tip off

Our auto subsidies were relatively low (and Keane is wrong)

Crikey readers talk government subsidies and what in the world we should do about Qantas.

The curse of the national carrier 

Glen Frost writes: Re.”Qantas’ financials up in the air as govt help flies out the window” (yesterday). The easiest solution for Qantas is to negotiate a debt-for-equity swap. Doing this now, when they are not desperate, is the best option. Selling anything when in desperate need of cash will always mean assets are heavily discounted. Well done to the men in blue ties for telling Joyce to go and read Economics 101.

Former state-owned airlines all suffer from the same legacy issues (top-heavy management, over unionised, slow decision-making, poor marketing, slow innovation, over reliance on government and manufacturing the idea of the importance of a “national carrier”). Some of the rose tinted spectacles being worn by media commentators in Australia is plainly misleading the debate: Sir Rod Eddington’s performance at British Airways was no better than Alan Joyce’s current performance at Qantas. But as the Qantas PR is (literally) in bed with one of the union leaders, it’s no wonder the debate is muddled. Who knows what the pillow talk is …

So much for guts and common sense

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Keane: Coalition takes a brave stand on Labor’s territory of jobs” (Friday).”In taking decisions not to give handouts to SPC Ardmona and General Motors the government has shown guts and good sense.” Thus sayeth Bernard Keane, demonstrating an utter lack of good sense himself.

Quite apart from propping up Cadbury (picking winners or what?), these decisions are the opposite of good sense and absolutely nothing to do with guts. Withdrawing support for the motor vehicle industry has demonstrated to all the overseas owners that Australia is not the place to be, and the result over the next few years will be enormous job losses and economic recession.

Why is it good sense to withdraw a modest $20 ph/per annum subsidy when in Europe, Japan and the United States the average subsidy ph/per annum is around $200? What ideology is this? Where is the “guts” in causing so many people such misery?

Add to this utter rubbish the push for wage reduction coming from economic idiots and then add the tsunami of hurt about to swamp the low and no waged while “rewarding” the rich and comfortable, especially the breeders, and here you have this wicked conservative group of Tea Party “would be if could be” called the Coalition ruling (not running) Australia.

Guts and good sense” — who has that?

Privatise the profits, socialise the losses

John Richardson writes: Re. “Crikey says: the prickly politics of Qantas” (yesterday). Only our brilliant politicians could come up with a proposal to allow the sell-off of the profitable domestic arm of Qantas while insisting that Australians must retain ownership of the unprofitable international arm of the airline.

Privatise the profits, socialise the losses, praise the bosses: poor fellow, my country.

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