised the Government that it “must cut and cut hard”. WTF! Where was Mr. Parkinson’s mouth when Rudd/Gillard/Rudd were spending like drunken sailors? This bloke changes his spots faster than the Dribbling Dickhead changes his war stories.Sack the shifty bastard!

  30. Des Deskperson

    Treasury only has about 1,200 people, but there are several large agencies under the broad Treasury portfolio, including Tax (21,000) and the stats bureau (around 2,500).

    That’s what it means when it says ‘in the Treasurer’s own portfolio’. The question is whether the losses include, or are additional to, the 900 already being retrenched from Tax.

    Tax is of course, hopeless in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, it’s to the public service what Victoria University is to academia – the place you apply to when you can’t get into anywhere else.

    .

  31. Toiling Mass

    I think there is actually a rather large constituency which would approve of smaller government in principle – although they will be rather less strident when it comes to cut backs that apply to them.

    Most people are as certain of the justice of their privileges as they are indignant at the privilege of others.

  32. Milton Von Smith

    They may have cut 200 programs, but how many will they replace those with? That was Labor’s trick with “cutting spending” in 2008: for every dollar of Howard spending that they cut, they increased spending on their own programs by $2.

  33. Baldrick

    Bern1 – if they try to take away your DVA gold card, I’ll be helping you with those trenches and manning the parapet.

  34. Uber

    struth I hope you lose your job too. You deserve it.

  35. Ant

    Doing “the politics better” – in any sort of effective way is close to impossible, if what you mean is getting a strong majority of Australians on board for the ‘pain’ that needs to be dished out.

    For starters, the media, political and public service classes – most of whom have their filthy snouts deep in the public trough snuffling up all the publicly funded loot they can, wherever and whenever they can – are going to go feral.

    And they essentially control the message; at least as far as the low info types go.

    So some useless government sub-department full of dopey paper pushers pulling down >$100k p/a + benefits + spectacular super is going to be painted as a savage assault of an “essential service” on whatever miniscule association they may have on some section of society.

    The Labor Party have it in their power to do what’s right; to understand how diabolical it is to tolerate such criminal waste of taxpayers’ money and to stand up for those taxpayers and recognise that they have a responsibility to honor what they actually proclaim.

    How many times have they gone to an election saying that they’re all for increasing bureacracy and regulations at the expense of the productive private sector?

    Never. Just like they NEVER campaign on increasing spending and deficits and debt. It’s always about decreasing those things.

    So they’ll exploit and divide and stir the pot as hard as they can.

    Therefore, no matter how responsible Hockey’s budget is, the politics can’t be sold better.

    There is just too much political capital to be made by the Left in hope that they’ll get their grubby hands back into power to continue the damage like only they know how.

  36. john constantine

    how about we average out the paid parental leave benefits?.

    why pay the abc/public service types to breed over productive people?.

    shouldn’t all aussie chicks have the same breeding incentives?–pool the public service breeding benefits with the private enterprise ones and let everyone get the average.

  37. mareeS

    The word around our way is that ATO cuts will be 50% in the fair city of Newcastle, and the building is to be put up for sale. That’s about 300 public servants gone, already a done deal apparently, and a realisation of capital. Good start, I say. More needed, though.

  38. Dr Faustus

    What we are going to find out over the next few months, it seems, is whether there is or is not a constituency for a genuinely smaller, more efficient government.

    Unfortunately, what we are going to find over the next few weeks is that Abbott et al have completely misjudged the politics leading to a genuinely smaller, more efficient government. They don’t control the Senate – and given its composition of careerists, Marxists, lunatics and carpet-baggers, there is no obvious route to anything that looks like ‘efficient government’. Italy or Greece, perhaps, but not efficient anything.

