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EYE-BALL Opinion – Gillards Legacy – Examples of Lunacy, Desperation and Stupidity –

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Title:
– Gillards Legacy  –
– Examples of Lunacy, Desperation and Stupidity –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 3rd Oct 2012 |
‘The Speaker’ – Peter Slipper.

T

he ‘Speaker’ Peter Slipper who has been on a crime induced holiday from his role in the House since April, has again become an International tourist on Australian Taxpayers dime.

He was due to front court yesterday to face his accuser and he just sent an e-mail to the Judge saying he was too busy to show.   He had sacked his lawyers (Maurice Blackburn) a few weeks ago and it would seem that he just has not hired anybody else to represent him.

The Australian‘ ran a story titled “Slipper Ordered to Face Accuser”.   Read story below:

Slipper ordered to face accuser


| Author: Leo Shanahan | Date: 3rd Oct 2012 | Link to On-Line Story |

[Click on image to enlarge.]

SPEAKER of the house Peter Slipper will today face the former staffer who accused him of sexual harassment after a Federal Court judge ordered the two into mediation.

n theory the political and legal saga could be resolved in mediation in Sydney today, but The Australian understands James Ashby has no intention of settling the dispute with his former boss and friend.

Federal Court judge Steven Rares lambasted Mr Slipper for not appearing yesterday at what was supposed to be a hearing into an abuse-of-process claim against Mr Ashby launched by the Speaker and the commonwealth.

“That is a completely outrageous piece of behaviour by someone who should know far better to not treat the court to this discourtesy,” Justice Rares said.

“He has a responsibility to the public to be here and there are clear consequences for litigants who don’t turn up, which I would have thought he would be aware of.”

Acting for the commonwealth, Julian Burnside QC said he understood Mr Slipper’s no-show was the result of “financial” considerations, but Justice Rares dismissed the excuse as ridiculous.

“He’s not a man in penury, he’s the Speaker of the House of Representatives and I’m sure he gets paid for it,” the judge said.

Mr Ashby has alleged that Mr Slipper sexually harassed him, including sending him explicit and sexually aggressive text messages.

The commonwealth and Mr Slipper claimed Mr Ashby’s case was vexatious and an abuse of process. Mr Ashby settled with the commonwealth last Thursday for $50,000, but details were still being finalised by the commonwealth and Mr Ashby’s lawyers yesterday.

The Australian understands the Ashby camp is in possession of further damaging emails and texts from Mr Slipper to Mr Ashby, which it hoped to air in court in defence of the abuse-of-process claims.

Mr Slipper does not have a lawyer to represent him after parting ways with ALP-linked law firm Maurice Blackburn.

Justice Rares ordered the mediation in a bid to end a dispute that has cost the commonwealth $720,000 in legal fees so far. “The case cries out for a resolution,” he said, and asked that Mr Slipper and Mr Ashby “sit face-to-face”.

“The case has got to the point where something has got to happen to knock people’s heads together to make them sensible, including the withdrawal of allegations, if that’s a way to resolve it,” he said.

Justice Rares ordered that Mr Slipper attend the mediation. He did not order Mr Ashby to do so, but said it would be beneficial if he did. It is understood Mr Ashby has no desire to settle the case unless there is an admission from the Speaker that the case was not an abuse of process.

Earlier Mr Ashby’s barrister Michael Lee SC argued against the forced mediation, saying Mr Ashby had the right to clear his name after the abuse-of-process application, with the government at one stage claiming a “criminal conspiracy” between Mr Ashby, News Limited journalist Steve Lewis and lawyer Michael Harmer, whose firm is representing Mr Ashby for no charge.

Slipper’s actions in not even fronting to his appointed court date is nothing less than contempt. Remember this is Gillards choice as the ‘Speaker of the House’. The reasons for the appointment in the first place were ‘dodgy’ at best. To have only been in the job a few months before the ‘sexual harassment’ allegations arose and still draw the ‘Speaker’ remuneration and overseas representative perks is indicative of the contempt the PM has for the Australian public. She sanctioned Slippers overseas jaunts – and the $170k+ he billed the Government for his last trip is about to be doubled with his planned new trip. Read this story below.

