Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kevin Rudd: Australia's real Robin Hood?

While an Australian actor (Russell Crowe) may play the character of Robin Hood in the new Hollywood film, back in his homeland, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appears to have taken a liking to to the character.  However, this Prime Minister possesses other significant qualities not present in the original Robin Hood.  Robin Rudd is also the master of "spin", that is, misusing the English language to convince the more ignorant that his policy is for the greater good.  
The Labor leader and his government have decided to impose a new "super profits" tax on mining companies, which according to the Prime Minister, will pay for State infrastructure funds, a 2% decrease in the company tax rate and a 3% increase in Superannuation for all Australians.  In response, 9 billion dollars was wiped of the Australian sharemarket to our Prime Ministers announcement.  Stop.  This Super tax has already resulted in the abandoning of two mining projects in Western Australia, it has wiped off 9 billion dollars of our money. It will cause a loss in jobs, sure employees will get more superannuation, but they are likely to suffer pay-cuts if they are lucky enough to keep their job.  Businesses that service the mining industry will suffer.  This is a mere ploy by the government, as is its new cigarette tax, to grab as much of our money, to fund its failed policies. Make no mistake, this government must go.

Mr Rudd once described climate change as the "greatest moral challenge of our time", and that he would make Australia a global leader in climate change.  His Government then rushed out a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which lacked both clarity and details.  I blogged previously about Penny Wong's refusal to answer the simple question, "by how much will electricity prices increase post 2013?" The Labor government threatened the then Liberals Leader Malcolm Turnbull with a double dissolution if his party did not agree.  Apparently, climate change is no longer the greatest moral challenge of our time, the Government is rolling out ill-thought through policies to ensure Robin Rudd remains Prime Minister.
Previously, in response to the turmoil surrounding the global financial crisis, a $42 billion "rescue pack" was rushed.  The author concedes that this made perfect sense and is indeed grateful for the cash received (which did not get spent in ways which would stimulate the Australian economy). Nevertheless, fiscal stimulus to aid an ailing economy was the right thing to do.  Once again, the Labor government rushed through policies such as the insulation schemes and the "Building Education Revolution" (BER).  The BER suffered shocking cost blowouts and in at least one case the BER attempted to knock down perfectly functional school gym when what the school required was a new library.  The insulation scheme was plagued by the death of a number of insulation installers. As it turns out, dangerous foil insulation was installed creating health hazards thus forcing the government to spend more tax payer money to fix the problem it created.

Peter Garrett was at that time described by Robin Rudd as a "first-class minister", yet Mr Garrett was subsequently demoted from this senior position.  Julia Gillard vehemently denied any cost blow-outs prior to the whistle blowing of several school principals. Penny Wong staunchly refused to give more details about the government's proposed CPRS.  Australians deserve to hear the truth, while this Labor Government may fool the more ignorant, most Australians are beginning to see through Labor's veil. The lastest Newspoll affirms this; with voter satisfaction with Robin Rudd falling to 39%.  Two weeks ago it stood at 50%.

Last month, Labor purported to act immediately (again) with a new Health reform scheme whereby States were to surrender 30% of their GST entitlements to the Federal Government.  Once again, Kevin Rudd was at his menacing best; threatening a "referendum" if States did not agree to his plan.  The Labor government just has not learned; rushed policies are failed policies, and indeed, the Health Reform was not achieved in its entirety as Western Australia did not give in to Mr Rudd's threats.  As an astute user of the English language, one cannot but wonder why Mr Rudd does not understand the idiom: More haste, less speed. In fact, Mr Rudd threw more taxpayer money at the States in an attempt to get their co-operation. As Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia described it, "twenty pieces of silver won't work with Western Australia".  This government cannot be trusted to deliver the policies vital to the Australian people, nor can it be trusted with our hard earned money.

Now the Government wishes to impose a new super tax on resources companies. Coupled with an increasing cash rate (interest rates), this spells trouble for the Australian public.  Yet one must wonder why Robin Rudd would even consider an imposition of a new tax. Obviously, the extra funds are required to fund its failed insulation schemes, building education revolutions and all the extra funds used to "suck" States into agreeing to his Health reform.  The Liberals have called for fiscal stimulus to be wound down or even stopped, but this Robin Hood is stubborn, despite increasing inflation rates and interest rates, this government has refused to do what is right for the Australian people.  Instead, it has attempted to rush through further policies in a last grasp election-year attempt to sway voters. The government has attempted to "spin-doctor" its policies as being "for the greater good" or even attempting to avoid responsibility for its failed policies. In the age of globalisation, Australian industries must compete with developing countries such as China or India in the provision of professional and manufacturing services.  These new policies will drive jobs overseas, as we have seen with the Gorgon Project in Australia's North West Shelf.  The greater good will be served with a new government, one that is not run by the Australian Labor Party.  This is the end of the tether; this government must go.

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