Dear Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey,
I’d like to start off this open letter by stating that I have never supported Labor, OR Liberal. Both parties are against my political ideal, and I feel that the Labor leadership battle left themselves in a mess to which you were able to take advantage. Kudos to you…credit where it is due. For this reason I do not need to hear any attempted rebuttals of “it is Labor’s fault”. Just like in the Disney film ‘Frozen’, “LET IT GO”.
This letter is in enquiry to the announcement of your 2014-15 Federal Budget. An announcement that you state is necessary to get the budget out of deficit and into surplus (a deficit that is the fourth lowest debt in the entire developed world, but a deficit nonetheless). You have both stated that it is time that Australian’s ‘tighten their belts’ because the time for ‘luxurious spending’ is over.
My first question to you is, what is ‘luxurious spending’? Spending money to support people with physical and mental disabilities that prevent them from working to support themselves? Funding low interest loans to allow young Australians to be able to choose and strive for a career that does not necessarily need to involve retail, manufacturing, hospitality or mining (not that there is anything wrong with those career choices. That is the great thing about Australia. We have choices.)? Spending money on education and health in order to keep Australian’s educated and healthy? Ensuring that all Australian’s that fall on hard times have the opportunity to get back on their feet (particularly if you are under 30)?
If so, you need to reevaluate your priorities. Luxury is renovating The Lodge for an ‘unspecified’ amount of money. Luxury is dressing your daughters in Moschino gowns for post-election galas. Luxury is having Rupert Murdoch on your side to propagate an unknowing Australian public into believing this is the only way out. Try to correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure even the Oxford English Dictionary would correct you on what is ‘luxurious spending’. I hear you went to Oxford once upon a time, Mr. Abbott. Shitting on your own dictionary. What class.
My second question to you is, why make cuts in these areas when there are so many other options available? Like the $7.4b you allocated towards defense and purchasing aircraft (did you read John Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow when the war began’, series and freaked the fuck out? It freaked me out…but not enough to spend $7.4b)? Like the distinct lack of taxes on the super rich? Like the fact that you have frozen your parliamentarian salaries for twelve months, only to give yourselves a $40k pay rise when the freeze lifts? Like the tax cuts you have given to big mining?
I acknowledge that mining is a huge part of the Australian economy. However, you need to remember that this industry has a use by date. Even if you had found a magical way to produce more coal (lets face it…I am still waiting for my acceptance letter from Hogwarts at the age of 27, so this is not going to happen), the renewable energy sector is internationally outpacing all other energy industries. Even China, our biggest trading partner of coal, is beginning to explore renewable energy options for their largest cities. In the appropriated words of Regina George, “stop trying to make coal happen”. Find a new industry to drive the economy.
And the taxes? I’m still trying to work out the plausibility of someone earning an income over $250 000 p.a being taxed (as a combination of the fuel excise increase, GP fee, etc) an extra $1492, when middle income families and the under 30’s unemployed will be slugged $4931 and $6944 from funding cuts respectively?
Whatever crazy pills you are taking to justify that, I want in. I will probably need them daily so I can attempt to feign nonchalance when I am thrown under the bus by your policies.
I should probably tell you a bit about myself so you can probably understand why I dislike you two so much right now. I am a high school teacher (back flipping on Gonski? Come on. You know my stereotype. We ‘love’ to strike. We can make your day very inconvenient when push comes to shove). I am currently on a year by year contract, working with students with behavioural needs. It is difficult to find permanency in a field that is awash with graduates, but I still love my job. And I do it damn well.
Inevitably, your cuts to Education mean that my position may and probably will come to an end sooner rather than later. I guess I could try and find another job? Oh wait…there is an 11.5% unemployment rate for people under the age of 30. I am 27. Shit balls. I guess I’ll have to go on Newstart to try and support myself in the meantime. Oh wait…I will not be able to get it for 6 months? Can I forward your contact number onto my Real Estate? I’m sure if you talk to them they will be totally understanding. I guess I could move back home…but my mother, a sole parent who works as a child care worker, earns an amount that is not sustainable to support me. She would not be able to (and should not have to) support me while I look for another job. I guess I could try and go for any old job I guess? Income is income, right? Thanks to my double degree, I am now overqualified for most advertised job positions in the job seeker sector.
Enough about me though, we should turn our focus back to Australia and ‘Australia’s good’. Which brings me to my third and final question for this letter. Thankfully, I do not need to be creative with this question, as it was asked by the ever sassy yet level headed host of the ‘7.30 Report’, Sarah Ferguson.
“Is it liberating for a politician to decide that election promises don’t matter?”
For someone who harped on about Julia Gillard breaking an election promise, you have broken several. So take a seat.
I doubt that this open letter will cause any change inside your frame of mind, but it is a channel of communication that I want the world to see.
An Australian voter you dislike.
An Australian voter you dislike.