Stood-aside Speaker to Head Overseas Again


| Author: Lauren Wilson | Date: 3rd Oct 2012 | Link to On-Line Story |

[Click on image to enlarge.]

PETER Slipper could be jetting off to Argentina and Canada next week on the taxpayers’ expense, the second overseas jaunt green-lighted by Julia Gillard the Queensland MP will take since standing aside from his role as Speaker.

Mr Slipper, who stepped back from his formal duties in April, is scheduled to attend a two-week Inter Parliamentary Union meeting in Argentina and Canada this month, alongside a delegation of two Coalition and two Labor MPs.

In July, the Prime Minister approved a delegation, led by Mr Slipper, to Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Cyprus. This was despite declaring in April that the Speaker should continue to be absent from parliament while he faced civil and criminal allegations. Mr Slipper has denied the allegations against him.

A spokeswoman for Ms Gillard last night said the Prime Minister approved all annual outgoing delegations’ programs, but she “has no role in selecting members and senators who participate in these delegations”.

The Australian understands it is standard for the Speaker to lead Inter Parliamentary Union delegations, but a number of the MPs scheduled to travel to Argentina and Canada with Mr Slipper have expressed reservations about his participation. It is understood one MP has amended travel arrangements to minimise contact with Mr Slipper.

Mr Slipper’s office has confirmed he had travelled to the Middle East on a parliamentary delegation three months after he had stood aside from formal duties, but a spokesman said details of this month’s trip to South and North America were yet to be confirmed. “The Speaker has not yet determined his official travel and other parliamentary commitments for the remainder of the parliamentary sittings,” Mr Slipper’s spokesman said yesterday.

Another MP who is scheduled to go on the Argentina and Canada trip said Mr Slipper was still believed to be attending.

The Department of Finance is responsible for meeting the costs of Inter Parliamentary Union delegations, but a departmental spokeswoman said the cost of Mr Slipper’s Middle East trip would not be released until next year.

Gillards tolerance of this continued wasteful expenditure is in itself unsanctionable – i.e. Slipper will not be re-elected and any long term benefit from any overseas trip will be for personal gain and not in the interests of the Australian Public. Yet she has approved the trip – in all good conscience how can the Caucus allow the PM to authorise this wasteful expenditure?

By Slippers his own debauched and sullied behaviour, both past and present,  his actions brings the ‘Speaker’ position into disrepute – he then receives full pay and additional travel perks whilst serving his penance – and nobody blinks an eye.   Where is the media in punishing the Government for these actions?

This is what is wrong with the accountability of Government, and the media.  They see themselves as above the rule of law and decency.  Gillard’s sullied past has influence on the decisions she is allowed to make today and Australian’s are and will pay the price.

The Treasurer – Wayne Swan. [Click image below to enlarge.]

Mr Swan was out and about yesterday responding to the RBA”s surprise .25% cut in official interest rates. The Treasurer pulled out his mandatory speech telling the Banks they have to pass on the full rate cut. He has made this speech many times before and the Banks have never altered their thinking or the way they do business. The Treasurer proved once again that he is purely a puppet with no sway in the Banks operations.

This is not because The Treasurer role has no authority – it is because Mr Swan just sucks as the Treasurer. He is a laughing-stock and someone to be made fun of. His RBA boss Glen Stevens is gaining ground on being tagged the same way. Mr Stevens is in trouble over the note printing subsidiary ‘Sucurency’ and its involvement in a bribery scandal that stretches around the globe.

It is now alleged that Mr Stevens gave false testimony at a recent Senate Hearing into the ‘bribery scandal’. The Treasurer has been silent on this matter when any Treasurer who was across all the responsibilities and understanding of the job description, would have been in front of the scandal before it reached this point.

Mr Swan is a member of the ‘duck’ family who unfortunately can’t swim.

