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Federal Politics

Election wrap: August 19, 2013

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And that's it for the day. Let's look back on what happened:

  • Labor woke up to the news it has fallen further behind the Coalition in the polls;
  • but leader Kevin Rudd put on a brave face declaring the campaign was still in its "second quarter";
  • Mr Rudd went on to announced a $50 million program to help people who have suffered strokes and $20 million for an active ageing program;
  • Coalition leader Tony Abbott announced $100 million to stop the illegal importation of guns;
  • Mr Abbott defended his paid parental leave scheme from accusations that it is unfair, too expensive and lacking in detail when it comes to the costings; and
  • Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott will appear on the same stage at a community forum in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Thanks, as always, to you for reading and participating and to Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen for their pictorial wizardry.

See you in the morning.

 

Mr Rudd does not take any questions but says he needs coaching to improve his bowling technique.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mr Rudd is holding a press conference in "god's own country", Tweed Heads in NSW.

Mr Rudd is announcing a $20 million "active ageing" program, a series of grants for community organisations and local governments to help "healthy ageing" (the quotes are from the Labor press release).

 

 

 

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

I love to have a beer with Kevin, love to have a beer with Kev.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Condong Bowling Club in Tweed Heads, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

This week's version of the debate-about-the-debate is guessing when and where the major parties will have their campaign launches.

Where tells you a lot about the city that party wants to focus on; when is more a matter of scheduling and money since the parties foot the bill for the cost of the campaigns once the launches have taken place (which is why they like to delay them as long as possible).

 

 

The Age's national affairs editor, Tony Wright, has looked back on today's campaign events, broken down bus and all, should you be casting around for something to read with your afternoon coffee.

The grid, the grid!

All the fabulous campaign work done by Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen in one place. Here.

Immigration policy burst back into the election campaign late last week when the Coalition announced its policy for the processing of people who have already arrived in Australia by boat.

Now, the first boat carrying more than 200 people to arrive since June has been intercepted giving the Coalition another chance to attack Labor over its immigration policies.

Breaking new Judith Ireland has more here.

There has been a lot of talk today about Labor's decision to go negative in its latest campaign ads, a tactic it defends as valid because the ads are "policy based".

In this video interview political strategists Jannette Cotterell and Greg Holland look at how the parties' tactics are going as we approach the mid point of the campaign.

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Campaign goes into negative gear

Fresh polls point to a Coalition landslide as the government goes on the attack with bold new ads. Strategists Jannette Cotterell and Greg Holland dissect the political play.

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Team Rudd is making its way to Tweed Heads, right at the top of the NSW north coast, where they have been told "flat shoes only" will be allowed at an event with Kevin Rudd at the Condong Bowling Club.

I"ll bring you details of that event when it happens (probably in about half an hour's time).

Team Abbott has pulled up stumps for the day.

 

In case, like me, you were unable to watch Coalition communications' spokesman Malcolm Turnbull's Google Hangout earlier today you can now read an "edited highlights" package here.

Naturally, Mr Turnbull was asked whether he nursed lingering ambitions of being prime minister.

Mr Turnbull demurred and said although he "wouldn't disown" any such dreams he rated the likelihood of anything happening as "unlikely".

"I think [Liberal National Party MP] Wyatt Roy is a better chance of being prime minister than me because he's got a lot longer," Mr Turnbull said.

 

You can almost see the foot tapping, can't you?

Team Abbott in discussion at the bottom of the stairs as an AFP officer keeps watch in Liverpool, NSW, on Monday.

Team Abbott in discussion at the bottom of the stairs as an AFP officer keeps watch in Liverpool, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Having spent nearly the first 10 days of the campaign reminding people about enrolling to vote I will now turn my attention to pointing out that you can vote as early as tomorrow.

If you will be overseas, out of town, getting married, in hospital or something else on September 7 pre-poll voting stations will be open from tomorrow.

You can find the one closest to you here.

Regular readers will know I'm intrigued by long serving Liberal MP Philip Ruddock's job as minder/adviser/soother to Coalition leader Tony Abbott throughout the campaign.

Kevin Rudd has also acquired a soothing presence on the campaign trail in the form of South Australian minister Mark Butler. (You can see him below in pole position outside the gents' at Mr Rudd's press conference in Lismore earlier today.)

But Mr Butler's secondment may have more to do with stories that the Labor campaign has become a disjointed affair with headquarters and Team Rudd on different wavelengths. You can read about those assertions here.

Labor minister Mark Butler  listens to Kevin Rudd as he talks in Lismore, NSW, on Monday.

Labor minister Mark Butler listens to Kevin Rudd as he talks in Lismore, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Don't worry about the polls Kevin, they're dreamt up by a pack of wombats.

'Them polls are a bunch of wombats!' (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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'Them polls are a bunch of wombats!'

RAW VISION: On the campaign trail, a local expresses his confidence in the Prime Minister and tells him not to worry about bad polls numbers.

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Our policy issue for the week is climate change.

Doesn't 2007, when it was the big policy challenge, seem like a long time ago? Now it is discussed largely in economic, rather than environmental, terms.

The Sydney Morning Herald's environment editor, Ben Cubby, and his counterpart at The Age, Tom Arup, have looked at what the parties are offering on this front.

While researching that piece Ben and Tom discovered that about $4 billion in private funding for solar power and other renewable energy industries would be funnelled away to other areas if the Coalition came to office. How so? Click here to find out.

Economics correspondent Peter Martin has also investigated Labor's claim that the Coalition's direct action plan has blown another hole in its costings in today's Fact Checker segment.

A poll lead is one thing but referring to Labor as the "former government", as Coalition leader Tony Abbott did in Liverpool, Sydney, a short time ago, is quite another.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In my 11.21am post I pointed you in the direction of a story discussing the likelihood of Pauline Hanson's return to the Senate.

In this video the author of that story, Tim Colebatch, and chief political correspondent, Mark Kenny, discuss what the distribution of preference flows might mean for the composition of the Senate.

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Upper house shake-up?

Mark Kenny and Tim Colebatch discuss Labor's polling woes, and the prospect of preference flows bringing some fresh, colourful faces into the Senate.

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Since I was not with you at the weekend to bring you all the magical images captured by Alex Ellinghausen and Andrew Meares you might like to look back at the weekend's photo gallery.

 

 

I now have the video available for you of this morning's Breaking Politics segment in which Labor MP Andrew Leigh and Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer discuss polling, negativity and which of the major parties can claim to be the underdog.

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Labor on the back foot

Labor's Andrew Leigh and Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer go head-to-head over poor polling and relentless negativity, with both parties claiming the mantle of forward-looking underdog.

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Meanwhile, back on the Coalition's paid parental leave scheme, leader Tony Abbott has revealed he is yet to speak to the states about how the shared funding plan would work.

Labor says the policy's costings have "more holes than Swiss cheese" while a large and generally very pro Coalition business group, the Business Council of Australia, wants the levy the Coalition would impose on big companies to pay for the scheme dropped.

For an update on how the policy is being received you can click here.

 

Hai hai.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Back to Liberal candidate Fiona Scott (whose exposure thanks to Coalition leader Tony Abbott's "sex appeal" comment is starting to make me think it was a deliberate strategy rather than a gaffe) is running against Labor front bencher David Bradbury for the Sydney seat of Lindsay.

Mr Bradbury rather mournfully announced earlier today that his new campaign slogan is: "He ain't pretty but he's pretty effective."

Boom tish.

You can read about the latest exchange between Mr Abbott and Ms Scott here.

 

Mr Rudd has finished his press conference.

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott has done his first "street walk" of the campaign in Liverpool, Sydney. Street walks are an unscripted affair where the politician wanders around a public place meeting real people taking the compliments with the insults. Judging by the pictures it seems to be going pretty well.

 

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott walks the streets of Liverpool, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Rudd is asked why Labor's recent ads are negative and why Labor is going backwards in the polls.

"I make no apology whatsoever for the ads we have on air at the moment because they are policy based," Mr Rudd says.

"[Mr Abbott] has a strategy of turning himself into a tiny target...I'm not about to be silent when I see good people like this have their jobs cut because Mr Abbott's political strategy says to stay mum....The Australian people in this democracy deserve to have a clear choice. Right now they have a guy wrapping himself into a tiny ball."

On the polls: "I'm a fighter, I will continue to fight and I will continue to fight for Australian families....We will fight this to the conclusion of the campaign."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks to staff at Medicare Local in Lismore, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks to staff at Medicare Local in Lismore, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

(I apologise for the somewhat truncated coverage of Mr Rudd's press conference. The feed is poor and keeps dropping out.)

Mr Rudd is asked why Labor voters should vote - again - for MP Janelle Saffin when some of the issues she cares about such as raising the dole, the treatment of asylum seekers and live animal exports are not reflected in Labor policy.

"I have never met somebody who is more had working in my life. She makes me feel like a slouch," Mr Rudd says.

"We're a broad church....I'm not about to stamp out any views local members might have."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd enters a press conference in Lismore, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd enters a press conference in Lismore, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

"This is an NBN [National Broadband Network] related health service," Mr Rudd says.

This will give a doctor in a rural or regional hospital who might not be confident with diagnosing strokes instant access to an expert in Melbourne who will help.

Mr Rudd says Labor is about building up local health services while the Coalition wants to cut them.

Mr Rudd is announcing an extra $50 million for Medicare Local to fund a network of stroke care coordinators.

"23 people will die today from a stroke," Mr Rudd says.

"This is a big medical challenge for a great Australian family."

The coordinators' job will be to work out an individual care plan for each person who leaves hospital after having a stroke.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd is speaking in Lismore, northern NSW.

He is joined by the local Labor member, Janelle Saffin, who he says he has known "since Adam was a boy".

On the way in Mr Rudd was greeted by supporter Glenn Thomas Clarke who said not to worry about the polls because they are prepared by "wombats".

 

 

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was embraced by supporter Glenn Thomas Clarke in Lismore on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was embraced by supporter Glenn Thomas Clarke in Lismore on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Only another three weeks before fences everywhere are once again safe from the scourge that is is political paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, our google hang out with Coalition communications' spokesman Malcolm Turnbull is underway. Feel free to join in here.

The view from the campaign window in Fairfield, Sydney, on Monday.

The view from the campaign window in Fairfield, Sydney, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

I completely missed this announcement at the weekend - my apologies if you did too and were wondering what the latest news was on the debate front.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd has agreed to a "community forum" with Coalition leader Tony Abbott in Brisbane on Wednesday night. This is despite saying last week that he was not keen on a forum hosted by Sky News (because it is a pay television channel which not everyone has access to).

The two leaders will take questions from an audience of 100 swinging voters and the event will be moderated by Sky News political editor, David Speers (who also moderated the debate earlier on in the campaign).

 

Ruddy hair.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits a Medicare office in  Lismore, NSW, on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits a Medicare office in Lismore, NSW, on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Don't forget our google hang out with the Coalition's communications' spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, begins in a little over half an hour (12.30pm).

You can find it here.

On the road again.....Team Rudd heads for Lismore, in northern NSW, where Kevin Rudd is expected to campaign on health services shortly.

On the way to cover Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visit to Lismore, NSW on Monday.

On the way to cover Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visit to Lismore, NSW on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Pauline Hanson has been keeping a low profile during the campaign. Ms Hanson has her hat tilted at a NSW Senate seat. That ambition may yet be realised because Ms Hanson has won high preferences from a number of smaller right wing parties.

The Age's economics editor, Tim Colebatch, has looked at how preference distribution may propel Ms Hanson back into Parliament.

 

Both Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott have been employing the tactic in press conferences of making sure everyone gets to ask one question before going back to another reporter.

Fairness or a way of dodging follow ups if a reporter wants to know more?

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott at St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott at St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Abbott is asked about the cost of the Coalition's paid parental leave scheme (which was released yesterday without the accompanying costing documents).

Mr Abbott says they will be released in good time but assures people the $5.5 billion a year scheme is "sustainable".

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott visit  the St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott visit the St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

For this particular campaign outing Mr Abbott is accompanied by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Coalition justice spokesman Michael Keenan and the local candidate Fiona Scott.

Ms Scott is asked a question by the media about the economy of western Sydney.

Mr Abbott answers the question first then puts his arm around Ms Scott as he introduces her.

Ms Scott speaks and then Mr Abbott says: "Obviously from that answer she ain't just a pretty face."

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott visit  St Marys police station in  Sydney on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal candidate Fiona Scott visit St Marys police station in Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Abbott is asked about Labor's negative ad campaign.

"The lower the politics the better they are at it," Mr Abbott says.

Coalition leader Tony Abbott is in St Marys, western Sydney, where he is talking about gun control.

Mr Abbott promised a Coalition government would commit an extra $100 million to Customs because Labor has not only failed to "stop the boats but stop the guns".

Mr Abbott says people found guilty of the illegal importation of guns would get a mandatory minimum five year sentence and that he would work with the states and territories to form "local gang squads".

 

 

Opposition leader Tony Abbott visits the St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott visits the St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

You know those days when you need a police guard to keep you away from the empty calories of the vending machine?

Opposition leader Tony Abbott visits St Marys Police Station in western Sydney on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott visits St Marys Police Station in western Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In two hours time (12.30pm) Fairfax Media will be hosting a Google hang out with the Coalition's communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull.

You can find the link to the event here and you can submit questions ahead of time using #turnbullhangout.

The Coalition's scheme would pay new mothers their replacement salary for six months while Labor's version pays women the minimum wage for 18 weeks.

The Coalition would also pay women's superannuation entitlements while Labor does not.

The Coalition claims its scheme would leave the average working women $21,000 better off. That's a princely sum. But does it stack up?

Economics correspondent Peter Martin takes a look in this instalment of Fact Checker.

As you are probably aware, yesterday saw the release of what will probably be one of the biggest spending - if not biggest - commitments of the campaign, the Coalition's paid parental leave scheme.

In these fiscally challenging times promises with billion dollar figures attached to them are few and far between.

But the Coalition stands by its $5.5 billion a year scheme which it says will start in 2015 should it win office.

You can read about the scheme here.

 

Opposition leader Tony Abbott and Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer meet with Amelia Taylor and 5 month old Thomas in Malvern, Victoria.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott and Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer meet with Amelia Taylor and 5 month old Thomas in Malvern, Victoria. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Abbott was in Bennelong to give his blessing to the campaign bus of Liberal MP John Alexander.

Good to see Mr Alexander is going for subtlety.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal MP John Alexander's campaign van in North Ryde, Sydney, on Monday.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott with Liberal MP John Alexander's campaign van in North Ryde, Sydney, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It's an age old adage in politics.

Labor's candidate for the Sydney seat of Bennelong, Jason Yat-Sen Li, checked out Coalition leader Tony Abbott's address to an event on his turf earlier this morning.

Labor candidate Jason Yat-sen Li listens as Coalition leader Tony Abbott addresses the NSW Business Chamber in North Ryde, Sydney, on Monday.

