USING THE POWER OF POLITICAL PERSUASION
13 February 2019
ELECTIONS ON THE HORIZON
With elections on the horizon we are bombarded with politicians offering to spend our own money on us, particularly if we live in marginal electorates. But we know from experience that electing politicians to parliament gives no promise of prosperity or fairness.
Who do we turn to!
When individuals, community groups, peak bodies, farmers and businesses want to “Advance Australia Fair” to whom do they turn?
If they want to influence government without taking any party-political election position, to whom do they turn?
Who has helped them ban smoking, protect industries, reduce the road toll, receive licence discounts, obtain respite care and hospital beds, keep hospitals open, keep ski fields in public hands, stop banks bleeding customers dry?
FairGO has and it will continue to be there for Australians who want a better, richer, fairer country and want our “golden soil and wealth for toil” shared around through equal opportunities.
When people find the government working against them or their community, they give FairGO a call to see if we can help. If their family needs help, they find out if we can assist them or direct them to someone who can.
Advance, stagnate or retreat
Do we want to advance Australia for its people and our place in the world, do we want to stagnate or will we fall into retreat?
FairGO is ideally placed to lead the Australian voters in guiding government to shape Australia’s future.
There is no challenge too great when we act together for progress that advances Australia’s future in a way that is fair to all Australians, young and old, long-term Aussies or newcomers, rich or poor.
2019 has great promise. Let us set goals together and tick them off one by one.
Check out our Politicians Honour Roll updated this month to see the outstanding NSW politicians who have responded best to Votergrams on all sorts of topics from voters around the state since the last state elections.
Votergrams are the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to influence government on any matter large or small.
Voters network gives you the opportunity to rate how well your MPs are representing you. It should be well as you choose them by election and pay them good money. You can also join the forum and put your solutions to matters like domestic, family and sexual violence, population, immigration andtaxation forward to decision-makers in parliament.
7 February 2019
CHANGING THE BANKS OR CHANGING HOW YOU BANK
The banking, insurance and financial services Royal Commission is a prime example of how voter pressure eventually forces the corrupt, incompetent and negligent politicians to go with the honest conscientious ones, to do what voters want.
For years FairGO has told all politicians by Votergram what the major banks were doing to customers and sought changes. We will never change the banks. Some are very good and some are very bad. Now customers & voters have to take charge and control their banking into the future. That way all banking experiences will be good if we do it properly.
From all over Australia bank customers have come to us for assistance in preventing banks from taking their life savings, their enjoyment of life and their homes, businesses or farms. They have seen family, friends and neighbours lose everything and sometimes take their own lives. Some dishonest bankers have done terrible things to enrich themselves, earn billions of dollars for their bank and satisfy the demands of wealth manager shareholders who have control of bank shares on behalf of superannuants.
Banks will always be happy to lend people into trouble so that they are hooked on debt for years, paying ever higher interest rates and charges as their debt accumulates, until they are sold up.
Superannuation managers will always use superannuants’ money to advantage themselves.
Insurance companies will always pay high-powered sales people to sell policies that do not cover the risks as they pretend. They will always pay tough lawyers to help them avoid paying claims for as long as possible or at all.
Regulation does not work. We have proved that!
Regulation does not work because government which controls it does not work well itself and:
many politicians do not want it to work
many powerful bank, insurance and wealth management directors do not want it to work
many regulators do not care and are not held accountable by politicians or voters.
There is no easy way for bank customers. They must look after themselves if they want to be treated fairly. We have established Australia-wide facilities to help them do that. Brokers, bank staff or financial counsellors funded by banks or government are not really the answer. Why? They often have a closer relationship with any given bank than they do with any given customer and they mostly do not want to offend any bank. A consultant cannot serve two opposing interests. Either it serves the bank or it serves the customer. We serve the customer every time and the bank never. Offending the bank to protect the customer is what we do best!
Within a year of launching its Votergram service in 1986 and in the face of bank de-regulation, FairGO’s founder converted his Chartered Accountancy practice into a banking consultancy to give bank customers a fair go, just as his Votergram service had done for voters. He was able to help people who were being cheated out of their businesses, homes and farms by greedy, ruthless and unprincipled bankers and insurance company executives. He showed people how to get cheaper, better loans.
Just as democracy will never work well until it is driven by voters, banking, insurance and superannuation will never work well until it is controlled by customers.
GBAC Advisory has been formed specifically to assist Australian bank customers and in fact customers anywhere in the world to do just that. Its tie with the Better Banking Network will also help spread information to customers.
Competition brings care and compassion
One guiding principle is to inject a measure of competition into a person’s dealing with banks. GBAC Advisory has developed a system called BankBids so that any bank customer can quickly see how to get the best treatment from the banking industry. It gets banks bidding for a customer’s business! When depositing money in an interest-bearing account, BankBids will enable any customer to obtain competitive quotes from other banks. That is the only way of enjoying the best interest rate available. In a similar way when seeking a loan BankBids will enable the customer to find out what is offering from other banks. It will then help customers negotiate the best rates possible.
The variables in a loan are the rate of interest, the charges imposed, the contract terms and the degree of care and interest in the customer provided by the bank’s senior staff. There are thousands of really good bank staff around. It is just that they sometimes work for corporate criminals and fraudsters in their boardrooms. GBAC Advisory helps customers negotiate for the best deal that those banks can offer in competition with one another. GBAC Advisory has spent years helping bank customers all over Australia get a fair go from their banks. It does for banking and insurance what FairGO does for democracy.
Voters Network members and FairGO campaigners will always receive extra-special treatment when seeking assistance from FairGO or GBAC Advisory.
The Laugh is on Loyalty
A second guiding principle that applies in the current era when bank loyalty counts for nothing, is to change banks readily in order to obtain the best services.
Customers who remain with the one bank out of loyalty simply invite the bank to exploit that loyalty to increase its own wealth at the expense of those customers. Bankers joke about how easy it is to rip off a loyal customer who just trusts a bank. An elderly client of ours saddled with a debt of over $500,000 for which he did not apply or gain any benefit said when I queried him “When I get a document to sign from a reputable bank like ... I just sign it.” The bank did not even have the decency to invite him into their offices when they asked him to sign this guarantee. He did not know what the bank knew about the borrower’s financial situation.
Loyalty is now punished not rewarded by banks. Many senior bankers live by the motto “Never give a sucker (trusting customer) an even break.”
Holding accounts with a number of banks is the best protection any customer can have. It provides options to handle any particular transaction with the bank that will provide the customer with the best service.
Survival of the strongest
In this age of unprincipled greed by the financial services industry, supremacy of the strongest has replaced the concept of a fair go. No longer do our bastions of industry “Advance Australia Fair” but they “Advance their profits regardless”. Like voters, bank and insurance customers benefit by taking an aggressive/defensive position in all financial dealings. Customers who approach a bank from a position of strength do best.
It just happens that those who run FairGO and GBAC Advisory are well qualified and experienced accountants, business people and farmers. They know just how to advance the interests of customers in the financial services industry, as they do with government.
Governments, banks, insurance companies and wealth managers will work primarily for their customers if their customers demand that they do so in exchange for their votes or business. Australians in their roles as voters and finance industry customers can control the way in which they are treated. They gain additional strength from services like FairGO, Votergrams and GBAC Advisory rather than relying on very corruptible regulators. We help them use their votes as bargaining chips with politicians and their custom as bargaining chips with the banks, insurers and wealth managers.
As the song goes “You don’t have to suffer in silence” but you do have to act aggressively in your own defence. Let us give you a hand to get the best from the banks.
1 February 2019
WHY IS THE RIVER DRY? IT WOULD MAKE AN AUSSIE CRY!!
The fish kill in the Murray Darling is similar to the problems presented to me by three southern Queensland farmers on the Balonne river below Cubbie Station years ago. It flows into the Darling. Using FairGO's Votergrams we helped them persuade the Queensland government to restore the water to the river. It was a typical FairGO success story which we have replicated over and over for 30 years.
HOW TO RESCUE A RIVER
But since then no-one on the river has approached us for assistance to make government do the challenging job of sharing the water with many users in 4 states.
When rescuing a drowning person it is important to keep yourself safe first, for if you drown you cannot rescue anyone. In the case of Murray Darling, the first need is to have the river healthy and flowing well. Only then can it provide water for those along its reaches. But everybody must be sensible and only take out enough water for the river to keep flowing at full capacity. That means recognising the finite nature of the water in this river system. It is not the mighty Mississippi!
VOTERS DRIVE DEMOCRACY BY GUIDING GOVERNMENTS
Only voters have the influence to save the river and those who rely on it. Obviously governments cannot or will not. Money cannot buy favours when voters demand a fair go and back that demand with their votes, free of any party-political preferences.
