The Rudd Government claims to be superior in economic management. How so?

Illustration: Peter Nicholson

The real reason Australia did better than most developed countries in the recent financial crisis was that the Coalition had by 2006 repaid the $96 billion debt run up by Labor, left a $5 billion Education fund, a $60 billion Future Fund and a $22 billion surplus!

Add to this a virtually strike free environment, whereby employment grew, wages grew and exports grew.

Our economy expanded in GDP terms from $530 billion to $1.1 trillion, and our national birth rate increased from 1.7 to 1.9 – One for mum, one for dad, and one for the country, was backed up by a baby bonus that did not discriminate between working and stay at home mums.

People did feel relaxed and comfortable and able in 2007 to take a punt on Kevin Rudd – that nice cheery chap from Sunrise.

He promised more of the same. He promised a new industrial relations system where nobody would be worse off. He promised to keep the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate for everyone who takes out private health insurance, just like Medicare is for everyone who pays the Medicare Levy. He promised to turn back the boats carrying illegal asylum seekers to Australia and he promised to fix our public hospitals, having a referendum if necessary. And he promised to reign in grocery and petrol prices.

But what did we get?

A new industrial relations system taking us back to the strike prone 1970s and 80s, a system that will cut the wages of nurses in aged care by $300 a week; see young people with after-school jobs lose those jobs by insisting the employer pay them for a minimum of three hours, which it is not possible for them to work or for him to afford.

So much for nobody being worse off! The so called ‘modern awards’ has delivered old fashioned inequities.

He didn’t repeal WorkChoices, as most people expected. He amended it to create his so called Fair Work regime. Had he simply repealed WorkChoices and re-enacted the provisions that existed prior to WorkChoices, we would had retained the benefit of the Keating and 1996 Howard reforms.

Mr Rudd would then not be in the position he now finds himself of having broken his promise that nobody would be worse off under his Fair Work regime, and have to wear the approbrium of the Nurses Union saying that the Fair Work law is worse than the WorkChoices law.

To add insult to injury, the Maritime Union boss has, with the threat of more strikes, forced a maritime employer to give their employees a $50,000 pay rise. That is $1,000 a week, resulting in an annual income of $180,000 a year to maritime workers with no productivity gains!

With regards to private health insurance, that nice cheery Mr Rudd wants to take away the 30% rebate from ordinary Australians who believed his promise that he would do no such thing. Thousands of Australians will lose out.

If you earn $75,000 Mr Rudd says you are rich and should lose your rebate. If as a couple you earn $150,000 you lose out. If you earn less than these amounts you might be ok this time, but what about next time? Teachers, police, nurses are hit this time; are you next?

As for the hospital promise - delivery NIL.

And then there is the U-turn on the promise to turn around the illegal boats. Not only does Mr Rudd not honour his promise, but he adopts a policy which encourages people smugglers to put asylum seekers lives at risk to get them to Australia by dropping Temporary Protection Visas and giving preferential treatment to asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking. Since then, 79 boat carrying 3,618 asylum seekers have arrived and Christmas Island is overflowing. Australia is now seen as a soft touch.

As grocery and petrol prices have continued to rise we remember the failure of Grocery Watch and Fuel Watch. Not only has Mr Rudd failed to honour this promise, but now plans to give us a big new tax on everything – the ETS. This will force further price rises for groceries and a 20% rise in electricity prices. Thanks for nothing!

Meanwhile the poor man’s Costello, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, told ABC radio’s Fran Kelly on 4th February that he did not know how much of the $42 billion stimulus package remained uncommitted.

“Oh look I can’t give you a precise figure Fran, because of course these things are a little bit complex”. Really Mr Tanner? You are of course the Finance Minister. It’s your job to know! Complex is the standard response from Government Ministers when they don’t know the answer. You will hear it ad nauseum.

We were indebted to Senator Conroy later in the day when he told the Senate that $21 billion remains unspent. That is half of the package, not the ‘bulk’ as claimed by the Finance Minister.

Back to my first point of who is better to manage the economy. Mr Rudd has already run up a debt of $120 billion which has to be repaid and every additional cent he spends on the stimulus above what has been committed has to be borrowed. This plunges us into a sea of further debt.

A combination of borrowing and spending and high taxation is traditional Labor behaviour.

