Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Beazer's Budget Blabberings

Check out Kim Beazley's budget reply speech

He uses the term "Middle Australia" 35 times. I think his polsters must have told him that they're the people who are a bit worried about him.

The only problem is most "Middle Australians" wouldn't know who a "Middle Australian" was. It's a bit of doublespeak that politicians use to tag a group of amorphous voters, but its not a term that any serious person would use to describe themselves.

"G'day my name is Neil and I'm a.... Middle Australian". Not likely, mate. I'm a father, a husband, a small business operator, a daydreamer, a wannabe musician, maybe even a battler, whatever.... but "Middle Australian"? Give me a break, Kim. If you use that term and me in the same sentence, then the only meaning I derive from it is that you're after my vote and you aren't too sure how to get it.

The other bit of doublespeak Beazer used was "Triple Whammy" - as though it was some big silver hammer that Maxwell was using to bang us on the head with as per the song by the Beatles. The Opposition Leader was referring to the recent quarter of a percent interest rise, the increase in fuel prices, and the change to the Industrial Relations laws.

Regarding his first point about interest rate rises. I'd rather be hit with Costello's quarter percent interest rise than the 18 percent rates that Beazley gave us when he was in power. Especially since most commentators agree that we're not going to need another rate rise for quite a while. And anyway you can count on a closed fist the number of initiatives Kim Beazley made in his speech addressing what he'd do to reduce interest rates.... none at all because he and his party wouldn't have a clue about interest rates.

The second point about rising fuel prices is pretty lame. Oil prices are rising around the world. Does Beazer have a magic wand he's going to wave which will bring them down? If not, is it the nasty government's fault that they're high? Who are you trying to kid?

And on the third point of Industrial Relations reform threatening the jobs of "Middle Australia", blind Freddy can see that unemployment is much lower now than under Beazley's government. When he ruled the roost it was over 10 percent. Now it's 5 percent. Which number is more threatening to you?

One initiative I have mixed feelings about is his ideas about the "Double Drop-off". Building childcare centres in State Schools is fair enough - provided the State Governments let you do it. But if you already have your kids at one child care centre, you'd still have a double drop-off under Beazley unless you pulled your kids out of one childcare centre and put them into another.

And then what happens to the other childcare centres that aren't in school grounds? If they lose customers, will they close down?

Sounds to me like the cure might be worse than the disease.