    Sure they will likely get supply through and bat on until 2016. The ALP has electoral cancer and certainly will not be prepared to go to a DD election in its present wretched state. With his discredited leadership, no policies, no cash, and the legacy issues of the many RGR/Labor/union fuckups working their ways through various courts, commissions and tribunals, Shorten had no choice other than to grease the way to approving the Appropriations Bill. But nothing else.

    Against this, Abbott has not been able to articulate his vision (assuming there is one) for dealing with Australia’s structural issues. He has flatly rejected the concept of broad consultation as “so 1980′s” and so presumably is intent on playing hardball retail politics for the rest of his career.

    He is a problem, not a solution.

  39. Boambee John

    “It is not impossible to rid ourselves of the NBN. The government can cancel contracts or pass legislation to nullify them. What is lacking is the political guts to do so.”

    Depends on how the contract is written.

    I suspect that the Liars Party, knowing that they were on the way out, both signed contracts for activities starting well into the future (possibly beyond the 2016 election), and included clauses specifying that contract cancellation would require compensation of the full contract value, not just actual losses.

    Isn’t there legislation about unfair contracts (I know, it was aimed to protect the “wukkas” from the evil capitalists, but it might be loose enough, having been written at the behest of the Liars, to apply)?

  40. mareeS

    John Constantine asks “Why pay the abc/public service types to breed over productive people?”

    Good question, but a better one is “How much do we pay abc/public service types etc?”

    As a former abc type, I can tell you all about PPL abc-style as far back as 1983, when I had my first child. Six weeks on full pay before estimated birth date, 14 weeks on full pay after the birth, not so different to Tony’s plan, but it gets better: I took my 14 weeks at half-pay and turned my maternity leave into 28 weeks, then took my accrued 12 weeks of holiday leave at half-pay (plus 17% loading) and turned it into another 24 weeks.

    So, 52 weeks of leave at half pay, but it gets even better: I was still partially breast-feeding, so was able to use a further 8 weeks of sick leave entitlements on full pay with a doctor’s certificate.

    Better still, I was accruing all my leave entitlements for those 60 weeks that I wasn’t working, and was able to use them all over again when I had our 2nd child in 1986. Also kept my super.

    This was all done on the advice of the abc’s personnel dept. I doubt anything has changed for all the new mums like Leigh Sales. I expect it’s gotten even better.

    All women in the Federal and State public services have a similar maternity entitlement, which is why I somewhat support Abbott’s PPL scheme for women in the private sector, but it’s just not a good idea under present business conditions.

  41. .

    “It is not impossible to rid ourselves of the NBN. The government can cancel contracts or pass legislation to nullify them. What is lacking is the political guts to do so.”

    Legislation ALWAYS trumps contract law.

    Repeal or suffer the consequences.

  42. Kaboom

    Dot, all of the head contracts from NBNCo had a strong “termination for convenience” clause (so I am told).

    Any contractor who didn’t similarly allow for “termination for convenience” would be rooted.

  43. .

    How does that trump legislation?

    Arguably it would raise sovereign risk, but the NBN itself did that.

  44. Kaboom

    Simples. If NBNCo’s enablement was terminated, they cannot rely upon “Oh, but we are going to be sued by our contractual counter-parties!”.

    Cut it off at the head. This may need legislation, or maybe just simple defunding by press release. Everything else should fall into place, and the whole mess will disappear.

    The entire construction roll-out procedure was designed to fold up like a tent if it became necessary.

  45. hzhousewife

    mareeS I’m gobsmacked, may i send a copy of your post to Susan Ley?

  46. candy

    I only wish they did the politics better.

    They’re doing the best they can against some hostile media, and probably the public service union is ready to protest and perhaps strike.

  47. egg_

    “I think there is actually a rather large constituency which would approve of smaller government in principle – although they will be rather less strident when it comes to cut backs that apply to them.”

    Which Abbott is attempting to appeal to – and blowing the opportunity – in not cutting back enough on spending.