Hands up if you think this is good economic management??

Most commented

59 comments

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    • WKH says:

      06:54am | 09/02/10

      KRUDD = FAIL
      Its just simple arithmetic Bronwyn!

    • Fred Flinstone says:

      09:08am | 10/02/10

      What the Minister failed to mention was that while they where reducing government debt, they were actually turning it into private debt, such that when the were dumped from government private debt was over 150% of GDP - what does Barnaby Rubble think of that??

    • iansand says:

      07:21am | 09/02/10

      I heard something shrill in the background.  Is Bronny back?

    • Dave says:

      05:35pm | 09/02/10

      Yes.
      It’s the poor womans Wilson Tuckey.

    • George says:

      02:04pm | 10/02/10

      Ah the Minister at her reactionary Vaucluse best. Not that I disagree with some of the points re K Rudd’s ‘interesting’ first term, but if the thrust of her article was about the Labour Party being the economic freaks, why not dedicate at least 70% of the article to that theme rather than just bookending reactionary diatribe with a couple of economic pot shots?
      Says a lot that Barnaby his nose ahead of you for his role eh?

    • persephone says:

      07:31am | 09/02/10

      Er…Medicare is available even if you don’t pay the levy.

    • Robert Smissen says:

      02:24pm | 09/02/10

      If you live long enough to get on the waiting list to see a specialist that is.

    • persephone says:

      04:55pm | 09/02/10

      Last time I tried, I saw the specialist within a month of my doctor’s referral and had the elective surgery two months after that.

      Made me wonder if I was sicker than I thought!

    • Paul says:

      05:52pm | 13/02/10

      Yeah, The Emergency departments of the country are clogged up with people who don’t pay the Medicaire levy.

    • Paul says:

      07:57am | 09/02/10

      Freakshow or hypocritical circus. Internet suppression will economically severely impact on our economic opportunities in business, science, innovation and our fast growing creative sector. But you and Tony appear to be speechless or lightweight on the issue. It’s hypocritical to accept donations from big businesses, that you allowed when in government, to perfect their predatory practices and anti-competition - then attack Rudd over it. You are both guilty of doing nothing and creating a drag on the economy and jobs and innovation.  Bronwyn are you and Tony against technology businesses and still anti small business?

    • Economic rationalist says:

      07:59am | 09/02/10

      Oh dear, Bronnie. Stick to the Old People’s portfolio. Being old seems to be something you might know a lot about.

      Our economy survived due to the resources boom. Yes, we had a warchest because your lot hoarded money for 11 years instead of building infrastructure, schools and hospitals with it (which is why they’re in such a bad state now).

      I’m pretty sure I’m paying less for petrol now than I was in 2007.

      You lot set the example for blaming the States for the problems with schools and hospitals so maybe KRUDD can do the same.

      I find it amusing that schoolkids can’t find 3 hours of work after school since mmany Maccas are now open ‘til midnight and Pizza Hut/KFC are open ‘til 10. Maybe it’s just a lot of scaremongering from your side.

      Of course, we could all go back to barganing with our generous employers who are ever so keen to open their chequebooks and pay us more….....but nah, I’ll stick to a more collective strength in numbers idea. That seems to work.

    • Lulu says:

      09:44am | 09/02/10

      Oh come off it mate…..we are far better off now than we were before Howard came into power.  It’s a national tragedy that we all became so bored with the good times that we decided to put a “nice, gentle bloke” into the saddle….just a for a bit of a change…..& look at how it’s turned out. Rudd is a hopeless poser who smiles benignly for the camera which he adores but behaves like a prima donna behind the scenes….& I won’t be voting for him again.

    • stephen says:

      11:52am | 09/02/10

      Bad taste bro’.
      Stick to the facts.

    • Russ says:

      12:06pm | 09/02/10

      Governments have to learn to live within their means just like ordinary citizens. Rudd is setting a dangerous level of spending in place that will only lead to disappointment and ultimately higher taxes. Not to mention the massive culture of dependency that he is promoting. Why he feels the need to pamper the electorate with endless promises and largess is both sad and foolish and will not in the long run be of any benefit to anybody.

    • David C says:

      01:52pm | 09/02/10

      arent hospitals and education a state govt issue?