Labor candidate Jason Yat-sen Li listens as Coalition leader Tony Abbott addresses the NSW Business Chamber in North Ryde, Sydney, on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Over the weekend Labor did not so much flick the switch to vaudeville as flick it to negative with ads targeting Coalition leader Tony Abbott with the line "if he wins, you loses".

Labor leader Kevin Rudd has defended the ads as "returning fire back on policy facts". You can read about the ads here (although you probably saw at least one over the weekend).

Back in June, after reclaiming the prime ministership from Julia Gillard, Mr Rudd made a big deal about wanting to end what he called old fashioned negative politics. But that idea seems to have fallen by the wayside now that Labor is on the ropes.

What do you think? Will Labor's negative ads be a winner with voters? Have your say in a our readers' poll which you can find here.

Mr Rudd might not be phased by the polls but it was an unfortunate time for the bus carrying the media covering his campaign to break down.

However, the fan belt that caused the problem was quickly fixed and the bus continued on its way to the airport where Team Rudd is due to fly to Lismore in northern New South Wales.

It being Monday our relay team of reporters travelling with the leaders has passed the baton. Today Bianca Hall joins Team Rudd (her twitter handle is @_BiancaH).

Coalition leader Tony Abbott began the day in Sydney and it seems as if he is due to campaign in the western suburbs again. David Wroe has joined the media bus for Fairfax Media.

 

The media bus conveying Prime Minister Kevin Rudd breaks down on Monday.

The media bus conveying Prime Minister Kevin Rudd breaks down on Monday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Kevin Rudd is taking the poll in his stride.

"I'm a fighter and there are many things worth fighting for in this election campaign," he told Channel Seven.

If the election campaign were an AFL game, Mr Rudd said, we would be "in the second quarter".

Coalition frontbencher, Christopher Pyne, says the Newspoll shows people are "looking at Kevin Rudd again and remembering why they didn't want him to continue as prime minister in 2010".

Not that the Coalition is taking its lead in the polls for granted.

"The next three weeks is a long way to go," Mr Pyne told Sky News earlier today. "We are going to work every single day to put out our positive plan for the future."

The only poll is the one on election day, right?

Of course, but that the ones that come out along the way can act as a bit of morale boost or hit depending on how your team fares.

This morning's Newspoll shows Labor has gone backwards against the Coalition on a two party preferred basis and is now on 46 per cent versus the Coalition's 54 per cent (the previous Newspoll had Labor at 48 per cent against the Coalition's 52 per cent).

Labor's primary vote has now slumped to 34 per cent while the Coalition is on 47 per cent. This is Labor's lowest primary vote in Newspoll since Mr Rudd took back the prime ministership from Julia Gillard in late June.

Hello and welcome to the first day of the third week of the federal election campaign. Labor starts with a broken bus and a less than sunny poll. Where will the day and week us? It's a pleasure to have your company as Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I bring you all the news from the campaign trail.

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  • I am sure it was a wrong bias he bowled. Blame the club's greenkeeper, it can't possibly be Kev's fault.

    Commenter
    Biggles2153
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 5:21PM
  • If we can vote tomorrow then it is clear that Abbott has no concern for what the electorate deserve to know before voting. This fact should weigh heavily on peoples minds who intend to vote tomorrow. If anyone votes for the Coalition without understanding Coalition costings we deserve what we get.

    Hell it is a good reason not to vote.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 4:43PM
    • Pen

      We are not voting tomorrow so I do not get your point. There is plenty of time left for Labor and Liberal to release their costings.
      To be frank, is it really going to sway you either way?

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:06PM
  • My question is with this PPL - who pays the wages - the government or the employer? If the employer pays, he is out of pocket, yet the government still gets the taxes - government not out of pocket. If the government pays, do they get their normal wages less the taxes? Government only paying for their net income. I am sure there must be a catch somewhere that the government still benefits. Personally I believe the employer still has to pay a portion of it, though his employee is not to any benefit to him.

    Commenter
    J.G.
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 4:28PM
    • Employers with turnovers of $5 million or more pay for the PPL.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:38PM
    • NO those EMployer pay for about 1/2 the PPL - the rest comes from OUR taxes!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:43PM
    • Abbott's PPL which he originally costed at $2.7 billion in 2010 (and now costs $5.5 billion p.a) is now to be funded by an extra 1.5% company tax on 3,200 of the largest companies earning $5 million p.a (except law firms and accountancy firms), so the consumer pays the PPL in higher prices as businesses pass on the cost.

      Abbott has belatedly also decided that state governments will help him pay for the scheme, but he hasn't talked to them yet, much less reached an agreement, and Abbott hasn't released any of the 200 policy costings the Coalition has already lodged with the PBO despite there only being 17 days left until 5 Sep 2013.

      No, Abbott and Hockey have decided to do costings from scratch, and are relying on 3 eminent Australians although they could simply authorise the PBO to release all their costings prior to the debate with Rudd instead of hiding their savage spending cuts, tax hikes and pretending they'll have a mandate despite failing to campaign on these issues like how they failed to campaign on 457 visas in 1996 and Workchoices in 2005.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:46PM
    • The PPL is a disaster. The States are supposed to share some of the cost but apparently they haven't been told, no negotiations have been held. Also 'Big business' is meant for pay for it and in return they get a 1.5% reduction in company tax. That means less tax revenue for the Government. Tax payers will end up paying. It's a disgraceful TAX on the public purse. An $11 billion dud.

      Commenter
      Bloss
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:49PM
  • It is the former Govt isn't it? There in caretaker mode.

    Commenter
    Matt
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 4:19PM
    • No they are the government.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:45PM
  • Tony’s PPL is not welfare because it is self-funding. A woman who earns 200K/year pays $65,000 each year in Tax. As a country we need this woman back in the work force paying her $65K in tax every year ASAP. To pay for the three families that she supports on centerlink benefits. While she is out of work the country misses out on the $65k per year (The three families still get their checks..). The financial sacrifice is so high that it creates a barrier to go back to work. The lifestyle had to change so much that on balance she may as well spend a few years with the baby. When she goes back to work she doesn’t get the same pay and may be reduced even further because of the need for family friendly hours. Tony’s plan provides an incentive to get mum back in the work force quicker, paying that tax every year. Not only do we increase the participation rate for females, not only will we have more women in senior management and on boards, we get a HUGE benefit to the public purse the women paying BIG tax come back and start paying BIG tax again. The money they receive for baby leave is paid for by the women themselves in only 18 months of PAYG income taxes.

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 4:08PM
    • It is welfare.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:23PM
    • @ CWitty, your argument makes no sense. How is paying someone to take 6months off the workforce and incentive to get back in? if she is on 200k, then not paying her is a greater incentive to get back in to the work force. By your argument we should be giving our excessively paid CEOs all expense paid vacations so that they can come back refreshed to pay their million dollar taxes? That is surely an absurdity in logic.

      Commenter
      bContrarian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:24PM
    • Gee, I wonder how much the maternity leave bill is for male dominated industries like mining.

      Didn't BHP recently make a $9 billion profit?

      I wonder how BHP's maternity leave payments for their female workers would reach $135 million (1.5% of $9 billion) for 6 months, and I wonder how they feel about paying this money when the company doesn't directly benefit from the services of the non-BHP women receiving the payment.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:30PM
    • Sharon - Unlike newstart the payments are funded out of the recipient’s tax collections. ie You will never pay for another woman to take leave, they will pay for themselves. To qualify they have to be working for at least 13 months. In that time they will have paid for 75-80% of the leave themselves. If a woman works for 18 months before taking the leave she has paid 100% of her leave entitlement in TAX. It is self funded

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:40PM
    • Cwitty - yes it sounds wonderful. But I do not know it we can provide such largesse to those at the top of the pay scales when women who earn less, women who can only find casual work or unemployed women are sstruggling to provide basics for their babies and children.

      Before you howl me down, I was a professional woman. In my day there was no PPL. Now there is, and I know most of the women in the $100,000 to $150,000 pay range work for companies. Or for government who already provide PPL, albeit not as generous as that of the coalition. Some companies who pay women in this range don't provide PPL but the ought to - most can afford it.

      So this PPL takes the place of a private PPL or government employee PPL and is more generous? I cannot see why it is necessary!

      Now I watch my daughters and their friends struggling. Many want to be stay-at-home mothers. Once that was the norm. Now it puts a family into poverty.

      I prefer Labor's PPL scheme. It is not as generous but provides the safety net for lower income mothers, plus benefits like the Baby Bonus and the School Kids Bonus for families who would struggle without them.

      In my generation, we professional women saved so we could stay home with our babies and then spent most of our income thereafter on child care (no child care supplements then).

      I have no sympathy for the highly paid mother. She can afford the support she needs.

      However I look at women working in casual jobs without security, or long term unemployed families unable to afford shoes 4-5 times a year for growing feet, and I feel strongly that our first responsibility is to them.

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:42PM
    • TiredOfSpin - have you considered that some of those high income earners may be self-employed? Capable women who have built themselves a successful business with staff? Saving for the opportunity to have a child may be out of reach as income is highly volatile. Women like that - the foundation of our economy - should not be denied the opportunity to have children should they? If you put a women like that on minimum wage, she is likely to have to fire one or more of her employees - or having to be forced to close her business. That is just poor economics from a country level perspective.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:05PM
  • David bradbury, who along with Swann and Wong have provided Australia with more than $100b in budget deficits has provided himself with a new slogan: "He ain't pretty, but he's pretty effective". Well he got that wrong. I think the last word is missing the letters "in".

    Commenter
    Neutral Voter
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 4:07PM
    • NV - based on Bradbury's current poll numbers, like his namesake at the 2002 Winter Olympics, he'll need all the other competitors to fall over if he's going to claim victory

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:20PM
    • Please be advised there is a difference between deficit and debt. Deficit is an annual figure, debt is total outstanding. Neither of these are currently 100b. Abbot is not going to right this ship, because we are not offcourse. There are so many people bemoaning the economic 'TURMOIL' that is 'RAVAGING' this country that is the best performing in the OECD. and not by just a small margin.

      Commenter
      bContrarian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:28PM
    • bContrarian - today's debt is $268 billion, and the delivered Labor deficits to date exceed $170 billion. Both figures are the highest in our history with daylight second.

      Both the MV Gillard and MV Rudd 1 have sunk. The current ship needs repairs urgently, it join the Costa Concordia sunk off Italy and Greece.

      There is no excess capacity if a new recession hits, and that Labor have continued to fund their extravagant lifestyle through more debt will be an enduring indictment on their economic credentials.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:45PM
  • Essential has a poll out today showing 2pp at 50 each. Morgan yesterday 51/49 to coalition. Why no mention of these polls?
    Yet pages of analysis on Labor going out the backdoor all because of Murdoch associated Newpoll.
    Maybe Newspoll is the rogue poll here, They've jumped all over the place in the last 12 monthsl.

    Commenter
    Mark C
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:56PM
    • I think Labor just may win this election Mark. With Abbott's policy of $32,000 parental leave, I am voting Labor.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:14PM
    • Terrific 51% of the electorate is for the Coalition and we can vote tomorrow without understanding what it is we are voting for. Any rational thinking person would conclude that 51% of the electorate do not know what they are doing?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:15PM
    • That is so correct Art.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:39PM
    • Sure looks that way Pen

      Commenter
      Bloss
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:50PM
    • So pleased to see other people doing their own research and not just taking in Murdoch's propaganda. I looked at the Morgan poll with its full analysis - the polls are much tighter than msm is trying to tell us. That's what an internet is for!!

      Commenter
      More than one poll
      Location
      Regional Vic
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:12PM
  • So why does Abbott think he will win votes with this $32,000 parental leave with super plan?

    Why should we pay for other people's children Tony Abbott?

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:39PM
    • You want to pay for wealthy mothers to have children Sharron, for the simple reason that when you get old, those very children will be paying the taxes that pays for your pension, nursing home and health care. You can add to that the proven fact that children of high income earners (aka high tax payers - but also often highly educated women) are on average more likely to, in turn, become high income earners themselves. So, from a completely forward looking selfish point of view, you would want our high income earning mothers to pro-create as much as humanly possible. The same view goes for the government. More kids from wealthy families are statistically likely to create a higher tax base. Might be an uncomfortable truth and not PC at all, but a sometimes the truth is just not PC.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:51PM
    • Sorry, $75,000 plus super for the top salary earners! In my day we saved so we could stay home with our babies. You would think that was an option on $100,000 to $150,000 a year!

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:58PM
    • Here we go again Art. Very sorry but, if you want children save and pay your own way like everybody has done.

      If you want children Art, pay for them yourself.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:11PM
    • Am an Abbott supporter, but I am not a fan of this policy, and agree with Sharron

      Commenter
      Jules
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:25PM
    • Art - +1

      Sharon - if you think that $32K paid parental leave is all it takes to bring up children, you must be in la-la land! It just gives a decent headstart to the new borns in their lives on the presumption that they would grow into a productive workforce that will then fund your centrelink entitlements. If you really want to understand this concept in detail, I suggest you read more about China's one child policy and its socio-economic impact.

      Commenter
      KRude
      Location
      Zombieland
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:26PM
    • So Sharron, you are not prepared to make a one time $32,000 investment for something that is likely to return (conservatively) $2M over 60 years - fully indexed? With all the initial funding for the investment to become productive taken care of by someone else? I despair at the tall poppy syndrome in this country.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:26PM
    • Despair all you want Art because Labor is going to win this election and you can kiss that parental leave goodbye.

      So you better start saving.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:54PM
    • Sharron - no need for me to save at all. I already have my 4 gorgeous children and we never accepted or was offered any government assistance whatsoever. I am sacrificing everything to provide my children with the best possible education. My children will be the high end tax payers of the future - if I can in any way help it. So I am coming into this from a purely economic point of view. Children of well educated people statistically become the high income earners of tomorrow. My children will be upwardly mobile, people of the world. If the tax regime here is punitive for entrepreneurs, you are likely to find them paying taxes in Silicon Valley, New York or Tokyo - instead of the place where they were born and raised. We need to not only encourage well educated people to have more children, we also need to create a nurturing environment for their children to grow and prosper. With the present tall poppy syndrome, lack of entrepreneur support and focus on wealth distribution instead of wealth creation - Australia is fast heading for a recession - and over time a massive aging population problem. If you want to have a comfortable retirement then you should go out of your way to vote for someone that creates an environment that keeps the so called "tall poppies" at home (Australia) paying their taxes here - a party that supports small business over large unionized business . The benefit to you personally will be immense.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:22PM
  • "You can vote as early as tomorrow."
    Without knowledge of Coalition spending? The idea is to take an educated guess?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:35PM
    • Anything is better than the rubber statements that the government and treasury has produced so far. Plus the dollars that Rudd is announcing left right and centre in this campaign have not been costed or stated where the funding is coming from.

