Uma mudança na grade de programação empurraria o Jornal da Globo e Programa do Jô para a metade da madrugada.
Para agradar ao público mais “sofisticado”, a Globo cogitou criar uma faixa de séries curtas às segundas-feiras. A ideia, no entanto, não avançou. A emissora desistiu após detectar que Tela Quente começaria muito tarde e empurraria o Jornal da Globo para a metade da madrugada.
May 16, 2014
Illustration: Jim Pavlidis
How you responded to last Tuesday night’s budget speech would depend on your point of view, your preoccupations and your prejudices – political and otherwise.
If you were a
, you might have been disturbed by signs of the Prime Minister’s short attention span. Chatting to his colleagues, giggling, looking distractedly about, he seemed unable to concentrate even for 30 minutes while his Treasurer made the speech of his life.
“It’s a budget that not only turns its back on the problem of inequality; it exacerbates it.” Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
If you were a spin doctor, you’d have been deeply impressed by the whole thing. Knowing that governments generally benefit from an air of crisis, you’d have applauded the creation of ‘‘budget emergency’’ as a slogan (derided by economists at large, but what would they know about winning?) You’d have loved the many euphemisms for tax, especially ‘‘budget repair levy’’ – quite possibly the basis for a whole new chapter in the spin doctor’s manual, that one.
If you were an economist, you might have found much to admire in the budget. You knew there never had been a budget emergency; you knew Australia was a world leader in keeping its national debt under control; you knew the temporary tax on high-income earners was a reckless short-term substitute for serious tax reform. But you might have felt that a tough budget was called for since, sooner or later, the deficit problem would have to be tackled.
If you were a moral philosopher, your jaw would have dropped at the new depths of hypocrisy and the extent of promise-breaking implied by the budget. Even in a climate of unprecedented cynicism about political integrity, you might have assumed that this Prime Minister, having relentlessly attacked Labor for three years over its broken promise on the carbon tax, and having repeatedly declared that no election promises would be broken, would have shown some restraint.
Tony Abbott with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane as Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered his budget speech. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
You would therefore have been amazed to see him sitting there grinning while his Treasurer trashed promise after promise. No new taxes? Trashed, by the levy, by the ‘‘Tony Tax’’ on GP visits and prescriptions, and by the increase in fuel excise. No cuts to the ABC? Trashed. No fiddling with the age pension? Trashed. Even if you saw value in any or all of these measures, and the many other budget surprises, you would have marvelled at the moral insensitivity involved in introducing them after all that had gone before.
If you were an advocate of public education, you would have been surprised to hear no reference to it in the speech, but perplexed to discover the truth later in the evening when the commentators got to work on the fine print. You might then have wondered whether ‘‘we are on a unity ticket with Labor’’ on school funding reform was not a promise, but simply an expedient lie.
If you worked in the welfare sector, especially among young people, you might have wept with a combination of frustration and despair.
No new taxes? The budget dealt a hit on prescriptions and GP visits… Photo: Louie Douvis
But what if you were merely a concerned citizen, looking to the budget for clues about where this new government might be taking us; what kind of vision it has for Australia; what kind of society it wants us to become?
As background, you would have been aware that the OECD’s annual report card on Australia, while lauding our prosperity and economic robustness, has for some years been warning of growing income inequality and a rise in poverty. According to the OECD, income inequality among working-age Australians has been rising since 2000 and is above the OECD average.
In Australia, the top 20 per cent of households control 62 per cent of the wealth, while the bottom 20 per cent have less than 1 per cent. As in any society, economic inequality has certain inexorable social consequences for such things as rates of imprisonment, social exclusion, class envy and social anxiety. Yet, year after year, federal budgets have consistently chosen to favour the already-wealthy through such measures as tax cuts, the inherently regressive GST, and generous superannuation benefits inaccessible to the poorer members of the community.
… and at the bowser with an increased excise on fuel. Photo: Rob Homer
So perhaps you might have expected a ‘‘tough’’ budget to begin the process of redressing that socio-economic imbalance, since every budget is an exercise in social engineering. You might have wondered, for example, whether this budget would signal a revival of Australia’s once-famous egalitarian ideal by offering more support to the marginalised, more opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty, a blueprint for the creation of more full-time jobs, and some new ways to encourage the rich to accept more responsibility for the poor.
