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Bill Shorten’s magic pudding

Crikey readers talk the budget reply, what schools could do with their $245 million for chaplains, and whether medical necessities could be made cheaper.

Magic pudding budget

John Shailer writes: Re. “Labor needs to lock in voter perceptions of the government now” (Friday). By rejecting key savings measures in the budget, Bill Shorten has condemned the next generation  to repay Labor’s debt of $667 billion, over $110,000 per household. Only the top 20%  income earners pay net tax after welfare and services are credited, and if the next 20% now pay some tax, it will secure our children’s future and avoid the Europe disease, such as Spain’s 50% youth  unemployment.

Bill Cushing writes: On the basis of Shorten’s budget speech, I’d say that Labor stands for a “magic pudding” in place of a “Light on the Hill”.

Schools could spend chaplaincy money on bees

Matt Saxon writes: Re. “How you could spend the $245m school chaplains investment better” (Friday). I think we’re all missing an obvious point here. The quarter of billion for school chaplains also includes removing most of the governance and accountability requirements around their appointment. Surely then the schools could just go ahead and spend it on whatever they like? Be it textbooks, new classrooms, pictures of the Queen or a program of covering Christopher Pyne In Bees. The world is their oyster.

Do GP costs have to be as high as they are?

Dr Martine Walker writes: Re. “Health: political theatre aside, health cuts a bitter pill to swallow” (Wednesday). As the eldest in a large working-class family where money was tight and all expenditure was considered and debated, my pet hate as a hospital doctor and now GP is how easily we (all health practitioners) spend money on consumables and pharmaceuticals with no appreciation of cost, waste and using the cheapest option available.

I’ve always thought it would be useful to have marked on consumables such as dressings and catheters what they actually cost. I would love for prescribing software to generate every time we write a script how much that medication actually costs and for cheaper alternatives to be suggested.

Is there any research on the impact on expenditure when costs on and day-to-day basis are made known to practitioners?

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4 thoughts on “Bill Shorten’s magic pudding

  1. Matt Hardin


    Are you including GST in that estimate of households net tax? Are superannuation tax credits welfare in your definition?


  2. paddy

    Not sure where to put this, but I believe it’s welcome aboard the good ship Crikey to Marnie Cordell today.
    Hope you enjoy the ride and looking forward to your input.
    P.S. It’s probably time to update the “Crikey Crew” web page. 🙂

  3. Limited News

    I thought peak debt was $400 billion. Assuming 6.4 million households, that is $70,000 per household. Would be good to know where John Shailer’s numbers come from.

  4. Draco Houston

    A member of the “next generation” in my family has parents that don’t have stable jobs and are in their early 20s. I’m sure he’d be really grateful having to share his grandmothers spare room with his parents to fix The Debt. It’ll be a real load off his mind that debt repayments are lower some time in the future for the government.