Who to vote for? That is the question.

I do an occasional op. ed. for newspapers, and for a pair I did for The Canberra Times early in the year I invented, as a stalking horse, a rational non-partisan voter who just happened to be a woman. I feel her presence again after an opinion poll or two last week. The last Newspoll suggested that Labor is slightly in front of the Coalition in the estimation of the electorate, while the Roy Morgan poll showed the Coalition ahead, but not by much. It would be reasonable to guess that the two parties are roughly equal. We could be in for a double dissolution election within a month or two, and in any case there must be an election later in the year if the Senate dodges double dissolution and passes the trigger bills. On what basis would my friend, the rational, non-partisan citizen, cast her vote? She has asked me for some help in this difficult question, through my putting to her the kinds of considerations that she might have in mind.

Are you one of those who worries about ‘leadership’? I ask that because there’s not a lot of it about on either side. Mr Turnbull looks the part, but if you know what the Government is for, given what he has told us about, then you are a brighter spark than Marie Curie. Mr Shorten we have seen now for the best part of three years, and he does not inspire, or so it seems to me. What do you think? It wasn’t at the top of your list, but yes, it could be important.

Because there’s a lot of talk about leadership, and you asked me to do so, I add a bit more. I doubt that most of us actually want leadership, if that means a great goal and a great leader to get us there (Paul Keating in his own estimation comes to mind). Most of us, I think, would be satisfied with competence, consistency and coherence on the part of our Government, whoever was running it. What we have is a pretty good society both in comparison with those around us, and in comparison to what we had in Australia half a century ago. It doesn’t need to be ‘run’ by governments on a daily basis. Nor does it need to be led to some kind of magic mountain. Yes, there are always bits that could work better, and we need to fix them up incrementally. For that outcome we need a competent government unfazed by the 24-hour news cycle. Oh, you agree.

What about the Budget? Does it worry you that the Secretary of the Treasury says that every month the Commonwealth’s interest bill is around one billion dollars, and climbing? It does? Well, I am afraid to say that neither side seems to think that there is any great urgency about  reducing that outflow. Oh, there’s talk but no action by the Government, and as for the Opposition it seems to have in mind more spending if it were returned to office. That’s not a help, is it. (No.)

Track record? Oh, that’s a hard one. Mr Abbott has been banging on about stopping the boats and ending the carbon tax, and indeed his government did that. But for much of his time the track record seemed to be about his government’s failure to get other domestic legislation through, and his chronic inability to convey simply and sensibly what he was on about. Eventually he was displaced and replaced. Mr Turnbull started with the blessing of the media and a high standing in the polls. That’s mostly gone, as I’ve said already. Labor? Its track record in six years was, at least to me, characterised by over-hyped and ambitious plans for which there would not be the necessary funding — a problem we live with today, because these plans are largely locked in — and by constant internal sniping. Do you want a repeat of all that? You don’t. I don’t, either, but I wonder how many people remember what it was like then. You don’t think that today is much better? No, I’d have to agree.

Is ISIS a real issue for you? You’re not sure. No one is in favour of ISIS, so it is not a test to put to the parties. We do seem to have been in a more-or-less constant war with Islamic fundamentalists since 9/11, but so far there has been little action on our soil. Bali? Yes. And non-trivial deaths elsewhere, especially among our soldiers. OK, that’s not helpful.

Social Welfare?  There is constant talk in the media, usually from proponents of this or that perceived new need, or from those who feel that existing funding is not nearly enough, for more money to be spent on social welfare. Where is it to come from? you’ve asked. One response would be that an increase here has to be matched by a decrease somewhere else — that’s the old Expenditure Review Committee approach to the funding of new ideas. Another is for more taxation. Another is for the needed funds to come from some bucket which the proponents say is much too full; the usual candidate is Defence. But no one wants more taxation, unless it’s of other people. No one wants cuts. As I said above, we are bleeding publicly at the rate of about a billion dollars a month just on interest payments. Who is offering the way forward? I don’t think anyone is, and you agree.

Candidates? As I understand it, both of us know and like the sitting MPs for the electorates we live in. Should we just vote for the MP we know, and let him or her sort it out? That is a tough one. Mine happens to be someone I’ve known and appreciated for the best part of twenty years. The seat is held by the ALP, but I’d have real unhappiness about voting for the ALP this  time. I felt the last Labor Government was so dysfunctional that I couldn’t bear to see another such government. For three years during that time I held a post in a statutory authority that had three Ministers, none of whom appeared to have any interest in the entity at all, while the ordinary business, the boring but necessary process of government, seemed to take last place in the Government’s thinking. Yours is a Liberal MP and you feel the same way? It is a real problem, isn’t it.

