Abbott lied: Not everyone is sharing budget pain

This budget is designed to serve the richest. Photo: Margarita Windisch.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey are bare-faced liars. They sold their budget on the idea that we all had to share in the pain to pay for an unsustainable national debt.

But it has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that we are not all sharing the pain and that the government's debt is not unsustainable.

Yet every time Abbott and Hockey — or education minister Christopher Pyne — get an audience, they repeat the same mantra. And it still works with some people. It presses a button that triggers irrational responses, that sends some people into a state where they cannot see or comprehend the obvious facts.

Of course, Abbott and his crooked mates have done their best to hide the truth.

In every federal budget since 2005, there has been a table of information usually titled "Detailed family outcomes", which shows how the budget will affect different types of families at 15 different levels of incomes. Former Coalition treasurer Peter Costello introduced this practice.

But it was left out of the latest budget.

When Australian National University public policy experts Peter Whiteford and Daniel Nethery crunched the numbers for Fairfax media and replicated the missing table for the latest budget, it became clear why.

High-income families are hardly affected, but those on the lowest income will lose up to 18.3% of their income.

As The Age’s economics editor, Peter Martin, summed up Whitford and Nethery's findings: “The worst off is an unemployed 23-year-old whose income will slide to be 18.3 per cent worse off as a result of the budget.

“A single parent on the parenting payment with one child aged six will be 10.2 per cent worse off. In contrast, someone earning three times the average wage will lose just 0.9 per cent of their take-home income.

“A high-income childless couple earning $360,000 a year will lose nothing whatsoever.”

Many experts have demolished the myth of the debt crisis. Richard Holden, Professor of Economics at the Australian School of Business explained in an article in The Conversation: “First, Australia does not have a debt crisis. Or, to put it another way, Australia does not have a debt crisis. Far from it. Commonwealth net debt is about 11% of GDP, the third lowest in the OECD (the average is 50%), and low by historical standards. Government borrowing rates are at all-time lows.”

And if Coalition and Labor governments had not given away hundreds of billions in income tax cuts and tax concessions to the rich, the debt would be even lower.

This budget is based on bare-faced lies told to disguise the fact that it is a budget designed by the richest in the Business Council of Australia to serve the richest.

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