Let’s have the Senate block supply in order to put the 2014 Budget to a referendum.
Never since Federation has a first-term government’s Budget been delivered that is the opposite of pre-election undertakings by the winning party.
This Budget has broken the bond of trust between Australians and the Abbott government and, indeed, between the state and territory governments and the latter.
We don’t have to accept corrupting the Australian polity further.
The Budget fails in nation-building in the key areas of schools and hospitals that have been completely excised from the Budget, leaving a gaping $80 billion hole that Canberra expects the state and territory governments to plug through an increase in the GST.
This cynical move means the Australian voter will be hit a second time in short succession, orchestrated by Canberra.
Prime Minister Abbott expects horse-trading between the nine Australian governments over the coming weeks, followed by the Senate, in order to achieve an outcome of social engineering that Australians have not experienced hitherto.
It is not even a true Liberal Budget, but something that harks back to DLP origins.
The worst aspect of this Budget is not so much the deep cuts, but that it fails to outline specific measures to create sustainable jobs for Australians.
Because I distrust both the Coalition and Labor parties, I call on the minor parties led by Clive Palmer to block supply of this Budget in the Senate on the basis that the Budget delivered is diametrically opposed to what Tony Abbott promised prior to the election.
It is not worth the candle to start horse-trading.
Let’s put this Budget to a referendum by triggering a double-dissolution.
Only this will reflect the true expression of the majority of voters.
Phil na Champassak owns The Madsen Boutique Hotel in Penguin and is a founding board member of the Cradle Coast Innovation Inc fostering enterprise facilitation. He is also a board member of the Cradle Coast Tourism Executive, the regional tourism organisation for NW Tasmania. Formerly a diplomat and DFAT policy analyst, Phil has worked on trade, aid, public diplomacy, consular, international security, and bilateral relations with PNG, the US, and NZ, and was most recently DFAT State Director for Tasmania. Prior to that Phil worked for the UN Development Programme in New York, West Africa and PNG. Phil also served as election monitor to the first elections in Cambodia (1992) and South Africa (1994) and was a peace monitor in Bougainville (2002). He has contributed to publications on human rights, election monitoring, and UN issues. Awarded in 2003 a Australian Service Medal. Phil was a guest of ABC Radio Richard Fidler’s ‘Conversations’ in November 2013.
• Tim Costello, The Drum, ABC: Slashing foreign aid reflects poorly on Australia Our government has now decided that foreign aid should bear the greatest burden of the savings measures outlined in the budget. Australia’s aid program, which represents just 1.3 per cent of government spending, is stumping up more than 20 per cent of the budget’s ‘major savings’, according to the budget papers. That means those living in extreme poverty – and children and women in particular – are carrying this burden.
• Crikey: The vindictive budget: how the fiscal burden is loaded on low-income earners • Crikey: Hockey robs from the poor, but not the rich … • Crikey: ABC’s foreign bureaux in danger after Australia Network budget axing
• Steve Biddulph, in Comments: Terrific and clear article – how heartening it would be to see this go to a double dissolution on the issue of fractured trust. I have never seen a government come so wolflike out of the shadows and reveal such an attack on the fabric of civil society – schools, hospitals, the young and the poor. Medicare was the single greatest achievement of postwar democracy, now it is being unravelled. A double dissolution – calling the government’s bluff in the senate, would be a chance to give immediate feedback on the betrayal that has emerged of what was promised so unambiguously in the election campaign.