He has no business being the Treasurer in the first place.  His continued efforts to force Departments into ‘razor-gang’ cuts to meet his forecast ‘2012-13 surplus’ is indicative of his true understanding of how the Australian economy is performing.

‘Must have a budget surplus because I said it would be so!’  – the man is a lunatic if he thinks that economic changes does not affect budget outcomes.  He wants to turn a $A44 billion deficit into a $A1.5 surplus.   Withdrawing that amount of funding from an economy going through a new Australian GFC will cripple the Nation.

Below is the announced reasons the RBA decided to cut rates yesterday:

Rate cut signals end of boom, warns RBA


| Author: Adam Creighton, Economics correspondent | Date: 3rd Oct 2012 | Link to On-Line Story |

[Click on image to enlarge.]

THE Reserve Bank is calling the end of Australia’s resources boom next year, as mining projects are shelved or cancelled amid growing concern about the downturn in China.

The Reserve Bank yesterday cut the official cash rate by 0.25 percentage points to 3.25 per cent – taking cuts in the past five months to a full percentage point – as governor Glenn Stevens warned that weaker Chinese growth was affecting the rest of Asia and forcing a downgrade in Australia’s growth outlook.

“On the back of international developments, the growth outlook for next year looked a little weaker,” Mr Stevens said.

Financial markets expect the Reserve Bank to follow yesterday’s cut with a further 25-basis-point reduction at its board meeting on Melbourne Cup day next month, which would take official rates back to their low point during the global financial crisis.

The Reserve Bank is likely to trim its forecast for Australia’s growth in its next economic review, due next month. However, Wayne Swan said the nation’s economy was still growing at its trend rate and the government remained committed to its aim of returning the budget to surplus this financial year.

The Treasurer said the Reserve Bank’s decision was a win for families struggling with mortgage costs and argued that the succession of interest rate cuts this year “have been made possible by our responsible budget policy”.

Standard variable mortgages have come down by 55 basis points to 6.85 per cent since May and would fall to 6.6 per cent if banks passed on the full cut.

This would represent a $150-a-month saving on a $300,000 mortgage since May.

However, bank funding costs are under pressure.

Ratecity, a firm that compares bank lending rates, said it did not expect many lenders to pass on the full 25-basis-points cut.

Mr Swan has repeatedly pointed to a continued multi-billion-dollar boom in resources industry investment despite the recent slump in commodity prices.

Mr Stevens indicated that the sharp fall in commodity prices over the past few months was forcing resource companies to reconsider their investment plans. “The peak in resource investment is likely to occur next year, and may be at a lower level than earlier expected,” he said in a statement that accompanied the rates decision.

Mr Stevens said Australia’s terms of trade – export prices compared with import prices – had dropped 10 per cent and were likely to fall lower. Although iron ore prices had stabilised over the past month, coal prices had continued to fall.

“Economic activity in Europe is contracting, while growth in the US remains modest,” he said, adding “growth in China has also slowed, and uncertainty about near-term prospects is greater than it was some months ago”.

In August, the Reserve Bank projected that resource investment would peak at 9 per cent of gross domestic product sometime next financial year, but now anticipates a weaker peak in 2013, roughly six months earlier.

Phil O’Donaghoe, a Deutsche Bank senior economist, said the rate cut reflected a desire to shore up the non-resource sector. He said slowing economic growth would make it more difficult for the government to achieve a budget surplus.

Joe Hockey, opposition Treasury spokesman, said Australia could no longer rely on record high commodity prices to boost economic growth and the budget bottom line.

He said the rate cut reflected weakness in the economy and noted that Mr Swan had previously described the 3 per cent interest rate reached during the global financial crisis as an “emergency level”.

Mr Swan conceded that Australia’s lower commodity prices, a higher Australian dollar and heightened global uncertainty had contributed to the bank’s decision: “But we should also keep a very keen eye on our fundamental strengths: low official interest rates, contained inflation, solid growth, low unemployment, healthy consumption and a very big pipeline of investment.”

