I’d hoped I would have been relieved of the duty of doing the yearly budget round-up, but apparently I’m the ALP’s intellectual lighthouse in an Opposition full of rocks, oil spills and the odd sewage leak. So here we go again.
Not surprisingly, the Turnbull / Abbott / Dutton powerhouse have come up with a bunch of initiatives that they’ve buried deep in the budget papers. I’ve seen ALP Preselection ballot papers more transparent than some of the nasties embedded deep in the bowels of this budget, but I’m pleased to say that you get to see three examples right here in the home of Non-Fake News.
1. Parliamentary Real Estate Representative Support Scheme
$42 Million over four years. As you’ll be aware, all of us elected to the federal parliament spend a lot of hours in Canberra when we drag ourselves there. The LNP have decided that rather than Ministers getting into strife for using taxpayer funds to buy houses on official trips, they’ll shift the blame over to public servants who will go buy the houses for the Ministers. Grudging respect to a former health minister for getting this one through Expenditure Review.
2. Prime Minister’s Diction Enhancement Initiative
$67 million over two years. Bogans and gronks beware – Malcolm is setting up a taskforce of retired English teachers and vice-presidents of capital city Liberal Party branches. They’ll be embedded in schools, TAFEs and Universities to make sure you remember there’s no ‘F’ in ‘Thank You’. There will be no exemptions unless you’re a Deputy Prime Minister.
3. Focus Group Rehabilitation Scheme
$410 million over four years. Rehabilitation centres will be set up in each state to try and repair the physical and mental damage received by the market researchers who run focus groups for the LNP’s pollsters. These poor sods have had more than three years of asking people whether they like Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull. Imagine the trauma of constantly seeing people scream, throw chairs or laugh like Pauline Hanson on cocaine. The ALP will be supporting this measure.
So there you have it – three nuggets in the underwear of our arseclown of a Government. Be assured I will be digging for more in coming weeks and months. You’re welcome.