ELECTIONS are a numbers game and this week at Club Taree, shadow minister for seniors, Bronwyn Bishop revealed her experience in campaigning and head for numbers.
About 40 per cent of Australian voters are senior citizens, according to Mrs Bishop, and she urged the crowd of about 130 senior citizens to use their vote to support Nationals candidate for the Lyne electorate, David Gillespie.
“You need life experience and life skills to be a good member of parliament and that’s why I believe Mr Gillespie would be a good member,” Mrs Bishop said.
Mrs Bishop travelled to Taree to officially open Mr Gillespie’s campaign office in Manning Street.
More than 26 years of political experience enabled Mrs Bishop to champion the stated Opposition Government key issues of lower debt, stronger borders and less tax, but with the addition of a feminine flourish - a statement regarding her belief for the need to return to Handbag Economics.
In concise statements with gravitas, Mrs Bishop outlined the Opposition’s perspective of Australia’s economic position.
“Every senior Australian knows the importance of managing debt. Our national debt is $300 billion and we will incur a $12 billion interest bill this year.
“You cannot solve a country’s debt crisis by throwing money around. It is simple and I call it Handbag Economics and that means you can only spend what’s in your handbag.
“If the money going out is greater than the money going in, then you have to reign it in. As a country we need to come back to living within our means, just as families have to do.”
Mrs Bishop said Australia was home to 500,000 self-funded retirees and 920,000 part-funded retires.
“In the last three years the number of part-funded retirees has increased from 820,000 to 920,000 and I think it’s a trend that will continue,” Mrs Bishop said.
“The introduction of the carbon tax is one of the factors that has contributed to this increasing trend. It is a tax that gets into the nook and cranny of everyday life. It is a cascading and compounding tax. It’s a tax on a tax on a tax. It impacts on the cost of everything we do.”
The subject of asylum seekers elicited the most response from the crowd with a ripple of muted murmurs and nodding of heads flowing through the rows of people as Mrs Bishop commented on the Rudd Government policies.
She informed the crowd that under the Gillard-Rudd Government asylum seekers received 89 per cent of Newstart; $6000 to buy linen crockery; that they may not work and rent houses with up to four men in a house.
She said it was the government’s Family Reunion Policy that brought so many young men to Australia on boats.
Questions from the floor addressed the issues of restoring confidence in the building industry, carbon tax, foreign investment, electricity prices and experiences with the implementation of the Rudd Government “pink batts scheme”.