Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Budget Bombs in Battlerville.

So I rang my mate Phil in Montmorency last night. I hadn’t spoken to Phil in ages, and I thought budget night was as good a night as any to give him a call. I could do a bit of research at the same time. Get a sense of what it means from the man on the street. See whether Phil caught Mr. Costello’s performance and whether he pushed the worm control up or down.

REX: So Phil how are you?

PHIL: Fine mate. Yerself?

REX: Yeah good. How’s the kids?

PHIL: Er, I don’t have kids mate.

REX: Oh Right. The wife then?

PHIL: Nope. No wife either. Are you sure you’ve got the right Phil?

REX: Yeah. Phil in Montmorency right?

PHIL Yeah that’s me.

REX Yeah that’s what I thought. Look Phil, I was just calling to say hi to an old mate, and to get your take on Mr. Costello’s budget last night. The one that’s been throwing money around, like he’s going out of fashion.

PHIL: Didn’t watch it mate.

REX: You didn’t watch it?

PHIL: Nope, I switched around the channels pretty much avoiding it. What happened?

REX: Well like I say. Heaps and Heaps of tax cuts for everyone. What do you think about that?

PHIL: I dunno. Not much. What about interest rates?

REX: Nothing about interest rates mate. The government doesn’t control them. It just has to do what its told by the Reserve Bank on interest rates.

PHIL: But didn’t Howard promise lower…..

REX: Yeah I know what your going to say Phil, but he needed to say that at the time so that you’d vote for him. You did right?

PHIL: Well, yeah

REX: Phil I need to know what you thought about the Tax cuts. I’m doing research for a piece I’m writing. There’s too many latte lefties around my neck of the woods. I’m calling you to get a sense of what real Australia is thinking.

PHIL: Well I don’t really care much.

REX: Why not?

PHIL: I don’t pay tax.

REX: No?


REX: How’s that work Phil? You’ve got a job right?

PHIL: I work black mate!

REX: Black?

PHIL: Do I have to spell it out for you?

REX: What cash jobs?

PHIL: Yep. Everything’s cash around these parts mate. You can’t survive otherwise. So nope, I don’t pay a cent in tax. None of the blokes I work with do either. It all started with the GST. Just too hard to figure out. All that bloody accounting. The BAS statements. Having to pay the taxman at the end of every three months with money that you’ve already gone and spent on stuff. You’re always behind. Everyone’s just thrown up their hands and given up. It’s impossible. We’re all just milking the system for all its worth out here now until the whole bloody merry-go-round comes crashing down. Then the bastards might fix the system up so we all get a fair suck of the sav.

REX: Strewth! Is everyone out there doing that?

PHIL: Well either that, or they’re up to their eyeballs in debt. Just teetering on the edge with massive mortgages, or juggling 20 credit cards. They’re screwed. I might not own a house but at least I can manage my debt. I’m not worried about my debt.

REX: So you’ve got debt too?

PHIL: Oh yeah mate. Bloody oath. The Tax department. I owe them Forty grand.

REX: Strewth! I wouldn’t want those bastards on my tail.

PHIL: Ahh I’m not worried. I’ve spoken to my accountant. She’s advised me to go bankrupt. Then I don’t have to pay anything. It just wipes the slate clean, and I can carry on working black exactly as I do, and everything’ll be apples.

REX: So. Mr. Costello’s tax cuts are of no concern to you, or your mates out there, and it’d be interest rates that would worry most people is that right?

PHIL: Yep. Pretty much I guess.

REX: Great. Look Phil. I’ve got to go, and thanks for your help. We must catch up for a beer sometime.

PHIL: No worries mate. See ya later.

REX: Yeah, You too. Oh and say hi to your wife for me will you.

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Superceded Blogger based Comments below:
You hung up on the best treasurer since Keating?
Yes. Now you mention it. It does look a bit that way.
Sic em Rex. I would be laughing like a madwoman if it wasn't so tragic.

I was a receptionist and wages clerk in 1987 for a Toorak/Portsea guy (with 80 employees) whose weekly wage cheque was $97.60 jeez he could make it go a long way.
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