      Commenter
      Neutral Voter
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:59PM
    • Neutral Voter

      No, one is as bad as the other and neither is deserving of electorate support?

      Put your thinking cap on.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:11PM
    • Great! I will be voting Labor at the weekend!

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:56PM
  • Wonder if Turtle Cove is on the campaign destination list?

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:34PM
    • Does seem to be a popular resort for LNP politicians and their supporters - more details imminent.

      Commenter
      zacca
      Location
      adelaide
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:44PM
    • zacca, interesting if it does get the exposure it deserves.
      You meet very nice friends around the turtle table.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:02PM
  • Five weeks ago, Kev might have planned to walk across the Tweed River (a la Moses) to the holy (Queens)land.

    Now, like the rest of us mere mortals, he'll probably have to use the Pacific Highway.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:34PM
    • Moses passed through a sea of reeds, not a river. Sea: group of men. Reeds a stick of measure carried by priests. Sorry he did not get wet feet.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:46PM
    • Thanks Pen, sorry to be theologically deficient.

      Wasn't there a parting of the Red Sea (read Labor Party) in there somewhere ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:01PM
    • Get some better analogies hacka.... At least ones that make some sense

      Commenter
      Rusty
      Location
      Qatar
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:05PM
    • No the correct translation is Sea of Reeds. The Red Sea is for Hollywood and the over zealous.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:21PM
  • I see that the new best friend of the voters in Forde, Peter Beattie, has decided to fly to Townsville today. Why? Number 1. To campaign on health, which is probably the domain of the State government. Number 2. Because he has worked out that he won't be winning in Forde.

    Commenter
    Facts are
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:23PM
  • Now i remember why Abbott didnt win the last election,his costing last time were so out of this world that he still hasnt learned anything otherwise if he thought his costing were good enough now he would release them,too bad he is to gutless to be honest with US Australians

    Commenter
    Archer
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:19PM
    • US Australians?? What like Rupert Murdoch? I don't mind if he is not honest with Rupert. What about UK Australians? Like Kylie Minogue, surely he is honest with Kylie !!

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:30PM
    • Oh Cwitty,

      You know that Archer is talking about "us" as in "the electorate".

      Abbott and Hockey withheld their costings from the 3 independents AFTER the 2010 election, and Treasury found a $11 billion blackhole in their costings.

      Only Abbott and Hockey would offer the electorate a manure sandwich and call it meatloaf.

      Abbott and Hockey don't need 3 eminent Australians to work on their costings. They don't have time - only 17 days until 5 Sep 2013.

      All they need to do is abide by their own Charter of Budget Honesty, and release the 200 policy costings they've already lodged with the Parliamentary Budget Office for independent analysis.

      No need to start from scratch.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:45PM
    • Well he doesn't speak for me.. I am not part of that collective.
      Can we atleast agree that we both Love Kylie and no body should lie to her. :)

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:19PM
  • "This is an NBN [National Broadband Network] related health service," Mr Rudd says.

    And it will be available in 2023.

    Commenter
    Paul B
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:16PM
  • And you wonder why ex PM Malcolm Fraser left the liebral party in disgust and is now backing the Greens!!...Even Fraser knows English boat immigrant Abbott is just not up to the top job.

    Commenter
    Steeden
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:15PM
    • Yes....Malcolm?? I think most of us have stopped wondering about...Malcolm. Most families have at least one....Malcolm.

      Commenter
      Facts are
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:35PM
    • Malcolm Fraser was a failure when he was PM. He was landslided in to undo the mess that Whitlam had made, yet he dithered and tried to crawl to those that were never going to vote for him. I don't care who or what he backs these days. He is perfectly free to make a fool of himself any way he wishes.

      Commenter
      The Genuine Article
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:41PM
    • Liberal Judi Moylan quit parliament this year because she was so disgusted by Abbott and Scott Morrison's asylum seeker policies.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:48PM
    • I agree Steeden!

      I am sick of the Liberals already.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:16PM
    • Tristan,

      And how many quit parliament this year from the ALP?
      And how many because they refuse to work with Kevin Rudd?

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:57PM
  • You know what folks.. “He is the boxing blue and I am the glasses wearing kid in the library”. Unless frankly that doesn’t work out for me in which case, He is the small target and “I am the fighter”. #ItsMyRuddyFuture

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Kevins Mind
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:06PM
  • Will Abbott fix company operating costs, our high tax regime, cumbersome compliance procedures? What about high labour rates outside normal working hours, labour shortages in some industries, our small domestic uncompetitive market realizing the highest cost of living in the world. While dominated by a few major companies, and low levels of economic activity because we won’t overly spend in the current environment?

    Will Abbott fix increasing unemployment, low economic diversity, and high government debt? How will he fix an ageing population with growing funding requirements for aged care and health?

    Can Abbott prevent Australia facing a recession or even a global deep structural recession that cannot be solved by manipulating interest rates and encouraging savings, spending, or investment through fiscal policies.

    What is Abbott's plan for modernizing the Australian economy when decisions are decentralized with the Reserve Bank independently controlling monetary policy, and he's in joint charge with seven state or territory governments fiscal policy; isn’t his own structural economic policies very limited?

    Who exactly steers Australia up the proverbial river without any rudder for direction? How will Abbott lowering of company tax by 1.5% for firms trading under $5 million per annum is not going to solve the structural problems. Will it encourage new commercial activities, new skills, or new forms of competitiveness?

    How does Abbott developing Northern Australia or Rudd for that matter find this a replacement for mining, or fix structural economic issues facing the economy?

    What has replaced discussion: stopping boat arrivals, who can spend more with less, meanwhile no mention of who can solve our share of the climate change problem?

    Face it there is less ability to manipulate the economy than ever before. Who wins government will be decided on personalities, lies, and trivia from the media rather than policies.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:00PM
  • Morgan has ALP 49 LNP 51 Essential 50/50 2PP - Will this get reported ??

    Commenter
    zacca
    Location
    adelaide
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 3:00PM
    • Depends where you read zacca, of course.
      I'm awaiting to see what Tom Watson manages to achieve on his visit from the mother country in upsetting the Mudoch hold on things.
      Also awaiting giant bold headlines on the emerging revelations re Ashbygate. Might, just might be an interesting week or so in the media. Depends how brave they are?
      One can only live in hope.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:32PM
    • Labor will win - Kevin will be PM, then President and then "you know what" - he will rule the world!

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:32PM
  • If Fiona Scott thinks being described as having 'sex appeal' is 'charming', perhaps the dear lady is unused to such remarkable attempts at flattery....

    When Tony Abbott is trying to convince women voters he is not an unreconstructed MCP, focussing on his candidates relative attractiveness as considered by men is somewhat beyond the pale.

    He just DOESN'T GET IT.

    Meanwhile, each week the Liberal candidates reveal when pressed that they are not across the immigration policy, or the climate change policy - frankly, they look like a bunch of incompetents.

    Commenter
    Hans von Schlappenplanker
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:45PM
    • Hans
      Abbott may not get the way you think, but not everyone thinks the way you think.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:59PM
    • I find that exceedingly hard to believe...

      I also do not think what he says can be equivocated away until it disappears in a puff of smoke.

      He said it - he can wear it and 'man up' to it.

      I notice he is not backing away from it and Fiona Scott endorsed what he said.

      But I take your point, none of us are perfect, in fact some imperfections are a pleasant change from the policy robots.

      Commenter
      Hans von Schlappenplanker
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:19PM
    • What I mean Hans is that not everyone will think the way you think about what is appropriate or inappropriate to say about women. I am not a fan of Abbott talking about a candidate's appearance as part of their job description but I am not in a lather of indignation like some journalists - (guardian - wait for tomorrow's fairfax online - Anne Summers will have another outing I expect)
      I am tired of being told what to think by politically correct people. This started with Swan and Gillard class and gender warfare and it returns. It is like some kind of quasi-intellectual thought police.

      As I have said previously fortunately most women know they are more than the sum total of a man's opinion of them.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:03PM
  • Abbott has described the Greens as Economic Fringe Dwellers.

    Well. Peter Costello, who like Paul Keating was a commanding Treasurer, described Abbott as 'an economic illiterate'.

    In many ways, the role of the Treasurer is much more significant for the business community than the PM who these days is very much the 'presentation' person.

    What would Abbott call his PPL scheme which will slug businesses with a 1.5% levy?

    What is that if not BEYOND THE FRINGE?

    Even parts of his own Party, and much of the business community are upset about it.

    Commenter
    Hans von Schlappenplanker
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:40PM
    • Probably not everyone agrees with the Liberals PPL even some Liberals, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is not a good idea.
      For women who would like/need to return to the work force post children it provides a way of staying home longer with their child, with a better amount of work entitled pay and super.
      Are you a mother or a woman?
      Did you have to make that kind of choice to return to work soon after having a child or not?

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:48PM
    • If you check you will that it was Gillard who claimed: ‘Costello refused to endorse Abbott as an economic manager.’

      Costello: ‘To me this is as dishonest as you can get.’

      Do try to get your facts right, God knows there is more than enough stupidly here.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:04PM
    • I'd suggest that you need to look closer at the ALP and Coalition PPL schemes as proposed.

      Some people think that everyone should be entitled to the scheme regardless of their income, which is quite unsustainable.

      What the Coalition scheme inevitably means is that business WILL PASS ON THE COST TO THE CONSUMER (the rest of us) while abolishing the Baby bonus or parts thereof.

      It is a wholesale redistribution of FINITE government expenditure from a means-tested basis to line the pockets of the people (in part) who can afford the expense of a bub.

      I am strongly in support of a PPL scheme but I think Abbott's scheme is a political ploy to outflank Labor and it runs counter-intuitively to everything the Coalition stands for in terms of economic ideology (removing imposts on business and increasing flexibility).

      I say that full well knowing that 'flexibility' is a loaded term which basically means 'hiring and firing as we see fit'.

      I am strongly in support of women having a child being financially supported, and also it is time some further protections were in place to ensure that women who leave to have a child have a job to return to and are not discriminated against on that basis.

      I am not a member of any political party.

      I do not see how whether I am male or female or whether I may or may not have a child is at all relevant.

      Think of the billions that would have been available for child care and PPL schemes if both parties had not played rank politics with refugee policy...

      What about: every time a Defence scandal breaks they lose 5% of their funding - that should make them throw the book at the invertebrates within their ranks.

      Commenter
      Hans von Schlappenplanker
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:08PM
    • I am quite sure that it was Costello who described Abbott as he did, as Kerry O'Brien put the relevant question to the interviewee on the 7.30 Report (and if Red Kezza said it, it must be true...).

      The point is, fundamentally, that Abbott's PPL scheme is unnecessarily profligate when he is also talking about fiscal responsibility and prudency...??

      Again, I strongly support the PPL scheme broadly-speaking, and one MUST be implemented, but a 1.5% levy on business is a fairly incongruous way for a conservative government to be going about it.

      Commenter
      Hans von Schlappenplanker
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:25PM
    • Abbott is whacking 3,200 businesses (excluding law firms and accountancy firms) with a 1.5% extra company tax to fund his gold plated inequitable, parental leave scheme on 1 Jul 2015.

      Abbott is yet to provide PBO costings of how he'll fund the 1.5% company tax cut from 1 Jul 2015.

      Abbott has failed to address concerns people have raised on these comment threads about business owners manipulating their financial affairs so that the expectant mother qualifies for the highest payout.

      What's to stop business owners allocating the higher salary to the woman if she only actually works part-time for a low wage?

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:07PM
    • HOW will the Coalition fund a 1.5% reduction in company tax when Govt. receipts are dropping because of the end of the resources boom that not that long ago we were being told was going to be here for a generation?

      It's not that hard, really, slash the public service by forcing on them additional savings, probably on top of the extra $1.8 Billion in savings Rudd has dumped on them which in itself was in addition to the annual 1.75% (?) 'efficiency dividend' which means the Australian Public Service must return to Govt. that percentage every year, regardless.

      The Orwellian aspect of the whole thing is that it is not really an efficiency dividend at all, sacking 400+ public servants from the Dept. of Health and Ageing is not an 'efficiency' - it doesn't make the agency work any more efficiently, it is a very crude slash and burn exercise ('scorched earth', really).

      This in the aftermath of the Castle Hill nursing home fire, with the above agency having a recently created compliance role in relation to the standards in nursing homes....just one example.

      Agencies are reporting back to Government, especially the smaller ones, that funding cuts are disabling their ability to deliver CORE FUNCTIONS, so this is getting within the boundaries of an unsustainable erosion of the fabric of the public service.

      The same tactics under Howard and Costello nearly killed Canberra as a town which relies on the public service agencies and staff to survive. The ripples are enormous.

      People need to dump the old hoary chestnut that the public service is overstaffed and underworked.

      It is a stereotype that is absolutely wrong.

      Why attack Health and Ageing yet give Defence a bump?

      Priorities are all wrong....

      Commenter
      Hans von Schlappenplanker
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:29PM
    • Tristan,

      Not all business owners are corrupt!
      However, I did think the asme thing but then came to the conclusion that by doing that the woman would be up for a higher tax bill at the end of the financial year. She may not get that "win" after all.

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:04PM
  • "In an odd kind of way Gillard was one of Rudd's greatest assets, because she was a magnet for voter anger. He could and did masterfully play the victim and cast her as the wicked one. Now the Labor stage is bare but for him. Now the electorate is focusing solely on him."

    - Amanda Vanstone, SMH today.

    Commenter
    beasleyst
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:31PM
  • Labor will rue the day they dumped Prime Minister Gillard for Rudd (who allegedly leaked information to a journalist in the 2010 campaign even at the expense of his own party's election chances). They were mistaken in believing that the Australian electorate wanted him back. Julia Gillard was dignified in defeat whereas when Rudd lost the support of caucus he and his cronies allegedly started planning their destabilisation campaign within their own party.

    Commenter
    Rob
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:22PM
  • I think if I hear Kevin Rudd say "You know what" one more time, I'll scream.

    Commenter
    enough spin
    Location
    Already
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:22PM
  • Rudd's relentless negativity? You can almost hear the laughter coming from the 1.8 million dollar leaf dappled pad, in the Adelaide burb filled with parked jags and Merc's?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 2:00PM
    • Speaking of Julia's new pad, despite the tell tale sign of moccasins at the front door, there is no truth in the rumor that Julia and Tim are about to star in the new ABC series Upper Middle Bogan.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:42PM
  • Has anyone else noticed Australia's sporting prowess has diminished ever since Rudd took office in 2007....
    It would not have happened under Hawke or Howard!

    Commenter
    notlad
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:49PM
    • From a cricket perspective at least, post election, there'll be a lot of spinners available.

      Commenter
      Puzzled
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:09PM
    • Yeah, and plenty of gymnasts...