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said the RBA had become more downbeat about the labour market, where jobs growth had remained weak despite a relatively low unemployment rate. The bank had shifted its focus from containing potential price pressure from the mining boom to stimulating struggling construction and retail sectors.

Most economists had expected the RBA to wait until next month before cutting rates. The bank’s statement once again said the exchange rate “remained higher than might have been expected” given the fall in export prices.

The Australian dollar slumped more than half a cent to US103.4c against the US dollar following yesterday’s cut. “We suspect the RBA is likely to continue to be surprised by the resilience in the Australian dollar,” Mr O’Donaghoe said. Recent rate cuts have had little lasting impact on the dollar’s value.

Financial markets are trading on the basis that there is a 73 per cent chance of a follow-up rate cut next month.

However, Mr Stevens’s statement gave no clues, simply commenting that the weaker global outlook meant that monetary policy could now be “more accommodative”.

Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, welcomed the move, reflecting ongoing concerns among unions and businesses that the economy was weaker than official statistics suggested and Australia’s currency was stubbornly high, partly because local interest rates were high compared to other countries.

“This rate cut will hopefully give a shot in the arm to key employing industries across the economy, including manufacturing, construction and services,” he added.

Greg Evans, head of policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the cut would “boost consumer confidence, take pressure off household budgets and ease business borrowing costs”.

Attention will now turn to how much of the rate cut the major banks will pass on to mortgage rates, which Mr Stevens said had “for some months been below their medium-term averages”.

Wilhelm Harnisch, chief executive of the Master Builders Association, said it was “now up to the commercial banks to do their bit and pass on these rate cuts in full to their customers, small businesses and homebuyers to help stimulate the economy”.

The Reserve’s third cut this year, one percentage point in total, brings official rates to their lowest level since late 2009.

But the gap between the official interest rate and mortgage rates has increased by about 1.5 percentage points since then, as banks have withheld some of the cuts rather than pass them on to borrowers or increased rates independently of Reserve Bank movements.

“A more competitive market for deposits and tougher wholesale funding conditions for Australia’s major banks is the explanation,” Mr O’Donaghoe said.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said that the downward movement in rates had come as a shock to older Australians, many of whom relied on fixed income from deposits.

There was nothing in the reasons given that was not apparent last month or any of the previous six months. The RBA’s Interest rate cuts since 2005 appear below:

The above Chart paints a picture – in the after math of the 2008-9 GFC the RBA cut official interest rates pre-emptively – then when the resource boom reignited,  it lifted official interest rates giving strength to the currency and at a time when the rest of the World were in ‘meltdown’ phase.   No other Nation in the G20 lifted interest rates during this period.

The wisdom of creating this interest rate gap between Australia and the rest of the world only offered offshore investors an investment haven that drained A$100’s billions from our exporters cash revenue flows.  i.e. Mining and Agriculture.  It also left our Tourism, Retail and Manufacturing industries as uncompetitive in a global marketplace.

The responsibility for trashing the Australian economy sits squarely with Treasurer Swan, and the RBA’s Governor Glenn Stevens.

Their knucklehead approach to managing the economy rested on interest rate policy and now that the ‘China Slowdown’ has arrived – and after we have supplied them with all our resources at inflated prices – China will now look to cheaper markets to supply their needs.

Those cheaper markets being Brazil and African deposits have been funded by the Chinese through their development phases and whilst their short-term needs were a factor in our post GFC survival – the withdrawal of China’s demand is about to have GFC consequences on the Australian economy, and at a time when ‘Dunce-Hat’ Swan thinks that a budget surplus is needed.   Treasurer Swan has  presided over policies that have increased Federal public debt in this Nation by $200 billion since the GFC crisis began.

All Swan can claim is that he knows how to spend money in good times.  He demonstrated no vision and his HOR pulpit orations about Australia’s financial prosperity over the rest of the world because of better economic management – is him trying to blow smoke up the asses of the Australian public.

The fact that the Opposition cannot make any mileage out of Swan’s obvious ego and ineptness in the job – says much about their qualifications as managers of Australia’s future prosperity as well.

