Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Labor has delivered a moderate budget that it hopes will "build the nation" by dedicating spending on health care, welfare and infrastructure while winding back the direct benefits to the nation's well-paid. The first Labor budget in 13 years has maintained the tax cuts promised during the election and will now means-test welfare and the controversial baby-bonus which rises to $5000 from June Swan on song ; WAYNE Swan's razor gang has identified $7 billion in savings next year alone; Treasurer Wayne Swan's first budget has been well received by economists but government forecasts for slower economic growth could be too low. Economists praise budget The numbers: What you'll get in the Budget's tax cuts (Google hunter and gatherer $38B investment plan to boost Aussie economy

Yes, Prime Minister: What's in store for Budget 2008? The PM sees public service in brighter light
Address to heads of agencies and members of senior executive service Rudd, a former bureaucrat himself, is — was — one of them. As the PM noted in his address, he has played all the main roles in Yes Minister: I have acted both as a Humphrey, as Bernard and now I'm the minister … So when Ken Henry, the secretary of the Treasury, looks at me through … highly intelligent glasses and says 'courageous, minister', I know the text and the sub-text …

the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister, speech, Canberra, 30 April 2008. "Members of the Senior Executive Service, I begin this morning by honouring the traditional owners of this land on which the Parliament now sits. Thank you for the efforts that each of you have made to attend this morning. I know that your workload has been unusually heavy in recent months. Alongside an exhaustive spending review process for the Budget, the transition to a new government means managing new priorities and new policies, and adjusting to new ministers and their offices. The leadership roles that each of you exercise require you to balance the day to day needs of government with longer term policy and planning; in short, the reactive versus the strategic. In the early days of a new government you face both enormous day to day demands while also needing to start implementing new policy platforms."

• Only half joking, senior public servants have been commenting on how much better the country has been running during the caretaker period, without an elected government running the show Running Show; [ All about to change; Yes, Prime Minister. All change for the public service]
• · The whole point of politicians and political parties declaring campaign donations is to show the public what's going on. They are meant to reveal who is giving what to whom, and to sound the alarm at the appearance of improper influence on individual MPs and governments Political donations: disclosure is all show and no tell ; Michael Booth's career began crashing in great, ghastly pieces around his ears. But, surprisingly, it was not on the day in 2006 when he was accused of academic misconduct, but on the day he claims he annoyed a minister. A Sydney researcher claims he paid a high price for offending a government minister
• · The 800 include many of Australia's biggest companies, which have given between $1525 and $543,000 each - and they face fines of $11,000 for each offence 800 face charges for donations ; Money went to party, not me, says Sartor
• · · Brotherhood of St Laurence - This report highlights key federal taxation areas requiring reform, with brief case studies illustrating the inequities, and presents a number of recommendations for a fairer system. The Brotherhood is urging the new federal government to examine options to create a fairer, simpler and a more efficient tax system that maximises economic and social participation. PDF version link ahead The case for change: a snapshot analysis of the Australian tax system ; As far as Budgets go, the bar was set pretty high on this one Swan plays Robin Hood in Budget that takes from the rich ; A COMPREHENSIVE review of the nation's tax system will be unveiled in Tuesday night's federal budget, Treasurer Wayne Swan says. Tax review to be unveiled budget night
• · · · How Boris triumphed in London by not being Boris Mayor ; You know, I have always had a soft spot for Cherie Blair. You may think I am mad, but I have resented the attacks on her, and suspected that it is to do with the jealousy that surrounds a successful, high-earning woman who possesses a mind of her own. Boris on his website on crime and London ; The curse or joy of the Spectator Melisa and Johnson
• · · · ·A revamped data warehouse is helping Victoria Police to reduce crime rates and has delivered AU$2 million in productivity benefits, despite a lack of initial budget planning which threatened to derail the project early on Victoria Police cut crime with data warehousing ; When Philip Hind joined the Australian Taxation Office as chief knowledge officer, the task of managing the organisation's data warehouse was widely viewed as a poison chalice. How did the ATO evolve to make its warehouse-dependent BI applications a critical enterprise tool?... How ATO found an antidote to the BI poison chalice
• · · · · · This Oscar-winning WWII drama puts devils, as well as angels, on the head of the pin The Counterfeiters ; After seven days, she announced the blog was an art project and she wasn't planning to kill herself. I wanted this blog to be about personal discovery … When a 24-year-old woman who called herself "90DayJane" launched a blog in February announcing she would write about her life and feelings for three months and then commit suicide, 150,000 readers flocked to the site. Some came to offer help, some to delight in the drama. Others speculated it was all a hoax. Your blog can be group therapy