My kids are teenagers, but if I were about to embark on that vicious journey again, I’d be having second thoughts, now that Tony Abbott is having second thoughts of his own on the paid parental leave scheme.
Here’s a man who promised a lot of support for parents as part of his platform for election; a big, warm and fuzzy paid parental leave scheme, that frightened the business end of town who would have to foot the bill, but which – if we were honest- is really only the equivalent scheme the Europeans have had in place for a decade.
Now Mr Abbott will be sending up a revised, amended, blended, watered down version of a paid parental leave scheme because he wants to get it through the Senate, never mind that it no longer supports parents the way he promised he would.
Mr Abbott might do well to have spent an hour or so with Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth who was in Melbourne recently speaking to his legions of fans. Tolle describes the current human race as insane beyond imagination, given our penchant to live so far beyond what we actually know to be true. In this regard, Mr Abbott is performing beyond expectation. ”Why,” my partner asked just now, ”do people not hold Abbott to account for the promises he breaks?
”It’s unbelievable to think any politician can change his mind on a promise he has made and nothing gets done about it.”
My dad used to have a classic saying: How do you know when a politician is telling lies? When their lips move.”
To illustrate 18 months of broken promises let us remind you of …
The promise: On the eve of the Federal Election in 2013, Mr Abbott promised ”…no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”
The reality: Mr Hockey announced budget cuts to the ABC and SBS to the tune of $245m over five years, resulting in job losses and cuts to programming.
The promise: “No cuts to education, no cuts to health…”
The reality: The Federal Budget included an $80 billion cut to health and education spending over next decade.
The promise: “We are not shutting any Medicare locals.” (Tony Abbott, August 2013)
The reality: All 61 Medicare locals will now be scrapped and replaced with new local health networks.
The promise: “No one’s personal tax will go up” (Tony Abbott, March 2012)
The reality: The Treasurer confirmed a deficit levy would be imposed on people who earn incomes over $180,000.
The promise: “No changes to pensions” (Tony Abbott, September 2013)
The reality: Age and disability pensions will fall behind wages growth from 2017 after they are instead linked to inflation.
The promise: “From 2014/15, the $5 billion aid budget will grow each year in line with the Consumer Price Index” (Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, January 2014)
The reality: The Treasurer revealed foreign aid would be frozen, leading to a massive $7.6 billion cut over next 5 years.
The promise: “The Coalition will continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities.” (Coalition policy document, September 2013)
The reality: $500 million cut through the consolidation of 150 programs.
The promise: ‘‘ARENA will have over $2.5 billion in funds to manage.” (Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, November 2013)
The reality: The ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency) has been axed.
The promise: “The Coalition will promote the use of solar energy by Australian families and households. It will ensure at least one million additional solar homes or community centres by 2020.” (Greg Hunt, December 2011)
The reality: Govt scraps Direct Action policy to fund rebates for the installation of solar panels and deliver one million solar roofs.