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Is Julia out of ideas already?

July 24th, 2010 at 08:59pm

Today’s great ideas certainly don’t seem to be of her own creation.

First up, The Australian from June 30:

TONY Abbott will spend $1.5 billion to improve front line mental health services if the Coalition is elected.

Under the Real Action Plan for Better Mental Health, the Coalition would target young sufferers of mental disorders and build a range of new mental health centres to address the problem.

The opposition pledged today to deliver 20 new Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres, 60 additional youth headspace sites and 800 acute and sub acute early intervention beds.

Julia Gillard today via Health Minister Nicola Roxon:

Ten new youth mental health services will be established by a re-elected Gillard Labor Government within a year to help local young people cope with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues.

The extra headspace sites have been chosen on advice from headspace, on the basis of community need.

That one took three weeks to copy and reduce in size.

Now we’ll set the time machine for March last year:

The government is being urged to introduce a $3000 cash stimulus plan to encourage drivers to crush their old cars, protecting the environment and the struggling car industry.

That was here in Australia. Over in the US, the scheme kicked off in July:

The program is offering a 35-hundred dollar allowance to those who trade in a car or truck that gets 18 miles-per-gallon or worse for a new vehicle that gets 22 miles-per-gallon or more. As further incentive, the allowance jumps to 45-hundred dollars if the new vehicle gets ten miles-per-gallon or more than the old one. The Cash For Clunkers program is being embraced by most auto dealers nationwide but they must be registered with the program to participate. Full program details are available online at

It didn’t take long for the fund to be completely overwhelmed with claims, and for congress to need to pump more money in to the fund (and increase the United States’ public debt, which is expected to reach $USD 1.47 trillion, or 41 cents of every dollar the federal government spends). There were plenty of complaints of delays in cheques being sent to motor vehicle dealers, and even more complaints of cheques never arriving due to minor errors on the forms, leaving the dealers severely out-of-pocket.

Over in Germany, where they’ve had a similar scheme, they are now looking at a large dive in car sales, which will likely result in widespread job losses.

US Congressman Ron Paul made similar criticisms of the US cash for clunkers scheme, but also noted this, which I think has been largely missed by most people:

Low-income earners who would have been in the market for those perfectly serviceable, working cars will have fewer to choose from, and those cars will probably be more expensive than they normally would have been. Automotive repair shops actively lobbied against this program, as it will destroy many of the cars they would have repaired. They were out-lobbied. And of course, Americans as a whole are hurt, because this additional bailout of auto companies comes at our expense through inflation….

Requiring cars to be destroyed and new ones made to replace them might help the auto industry in the short run, but any improved fuel economy will not make up for the environmental impact of junking one car and making a new one. So this is not a program that should really make environmentalists happy.

So, what has Julia announced today?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has copied Barack Obama’s cash-for-clunkers scheme to shore up Labor’s climate change credentials ahead of the election.

The government promises to give motorists a $2000 rebate if they trade in a car built before 1995 for a low-emission, fuel-efficient model.

Of all the ideas Julia could have copied, this has to be one of the worst. It certainly shows that her, and her government, have no real idea about managing the economy. They’ve plunged us in to deficit, and if they’re allowed to put this plan in to place, they’ll plunge us further in to deficit, while putting many people out of work.


Entry Filed under: General News,Samuel's Editorials

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