Together we can solve this. Divided we will all suffer and the river will dry up.
In the end it is up to you and me. If we don't care, why would governments who represent us care?
Governments constantly talk about how complex issues are when frequently they are not. However, in this case the complexity is that the matter involves 5 governments; sporting, commercial and farming interests and the river system itself. It also involves a question as to how one should fairly allocate whatever water is available to be taken out of the river.
Is each person who irrigates from it to some extent, entitled to take the same amount out each year? Or should the irrigation rights be allocated according to acres owned/leased, weight or money value of product produced or capital invested in using the water? Should it be allocated on annual rainfall in the area or allocated to those who can pay the most? What is the order of priority?
Who should decide? Government, water users, environmentalists, voters in the states affected, all Australians, farmers on the river system, Australian farmers or foreign owners of properties using the water?
THE DEMOCRATIC TUG-O-WAR
As a committed Christian, Chartered Accountant, business owner, farmer and community group leader, the first lesson I learned about democracy was that it has nothing to do with fairness or justice. It has everything to do with the person who pays the most, works the hardest, knows the most powerful people, is most determined and produces the most effective campaign strategies. It burst my bubble of belief early. Then I remembered my widowed mother telling me once “Life itself isn’t fair Greg. Get used to it.”
So I did and I decided that I would work to help Australians get a fair go from government, banks and other self-centred organisations. Votergrams came into being to allow any voter, community organisation, family business, farmer or peak body to gain support from some of the most powerful people in the land. Our politicians. There were plenty of MPs (about 70%) who never cared much about helping voters, but the other 30% were just marvellous in helping anybody, no matter what electorate they lived in.
We formed FairGO and decided we would not pay anyone for favours. We had no money anyway. We set about developing the most effective strategies based on research, determination and information to persuade politicians to help the voters in need. We gave the credit to the politicians who so kindly enabled us to win about 90% of the campaigns we ran.
Democracy is like a tug of war played by many teams across the diameter of a huge circle, all pulling in different directions. We knew that the winner was the one who pulled hardest on the rope. We formed Voters Network to get teams working with each other rather than pulling in essentially the same direction but on a slightly different paths.
SO WHO IS TO BLAME
In a monarchy it is the king or queen. In a dictatorship the dictator. They all have absolute power.
In our Australian democracy it is, surprisingly, us, the voters who are to blame.
We have passed government over to a tiny minority in the major political parties.
We have elected to represent us in government, people we do not know and whose ability to govern we do not know.
Our constant criticism, lack of support and ridicule of politicians discourages many wise, competent community members from going into politics.
We have failed to tell our representatives what we want done or to monitor what they do for their $200,000 + salaries we pay them.
We have failed to back our requests, suggestions or demands with our votes, frequently rewarding with our votes the very parties who have done just what we do not want, for fear that others would be worse.
WHAT ABOUT THE RIVERFLOWS
We have, by and large, taken absolutely no interest in what was happening to the water in the Murray Darling basin because we were not interested, too busy or did not see that it was any of our business. That is possibly how the German people felt when they handed control of their country to the personable, sensible and competent Adolf Hitler. Perhaps the people of Venezuela, Syria, Zimbabwe and others felt the same.
If we voters put our wishes on the table, add the opinions of experts and those most affected, digest those views and tell all of our politicians what we want done, those politicians will almost certainly do it. It is a big job but not if we all do our own little bit.
But it is no good telling one local MP or the minister. We must all share our good ideas with all MPs, for parliament is a voting forum like a community meeting, where the majority rules. If we only tell our local MP, our idea goes into parliament with that MP’s party tag. When we send our message by Votergram to all MPs it carries no tag except that of “voter”.
For this vital “Riverflows” campaign, Fairgo will offer a special 20% discount for people who send their personal 100 word solution by Votergram to every MP in the Federal, Qld, NSW, SA & Vic parliaments - over 600 MPs. The normal cost to send the message to all those MPs of $119 will be cut to $95. Voters can send their message to FairGO from a laptop or email their message to email@example.com. The website form is not yet mobile friendly.
If we don't care enough to do something, they (government ) won't care enough to do anything either. Voters always guide what governments do, frequently by their disinterest.
23rd January 2019
Who controls Australia, how and why?
Big business controls Australia right now, but how and why?
The how is easy. Money! It funds political parties, provides jobs, goods, services and taxes. It bribes political parties, politicians and public servants with donations and outrageous ticket prices for the right to sit alongside the ministers we voters pay. It threatens them by being able to run media campaigns against political parties that don’t do as they are told with ads to convince voters to vote against those parties.
The why is easy too. It is to make the very highest profits they can, pay their executives and directors the largest pay packets possible, increase their share prices and pay as little tax in Australia as possible. They have the laws written to suit them and enforcement authorities under their thumbs. Senior tax office officials move to or from the largest tax avoidance advisers in the country, having laws and regulations written then advising big business operators how to get around them. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald carries a story that government regulators are being wined, dined, entertained and given gifts by the very bodies they regulate. These are bribes pure and simple, designed to get the regulators on side. No wonder we could not get regulators to do anything about dishonest, lying, cheating and fraudulent banks and insurance companies. Corruption rules supreme in Australian government. No wonder the highest earners pay little tax. A corporate tax on turnover in any country at all should be imposed on Australian registered, trading or based companies. That cannot be avoided. Negative gearing, dividend imputation and capital gains concessions are simply clever tax avoidance laws for the richest Australians.
Politicians who have allowed this corruption to flourish do not deserve to be re-elected. Voters should push for legislation to ban government employees from receiving any benefit of any kind or having any social contact with any person who is employed by, a director of or shareholder in a company or other body with which the government deals in any way, including regulating and granting contracts or legislation favourable to that entity.
Right now, big business, the banks and the government are working out how to keep home prices artificially high, by making borrowing easier and cheaper and increasing demand through high immigration and promoting foreign investment in homes.
This is great for those wanting to sell a home and terrible for young Australians wanting to buy homes. For those just living in their home and perhaps paying off a mortgage, it should not make any difference as long as the ruthless moneylenders can be stopped from selling people up simply because the value of the home has dropped.
But for young people there is a magic bullet – Inland Australia. Go for a camping, caravan or car trip in autumn or spring and see for yourself how beautiful and inexpensive it is. With the internet providing work-at-home options and homes costing about a quarter of Sydney or Melbourne prices you can’t miss. The kids would live a life that you just cannot get 20 storeys off the ground, with the risk of building collapse or fire with little chance of escape.
For years I ran a Chartered Accountancy practice just a bit north of Sydney CBD with clients all around Sydney. Today I help voters and bank loan borrowers get a fair go from governments and banks. I do it all from home assisting people who are spread over every state and territory in Australia.
We don’t all need to work side by side anymore, with Skype, phone, internet, email and cloud storage, to say nothing of social networks. We can mostly work from anywhere and deal with all of Australia or overseas.
For voters, including young home buyers, there is a magic bullet too. It is their vote – provided it is used strategically to achieve their goals. Mostly it isn’t. Voters can achieve great things simply by asking all MPs in the right way. That is what voters have done by Votergram for the past 30 years. But I have learned that the more people we have, the faster we can achieve their goals with the help of politicians. It is mostly a matter of strategy. Australians need to get over their dislike of politicians and get alongside them. Voters Network helps them do that in a way that builds strength through numbers.
We don’t need strong leaders. The stronger the leader the more corrupt they are likely to be. We need active voters, because the mass of voters can kill corruption stone dead. Only active voters can make democracy work better. They join Voters Network and use FairGO's services to persuade politicians on what is right.
10 January 2019
Are Governments Failing the People?
What is happening in the democracies of the United Kingdom the United States, France, Germany and Syria?
How are we feeling back home? Every day the media carries stories criticising what the government is doing. Every day we see some sort of tragedy unfolding somewhere in Australia. Is this indicative of government failing the people or is it simply media designed to attract attention and earn income?
Are our politicians failing us on our finances?
In recent days a Citigroup analyst said “franking credits made up a large proportion of the value of the major banks.”
It is enlightening to realise that the tax scheme which allows people to earn money from dividends without paying any or very much tax on them is really designed to benefit our major banks and the stock market in general.
It is very much the same with negative gearing. It is not so much the investor who deliberately sets out to lose money on property development in the knowledge that 100% of expenses will be deductible against other income whilst when the property is sold tax will only be payable on half of the profit. The real benefit of negative gearing is that it delivers huge profits to our major banks and other property lenders.
