This week we had a budget that put one man's job before everyone else's; Scott Morrison thought it would be clever to pick a fight with new mums, or 'rorters' as he prefers to call them, and Barnaby Joyce decided the biggest issue facing Australian agriculture was Johnny Depp’s dogs.
Here’s the #5and5 best and worst moments from Budget week.
1. Last year Bill’s Budget In Reply speech was about the force of Labor's resistance to Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget. This year Bill’s Budget In Reply speech was about laying down Labor’s vision for the future of our nation. The Parliament may be Bronwyn Bishop’s House, but the moment was all Bill’s. Bill almost ran out of time because of how often he had to stop for applause! Watch his full speech here.
2. In the Budget In Reply, Bill laid out Labor’s plan to educate Australians for the jobs of the new economy. Only a Labor Government will invest in training our kids in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to prepare them for an Australia beyond the mining boom. Under Labor, every student in primary and secondary education will have an opportunity to learn computer coding so they can be part of building the future. Learn more at FutureSmartAustralia.org.
3. Bill also invited Tony Abbott to work with Labor on a fiscally responsible plan to reduce the small business tax rate from 30 to 25 per cent. Labor will be constructive about how to best deal with the challenges facing Australia, that’s why Bill also invited Tony Abbott to work with Labor to implement the more than $21 billion worth of measures we’ve put forward to improve the Budget bottom line, including making multinational companies pay their fair share of tax.
4. We learnt in the Budget Tony Abbott's way of dealing with the deficit is to double it. Last Budget Tony Abbott likened himself to a firefighter putting out a 'budget emergency'. Chris Bowen gave a great speech on Wednesday where he said Tony Abbott got to the emergency, kicked the tyres on the truck and then drove off. I like Chris, but on this one he's wrong. I reckon when Tony Abbott arrived he threw a molotov cocktail, crashed the fire truck and then gave a press conference to blame Labor.
5. Last year's budget is still in this year's budget. Despite the spin, only two measures from last year's budget were dropped this year. The $80 billion cuts to schools and hospitals, $100,000 university degrees, cuts of $6,000 to Australian families and an $8 GP tax by stealth - it's all still there. Don’t waste a conversation, check out howtotalktoyourliberalmate.com.au and help us promote a positive vision for our future.
1. Before the Budget, Tony Abbott said Labor's 18 weeks paid parental leave was woefully inadequate. Now they’re arguing the current system is so generous that mums benefiting from it are engaging in fraud, rorts, scams and double dipping. It's tempting to presume the reason they could make a decision so out of touch is because the Cabinet's Expenditure Review Committee is all men, but that doesn't explain it. The real problem is they're all Liberals (there's also a member of the National Party, but that's the same thing really).
2. Apparently part of Scott Morrison's new kinder, gentler image is to get in a public fight with new mums who work as teachers, nurses, police officers, military personnel and even your local supermarket checkout operator. The parental leave pay put in place by Labor was designed for all Australian parents to complement whatever additional weeks with their new born baby they’d negotiated with their employers. The Liberals voted for our scheme they now hate so much. The Government is essentially saying ‘tough luck, you can’t spend longer with your baby, get back to work.' I know I've just made the same point twice, but this is about double dipping.
3. Tony Abbott said the GP Tax was dead, buried and cremated. We all thought that was probably another lie, and on Tuesday night we were proven right. In the Budget the Government has tried to introduce a GP Tax by stealth. By introducing a four year freeze on payments to GPs, the Government is ripping $1.3 billion out of Medicare and effectively introducing an $8.43 GP Tax though the back door.
4. Before the election, then Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott promised: “Spending, debt and taxes will be lower under a Coalition Government.” On all counts this Budget failed the tests Tony Abbott set for himself. In this Budget, Tony Abbott doubled the deficit. Under this Coalition Government spending growth is higher, taxes as a percentage of GDP are higher and net debt is the highest it’s been in Australia’s history. Worst of all, unemployment keeps going up and staying up.
5. This one’s pretty funny. On Wednesday the Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg put out a press release saying: “Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen need to get their stories straight. One says the Budget is too soft and the other says it’s not tough enough.” You might need to just read that a second time. “One says the Budget is too soft and the other says it’s not tough enough.” What?
Finally, on Budget night Bronwyn Bishop again allowed the Speaker's rooms to be used for a fundraising event. Anyone who walked past the Speaker's office was confronted by not one but two giant images of Bronwyn Bishop. I'm guessing this is meant to intimidate Liberal donors into parting with more money. I'll admit, it was a touch menacing.
The #5and5 will be back in two week’s time.
PS: This week’s song of the week is dedicated to Joe Hockey explaining to Cabinet why he needed to double the deficit: Too Much Of Not Enough - Silverchair.