  48. struth

    Uber, that is not an argument, just a nasty reply when you have no argument to make.
    Are you saying I should lose my job in private enterprise that pays the wages to the unnecessary public servant ? Then where would we be? You better hope people like me don’t lose our jobs. People like you believe we should keep paying unnecessary public servants to keep them in a job?
    That’s socialism. Their pay and work environment that I pay for much better than my own. Should we keep paying unnecessary public servants instead of fixing roads that are now killing people?
    Sit down, and think it through. Where does the money come from?
    Would it not be better that unnecessary public servants find work in private enterprise and contribute instead of being a burden?
    It all boils down to having a healthy private sector. One much larger than the public service. That is the only way it can work. Your idea of keeping these people in “welfare” employment on my taxes is just you grandstanding. Pretending to be compassionate while actually being a political juvenile.

  49. mareeS

    hzhousewife, you may, with my compliments to Ms Ley.

    My own experience in rorting the system perfectly legally, and with the blessing and advice of the abc personnel dept, demonstrates the rort room in public service entitlements. Please understand that this was 1980s, but I don’t for a moment imagine that things have gotten tougher in that $1.2b trough of entitlement.

  50. egg_

    Sure they will likely get supply through and bat on until 2016. The ALP has electoral cancer and certainly will not be prepared to go to a DD election in its present wretched state. With his discredited leadership, no policies, no cash, and the legacy issues of the many RGR/Labor/union fuckups working their ways through various courts, commissions and tribunals, Shorten had no choice other than to grease the way to approving the Appropriations Bill. But nothing else.

    Against this, Abbott has not been able to articulate his vision (assuming there is one) for dealing with Australia’s structural issues. He has flatly rejected the concept of broad consultation as “so 1980′s” and so presumably is intent on playing hardball retail politics for the rest of his career.

    Yup, a reformist golden opportunity has gone begging.

  51. mareeS

    PS, hzhousewife,

    Schoolteachers and uni lecturers do this all the time. Then they go back to work on a job-share arrangement, 2/3days a week, which does their students no good at all. Most women coming back from maternity leave in fed/state public service jobs have this as a normal work arrangement, after all the maternity leave stuff I described above.

    The public service is basically a sinecure for women of any age, including the childbearing years, with conditions that women in the private working world will never approach.

    That’s why I say Abbott’s PPL idea is a good one in evening up the system, just that it’s not affordable for the private sector at present.

  52. Simon

    Couldn’t we just vary the NBN contracts, most companies don’t just do one thing, tell them they can keep the money but utilize the services they provide at another time or in another way or another project? All this stuff could be called infrastructure spending and then we could just not build anything meaningful for a few years and throw those moneys allocated for genuine infrastructure back into the budget. It would just require some selling and negotiating.

  53. stackja

    NBN was not planned. Many contracts were signed in a hurry.

  54. Kaboom

    “mareeS I’m gobsmacked, may i send a copy of your post to Susan Ley?”

    Look, she was great in The Partridge Family, but srisly, what relevance does she have nowadays?

  55. Des Deskperson

    Actually, Treasury itself seems pretty fat. 1200 staff is a hellava lot for an agency that doesn’t have many real administrative or management responsibilities.

    OK, it’s top heavy with 98 SES (about 1 in 12 staff) and over 400 ELs, but that’s what you would expect in an organisation providing high level economic policy analysis and advice. On the other hand, there are nearly 500 APS 5 and 6 employees. People at these levels usually perform administrative and support tasks but the purpose and role of a group that size in a mainly policy agency, apart from duchessing the senior people, seems questionable.

    Treasury also has eight overseas posts: Beijing, Jakarta, London, Manila, New Delhi, Paris, Tokyo, Washington DC. The cost of maintaining these posts: Senior Executive Service staffer and family, support staff, accommodation, housing, allowances, travel – would be well over a million each p.a. There may well still be a role for this level of representation in the days of email, the net and tele-conferencing but one wonders if it’s value for money.