Superannuation is similar. The very best superannuation anyone can have is to own their own. At least then they have somewhere to live without having to pay rent or depend on charity. The long term capital gain can be enormous over time. The government introduced compulsory superannuation which directs about 10% of everyone’s earnings to the financial services industry largely controlled by the banks. Instead of most Australian being able to buy their home, the net result is that many will never own a home while the gurus of the financial services industry will be able to earn enough out of the money they are managing for them, to buy mansions.
The failure to tax gambling winnings and allow losses as a deduction against winnings only, not only allows a sizeable portion of the population to earn money without paying tax on it, but also facilitates the laundering of money by organised crime.
Rectifying failure by Community lobbying
7 January 2019
Members of Voters Network have been helping interested Australians to influence governments for decades with outstanding results. Government action since we started our consideration of how to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence has been most rewarding.
Voters Network provides every Australian with an opportunity to become involved in the processes of our democratic government without taking partisan sides. They can just look at what might be good for themselves & their friends for a start. There is every chance that it will be equally good for many of their fellow Aussies.
We voters have every chance to ensure that government does not fail us.
Politics and education
This morning’s media contained two interesting stories. One referred to access to teaching degrees at University and the other referred to special needs classes in lower wealth areas.
Of course there is much more to teaching than academic knowledge but it does seem sensible that those who teach should also know how to do what they are teaching.
There has always been a serious question about pay rates for teachers. This gets mixed with questions of how many hours or weeks they work in the year when schools or universities have such long holidays. Perhaps there is a need for reasonable estimates to be made on the normal amount of time an average teacher would spend at home on various tasks during a year. Then a pay rate for those hours could probably be calculated at somewhat less than the rate charged when they have to go to school or university to do their work.
There is no reason why teachers should be working unpaid. Nor is there any reason why they should be paid for time they are not working. Given past performance it is unlikely that education authorities are going to work this out to the satisfaction of parents, teachers and taxpayers. I suggest that it is a topic to be considered by voters who can then make submissions to government on it.
The other story related to special needs classes being clustered in the Western Sydney area in which residents may not have as much available money as in some of the more long established suburbs of Sydney. It pointed out that there was a much higher rate of special needs classes in public schools in that area than exists in more wealthy suburbs. The suggestion was that funds should perhaps be spent on preschool special needs education so that students are more able to fit into mainstream classes in primary school. This topic too is one that is more likely to be effectively handled by the voters themselves including parents, teachers and special-needs experts.
Anyone wishing to have those topics raised can easily do so through Voters Network forum.
There are about 100,000 voters to every politician. That certainly gives voters the advantage of numbers. Voters are able to choose the politician who represents them in Parliament and tell that politician what they would like him or her to do in order to represent them well.
Would you pay some $250,000 a year to represent you but then not tell them what you want them to do, supervise them doing it or check to see how it has been done?
That is what many voters do at election time when they elect to parliament representatives who they do not know and to whom they never give any instructions. For those representatives it must be disappointing and frustrating to be paid so little attention by those who they represent.
What will the state territory and federal members of parliament who represent you be doing for you in the year ahead?
If you think that it is important to find out, then your best course of action would be to join Voters Network. That way you can discuss with other voters what you would like done by those who represent you, rate how well they represent you and vote on proposals to be put to them so that they will represent you and your community in Parliament on those issues in future. Then you can decide at the next election time whether they are the best ones to represent you again.
That is the foundation of good government.
3 January 2019
What to do if a lender gets “heavy” as home values fall.
If your home loan lender gets heavy, call FairGO on 02 9988 3312 or 0428 471 496 for assistance or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home prices increase steadily with ups and downs along the way. Media reports suggest that worst affected areas are Melbourne’s inner East and south, Sydney’s Ryde, inner South West, Sutherland, Hills and Hawkesbury, Parramatta, South West, Blacktown and inner West.
For months, years, we have heard media complaints that young people could not enter the home market in cities like Sydney and Melbourne and were doomed to rent for life.
That was never true because there are plenty of nicer places in Australia to buy a home, many at a quarter the price which justifies lower wages. The current reversal however provides a great opportunity for young people to buy in at more affordable prices.
But now the media is full of doom and gloom because home prices have come back about 9% this year. They will probably fall further. If you own the home and don’t intend to sell, it does not matter what its price does. It is academic.
The exception is if your lender says that the “Loan to value ratio” is now unsatisfactory and wants you to do the impossible – make a lump sum reduction in the debt.
Historically home prices have bounced back eventually, even in the great depression of the 1930’s it only took about 6 years. In 1987 some values fell 20%. They are probably double now. Lenders need to sit tight as long as the home owner makes the repayments as usual.
Under no circumstances should we allow lenders to foreclose and throw the occupants out on the street. Lenders who loaned too high a percentage of the purchase price should just not panic and sit the slump out. My wife and I could not have bought a home without a loan of 95% from AMP. We never missed a payment, though we could not afford the cars and entertainments that our friends did. We entertained at home and learned that we could buy very nice used cars for a small fraction of the new price.
If any homebuyers are threatened by lenders and they come to us for assistance, their lenders will quickly be named and shamed in state and federal parliaments. For lenders the goal is to earn interest and get the loan repaid without expensive recovery action. In most cases that will be achieved by riding out the property slump that any lender with half a brain would know follows every boom.
Voters should not tolerate the disgraceful behaviour of NSW government politicians in the 1990's who failed to support the Homefund borrowers, caught in a property slump which dropped home values way below where they subsequently climbed to and provided moneylenders with exhorbitant interest rates of up to 15% and lawyers with huge fees in subsequent court actions.
These politicians should be ranked as some of the most corrupt and incompetent in our history. A repeat would result in their names being recorded and serious electoral action taken to remove them from parliament for good at the next election. All that was needed was a "stay of execution" until the home values returned to where they had been and variable interest rates which matched what borrowers paid with what the lending institutions had to pay to get the money.
The scheme was a wise one. It's management was a disgrace for politicians and bureaucrats alike. I attended the parliamentary inquiry called by NSW Independent John Hatton and heard of the massive incompetence of those involved. It was early days for FairGO. Today we would not tolerate that political and lender abuse of voters. What it did show was how much more good local MPs served the people than the major parties did. The parties seemed to be "owned" by the moneylenders. That is much the same as what the current Royal Commission has shown.
1 January 2019
Make your New Year’s resolution one that will work for you and fellow Australians.
“I will get more involved in government to shape Australia’s future for me and my community.”
20th December 2018
Good year! Bad year!
Don't be discouraged by the bad bits and try to enjoy the good bits to the MAX.
To be fair, the banking and political disasters that have unfolded this year in Australia are to some extent our own fault. That is not bad. It is good! It means we can fix them.
Here is a story from one person who has been treated very well by both bankers and politicians. So, given what I know has happened, I ask myself why that is. Why do bankers treat him so well and some of the people who come to me for help, so badly?
Well, it is because he does not accept second best treatment from any bank. He puts a little of his business with each one, sometimes just a few dollars. When he and his companies have needed to borrow he has asked all the banks what they could offer him then he played them off against one another until one bank gave him a very good deal. He would accept that offer and make sure that he paid it back exactly in accordance with the loan contract. If circumstances made that impossible he would quickly contact the bank and arrange for an extension of time. No bank has ever refused to assist him in that way.
Banks that treat him badly, he just closes his accounts immediately for a year of so and moves those accounts to the bank that treats him best.
Same with politicians. As soon as he sees something being done that he doesn't like, he tells all the MPs what he would like done and explains why. Those who help him, he supports with his vote and he supports their party colleagues too. Those who do what he does not want and ignore his communications, he votes against and he votes against their colleagues too.
By giving feedback to all Members of Parliament and explaining his reasons,using our Votergram service, he finds that they are mostly happy to do what he wants. Sometimes they are kind enough to explain to him why they do the opposite and often they convince him that he was wrong.
He deals with some very good bankers and some very good politicians, but says that he will never give his business to a banker who lets him down nor will he vote for a politician who lets him down. In banking he looks for what is good for him and his companies as well as general good treatment. In politics he says he looks for what is good for his family, community and the country.
He never trust bankers or politicians to the extent of expecting them to look after his interests by themselves. He says that would not be sensible. He reckons they will look after their own interests a long way before they look after his. Looking after his interests is, he emphasises, his job alone.
In that way he teaches bankers and politicians what will make him support them. Each of us can do the same. I think he has found the answer. It makes life so much more enjoyable to have the powers-that-be working for us rather than against us.
19th November 2018
FairGO is also about Fixing the Future
Have you read the SMH story “The future Fix” – “Democracy Blues”? Jessica Irvine is a very well respected journalist. Big trouble lies ahead for Australia unless we do fix the way our politicians behave! That is the heart of the story. For 30 years FairGO has provided Australians with an easy way to fix the future. Many have taken advantage of it and results have been outstanding
You can add your views to the views of our politicians and bureaucrats. That is more sensible than thinking that 600 politicians can hold all the wisdom in Australia and solve all its challenges while the other 25 million of us enjoy ourselves at the beach, the footie or the pub.
