Budget is bad news for toads, phone calls to departments
WHAT a week. So much happening and only a few words to discuss it.
Revelations from the commissions of inquiry into the insulation fiasco and the uses of union slush funds for renovations are an interesting insight into the world of politics and do nothing to improve public opinion when it comes to our politicians.
Interestingly, our mayor recently suggested we should hold our political leaders in higher esteem, but I for one am not seeing many reasons to think that self-interest is not a primary motive for being elected.
But the big topic of last week was of course the federal budget.
Sprinkled amongst the mountain of "information" that has been published since are a few interesting topics.
First we have the cuts to the public service which are certainly going to cause pain to the individuals involved. Those of us that have to deal directly with public servants have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we are aware of the many well-documented excesses of public service but the thought of longer waiting times for telephones and emails to be answered is not a pleasant thought. I know how long it can take to actually talk to someone at the Australian Taxation Office, so when in excess of 2000 jobs are cut, "service" levels must suffer.
Second, the almost $90 million set aside for the search for MH370 is an interesting allocation of resources but will hopefully help keep unemployment levels down in the relevant sectors.
Third, privatisation of four government owned businesses is set to generate capital for the Asset Recycling Fund. Now, one of the businesses to be sold is the ASIC registry service. This generates over $600 million annually in revenue and costs $140 million to operate.
And does it make commercial sense to sell off a profitable business which obviously has been subsidising losses in other areas?
For business, generally the 1.5% reduction in company tax may be more fiction than fact judging by its allocation to the contingency area of the budget and of course the 2% deficit tax may affect some small business owners. But the slight increase in the fuel levy will be blamed for a number of price increases.
Of course cane toads in Western Australia are worried because $500,000 has been allocated to their eradication - how many golf clubs and bottles of Dettol can that buy!