Over the summer, I’ve been talking to hundreds of Australians from all walks of life – in the street, on the beach, in cafes, even at the pub; and I’ve been talking with my colleagues.
As every Australian agrees, to live here is to have won the lottery of life – because we are as free, fair and prosperous as any country on earth.
You’re bloodly lucky to be here maate!
But these are testing times for our country.
I don’t know what the F is wrong with you people
2014 was a tumultuous year that’s reminded us to expect the unexpected.
Thirty eight Australians were shot out of the sky by Russian-backed rebels.
Took the heat off me for a while
A death cult, claiming justification in Islam, is creating a new dark age over much of Syria and Iraq.
Look over there! They’re worse than us!
And the terrorism it inspires has hit Melbourne and Sydney.
And if you’re not careful with your vote, they’ll hit Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth…
It was an anxious year for our well-being, as well as for our security.
And it’ll be another anxious year for our well being and security – we have the NSW elections coming up, and I’ve got to keep those rascally backbenchers in line.
At last, the US is growing, but Europe is stagnating, and China – our economic locomotive – is now growing at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.
I was told to say this, but I don’t know what it means
And the price of iron ore – our biggest export – has halved in just over a year.
In troubled times, people expect more of government, not less – and we have to deliver.
We’re going to deliver more to our mate. And because there is less revenue there will be even less for you plebs.
That’s why a government with the plan and the will to strengthen our economy and to protect our nation is so important.
Where did I put that plan. It was here a moment ago.
This government is more determined than ever to make the changes our country needs.
Needs so my mates in big business can squeeze you little folk for all the soylent green.
This government will deliver Australia’s economic future because only a Coalition government can.
Can deliver for my mates, not you lot.
As Liberals and Nationals, sound economic management is in our DNA.
Even though we’ve doubled the deficit, and increased net debt, which we may have indicated was bad ju-ju.
We’ve done it before and we are doing it again.
Anyone here remember the 21% interest rates when John Howard was treasurer? No? Excellent.
More than ever, in troubled times, government has to protect our people and stand up for Australian values.
By saying “Our People” we mean people who donate large sums to the Liberal Party.
This government would hardly have taken the political risks it has without the conviction that some change is absolutely unavoidable if our country is to flourish.
We figured if we did this slowly, someone out there in electronic-grafiti-land would figure it out, and bust us.
To create more jobs and more opportunities for families, we simply have to build a stronger economy.
By taking away penalty rates and minimum wage, everyone can have a job that pays nothing!
A stronger economy is the foundation of a stronger Australia.
And if the economy is stronger, everyone’s life is better.
And you plebs are not included in “everyone”, as you’re not real people.
A stronger economy helps everyone who’s doing it tough:
parents wrestling with school fees and health costs;
Those private school and hospitals are getting really expensive
small business people anxious to keep their staff;
We even cater for small business. Looks around nervously.
seniors whose superannuation has to fund their retirement;
And our mates in the banking sector need those senior superannuation funds to bleed dry with their fees
volunteers wondering if they can still afford to serve the community; and
Back in the day it was called slavery
young people looking for their first job and their first home.
I wonder when my daughters are moving out.
Building a stronger economy is the fairest thing we can do because it means more jobs, higher wages, and more government revenue to pay for the services we need.
During 2015, our priority will be creating more jobs; easing the pressure on families; building roads; strengthening national security; and promoting more opportunity for all – with a new families policy and a new small business and jobs policy.
But we need to be candid about the challenges we face.
There won’t be enough to go around, so only Liberal Party donors will benefit.
The drift of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years cannot continue.
How dare the Labor Party help the little people
Standing still on reform means going backwards on living standards.
Nevermind those reforms that make the little people’s lives better, like NDIS, NBN, Universal Healthcare, Universal Higher education…
Just a few years back, under the Howard government, we were quite literally the envy of the world.
In 2007, we had a strong and sustainable budget with a $20 billion surplus and $50 billion in the bank.
After six years of Labor, the deficit had blown out to $50 billion and gross debt was skyrocketing towards $667 billion.
I hope no-one remembers the GFC.
Under Labor, government was spending too much; borrowing too much; and paying out too much dead money in interest alone.
How on earth are we going to splash cash on our donors if we have to pay this interest bill?
We can’t wait for a crisis – like Europe – to address this problem because the solutions then will be much worse than the solutions today.
Our problem is not that taxes are too low; our problem is that government spending is too high.
