Monthly Archives: May 2014

Answers not criticism

Letter to the Editor,
Answers not criticism from Debra Gibson 30.05.14 Townsville Bulletin disputes my opinion concerning the federal LNP budget and wants me to espouse measures to deliver a fairer budget to all Australian’s. I’d be happy to although I make it a rule normally not to reply to ignorant and misleading letters to the Editor, I will make this once only exception to my self-imposed rule.
To begin, Australia does not have a debt problem, the size of the figures simply mask the true situation, talking about debt without also talking about income (GDP) is sensationalist rubbish, a debt of $5 could be overwhelming if you have no income, the principle remains the same whether or not you are talking in telephone numbers of debt. Debra, are you aware of the size of Australia’s income? People like Debra seem to think “inside” the square and believe anything that their political party tells them. As an example, Australia does not have a debt problem, and we in fact have a revenue problem. If Debra had read my previous letters properly she would have noticed my claim that the 1% of top income people in our nation avoids their fair share of contribution of taxes, some pay no tax at all, and separate to this fact in excess of $60 billion of profits each year is hidden in overseas tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. This is $60 billion of income that should be taxed before a pensioner should be asked for a co-contribution to see a GP, instead of the GP Tax, and its accompanying Prescription tax. LNP Treasurer Hockey said everyone must make a contribution to the heavy lifting, did he not? The contribution from the 1% is?
Debra will be surprised that I have actually supported some of her past campaigns such as the $2 billion development in the Upper Ross; however my knowledge of what the Hockey budget measures really mean for ordinary Aussies and their families won’t allow me to support these attacks upon everyday Aussie families. It is interesting that you accuse me of “picking out parts of a very complex document” when in your letter you do precisely the same thing?
The analogy to a packet of cigarettes or a “good” cup of coffee is absolutely ridiculous if applied to me as I am a non-smoker, non-drinker and cannot afford supposed “good” coffee, and I’d be very interested to view any reputable study that shows a high affordability of so called “luxuries” among those of us who are struggling to survive with not enough fresh food to eat let alone those things lol. There is “no” waste in our meagre budget and no room to accommodate great big new taxes from the federal LNP, in conjunction with the great big increases in existing taxes from the State LNP, such as the 13.6% increase in electricity tax, all of which hurt the lowest income families the hardest. So in answer to your question “So what does Shaun have to offer to fix this?” I offer you and your followers this one piece of advice. Support a government of either or any colour who pledges to introduce laws to collect a “fair amount of tax from those who are best placed to pay a little extra, the 1%” and who pledge to “return the Australian fair go to ordinary Aussies by tightening tax avoidance laws.” Perhaps Debra I could ask you a question: Why do every day workers’ pay 20% income tax, Doctor’s pay 49% income tax, Farmers receive diesel rebate subsidy and billionaire pay little to no tax, perhaps the time has come for you to answer this question in the name of fairness?
I am not a member of any political party as there seems no party who are interested in the above propositions; it seems they are all afraid of the billionaires, how sad for Australian democracy.
Shaun Newman


Anyone who claims

Letter to the Editor
Anyone who claims that the GFC was not responsible for Australia’s current position of being the second lowest country in the world as far as national debt owing must have terrible trouble with comprehension, as every other western nation on earth expect one is in a similar or worse position. These other countries whether they had progressive or regressive governments have all fallen economically, most, much worse than Australia. For anyone to argue any differently is to openly admit that they do not comprehend global finances.
Australia was well managed through the Global Financial Crisis by the then Rudd government who initiated crisis management to insulate over 1 million Australian homes, thereby not only keeping residents warmer in winter and cooler in summer but as a result lowering the electricity bill for those residents who may otherwise have had to have used fans, air conditioners or heaters. It was also the Rudd government who built long overdue school infrastructure in the form of halls, libraries etc. to keep Australia working and to be only one of two nations on earth to avoid a recession.
The current Abbott government has taken the exact opposite approach in the aftermath of the GFC that is, to introduce austerity. If in fact the austerity had not broken election promises as it has, and been introduced in a fair manner which it has not, perhaps, just perhaps the population would not be up in arms in relation to the austere federal LNP budget. There is plenty of punishment for being poor, a student, the chronically ill or a pensioner struggling to survive on below the poverty line payments, a slight sting for well paid workers, and absolutely nothing asked of the wealthiest in our nation, when Treasurer Hockey specifically said “everyone” had to make a contribution to the heavy lifting.
To claim that the surplus of $20 billion at the time left from the Howard government’s sale of Telstra should have covered the enormity of the worst financial downturn in 75 years is absurd and totally unrealistic.
Shaun Newman