What are the “Democracy Blues” mentioned in Jessica Irvine's story.
In the decade from 2007 to 2017 the % of Australians satisfied with democracy fell from 86% to 60%. Only 40% thought government used our tax money effectively.
The story gives excuses, but the truth is that the politicians themselves have by and large been performing aggressively but pathetically, fighting each other for power. Why? Because we let them! How do we let them? By failing to supervise them and re-electing them when they fail us. Those voters who get involved with FairGO, engage with MPs and demand performance, usually get it willingly and generously provided. But only a few thousand out of 16 million voters do that.
A former bureaucrat complains that institutions have become politicised and that political advisers play too great a role in governance. The blame lies fairly with the bureaucrats and public servants who so often treat voters like dirt and regard our elected representatives as a “Yes Minister” obstacle to be overcome. Whilst the
It is not that the value of skilled public administration trained in looking at all sides of a political proposition is no longer regarded as a civic virtue. Rather, the voting public feels that the government bureaucrats and public servants look far too ready to deliver benefits to big business regardless of what it costs the Australian community. Bureaucrats seem to forget that they work for us. It is not the other way around. Their attitude has certainly changed as greed gradually took over from the generosity that flowed during the second world war. Many bureaucrats are regarded by the public as primarily looking after their own careers. That is why people find it easier to send a Votergram into parliament than argue with a bureaucrat.
A political scientist explains that voters disapprove of the changes in Prime Ministers by both Liberal and Labor parties over the last decade. And why not? What these leadership battles show to the people is that many senior politicians are not even vaguely interested in the well being of the people of Australia. What they are primarily interested in is their own grip on power to deal with the nation’s assets and reward friends with lucrative government contracts, infrastructure or services. These politicians are not advancing Australia fair. They are advancing themselves and their mates quite unfairly. They are not fighting for fairness and justice. They are fighting for the spoils of war – our laws, our land, our infrastructure, our taxes, our cities and farms. Voters would have to believe in fairies to think these politicians were looking after the public when they behave in such a predatory fashion against one another.
But we should be slow to criticise them, for are we not to blame? We the people, 50,000 voters to 1 MP, do not care enough about them. Having elected them to parliament we do not even care what those MPs want;care to thank them for what they do right; to tell them what we want; to support them when they stick their necks out to help us. The ball is in our court. Votergrams that take any Australian's message to every MP in a particular parliament were launched in 1986 and have been producing outstanding results ever since. When asked properly to help, about 20% of politicians will and that is enough to win the day because they can persuade their colleagues.
Democracy or dictatorship
If less than 45% of Australians agreed in a poll last year that “democracy is preferable to any other kind of government”, the other 55% should carefully reflect on Hitler’s Germany; Mussolini’s Italy, Marcos’ Philippines, Mao’s China and Henry VIII’s England and some of the Asian and Middle Eastern governments we read about every week. How fortunate we are. Democracy is a superb system of government. The people can remove the rulers every few years and speak freely. What is lacking in democracies around the world is the people telling all elected representatives what they want done. How could politicians representing millions of voters and their families, possibly know what the people they represent want done, unless those people actually confer and tell their MPs what it is?
The flaw in our democracy is that we want “government for the people” but we do not make the effort to provide “government by the people”. We let political parties control our representatives and then are surprised if the MPs work primarily for the benefit of those political parties. To enjoy “government for the people” Australians must provide “Government by the people”. That is to say they must take an active role by assisting their elected representatives to do their job a lot better. FairGO helps Australians do that.
Big Business has gained Big Time
We Aussies are not as silly as some would portray us. Only 5% of those surveyed believe they have gained a lot from our decade-long economic run fuelled by the mega-profitable moneylenders. 74% believe large corporations have gained a lot. We only have to look at the multi-billion dollar profits being posted by big corporations like the banks. If 4 banks earned $30 billion between them in 2017 it probably means that their customers have lost $30 billion in the same year. By that I mean customers have paid $30 billion more for banking services than those services actually cost the banks to provide. That is, on average each person has been charged an extra $1,000 over cost for banking services. Those using the Better Banking Network services would probably keep most of that $1,000 for themselves by bargaining for the best services at the lowest costs from competing banks. That is what we have been doing for bank customers since de-regulation before 1987.
But that is just 4 banks. Think of all the huge global companies operating in Australia – financial services being one area, hospitality, fuel and supermarkets more. That $30 billion is chicken-feed compared to what all the big businesses are making out of us.
When evaluating the intentions of politicians it is important to remember how determined to prevent the banking royal commission most Liberal MPs were. Big business has ripped of their employees and customers for the benefit of professional wealth managers and company executives. Big business is the primary driver of government policy and so when businesses overcharge customers and underpay staff in order to maximise executive pay and corporate profits, it is no wonder that the public deplore the pro-big-business policies that government forces on them.
Australians realise that privatisation has been a complete and utter disaster for them. Sale of government banks has allowed the private profiteers to charge what they like free of any real competition. Privatisation of electricity assets immediately sent prices skyrocketing. Politicians had delivered big profits to their mates at the expense of electricity consumers. Consultants charge twice what government staff cost and then donate some of their fees back to the political parties just to keep in favour.
Other voices have crowded out the voters - except for Votergram users
The article decries a move to the American system of new and friendly department heads being appointed by newly elected politicians. But this is also the fault of the bureaucrats themselves. There have been numerous instances of departmental heads deciding not to take much notice of the newly elected Ministers if they were of a different political persuasion. Such an attitude denies democracy to the people. When the people elect a different party to government they have an expectation that policy will change. Bureaucrats who think they know better what is good for the people are simply little dictators who cause much of the public dissatisfaction with government. “Yes Minister” is not acceptable in our democracy.
There is certainly a major problem with media influence – all sorts of media. Many Australians have never understood that what was reported on the radio or TV or in the paper might be complete fiction. Today with the rise of social media, people again pick up what someone says on Facebook or Twitter and circulate it as gospel truth when it may just as easily be a blatant lie. It is so difficult to determine what is truth and what is fiction online.
Few voters are receiving information directly from their elected MPs. Rather they are receiving it from an unknown third party. It does not matter whether or not it is true. If it is something they would like to be true, they treat it as truth. A former Treasury official at the time of the Homefund fiasco in NSW that cost many their homes and life’s savings, suggests that it is not policy that people protest about but the way it is decided, announced and executed. This is the old political idea that the voters “did not dislike what we did, but we just did not sell it well enough to them”. Voters do mostly know what they want and they know that very often they are the last people whose wellbeing is considered after the politicians, political parties, donors and senior bureaucrats. Voters are right onto the political deceptions, but many have not realised that they can change that very easily by sending their thoughts to politicians by Votergram.
Over to you!
Longer fixed term governments is put forward as a solution that would allow governments to implement better policies. However, long before the Australian voting public is going to buy the concept of longer fixed terms in political office, it is going to need to be convinced that the politicians when in power will actually be governing for the benefit of the people. There is little evidence of that at present. Comments by Ralph Ashton of the Australian Futures Project ring true. He calls on people of goodwill to come forward and fix the problems rather than laying blame on others.
If government is not working for you, either in personal matters or for the way you think the nation would be best served, please contact me, email@example.com and see what we can do to help you. We have learned that when voters take an active interest in a constructive way, may politicians are very helpful. They actually need our support just as much as we need theirs.
13th November 2018
Winning at all costs!
Why do politicians behave so badly in a win-at-all-costs battle?
Because party politics is all out warfare. The parties are fighting to gain control of the state or country, with all its assets and the ability to do enormous favours for those who have donated money to the party.
It is not so much different to the monarchs of centuries past. They were funded by the wealthy landowners and for backing a particular king or queen the gentry were rewarded with the lands of those who the king or queen conquered.
But today in Australia, voters control the votes that determine whether or not a local MP is re-elected every few years, so they can really control the behaviour in parliament. They can do that by expressing their views on bad behaviour, then voting out of office the offensive MPs or their parties as a whole.
In reality, if the voting public expressed its outrage at bad behaviour by our parliamentary representatives and backed that with their votes, the bad behaviour would cease.
We, the people, shape parliamentary behaviour by our behaviour. If we are interested in a better society so are our politicians. If we don’t care, they don’t care. If we react, they react.