Which is why my government is second only to the Howard Liberal government for the biggest spending government on record
We are writing cheques that our children and grandchildren will have to meet through higher taxes, higher interest rates and poorer services.
I hope the economist don’t bring up the fact that inflation makes debt easier to pay off in the future.
Right now, we’re borrowing $1 billion a month just to pay the interest on debt that the former Labor government ran up.
That’s right – one thousand million every month to pay Labor’s interest bill – that’s a brand new tertiary hospital that could be built every single month if Labor’s interest bill did not have to be paid.
I hope they don’t go to the finance website and find out we’ve almost doubled the deficit since we’ve been in charge.
And without structural change, within a decade, we’d be borrowing $3 billion a month just to pay the interest on Commonwealth debt.
So – let’s spend the money we have to on the things we really need; and let’s borrow where we must, to invest judiciously in a stronger Australia for the future – but let’s stop borrowing just to meet the ordinary expenses of government.
“Things we really need”, like a new coal mine. Everyone likes coal.
Reducing the deficit means that interest rates will stay lower.
Even though the deficit has blown out, the RBA wouldn’t..
Reducing the deficit means that taxes can be cut.
For the Liberal donors, of course.
Reducing the deficit means more confidence in the economy.
Because of the largess I can give to the Liberal Party donors, who desperately need another yacht.
And reducing the deficit is the fair thing to do – because it ends the intergenerational theft against our children and grandchildren.
I had to work in the word “fair” somewhere.
We’ve never been a country that’s ripped off future generations to pay for today.
Never mind that for most of Australia’s history, we’ve run deficits.
And under my government, we never will.
Except last year, this year, next year, and hopefully the year after that, assuming you don’t absently mindedly vote for that other mob.
On election night, I declared that Australia was under new management and once more open for business.
It certainly isn’t open for you great unwashed.
Since then, new projects worth over $1 trillion have received environmental approval.
Greg’s rubber stamp has almost worn out
The carbon tax is gone – so every household, on average, is $550 a year better off.
Never mind that those electricity bills have actually gone up
The mining tax is gone – so Australia once more is seen as a good place to invest.
Because they are so stupid, they don’t charge us a fair amount for the dirt we dig up
Big new road projects are now getting underway to overcome commuter gridlock – and the new Western Sydney Airport is finally to be built after 50 years of indecision.
So in ten years there will be the same grid lock, and I can come to the rescue again with MOAR ROADS!
After 10 years of talk, free trade agreements covering more than 50 per cent of our exports – with China, Japan and South Korea – have been finalised with better markets for Australian farmers and lower prices for Australian consumers.
Yeah, I know the other mob laid all the groundwork, just so I could take the glory!
The live cattle trade that Labor closed down in panic over a TV programme is booming again.
Cruelty to animals? I stomp on animals
There are now 15,000 new trade support loans because apprentices finally have the support that’s long been offered to university students.
If we don’t pay for the apprentices, I might have to do some home handyman work. Margie said I wasn’t allowed to, after that incident.
At last, the NBN is rolling out, reliably and affordably.
On rickety old copper network which can barely carry voice signals.
And despite the argy-bargy, in every sitting fortnight since last July, the Senate has passed at least one major piece of legislation.
In 16 months of being in government, I’ve done one thing “right”
And, of course, the illegal boats that just kept coming and coming under the former Labor government have all-but-stopped.
Well, we’ve stopped talking about it.
The Abbott government has stopped the boats – and only this government will keep them stopped.
The Abbott government has scrapped the carbon tax – and only this government will keep it scrapped.
My mates in the coal industry can cough a little easier, now they don’t have to compete with those pesky renewables.
My position on carbon taxes has been crystal clear since day one as party leader.
Never mind my flip/floppping prior to me becoming party leader
There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.
At the election, the economy was weakening, the budget was haemorrhaging and unemployment was rising.
And it still is
Today, despite headwinds overseas, the economy is stronger, the budget is improving and the jobs market has strengthened.
If I keep saying stronger, it will be alright. It worked for Campbell, right? Oh wait.
Jobs growth in 2014 was triple the rate in 2013 – with 4,000 new jobs a week.
And yet the unemployment rate still goes up. I mean WTF
New housing approvals are at record levels.
Pushing the price up so the little people will have to rent forever. FOREVAH!
The registration of new companies is the highest on record.
We don’t talk about the failure rate.
Economic growth is now 2.7 per cent, up from 1.9 per cent a year ago.