That was the end of our discussion.

Uncertainty  Elections are moments for choice. My guess is that the level of uncertainty about which party to vote for is really quite high. It may reduce as the election campaign gets closer, and we see how the principal actors perform in this regular Australian soap opera. But at the moment it is though we are waiting for some sort of sign, though probably not one from Heaven. I hope it comes soon.

Further reading: Ian Marsh, whom I’ve known since he was a young chap working in Minister Allen Fairhall’s private office in the 1960s, has written three good pieces on the current context to our politics for John Menadue’s website. You a can read them here.

Join the discussion 65 Comments

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Perhaps you would care to comment on why people are allowed to have a ‘career’ in politics? If people have not made their contribution in two terms (8 years), why should we have to put up with them for another twenty? It works for the US President, and it’s not as though we have a shortage of candidates.

  • Neville says:

    Don after reading your post I think I agree with most of it. But as shown by the hopeless Rudd and Gillard years Labor are always the biggest risk.
    When Labor came to power in 2007 the Howard Costello team had been running surplus budgets for many years after fixing Keating’s mess and deficits. They lost power because of the work choices election, but I believe many people were appalled by Labor’s stupidity over the next six years. I think the Senate is now a major problem and I would vote to abolish it. If a party is voted into govt they should be able to govern and will have to face the electorate for judgement after their term expires. If they’ve done a good job they’ll be returned if not the other side can have a go. I’ve voted for the Coalition in the past, but I’m less than pleased with them at the moment. But Labor or the Greens will never get my vote, so where to go?

    • BB says:

      Yes Neville I do not know where to go either. I was a long-term labour voter. In fact I voted labour up until sometime around Keating. I changed because of climate change policies. I could see it was a fraud which I could have ignored but I could also see it was going to cost. Since then labor for me has reached another dimension. Being a factory worker in my early days I thought of the unions as the good guys how wrong I was. The Royal commission and other things have revealed to me the true state of affairs. They are organisations with little control on them who behave often in cooperation with favoured businesses to stand over other businesses. They run protection rackets they put pressure in lots of areas to gain advancement not even for their own union but for themselves. The typical career path for a labour politician is to join such organisations early in life or be connected as their legal advice. From there they move on to become officials within the union. They then receive support to win a position in government. Once there they are in a position to help the people that got them there. Why else are they blocking the Australian building and construction commission and other things? There are many other things that these parliamentarians are doing to feather their own nest and those that got them there. They are still the government the coalition has its hands tied and can do nothing to stop them. My view is that I would rather vote for the Mafia than for labour. Probably you would get a better deal. The question I have why does not the coalition push this point home? Is it because they are as bad and don’t want it revealed.

      As Don says neither side is much interested in the debt. I think or at least I hope for the coalition’s part it is that they can do nothing while the forces opposed to them control the Senate. Those forces also seem to have no interest in our economy. Want to see something scary have a look at this http://www.australiandebtclock.com.au/. National government debt is $448 billion and we are paying $14.2 billion in interest per annum. This is happened since 2007 a very short period with the current madness about renewable energy it will most likely get worse.

      The welfare state is poison, the citizens are offered lots of welfare which they are very grateful for and appreciate but then they are taxed at higher and higher amounts for it or debt go through the roof. So who would I vote for, Mr informal is looking pretty attractive. When Turnbull was ousted by Abbott I thought good riddance he was the best left leader the Coalition ever had. Since he got back in, leopards don’t change their spots do they.

      Winning political position does not necessarily help the nation.

      • gnome says:

        You and me both BB. I used to describe myself as a swinging voter, explaining that I swung to Labor over the Vietnam war, and would never vote Liberal in my life. Now I can rationalise that all those criminals are dead or so close to it that I can reconsider.

        For me, the ONLY issue is the global warming hoax. Why the pollies want to destroy our economy over a DDT style scare campaign totally escapes me, but they do. I worry a bit about other stuff, but if Labor came out and said they were going to drop global warming from their platform I would be voting for them in a flash. Until they do, I won’t. I’d even vote Nationals over it.