There is no denying

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

Letter to the Editor
There is no denying the gloom that has descended upon the nation since last Tuesday’s LNP federal budget cuts and broken promises, in fact the latest budget poll puts 75% of the nation against the budget cuts and changes. The disturbing poll figure is 41% actually believe that the cuts and changes are necessary, despite Australia’s low debt internationally?
Watching The Insiders interview with the Prime Minister Abbott was an education in political denial where he quite rightly pointed out the LNP narrative for the last election, stop the boats, scrap the so called carbon tax and build the super highways of the 21st century, however the Prime Minister forgot to mention other promises such as no cuts or changes to health, education, pensions the ABC or SBS. I understand that tactics have always been used in politics and one or two slightly undermentioned promises may be scrapped after the election, however the current situation goes much further than that.
The new taxes to the expenditure of pensioners a new petrol tax, and a new GP tax, prescription tax and blood test tax will hurt people who are ageing on low fixed incomes, however it is the unfair rate at which this LNP budget hurts low to middle income Australian families compared to the amount it will graze the more affluent in the nation that really does stink. The Prime Minister raised the issue of sacrificing a $6,500 rise in his income which currently stands at $507,000 p.a. obviously high income earners in this bracket are not sacrificing anywhere near the sacrifices being imposed upon the poor in real terms.
With State Premiers meeting to discuss the way forward, with the only likely solution for them to increase the GST paid by all Australians, again this will hit hardest on those trying to survive on low incomes and pensions pushing us further below the poverty line instead of thinking outside the square, which LNP Premiers do not do well. Options like closing the taxation loopholes which allow billions of profit to be transferred to overseas tax havens, would be a start, however this measure would hinder the LNPs largest supporters, what to do?
Shaun Newman

It does appear

Letter to the Editor,
It does appear that a week is a long time in politics, the federal LNP have had a week from hell trying to sell a very, very unfair budget which hits the low to middle income earners and pensioners extremely hard, while appearing to whip the wealthy with a feather.
Queenslanders should be well used to these LNP tactics and would well remember the following list of cuts from the Queensland LNP government:
16,000 workers sacked, including 4,140 health workers, cuts to skilling programs and disability taxi fares. Then there were cuts to school bus services and multimillion dollar cuts in community grants, Queenslanders know LNP policies very well.
It comes as no surprise then, that the federal LNP have also followed this mean and nasty path of sacking working people and putting working families under enormous pressure and stress as a result. The combination of the State and Federal policies will see Australian families living in third world conditions within a decade, with increasingly more and more of the economy going to already rich and greedy individuals and multinational companies at the expense of those of us who no fault of our own find ourselves already living below the poverty line in this rich nation.
Shaun Newman
13 Laura Court, Deeragun,
Townsville, NQ, 4818.
Ph: 0747516184
Email –

As time goes by

Letter to the Editor
As time goes by and more details of the grossly unfair LNP federal budget are released we discover the extent to which they despise ordinary Aussies and ordinary Aussie families. Today we discover the massive hit to low income families in childcare costs which will increase to the average family by up to $6,000 per annum.
Is it not enough to impose petrol price hikes and co-payments for doctor’s visits and costs for medications on to those who can least afford to pay the extra tax burden, it seems if you are not young, elderly, pensioners or students, chronically ill or poor, or working to put young children through school, then this LNP budget is for you. No wonder protests are continuing against this heartless budget.
All we have to look forward to is the State LNP governments and their federal counterparts initiating further taxes via an increased GST or some other increased State taxes. Still, no measures to tighten the tax laws to rope in the tax avoiders, no contribution asked of the famously wealthy and most of the pains borne by those who can least afford to pay, absolutely disgraceful.
By far the worst part of this horrendous budget is that these new taxes are built on lies, lies that won’t even be admitted to by the LNP government who are thrusting these new taxes on ordinary Aussies.
Shaun Newman

GST – Rotten to the core.

Letter to the Editor
‘GST rotten to the core – Fruit and veg tax simply ‘greedy.’ the proposal to extend this tax to fresh food is another step from the LNP to further destroy the lives of pensioners. Not content with increasing our cost of petrol and charging us $7 to see our GP, our local LNP Senator Ian Macdonald wants to now inflict this tax increase upon those of us who survive on the lowest income in Australia. Of course this tax increase would also do great harm to low income Aussie families.
Potentially deadly harm for pensioner couples, because on our limited meagre income which puts us below the poverty line, if we don’t have enough money to purchase healthy fresh food, some of us are already struggling with the hike in processing of prescriptions and co-payments for doctors and increased travel costs to get to a GP and simply will not have enough income to eat properly which will only exacerbate our medical conditions in some cases leading to premature death.
This philosophy is presented by a political party who has no sympathy or empathy for their fellow Aussie, and who are simply greedy and rotten to the core. They can be seen at all levels of government doing whatever they can do including the cost of electricity which is about to rise again by 16.3% in Queensland to basically inflict as much pain as possible on those vulnerable people who can least afford to pay.
Shaun Newman

