||Issue No. 178||16 May 2003|
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
In Defence of Tom
Let Them Eat Junk
Food buff Amanda Vanstone had her fingers on the pulse when she let the world know that $5.00 would be lucky to buy a sandwich and a milkshake.
Vanstone, who showed a surprising lack of understanding of what exactly a sandwich and a milkshake costs in the real world, was celebrating the governments generosity in the area of welfare.
"Five dollars - hell, what will it buy you?" said the Minister for Relentless and Grinding Poverty, Senator Vanstone. "A sandwich and a milkshake if you're lucky."
And how lucky are we to have this Federal Government? If it wasn't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all.
While welfare - or caring about anyone who earns under $500 000 a year - is obviously not the Federal Governments strong suit it was enlightening to see that they do have a grasp of the new math. Henceforth it is understood that $5 is not being too generous while $4 is - well, at least according to Federal Treasurer and Prime Minister in waiting and waiting, Peter Costello.
It certainly was a generous budget if you are on the BRW Rich List and your offspring are too thick to get into Law at Sydney Uni. Now you can buy them a seat at a good firm while the great unwashed watch their living standards, health system, education and the environment all go down the tubes.
Indeed the upper echelons, who to the unenlightened merely appear as parasitic larcenous thugs, will have a tad more than the $5 being shoveled at those welfare recipients that curtsy correctly. With their $11 tax cut they can look forward to being able to splash out on the corkage at Scully's.
This is what is known as a responsible budget.
As well as offering dietary advice to the less fortunate the Marie Antoinette of Australian politics, Senator Amanda Vanstone, has defended the government's responsibility while not actually indicating who is responsible. When it has been established just who is responsible people can look forward to charges being pressed.
Vanstone urged Australians not to blow their $4 on Milkshakes, Sandwiches Pate De Fois Gras or Larks Uvulas; or even most of an AMP share. In these hard times when so many Australians are doing it tough, the Minister for the Deserving Poor asked Australians to think of those in greater need, and to give their tax cut to the banks.
According to South Australia's answer to Mother Theresa, by repaying our mortgages sooner we can now look forward to the board of directors of the National Australia Bank being able to rescue their children from the threat of poverty - on Hayman Island. This is certainly a slap in the face for those that think that the Minister for Breaking The People's Spirit doesn't care.
Our tool of the week is correct in suggesting that $5 for those on welfare is next to useless, but I doubt that they'll be dropping it on a sandwich and a milkshake - most will put it towards trying to get the kids new shoes before winter sets in.
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