Left, Right and Centre: The 2009 Budget Spectacular (12/05/09)

17May09

Greetings to you, earthling. Left, Right and Centre celebrates it’s palindromic eleventh show with a special live Budget edition. Why this week? Because the Budget was this week! Why live? Because we always do the show live!

Subscribe to the podcast to hear us give our insights, or download the show directly here.

This week, Timothy, Mateo, Casey and Christopher discussed:

Budget! Budget! Budget!

Wayne Swan delivered his second budget on Tuesday night, a “nation building budget”. It included a big focus on infrastructure projects, including a large number of road and rail projects. South Australia gets an upgrade of the Gawler rail line, and an extension of the Noarlunga line to Seaford. Surprisingly to us, there is also $61 million for a 4.5 kilometre extension of the O’ Bahn track from Hackney Road to Currie Street. How would that work? Our first thought was that the plan was to build up – some kind of towering structure through the city. Turns out, something much less spectacular – exclusive O’ Bahn only bus lanes through the city.

Due for a (semi-useless) upgrade.

Due for a (semi-useless) upgrade.

In the area of education and innovation, money for research and training projects, $491 million over four years to uncap the number of university places by 2012. $437 million over four years to give people from disadvantaged backgrounds a university education. $512 to help with the indirect costs of research. $4.5 billion in a Clean Energy Initiative.

$731 million over five years for a Paid Parental Leave scheme – up to 18 weeks for eligible parents at the Federal Minimum Wage. An increase in the pension – to the legislated benchmark of 27.7% of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings. Some cuts: An increase in the qualifying age for the Age Pension (to 67 by the year 2023), an increase in the rate at which the pension is withdrawn with private income, a reduction in the private health insurance rebate, an increase in the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

And debt. More than a $50 billion deficit. Unemployment is expected to reach 8.5% by June 2011.

So what do people think about this? The ACTU love it. St Vincent de Paul do not. The National Union of Students give it their “thumbs up”. Leader of the Australian Greens Bob Brown says that “it is Howard-Costello lite.” Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey calls it “casino economics that they’re relying on.”

We had our own things to say. Download the podcast to hear them.

Rapid Fire News

Artist's depiction of the Mexican Thief.

Artist's depiction of the Mexican Thief.

This week’s songs:

  • My Ex-Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, a song that was written by mistake, by Machine Gun Fellatio
  • Smackwater Jack, this weeks Carole King interlude.
  • No Excuses, by Swedish band Air France. Confused? I don’t blame you.
  • Cool Ice Cream, a song Casey dedicated to Tim, by Eddy Current Suppression Ring
  • Mad World, by Gary Jules, as we collectively made the world a little madder

All done. Next week, hopefully Chris won’t have a lame excuse to not join us, and we’ll have a full crew on the good ship Left, Right and Centre. We need someone to swab the poop deck, after all.

Cha Cha!

~ The Left, Right and Centre Flotilla

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One Response to “Left, Right and Centre: The 2009 Budget Spectacular (12/05/09)”

  1. Great stuff as usual…


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