        • David says:

          So who are you going to vote for, Gnome? The Coalition, ALP and Greens all accept AGW.

        • Peter B says:

          I guess after reading your contribution, Gnome, that you appear to follow many other single issue voters in that [for you], the global warming issue is the only thing you are concerned about. I would have thought the economy might just sneak in ahead of that, or even the outrageous abuses of power by unions which cause so much damage to our economy. Do you even consider [eg] the plight of the private trucking families who will go broke, due to union connivance? Surely our voting should be based on what will benefit the country as a whole. But of course I am no doubt deluded in even thinking this should be the case, and we will probably end up with even more ‘unrepresentative swill’ in the senate, to add further to our misery.

          • gnome says:

            The destruction of the economy in the name of global warming will be much worse than any that by any other economic issue. The plight of “private trucking families”, union power, revenue/spending level/mix- all are arguable issues, with two sides or more, for or against, but the global warming hoax is not. It’s purely evil in the here and now.

            Would it be so much more respectable if I voted for whomever I thought would do the most to facilitate exploitation of the ordinary worker, or who might be able to create the best, most spectular carnage on the roads?

          • BB says:

            I do not take gnome’s comment that way at all. Whatever I do I will vote against green thinking, their agenda is to destroy us. The GWH is an effective tool for that.

            Don’t feed trolls.

          • Ross says:

            ‘Their agenda is to destroy us’. Damn! Who leaked that memo?

        • David says:

          You are not going to like this Gnome. But looks like both sides of politics have finally seen common sense and have joined forces to fight global warming.

          http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/11/climate-change-plan-thinktank-suggests-policy-both-sides-of-politics-can-embrace

          (Remember Don no commenting for another 26 days)

          • gnome says:

            You’re right David, if the Guardian and the o’Gratton institute get together whatever they produce will most likely be something I won’t like. Luckily, their fantasies, and government policies, are separated by a wide gulf known as reality.

          • David says:

            It seems like the whole world; the Guardian, the Gratton Institute, the ALP and the Coalition, are all conspiring against you, Gnome.

          • Ross says:

            That’s because they are all evil, David. Not just wrong, but Prince of Darkness EVIL! You know it makes sense.

        • Aert Driessen says:

          I’m with you gnome. Climate change will be the only issue for me, notwithstanding the comments from PeterB et all. This is a huge issue for me because it is not only the immediate economic drag on the economy imposed by subsidies but the destruction of the Scientific Method and the onset on an Age of Darkness — for all science-based disciplines. I believe the health/medical field is also partly infected by lack of application of the scientific method (Evidence trumps everything). If one ignores evidence, what next? Yesterday I heard a radio commentator say that a bipartisan view on this issue was getting closer. A real worry. In the ACT I guess it matters little who I vote for in the lower house (so I’ll be voting independent of informal) but the Senate is something else, but again less so in the ACT. I will do everything I can to see that both houses are not controlled by a party/parties going down the road believing that ‘climate change is real — and dangerous’. I only hope that the Senate will have sufficient numbers on the cross bench to stop idiotic legislation around this issue.

          • Ross says:

            Aert Driessen, you’re really putting the ‘del’ into Delcon. Age of darkness? Honestly, you don’t help your cause with such ridiculous over reach. Dial it back just a little, if you want others to take you seriously.

          • gnome says:

            I’m in furious agreement with you Aert. When the history of this episode is written, the outrage to science will be rated equal in infamy to the outrage to the economy, but in the long run the scientific method will survive because there isn’t any real alternative. Unlike the economy, where a little bit of local destruction will be taken up by a lot of international competition and the damage is permanent. That’s why I always take up my cudgel for the economy first. It isn’t as robust as so many people think.

            I think bipartisanship on this is still a lot further away than the chirping squirrels here and on ABC radio claim to think. If they had any evidence they’d present it.

          • David says:

            Aert, you are in for some disappointment. Let me know if I can help.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Don, an excellent and appropriate topic. I have one response at my finger tips which I will post now. Then I hope to have more bites at the cherry as I consider my position.

    “The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”
    – Cicero, 55 B.C.

    Seems we have learned nothing in over 2000 years.

