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Have We Mentioned The Budget Yet?

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on July 25, 2014 in Other

Photo: Nick O'Teen

Photo: Nick O’Teen

It seems that everyone has an opinion on this year’s Federal Budget. Not only is it filling column inches, social media feeds have been swamped by a barrage of baloney from both sides of the political spectrum. Given that everyone seems to be venting about these vexing issues, I thought it only fair that I do the same.

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. The reason us wealthy folk pay tax is so that those less fortunate than us can receive welfare to pay for the necessities (food, shelter, health, education, alloy wheels, plasma televisions etc.), thus reducing the likelihood that they will jump in their Datsuns, venture to the Eastern Suburbs, rob us at knife- or gun-point and cash in our goods at the nearest and dodgiest pawn shop in order to achieve the same outcome.

For this reason, I don’t mind paying a bit of tax, though I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest I pay my ‘fair share’ – someone has to keep the accountants in business, after all.

In saying that, there are some tax increases that you just have to cop on the chin, accepting that we’ve had it pretty good for quite a long time. One such example is HECS (which, notably, does not affect me in the slightest). I’m sick to death of hearing students whinge about how tough they’ve got it. Back in my day you had to dress up in your Sunday best and meet with your bank manager in order to acquire a loan. If you weren’t married and making a decent buck you were virtually no chance. These days all you have to do is enroll and they practically throw money at you. They don’t even expect it back until you’re earning a decent crust and the interest rate is relatively piddly, even after the budget increases. Be thankful entitled ones; it ain’t all that bad.

On the other hand, there are – in my opinion – a couple of blunders in Tony and Joe’s big, bad budget. The six-month waiting period for the dole, for example, does concern me. I’ll be doubling my security detail when that comes into effect, as the aforementioned welfare status quo mentioned in the second paragraph slowly crumbles into oblivion. I may even have to buy some shares in Cash Converters as a handy little hedge.

On a serious note, though, the thing that I despise most about this budget is the school chaplain funding. The Mad Monk has gone way too far with this (dare I say it) kiddy-fiddler fund. It is completely unnecessary and somewhat insensitive given the other cuts that have been made. Religious institutions get enough of a free ride in this country as it is. Maybe if the churches – with their massive property portfolios and who knows what else – paid a bit of tax, we wouldn’t be in this budget black hole in the first place, and we wouldn’t need to throw funding towards chaplains. We know you’re a raving god-botherer Tony, but decisions such as these won’t lead to the red carpet being rolled out at the pearly gates. Religion is a personal choice, please stop politicising it. Oh, and there’s most probably no such thing as heaven anyway.

So there it is: my two cents (heaven knows I’ll be paying a lot more than that in tax). I welcome you to roll that in a tobacco leaf and smoke it, Mr Hockey.

1 COMMENT. SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. I was expecting to read a whole-hearted support for the budget here and am pleasantly surprised to read an Eastern Suburbs take that has some compassion. I have to disagree with you about the HECS however. How do the poor afford education if they’re not supported by government money. An educated society is a healthy one.
    Totally agree with you on the dole issue and the chaplaincy idea. Are we living in the Middle Ages! About time the churches were taxed, why is no-one suggesting this? Yep, i’d be upping my security system too if I were you.

    Posted by: Jane H | July 28, 2014, 11:42 AM |

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