Posts Tagged ‘ family first ’

Minor parties force changes to Medicare threshold

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

The Rudd Government has bowed to pressure from the Greens and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and slashed the proposed income thresholds for the Medicare surcharge to $75,000 for singles, although Health Minister Nicola Roxon wants to leave the proposed new threshold for couples unchanged at $150,000.

Future for some couples still at Senate’s mercy

Sep 8th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Amid the train wreck that the Senate became last week there was one consistency - everybody concerned claimed they had a mandate. The highlight was when the Coalition and Family First’s Steve Fielding knocked off the increase to the luxury car tax, worth $555 million over four years.

Labor in decline, Fielding’s first test, Republicans on the rise - the week in review

Sep 7th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

This week saw big problems emerge for the Labor Party in New South Wales and Western Australia, while federally the Nationals shrank even further with the loss of Lyne. In the Senate, Steve Fielding voted down the luxury car tax increase, while in the United States, Sarah Palin has garnered an immediate and positive reaction.

Note to Steve: forget the stunts

Sep 7th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

There are several things lacking in the man who holds the balance of power in the Senate, Family First Senator Steve Fielding. The main problem is that Fielding has spent three years being a stuntmeister instead of honing his negotiating skills, focusing on policy and developing the strategic side of his brain.

Liberal Party claims victory in Mayo

Sep 7th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

After the resignation of popular local member and former foreign minister Alexander Downer, the Liberals suffered a 10 per cent swing on the primary vote. Family First candidate Bob Day, who stood as a Liberal in last year’s general election, picked up most of the Liberal vote while the Greens vote was up by more than 11 per cent.

Fight brings out best in Rudd

Sep 5th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

For the first time in months, the Prime Minister spoke on budget measures without referring to a “cheat sheet” of budget facts and delivered telling political lines without bureaucratic jargon. Instead of “prosecuting a process of economic responsibility”, Rudd whacked the Coalition for backing “Porsche drivers” instead of working families.

Senate dashes Rudd’s luxury car tax

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

Family First senator Steve Fielding sided with the Coalition this morning to vote down the increase in the luxury car tax at the second reading, 34 votes to 33. Senator Fielding had wanted to exempt farmers and those in the tourism industry who use cars, worth more than the tax threshold of $57,180, as tools of trade.

Bring on the number twos! – the week in review

Aug 24th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion, Science Fiction

This week was a week of number twos on a variety of fronts. In the US, Joe Biden became Barack Obama’s new sidekick, while in Australia, the minor parties in the Senate geared up to take on their new roles as second fiddles. Meanwhile, in the entertainment world, ‘Stargate Atlantis’ was cancelled and replaced by ‘Stargate Universe’.

Turning up the heat

Aug 24th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

f there was a large swing against Labor in Western Australia, let alone a loss, it would send a jolt right across a continent papered with wall-to-wall Labor governments. Inevitably, federal Labor would feel a touch nervous. This would affect the mood for the busy spring parliamentary session and Labor’s work on its extensive agenda.

Government heading for trouble in Senate

Aug 19th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

The Coalition will vote against a number of budget measures when they go before the Senate later this year. The Government will then need the votes of five Greens senators, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Family First Senator Steve Fielding to pass its legislation.