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:15PM
    • Yeah second in the hurdles finals. Ashes turned to ashes. It is getting harder to get up in the morning. Thank God for Abbott and Pell they'll make everything all-right?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:17PM
    • Well Rudd is now a "fighter" so boxing will get better...

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:18PM
    • Well beasleyst, Kev certainly "talks-up" a good fight. Maybe stings like a moth though!

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:23PM
  • Wouldnt you think all liebral members would know how their own "Direct Action Tax"works..When actually no-one in the liebral party can explain it..3 years on and they still cant explain it..how sad.

    Commenter
    Steeden
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:47PM
    • Something about planting a billion trees around those bellowing smog ridden chimneys and selling dirt to other countries?Dunno really i think abott is just too embarrassed to talk about it.just like he is too embarrassed to reveal his ostings.

      Commenter
      Archer
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:55PM
    • No doubt they realise it will never be implemented. it's a policy/thought bubble to appease those who realise we need CC action on the right.
      Not at all surprised they are not upto scratch on the policy, they don't give a toss.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:00PM
    • Wouldn't you think that when your PM announces the development plan for the NT that everyone in the Labor party would be across it?

      When questioned about it Bill Shorten hadn't even heard of it.

      How sad.

      Commenter
      Smokin Mo
      Location
      Ryde
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:05PM
    • Why waste time learning a nonsense policy that will never be implemented? The policy is there to tick a box and to help LNP supporters who are being bullied by the 'end of the world is nigh" brigade. Most LNP supporters will hope that the money is used for something more worthwhile.

      Commenter
      MattPP
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:14PM
    • And Art if you don't believe me re the laffer curve have a look at the US - REagan was a big beleiver in the theory and ever since it has been the path the US has gone down, was has resulted in an uneven (and getting worse) distribution of wealth and a massive budget deficit and debt level.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:35PM
  • “Business Council of Australia, wants the levy the Coalition would impose on big companies to pay for the scheme dropped.”

    Consider that data in annual reports show the same top 20 shareholders in our four major banks. Moreover the lower tier of our banking sector is owned by the same organizations that own our four major banks.

    Further the world’s company equity is controlled by no more than 25 companies, of which have many of these companies have equity in Australian banks.

    Corporate Australia ownership is dominated by three major shareholders. Australian commerce, banking and mining are now part of an oligopoly.

    And you thought you had democracy?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:45PM
    • Just watched the ABC. It has examined the costings for the PPL. Seems they are significantly short and the taxpayer will have to foot the difference.

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 7:32PM
  • John Howard and Peter Costello introduced middle class welfare to Australia. Now we have Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey introducing upper,upper middle class welfare with their PPL scheme. Go figure?

    Commenter
    CPS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:44PM
    • Hoard and Costello gave tax cuts so people could decide how to spend their money. They could give tax cuts because Costello kept a sharp eye on the budget and managed expenditure accordingly.

      The PPL is not welfare it is a working entitlement. Why do you call a plan for working parents 'welfare' when it supplies super and a replacement wage.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Free us from Labor
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:52PM
    • Free us From Labor, how is this classed as a working entitlement. Its a handout that although supoposedly sourced from the bignesses we all know that that cost will be passed onto the average person. If a person or persons decide to have a n surely they should provide for it anf not sit back and accept payment for their decision. It stinks to high heaven that people now expect the Tax Payer to fund each and every decision that they make. What ever happend to taking responsibility for ones own decisions.

      Commenter
      thatmosis
      Location
      Isis Central
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:12PM
    • "The PPL is not welfare it is a working entitlement. Why do you call a plan for working parents 'welfare' when it supplies super and a replacement wage.
      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Free us from Labor
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013,"

      Because welfare is taking tax provided by the tax-payer and distributing it to people who are not working or as wikipedia puts it

      "Welfare is the provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens, sometimes referred to as public aid. In most developed countries, welfare is largely provided by the government, in addition to charities, informal social groups, religious groups, and inter-governmental organizations."

      Trying to argue that because they how earn super on top doesn't change the fact it's still welfare and it definitely is not minimal either.

      Commenter
      Sambo
      Location
      all over the place
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:20PM
  • OH MY GOD!
    Their signature maternity leave policy has a billion dollar hole in it!!
    They have had years to work it out. How on earth is anyone trusting this rabble to run an economy?
    They can't even add up their own numbers.
    They won't even let anyone else look at their numbers.
    And the useless media is preoccupied with "selfies".

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:41PM
    • Henny Penny. Oh noes. Sky is falling. NBN has a billon holes in it.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:47PM
    • As opposed to Labor, who with debt in excess of $300B clearly knows how to add up and not have black holes in their policies. I think Labor should pull away from attacking the coalition on fiscal prudence. It is a battle they simply can't win on present track record.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Art - 2 Things Why should Abbott's incomeptence be excused by saying "buit he did it too" and do you think Australia should have been running surpluses for the past 6 years?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:55PM
    • Steve and Sarah of Carnegie

      So one stupidity and lie cancels out another stupidity and lie? Have you any idea how stupid this argument is?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:03PM
    • @Macca75 - I was just pointing out the hypocrisy. The reality is this: We currently have a substantial debt that needs to be repaid before the next global financial event. Otherwise our poor country will be forced to take a "cut to the bone" on a scale that it has never seen before. Both parties are out in election mode making promises they will never be able to keep. But only one party is acknowledging that some cuts and productivity gains needs to be made. Yes, during the height of the GFC some stimulus was warranted. But the ongoing waste and poor implementation of those programs have put us where we are now: Unable to stretch the credit card any more - at least not without putting the country in serious risk should another major global calamity occur. And that is why Labor is unfit to continue in government in my opinion. If I ran a company the way Labor is running the nation, the stock price would be rapidly running for the floor.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:10PM
    • Art - Only 1 party is acknowledging that cuts need to happen? Is that the party that has announced a largely unfunded expensive parental leave scheme and a cut to company tax while also cutting govt revenue from the carbon and mining taxes while keeping the compensation and spending billions on direct action?
      The libs are outspending the ALP by a large margin so far and won't tell us where the savings are coming from!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:17PM
    • And Art you must have a differnet definition of substantial than any economist, the OECD, IMF or the world bank!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:18PM
    • @Macca75 - yes - I have a different definition of substantial debt. That is because I have seen with my own eyes how something that looked reasonably manageable quickly got out of control when events took a wrong turn. Back then, it cost me a home, 35 people lost their jobs and only through prudent financial management was I lucky to escape without being declared bankrupt. It has taken me nearly 6 years to get back on top. But I am once again out there having a go and employing people (albeit on a smaller scale). Today our debt at $300B - tipped to peak at $400B (if Labor is to be believed), may look small compared to other nations. But if we keep running major deficits and don't encourage the biggest employer in this country (small business) - then I can assure you that another major global event (like the 30s stock crash or some awful terrorist attack) will make our current debt escalate out of control faster than a speeding bullet. It is not about what the debt is today. It is about what the plan is for reducing it tomorrow.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:52PM
    • Art - The govt isn't a business and trying to compare the 2 is just ridiculous.

      Also by your definition any debt is bad, even having money in the bank is bad because doom is always just around the corner - even if everything appears perfectly fine.

      And how does cutting taxes and increasing spending like Abbott plans to do help us avoid this looming peril!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:06PM
    • And again ARt - how are Abbott's polisies going to pay down any debt when he is spending more and raising less.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:20PM
    • @Macca75. Since you are an accountant, you should know the answer to that question. But if not, try reading this article:

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2012/10/15/do-tax-cuts-increase-government-revenue/

      To summarize it for you: If you encourage growth through tax cuts, you increase government revenue. I know it is not in the Labor DNA because they will never acknowledge that giving entrepreneurs a break will lead to jobs and growth, but the reality is that we could probably have totally avoided the GFC induced debt if Labor had reduced company and personal income tax instead of pumping billions into plasma TV imports.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:24PM
    • Art the Laffer curve has been discredited too many times to count - it is simply something peddled by corporations and the wealthy to justify them paying less tax.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:29PM
    • And Art if you don't believe me re the laffer curve have a look at the US - REagan was a big beleiver in the theory and ever since it has been the path the US has gone down, was has resulted in an uneven (and getting worse) distribution of wealth and a massive budget deficit and debt level.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:50PM
  • I guarantee that the ALP deeply regret dumping Julia Gillard who could have led the ALP to victory on Sept 7th!

    Commenter
    Ed the Talking Horse
    Location
    New Zealand
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:40PM
    • its not too late , get bill shorten on the phone!

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:43PM
  • I am so appalled by all parties and just to keep some middle ground I will be voting for my independent.

    Commenter
    Smurf
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:39PM
    • Smurf
      You can talk till you are blue in the face, but Indp's helped get us into this mess. Even I, a leaner to the Libs, think the ALP could have achieved much more without having to pander to the lunatic fringe Ind's.

      Commenter
      dcs
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:08PM
  • The ALP has had a rough time in the past 6 years. Australia however has prospered under the ALP's leadership.

    People need to start imagining how life under an Abbott government would be. Paid maternity leave that gives more money to the already well off, erosion of employees rights as negotiating power is handed over to employers (who already have the balance of power), no expenditure on nation budding infrastructure such as rail and a real broadband network, risk of rising GST, the list goes on.

    If Abbott does get in, he will be exposed. The Coalition will then be out in 3 years. The ALP will need those three years to demonstrate unity.

    Unfortunately, we will all need to suffer three years of anguish if Abbott becomes PM.

    Commenter
    Casa
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:33PM
    • The only thing that will get me through that suffering is watching all those who have supported Abbott so vehehmently tie themselves in knots trying to explain away the devastation he will cause.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Casa, "The ALP will need those three years to demonstrate unity". Don't you mean thirty years, remember Bill Shorten is lurking.

      Commenter
      thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:58PM
  • As Richo would say, in politics you do whatever it takes to win.Even if it means putting your arm around a female candidate and saying she has sex appeal. When will the politically correct members of the left wing parties understand this and keep quiet about the so called Abbott gaffes. They are only making it more difficult for their cause to win. Maybe they already know they can't win and venting bile is the only thing makes them feel better.

    Commenter
    Billnix
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:31PM
    • Richo is a walking talking example of why so much is so wrong with our current political system.

      Unfortunately, his statement appears the dogma of both political parties.

      Commenter
      John from Glebe
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:45PM
  • TOny abbott plans to use taxpayer money to pay $75k to high income earing mothers so they don't have to adjust thier lifestyle, wind back means testing on provate health insurance so high income earners can get a reduction in their premium and remove the tax increase on high income earning super funds plus reintroduce the Fringe benefots for those who want to salary package cars
    To pay for this he plans to remove the low income super rebate and the school kids bonus (payable to those receiving FTB part A) and who know what else.

    Does anyone else find it strange that the benefits of the rich are being paid for by the poor?

    Commenter
    Macca75
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:23PM
    • No, it's their modus operendi.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:38PM
    • Ehh no Macca75. Those benefits would have been paid for by those same so called "rich" tax payers many times over before they received them. The genuine poor do not pay taxes and those on lower incomes mostly get benefits in excess of their tax contributions. Tax is an equalizer, but it should not all be one way.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:40PM
    • It is not designed to be a welfare payment but a social and work entitlement. This is the difference, you focus on welfare, the policy is designed to allow mums to stay with their babies longer during the early years and still keep their jobs. It is about productivity as well as society. As an employer I know how hard it is to get good staff and keep them. This policy allows employers to hold on to their staff and the staff to maintain a foothold in the workforce with superannuation. If Labor had adopted this policy it would have been trumpeted from the rooftops as the greatest social advancement and economic policy since the floating of the dollar. Hypocrisy.

      Commenter
      rich
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:43PM
    • The Government is NOT a charity! Ask yourself why those on higher incomes, who pay a much higher tax rate, have to continue to support people who cannot support themselves. How fair is it that Governments continue to take from people who create wealth only to see it redistributed to those who consume it. If you are not happy with the cuts to benefits - go live in Venezuela or Cuba...Enough of bashing the successful people in our society!

      Commenter
      Pawe
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:44PM
    • Art - Yes high income earners pay more tax than low income earners, it is the way it is supposed to be but the policies I identified from Abbott are reversing that, giving benefits to hgihg income earners and removing benefits from los income earners - can you seriously not see that?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:46PM
    • Rich - You can call it want you want but it still amounts to govt money flowing to high income earners!

      If the mother is on $150k a year and the husband is on the average income of around $65k why can't they save to have a baby?

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:52PM
    • Oh Macca75, I can see it loud and clear. I earn just over $150K per year. So I am according to Labor "rich". Yet, we rent and with 4 kids, 2 under 2 and a wife for who it would be financially retrograde to work, we find ourselves in the stupid situation where we would be better of if I took a pay cut. How stupid is that? Labor has become the party that discourages ambition and encourages mediocrity. If people work hard, if people employ other people, if people take risks and sometimes put their homes on the line to attempt to create a business that provides jobs - then those same people should not be treated like a cash cow for the people who wish to just have a 35 hour per week job on the minimum wage. If we are to bring our economy back on track, then it is the people that have drive, passion and the ability to employ other people that we need to encourage through the tax system. At the moment, all Labor does is just hit them with more taxes. I think the pendulum needs to be somewhere in the middle.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:58PM
    • Macca75, perhaps if you started a business or indeed had a job you would know the answer yourself to your preposterous question. Again its not the government giving one person at the expense of another, all parties will be entitled to maintain for 6 months their pay standard to ensure the female, particularly is she is the main income earner can stay in the workforce, with SUPER. Hope, reward and opportunity, not welfare, misery and tom piper for dinner.

      Commenter
      Rich
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:59PM
    • Art - You poor didums struggling while earaning more than $150k a year - how about you try raising your 4 kids on $65k, I can tell you now you won't feel any better off.

      And the idea behind the tax and welfare system isn't that the govt helps everyone, it is that htose who can afford it most assist those who need it most - and anyone on $150k should be able to support themselves - they might not be able to live in the trendy suburd who have the 2 new cars or the big screen TV but they are far from doing it tough.

      By the way I earn less than half you do ($70k) with a wife who earns about $8k from work and we have 2 kids under 4 with a mortgage and while it is a struggle at times we get by.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:08PM
    • And Rich - yes it is giving to one at the expense of another - it is taking from everyones tax payments to give more to the wealthy and it is cutting payments to low income earners to fund it.

      Tax revenue is finite and needs to be directed to where the need is greatest and those on $150k or above wanting to have a child is harldy "high need".

