Rudd has back-flipped on a number of government policies – the ditching of the insulation rebate scheme, junking the promise to build 260 childcare centres, the ETS decision (now postponed) and perhaps some wasteful spending on education. He has also had to toughen the asylum seeker laws and the rules to restrict foreigners buying homes.
And yet it seems to me the Opposition theme – that Rudd is “a lot of talk but no action”: he just “promises but fails to deliver” – is a mighty exaggeration.
These are some notable Rudd achievements (in the short period of 2 and 1/2 years). These may be more initiatives soon to be announced in the Budget. They include:
1. rescuing the economy from the global financial crisis;
2. commitment to limit real spending growth to 2% a year;
3. the resources rent tax;
4. greater transparency in superannuation arrangements (including inappropriate financial advice and a stop to commissions);
5. improved quality of life in our schools;
6. investment in social housing;
7. tempering the Howard Government’s workplace reform;
8. apology to aborigines and some gains in aboriginal poverty;
9. review of the qualifying age for the Age Pension to 67 years;
10. generous increases in pension payments;
11. cutbacks in salary sacrifice for superannuation e.g. reducing the cap from $100,000 to $50,000;
12. My School website;
13. implementing the Paid Parental Leave Scheme;
14. reform of bank regulation e.g. on bank capital;
15. youth allowance provision;
16. big new investment in public hospitals;
17. addressing homeless people;
18. investment in nation building infrastructure;
19. investment in jobs and training;
20. fairer and more sustainable private health insurance and incentives (admittedly, a broken promise)
Can you think of other important initiatives?