The Australian Financial media are equally inept at their jobs – there has been no hounding of the Government or the RBA on the ‘high value’ of the Australian dollar.   There has been no targeted campaign to highlight the demise of the Tourism and other now uncompetitive industries created by the high value of the A$.

It would seem that everybody now lives in the moment – there is no refection, no vision looking forward, and the consequence is ‘hit and miss’ policies designed to sound good and will popularity rather than have any structured purpose to actually make things better.

In other words – nobody wants to make the hard decisions that will be unpopular and force them out of office.  For 40 years this has been the general purpose of all Governments around the globe and is largely why every Western Nation is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, and Minister for Superannuation and Financial Services – Mr Bill Shorten: [Click on image below to enlarge.]

As a part of the ‘razor-gang’ requirements to create a budget surplus the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation has been targeting yet again the tax collected from superannuation contributions.

This makes a mockery of any intended 40 year working life preparing for retirement plans made today.  This will be the 10th alteration to the Superannuation laws since this Government came to power in late 2007 – that’s two a year.

The Australian reported a story on savings and tax changes to superannuation as a part of Shorten’s intended ‘razor-gang’ savings.

ALP raises $7.8bn from super rules


| Author: David Uren, Economics Editor | Date: 2nd Oct 2012 | Link to On-Line Story |

THE government has booked budget savings of $7.8 billion over nine rounds of superannuation tax measures since winning office in 2007. The savings began in its first budget when it was decided to include salary sacrifice contributions to superannuation in the definition of income, for the purpose of calculating means tests for government benefits.

If the government includes a further tightening of superannuation entitlements in its forthcoming round of budget savings, as is expected, it will be the 10th round of revenue raising from superannuation since Labor was elected in 2007.

This raised only $47 million over the three-year forward estimate period, but was expected to generate $430m in savings from lower benefit payments.

The biggest savings from superannuation have involved changes to the co-contribution scheme, affecting people on low incomes, and adjusting the maximum amount people can put into superannuation, affecting people on higher incomes or trying to boost retirement savings in their final years in the workforce.

The lowering of concessional contribution caps from $100,000 to $50,000 and then $25,000 raised an estimated $2.8bn, with a further $1.5bn raised in the latest budget by deferring the start of a higher contribution cap.

The co-contribution scheme has been subject to a series of changes.

A temporary reduction in the government’s contribution raised $1.4bn, while a decision to make some of this permanent raised a further $350m.

Pausing indexation of threshold on the co-contribution scheme added $295m over the four-year forward estimates, while another $75m was raised by extending the pause.

A minor change was the $15m raised by limiting capital gains tax exemptions for trading stock in superannuation funds.

Age discrimination commissioner Susan Ryan said yesterday she hoped “any changes would not undermine the capacity of middle and lower income people, nearing retirement, to continue to build up their super”.

The Superannuation tax changes introduced at the end of the 1011-12 financial year can be read using this link.

Suffice to say – Superannuation savings will be the most targeted investment group in coming years as Governments try to raise revenue. Any 40 year plan being invested in now – has not real rate of return prediction given the impending and future alterations that will be made to Superannuation tax rates. The Superannuation preparedness to wean retirees off Government funded pensions and onto superannuation is 20 years old. It is a failed experiment given what the GFC did and is continuing to do to superannuation savings.

Bill Shorten is a Unionist serving in Government – has is dumber that Wayne Swan on matters of finance and his track record of this is the history of the AWU when he became prominent in the early 90’s when the ‘slush fund’ funded union heavies plundered the members funds.

Putting someone like him in charge of the financial future or all superannuation contributors is like putting the fox in the henhouse.

These three examples, Peter Slipper, Wayne Swan, and Bill Shorten are all on Gillards watch. Add the likes of Craig Thompson and there can be no other tag than to call this Government ‘out of its depth’.

Why can’t the media bring pressure to bare on this Government’s performances?  In a nutshell – they do not understand what it is that they do not understand.


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