    • Robert Smissen says:

      02:33pm | 09/02/10

      Economic Rationalist, by your post I can tell you don’t have kids, or if you do, are being neglected. No good parent would want their child out late during the week when they also need to do about 2-3 hours of study to get a good grade, sleep 9-10 that is needed by a juvenile body. Strength in #s, maybe, proving you are worth having on the pay-roll by working well isn’t a bad bargaining chip too.

    • Adam says:

      08:11am | 09/02/10

      Good to see a Pollie paying tribute when its due. I.E. the Keating reforms.

      I would consider myself right sided but seriously $75,000 p.a is a lot of money. if you can’t afford health insurance on that then you simply can’t budget.

    • Scott says:

      12:52pm | 09/02/10

      $75k a lot of money?
      You either don’t live in Sydney or you’re a real tight arse. Which is it?

    • persephone says:

      01:18pm | 09/02/10

      Scott

      firstly, not everyone lives in Sydney.

      Secondly, very few Australian families have incomes above $75 k (the average family income is less than $52 000 pa).

      Most of us get by (and most of us don’t have private health insurance, either).

    • Ben Gray says:

      01:19pm | 09/02/10

      @Scott 75K is a lot of money in anyones book, if you can’t get by on that, you’re pissing it out the door.
      Unless of course… Is cocaine addiction now compulsory in Sydney?

    • Scott says:

      01:39pm | 09/02/10

      persephone - I’m aware not everyone lives in Sydney, that was the very point of my comment. ie: $75k might be good living in a regional centre or country town, but it’s no great shakes in Sydney.
      Ben - Coke addiction isn’t compulsory, but having a place to live and buying food most certainly is (well, the jury is out on the food if you’re an Eastern Suburbs Princess).
      But if you want to live in a reasonable place in a reasonable area and maybe do a little more than “get by” then $75k ain’t much.

    • persephone says:

      02:04pm | 09/02/10

      Well, you could always move to one of those country areas, you know.

      May not get as well paying a job, but then again, you wouldn’t need to.

    • Scott says:

      02:39pm | 09/02/10

      I wouldn’t mind, however my skill set doesn’t lend itself to the opportunities available in a country town.

    • Sherlock says:

      08:34am | 09/02/10

      I’m amazed that the Rudd Government has a shred of economic credibility left. In 2008 the trio of Rudd, Swan and Gillard told us repeatedly that “the inflation genie was out of the bottle” and accordingly inflation was the nations number 1 problem.

      It wasn’t. Inflation stayed within the limits set by the reserve bank then fell dramatically when the credit crunch hit.

      Then the same trio of Rudd, Swan, Gillard spent all of 2009 telling us how the economic turndown was going to get far worse before it got better. You couldn’t turn on the tele or a radio without hearing predictions of doom from at least one of them.

      Well it didn’t get far worse at all. In fact it got significantly better rather quickly. Despite the predictions of the terrible trio that we could see unemployment increase to anywhere between 8 and 10% it has stayed steady around 5.5%

      Since the 2007 election,  Rudd, Swan, Gillard have constantly talked down the economy with a constant stream of rash and failed doom and gloom predictions when in fact, that to the reforms put in by both the Hawke/Keating and Howard governments , we have one of the strongest economies in the world today.

      Yet, as predicted by many before the election, 2 years of Labor have resulted in their typical spending like a drunken sailor which has saddled Australians with budget deficits, record government debt and increased taxation.

      After 12 years people start to forget how federal labor governments operate. I can only hope that one term was enough to remind them.

    • Jane says:

      10:32am | 09/02/10

      I think “Lulu’ is Loopy!! ....and living in Lala land. She can’t be serious.

      I have many words for Swan. “Freakshow;’ would be one of them. but ‘Incompetent’, ‘Clueless’ and ‘Inexperienced’ would be further up the list.

    • Jane says:

      10:36am | 09/02/10

      Ooops…I’m the ‘loopy’ one. Apologies to Lulu….should have read it properly. :o

    • Les says:

      10:44am | 09/02/10

      Have a look at the figures,Lib’s a big surplus, Labor a big deficit,and growing daily .Do you people not know the difference between a deficit and a surplus?? Surplus you are doing good,deficit,you are not doing good.Growing deficit,you are not doing good at all.It’s the economy dummy.

