Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 20 September 1983
Page: 1030

Mr HODGMAN(10.20) —The Hawke socialist Budget is a disaster. This is the first Budget of Australia's second socialist Government in the past 11 years . It is a socialist Budget and it has been brought into the Parliament by a socialist Government led by a man who, quite unashamedly, has boasted of his commitment to the socialist ideology since he first articulated his political views and opinions. Lest there be any doubt about this matter, let me remind the House of words spoken by the present Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) some 11 years ago . On 4 September 1972 in the Sydney Morning Herald under the headline 'Labor is Socialist Hawke Says' the following appeared:

The Australian Labor Party is a Socialist Party, ACTU President Mr Hawke says. He had no respect for anyone who denied this, Mr Hawke said last night. Mr Hawke was speaking at Belmont, a Newcastle suburb, at the opening of the Federal campaign for the seat of Shortland in support of Mr Peter Morris. Mr Hawke said the Labor Party was a Socialist-based organisation.

'I have never at any time tried to walk away from the fact that I am a dedicated and convinced Socialist myself,' he said.

He believed that overwhelmingly his colleagues within the Parliamentary Labor Party were convinced that the best way to run Australia-

I think 'ruin Australia' would be more appropriate-

was by organised socialism. But he warned that Australians were not yet ready to vote for a program of Socialisation.

'If you went out tonight or between now and the next Federal Election and said you were going to bring in Socialism, you would not get in because for too long the people of Australia have been brainwashed into believing Socialism is something evil,' Mr Hawke said.

He said people have been brainwashed into believing there was something undemocratic about socialism.

So there it is-and here we are in 1983 with a Prime Minister in the Lodge who is , in his own words, a self-confessed and self-convicted dedicated and convinced socialist. And when we look at those who sit behind him, we cannot be left in any doubt at all that what Australia has today is, unequivocally, a socialist Government. If further proof was needed, I invite the people of Australia to carefully study, not just today, but over the next few months, the Budget brought down in this House on Tuesday, 23 August this year-a fateful day for all Australians.

Mr Deputy Speaker, this socialist Budget is a disaster and in the fullness of time we will all see with our own eyes the dreadful damage which will be caused to this private enterprise nation of ours as, day by day, the Budget depth charges strike home. This is a delayed shock Budget. At first blush, the commentators, the economic experts and indeed the people of Australia thought it was a mild Budget. As its sinister implications now come to light we can see that this Budget is a Budget of injustice and inequity.

Mr Goodluck —Terrible.

Mr HODGMAN —It is terrible, as my colleague the honourable member for Franklin said. It will, in the fullness of time, send many small businesses into bankruptcy. It will lead, as the Budget Papers admitted, to increased unemployment and longer dole queues. It will rob the senior citizens of Australia, the elderly, the retired and the superannuitants; and, it will lead to massive upward pressures culminating in increased interest rates, increased government spending, increased inflation and increased taxation. This socialist Budget is a Budget in the Whitlam tradition. Disguised though it may be for cosmetic purposes, it will do to Australia what the Whitlam socialist policies did to our country from 1972 to 1975-only worse. The present Prime Minister is in so many ways a replica of Prime Minister Whitlam. The only real differences between them are that the present Prime Minister is about 15 centimetres shorter and much more dangerous.

In order to appreciate fully the diabolical implications of this socialist Budget we have to turn back our minds some six months and recall the basis upon which this socialist Government bribed its way into power. It did so utilising its time honoured policy of promising the world and conning the electorate. The list of promises made before the Federal election of 5 March is indeed extensive . The list of promises dishonoured and broken since 5 March is almost identical. I am hard pressed to bring to mind any promises which have been honoured during the past six months.

Let us take the two fundamental promises upon which this deceitful Government bribed its way into power. Standing on the stage at the Sydney Opera House, in one of the slickest theatrical performances of all time, the present Prime Minister solemnly promised immediate cuts in personal income tax for 96 per cent of Australian workers upon a Labor government coming to power. What has happened to that solemn promise? As soon as the Prime Minister was in the Lodge and he and his socialist colleagues had settled into their plush ministerial suites that promise was torn up and flagrantly dishonoured.

Let us recall another solemn promise-an extra 500,000 jobs for the people of Australia. What has happened to that promise? Again it has been torn up and dishonoured. Let us remember another solemn promise to the pensioners, the elderly, the superannuitants; indeed, the senior citizens of Australia. The promise solemnly made was that a Labor Government would 'not take money out of the pensioners' cheques'. Yet within six shabby months this rotten socialist Government has cruelly imposed-and in quick succession-an income means test on the over-70-year-olds; a massive hike in taxation on superannuation and, in this disgraceful Budget, an unjust and discriminatory reimposition of the asset means test abolished by Malcolm Fraser and his Liberal-National Party Government back in 1976. If that was not enough, this Government has now belted the poor old pensioners over the head by decreeing that the price of their beer and their cigarettes will go up automatically every six months. Shame on the Government! Members of this Government are not just socialists waging a vicious war against the pensioners of Australia; they are collectively and individually the most shameless bunch of granny robbers ever to occupy the treasury bench. Honourable members opposite might think it is funny. They might think that these poor old people will not be able to fight back. Let me tell them that they are in for a very big shock because silver power will fight back and will destroy them and their rotten socialist policies.

The Hawke Government's contemptible treatment of the elderly and the arrogant way in which the Minister for Social Security (Senator Grimes) now says that pensioner groups will be consulted on the asset means test demonstrate that this is a government which will implement its socialist policies first and think about the consequences later. Cynically, this Government used promise after promise to worm its way into power and now, as the months pass, it leaves behind it a trail of broken promises and dishonoured commitments. With almost no exception, there is hardly a field of Federal Government activity in which incompetence, bungling and straight out dereliction of duty by the Hawke Government have not occurred.

In foreign affairs, save only for the actions of the last three weeks with respect to the massacre of the 269 innocent people on the Korean jumbo jet, the Hawke Government has pursued a policy of appeasement towards Moscow and the Soviet Union. Shortly after coming to power the Hawke socialist Government, wrongly in my view and wrongly in the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Australians, including most ethnic groups in this nation, lifted all sanctions against the Soviet Union. These sanctions put in place by the Fraser Government following the brutal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were lifted to the great delight of Moscow and to the great regret of most right thinking Australians.

In defence, the performance of the Hawke Government can only be described as deplorable. We will not be getting an aircraft carrier to defend our country-the world's largest island continent. The Fleet Air Arm with over 50 years of experience, tradition and service to Australia has been disbanded. Service superannuitants have been hit over the fence with massive tax increases--

Mr Baldwin —Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. I would have thought that debate on Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1983-84 should bear some relationship, however remote, to the content of that Bill and not the Korean airliner disaster .

Mr SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.

Mr HODGMAN —Service superannuitants have been hit over the fence with massive tax increases and-wait for it-in the Budget this socialist Government has belted the reserve forces of Australia over the head by deciding for the first time ever in the history of Australia that 50 per cent of the pay of members of the reserves will now be taxed. What a way to treat thousands of Australian men and women who, because of their patriotic commitment to defend this country, now find that they are to be taxed when they are on a pay scale which is determined on the basis that their remuneration will be tax free. Morale in the defence forces is lower than it has ever been in living memory. Morale in the reserves is even worse. Having served in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve and keeping in regular contact with the reserves-

Debate interrupted.