But only for the big end of town. I managed to keep the ADF wages going up to only 1.5 per cent
Petrol prices are nearing 15 year lows, home loan interest rates are low and stable, and the September quarter had the biggest fall in power prices on record.
I’ll take credit for the drop in petrol prices, even though I put up the tax on petrol (but not for my mining mates). I wonder if this will come back and bite me if they go up.
But I’m not here to defend the past – I’m here to explain the future.
My utopia, if you will
People are sick of Australian citizens – including people born and bred here – making excuses for Islamist fanatics in the Middle East and their imitators here in Australia.
It’s not good enough just to boost the police and security agencies, which we’ve done – by restoring the millions ripped out by Labor – and to improve data retention, which we’re doing.
We’ll need this police state, if you plebs got wind of what we’re really doing.
We have to tackle the people and the organisations that justify terrorism and act as its recruiting agents – such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
Ohh boogie men
We have already made it an offence to advocate terrorism and made it easier to ban terrorist organisations.
And by terrorist organisations, any organisation that threatens “our” way of life (including my grip on power).
If cracking down on Hizb-ut-Tahrir and others who nurture extremism in our suburbs means further legislation, we will bring it on and I will demand that the Labor Party call it for Australia.
Never mind that quaint notion of “representative democracy”, I need that police state NAOW
The police and the security agencies have told me that they need access to telecommunications data to deal with a range of crime, from child abuse to terrorism, and – as far as I am concerned – they should always have the laws, money and support they need to keep Australia safe.
How else am I going to find out who’s been leaking to the press?
And with the world still feeling the global financial crisis, people are anxious about our economic sovereignty.
Oops, I wasn’t suppose to mention the GFC. I hope nobody notices. I’ll just appeal to their xenophobic side:
I am a friend of foreign investment but it has to come on our terms and for our benefit.
The government will shortly put in place better scrutiny and reporting of foreign purchases of agricultural land and better enforcement of the rules against foreign purchases of existing homes so that young people are not priced out of the market.
“young people” of calibre, of course
These laws were not legally enforced by the former Labor government – not once.
I can’t back that up.
This year, the government’s budget focus will be on strengthening the economy.
Because we have done much of the hard work already, we won’t need to protect the Commonwealth budget at the expense of the household budget.
Even though I’ve only got one measure through that dastardly senate.
As the intergenerational report will show, more is needed to put the budget on a credible path to a sustainable surplus – but as New Zealand has demonstrated, a good way to achieve this is not to make any unnecessary new spending commitments.
Unnecessary means no spending for you plebs.
We will always be looking for ways to make government more efficient and to crack down on waste.
Wasteful spending on people who aren’t donors.
Governments should never spend more than they must because every dollar government spends is a dollar you don’t spend, now or in the future.
I’ll just slip in the discredited “governments crowding out private spending” argument
So any new spending will strictly be directed to making the economy stronger so that long-term revenue increases.
Before Christmas, I said that over the break I’d be better targeting the proposed paid parental leave scheme and scaling it back, in a families package focussed on childcare.
I admire stay-at-home mums, as Margie was when our children were young, but support better paid parental leave to maximise young people’s – like my daughters’ – choices to have a career and to have a family too.
I accept, though, that what’s desirable is not always doable, especially when times are tough and budgets are tight.
As the Productivity Commission has said, and as mums and dads around Australia have reminded me, the focus really does have to be on childcare if we want higher participation and a stronger economy.
So a bigger parental leave scheme is off the table.
Values and beliefs are important but the most important consideration of all is what will best help families at this time.
I know that many women in many families are working just to pay the childcare – because that was the Abbott family’s experience when Margie first went back to work after becoming a mother.
Childcare fees skyrocketed 50 per cent under Labor which abandoned its promise to build 260 new centres.
More affordable and more available childcare means less pressure on the family budget.
More parents in the workforce mean that more people will make a bigger economic contribution as well as a social contribution to our country.
Women, after all, are our country’s most under-utilised source of skills and entrepreneurship – if female participation in Australia were six per cent higher, at Canada’s level, GDP would be higher by $25 billion a year.
So a better childcare policy is good economic policy as well as fairer family policy.
We’ll now consult widely on a way to improve the system of multiple payments, keep costs down, and put more money into parents’ pockets.
As well as a families package, we’re also working on a small-business and jobs package.
I admire people who take risks, have a go and employ others.
If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely that you’ve mortgaged your home in order to invest, employ and serve the community.
Quite literally, you have put your economic life on the line for others.