    • Tom says:

      11:30am | 09/02/10

      Oh dear, someone obviously failed year 11 economics. There is no problem with deficit spending during times of recession - in fact it is far better than not spending and letting the economy fall into a deeper hole. The budget in theory should roughly balance over the course of the business cycle - that means it will fall into deficit during downturns, and surplus during periods of growth.

      Put it this way - if you take out a home loan, you are going into deficit - i.e. spending more money than you presently earn so as to gain benefit in the future. Same principle with the budget - borrowing money now to prevent greater unemployment levels in the future.

    • Scott says:

      12:51pm | 09/02/10

      You’re bang on there Tom. I only wish everyone received some basic economic and financial education at high school. The constant stream of inaccurate and wildly incorrect observations that people make as fact astounds me. There shouldn’t be a minimum voting age, but a minimum voting IQ.

    • N says:

      01:21pm | 09/02/10

      Tom; I’m guessing you didn’t make it past year 11 economics? While spending in times of recession (which, according to this government, we never had!), is a good idea to stave off mass unemployment and economic stagnation reminiscent of the 30’s, continued, unchecked spending is disastrous. Watch the US, where GDP is slowly being outstripped by its budget deficit.

      I’ll put it into more simple terms for you, let’s use your housing mortgage example; you buy a house at $400K and can manage your repayments, however you really want a new car, which you buy with a personal loan, then your wife wants a holiday, you wack that on a credit card. Now you’re over leveraged, and can’t repay your total accumulated debt, so what happens? Fire sale at your place as your creditors look for return on investment.

    • Tom says:

      02:52pm | 09/02/10

      N, we currently have a public debt to GDP ratio of 15.9%, compared to figures in the 80’s and 90’s across Europe and the US. I don’t like Rudd and certainly won’t be voting for him, but to say that Australia is over - leveraged is simply incorrect.

    • Jack says:

      03:31pm | 09/02/10

      I am a retired Math/Physics/Chem teacher. I do not know of a single economics teacher that could think outside of preprepared paths, some of those intersecting in an ephectic eclectic manner.

      Economists created our problems and are busy making it worse.

      Tom I reckon you have a fairly recent degree in economics, right?

      Labor has “only one song” and that song is repeating what Kevie and Julia sing.

      Tanner is now only able to use deprecating insults against the opposition.

      Ad Hominum attacks are the last refuge of the intellect that is attached to ideological rails; thus totally unable to reason outside of the ideological tracks, laid down by Mr. Rudd.
      I thought better of Tanner, but he is just an obsequious empty suit.
      Kevin Rudd is toast and Abbott is slowly opening up a jar of vegemite and licking his lips.

      I would suppose Conroy has some questions to ask? We do not need to use verbal abuse to see what kind of man he is.

      Conroy got into the senate with less votes than Fielding yet to my knowledge unlike Fielding does not have a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, or any “Hard” science.

    • N says:

      03:55pm | 09/02/10

      Tom; Public debt to GDP is at 15.9%, your quite right. However projected public debt is set to reach $300 billion (conservative estimate by the current government) by 2013, it’s currently at $64 billion. I’ll let you do the simple math.

    • Tom says:

      04:57pm | 09/02/10

      Jack, all of what you say about the Labor party may be true, but there are two issues here - the original post by Les claiming that deficits mean that “you are not doing good”. This is clearly false and I don’t think anyone with any knowledge of economics whatsoever would agree with this. The second is whether the current debt levels are excessive. 15.9% of GDP is not historically high, and is far below the levels of almost every other developed country.

      I also find it ironic you accuse some of the Labor politicians of ad hominem attacks on their Liberal counterparts, when you do the same to economics teachers and economists in general. Yes, policies and by extension some economists were responsible for the past crisis, but that does not invalidate the whole profession. Like any field, there are many competing opinions within it.

      There is plenty to attack the Labor party on without resorting to the populist appeal of maintaining budget surpluses.

      And by the way, I’m doing a medical science degree.

    • Steve of Cornubia says:

      10:53am | 09/02/10

      Australia’s New Labour (clearly a shameless clone of the UK’s New Labour under Blair) has no claim to economic success or skill whatsoever. All they have done is what EVERY Labour government does - SPEND OUR MONEY.