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:22PM
    • And Macca75 - therein lies the problem. Have you ever tried to run a business? Do you even begin to understand what kind of stress it places on you? Have you ever had to forgo your own wage, so that you could pay your staff? Have you ever felt that despite the long days and often long nights doing the books, working over business plans, trying to find a way to avoid firing someone, you just can't get there and that the government is continually hitting you with new regulations - all designed for big business, but implemented as if your local 3 people shop had all the help of one of the big four accounting firms? Have you ever had to face a concocted unfair dismissal claim or legal action from the ATO? You see, I earn what I earn through extremely hard work and sacrifices and I do pay my own way. What I object to is to continually see that for which I have worked so hard, being eroded by yet another government levy or tax that only applies to people in my income bracket. Have you yourself actually done the math on what you really pay in tax (after you deduct all the benefits you get from the government)? It may make you realize that maybe - just maybe - you don't want the same for your kids, if one of them is showing business acumen. That maybe the government should abandon this politics of envy and make a more small business friendly environment.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:26PM
    • Art - I work as an accountant for a small firm - everyday I deal with businesses facing those same issues you outline - however that does not mean that someone earning your kind of salary should get govt assistance while those on less than $37k get theirs cut!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:39PM
    • Macca75, it doesn't sound like you are working much at all Macca, your are spending most of your time on here. Perhaps less winging about those of us working hard and earning good incomes to support our families and more work will do the trick for you.

      Commenter
      Rich
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:40PM
    • So Macca75, why don't you just come out and spell it out clearly? Given that I get no government benefits whatsoever now, the only way the government can extract more money from me is through raising taxes. There is nothing left to do. So, unless the government is prepared to campaign on that platform, they will have to take some benefits away from the lower income earners. So what is it? Higher taxes or some cuts to benefits? The deficit and debt has to be repaid somehow...

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:00PM
    • Art - Again you miss the point, this is about the libs wanting to give more to you and pay for it by taking away from the lower income earner. If it was simply a matter of "We have to make substantial cuts so these low income handouts have to go" it would be completely different.

      To cut low income benefits simply to fund handouts to higher income earners does not help pay down debt - it just rewards those who need it least and penalises those who need the most help.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:18PM
    • Rich you are working hard but still posting on here?

      And I am not whinging about yo earning more, I am whinging about you earning more and still wanting govt handouts and getting them at the expense of those who actually need them.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:27PM
    • Sorry Macca75, but I think you missed the point. If you make people in my income bracket - people who create jobs - better of, then you stimulate the economy, create jobs and grow the tax base so that it is more affordable to provide the needed benefits for the low income earners. To totally strangle the growth creators for the sake of "helping" the needy is a bad economic policy. For an extreme example, look at Zimbabwe.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Art how does taking money from the poorest help grow the economy - after all they are the ones who buy things off those businesses?

      And again the laffer curve is completely discredited!!

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:43PM
    • Macca75, you are not missing out becoasue I get something, we are both entitled to claim the PPL (or our spouses in any case). This is the fundamental flaw in your argument that somehow a woman on $150k p.a is taking away from someone on $60kp.a. Under the collation PPL both are entitled to the benefit of keeping their job, getting paid the same as before they went on maternity leave and going back to work at the same rate, conditions and with super in tact. You may argue it is an expensive policy and if it becomes unaffordable then someone may miss out but I can assure you it will be the higher paid person who has the PPL reduces or removed If the policy becomes unaffordable, not the lower paid worker so whilst the coalition thinks it can pay for all to have it, what is the problem.

      Commenter
      Rich
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:51PM
    • Well Macca75. I am not advocating taking money from the poorest. I'm saying that using Labor philosophy, they only have two options left: Tax the high achievers and entrepreneurs more or take money from the poorest. Liberal philosophy is to tax the high achievers less, reduce regulation and grow small business to increase the tax base - hence avoiding the need to take money from the poorest. To stimulate an economy, you do not need to throw $900 cheques at foreign backpackers on working visas. That is just money that creates a temporary sugar hit. To truly stimulate an economy, you need to make it business friendly so that jobs are created and staying created. Just look at the budget forecast. At the same time as the global economy is recovering, the budget is estimating that the jobless rate will increase substantially. Why is that? Because a bunch of small businesses are now slowly but surely being strangled by so many new Labor/Green laws that they are no longer competitive. Another 3 years of this and Australia will be in full on recession at the same time as the US and Europe will be at the beginning of a boom. AUD at 0.45 to the USD will hurt the low income earners shopping online a lot more than the temporary benefit of a one-off $900 cheque ever provided.

      Commenter
      Art
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:17PM
    • Rich my argument has never been that low income earners miss out because they earn less and therefore get less PPL, my argument is that the finite tax revenue is being misdirected causing cut backs in services and OTHER welfare payments like the school kids bonus and low income super rebate from going to those who need it most.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:17PM
    • Art look at what said in the original post, you may not be advocating taking money from the poorest but that is exactly what Abbott is doing.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:34PM
    • @Art - so you have too many kids. How is this my problem? Why am I going to pay for you to breed? You will find contraception a log cheaper than kids.

      Commenter
      Seriously!
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:28PM
  • In his 2010/2011 budget, PM Rudd forecast (via Treasurer Swan) a Jun11 deficit of $41B. It cam in at $43B.

    For Jun12, he forecast a deficit of $13B. It came in at $43B.

    For Jun13, he forecast a surplus of $1B. Presently, it's still estimated at $19B (unchanged despite all those revisions in the Economic Statement, in PEFO and elsewhere.

    For Jun14, he forecast a surplus of $5B. Presently, a $30B deficit has been estimated.

    So, from the last Rudd budget through to the present (the 4-year forecasting cycle), (then) PM Rudd was forecasting cumulative deficits of $48B over the budgetary cycle.

    The reality, plus latest Jun14 forecasts, suggest that tis reality will come in at a cumulative deficit pile of $139B.

    In 4 years, from Rudd's May10 forecast, the extra, enlarged deficit, will ve grown by a cumulative $91B.

    Foregt about Rudd trying to scare monger about a $70B black hole which has been repeatedly debunked by the fact finders, etc.

    Rudd has his own, very special, unique,nd altogether created $91B black hole which has already occurred.

    Now, that's some that RGR never told anyone that they could look forward to during the 2010 election campaign.

    That is, an extra $91B in cumulative budget deficits over the course of the budgetary cycle, from May10 (and starting first with the 2010/11 year, some 3 years on from the GFC).

    Labor, big budget deficits, little fiscal success.

    Commenter
    Grant
    Location
    Mitcham
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:17PM
    • Grant
      Your comment shows that like all Liberals, you don't understand the role of Treasury.
      Don't worry, Hockey will educate everyone n the role of treasury when he is in power. Everything will be their fault and nothing will be Hockey's fault.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:44PM
  • Political commentators seem to be convinced that unlike 2010, voters will be switching back to the major parties to 'avoid' another minority government. Given the lack of difference between the major parties, and the less than impressive leadership on both sides, I wouldn't be surprised if many voters again put their number 1 next to the minor parties.

    Commenter
    pseudomys
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:15PM
  • The ALP need to sort out what they stand for, what their values are, and weed out the poison from within.
    They cannot and will not do that if they are in government.

    Commenter
    Once Were Warriors
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:15PM
    • +1

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:26PM
  • Picture at 12.32.

    First National...they sound good, how do I vote for them? At least they actually admit they are selling out Australia.

    Commenter
    Jim Oz
    Location
    Hobart
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:05PM
  • Rudd doesn't seemed to have worked out yet that the more he attacks Abbott, the more voters seem to be switching off.

    It's a shock in some ways that the preferred PM numbers are almost equal, but i suppose saying you'll be Mr Happy then acting like Mr Nasty can have that effect.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 1:01PM
    • When he returned to the ALP leadership he was Mr Bounce, but now he is Mr Muddle and will soon transition into Mr Grumpy

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:14PM
    • Indeed Tim. Rudd's problem is that he thinks he's a combination of Mr Strong, who can pick up burning farmhouses, and Mr Perfect, who can do no wrong.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:53PM
    • Hacka :"the preferred PM numbers are almost equal"? Not sure where you got that gem from. Probably Newspoll.

      Commenter
      Bloss
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:04PM
    • Correct Bloss - Rudd's down to a two point (43-41) advantage. A month ago it was 22 points.

      Time for a new way maybe.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:34PM
    • Voters are turning against Rudd because he "promised" a positive campaign and "a new way". As is usual with Kevin Rudd, you don't judge him by what he says, you judge him by what he does, which now, is just being negative. At present, Rudd is the new, "Doctor No.".

      Commenter
      Facts are
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Abbott and Hockey haven't worked it out yet - that withholding 200 policy costings from the electorate will mean Liberal campaign workers handing out How to vote Liberal flyers on polling day will be bombarded with questions by me on polling day.

      I hope they'll be better prepared than the Liberal's Greenaway candidate Jayme Diaz.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:57PM
  • 12:48pm: "This is an NBN [National Broadband Network] related health service," Mr Rudd says.

    what does that mean Mr Rudd ???? My area doesn't have NBN, and either do the hospitals???

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Hampton
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:55PM
    • He mean its a health service that will be over budget and painfully slow at implementing and you may get to see it sometime this century

      Commenter
      TJ
      Location
      Heathmont
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:21PM
  • Oh dear, apparently The Voice of Russia newspaper has asserted that our entire election campaign may have gone completely unnoticed if not for the gaffe made by Stephanie Banister: Islam is a country.

    It seems our importance on the international scene ranks alongside the stupidities of Zimbabwe with only 3% of our doings mentioned across 17 countries. What on earth can we be doing wrong?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:49PM
  • Kevs latest speech is being promoted as coming via NBN broadband -and guess what surprise surprise it keeps cutting out ! too funny

    Commenter
    Darren
    Location
    Brunswick
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:46PM
    • is this NBN not fast enough ?!? maybe we could invest another 100 billion

      Commenter
      jim
      Location
      Moonee Ponds
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:07PM
    • I think i'll opt out of the NBN after looking at that - my Skype via wireless is better!

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:09PM
    • Said the other day, why are we wasting so much money on the NBN. Should be investing in wireless. The NBN will be out of date in a couple of years.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:25PM
    • Lots of ignorant replies here.

      If you really do want to become informed about the NBN, have a read of what Peter Cochrane, the ex-Head of British Telecoms, told the UK parliament.

      He said: "Fibre to the cabinet is one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made,” he said. “It ties a knot in the cable in terms of bandwidth and imposes huge unreliability risks"

      Even in New Zealand, the Communications Minister, Amy Adams, from the National Party says: “All the information we had was that the most comprehensive and future-proof network we could build was a fibre to the home package and that effectively it made far better fiscal sense to invest the funds we had available in a fibre to the home package initially,” said Adams. “We’re very committed to it. We’re very comfortable with the decision and all the feedback we’ve had has been that it has been the right way to go.”

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:42PM
  • Oh Kev - talking about being able to diagnose strokes via NBN now. less than 100,000 people only are connected ! hilarrious

    Commenter
    Genghis
    Location
    Lounge
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:44PM
    • its the worse picture I have ever seen on ABC news 24, yet they keep persisting, no apology from the ABC for the drop out and fuzzy picture

      Commenter
      Stacey
      Location
      Mordialloc
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:53PM
  • In it's policy, the Coalition included many worked examples. PM Rudd however criticised this by saying that it discriminated against those not in the workforce. Yet, the Coalition's scheme uses the same work test as does the Government.

    This requires a claimant to have worked for 10 of the past 13 months (before giving birth) + at least 330 hours within that 10 month period, with no more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive working days.

    A working day requires a minimum of 1 hour of paid work having been done.

    Voluntary work, unpaid leave, working for the dole, or other Government benefit schemes, don't count.

    Therefore, many "at home" mothers under the Government's own work eligibility rules would not qualify.

    PM Rudd's comment of his Government having supported /helped over 300,000 families with its PPL scheme is also incorrect.

    In the 12 months to 30 June 2013, there were 302,000 births in Australia. So, that's where his figures have come from.

    Of these many, but not all, would have included qualifying working mothers. But even on labour force participation rates, where female participation is currently around 58.8 nationally (the highest rate in the last 12 months was 59) suggests that upwards of 40% of those giving birth during 2012/13 may themselves have not satisfied the Government's own work test requirements.

    This is especially so given ABS's own definition as to what constitutes employment.

    By all means, criticise the Coalition's scheme which provides for the national minimum wage or replacement wages (whichever is higher) for 26 weeks (not 18) capped @$150K. But then also criticise the Government's own scheme.

    Like for like, Labor's scheme leaves much to be desired whilst leaving anyone out of the workforce altogether stranded.

    Commenter
    Grant
    Location
    Mitcham
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:38PM
  • It would be nice if Tony Abbot removed the Tax Labor put on recycling paper and cardboard.
    This would cause people to collect and take there paper and cardboard to a recycle and get paid a couple of cents per kilo as they did before the Tax was imposed. (Including me)

    Can you imagine how it helps the poor and destitute. (Like aluminum Cans) not just the environment.

    As usual, Labor did it for there mates, not the people!

    Commenter
    4Ken
    Location
    Auburn
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:33PM
  • Where is $50 billion dollars of funding for things that Abbott has promised coming from? Still waiting.

    Commenter
    Tone
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:33PM
    • "Where is $50 billion dollars of funding for things that Abbott has promised coming from? Still waiting."

      Don't expect The Age or SMH to do any analysis. An article over at the Conversation tells of readers leaving Fairfax and going over to other news sites. Abbott has had an easy run in SMH and The Age and people are leaving to get information elsewhere.
      We are no longer locked into a couple of newspapers of the past, with a click on my mouse I have a new source and the choice not to put up with shoddy journalism that has taken over at Fairfax.

      Commenter
      Charles Foster Kane
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:23PM
  • Photo 12:02. It doesn't look like KRudd is happy with this blow dryer either.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:32PM
  • Has Labor given up on Lindsay? This is the second day the Liberal Campaign has focused on Lindsay. This is the second opportunity for Fiona Scott to be photographed in the papers. I have not seen one photo of Kevin Rudd and David Bradbury. In 2010 David was invited to have photos taken with Julia on a patrol boat looking out for refugees.. (in Darwin Harbour)
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/western-sydney-where-pollies-would-have-you-think-crime-control-is-at-sea-20130415-2hvq4.html
    Was David too close to Julia?.. Is this Rudds revenge? Has Bradbury’s recent radio meltdown made him untouchable? Do the patrons at Penrith Panthers have any chance of seeing the famous Ruddy Hair Flick in the next couple of weeks? Or are they stuck with only one contestant in the beauty pageant in a one horse race?

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydbey
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:28PM
    • Labor know Lindsay has gone to the Libs and Bradbury is finished - Rudd will focus on seats they think they still have a chance.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:53PM
    • Cwitty, Lindsay is my electorate and Bradbury is gone for all money he has set the trend for rest of Western Sydney.
      I will give him one thing since he went out on that patrol boat with Julia, we have had no Asylum seeker boats land in Penrith.
      It looks as though Rudd is trying the same stunt with Mike Kelly, another Labor seat gone.

      Commenter
      thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 2:13PM
  • So after the weekend it is now a clear battle between a Labor/Greens coalition vs a Liberal/National coalition.