  • gnome says:

    Don’t despair- this works very well for the US Presidential election, so perhaps someone might be able to work the same system for electing our great ones- http://www.i-am-bored.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/who-should-i-vote-for-flowchart

  • PeterE says:

    As a Delcon, I do not agree that Mr Abbott was unable to articulate his clear, sensible and achievable goals. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes and one sign of leadership is refusing to ‘go along’ with the mob but pointing out the more difficult way that will give better outcomes. There, Abbott excelled, which is why the commentariat were so vituperative about him. The usurpation of the office of PM has me waiting with a baseball bat for the perpetrators. At the same time, the old-style Labor Party that I once supported has gone missing in action and been replaced by a self-serving clique of middle-class idiots and union thugs. This does pose quite a dilemma. I note that law academic James Allen has bitten the bullet and intends to go Labor to swing the baseball club decisively against the Labor-Lite liberals and perhaps this is the answer. We need to fix the economy, stop wasting money on the AGW and like scams and strengthen our defence forces for the present and forthcoming wars. To be continued.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Peter, what is a Delcon?

  • Ross says:

    Royal Commission into the Banking and Finance industry, anyone?

  • Australian Tabloid Government says:

    I have always been perplexed that there was no “None of the above” or “Abstain” on voting papers. There are times when none of the candidates have impressed me sufficiently to score my vote. But I think the informal vote is a cop out.

    Why is it that when the Bandiwallop Tennis Club is deciding who shall be the the Executive for the next 12 months, one can vote “None of the above” or “Abstain”.

    We do not have that luxury in Australian elections. A “None of the above” or “Abstain” would, of course, not count as a vote, but at least I have voted, which is far better than drawing a monkey face on the voting paper.

    • whyisitso says:

      “None of the Above” or “Abstain” is exactly the same as voting informal, which I’m going to do. I refuse to choose between three left-wing parties. I certainly don’t need your approval.

  • margaret says:

    I am not that woman, that rational, non-partisan citizen that has asked for help in how to vote. I know how I will vote, and I don’t swing – except occasionally in a way that would be expected if you knew me, my life, my family. I would never vote informal because I believe that we’re lucky to live in a democracy and lucky to have the privilege of voting. I don’t see any citizenship in these Neo con (Delcon?) comments actually.

    • Ross says:

      Testify, Margaret, testify!

    • whyisitso says:

      That’s fine for you socialists, Margaret. We conservatives are being asked to choose between three left-wing parties. Independents have no chance of being anything but obstructionists, so I won’t vote for any of them. I certainly don’t need your permission to vote informal.

      And please don’t call yourselves “progressive”. This is just a hijacking of the English language. Your mob forces the country backward. “Regressive” is the more accurate word.

  • margaret says:

    I will vote Labor for the right reasons, not Machiavellian ones.

    • margaret says:

      … and please Delcons, don’t ask me what the right reasons are – I have stated before that I believe in social democracy – – not meritocracy. Meritocracy benefits only a few.

  • Neville says:

    Hands up those who will vote for the party who is more green than the rest. Then tell us WHY?

  • Neville says:

    Sorry “who” above should be “that”

    • Ross says:

      I’ll be voting Labor. They appear to be the only party that has the gumption to set up a Royal Commission into the corruption within our banking and finance sector. The Liberal government, banks and the Finance sector are very much against the idea. This speaks to me.
      (Though it’s good to see a few in the Nats and Libs willing to break ranks on this. Communists, I suspect).

      • Ross says:

        Sorry, Neville, I forgot to address your ‘special subject’.
        The current government has seemed to go out of their way to stop any investment or research into renewable energy. It’s almost as if they were doing the bidding of some other (secret) vested interest. The sacking of so many climate scientists at the CSIRO (as reported with alarm by The New York Times) left me angry and embarrassed to be an Australian.
        So by default, on this issue alone, it would be either Labor, independent or the Greens.
        Hey, who are you voting for? You don’t have to say, Neville. For it’s really none of my damned business.

      • David says:

        I agree Ross. Who cares if their union rep takes a long lunch at the local Chinese takeaway using their members union dues. But if the Bank or other financial institution fritters away your Super, that would a much greater concern. Royal Commission on Banks much more relevant than Royal Commission on Unions.

  • margaret says:

    Im onside with the specific issues that Ross has raised.

    • margaret says:

      I’d like to be able to make it alright but really it’s an arbitrary world.

      • margaret says:

        “We often associate arbitrariness with dictators who make up laws and dish out punishments based on their moods or their desperate attempts to stay in power. At the same time, parents demonstrate a kind of arbitrariness when they answer the question “why not?” with “Because I said so!” To avoid arbitrariness, people make decisions based on consistency, reason, order, and predictability.”
        Let’s hope that when they vote people avoid arbitrariness even if election results are inevitably arbitrary.

