The federal budget – our response so far

We’d like to take a moment to summarise The Future Party’s response to this year’s Federal Budget.

Prior even to the budget itself, rumours and early announcements of cuts to research prompted our Fund Our Future campaign, culminating successfully in the Rally for Research at Sydney Town Hall – and we will, of course, continue to make the vital case for the government to prioritise science and innovation in the weeks, months and years ahead. We have been and continue to be staunch opponents of the government’s agenda to dismantle all meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions, in blatant disregard of the science on climate change – and indeed, we go further than any other party in our consistently strong stance on this issue, whether its our support for fuel excise indexation or for renewable-enabling smart grids and nuclear energy research. Likewise we are long standing advocates of more generous tax and welfare treatment for low income Australians, rather than the cruelarbitrary cuts favoured by the government.

Equally, though, we don’t oppose the budget for opposition’s sake, or take the politically easy path of only ever supporting tax cuts and spending increases. For instance, we called on the ALP and Greens to support even a temporary tax increase on those earning $80,000+ p.a (subsequently watered down in the actual budget, in the face of ALP and Greens attacks, to affect only the $180,000+ bracket where it is unlikely to raise much or any revenue). We backed the government’s earlier moves to end the cycle of never ending corporate welfare for the car industry. We agree with the sale of Medibank Private and are open-minded about other potential federal privatisations on a case-by-case basis.

However, in the lead up to next federal election, we’d like to go further. We want to construct a platform comprised, not just of responses to individual budget measures of the government, nor even a suite of separate proposals of our own, but a comprehensive alternate plan for how to repair the structural deficit through a mix of fairer spending cuts and deeply necessary revenue increases. This is a hugely ambitious goal – one that oppositions of the modern era shy away from, for fear any credible alternative will lose them votes in one way or another. Without the resources of the Federal Treasury or even the Parliamentary Budget Office, we will of course never be able to model and cost every plank of our platform to anything like the detail of a federal budget. We’d like to think, though, that as a party who views robust, quantitative reasoning as one of the keys to greater understanding of the world and better policy in government – and not just an occasionally useful debating tool – we can at least do better than most or all of the other minor parties. Certainly we want to be able to produce a useful, high level overview to prospective voters, and to show that, whatever the Treasurer might say, there IS a fair, intelligent alternative to the kind of budget he has just handed down.

If we’re going to get there, we will need your help. Contact our volunteers manager if you’d like to help out, on this or in any other aspect of our policy process, state or federal.

Showing 4 reactions

  • James Jansson
    commented 2014-09-02 15:57:24 +1000
    Hi David

    I’m happy to keep the reasoning behind the post public as long as you are. We aren’t opposing for oppositions sake. In fact we criticised the Greens and Labor for not accepting the very reasonable and environmentally friendly policy. Your characterisation of us being opposition for opposition’s sake is pretty unfair.

    The party policy is to have people who earn more pay more tax. If you think that your higher earnings are wholly determined by your brains and hard work, rather than partly due to your luck of being born into the right family in the right country with the right gender and right race with the right amount of capital, then so be it. I strongly disagree. I honestly think that you can’t be a good business person if you don’t realise that your education and higher education, coupled with the education and hard work of your employees (and customers!) play a part in the success of your business. While the state protects your intellectual property, your physical property, maintains a system of capitalism that generates your profits and trains your employees, I absolutely expect you, me and other high income earners to pay more tax.

    You should be ok with paying a little bit more. Why? Because in making the poorer people better trained for jobs at your company and others, everyone gets richer. By doing research which makes production of goods and services more efficient, everyone gets richer. Keeping people healthy and productive members of society makes us all better off.

    We agree with some of the revenue raising methods proposed by the government, bur opposition to the cuts to scientific funding and health budgets (which weren’t slated in prior to the election by Abbott) really shouldn’t be a surprise to you.

  • David Shepherd
    commented 2014-09-02 15:23:03 +1000
    Hi James,

    I’ve been thinking long and hard about the response & if I should reply – obviously I’ve decided to.

    My main objection to your response isn’t the content, I’m sure you are right, there are people who work harder and me & get paid less – this will always be the case.

    I started noticing your movement when a new town was proposed, you wanted to put the high speed rail network on the east coast etc – I think these are all brilliant ideas. One of the reasons I was attracted to your party was that is wasn’t simply to opposite of the coalition. It seems everyone simply wants to just be the opposite to be the opposite & not because it’s right or better.

    Your post about the budget I believe fell under that category, just to be the opposite.

    I was hoping to read something with new insight into finding the money elsewhere rather than punishing people for working smart (not hard – hard work doesn’t make money.)

    If you want to take this off the blog, please feel free to email me.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:53:57 +1000
    jamesjansson July 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I’m going to assume you started from scratch, didn’t have wealthy parents, right? Before you started your business, you got yourself government paid for healthcare and education throughout your youth, and undoubtedly a government subsidised university degree. While you were getting no wage for one and a half years and low wage for one year, you were paying no or little tax, meaning that every time you drove on the road, had your local area protected by the police, had your country defended by the military, and had the option of getting free health care if you got sick by chance someone else who was richer than you was picking up the bill. Someone who, just like you, would have whinged about paying taxes to make sure that we give people, like you, the opportunity to be successful and give back more than they receive.

    Why do you think that prior to earning all your money you were a hard working poor person, but suddenly now everyone poorer than you isn’t as smart as you or hard working as you? Surely at least some of them would be smarter than you AND harder working, they’re just yet to get the lucky break or enough experience for them to return the favour. The reason you should pay more tax is because we live in a society, not a bear cage, and we help each other because in doing so we help ourselves.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:53:27 +1000
    David Shepherd July 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Jordan,

    Interesting insight into your stance on the budget. I’m a small business owner and earn over $80,000p/a, I have worked my ass off to get where I am, which includes no holidays for 5 years, no wage for 1.5 years, low wage for 1 year.

    I pay a ridiculous amount of company and personal tax, more than most people’s yearly wage.

    After working so hard for so long, why should I be taxed MORE than people who either aren’t determined or as skillful as me? Why do the people who always work the harder held back by the people who can’t be bothered?
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