    • persephone says:

      12:37pm | 09/02/10

      Oh, so Coalition governments spend somebody else’s money, not ours?

      Interested to see how that works.

    • Macon Paine says:

      02:54pm | 09/02/10

      Actually what Labour does on a consistant basis is tax and spend. The Liberals on the other hand tend to cut taxes and spend less. Which I suppose would contribute to consistant budget surplus’s, paying off debt, future funds etc. These are things the Labour diehards can only dream of.
      There’s an old quote from Winston Churchill that seems to ring so true in regards to the labour party, “We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” Labour may mean well but they are oh so tragically misguided.

    • persephone says:

      05:15pm | 09/02/10

      Taxes are meant to pay for services, in the circumstances where it is cheaper for the government to provide these than individuals.

      I used to live on a private road, perhaps 500 metres long and dirt. There were about ten blocks along this road, some vacant, some with houses.

      We had to maintain it ourselves. This meant getting everyone on the street to agree that it needed fixing, getting everyone to agree on what their fair share of expenses were and then organising who was going to take the trailer and get the rock, who was going to help spread it all out, etc etc.

      Now we pay our rates and, twice a year (more often if we complain) the road gets fixed without any hassle on our part - and for less dollars, because of course the shire buys its road materials in bulk and has better equipment.

      The Liberals tax less and spend less (well, traditionally; the Howard government was one of the big all time spenders) because they’re quite happy for services such as roads and hospitals and other infrastructure to run down.

      Then labor has to spend more when they get back in, just to get these services back up to scratch.

      If there wasn’t such a boom and bust cycle when it comes to public spending, chances are the various systems would be a lot cheaper to maintain, because its always cheaper to keep something going than to wait until it breaks down.

      Labor’s not even trying to ‘tax you into prosperity’ but just to get things back to the standard they should be at.

    • Gown says:

      09:12pm | 09/02/10

      Persephone your argument doesn’t hold alot of water. You laud labour for avoiding recession, spending and going into deficit, and criticise the lib’s for spending within their means (or is it spending too much?) and having an economic situation capable of withstanding the GFC. By the way the Libs spent buckets on roads, and implored the states to reform hospitals. With the amount of debt now having to be serviced, how much do you estimate will go on the interest bill? Will cuts have to be made by your beloved Labour? Perish the thought. I’m sure we can all just wait for the boom wave to ride back into surplus…..But what if a subsequent downturn were to occur, how well has K. Rudd prepared us for such an eventuality? By the way, where did you get the idea that government could get something fixed or built cheaper than the private sector?, and if they’re not trying to tax us into prosperity, what’s the ETS all about?

    • luke says:

      11:22am | 09/02/10

      One of the good points to when labor are in government is that a huge national debt policy give us the rebirth of the backyard vegetable garden to cope with rising costs. There’s nothing better than home grown vegetables and the labor know this because the Rudd government seats are full of them.

    • Greg says:

      12:04pm | 09/02/10

      Interest rates are lower, fuel prices are lower, we don’t have work choices, and the Coalition Government under the leadership of John Howard and his puppet Costello, did nothing to boost infrastructure.  Sure, Kevin Rudd and his merry men have not delivered on everything they promised us when we all voted for them, but what Government does?  I recall that Howard guy telling us all we wouldn’t have a GST in Australia. That promise was defiantly kept now wasn’t it.  We may have billions and billions of dollars in debt, but would you really like to imagine where we would be, and what our economy would be like if Kevin didn’t make the hard decision to spend big and save us?  We may have to pay it all back, but he took one for the team

    • WKH says:

      12:38pm | 09/02/10

      Greg @ 01.04pm You are a tool mate! He took one for the team did he?(my arse). He just blew this countries savings, borrowed billions from China and has know idea how he is going to pay it back. Why do you think he wants to whack us all with this massive new tax in the guise of an ETS.
      How can you just except that Krudd has done nothing and condone it by saying “what government does” . Big cop out mate! This government is falling to pieces rapidly, has screwed the Australian people and will be held to account..

    • Mick In The Hills says:

      12:56pm | 09/02/10

      what planet have you been living on, Greg?
      My poor country is being run into the ground, and there is no prospect of it getting back to its mature, self-reliant self any time soon.