  • Neville says:

    Well at least they’re honest about their voting intentions. It seems that the violence of the union thugs and bash artists and theft of union member’s money doesn’t worry these people. But they still can’t explain what change they expect for the world’s climate if we all suddenly changed our support to Labor or the Greens. Of course we know that the most sceptical study about mitigating their so called CAGW comes from the Royal Society, NAS report. They found that there wouldn’t be any reduction in co2 levels or global temp for thousands of years, even if all co2 emissions ceased today.
    Bit of a bummer because co2 emissions are projected to blow out to 45 bn tonnes pa by 2040 according to Obama’s EIA and over 90% of that increase will come from the developing world. IOW your vote like the Green votes in other OECD countries is wasted. At least that’s if you hoped for a change in the climate.

    https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/question-20/

    • Ross Carnsew says:

      Neville, This what your link says…
      “The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales. The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits.”
      Hmmm. On that basis, I don’t think my voting intentions are going to change. Perhaps you might want to have a rethink?

      • Neville says:

        Ross stop talking nonsense, what I said was correct. Here’s all of Q 20 . Either these people are con merchants or you’re waffling around trying to muddy the waters to hide the fact that they tell us the time scale involved is thousands of years before we will see a change in temp or co2 levels. Little wonder Hansen and others call Cop 21 BS and a fraud. The answer is to find new cheap reliable sources of energy and adapt to future NATURAL extreme events.

        “20. If emissions of greenhouse gases were stopped, would the climate return to the conditions of 200 years ago?

        No. Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years.

        fig9-small
        Figure 9. If global emissions were to suddenly stop, it would take a long time for surface air temperatures and the ocean to begin to cool, because the excess CO2 in the atmosphere would remain there for a long time and would continue to exert a warming effect. Model projections show how atmospheric CO2 concentration (a), surface air temperature (b), and ocean thermal expansion (c) would respond following a scenario of business-as-usual emissions ceasing in 2300 (red), a scenario of aggressive emission reductions, falling close to zero 50 years from now (orange), and two intermediate emissions scenarios (green and blue). The small downward tick in temperature at 2300 is caused by the elimination of emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, including methane. Source: Zickfeld et al., 2013 (larger version)

        If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels due to its very slow transfer to the deep ocean and ultimate burial in ocean sediments. Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying extremely long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions, and sea level would likely continue to rise for many centuries even after temperature stopped increasing (see Figure 9). Significant cooling would be required to reverse melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, which formed during past cold climates. The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales. The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits.”

        • Ross says:

          Yes Neville, I agree with you. That’s why our quotes match up perfectly.
          Let’s recap.
          ‘If emissions of greenhouse gasses were stopped, would the climate return to the conditions of 200 years ago?’
          The Royal Society says ‘No.’ (For all the reasons given, which you quote)
          Okay.
          ‘The current CO2 induced warming of earth is therefore irreversible on human human timescales.’
          Got it.
          ‘The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits’.
          Okay then.
          So let’s run through these conclusions, from the Royal Society that we can obviously agree on.
          The current warming of the Earth since the start of the Industrial Age, is because of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by Humankind.
          Great. We agree.
          The climate can never return to pre-Industrial Age temperatures because of the amount of human induced CO2 already in the atmosphere.
          A bummer. But there you are. Agreed.
          The amount and rate of FUTURE warming will depend almost ENTIRELY on how much more CO2 HUMANKIND EMITS.
          So there you have it Neville. Human Induced CO2 Global Warming IS REAL! (I’ll be damned, eh?)
          The only way to slow it, is through humankind trying do minimise the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere.
          Can’t reverse it. Can minimise it. Agreed!
          I think we’ve made real progress here, Neville.
          And THAT’S why I’ll be voting for either, Labor, The Greens or an appropriate independent in the upcoming election. Having read the Royal Society’s conclusions, how could you not?

