|Joe Hockey, Treasurer (from The Guardian website)|
The audit report was probably written to show voters just how hard budget cuts could be, in the hope that lesser cuts would not look so bad. The plan might have worked except for the environment in which this is all taking place, with the corruption inquiry (ICAC) in NSW showing that businesses (especially miners and property developers) appear to have been buying favours by donating to Liberal Party (currently governing NSW) coffers and that these (often illegal) donations have been deliberately disguised from the eyes of voters by the Liberal Party. A Premier and four members of the Liberal Party in NSW, two of them Ministers, have had to step down and more are likely. It appears that politicians will do anything for a buck, sign off dodgy mining licenses and property developments for example. All of this is being reported instantly via social media, especially twitter which has gained a host of followers who depend upon it to point them to trustworthy news sources. (Our print media is largely dominated by the Murdoch Press.)
The money trail appears to lead right to Canberra and citizens are now calling for a Federal corruption body to investigate.
The Federal Government (also Liberal Party) has been lamenting budget black holes left by the previous government but in the meantime many people are aware that there was no black hole, except that created by the current government (ABC Fact check: Government has doubled the budget black hole due to their own policies).
The Government says they have to balance the books, but they have also just spent over 12 billion dollars on 72 new jet fighters. People are scratching their heads and wondering if the government thinks they are especially stupid. In addition, before the election Prime Minister Abbott repeatedly promised there would be 'no new taxes'. It was his 'core' promise, repeated ad-infinitum. His budget is to include new taxes and levies, which comes as a big shock to many who voted for him. Perhaps he thinks he can disguise permanent cuts to health, education and welfare by introducing taxes on the more privileged which he says are to be short term (but of course, now you cannot trust what he says).
Is it any wonder that people are turning off this government in droves? When Labour self imploded before the last election it would have been difficult to believe that they would have a fighting chance winning back government after just one term. Whether they have sorted out their issues well enough to actually win the next election is debatable (supporting a call for a Federal ICAC would certainly help) but in the meantime support for the Greens, the only party not touched by the corruption inquiry, has soared.