Anyone who dreams of a better world knows that a civil society runs on trust. We need to be able to assume that our fellow citizens appreciate the value of mutual respect and those qualities of kindness, compassion, care and concern that distinguish the much-vaunted ‘‘civil societies’’ from the rest.
But trust is more than a personal, private matter: it starts at the top. We need to feel confidence in the integrity of our institutions, whether political, legal, religious, commercial or cultural. We need to be able to trust our leaders, above all. In spite of our cynicism, and regardless of how often we might have been disappointed, we (and our children) still look hopefully to them as examples of probity, charity, loyalty, integrity and decency.
That’s why we are so badly let down when institutions and their leaders err – through anything from corruption or child abuse to the breaking of promises. And we are similarly let down by any sign of heartlessness in high places; any sign of harshness in the treatment of our most vulnerable citizens.
By such criteria, this is a profoundly disappointing budget. It’s not the economics; it’s not the politics; it’s the clear sign that this government has young people, the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the elderly and the marginalised in its sights.
It’s a budget that not only turns its back on the problem of inequality; it exacerbates it.
Hugh Mackay is an author and social researcher.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald
May 19, 2014
Tony Abbott has accomplished something that Bill Shorten could not. He has made Shorten Australia’s preferred prime minister.
The Liberals have vacated the field.
Today’s Fairfax-Nielsen poll shows that 51 per cent of voters would prefer the Labor leader to be prime minister, over 40 per cent who favour Abbott.
PM Tony Abbott: The budget proved to be a landmark moment in political unpopularity. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
And the Opposition Leader has pulled ahead earlier than in any prime minister’s term in 40 years.
The poll shows that the budget was a landmark moment in political unpopularity.
”There have only been less popular prime ministers on a handful of occasions” in the 40-year history of the survey, pollster John Stirton said.
Favoured by 51 per cent of voters: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Those include when the Whitlam government was embroiled in the notorious Khemlani loans affair, when Paul Keating broke his ”L-A-W” promise to deliver tax cuts, and when Julia Gillard announced the carbon tax.
Abbott was already a uniquely unpopular new prime minister in the early months of his term. But that was based largely on voters’ fears and suspicions.
His first budget has confirmed the fears and validated the suspicions. The poll shows that the strongest objections to the budget are twofold: that people expect it will make them worse off personally, and that it is unfair.
Abbott and his Treasurer, Joe Hockey, could have worn the first as a badge of pride. They had promised a tough budget to fix the nation’s deficit.
But unfair? That was never an Abbott promise. Or, as Stirton puts it: ”The election was Abbott’s mandate to fix the budget. It was not a mandate to fix it unfairly.”
The hostile reaction to the budget has done Labor’s work for it. Labor is suddenly ahead on primary votes for the first time in four years.
As UMR Research pollster Stephen Mills observes: ”Labor, at one stroke, has had its traditional positioning of representing the interests of the low- and middle-income families, looking after pensioners, defending Medicare, caring more about
and jobs and looking after the vulnerable spectacularly reinforced. The Liberals have vacated the field.” However, the electorate is readier to acknowledge that the budget does move Australia towards a balanced budget. Asked whether the budget was economically responsible, respondents were closely divided, with 49 per cent answering yes and 48 no.
But the sharp overall movement against the Coalition was decisive and well beyond the poll’s 2.6 per cent margin of error.
”The politics of the Australian budget,” Mills says, ”seem so bad that you can only conclude that Abbott and Hockey must genuinely believe they are doing the right thing and will receive the electoral rewards of a booming economy in 2016.” And it is that timing which explains why Abbott and Hockey are not panicking. Governments have hit these lows before and recovered to be re-elected. This poll puts the government behind by 56 per cent to 44 on the election- deciding measure, the two-party preferred vote.
The Howard government hit this low point in 1998, 2001 and 2004 yet recovered to win. As Stirton remarks: ”Recovery is always an option, especially when it’s this early in the term.”
This is Abbott’s and Hockey’s first budget, not their third.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald