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The LDP Alternative Budget May 12, 2014

Posted by Fleeced in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

Here is the AFR article on the LDP’s alternate federal budget for the coming financial year. (It’s titled, “A budget for a real liberal” – a nice dig at the Libs). I summary, it proposes decreased spending by $40 billion dollars to bring the budget into immediate surplus, and reduces the top tax rate to 33%. This is a huge cut, which alone would have an enormous (positive) impact on growth. The top two rate are currently 37% over $80,000 and 45% over $180,000, so this represents a reduction in the top two rates. Compare that with the Liberals plan to increase taxes, and that’s quite a good deal.

Other suggestions include:

  • $2b – Reducing politician and public servant pay by 10%: I have to admit, this seems a bit gimmicky. I want cuts to the size public service, and maybe a pay freeze on those remaining…
  • $6b – Remove FTB-B and schoolkids bonus: Don’t disagree, but a hard sell politically.
  • $4b – Keep welfare payments constant for one year: Wow, we can save $4b just by not indexing welfare for a year? What are we waiting for?
  • $5b – Include family home in pension assets test: Agree in principle, but politically a hard sell and I’m not sure this is as simple as people think. My particular concern is that I don’t want to see people forced out of the family home which contains a lifetime of memories. There are plenty of old grannies who own their own home (and therefore basically rich), but are living poor. Obviously this is inefficient – and it’s silly that an old couple living day to day whilst leaving half a million dollar plus home as inheritance to their (much richer than they are) children – but I don’t know that changes here are achievable in one year. Baby steps, people – baby steps.
  • $2b – Efficiency gains from growth: OK…
  • $2b – Introduce medicare co-payment: Fully support
  • $6b – Means test medicare “so the rich pay their fare share”: So the rich pay their fair share? Which LDP idiot thought it was a good idea to push class-warfare rhetoric? Just because you get embarrassed that people accuse you of being “for the rich” doesn’t mean you have to pad things out with nonsense like this – this is the Libs mistake (they’re introducing a debt levy on the rich using the same reasoning!)  I’m not saying I disagree with the means-test, but whoever added the words, “so the rich pay their share” should be expelled from the LDP for gross stupidity.
  • $5b – Reduce higher education subsidy: A bit more detail would be nice, and it’s also worth pointing out that whilst this improves book position, it puts large load on student loans (ie, the government doesn’t actually get the money – they just increase their “asset” of getting money from the student down the track). Other than that, I support.
  • $7b – Remove corporate welfare and reduce R&D: I might want more info on this, but mostly support 
  • $1b – Remove subsidy for ABC & SBS: Fully support, but again I’d recommend baby-steps. The ABC and SBS should transition to a model fully-funded by advertising, but expecting this much savings in first year might be unrealistic.

The LDP budget also supports workplace reforms which should help growth significantly, as well as reduce welfare dependance.  Not mentioned in their budget are expenses like NDIS, Gonski, PPL, and so on. I assume this is because they weren’t in the last budget, and that’s what they were working off, but there’s plenty of savings there as well.

All things considered, this is a budget I could get behind… aside from the silly class warfare rhetoric.