In the last few days in Australia, the federal government and the opposition have been waring over the budget. Seeing as I’m almost 18 (voting age) now, I thought I’d better take some kind of interest in the whole thing.
I’m sort of glad that there is a lot of spending on tertiary education, both by the real government budget and the mock opposition budget. Peter Costello has promised to create an investment fund, the interest gained from which will help fund education. While a hell of a lot of things could go wrong with this, I’m grateful for it, since I’ll probably be heading into said tertiary institutions next year (or at least the year after).
Unfortunately, the budget wasn’t so good on any of the other big priorities. Health didn’t get much additional spending. It needs heaps. Here in my state (Tasmania), the health system is basically in crisis due to lack of staff, which relies on having good funding.
Also, the environment got hardly any spending. If we install solar panels on our roof, they’ll now give us $8000 instead of $4000. Big deal. Really, it’s a nice token gesture, but it’s not going to do anything, because comparatively few people will take them up on the offer. And I bet they know this. None of the big things like Carbon trading schemes, money to build new renewable energy power plants, or anything like that. I only hope they will get introduced in the election campaign. But if they do that, we have no real guarantee that they will actually do it. *sigh*
Other things to get lots of money were the roads (which I’d like to point out are actually perfectly safe if you drive at the right speed), and childcare. Worthy causes to be sure. But that money spent on roads could be spent on health or the environment, and make a lot more difference. Not trying to be hurtful here, but people are always going to find ways to kill themselves on roads, no matter how much you spend on making sure they can’t.
But there we go. More pork barrelling. w00!