So the Coalition’s big pitch over the last three years is that Labor’s wasted BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS and only the Liberals and Nationals will STOP THE WASTE.
And yet, when it comes down to it, when they finally shamefully slide the costings across the table at the end of the night and run off, the only way they can manage to eke out a miserable $1 billion improvement in the bottom line is by cutting $4.5 billion from foreign aid.
(And before you say, well, let’s look after our poor people first – just how much of that $4.5 billion do you think is going to improve conditions for the poor in Australia? In round figures? THE ROUNDEST FIGURE.)
$1 billion improvement in bottom line by cutting $4.5 billion from foreign aid.
So – up until that massive whack against the world’s poorest, the LNP are actually $3 billion behind Labor in managing our money.
So much for “Labor mismanagement” – the Coalition couldn’t get over the line without slashing foreign aid. And every railway program they could get their hands on. And superannuation for those on low incomes.
The numbers speak for themselves – the Liberals are not the party of managing your money better, just the party of redirecting it from rail to roads, from the poorest to the wealthiest, from small business to big business.
And of course they quite cynically waited until Thursday afternoon to actually release their list, ill-defined though it is. (Which specific parts of the “Nation Building Program”, which involves things like black spot upgrades and boom gates for level crossings, are they cutting? Just what kind of “streaming” of the Family Court do they think is going to save them $30 million? What the hell does “redirect portrayal of senior Australians in the media” involve, and why will taxpayers spend $1 million on it?)
Why did they do that, if they thought you would like their plans? If, with only the day or so they’re giving you, you think you might actually like their plans, then what is it that they didn’t want you to see?
There’s no answer except that they feared that you wouldn’t like their policies if you had more time to look into them, and they’re hoping that your vote is so locked in that you’ll give them the benefit of the doubt even when they’re clearly trying to pull a fast one.
Are you really set on voting Liberal no matter what they do?
Because your power bills are up? Only a very tiny percentage of that has anything to do with the so-called “carbon tax” – 90% of it is because the states run by Tony Abbott’s party have let the power producers increase all their other charges. Because you really, really despise refugees and you really, really believe that TPVs are the magic solution that will make people give up and stay in Indonesian camps? (Or at least you don’t mind that their cunning plan if they can’t “stop the boats” is just to stop you hearing about it.) Because you have bought the line that Labor is wasting huge amounts of money – so huge that the Liberals can’t actually improve the bottom line without dipping into the small amount, compared with the size of our economy, that we spend – spent – on foreign aid?
Maybe Tony’s creepy offering of his daughters for votes appeals? Or his last minute attempt to sneak out an internet filter? (Now they’ve been caught at it the policy has quickly been deleted from their page and replaced with this.)
Look, I agree that the ALP have been a disappointing government, blowing in the wind and fighting with each other. But that’s still better than having completely insane priorities, punishing the poor and small business, and trying to trick voters like you because the Liberals don’t trust that if you found out about it you’d actually think what they’re planning to do is an improvement.
If you actually do care about public services like public transport, or seriously tackling climate change (hey, how awesome was that warmest winter on record, eh?), or treating refugees with compassion and common sense (because locking them up on remote islands is both cruel AND expensive) – then a vote for the Greens is the strongest way to use your vote to achieve that. If you want to pull Labor back from the brink of just aping the Coalition on almost everything important, only voting Green will make that clear.
But if you insist on teaching Kevin Rudd and the ALP a lesson, by voting for the Coalition in the lower house, please at least use your Senate vote for a party that will hold their excesses to account. If Abbott deserved to have a free run through the parliament, he’d have come clean about his plans well before today’s blackout. He didn’t, and he doesn’t.