    • persephone says:

      01:20pm | 09/02/10

      In other words, Greg, you’re correct and they can’t fault your arguments.

      WKH, how can you know who holds the government loans when it changes from day to day?

      And the ETS is not a massive new tax, will not go into government revenue but instead will largely end up in the pockets of people like yourself.

      The actions of the Australian government in response to the GFC saved thousands of jobs across the country.

    • N says:

      02:22pm | 09/02/10

      Persephone; as a clear blue blooded Labor voter, perhaps you have a better grasp of this whole ETS thing than I. Can you explain (as Mr. Rudd can’t seem to), how much high income earners are to dispense once an ETS is in place? I understand anyone who makes less than $90K or collectively less than $120K per annum is getting full re-imbursement, so one can only assume “high income” earners are to foot this bill, which must mean a massive increase in taxation at some point.

    • E says:

      03:36pm | 09/02/10

      fuel prices are lower… until they go up
      interest rates are lower ... until they arent
      Work Choices / FairWork , both bad news
      Infrastructure… no new schools, no new universities, no new hospitals, roads are the states, no new railroads (JWH gave us Adeliade to Darwin) ... so no real infrastructure, just a giant debt
      As global interest rates rise with USA inflation, we will be sent broke by these low rent morons in the ALP, esspessially that tool Greg Combet.

    • persephone says:

      05:21pm | 09/02/10

      Depends on circumstances, N.

      If you are a sensible high income earner, you will invest some of your hard earned in reducing your energy usage - much easier for you to do this than low income earners.

      Wouldn’t take much to either neutralise or even lower your electricity bills.

      Most of my well off friends are doing all these things anyway.

    • N says:

      01:19pm | 10/02/10

      Persephone; sure I’m reducing my carbon emissions at my cost, but I’m also subsidising everyone in lower / middle income brackets so they can continue to pollute without any financial repercussions. I’m pretty generous, but that’s stretching the friendship. The incentive to be a high income earner in this society is dwindling daily, this ETS is nothing more than wealth redistribution anyway you slice it.

    • David C says:

      01:58pm | 09/02/10

      Persephone and that is the problem in a nutshell, the govt went too hard too early and panicked. They have wasted a fortune on a potential problem that never materialsed and now have nothing left in the tank for the next round. Private debt very quickly becomes public debt and with Asutralian private sector debt at about 100% of gdp what will our economic saviours do next?

    • persephone says:

      05:31pm | 09/02/10

      David C, no reputable economist agrees with your assessment.

      Firstly, the government needed to go hard early to prevent panic and unnecessary job losses. Many business owners would have sacked people out of fear of the impact of the GFC, long before there was such an impact, particularly in areas such as retail.

      The idea of the first round of stimulus handouts was to prevent this kind of job loss. It was meant to be transitory spending, to boost confidence and stave off any ‘real’ job losses (and don’t forget, there were quite a few of these, with businesses genuinely going to the wall).

      The second part was longer term job security. The GFC might be over in Australia (and that’s doubtful), it’s certainly not over in the rest of the world. We’re an export country, and downturns in trading partners such as the US and Japan do affect us. That they haven’t affected us as much as they could have is because the alternative work and demand created by the infrastructure spending under the stimulus package means we’re not as dependant on them.

      As for Australian private debt, that reached record heights under Howard, who encouraged it. It’s a difficult thing to regulate, but there have been some signs that people used their common sense and did a bit of paying off/reducing debt when the GFC hit - a lot of mortgage holders, for example, kept their mortgage payments high despite declining interest rates.

      As for what could be done next - well, there’s a fairly long range program of infrastructure building in place, which will help hold up the jobs market for the immediate future. And our debt is not only quite modest by international standards, but we haven’t gone as deeply into debt as previously expected, which means that there’s stll room to move.

    • BigBob says:

      02:10pm | 09/02/10

      You need to get to work Bronwyn and do the job us taxpayers , pay you for. The journalist rambling is ok for your holiday time off but its a waste of space really.  I think your past retirement age, I pretty sure its younger than 67 for a female. Let someone younger with more credibility have your job and sit back and relax in your winter years.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      02:16pm | 09/02/10

      The fact is that neither Liberals nor Labor have been particularly good at economic management being more interested in ideological agendas such as handouts, middle class welfare, privatization, corporate welfare rather than nation building. Neither Liberals nor Labor have done any serious economic / taxation reform in a very long time….. (and it would have been preferable to have done the reform during the boom period under the Liberals rather than now.)