    What strange bedfellows Labor and Greens make.

    Commenter
    Tim of Altona
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:26PM
    • Err, I hate for this to come as a shock to you, but the main combatants have remained the same for this election?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:52PM
    • Yeah although Labor can't seem to decide whether the Greens are their friends or enemies. Like all their other positions, it seems to be whatever is politically convenient at the time.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:59PM
    • Well Tim, I think Libs and Nats are strange bedfellows too, they don't have a lot in common, anti-Labor is about it. The Nats have more in common with Labor (hand out mentality).

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:05PM
    • I thought Labor announced they had divorced themselves from the Greens and the Greens were quick to confirm the separation was complete. They must be back on a 'trial' re-unification.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:07PM
  • I see the climate is reaping vengeance on Rudd's bald patch again.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:04PM
    • Another thing Kev is hiding

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:27PM
  • I heard tony abbott call John Alexander a handsome man - how dare he!

    Commenter
    Genghis
    Location
    Lounge
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 12:04PM
    • The sexist swine! Put him in the stocks.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:55PM
    • Someone send an all points bulletin to Anne Summers!

      Commenter
      Louis Cypher
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:11PM
    • Yes, yes, Abbott has discovered that all the people who care about sexism hate him already and he's dog whistling to the people who hate what they term "political correctness".

      As commentators noted, in the workplace we're against bosses talking about their female employees' sex appeal (except in, say, modelling) for good reason. But when Tony says it, yay for being against political correctness!

      It goes with Abbott's appeals to homophobia, appeals to racists and generally his appeals to all the worst bits of society.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:44PM
  • You dont need Fact Checker to know Abbott is a born and bred English boat immigrant who prefers a foreigner (Queen)to rule our country instead of a real Aussie,pity the Englishman hasnt conformed to our way of life.

    Commenter
    Steeden
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:56AM
    • Did you whistle?.. I thought I heard a whistle

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:03PM
    • Funny, last time I looked Tony Abbott was an Australian.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:06PM
    • Julia Gillard wasn't born in OZ either.
      And, if you think Kev is a REAL aussie.
      I am not sure where you live in Australia ??

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:07PM
    • A real Aussie? Err what have you mind a platypus or a wallaby? We humans all emigrated from Africa?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:11PM
    • That's right Steeden, he has been plotting since he moved here at the age of 2.

      Commenter
      Ash
      Location
      Preston
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:11PM
    • Wow, the reality is starting to sink in, isn't it. My understanding is he was born to Australian parents in the UK and they then returned to Australia.

      Commenter
      Tony
      Location
      Paddington
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:15PM
    • Tony, Mum expat and Dad a £10 Pom I believe.
      I 100% see where Steeden is coming from, just elaborating on the hypocrisy of Abbott being an economic boat person. An economic refugee he's forever bleating on about. And a staunch monarchist in the making of his mentor Howard.
      Note the similarities of Howard's campaign re installing fear of refugees and middle class welfare. Just more extreme, if possible

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:45PM
    • Who or what is a real Aussie in your mind Genghis?

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:08PM
    • Norm - one that is humble, down to earth and not full of lies, the opposite of one K Rudd. Anymore questions?

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:12PM
    • Who cares where he or anyone else was born! Many of our greatest are/have been immigrants.

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:17PM
  • It seems to me that no matter who wins this election we lose. Great to know that our nation has come to its lowest point in history in regards to politics. Both parties are too similar, there needs to be a greater divide so that choice is more distinguished. Perhaps the two party system is broken, perhaps focus group policies are not the way, perhaps a hung parliament allowed for smaller parties to be heard. All i know for sure is that this election is a flop.

    Commenter
    Jtgrant1995
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:56AM
    • The parties are chalk and cheese.
      Labor into debt, welfare beyond our means, wavering policy positions poor judgement, disunity, non collegiate caucus, It's all about Rudd

      Liberals into balancing budgets,welfare within our means, consistency with policy, considered judgement, unity and collegiate caucus, It's about all the Liberals.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:09PM
    • It's not a flop of an election, just that we have been waiting for it for so long.
      The election is about us, not about the politicians, even though the entire media focus is on them,
      We the people, get our chance to vote and elect a candidate to represent us. The immense focus on Abbott and Rudd falsely removes focus from the local candidate as your representative. That's why I like seeing Abbott visiting his candidates. Rudd seems not to, preferring basking in the sense of his own celebrity.
      Oh how I wish I lived in a marginal seat.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:17PM
    • Well come to the club of realities, why did it take you so long to realise our political reality?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:19PM
  • 11.04 am post;
    The policy release, media *conference* single question farce is redolent of an uncovered garbage truck careening down the highway,scraps blowing off; with the seagulls getting one quick peck before the juggernaut rolls on over them. No sense, but plenty of smell.

    Commenter
    David D
    Location
    Ettalong Beach
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:47AM
  • Wow, how about that, the Rudd team even trucks around their own pair of Bulls no wonder they never run out of the stuff.

    Commenter
    SteveH.
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:46AM
  • It is almost inconceivable that Abbott would put his arm around a female candidfate and say she is more than a pretty face. Is he COMPLETELY stupid? Does he not have any sort of edit button? has NOONE told him hos damaging his refering to women based on looks is? I am a committed anti Labor voter... but Abbott HAS to be a moron to keep doing this.

    Commenter
    DavidH9000
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:46AM
    • Finoa Scott has soared ahead of Bradbury and will easily win Lyndsay. I doubt Abbott's remarks have done her campaign any harm - only in the minds of Labor supporters.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:04PM
    • David,
      Don't be fooled. If he didn't say that, he would have been accused of being "stage managed" and that his "thoughts" were despicable.
      It's great publicity for him and Fiona, and it's keeping Kev out of the news.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:06PM
    • Actually, Abbott's poll numbers improved significantly straight after his sex appeal "gaffe". I think he knows exactly what he's doing. He's tapping straight into a lot of anti-PC sentiment out there.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:27PM
    • Actually that he did it again just proves how badly you, Labor and the media misjudged the public's reaction.

      Commenter
      brian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:29PM
    • DavidH9000, I saw something worse, I saw Gillard put her arm around and kiss Swan after his last budget.

      Commenter
      thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:34PM
  • Cwitty, Norm, JT

    Tell it to the relatives of the 760 who died in the UK recently. Do nothing and it will go away because of the lack of interest in it? Don't screw up the economy by building climate change infrastructure?

    Err, "Climate change isn’t an environmental problem — it’s an economic problem, US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday.

    McCarthy doubled down on President Barack Obama’s call for broad climate regulations in tandem with economic growth, making that the theme of her first speech since she was confirmed two weeks ago.

    “The president even had the courage and the vision” during her long confirmation fight “to stand up in 100-plus degree weather” and give the “most compelling … speech on climate change that any American president has ever delivered,” she said, referring to Obama’s address June 25 at Georgetown University.

    Nearly a dozen states have implemented market-based greenhouse gas reduction programs, and more than double have implemented efficiency standards and renewable energy goals, McCarthy said. More than 1,000 mayors have signed agreements to cut carbon emissions."

    Are we feeling a little stupid, you should be.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:43AM
    • First 140 characters!! If you can't say it in a Tweet. It can’t be said.
      Nobody cares anymore Pen. You are describing last decade’s fad. Do yourself a favour and stop worrying about climate change … everybody else has.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:01PM
    • Pen,

      We are starting to feel bored, rather than stupid. We know by now that you can cram more scary statistics into 6 inches of column space than you would find at the Greens national convention - however, I think you'll find most have tuned out. Leave the space for the good old fashioned Labor/Liberal rants can you?

      Commenter
      Alistair
      Location
      Windsor
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:07PM
    • Hi Pen, unlike Cwitty, I believe in anthropogenic climate change, just keep pointing out to you and your ilk that we (Straya) can't do anything about it. If everyone else plays, then we should join in.

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:14PM
    • Cwitty

      Sorry. climate change it is too important, a fad it isn't, since when has people dying been a fad?

      Sit in room for a few hours in 49 degree heat with no power and then tell me about fad?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:16PM
    • Pen, I am going to do a whip around and buy you an airfare to China. The minnute you sort out their emissions you can come back and sort out ours....see you in another life

      Commenter
      The taxpayer
      Location
      here and there
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:33PM
    • Norm - I believe in AGW. I also believe in hyper colour T-shirts, yoyo's and football cards. I am just not that into them anymore.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:47PM
  • Abbott certainly has taken a page from Howard's book.
    His maternity Leave scheme has divided women. Those that will be the biggest winners under his scheme are now actively criticizing women who will be no better off.
    What a great policy to deflect attention by having women fight women over a policy.

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:35AM
    • gee - that's some story, women are fighting women on the streets of oz?

      Commenter
      Genghis
      Location
      Lounge
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:24PM
    • getting a bit desperate aren't we?

      Commenter
      Julie
      Location
      Boronia
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:29PM
  • Interesting to see a Mum in Malvern quoted in this mornings Age that she through the new Maternity Leave was great as "should would be able to maintain her lifestyle".

    So Australia's biggest businesses (which means all of us once they past the cost through) are funding the rolled gold maternity leave that we would never have over Tony Abott's dead body - so women in places like Malvern (median income $2k per week) can continue their boutique shopping & botox injections.

    Let alone the reason most women go back to work is for financial reasons in the first place this just seems mad. All that many smart women will do is bank their welfare and use it to extend the time they spend away from work!

    Commenter
    Sambo
    Location
    all over the place
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:30AM
    • I'ts not just the businesses - even after they pay the levy there is still about $6b over the forward estimates that needs to be paid so we will all be paying.

      Add this to Abbott rolling back the means testing on Private Health, reversing the tax increases on high income super, cutting out the low income super rebate and the school kids bonus and you can see under the libs the low income earner will be paying for benefits for the rich - the opposite of the way our society should run.

      Commenter
      Macca75
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:00PM
  • Kevin Rudd: "I'm a fighter".

    Sure you are Kev, just ask Simon Crean, who went out on a limb for you to see you hide behind the toilet block instead of attend the fight!

    Commenter
    beasleyst
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:28AM
    • Rudd should have sung that line to the old Steve Miller song

      "I'm a lover
      I'm a fighter
      I'm a mid-night toker
      I get my lovin' on the run
      Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh"

      Gottta zip now!

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:36AM
    • Yeah Kev "fighting" would be like watching Mr Burns "fighting".... Crean must have been Smithers

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:25PM
  • How long before the ALP party start trash-talking Rudd again, as the inevitable defeat approaches?

    Commenter
    dRod
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:23AM
    • I'm sure it is all festering behind the scenes. Publicly they have to put on a "united" face, but if Kev keeps going solo with his policy-on-the-run plan, someone will crack.
      Shorten says he was told the day before the NT plan, whilst Rudd tells everyone knew weeks earlier!
      It's happening again!!!

      Commenter
      beasleyst
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:41AM
    • The blood letting in Labor will be horrendous after Sept 7. Finger pointing and recrimination will abound. Rudd will be bundled out faster than you can say 'cut, cut, cut' and Shorten will be left holding the poison chalice that is ALP leadership.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:41AM
    • I thought it had began did you not see Shorten's comment?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:58AM
    • If Labor loses I would hope Rudd has the decency to resign and leave the scene for good.

      Without any direct knowledge, I would imagine a great many parliamentarians and average ALP supporters both would be backing Rudd while holding their noses. I'm no fan of Rudd myself. But I'm even less a fan of Tony Abbott and the Coalition and everything they stand for.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:54PM
  • Interesting comment on Insiders this week: all journalists go on strike until Abbott releases his costings. The strike should not be concluded until the politicians stop telling lies, and stop indulging sharp practices.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:21AM
    • The journalists need to go even farther.
      When interviewing any Politician and the politician will not answer the question asked by the journalists but go off or a tangent not related to the question then just terminate the interview.
      After doing this a few times the Politicians will wake up to the fact to get their message out they have to answer the questions asked.

      Commenter
      terry
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:35AM
  • How long can abbott get away with saying he will release figures in good time?. The election is less then 3 weeks away and he is still unnaccountable.

    Commenter
    pete
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:16AM
    • For as long as it took Labor to release their costings in 2007 and 2010 - 5pm Friday before polling day. Hi pot, I'm kettle.

      Commenter
      Pawel
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:21AM
    • I saw an interedting poll on the PPL and the elimination of the school kids bonus. Short point is that PPL was favoured by about 13 points whilst the cut was not, by about the same or a bit greater margin.

      The point is the electorate loves econominally responsible management, surpluses etc but has a NIMBY attitude to cuts. That is why oppositions (including Krudd07 - "this irresponsible spending must stop!") have never detailed their costings until the last minute, and those that have (Fightback) have been creamed. So don't hold your breath and when you want someone to blame, look in the collective mirror of the electorate.

      Commenter
      NeoCon II
      Location
      Touchingdown
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:23AM
    • How long can Rudd get away with saying he can still win the election? The election is less then 3 weeks away and he is still unelectable.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:25AM
    • Labor got away with it in '07 and '10 until 24 and 48 hours before the polls opened. Is that a precedent?

      Commenter
      brian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:26AM
    • Pray tell, just how accountable has the ALP been in respect of its costings? Probably just as accountable for the budget situation. May 2012 = promised surplus; May 2013 = $19 billion deficit; July 2013 = $30+ billion deficit.

      Commenter
      Tim [unfortunately not from Altona]
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:29AM
    • pawel
      I thought the Libs said they were going to be better than Labor.
      What have they done that is better?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:33AM
    • Labor still have not costed their promises - such as the Northern Territory committment which Rudd made up on the run. And besides, considering labor has had a $30 billion a year black hole in each budget, I hardly think Abbott is the problem.

      Commenter
      kp
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:36AM
    • kp
      Judging by your lack of understanding of the budget process, I'd say Abbott and his obfuscation are the problem.
      All Liberal supporters seem to have the same ignorance of the role of Treasury.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:47AM
    • Steve

      And, I suppose all that follow the ALP fully understand the treasury process?

      Steve, you can barely speak on behalf of yourself, let alone 50% of the population

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:32PM
  • The parental leave scheme will result in a massive population increase over and above the current one million increase every 2.59 years.

    Over the last 50 years UK population growth has been 0.7% while maintaining a viable economy. In the same period our population growth doubles every year that of the UK. Although the UK can and does produce more cereal crops when Australia is in adverse climate conditions, because our arable land is a tiny 6.15% of Australia's total land mass.

    Further, water resources in the south cannot be stretched any further.
    Consider our annual population increase on gross water requirement of 368000 people based on the 2004-05 lower water consumption (920 KL per capita) = 338.56 billion KL x 1000 = 338560000000 litres. Is an additional requirement on our water reserves that doubles annually in line with current population growth statistics? Further, CSIRO issued a warning in 2006 that Australia's water resources were ‘'precariously balanced.’