Every big business started off as a small business.
The new industries of tomorrow are likely to be started by the small businesses of today.
The best antidote to sunset industries is sunrise ones – and these are most likely to emerge from an enterprising small business.
Except when it comes from big coal miners and power plants to solar.
At the heart of our small business jobs package will be a small business company tax cut on July 1 – at least as big as the 1.5 per cent already flagged.
More jobs and better paid workers will only come from more profitable employers in a better position to employ people.
Every new worker is generating revenue – so spending to get unemployed people into work; on childcare to keep parents in the workforce; on infrastructure to get people to their jobs; and on a small business tax cut to create jobs will help to get the budget back towards the surplus our country needs.
Economic growth is the best and fastest way to restore the surplus.
Inflate away that debt
I hope that 2015 will see a more honest national conversation between all of us with Australia’s best interests at heart.
Because “all of us” is separate from Australia.
I want this year’s white paper process – on reforming the federation and on tax – to demonstrate Australians’ potential for change for the better rather than just politics as usual.
Finding ways to make every level of government more efficient, more effective and more accountable is in every Australian’s best interest and shouldn’t be an excuse for cheap shots.
Everyone who wants members of parliament to lift their game has an interest in governments taking more responsibility for the services they provide, instead of passing the buck.
We will also be inviting constructive debate across the political spectrum on all options for a better tax system to deliver taxes that are lower, simpler and fairer.
Unlike previous debates, we won’t pre-empt the outcome by ruling things in or out before the process has properly begun.
I do assure you, though, that this government wants to be remembered for cutting the overall tax burden, not for increasing it – for abolishing existing taxes, rather than imposing new ones.
As for the GST – it can’t and it won’t change unless all the states and territories agree.
It can’t and won’t change unless there is political consensus.
That means – leaving aside any minor administrative changes – that the base and the rate of the GST won’t change this term or next unless it’s supported by the likes of Bill Shorten and the Labor premiers.
Both white paper processes will be open and constructive: stakeholders will be consulted, submissions will be published; any hearings will be open, and the states will have senior representatives on steering committees.
Everyone who wants a say will have one – and the people will have the last word at the ballot box.
I had to put that in. Makes me look like I’ll take into account other people’s views. I’ll just nod. It worked so well for Campbell.
Sooner or later, all responsible members of Parliament have to put the long term national interest ahead of their short term political interest and there’s no better time to start than now.
So far, this government – and only this government – has had the courage to tackle the deficit, to protect our borders, and to build a stronger and more prosperous economy.
As I said so many times before the election, we will end the waste, stop the boats, scrap the unnecessary new taxes and build the roads of the 21st century.
And the results?
Waste – down
Boats – stopped
Carbon tax – gone
Roads – underway.
Sixteen months on, we’ve laid a strong foundation – but there’s more to do and we’re determined to get it done.
Our country is at an important economic crossroads.
There’s a mess to clean up after six years of Labor chaos.
And sixteen months of my goverment.
The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years cannot become the new normal lest Australia join the weak government club and become a second rate country living off its luck.
You elected us to set Australia up for the long term.
You elected us to be an adult government focussed on you, not on ourselves.
Yet we only listened to ourselves musing over a cigar.
You elected us to make the decisions needed so that everyone who works hard gets ahead, aspiration is rewarded, and our children can look forward to more opportunities than we had.
Works hard, very hard, and not smart. I had to work in aspiration, as it gives the plebs something called hope.
You elected us to keep you safe and, with every fibre of my being, I am focussed on our national security challenges here and overseas.
I hope that didn’t come across too “creepy uncle”
Standing up for Australian values is something I have done all my life.
I so wished these values wouldn’t keep changing. I like the Australian Values back in 1950. Those were the days.
Leadership is about making the right decisions for our country’s future.
“Right” and “our”
It isn’t a popularity contest.
Otherwise I’d be out on my arse.
It’s about results; it’s about determination; and it’s about you.
I sincerely hope you don’t look at the deficit figures on the finance website, they are a little embarrassing
Australia deserves the stable government that you elected us to be just 16 months ago.
And I’m still working on that.
You deserve budget repair, no return of the carbon tax, no restart of people smuggling, and no in-fighting.
Um, yeah, well
We promised that we would do our best to keep you safe.
I’m sure that wasn’t creepy
We promised you hope, reward and opportunity.
We give you hope, reward our donors, and give opportunity to “our” daughters.
That’s what the Abbott government is working to deliver for you.