It is simple really. What is amazing is that so many Australians still think of and fear our government as if it was a monarchy under a king like Henry VIII. They still think that the government makes all decisions and has some divine wisdom, and that if they stick their head up and criticise, the government will cut it off. Nothing could be further from the truth. In 30 years of constructively criticising governments of all political flavours, nobody has ever sought to do me or any of the people who have used our service, any harm. On the contrary they have mostly shown a willingness to do what we suggested. They don’t have any more wisdom than the rest of us. They are just ordinary people elected by us and trying to do a very difficult job. If we help them do it they are more likely to do it in the way we want it done.
Join our Voters Network and put some strength into your influence. Try to shape the future and do not put up with being pushed around, neglected or ignored. When you are part of the network you will always have a base to support your claim for a fair go.
One group of people who may soon be suffering are those with home loans facing falling property values. Don’t let any moneylender foreclose on your home without a fight. You need to protect the equity you have built in your home. Falls in value are usually temporary, so they will mostly rise again. There is no reason for the bank to mistreat you simply because the ratio of your home value to your home loan has moved in the wrong direction. We will always be happy to help you hang onto your home if it is humanly possible and it usually is.
7th November 2018
Ted Mack – a superb MP who is sadly missed
Ted was a man who understood that a good, fair democratic society requires the involvement of good fair citizens in parliament and on council. They do not need great expertise. They need to care about others and know how to represent them and their views.
We celebrate the work of independents in parliament, for they are frequently the only ones truly able to represent the views of voters first and foremost.
Around 70% of politicians have little interest in anyone who does not affect their re-election. Their priorities are their party first and donors second, local constituents third and the Australian people fourth. So Australia functions on the skills and care of about 30% of the politicians we elect and pay. Ted, John Hatton, Tony Windsor and others have served voters very well.
A career in politics is a great opportunity to work for the community on a pay that generally rises from about $150,000 a year. Even on council the pay is quite good. For people of any age it can be very rewarding.
If you would like to consider a career in parliament or on council, please feel free to talk to us and we will do everything we can to assist you. Then, whether you stand as an independent or a member of a party, we will help you build rapport with your voting community.
As a stepping stone to another career, parliament is ideal because whileyou are there you meet many powerful people and learn how the democracy game is played. It is totally different to what most voters believe.
6th November 2018
Why does government benefit from the proceeds of crime ???
The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the government received or would receive $17 million in fines from financial advice business Financial Circle and another business, for the damage it caused its clients by operating as it did. It is worth reading the article.
What about all those poor investors who knew little about finance, just wanted loans and according to the Herald were relieved on their money in various ways?
Why do we see the Government $17m richer for apparently letting these businesses behave dishonestly, while the people who were taken down get nothing?
We saw this with the government that allowed banks and insurance companies to rob their customers blind for well over a decade. Government fought hard to prevent the royal commission from happening, then collects a reward of millions of dollars in fines from those banks and insurers.
Would you support laws that instead provide mandatory compensation (say 3 times the amounts fraudulently taken) payable by offenders to those who lost their money? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.
31st October 2018
As October winds up what is happening in our Australia?
What does it mean that health workers are bullied? We certainly need to find out when 13,000 complain. What is the nature of the bullying? Can asking staff to do the job they are paid for, a form of bullying? By whom are they being bullied? Patients, relatives , bureaucrats, suppliers, other health workers – who?
NSW MP and state Minister, Victor Dominello seems to be winning the hearts and minds of voters on the planning issue. Plenty of people feel their MPs work steadfastly against them most of the time. It is a funny way to represent people, but I guess that as long as voters re-elect people who work against them the practice will continue. One difficulty faced by local MPs is that voters do not tell them what those voters want. One difficulty some voters have is that their local MP just does not care. That is what Voters Network is for – giving voters the strength of numbers, expertise and experience.
Attacks on politicians for being drunk or harassing people are a bit rich when we consider the number of other Australians who do the same thing. I watch plenty of MPs being harassed in TV interviews on current affairs programs, so it does not surprise me that they might retaliate some time. But we need perhaps to decide what we elect and pay MPs for. Is it to represent us in parliament and run the state or country the way we want it run, or it is to be moral role models?
Their behaviour in parliament is just appalling sometimes but it does reveal that their own personal power is far more important to many MPs than anything they might do for voters.
Negative gearing featured again today in the media. It is just another of the tax breaks for the super rich. That it can also provide minor tax relief for middle income earners does not justify its existence any more than the absurd concept that if money is earned by way of dividends it should be tax free but if it is earned by hard work it should be taxed at a higher rate than the corporate billionaires pay. Salary and wage earners do not get half the deductions negative gearers do.
All forms of voting for election to parliament can be rigged and we seem to be moving towards a time when people feel it is okay to rig election results. The Australian Electoral Commission is looking to upgrade its IT facilities. How can voters know that the software counts votes accurately?
By joining Voters Network, voters help to protect Australia from the sort of dictatorship that has won government in other countries by way of rigged elections.
The federal government is to be congratulated for preventing a Chinese company from controlling any aspect of our telecommunications. China is a country that kills dissidents. The further it remains from Australian essential services the better. What its government does is up to the Chinese people and it may work well for them. They are entitled to their form of society and we Australians are entitled to ours.
Two more people have been shot in NSW and Victoria giving us a clear message that prevalence of guns will mean more people being killed with them. Politicians who support more gun ownership with less restrictions are directly responsible for these deaths, just as those politicians who support the live cattle and sheep export trade are directly responsible for disgusting animal cruelty.
Greater voter involvement in society is urgently needed. Join the network.
27th October 2018
When political parties fail society – society itself has the solution!
An IPSOS poll revealed that “More than half of Australian voters surveyed (53 per cent) said they believe political parties are bad at providing politicians capable of running the country, while only 17 per cent thought parties were good at this.
Political parties were bad at creating policy ideas in the long-term interests of Australia as a whole, according to 44 per cent.
As for parties' ability to communicate to voters about important issues and how they will work to solve them, 41 per cent said political parties were bad at this.
36 per cent said "it (the system) could be improved quite a lot" and another 29 per cent said it "needs a great deal of improvement”.
First – What is the problem? It is this: since society began, rulers have ruled primarily for themselves and those who finance their battles to gain power over their fellow citizens. Australian society is no exception. In 2016 Australian political parties spent $75 million dollars fighting each other in a war of words to win votes that would deliver them the spoils of ruling Australians. Whereas, centuries ago, dead bodies delivered victory, today in democracy it is the votes of the Australian people that deliver power.
One only has to watch the spiteful behaviour of political party members towards each other and even within parties to discover the lust for power that lies just beneath the surface. Those good politicians genuinely interested in serving the people stand little chance of rising to the top in the dog-eat-dog world of politics.
Is this the best we can hope for in our Australian society at federal, state and local council levels? Not by a long way!
Our democracy in Australia has two unique features. First is the Australian persona, happy to give everyone a fair go. This arises from the appalling way in which our first settlers were treated by the authorities in this unforgiving land. The second is our right to vote our local MPs in or out of office every few years, without restriction as to any political party affiliations they may or may not have. In many cases independent MPs have acted better than party politicians.
By working with politicians instead of against them or ignoring them altogether, members of Voters Network can provide the unifying stability that parties provide, by supporting good policies without taking "party" sides .
We voters have a range of choices. First and foremost, our governments will either rule or serve the Australian people. Which it is, depends 100% on the voters. If we choose wisely and elect only the best local MPs who will do what we want, we will be well served. To date we have not done that. We have simply picked a political party by virtue of our birth, location or wealth and voted for the candidate endorsed by that party. A performing seal could get elected to parliament that way! And it seems that we have been more ruled for the benefit of the parties and their political donors, than served for the benefit of Australian society.
So what can we do about it?
We can put aside the concept of warring, self-serving political parties to whom the truth is irrelevant and false promises their stock in trade. Instead we can devote a bit more time, energy and money to working out which local election candidates will be likely to serve us best on the basis of PAST PERFORMANCE ( not false promises). It does not matter to which party they belong or if they belong to no party. But we must look at their past performance. How did they go last term if in parliament? What have they done in the community over the past decades if they were not in parliament? Did they live locally or did they just buy into the area to get elected to a good seat in parliament?
We can tell all MPs, not just our local ones, what we want done and explain why. Because Parliament is an organised meeting where the majority vote prevails, telling every MP is the only way to go, because then you have a chance of influencing the majority. Even on small personal matters, by seeking assistance from 100 or 200 MPs, someone will help you even if your local MP does not. That is why thousands of Australians use Votergrams to persuade politicians. It helps if voters discuss amongst themselves the major matters of concern first, to present a united voice on a topic. The Voters Network forum makes that easy.
We should only re-elect those local MPs who, or whose political party, do what we want about 80% of the time. By using the Voters Network website rating facility you can, on a monthly basis, rate whether your local MPs are representing you well or badly. Given the multitude of other matters you will deal with between elections, the rating facility gives you a record to which you can easily refer before each election to help you decide who will be the best candidate.
For about 5 minutes and $1 a week, Australian voters can transform their society from a political battleground where the people are buried by the greed, self-interest and quest for ever greater power and wealth by a very small group of people, to a well-off happy society where education is readily available, jobs are plentiful and rewards sufficient for a lifestyle that is enjoyable and substantially free from the stresses of disadvantage.
That is why our national anthem is “Advance Australia Fair”. It is not just a nice song to listen to before the games begin. It is a commitment by the Australian people to the Australian people that no warring, spiteful politicians, behaving towards each other like caged animals, can take away from us.
We can discard the self-seeking individuals and elect the society-serving candidates to represent us, then support them with guidance, praise and constructive criticism. There are plenty of excellent, community-minded politicians in our parliaments. But no Member of Parliament can serve the Australian people well if left alone in a vacuum, for into that vacuum will come the evil corrupting influence of the self-seeking dishonest trash of society ready to offer rich rewards to politicians who will do their bidding by granting them favourable laws and policies and awarding them rich government contracts.
In our society, when voters take charge through our fabulous election process, our governments will serve us instead of ruling us and ruining our society.
16th October 2018
Protect your wallet. Big Business want you to pick up the Tax Tab!
The government, driven by big business, is looking to tax you more. GST up by 50% from 10% to 15% and on more items.
Now that big business has been defeated in its move to get its tax rate down to nearly half the top rate paid by individual voters, it is pushing another proposal under the guise that the system we have is 27 years old and needs to be fixed. It wants taxes moved onto the low earning individual voters instead of the high earning giant corporations that replace jobs with technology and are off-shoring as many Australian jobs as possible to satisfy their greed for profits.
Consumer spending is what creates jobs. When consumers stop spending the retailers lose sales, banks and credit card companies lose business, raw materials suppliers and wholesalers lose business. Then they put off staff which cuts spending further.
Voters might retaliate with a Turnover Tax for businesses @ 80% of the GST rate for individual voters.
Companies spend about 80% of revenue, so as an equivalent to the GST paid by voters, companies could pay that Turnover tax of 8% (while GST is 10%) and 12% (if GST rises to 15%). There at least needs to be some degree of fairness in taxation.
A lot more money would come into government if all the tax evasion loopholes were closed by the politicians who so conveniently legislated them for political donors.
Companies should pay the same progressive income tax rates as individuals do with a maximum of the 46% voters pay, instead of companies paying almost half that rate at 27.5%. That would stop individuals putting their earnings through their companies.
People need some of their pay left to invest in homes, cars, furniture, shares, savings and education, just like companies need it. Companies are more likely to invest in reducing jobs than increasing them. Consumers create jobs whether they spend or save.
Failure to tax dividends now is a farce, again helping the richest in the community who own big slices of public company shares and can live well of their dividends. Companies are separate legal entities from their shareholders – unless shareholders want to be liable for the debts of public companies in which they hold shares. They should pay tax on the dividends they receive just like workers pay tax on wages. Income is income.
We need progressive personal tax rates to also apply to companies earning billions. That might curb their appetite to pay multi-million dollar salaries to their CEOs
Tax Attack is the best form of defence. Defend your wallet. Join the Fair Tax campaign.
Government could create jobs too with the extra taxes received and then we might get honest, reasonably priced services in banking, insurance, energy and transport again. Privatisation has been a disappointing disaster for many voters.
Give it some thought and let us know what you think. Put your views up on the Fairer Tax topic in our Action forum.
1st October 2018
Banking royal commission
Some outcomes of the Royal commission so far in terms of voters seeing what will assist them are:-
Government owned banks to compete with profiteering and openly dishonest private banks may have merit.
Customers shopping around various banks would give them better treatment. Moneylenders drive a hard bargain but wise borrowers and depositors can drive a better one with the right tools.
Customer owned banks like Bendigo Community Bank seem to look after customers a lot better than the big 4.
Government (taxpayer) guarantees of deposits and other liabilities of the big 4 banks which were introduced during the GFC are no longer required as those banks make billions of dollars annually and should keep enough money available and avoid enough risks to cover their own debts, just as they expect their customers to do. Only the smaller banks need government guarantees of deposits to borrow competitively.
Bank borrowers would be well advised to use independent consultants who cost a lot less than the huge commissions the banks pay brokers and build into the interest they charge borrowers. Customers who use their bank or its paid brokers to advise them on their banking matters are just plain silly. The bank cannot prioritise the interests of both the bank and the customers. Every dollar the customer makes the bank loses. Our associated consultancy GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd has worked solely for bank customers for nearly 50 years with spectacular results for those customers. It too is committed to bank customers getting a fair go. Voters Network advanced members who contribute $44 p.a. to network funding receive a discount from GBAC www.gbac.com.au .
27th September 2018
How can we live with politicians who constantly work against us?
Today the ABC aced the Liberal Party with “ Anything you can do, I can do better.” But there are voters very unhappy about its ramifications.
How does it happen that the Prime Minister’s business partner was appointed to the Chair of the ABC? That is a more important question than how could the PM via that chairman get rid of ABC staff he objected to. This is like a Middle Eastern or Asian dictatorship. We can see how easily Australia could become a democracy in name only with a Dictatorial Prime Minister or President as happened in the book “McCabe PM”.
I hope that even more Australians now see the advantages of using the Votergram service we have run for so long, to gain some seriously persuasive political power.
Today we read in the media about MPs laundering expense money from our taxes through their expense accounts, out to a printer who then donated a portion of it back to their political party.
It is not the first time public money has been laundered through external businesses or consultants and back to political parties.
It is one very good reason to end the obsession with privatisation of government services and it clearly explains why political parties are so keen on it. It can make them millions.
We need to have the Senate approve all government appointments to government boards.
The answer to the question above is “We can’t. We should not be expected to live with them. We elect and pay them. When they work against us our one and only remedy is to dismiss them at the next election. Those in Safe seats” can easily go and campaign in any of the many government held marginal electorates within striking distance.“ If we re-elect them we just teach them to continue to treat us like dirt.
20th September 2018
We give $1,000 a year of bank profit back to the customer
Last week we assisted an Australian company renewing term deposits with three banks to obtain higher rates. At bank No 1 we increased the interest rate received from 2% to 2.6%; at bank No 2 we increased the interest rate received from 2.3% to 2.55%; at bank No 3 we increased the interest rate received from 2.35% to 2.7%. Total annual gain to customer was $1015.
12th September 2018
HOW VOTERS RATED MPs ON VOTERS.NETWORK AS TO HOW WELL THEY HAVE REPRESENTED THEM
TO SEPTEMBER 2018
subsequent ratings may give a more accurate picture of broader views.
BEST RATED REPRESENTATIVES (best at top)ently climbed to
1 Susan Templeman (by big margin) Federal Macquarie ALP
2 Barnaby Joyce Federal New England NP
3 Emma McBride Federal Dobell ALP
4 Gladys Berejiklian NSW Willoughby LP Premier
5 Julie Owens Federal Parramatta ALP
6 Alan Tudge Federal Aston LP
7 David Mehan NSW The Entrance ALP
8 Heidi Victoria Vic Bayswater LP
9 James Merlino Vic Monbulk ALP
10 Jason Wood Federal LaTrobe LP
WORST RATED REPRESENTATIVES (worst at bottom)
1 Adam Bandt Federal Melbourne GRN
2 Damian Drum Federal Murray NP
3 David Littleproud Federal Maranoa NP
4 Jason Falinski Federal Mackellar LP
5 Karen Andrews Federal Mcpherson LP
6 Madeleine King Federal Brand ALP
7 Mark Dreyfus Federal Isaacs ALP
8 Nicole Flint Federal Boothby LP
9 Sarah Henderson Federal Corangamite LP
10 Sharon Claydon Federal Newcastle ALP
11 Cathy O'Toole Federal Herbert ALP
12 John McVeigh Federal Groom LP
13 Dominic Perrottet NSW Hawkesbury LP
All voters in Australia are eligible to join Voters Network free and rate MPs
11th September 2018
Financial storm warning –Home buyers beware!! Be prepared!!
Problem (if too technical go straight to solutions below)
The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday issued a financial storm warning according to today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Like all weather forecasts it may never happen, but it pays to take an umbrella when heavy rain is forecast.
Reserve Bank sounds warning over national debt.
The country’s debt levels rocketing to the top of global rankings.
“The Australian banking system is potentially very exposed to a decline in credit quality of outstanding mortgages” said RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock.
Australia’s debt to income ratio more than doubled to 160% from the 1990s to the mid 2000s. Since 2013 that has spiked to 190%.
