Listen, love, I think we need to have a chat about the family budget. I know you are just learning the ropes with this money stuff and all, but you need to look at the basics. Basics always come first. I was actually rather impressed when you said the “age of entitlement” was over back in April 2012. I thought you were going to cut the frills, get back to basics and improve government efficiency.
I know that your definition of “basics” might be very expensive planes, Joe. I understand that. But you are here to work for ALL Australians, not just the ones that like to play with big boys’ toys. Some Australians find things like food and shelter: you know, that old Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs stuff, a tad more important than fancy flying machines.
I’m well aware you said that the money for the planes had been “put aside” by successive governments, but the problem here is you have declared we have a budget emergency. In emergencies sometimes we have to take drastic action.
This may never have happened to you personally, Joe, I realise that. But I ask you to consider a practical household example.
I’d like to send our son on the school trip to Peru this year. It would be a great experience for him, a wonderful developmental opportunity. Oh, this is a government school, we can’t afford private schools. Yes, a government school has a trip to Peru.
So let’s say we’d been putting money aside for a few years in anticipation of this trip. Then something happens. Like I have to have surgery, just as an example. Funnily enough, the bank wouldn’t be too happy if we said “Oh, sorry, can’t make the car repayments for a couple of years, we have to send our son on a school trip to Peru.”
The bank would say, “Use that money to pay us or we’ll repossess the car.” That’s how it works in the real world, Joe.
I understand if the piggy bank we all pay our hard-earned taxes into is running a little dry, although I wonder why given we all seem to be paying fee-for-service these days. But let’s accept your assessment on face value. We are short of cash. Back to basics, Joe, back to basics. You really need to ensure the basics of food, water and shelter are covered off first, before you rush off and buy items higher up the pyramid. Maybe you expect we will be going to war someday soon, or perhaps Scott has convinced you now he has stopped the boats the asylum seekers are going to start flying in on private planes we need to shoot down over open waters: if that is the case you really should tell us. After all, it is OUR money!
You can’t blame this expenditure on the previous government because you’ve managed to happily slash other programs initiated by that government: NBN and NDIS to name just two. I don’t accept you couldn’t find a way to wriggle out of buying planes.
But it isn’t just the planes, Joe. You have this crazy plan to spend MY tax money on paid parental leave at an exorbitant cost, yet tell us we may not have medicine for sick children. So we’ll pay to bring more kids into the world when you are telling us we can’t provide medical care for the ones we already have? That is like a couple having more children when they can’t feed the ones they have, Joe. It is not responsible parenting. Are you a responsible parent, Joe?
My father used to say take care of the pennies, the pounds look after themselves. You’re not watching the pennies, Joe. Do you buy a cup of coffee every day on the way to the office? Is that my tax dollars at work? How about your lunch, Joe? Do you take a cut lunch to work? No? I didn’t think so.
Basic budgeting begins in the home, Joe. Learning what is important and what is not.
I’m happy to come and give you a few tips.