So now we know

Letter to the Editor
So now we know officially that ‘all’ LNP governments will say one thing and do another in order to get into political office. We in Queensland remember well Campbell Newman’s saying that public servants had nothing to fear from him, he was elected and proceeded to sack upward of 16,000 public servants, including doctors and nurses. This act was followed a couple of years later by Tony Abbott who told us that there would be no cuts or changes to funding for health, education, pensions, the ABC and SBS with the culmination in the LNP’s first budget, cutting and changing all of the above.
I have followed politics since John Gorton was the Prime Minister yet never have I seen such a betrayal of the public’s trust to anywhere near the extent that the current LNP has damaged trust in politicians with this horror budget.
The scathing cuts and charges, especially to the working poor, the chronically ill and pensioners in general are a disgrace for any government to own, let alone a government whose debt is a mere 12% of the nation’s GDP. These people have overseen a massive transfer of wealth away from the poor and toward the obscenely rich, the largest transfer in Australia’s history I believe.
Not content with this savage assault on those with limited budgets, they continue to subsidize the rich individuals and multinational companies with a $4 Billion diesel fuel rebate, and give their masters, corporate Australia a tax cut. The reintroduction of petrol excise indexation will hurt every Australian family and of course those with the lowest income will be the hardest hit. The slashing of provisions for the young (Youth Allowance/ Newstart) to help with survival until they can find a job that pays enough money to support themselves (refer planned LNP cutting of minimum wage) is another disgusting inhumane piece of work from ideologically driven ultra-right wing conservative ideologues. They warn us that further punishment for being poor will be handed out in future budgets and that if they are re-elected in 2017, that they will further erode our already meagre pensions. The two, cigar smoking goons who have collaborated to formulate the wealth transfer may be drinking champagne in celebration for their dastardly deeds; however the overwhelming Australian population will be left to eat cake.
Shaun Newman

as fear continues

Letter to the Editor
As fear continues to mount within the aged and disabled community of Australia as to how severely the LNP Abbott government will punish us for having the temerity to survive long enough to collect a meager pension after in many cases having paid many decades of income tax to governments which has been used to build roads, schools and hospitals among a myriad of other public infrastructure.
This act of treachery from the ultra-conservative government who it seems are manufacturing and trying hard to sell a ‘budget-crisis’ situation in order to put into practice their extremist policies for the only apparent reason, to see them in operation, as they certainly are not required to remedy a budget crisis which does not exist. Australian Debt v GDP ratio is much lower than most of our trading partners, and indeed we would not be in such a fortunate position without the former Labor government’s actions during the Global Financial Crisis whose effect, still lingers with us as it does with the rest of the globe. A sensible approach to the repayment of loans needs to be had for the sake of the Australian population, austerity is not needed and not welcomed, nor has it produced the desired result anywhere in the world that it has been instituted.
If in fact we had such a ‘budget crisis’ how the LNP government would be able to spend an extra $24 Billion on JSF-35 Stealth jet fighters to protect the assets of the rich in this nation is beyond much of the Australian population? They (the LNP) are certainly not interested in protecting ordinary Aussies health and education; they are in fact anticipating selling these public utilities along with electricity in Queensland, off to the highest bidder, of course at a bargain basement price to one of their ‘rich’ LNP mates. The LNP are working hand in hand, State and Federal to rid this nation of any public enterprise which contributes to the welfare of Australian citizens, whilst allowing at least $60 Billion per year go to overseas tax havens so that rich individuals and multinational companies can avoid paying the correct amount of tax to the nation from where this income is produced, why?
The truth of the matter is that since they took office last September, it is they who have added at least $12 Billion to our public debt (deficit), yet they try to blame the previous government? We have heard Treasurer Hokeidonian (Hockey) say that the age of entitlement is over, why then is the LNP government continuing to subsidize diesel petrol to the tune of tens of billions of dollars to multi-billion dollar mining companies, while pensioners who are already struggling are attacked with new charges as varied as co-payment to see a GP to a fee to have our mail delivered. This is a ‘mean& tricky’ bad government. Keeping the elderly and infirm in suspense takes a huge toll psychologically on we pensioners, only a mean and nasty political party would do such a thing to the helpless and vulnerable people who are supposedly in their care.
I have watched the news items on TV and have read my local daily newspaper every day, but unless I have missed it, so far I have not seen a news item which explains what it is, that the government is expecting from multi-millionaires and billionaires in this nation, surely those who have the capacity to pay more tax should be prepared to do so, after all Treasurer Hokeidonian (Hockey) did say ‘everyone’ had to help? The assault on us pensioners and those on the minimum wage, actually abolishing the minimum wage for the benefit of unscrupulous employers, are the actions of a disgraceful unAustralian government.
Shaun Newman