What does the budget mean to me? Me personally? It means nothing. Absolutely nothing.
After looking through every different list in the media of ‘what the budget means to you’ I have not seen one mention of anything that actually applies to me.
Nowhere does it say, ‘Discounts on drunken text messages, free Game of Thrones downloads, thirty percent rebates on Friday night taxi rides, no more charges for soy milk, free tomato sauce with everything.’
It’s especially offensive that although these articles are supposed to be all about the budget and me, not one article mentions me by name, and there are certainly no sentences like, ‘More movie tickets for Xavier, $30 a month so Xavier can take a girl a place with cloth napkins or even the bare minimum – here’s a 30% rebate on strawberries, just for you Xavier.’
Strawberries are my favourite food and they’re outrageously expensive at the moment. Some sort of rebate could really help me and the strawberry farmers. Isn’t the government supposed to be looking after the farmers?
Looking at what the budget does include, it doesn’t apply to me at all. I don’t need a new start because if I want a job, I’ll find one myself thanks, $5,000 isn’t anywhere near enough for me to consider children, and more money for education doesn’t concern me as after nearly two decades in the education system, I plan on avoiding it until I hit my midlife crisis and decide to become a doctor, yoga instructor or an astronaut.
Those families they trot out every time there’s been a budget, they’re not real. I suspect they’re just actors paid by whatever television network or newspaper they’re appearing on to pretend that they’re deeply affected by the $11.54 they expect to lose or gain on a weekly basis. Maybe actors are the real budget winners.
What does $11.54 buy for a family these days? One shoe that lights up when you walk, a quarter a box of Lego, one ticket to Shrek 7 or Toy Story 8.
Most families have a mortgage. So by far the biggest impact on them is the interest rate, as compared to their weekly wage and the cost of living. So speaking selfishly, all most people want is a cut in taxes, which even if it does arrive is so miniscule compared to those mortgage repayments it basically makes no difference anyway.
Really though, how dare I make jokes when Australia’s still in deficit? What does that even mean? In Australia, we don’t know because we’ve been lucky enough to escape the global financial crisis.
Despite what you might hear, our deficit is one of the lowest out of all the countries on the planet, so is our unemployment rate and we’ve been through over two decades of continual growth.
Imagine Queensland won the State of Origin Series twenty times in a row. That’s a lot. That’s what our economy has done. It’s a winner.
So when I look at the budget, I’m not thinking about me or the deficit. I’m thinking about what it means for all Australians, and for the future of Australia.
Instead concentrating only on me and mine we should be thinking, ‘Is this society heading in the right direction? Is this a society where I want to raise my children?’ With all this focus on ‘me’ we’ve forgotten that any budget should really be about ‘us’.
The budget does include money for a few society-improving initiatives. Like disability care, education reform and public transport infrastructure.
What about the environment, foreign aid and higher education? Less money for all of those things, and most worryingly of all, those cuts have barely rated a mention. Really though, who can be bothered caring about the future of our planet, when we’ve got a deficit?
Something else that always escapes scrutiny is our huge defence spending. Remind me again, what are we defending ourselves from? Although it’s often called the ‘asylum seeker invasion’ I don’t think they’re really invading. Most of them just want a nice place to live, where you can have breakfast without a side serving of and persecution and torture.
The carbon tax and the mining tax are two measures with an eye on the future, both of which the opposition have promised to eliminate if elected. Don’t ever dare ever ask the Liberal Party about their thoughts for the future of Australia, they don’t even know what they’re having for lunch. All they can tell you is how sensationally the Labour Party stuffed up their lunch order.
Xavier is performing the comedy walking tour ‘2013 – When We Were Idios’ at the Brisbane Anywhere Theatre Festival until Sunday May 19. For tickets and details: anywherefest.com/idiots