In a warning to middle aged and older home buyers the article revealed “Up to 60% of the debt is contained within households where the top income earner is aged between 35 & 54, while an increasing proportion of Australians are carrying it (debt) past retirement age”.
The RBA warned an economic shock could leave households struggling to meet repayments.
Ms Bullock said “It they have little savings, they might need to reduce consumption in order to meet loan repayments or, more extreme, sell their houses or default on their loans (our emphasis). This could have adverse effects on the real economy in the form of lower economic growth, higher unemployment and falling house prices, which could in turn amplify the negative shock.
Everyone must find and adopt solutions suitable to their own particular circumstances. For assistance email email@example.com .
Here are some steps the wise borrower may wish to consider:
1. Take advantage of low interest rates to make the highest possible monthly repayments to reduce the debt faster which also reduces the interest you are being charged.
2. Cut down on other expenditure that can be cut, to reduce your debt before the storm breaks
3. If you would like us to advocate for you and see if we can negotiate a lower interest rate or an option for a longer term to minimize the risk of default email us. We have had recent successes, as we have for over 30 years, in negotiating better rates and terms than are generally offered by lenders.
4. If you hav large debt that has got out of hand, you may be a candidate for us to secure you a significant debt write off.
When a lender forecloses to sell up your home, business or farm (despite having sworn on a stack of Bibles that it would never do so) they often charge huge amounts against your mortgage in the process. I heard of one case recently where the charge alone was in the millions of dollars and absorbed all the equity the borrower had built up over years of repayments.
As long as you owe money on your home, you are at risk, unless you KNOW that your earnings are secure from now until the debt is repaid.
Credit card debt is dynamite unless you can clear the whole card debt monthly on the due date. Last week we reduced the credit card interest rate from 26.99% to 1.99% for one person.
Remember that we are not just here to make money. We are here to help each other. firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are always happy to act as your advocate to secure better treatment from your lender, but the earlier you act to protect your home and your investment in it, the better the outcome is likely to be.
10th September 2018
Wagga sees the screams for better government turned into a ballot box blow-out!
The swing of nearly 30% against the Liberal Party candidate shows how angry voters are.
There is one simple answer – Join FairGo's Voters Network so that you can continuously persuade politicians to do what is best for Australia and for you in particular. Voting people in or out is only a “remedy of last resort”. The next person may be just as bad. Persuading them to do what you want is the real answer.
The poorest people have the greatest opportunity to persuade politicians to build their wealth. Why? Because they have the greatest number of votes. It is just a case of backing up their suggestions with their votes and networking together to do it.
Voters Network membership is free and we are producing some very good results for members.
A year after starting FairGO's Votergram service in 1986, I turned my Chartered Accountancy practice into a consultancy for bank customers. Today FairGO and GBAC work together to deliver low cost financial and political advantages for Australians and at discounted prices for Voters Network members. Many have sought to copy us, but few succeed.
The reason is that we do not work to make money or political gain for ourselves. It is far more satisfying to make both available to other people.
We would of course like more people contributing to the network funding because if we can build up revenue that will fund Hub Leaders and coordinators. That will come as people experience what we can do, like that lady for whom we cut her interest rate from 26.99% to 1.99%.
When you join Voters Network you too will have a better chance of helping and being helped by others.
3 September 2018
Beating the bank in the nicest of ways
The Banking Royal Commission has revealed that major banks, insurance companies and superannuation managers have been ripping off their most loyal customers for years, with the tacit approval of regulators.
FairGO and GBAC have for years combined to secure repayment discounts of up to $5 million for debt-stressed business and farm borrowers. They have done the same for consumers with impossible credit card debts
In response to the Royal Commission evidence, they will soon help Voters Network members negotiate the best interest rates and learn whether they are covered for the benefits they expect from their insurance and superannuation payments.
Those who have been kind enough to make a $44 or more a year (85 cents a week) contribution to help cover network costs will received a 10% discount on any of the low costs involved.
28 th August 2018
Voters Network, by involving, respecting and mobilising all voters to work together and with their elected representatives, provides the only real way to move to a fair and just society of reasonable equality.
Is Australia behaving like a spoiled brat?
An Article by Ralph Ashton in today’s newspaper claims that it is. Outlining our failures, our successes and our wasted opportunities, it claims that “the future the public wants goes begging.” He lists the top 10 things Australians want for their country. He includes “ a high level of accountability and honesty” and “effective government”. He goes on to say what experts have been telling us for a decade that we must do. Then he adds some more items for good measure.
So how does the author know what 25 million Australians want? Do you even know what your family and neighbours want on economics, aged care, health care, taxes, housing, energy and mental health?
He continues that our governments, leaders and vested interests have not been doing much about important issues. He accuses us voters, consumers, investors and superannuants of largely standing by. He says that “we’re creating a society we don’t want”. He urges Australians to grow up and take advantage of our opportunities.
Is he right or is he wrong? I am not sure and I wonder what you think.
But in my mind he is correct in his conclusion that “we need to reach consensus on what we want to become as a nation, what we want to avoid and what we genuinely disagree on. Then let’s focus our democratic effort and resources on achieving the first, avoiding the second and respectfully – but with conviction, coherence and consistency – arguing about the third.”
His conclusion exactly states the reason for which I formed the Australian Voters Network ( Voters Network). To empower them it is controlled by the voters. For independence it is self funded. For effectiveness it is separated from government and politics. Voters Network enables voters to speak for themselves rather than having people say “what the public wants”. Only when serious numbers of voters join us to put their views forward and confer with their fellow Australians for consensus outcomes, will we have what Mr. Ashton proclaims.
It is pure mathematics. 25 million Australians can reach consensus on 70% to 80% of what we want and what we want to avoid. 16 million voters can persuade their 600 or so politicians who they choose by election, to direct government bureaucrats to make it happen. While that is being done the rest of us can work through our areas of disagreement to see what compromises might be acceptable to most of us.
The political Power Game
The political posturing for power in Canberra shows voters the need to build their own power base in Voters Network.
It really does not matter who the PM is or who the ministers are. Most ministers have no qualifications whatsoever for the ministry over which they preside. The PM must do what the party wants.
In the community we have thousands of people with qualifications, experience and expertise in every ministry there is.
If we voters get alongside our local MPs and ministers and help them with their job by making constructive suggestions instead of standing by making caustic comments in the media, we will enjoy far better government.
Our politicians are neither brilliant nor stupid. They are representative of us and they are our representatives. Isn’t it just common sense to try to work with them for the benefit of all Australians? Will they not do better with the benefit of our accumulated community wisdom?
When I was young an uncle told me “Any fool can criticise and most fools do. Make your criticism constructive, not just an ego trip.” It is not a bad thing for us voters to heed.
I too have been guilty of negative criticism, but working with people in FairGO, Votergrams and Voters Network, I have met and dealt with many of the Local MPs and ministers as well as their staff. I have learned to respect them, for it is a difficult job.
Like most people, they respond well to encouragement and praise. As long as they get it only from the wealthy self-interest groups, those groups will run the country. When they get it from the voters, voters will rule the country.
Think of having a go yourself . The pay is quite good. We are always happy to work with people who want to stand for office, whether with their favourite political party or as independents.
“Working together we can all win. Working in conflict, most of us lose”.
21st August 2018
Difficulty with debts
High debt levels
Australians are immersed in debt. Many have been treated badly by their banks. With present low interest rates, most borrowers are managing quite well. However, some have interest-only loans which will soon require principal and interest repayments. That is when difficulties may arise for home owners, investors, business owners and farmers.
The latter are particularly vulnerable to recovery action by banks following the end of a drought. Rural businesses are similarly vulnerable. Borrowers cannot believe the costs the bank and its receivers can run up in the course of foreclosure. One adviser told me recently of a farm family charged $2.5m by bank receivers when essentially all they had to do was muster and truck cattle to the saleyards and have an agent sell them and two properties.
For decades the founders of Voters Network and FairGO have operated a loan, debt and profit consultancy called GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd. It emerged from Greg Bloomfield’s former Chartered Accountancy practice. It’s services are available to Voters Network members. The work of forcing banks to treat customers fairly is consistent with the objectives of FairGO and Voters Network.
The power of political persuasion
As in most other areas of life in our democracy, the power of political persuasion is paramount in achieving results. FairGO and Voters Network provide proven paths to persuade poiticans to act against injustice. Politicians exert a great deal of influence over banks as can be seen by the fines imposed following relelations at the Banking Royal Commission.
Discounts on debt
Most recent discounts offered by banks to GBAC clients were $700,000 off a $1.4m debt, $1m off a $6m debt and $500,000 off a $2.5m debt. The banks in this way made up for mistreatment of the borrowers.