          • Neville says:

            Ross why do I have to do your thinking for you? I’m quoting your guys just to test you out. I don’t have to believe in the RS and NAS modelling that they use to come to their conclusions.
            But I’m just showing how different they are and the timescales of thousands of years to show the futility of your so called mitigation of so called CAGW.
            No I don’t believe there is any evidence that proves there is anything unusual or unprecedented about the climate since 1950. Just a quick look at all the icons proves the case. If you think that a return to LIA conditions is simply wonderful then that makes you as silly as your Labor and Green mates.
            Mind you I’m not saying you could change the planet back to conditions of 1750 and I’m certain that I wouldn’t want to see endless trillions dollars wasted for thousands of years on such a stupid quest.
            Everything today is better than it was in 1750. Billions more people live much longer and easier lives today than could have been imagined and we have science to make it better as time goes on. All this happened over such a short time and it’s all due to our use of fossil fuels.
            If you want to vote to waste even more billions $ for a zero return on your delusional beliefs that’s your problem, but don’t expect me to join you.

          • Ross says:

            Oh, Neville…. I just….I just… Oh, Neville.
            You’ll hear no more from me, on your postings.
            Best of luck, mate.

          • Neville says:

            Ross I’m sorry I’ve had to string you along to try and show the stupidity of your position. But go ahead and vote for the Greens and Labor and waste many more billions $ for a zero return. Fair dinkum some people can’t be helped.

          • Ross says:

            You’re right, Neville.
            You don’t have to believe CAGW. You don’t have to believe in the modelling on your link. You don’t have to believe in ‘my’ so called mitigation. You don’t have to believe we should time travel back in time. You don’t even have to post links that say the complete opposite of what you believe.
            I just think you may have read, one too many skeptic blogs, Neville. Reposted, one too many links, because it may be all catching up with you now. Seriously.
            I’m happy for you to do the thinking for me, Neville. I just don’t want you to ‘think’ to hard for me, okay?
            Just take it easy. Good luck.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Ross, your arguments are perfectly reasonable if your assumptions are correct.

            It has not been demonstrated unequivocally that they are.

          • Ross says:

            They are not ‘my’ assumptions Bryon. They are the opinions of the Royal Society that Neville so cleverly supplied as a link, to prove… something(?)
            Talk to them, if you have an issue with anything written.
            Better yet, talk to Neville…. Please!

  • dlb says:

    I followed the link over to the ABC’s “Fact Check” site to see if the government really was paying $1 billion debt a month. The site at the outset said it was an exaggerated claim, but reading down you find out it really is 1 billion a month. The only exaggeration being Mr Hockey attributing it all to Labor when it should be 70% to Labor.

    I think we need a new site called “Fudge Check” to investigate all the misleading information put out by the ABC.

    • David says:

      And who is going to fact check dlb ?

      From the ABC website

      “The verdict
      With $329 billion worth of Commonwealth securities currently on issue, the annual gross interest cost is $12.4 billion. So “at the moment”, the monthly interest bill on gross debt is over $1 billion.

      Seventy-five per cent of the current gross debt accrued during Labor’s time in government. Deficits that accrue during the term of a particular government are not necessarily attributable only to the actions of that government.
      When Labor came to power in 2007 there was zero net debt. If net debt is used as a measure, the average monthly interest payment over the four years of the forward estimates is $953 million, but “at the moment” monthly interest payments on net debt are $877 million.

      Using either gross debt or net debt, Mr Hockey’s claim that at the moment Australia is paying a billion dollars every month in interest on the debt that Labor left is exaggerated.”

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-12/joe-hockey-one-billion-a-month-interest-fact-check/5478480

  • spangled drongo says:

    And who is going to check our ABC?

    There is more Fed debt than just o/s securities apparently.

    With around 450 bil of Fed debt @ 3.3% average the interest would be ~ 15 bil which is well over 1 bil per month. While investors in govt bonds don’t get this much interest [the bonds are sold at a premium and show a nominal rate of up to 6%] what is actually paid is probably in that vicinity.

    http://www.australiandebtclock.com.au/

  • beththeserf says:

    Loomings…

    I want a guvuhmint that runs a tight ship, that
    reduces public debt by reducing guvuhmint
    spending, though not from the defense budget …

    I want a captain with steady hands at the tiller,
    who avoids the scylla and charybds of globally
    promoted policies of fear and guilt …

    I do not want a leader with hubris who will steer us
    on to reefs, chasing phantasmagoria while not
    prepared to go down with the ship – hammurabi wise.

  • JMO says:

    If there is a Bullet Train for Australia candidate (as there was in 2013) I will be voting for them (providing they have not boarded the homosexual marriage bandwagon). Then, holding my nose, send my next preference to Mal.

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