    Australia is the continent with the least fresh water as a population-limiting factor. The Mississippi River contains more water than our entire known fresh water. Most accessible water is utilised – domestic, agriculture and industry. Our largest river, the Murray/Darling, has two thirds or more of its flow drawn off each year (in some years no water is left to enter the ocean), and becomes progressively saltier downstream towards Adelaide, with increased burden of pesticides from cotton farming and irrigation practices.

    Clearing more land for food consequences soil erosion and soil salinization. Salinization affects about 9% of all cleared land in Australia and is projected to rise to 25%, therefore, it is not sustainable and must not be indulged.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:13AM
    • @Pen of hrba
      What a bunch of lazy statistic analysis that is! Yep you're right we have only 6.16% arable land (straight from the CIA world factbook) but its still 8 times the amount to the UK.
      Your other statements are also amazingly misleading (typical of Labor and the Greens perhaps the latter?). We consistently YoY grows more wheat than the UK with only 3yrs in the last 15 where we have grown less – but its one cereal only. There is no rice grown in the UK, limited barley and oats, no canola, buckwheat, almost no sorghum millet or rye.
      You also don't provide any analysis of just how much water in the top end that goes to the sea, or the level of production waste (inefficient use of water) from the murray darling basin.
      The reply when rationale discussion is ever employed about developing the top end is that "nobody wants to live there". Except if you ask Indonesians, Malaysians or Phillipians if they could do it they'd laugh at you for being lazy and for not doing so to date. If they can (and probably will in the future if we don't) why can't we? - oh yes I remember now, population control!

      Commenter
      michael of melbourne
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:17PM
  • @ 10.58
    Maybe Abbott is deliberately trying to annoy and irritate all the politically correct with his comment about Liberal candidate Scott.
    WIll certainly get everyone shrieking again.

    Commenter
    yys
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 11:11AM
  • A broken fan belt? Does this mean the climate for the engine became too hot? What would have happened if they ignored the heating climate?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:43AM
    • Oh Pen I made the mistake of reading one of your illogical posts after avoiding them for weeks!
      Hey guess what it's cold somewhere that must mean climate change is crap. Right?

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:34AM
    • Ok I've now read an earlier post as well.and take the last part of my comment back. Cheers

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:37AM
    • Mark C

      There you go: you can be sensible after all, it was not so hard or was it?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:55AM
    • Not at all Pen I usually try and sum up both sides of a debate before I make a decision.

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:52PM
  • I would be interested to see the results of the latest polling in Rudds electorate of Griffith. Who do you want? A former Prime Minister x 2 who is now friendless and disgruntled on the opposition back bench, or a new face in the new Government? Bit of a no brainer really. Any chance of seeing some polling?

    Commenter
    Facts are
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:42AM
    • I think the stark choice staring Griffith voters in the face is should they just make a clean break & be done with it? Or do they want to go to the polls twice in so many months because of a by-election.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:15AM
  • The coalition’s PPL will ensure Australia leads the world in Women’s Equity and access to opportunity. In Norway Mothers can take 46 weeks at 100% or 56 weeks at 80% of their pay with no wage cap. Tony’s plan recognises the importance of working mothers in a fair equitable socially democratic society. The only truly positive, progressive policy to come out of this campaign.

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:37AM
    • Hugely expensive at a time Tony says there is a "Budget Emergency".
      Business don't like it and as Laura tingle says in the fin review. "The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme is policy so bad, so appalling – on both policy and political grounds – that in any reasonable contest, it should give Labor a fighting chance to get back in the election race"

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:56AM
    • You mean besides the Gonski plan (which Abbott has had to admit is a good idea) and besides the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

      Let's give Labor some credit for the good stuff they've managed despite minority government and an incredibly hostile politicall environment.

      But yes, it's a good policy. A policy obviously chosen to put a bandage over Abbott's weakness, and which obviously discomforts some of his team, but a good policy despite the political reasons for it. There's a fair argument that it should be the same amount to all women rather than wage-based, but also a fair argument that women in higher-paid careers shouldn't be disadvantaged by losing a higher percentage of pay. Capping at $150k seems a reasonable balance between the two.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:58AM
    • Mark c- Not so bad in Norway where female participation is near the highest in the world. Not so bad if you actually talk to working women planning to be mums. Laura Tingle has an economic objection, but we live in a society not an economy.
      Arky- I love Gonski and NDIS, I think they are already law though and that is the distinction I make re campaign policy. Voting for Tony means we get to keep Gonski and NDIS + we get world’s best practise equity policy for working women.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:15AM
    • Funny thing is Cwitty that if Labor had suggested this overly generous scheme you'd be screaming about it!

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:07PM
    • It's over the top. All for equality but let's get our priorities right. Upper/middle class welfare while the environment is cast aside.
      It's an absurdly inequitable policy and a blatant vote grabber.
      The Greens position on PPL is equally as absurd.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:25PM
  • Perhaps future mothers to be should consider the $5.5 billion to be spent on them could be spent more wisely: how will they fare in conditions like January this year when S.A. recorded a temperature of 49.6 degrees, Queensland 45.1 degrees by 11am, NSW at Bourke managed 48 degrees, Hobart’s mercury reached 41.8 degrees. Recent record highs temperatures in Victoria include 29.9 degrees in August, 37.4 degrees in September, 40.2 degrees in October, 45.8 degrees in November and 48.8 degrees in February. Temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius are considered dangerous:

    Hyperthermia (heat stroke), becomes commonplace during prolonged periods of high temperature and humidity. Sweating is absent from 84%–100% of those affected. Older adults, very young children, and those who are sick or overweight are at a higher risk of heat-related illness. The chronically ill and the elderly on medications (diuretics, anticholinergics, antipsychotic, and antihypertensives) interfere with the body's ability to dissipate heat.

    Air conditioning is the answer? Last week Buenos Aires suffered a prolonged blistering heat wave, power outages and fuel shortage in hellish conditions. More than 40% (4 million homes) suffered blackouts or diminished power.

    This year’s northern summer produced a heatwave in the UK responsible for 760 deaths in nine days. So, when voting on Sept 7 spare a thought for babies, grandparents, and the sick, because climate change is a killer of those we love.

    Do political entities which ignore climate change deserve more than life or is paid leave more important?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:36AM
    • Climate change is no longer important. Like Flash Mobs, climate change used to be popular and cool but today climate change is like looking at that ridiculous pair of Crocs you bought 5 years ago. Sure they may still be useful but they are not cool so you never wear them outside of your house. Climate change is about 1 thousand twitter campaigns ago, the twitterait couldn’t even “Occupy Kony ” and today are more concerned with their social media footprint than their carbon footprint. Peak oil, DDT, Ozone Layer, GM food, Global warming… *yawn* Time to invent a new environmental disaster for people to panic about; climate change is soooo last decade #YOLO

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:02AM
    • As I told you before Pen, ain't gonna make no difference unless the big boys play (and they're not about to).

      Why screw up our economy and our standard of living so you feel good and can hold the high moral ground. Cutting your nose off to spite your face.

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:10AM
    • cwitty....when all major developing nations in the world including India and China have an ETS and are flourishing.....there will be 3 left out in the cold and withering....UK, US and Australia. Hope you are old...because you won't be alive to put up with Australia's new 3rd world status.

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:12AM
    • norm, what's needed is a shift in whop the big boys do and how they operate. Even BP has been making PV panels for well over 20 years. The govt needs to support our fledgling renewable industries, with the rapid advancement in technology we are in a perfect time to embrace a cleaner lifestyle without impacting on it's quality. in fact the shift will improve it, contrary to what the naysayers and financial interests would tell us.
      Vision is what we need not Luddites.
      Rudd should remember what his focus was in 2007 and dismiss the bad tax campaign by the LOTO.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:37PM
  • The scare campaign does not work for me. Let the colalition put out its funding then you can criticize. Remember Labor published its funding in 2010 24 hours before the poll. In 2007 Labor published its funding 48 hours before the poll. The precendence is there for the current and future oppositions to put their case forward as late as they want. We should remind the PM and the Treasurer that they have annouced $1.2b in spending in this election without any costings or fundings - and these announcements were not in the PEFO. So when will Labor announce their costings? Mr Bowen your comments over the weekend can be summed up in three words - Pot, Kettle, Black.

    Commenter
    Paul B
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:16AM
    • Stop obfuscating. Labor has explained how its promises are funded, and the pre-election promises were formally costed as well (e.g. Gonski), it's only the election campaign promises that haven't been formally costed yet. The Coalition haven't even explained how the promises will be funded- NOR HAVE THEY ANNOUNCED THE CUTS OR TAX RISES NECESSARY TO FUND THEM. That's the key point.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:35AM
    • Arky
      Labor's previous explanations of funding for their policies could be summarised as explaining why they consistently delivered deficits and debt instead of their promised surpluses.
      Anything they say in this regard can be laughed at and deservedly so.

      Commenter
      Puzzled
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:39AM
    • Arky
      You must be listening to a different set of reporters, or a set of emails that do not reach all Australians. $700m for motor industry - not in PEFO and not explained or costed. $450m for after school care -not costed or in PEFO. $30m Ord river - not costed funded or in PEFO.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:45AM
    • Puzzled - Abbott is refusing to tell Australia what he's going to cut, or what new taxes he's going to add, to pay for his spending plans. That's kind of a big deal. It amazes me the amount of people who claim to be so concerned about the economy, but apparently not about 50 billion plus of spending cuts or taxes that are un-announced.

      What Labor has got wrong is revenue estimates, not budget black holes. And revenue estimates are largely the Treasury's doing anyway.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:53AM
    • Paul - I said the election campaign promises hadn't had costings yet. But there's a pretty big difference between (as you yourself said) $1.2b of uncosted promises and what Politifact identified as a $50 billion "black hole" in the Coalition's promises BEFORE the company tax cut and all the promises since then.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:01AM
    • Arky
      Listening to one or two political ads and reading labor sponsored websites. Just wait until the costing are released then if one can find a $50b hole good on them. I doubt it will be the case.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:30PM
  • From today's news : 6000 people - including overseas backpackers - have received Labor's $900 "stimulus" payment since January 1 - even though the global financial meltdown ended four years ago - what is going on here?

    Commenter
    Baltic13
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:10AM
    • Responsible economic management - the Labor way.

      Commenter
      Louis Cypher
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:28AM
    • Is this Labor's way of buying votes? Create more debt as though the GFC is still with us? Poor economic mismanagement from Labor wasting our money.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:40AM
    • You neglect to mention that the story makes clear their tax returns entitled them to this money. $5.4m.
      Compare this to the $1.8b the Coalition are happy for people to keep by fudging FBT

      Commenter
      David D
      Location
      Ettalong Beach
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:55AM
  • photo @9.59

    I think Jason is wishing he was a candidate for the Coalition, not Labor.

    Commenter
    yys
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 10:03AM
  • In all probability it seems that Abbott will romp in much to the delight of many, despite Rudd's warnings of how we will lose. maybe that's exactly what we all want....to lose big time and have the recession we have to have under Abbott rather than Rudd. It appears that we want to punish ourselves under Abbott but not under Rudd.

    Commenter
    here we go again
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:51AM
    • Have you submitted your comment to FactChecker?
      Thing is all evidence points to Labor as having lost control of the budget and PEFO confirmed it.
      Now Labor run attack ads? Who are they trying to kid... oh thats right...the voters.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:01AM
    • What?
      So you think we are doing well at the moment mmm please enlighten us with more details and no I dont need all the old ones that are pulled out just tell us how we are going now.
      Thank you HWGA

      Commenter
      ultra
      Location
      Mel
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:01AM
    • Seems all is relative. All is not well now, agreed, but it can get worse and no doubt it will under either party. Better to have it worse under Abbott than Rudd, eh?

      Commenter
      here we go again
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:08AM
  • Arky (9:25 am) it bothers me not that Rudd and Labor have chosen to go negative. All parties run negative adverttising. But, I find it a bit ridiculous that he stood there a few weeks back and told us all, hand on heart, that he would not. And then he tries to spin it as a policy spotlight as if we are too dumb to work it out. Much rather he just fessed up than tried to spin it as soemthing I knowe it is not. And he says he is being out spent 10 to one on Advertising by Coalition - (1) where is his evidence (2) so what? who's fault is that. Both parties sought funding and if more money was kicked into the Coalition coffers may be that was because more people want to get rid of Labor. Labor clearly outspent the Coalition in 2007 because they had a bigger pot. Dopn't remember any complaints from kevin07 then

    Commenter
    Isaiz
    Location
    Launceston
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:49AM
    • I wonder how many viewers actually watch the ads. We record most everything in our house and fast forward through the ad breaks.

      Commenter
      brian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:20AM
    • And do not forget that the Unions have millions in the coffers to spent on behalf of the ALP.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:34AM
    • I have no idea why Rudd promised not to be negative but it was daft. Labor's strongest point going into this campaign was always Tony Abbott. Rudd's hubris, probably.

      The Coalition has more money than Labor not because of "more people wanting to get rid of Labor" but because of big business and the wealthy. It always does, even for example in 2007 when clearly more people wanted to get rid of Howard.

      One of the things I hated most about Australian politics in the last 6 years is the way big business has thrown its money at campaigns (especially on the mining and carbon taxes) and so many people just took it at face value. I have no problems with big business protecting its own interests- I do have problems when people naively lap it up and the media in large part go along with it.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:44AM
    • Arky - presumably you have a similar problem with unions defending their own interests?

      Commenter
      brian
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:01AM
    • The difference is Brian, that unions represent their workers -even those who do not contribute. Big business on the other hand is purely interested in profit

      Commenter
      Rusty
      Location
      Qatar
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:56PM
  • Wonder what schools Kev is going to this week?

    I think he is tying to learn from the teachers on how to get the children.s attention when they are not listening.

    The big problem for Kev i we are not children and we do not want to listen!

    Commenter
    4Ken
    Location
    Auburn
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:46AM
    • Unlike the teachers, he's not worth listening to.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:08AM
    • Rudds big problem is that most Australians have stopped listening to him.

      Commenter
      speedy2460
      Location
      Grafton
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:34AM
    • Where's Pyne, MIA? Waiting patiently for a headline on our alternative Minister for Education.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:29PM
    • Where's Pyne our opposition education spokesperson?

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:46PM
  • Love Ross Gittins this morning....so true:

    "And the unworthy reasons for avoiding any firm commitment on when an Abbott government would get the budget back to surplus? I can think of three. Because it's a safe bet the Coalition parties intend to put their debt-and-deficit rhetoric on the back burner as soon as they're back in power and the fear campaign has served its purpose.
    Because, even in government, Tony Abbott is likely to prove an incorrigible populist with little interest in or sympathy for the precepts of rational economics. As is clear from the way he keeps departing from the agreed line in this campaign, Hockey, Arthur Sinodinos and Malcolm Turnbull would have an unending struggle trying to keep the boss up to the mark. He could easily prove worse than Kevin Rudd in fiscal indiscipline.
    And, finally, because an Abbott government would have handicapped itself so badly on the tax side of the budget that fiscal responsibility would require a degree of continuing restraint on the spending side of which no flesh-and-blood government is capable."

