Ive been saying for years now that our politicians are corrupt just like in Greece. The mess Greece finds itself in is all due to the politicians and not the lack of tax paid by greeks and the coffee culture. The only difference in Australia is that the corruption is well hidden by our Politicians and the Media who are playing the game.
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Published: March 18, 2015 – 11:29AM
The Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from Parliament
PM’s pledge to balance budget raises prospect of new cuts
Labor has condemned Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim that Australia was heading for a “Greek-style economic future” as inflammatory, irresponsible and capable of harming economic confidence.
Mr Abbott made the remark during a radio interview in which he pledged he would not fix the federal budget this year at the expense of households but predicted a “broad budget balance” within five years.
“Under the former Labor government we were heading to a Greek-style economic future,” the Prime Minister told 2SM host Grant Goldman. The Greek economy has been notorious in recent years for high levels of spending and debt, culminating in the Greek government-debt crisis.
In a later interview, Mr Abbott said his government’s second budget would be “dull” in terms of spending cuts because most of the “heavy lifting” was done last year, despite key measures still not passed.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the Prime Minister should not scare business and consumers.
“The Prime Minister and the Treasurer just don’t get it – when they use this inflammatory and irresponsible language, they do the real damage to confidence in Australia,” Mr Bowen told Fairfax Media.
“The Prime Minister should be far more responsible than this constant scaremongering, which is having a clear impact on confidence in the community.”
In 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed Greece’s debt was 164 per cent of GDP while Australia’s was 42 per cent.
OECD data also showed that, in 2014, Greece’s unemployment hit 26 per cent of the labour force compared with 6 per cent in Australia.
During the interview, Mr Abbott played down the prospect of a harsh budget in May and said his government had made a “lot more progress than people think” on the fiscal repair job.
“If you look at the Intergenerational Report, it showed that on the measures that this Parliament has already passed … we get back to broad budget balance in about five years,” Mr Abbott said.
While the recently released report did forecast the deficit could be eradicated within five years, that hinged on the Senate agreeing to all spending cuts, including the Medicare co-payment and the original higher education reform package.
In a later interview with Melbourne radio 3AW, Mr Abbott said the budget would be “frugal, prudent and responsible” but added “it’s not going to involve anything like the restructuring we saw last year”.
“I think when it comes to savings people will find it pretty dull and pretty routine,” he said.
The higher education reforms were defeated in the Senate on Tuesday night, while the GP co-payment has been scrapped following a fierce backlash.
The government argues the Parliament has passed about 80 per cent of the first budget measures, delivering about $30 billion in savings and a net $16 billion improvement to the bottom line over four years.