    Footer

  56. AndrewWA

    OK now let’s get a few things sorted…………

    I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in the same house for more than 20 years.

    I paid to have it insulated, to have the solar how water installed and I don’t have solar panels on the roof so that others can pay more for electricity.

    I received no handouts following the GFC…besides I already had a flat screen TV.

    My wife has been a full time mum – and what an important job! We’ve never qualified for anything but the miniscule amount of child support, no day care (that was my wife’s task). No salary sharing, no tax avoidance schemes, no family business to pay for the other car. I’ve stayed a simple PAYE taxpayer my whole career.

    I’ve contributed to every natural disaster fund over the past 40 years – even when it wasn’t compulsory.

    BUT…I absolutely object to being slugged to cover the gross mis-management and largesse shown by our Federal Labor Government over the past 6 years.

    Our Federal and State Governments should live within their means and only move into debt for capital works – not for working capital or to cover popular programs which become ever increasing burdens on this society.

    Encourage the wealth makers who helped build this Lucky Country and discourage the wealth takers who just want to bleed it dry for their own social engineering/wealth redistribution purposes. Look after the widows, orphans and disabled but enable the bludgers to return to a way of life where they can contribute to this society. I’m very tired of hearing people complain about entitlements and rights with no acknowledgement of responsibilities. I support a return to compulsory conscription (armed forces or peace corp type work) so that our young adults learn more about ‘US” and “WE” and less about “ME” and “I”.

    I’d be happy to volunteer my services to help reduce the waste. I’ve even move to Canberra (perhaps I can take over Tony’s old room in the Army quarters?) and work to identify the areas for substantial cost reductions.

    I have a few suggestions:
    • Combine the ABC and SBS and reduce the funding to about $400 million per year (still too much). This gives me a chance to keep the very few shows that I still watch! I’ll even help identify those of the chattering class who should go!!
    • Cease any more expenditure on the NBN – at whatever the cost. Wireless has to be the way to go. For those who scream loudest – find them a real job!!
    • Close down all wasteful organisations in any way related to the Global Warming/Climate Change scam.
    • Cease making any provisions for trade-offs, alternate energy, subsidies for wind farms and other wasteful activities. This country has been blessed with bountiful amount of energy. Use it and take advantage of its’ cheap price!!
    • Immediately cease funding of any Canberra based advisory/research/expert group that commenced during the past 6 years.
    • Reduce the Federal Public Service to the level it was about mid-term of the Howard Government (as even JH lost control of this sector).
    • Halve the amount of Foreign Aid and look after our people at home first. Particularly to those countries who show no level of appreciation. e.g. Indonesia, until we can get some co-operation on the people smuggling racket.
    • Return the CSIRO and BOM to the tasks that made them great and respected organisations.
    • Criminally prosecute those who bring corruption and rorts to our building and construction industry. We can’t enter an infrastructure period while the CFMEU and others hold the nation to ransom.

    I could go on but I’d do myself out of a job!!

  57. Mr Rusty

    That’s why I say Abbott’s PPL idea is a good one in evening up the system, just that it’s not affordable for the private sector at present.

    Why do we have to even “up” the system? Why not just even it “down” and slash the ridiculous APS paid leave and forget about Abbott’s PPL? You want a baby? Then SAVE. Plenty of people managed it before, what has changed in the past few decades?
    This “They got a handout so I should get one too” mentality is precisely why we (and many other countries) are heading for financial oblivion. All part of the Fabian plan of course.

  58. Kaboom

    This “They got a handout so I should get one too” mentality is precisely why we (and many other countries) are heading for financial oblivion.

    +1,000. Almost a Liberty Quote.

  59. Boambee John

    “public service union is ready to protest and perhaps strike.”

    To borrow from Hillary Clinton, “What difference, at this point, would it make”

  60. wreckage

    I hope the public servants DO strike, and the ALP backs them to the hilt. Nobody likes them. Even themselves.

