The budget, or perhaps what passes for one, was presented tonight. In classical double speak the treasurer spoke of $22 billion in ‘savings’ of which tax increases made up $17 billion. It is well past the time when the economics departments of our universities learned the difference between savings and extra charges, and started to get the point across to students so that this idiocy can be avoided in the future.
The so called tough budget allows for a deficit of in excess of $20 billion. Given that the last one has blown out to around $50 billion there is room for some skepticism as to the eventual result. Given that some of the projected big new taxes are not in the equation and there will be a revision later in the year, it’s a sort of Magic Pudding, “cut and come again,” budget.
The one constant of Australian politics remains conspicuous though. This is of course the Greens hostility to the mining industry, and employment in anything other than taxpayer funded green industry.
One of the relatively decent features of our migration policy is a preference for skilled people. The mining boom has created a shortage of tradesmen and skilled professionals, and in this years budget is a provision for an increase in this area.
Greens leader Bob Brown regards these people who come here with established skills that allow them to be employable from day one and not be a burden on the taxpayer as queue jumpers. Bob feels that those who are useful and productive should stand in line behind the people referred to in my previous post who are still on welfare after five years.
Mind you, he is determined to impose a 40% tax on the mining industry in order to fund a grab bag of green projects, and the old favorite, high speed rail that is a guarantee of an expensive project cost, and the necessity of a constant drain on the taxpayers for the future.
The Greens are never likely to allow common sense to get in the way of ideology.