Coulton’s Catch-up Week of 6th February
This week Parliament resumes for what is set to be one of the most important years in Federal politics in quite some time. The past year in Canberra has seen Parliament debate a raft of legislation that will have huge ramifications for every Australian. Unfortunately this year will be the year this reckless legislation is implemented. Cost of living pressures will increase for families as the Government taxes the basic necessities of life, and small businesses will suffer with no financial aid to deal with the increased costs to their bottom line.
Political predictions are dangerous to make, but there should be a few certainties in Canberra in 2012. The Prime Minister will continue to ignore common sense and the wishes of the Australian people and implement her Carbon Tax and Mining Tax; the Government will continue to ignore the urgent need for healthcare reform and instead means-test private health insurance, putting more pressure on the already over-stretched public health system. All whilst continuing with the roll-out of the $50 billion taxpayer funded National Broadband Network that people in regional and rural areas don’t need and don’t want to pay more for.
On the agricultural front, although the seasonal aspect is looking promising, the Gillard Government will deliver little to farmers. We can expect further cuts to water allocations throughout the Murray-Darling Basin; increasing foreign ownership of our agricultural land and the live export industry will continue to suffer as the after affects of the government’s decision to halt the trade for three months last year are felt.
This Government has proven it is all about waste and mismanagement. It has been revealed that taxpayers have now paid more than $3.4 million in travel cost to fly insulation safety inspectors around Australia to check faulty or dodgy insulation that was installed under the Federal Government’s failed $2.5 billion Home Insulation Program. This program is linked to at least four deaths and more than 200 house fires.
I could go on but the trend is clear: Australians, particularly regional Australians, are set to pay the price for the incompetence of the Gillard Government. After inheriting a record surplus from the former Coalition Government, the Government’s panicked response to the mild global financial downturn has seen a $20 billion surplus into $167 billion in accumulated deficits and $70 billion in net Commonwealth assets into $133 billion of net debt. That’s $6000 for every Australian man, woman and child.
In his address to the National Press Club of Australia last week Tony Abbott said “Four decades after Donald Horne ironically tagged Australia as “the Lucky Country”, the Gillard government is relying on good luck rather than on good management to secure our nation’s future.”
It makes you wonder when this luck is going to run out. Whatever happens in 2012 one thing will be for certain – it will be an interesting year in Federal politics.