Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Budget 2014

The papers are full of it of course. The Federal Budget was handed down last night - after weeks of speculation, "leaks", leaking, debate, doom, gloom and alarm.
And no, it is not good news for anyone. We will all be getting less and paying more.
Is it disastrous news for anyone? Probably not. It will be uncomfortable for some but most people will manage just as they did before.
I have some reservations about the co-payment to visit the doctor. I don't object to paying to visit the doctor but I hope it won't stop people who really need to go from going. It might. (I also suspect that it might stop people going to the doctor seeking an instant cure for the common cold.) If the money really goes to medical research and not into general revenue then it might be a very good thing but such things have a way of being siphoned off.
And then there is the petrol excise. Well that has not been changed for years. The problem with increasing that is that it will probably increase the cost of everything as businesses try to recoup the cost from their customers. It will also be more expensive for those who actually need to use their cars. What would be nice is if it succeeded in reducing the number of cars on the road. If it reduced the number of single occupancy vehicles - whose drivers could get public transport but choose not to - then that would surely be a good thing. Think of it as a sort of carbon tax?
I know putting together a government budget is a very complex matter but in one sense it is also a simple affair. Like a household budget there are things that must be on the list, things that should be on the list if they can be managed, things that need attention if they can be afforded and things that would be nice to have but may not be affordable at all. There are also things that the kids (or in this case the public) might like but we can't afford no matter how much they (or we) whinge about it. It is when you give in to the kids in order to keep them quiet (or get them to vote for you) that you end up in trouble. Right? I suppose that sounds much too simplistic.
I think the current Budget is paying for the bread, the fruit and vegetables, some protein and perhaps an ice-cream once in a while. Perhaps we will survive.
It all depends on whether the Budget can survive the likely monumental row between the parents in the Senate.

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