How should I respond? What should be my thoughts towards the leadership of our nation? It is potentially the harshest budget that has ever been presented. Was harsh really called for? The word budget doesn't mean 'to give every single person more money'. But wouldn't that be nice.
Everywhere we turn we see the ways in which our government have allegedly failed its people. The country is in uproar over such brutal cuts to those who are already struggling leaving big question marks over the quality of life people can sustain, not only Australians, but people in the poorest nations in our world. A Budget Speech presented on one evening with the potential to affect millions of lives.
Are our leaders lying in bed at night trying hard to think of ways to make life really difficult for Aussies? Are they having conversations in parliamentary offices about how to make cuts that are going to hurt the most? Surely not. Did they think our youth and pensioners were doing okay and could do with less support? So many questions and not many answers.
The leaders of our nation are mere human beings, placed in positions of power by us, the people. People voting for people. People in power make mistakes and make bad decisions. People in power can be selfish. People in positions of power can abuse that power. I don't know which category our decision makers fit into, if any. Perhaps they have made the best decisions for our country. I don't know him personally. Only time is going to reveal the truth of the matter and the effects. Would Mr. Abbott present a budget which would automatically lead to his demise and end his first and only term?
Views on the Budget are so varied and it's only a matter of time to see just which parts of the Budget are passed and the longer term effects of the cuts and spending. As the government need time to balance the Budget and put into place what they need for the best outcome, so too do we need to have a balanced view on the process. It is healthy to discuss how we feel and how things will affect us. It's even better to pray for our leaders. Hopefully the government will listen to the voices that they have overlooked and to those feeling the biggest brunt of the cuts.
Some feel a harsh budget is pointless. "Australia's macroeconomic outlook is fragile: output is still growing below its potential and unemployment is rising. A tight budget is likely to slow down the pace of economic activity even further. As a consequence, the economic downturn that Australia avoided during the global financial crisis might happen now". (theconversation.com).
Others believe that we are now paying for all of Labor's bad spending behaviours. "No one explained that the previous Greens-backed Labor government had laid the foundations for the Abbott government's budget". (indymedia.org.au)
Some Australian citizens are looking at the bigger picture. A comment on the ABC website stated, "I don't really have any particular problem with the budget…What makes me the saddest is that our politicians are required to lie their way into government because the voter only ever wants to hear the good news in the lead up to an election and the ALP and the Coalition both know full well that any admission of pain will be run with in a negative campaign by the other. The system and the nature of people is what perpetuate this problem. (abc.net.au)
The U.S see our situation as fairly minor and while our net debt is set to be at a 20 year high in 2016 it is still a non-issue as far as they are concerned. "Australia's debt pales in comparison to most developed nations, spurring criticism that many of the mooted measures are unnecessary and might damage the AAA-rated economy". (cnbc.com)
While a U.S citizen saw things positively, "When the economy is good, people say 'why cut back now' and when the economy is bad people say 'you can't cut back now'...so when do you actually ever eliminate deficits and debt?? Good for them. That is responsible government". (cnbc.com – comment)
Whatever position we take, just ensure it informed and not just attacking our leaders for the sake of it. They have a huge responsibility over our nation and need the backing of prayer from our Christian churches to ensure that wise decisions are made. Tony Abbott will never be perfect. None of us are.
1 Timothy 2 verse 1 and 2 says, "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour".
Laura Veloso's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/laura-veloso.html