  61. MemoryVault

    I hope the public servants DO strike

    It could be a major godsend.
    Call in one of the major labour-hire companies, and replace the striking bureaucrats with temps on an “as needed, when needed, where needed” basis. At the end three months we would know how many jobs actually accomplished something meaningful, and how many just involved paper shuffling.

    Then sack all the strikers and let them reapply on a competitive basis for the few “real” jobs identified.

  62. Tony

    going through the books program by program

    This never happens, because it’s well-nigh impossible given the size & type of leviathan we are dealing with.
    It’s a common problem when any dataset gets too big, and is comprised of many small packets – you know there are errors, waste and corruptions in there, but:
    * to find them costs the earth (sometimes more than you get in return),
    * the process of looking is often left to the same type of people (often the same people) who put them there in the first place, and have a vested interest in not finding them,
    * it’s boring as batshit and not very rewarding, so is delegated to the laziest and most incompetent
    * They are well concealed, or attached to larger and more important items

    And that’s just finding the problems. Fixing them involves battling a new enemy for every line item, willing to die in a ditch over the outcome. It’s one of the reasons Windows and much other Microsoft software is so bloated.
    I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen – just that, unless something extraordinary changes, it won’t.

  63. Des Deskperson

    The main public sector union, the CPSU, has been marginalised. It’s lost its role as a ‘partner’ in the administration of the service and it’s membership is probably only around 30% of the APS. It’s been useless in delivering wage increases for its members, and you can tell it’s lost ground by the increasingly irrational militancy of it’s leadership (Nadine Flood, BTW, is the daughter of Phillip Flood, former DFAT head) .

    Last time it called as trike – 1996 – hardly anyone went out.

  64. .

    Tony is sort of right.

    Railcorp NSW couldn’t figure out how many friggin’ employees they had.

    FFS. That should tell you have too bloody many.

  65. Notafan

    CPSU is still not a bad launching pad for political careers though

  66. Tator

    I would scrap the NBN in that I would stop laying the fibre etc. I would though compulsory acquire the ducts and exchange buildings from Telstra and then by regulation tell the private sector that internet speeds and bandwidth had to be competitive with comparable nations and invite companies to lay fibre in areas that are auctioned off with a quarantine period so that they can recoup their investment over a decade. Backhaul would be a company issue but Telstra and Optus both have substantial investments in backhaul already and generally it is the last mile ULL that is the problem and which my system would probably be the cheapest way of getting ftth as firms would have to compete for areas whilst also meeting standard service levels

  67. wreckage

    The NBN could have been achieved by now, had it been conceived and implemented by people without severe mental and psychiatric problems. Instead they blew 20 BILLION and counting, doing something that their own modelling told them the private sector would do anyway.

    Public beheadings would be appropriate, IMO.

    Meanwhile some guy lost his job over a bottle of wine. FMD, the Australian polity is a nest of maggots.

  68. Cheryl

    AndrewWA. Love your post. You are a good man.

  69. Grigory M

    “mareeS I’m gobsmacked, may i send a copy of your post to Susan Ley?”

    Look, she was great in The Partridge Family, but srisly, what relevance does she have nowadays?

    Kaboom – it’s as plain as Dey.

  70. Foggyfig

    mareeS
    #1298498, posted on May 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    This is why I have argued with friends that are against the PPL especially the ones that are actually in the PS (teachers) and have been ballistic about the idea. One could not even explain why she was against it but was happy to have it for themselves.

    I was nursing and was on paid maternity leave for the 2nd and 3rd baby.

  71. Notafan

    Teaching is one profession where maternity leave entitlements need to be wound back, as far as I know they have the jobs held open for seven years for each child. One year between employment period should be the absolute maximum before you have to reapply for a post. There is less incentive for better graduates to go into teaching when all they can get is short term contracts while the school waits for Mrs Gettingthebacon to have her two kids and has ten years to make her mind up to come back.

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