    • Brian says:

      03:36pm | 09/02/10

      Bronwyn, re Mike Kaiser, what “relevant experience” is Stephen Conroy referring to? This is a 450k a year job? Would it not be prudent to look in the open market for “talent”?

      I give it to the ALP, when you are in their club, you certainly get looked after, regardless of ethics or legality…...it is something to behold.

    • Jan says:

      05:39pm | 09/02/10

      Rudd needed to deliver 6 months ago. He failed and that is it. Too late…..

    • S.L says:

      05:56pm | 09/02/10

      Keep this up Ms Bishop and you could get a gig on 2GB! The only reason there was such a surplus in the budget was Mr Costello taxed us too much. If he really is the great economic brain he is portrayed to be in the conservative press then why when he put his hand up for employment in the private sector the only offer he got was from his former foe Kevin07?
      Now who was it that was going to break the unions? Some guy named Peter Reith I recall. Where is he now?
      The “other side” as you call each other in parliament isn’t perfect either but don’t put your end on such a pedistal please!

    • 6clegs says:

      01:42am | 10/02/10

      Does Murdoch pay you to write for the site?

      I see that you’re still pushing the ‘‘illegal asylum seeker’’ barrow - but then humanity aint yer strongest point, is it. Would you rather that they stay in their countries and be murdered by their enemies, or starve, or live in a state of Terror? Oh that’s right, your lot prefer the ‘‘illegals’’ that fly in/overstay their Visas, don’t you.
      It must really rankle that you now have smaller office, no back door (Ministers Entrance) to escape the House anytime (early, real early & often) without being noticed by the pesky media…

      Ms Bishop, get used it it. Put yer big girl pants on and suck it up, you’re going to be in that pokie office & having to enter thru the front door till you retire, or lose Mackellar.

    • Saskia says:

      09:37am | 10/02/10

      Nice Reply mate.  Good to see you counter all of her arguments.

      See the trouble is actually people like you… rusted on ALP hacks that would vote for Labor no matter how much they f’d the country.  You couldn’t run or be trusted with a chook raffle.  I am glad you are happy about the 120 Billion debt your chubby mate Kevin has run up in 2 years.

      You care for queue jumpers more than your fellow Aussies.

    • 6clegs says:

      03:24pm | 10/02/10

      Saskia, I see that your Work Experience ‘in Canberra’  is working out well for you. You almost have the standard fundie right sledgings down pat. That your assumptions about me couldn’t be more incorrect (& probably mine about you) doesn’t matter.  wink

    • Timmo says:

      08:42am | 14/02/10

      Bronwyn Bishop, Well what can one say regarding your endless quotes and the usual display of the arrogance for poor in this country. ” Lindsay Tanner, the poor mans Costello”, well typical Liberal Party ideology. Stuff the poor. Now, Howard was very good at that as he got his big Surplus by stealing from them. That’s how you Libs. got it with a few nice pay increases for yourselves along the way.  Certainly stuffed my family life up a bit there Bronyn. Just think, you could have had a Zillion Dollar Surplus if you hadn’t invaded Iraq. Labor inherited that little beauty from you. “The coalition of the willing Mass Murderers”. Now what’s the cost to the public of continuing a so called War that is unwinnable by any side. Who are we selling our weapons of mass destruction to Bronnie.Our President Barack Obama will be here soon to instruct whichever Government about continuing the American way.Why don’t we join up with them, that way we’ll get our Republic and a Zillion Dollar Deficit which makes ours pale into insignificance. Opposition in Government doesn’t mean that you have to oppose every single policy that is put. Some co-operation with them on good issues would be good but they, the issues, would only be good if you put them. Get a grip Bronwyn!!. You are elected to serve all of the people regardless of their Political Viewpoint, not yourselves or your crap ideologies. Go and give yourself another pay rise, there must be one due by now you’re such a hard working person, but maybe you could convince Kevin to throw a bit our way as well I’m sure many workers would appreciate that.

 

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