    Commenter
    JT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:33AM
  • God how many lies can one PM make in a 5 minute interview? Cuts to schools, hospitals, no negative adds, don't mind my debt lets just crap on about potential Liberal debt. Oh well at least Sunrise viewers are safe in the knowledge that they will all have jobs next year. Glad I was watching. Looks like the primary vote for Labour will end up around the 32% mark. pretty much were it was always going to be. Never mind about saving the furnirure... more likely will the senate go that way too now? I think 28% is the tipping point.

    Commenter
    Brettie
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:32AM
    • Funny how the ALP concentrates on schools and hospitals. Both of these functions are state controlled - not federal. Federally they have no control over hospital he reason for the Better Schools (Gonski) deal is to get the right qualified teachers and Federal is providing funding only to match State funding. Abbott has already confirmed he will meet the funding agreements already signed by the current governement. So all the teacher union ads claiming otherwise are a complete fabrication.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:32AM
    • the 30% private health rebate is federal.....it will most likely go under Abbott.....people won't be able to afford it without that 30% rebate so how will public hospitals cope....only the rich will get hospital care without waiting.

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:38AM
  • Why no mention of the Roy Morgan poll?
    L-NP (51%) takes the lead over ALP (49%) with only 3 weeks to go.

    Commenter
    Mark C
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:31AM
    • You're right, Mark C. There has been no mention of that story so where did hear of it? Can you post a link?

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 9:35AM
    • Traditionally the incumbent is behind in the polls this far out from election day. Ah, the number of times I thought we'd be rid of Howard! Re Roy Morgan, the woman speaking about it on the ABC this morn also noted that telephone polling is biased towards Coalition supporters. Supposedly they are more likely to have a landline. As someone who was polled recently by Reachtel, I would add the problem of self-selection (you have to agree to be polled). I suspect only the sure and opinionated like me participate. In the last week the polls tend to be more accurate, probably because more people have made it their mind and have something to say.

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:03AM
    • Published yesterday
      http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/51115-morgan-poll-august-19-2013-201308181432

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:27AM
    • Probably no mention of the RM poll because no-one who knows too much about politics or elections gives it too much credence. The facts are that Newspoll and in recent years Reachtel consistently give the most accurate results. RM polls, along with Essential polls, always lean towards the left. The final result in 3 weeks will be something along the lines of 52-48 to 53-47 towards the Coalition - you read it here first....

      Commenter
      Alistair
      Location
      Windsor
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:37AM
    • Maybe you're right Alistair but surely it's worth at least a mention. Newspoll has had a few wild swings in the last 12 months and it is possible this is one of them so to completely ignore other polling is a bit misleading I think.

      Commenter
      Mark C
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:54AM
  • Certainly it would appear that the chickens are now well and truly coming home to roost with regard to the ALP's consistent underestimation of Tony Abbott.

    I find it strange that the ALP continues to live in the past, thinking that Tony Abbott is the same brash uni student and that he will suddenly lapse back into their assumed characterisation of him.

    Mike Carlton's vitriolic "interview" of TA published over the weekend is a case in point. Just plain bitter and twisted; and wrong.

    The fact is that Tony Abbott has moved on and has a wealth of political experience and maturity that he rarely gets credit for by the ALP and the insiders.

    It is also why his substance will ultimately triumph over KRudd's supposed "style.

    Commenter
    Alternate View
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:27AM
    • Nah. I thought Mike Carlton had gone soft on Mumbles..

      Commenter
      David D
      Location
      Ettalong Beach
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 9:54AM
    • Abbott's performance as a Howard government minister was considerably more recent. His failure to accept Gillard as prime minister another.

      In fact, its only in the past year that he hasn't acted like a born to rule conservative - which leads one to expect the last year is, in fact, the act.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:06AM
    • Mediocre mockery from a very, very, ordinary scribbler

      Commenter
      Louis Cypher
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:14AM
  • Well Rudd is no Hawthorn then, as that is when you stamp your authority over the opposition. I think Rudd is more like the Melbourne Demons. Show a little bit of hope in first quarter, but after that is all unravels

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:22AM
    • Sarah of Carnegie

      Good analogy, except when Hawthorn play Geelong.

      Commenter
      yys
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:12AM
    • Brilliant...

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:24AM
  • Can the Fact Checker Unit please check the latest Labor attack ad - given that KRudd says it is all about policy 'facts'?

    Commenter
    Alistair
    Location
    Windsor
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:21AM
  • The new ultra negative ALP campaign adds (which Kevie said wouldn't happen) are probably the most blatant lie yet.

    The fact remains that under LNP governments, MORE jobs are created than under ALP governments. Even after the much publicised public service job cuts in QLD, the unemployment rate has now fallen, proving that LNP governments actually create jobs.

    Far more small business employed people are losing their jobs right now as a result of the "Fair Work Australia" provisions making Australia uncompetitive than will ever lose their jobs through a cleanup of the federal public service.

    Commenter
    Alternate View
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:12AM
    • Abbottland: where the Coalition can run deceptive scare campaigns for 6 years, but it's a cardinal sin for Labor to be negative about Tony Abbott.

      And where being in office during a global boom (indeed, a global bubble) makes you automatically better than the guys who take office during a global bust.

      And where Workchoices was actually good for the average Australian, instead of just for large employers.

      In my commercial experience, businesses love to blame things like the Fair Work Act or the carbon tax or "government red tape" for stuff that has nothing to do with any of them. Suppliers who use the carbon tax as an excuse for a 50% price rise (and then their dumb customers accept it and go around complaining to everyone else about the carbon tax's effect on prices). Bosses who just get mad one day, fire a person without warning and while ranting about "bloody sheilas" and then blame the Fair Work Act when they get sued....

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 9:25AM
    • There has been more government revenue than ever before during the last 6 years, and the ALP has managed to spend it all, plus nearly $300 billion.

      And now, it appears very likely that the country is on the brink of recession (just any small business owner) in spite of the fact that the rest of the world's economies are recovering.

      No, the ALP is bad for business and thus is very bad for employment.

      Commenter
      Alternate View
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 9:35AM
    • Alternate view is right, look at the ABS figures here

      http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/5506.0Main%20Features22011-12?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=5506.0&issue=2011-12&num=&view=

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:03AM
    • Remnd me about how the interest rates are always lower under the coalition. Oh, that's right. You can't.

      Why don't we compare apples with apples?

      Commenter
      Old bag
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:08AM
    • Could not agree more. People are loosing jobs because of the current government policies or lack thereof.
      Bring on the negative ads from Labor - they just display how negative they really are and how worried they are about the election - they have nothing else to crow about. The lies in the ads are funny and if you did not laugh you would be crying for them as they are so pitiful. But all this demonstrates just what Kevin Rudd is really like and all his desparate mates in the ALP. Keep it up Kevin you are only turning Australians away from your corner of politics.

      Commenter
      Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:23AM
    • Paul B
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 10:23AM

      Given one of the only policies yet announced about jobs from the LNP is to immediately sack 12000+ people hardly gives a lot of confidence in their claim they are about job creation.

      They will inherit the same economic environment as the current gov. Many of our issues are structural and a result of too many tax cuts by the Howard Gov combined with some bad decisions by the current one.

      Not saying things are necessarily going to be any/much worse under an LNP gov but considering we won't really know what their policies are going to cost until it's too late, hard to be able to say with any conviction that they are going to be any better.

      Commenter
      Sambo
      Location
      all over the place
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:35AM
    • Sambo, I think the Libs really believe that by reducing government and freeing things up a bit they can create more commercial jobs. Gummint jobs, while real enough to the people who lose them, are not sustainable in themselves, they don't produce anything.

      Commenter
      Norm
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 12:17PM
    • Arky get a clue, people are rightly calling Rudd on his statements about people being sick of negativity, a new way etc. and then embarking on a negative campaign. Nothing to do with Abbott.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:29PM
    • alternative view,

      Governments do not create jobs. Any government that tells you 'they' do, is lying to you.

      Commenter
      It would be funny if it wasn't so serious
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:49PM
    • Alternate view - there was the tiniest turn down in Qld's unemployment rate and you and the LNP government are crowing.

      However the reality is that Qld's unemployment rate I'd still several percent higher than the rest of the country!

      If not for mining, our unemployment rage would be even higher as the retail industry has collapsed dramatically as a result of Newman's cuts. Lots of small businesses have closed. Even McDonalds is struggling in Qld.

      There has been nothing but downturn in business since Newman took power.

      The construction industry is surviving on insurance work after the floods and big storms of 2011-2012.

      The government is still cutting jobs. One of my friends got her marching orders last week.

      The wisdom is that for every $1 cut from government spending, there is $1.50 less circulating in the economy.

      So what has the LNP achieved? Nothing but a stagnating economy, negative growth and a second drop in Qld's credit rating from AA+ down to AA.

      So the LNP cuts have not restored the AAA credit rating. It has not increased jobs - Qld's unemployment is still much more than the national average. It has not promoted growth.

      That's what we can expect from an Abbott government.

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:16PM
    • The high unemployment rate and lack of job security is largely the result of Coalition policies - mass public service sackings, outsourcing government services, promoting casulisation and labour hire, enshrining the widely rorted 457 skilled migration scheme as a "mainstay" of the Coalition's immigration policy regardless of the tens of thousands of skilled Australians who have had their jobs outsourced and offshored overseas.

      The Coalition strongly opposed the Labor's amendments to improve the integrity of the 457 visa scheme - opposing labour market testing, compulsory training of Australians and 457 visa holders, and compulsory advertising of jobs to locals.

      The IT offshoring companies like Tata Consulting Services are looking forward to greater government tech offshoring under an Abbott government, as reported by the Financial Review in May 2013 this year.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 5:04PM
  • Will the ultimate irony of this election be that Tony Abbott will surpass Kevin Rudd in the preferred Prime Minister polling? It seems likely now.

    And just how much ALP furniture (seats) will he ultimately save?

    Commenter
    Alternate View
    Location
    Date and time
    August 19, 2013, 9:01AM
    • I'm not worried about how many seats Kevin saves for the Labor Party. It's pretty clear the Coalition is going to win the election. I'm worried about how badly Tony Abbott is going screw the country, it's economy and environment. I did my tax return on Saturday with my accountant and he told me he would sell all his shares if the coalition gets in. He said they'll have us in recession within 12 months. He's always been right before.

      Commenter
      David
      Location
      Fletcher
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:04AM
    • What absolute nonsense from David. If the Coalition wins Govt then business confidence will return, they will resume investment and the country will start growing again. I'll be buying shares not selling them and your dentist will have to work a few extra years pulling teeth because of his stupidity.

      Commenter
      Airato
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:14AM
    • David..... All that scare campaign about Campbell Newman's government and how he would drive us into recession, and yet, beggars belief, but Queensland growth and economy is doing rather well. Sack your accountant.

      Commenter
      thereisnoyouinLabor
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:17AM
    • @David - I would be changing my accountant if I were you.

      Commenter
      Tim of Altona
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 11:45AM
    • With a bit of luck the Labor Party can have a fire sale on the furniture. There will be a lot of unemployed people because of them that could use it.

      I hope labor takes 20 years to recover as it will probably take 20 years to clean up the bloody mess they have made. (As usual!)

      Commenter
      4Ken
      Location
      Auburn
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:15PM
    • Ironically the rise in "business confidence" might indeed occur and might help, but only because business confidence is ridiculously low right now (as any banker will tell you), which is thanks to Tony and his media mates. Once you no longer have Tony Abbott and Alan Jones and co telling Australian businesses not to invest and the mining tax is going to wipe out the economy and all that trash, confidence should indeed improve.

      Commenter
      Arky
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 1:48PM
    • David , your accountant is not the only one who thinks Abbott will drive us into recession. Read behind the careful words of prominent economists eg from Deloittes etc and organisations like the Aust Institute of Chartered Accountants.

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:16PM
    • 4Ken, I think you have it around the wrong way. Labor's economic management through the GFC kept unemployment below 5.5% and our growth positive, the climate needed for jobs growth. Labor puts job growth before all else.

      The Coalition says they will grow the economy to provide jobs, but have yet to tell us how they will structure the economy so that will happen. No figures. No forecasts.

      It is well known that $1.00 cut from government spending will reduce the money circulating in the economy by $1.50. So if the Coalition cuts say, $5 billion, there will be $5.25 billion less circulating in the economy with the resulting loss of jobs in industry.,

      Cutting public spending has negative flow-on effects. Booming economies like Ireland's went rapidly into recession when the government imposed austerity cuts during the GFC.

      Abbott could cause recession in Australia now!!

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 3:28PM
    • Airato,

      Yeah, we know how the Coalition "creates" jobs.

      State Liberal governments in Vic, NSW and Qld sacked tens of thousands of public servants plus Abbott targets a further 20,000 jobs.

      Simultaneously, the 3 state Liberal governments are collectively spending billions of dollars on employment agency tenders to replace sacked public servants with casuals, contractors and labour hire employees.

      "Coalition’s radical new federalism"
      (Financial Review 22 Aug 2012)

      "The Coalition plans to “outsource” administration of a vast swath of federal policy – including health and education – to state government bureaucracies, potentially saving billions of dollars."

      http://www.afr.com/p/national/coalition_radical_new_federalism_7VAyAk3d4SnnRCsOTeLiZJ

      "NSW Government use of labour hire grows" (28 Feb 2013)

      "Figures obtained by the PSA under the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act show the number of labour-hire staff engaged in the NSW public sector grew from 11,976 in 2010–11 to 15,943 in 2011–12."

      "The PSA stated that in its first year of government the O’Farrell Government spent nearly half a billion dollars on labour hire employees; spending $492,270,285 up from $468,057,260 the previous year."

      "Axing of job security clauses to be enshrined in law" (Brisbane Times 23 Aug 2012)

      "The Newman government's decision to axe employment security provisions from public servant agreements will be enshrined in legislation, with a rowdy parliamentary debate followed by the passing of the bill on Thursday evening."

      www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/axing-of-job-security-clauses-to-be-enshrined-in-law-20120823-24ofy.html

      "State Government spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on labour hire every month after sacking public servants"
      (Courier-Mail 31 May 2013)

      "QUEENSLAND's Health Minister has denied his department has become reliant on recruitment agency personnel as a result of widespread job cuts.

      Despite spending $1.7 million on labour hire through recruitment firms in the first week of February, Lawrence Springborg said that was well down on the same time last year, before the LNP won power."

      www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-government-spending-hundreds-of-thousands-of-
      dollars-on-labour-hire-every-month-after-sacking-public-servants/story-e6freoof-1226654069332

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 19, 2013, 4:20PM
Comments are now closed