Call Greg for assistance if needed on 0428 417 496
Anyone whose lender makes unreasonable demands on them, can contact GBAC for assistance. Initial free consultations will be extended for voters network members. The best protection from expensive legal recovery action including foreclosure, is for borrowers to act as soon as they know they are over their facility limit or cannot make a repayment on time.
20th August 2018
REPORT TO MEMBERS OF VOTERS NETWORK - AUGUST 2018
DOMESTIC, FAMILY AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE REDUCTION CAMPAIGN
Original Brief: The original decisions by Voters Network members on which the domestic, family and sexual violence campaign was based were:
Three most urgent:
Safe place for victims to confidentially report violence
Dispute and anger management courses for offenders
Education on avoiding violent disputes
These received 80% or higher approval by voters:
Education on respect for other people, particularly physically weaker people
Compulsory alcohol counselling for alcohol offenders
These received 75-79% approval by voters:
Make alcohol and substance suppliers liable for damage caused by supply, perhaps by industry levy
Offender compensates victim financially
Immediate gaol for breaching AVO
Government advertising on anti-violence laws and practices
Government advertising on dangers of alcohol and substance abuse
Security systems for victims
Action to date: The three most urgent items above plus education on respect for others, particularly weaker people, in the 80% approval category, have now been raised with MPs in state, territory and federal parliaments by Votergram. All this has been achieved with the mere $450 members have contributed so far. Please chip in to fund the continuing campaign which involves extensive research, correspondence, Votergrams, follow up of information provided to us and co-ordination of all that to make a campaign. Lives depend on your generosity.
Leadership Team: If you would like to be part of the Campaign Leadership Team helping us with some of these tasks please let us know. We need all the assistance we can get and can only do what members make possible. It is just a case of many people making the workload lighter by sharing it around. That also ensures a variety of viewpoints.
Votergrams sent to politicians: Since the campaign began in May, Voters Network members have sent 9 different Votergrams to their state and /or federal Members of Parliament. As each went to all MPs in one or both parliaments, about 1,000 individual Votergram messages have reached MPs’ inboxes. We have received some 500 acknowledgements.
The votergrams have raised the need for serious attention to be given to:-
The definition of consent in rape cases
Advertising the criminality of domestic, family and sexual assault with long penalties reflecting the period during which victims suffer
School, tertiary and public education on violence as being criminal, cowardly and inappropriate
The need for safe and secure reporting facilities nationally that do not lead to Police action
Punishment and re-education of offenders e.g. min. 3yr dispute and anger management / behaviour management courses with assessments at the end
Need for increasing numbers of refuges until the incidence reduces
Removal and separation of the perpetrator from the home
Respect for husbands, wives, partners and children free of violence, harassment or intimidation.
Politicians’ responses: Some politicians are very supportive and they will help encourage the others. The most helpful MPs have been, in no particular order:
Mehreen Faruqi, Alister Henskens, Pru Goward, Jamie Parker, Jonathan O’Dea, John Williams, Barnaby Joyce, Christian Porter, Lee Rhiannon, Paul Fletcher, Jackie Trad and Matt Thistlewaite. These MPs are consistently helpful to voters and deserve voter support at election time if we want good government.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Hon. Jackie Trad has kindly provided helpful information about the money allocate and action taken in that state. There is an online option for obtaining a protection order . $3.4m has been allocated to 2 new shelters; $1.38m pa for safety upgrades to homes in which the women live; longer protection orders and warnings if a perpetrator is released on bail or from gaol.
Federal Attorney General, Hon. Christian Porter has kindly provided details of $107m in funding to combat this violence and a reference book to bring judges up to speed on community expectations. He mentioned the NSW scheme allowing people to find out if their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal violence. He stressed the federal Government view that domestic violence is not a private matter, but criminal and unacceptable.
Hon. Pru Goward in NSW stressed the need for clear consent regarding sexual activity in her comprehensive response to the Votergrams.
Comprehensive federal government information has also been provided by Kathryn Campbell of the Department of Human Services.
Please rate these politicians if they are in your state or territory or in federal parliament. Give them a tick on the voters network rate your MP page or the Rate other MPs page . It is by encouraging and rewarding good performance that we most effectively improve government.
Follow up: Please contact your local MPs by phone, letter or email and ask them to tell you how much money has actually been spent in the financial year to 30th June 2018 by their government to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence and exactly how that money has been spent. Allocating money is not the same as spending it or providing services.
Police: Police Commissioners in The Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and NSW have kindly responded with important information about what is being done in their jurisdictions. We are most grateful for their co-operation.
As happened in our very successful road safety campaign, Police have emphasised that it will only be with the support and assistance of the whole community, parliament and the courts that they can achieve the results we desire. So this challenge is fairly and squarely in our hands as voters.
Victoria Police declined to provide information on the basis of political neutrality which we consider to be misguided, possibly worse.
Violence on the sporting field: One place where violent assault has been exempted from prosecution is on the sporting field, by football and soccer players in particular. A recent Sydney Morning Herald poll of readers found that 73% of readers believed that footballers who punched opponents during a game should be charged with criminal assault. To allow footballers an exemption from any law is unreasonable. To allow a culture of violent assault on publicly owned, publicly funded sporting facilities to be promoted by violent players to children, teenagers and young or old fans of the game who then carry that culture into their school, work or home environment is totally unacceptable, as it is on private facilities.
Why abused partners stay: At a recent meeting of Hub Leaders it was noted in connection with the murder of two teenagers at Thornleigh by their father that the reason many women do not want to have their abusive husbands or partners gaoled, is that he is the father of their children who would probably blame her for his gaoling if they are not being abused themselves. The same probably applies to men who are abused by their wives or female partners. This suggests that sentencing to attend courses that occupy the time of an offender with re-education on avoiding violence and respecting other people, might be most constructive.
Continuing the campaign: More Votergram senders are needed. We have funding for another 3 so if you would be willing to send your thoughts to all MP, please email us a draft and we will give you any help needed to finalise it email@example.com .
More funding is also needed so that we can keep up the pressure until we win. That will realistically take some years. Democracy is not a system of rapid change as many differing views must be taken into account. Nor is it easy to change violent personalities. Regular messages every time violence hits the media help MPs to keep it on top of the mountains of work that is constantly given to them.
What you can do:
send a Votergram on one of the issues in our original brief
send us info on or links to media articles on domestic, family or sexual violence
send a Votergram drawing MPs attention to that article and asking them to act as you want
help fund Votergrams . You must login first.
start a discussion in your church or community group.
join our campaign team.
contribute by donating your time to research, the basis of any Political Persuasion campaign
You can always phone us for assistance.
This is about your lives and the lives of those you love, respect and know.
Thank you for being in the network and making this campaign possible.
Voters Network is a FairGO initiative for the Australian people.
8th August 2018
Big win for FairGO and voters campaigning through and with it – Australia as a Global Nation
Voters using FairGO's Votergram service have succeeded in persuading politicians to develop Australia as a Global Nation by developing our inland cities and towns. This replaces the old goal of one or two global cities, namely Sydney and Melbourne. We congratulate our national MPs for their clear vision that will greatly enhance the lives of our people and particularly our children. This is the realisation and exploitation of the 3rd line in our national anthem, “We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil” and later “We’ve boundless plains to share”. Like many nations with growing populations, we will need to collect our water when it falls, for use when we need it.
Global Australia will create thousands of jobs inland where premises and homes cost a quarter of Sydney ones and NBN can transfer skills from anywhere to anywhere. Voters have long pointed out that the restricted “Two Cities” policy was a disaster in that it destroyed what was so good about Sydney and Melbourne and neglected what was so good about our beautiful inland cities. They enjoy clean air, clean water, freedom from time consuming traffic jams and have small enough communities to enjoy the company and help each other. Development will include construction of business premises, government offices, homes, roads, rail, airports, sporting, social and cultural facilities, schools & hospitals. The tidal wave of superannuation money looking for a home will find profitable and constructive opportunities in Global Australia.
With bi-partisan political support and continued voter encouragement, this will also allow Australia to welcome migrants without putting undue pressure on Capital city home prices, infrastructure and services. The neglect felt by many rural communities will soon dissipate so that they enjoy many more of the benefits of bigger city life. Yet they will avoid many of the crises brought about by over-development of our mega-cities.
Because this will also put consumers nearer to food production, farmers will enjoy better prices while consumers will buy for less, as the very expensive transport and multiple handling costs disappear. Technologically based manufacturing will have every opportunity to compete with foreign manufacturers as operational costs fall.
Tax concessions for businesses and residents for the next 10 years can easily be provided as part of the sound government investment to see this exciting new stage in Australia’s development materialise. It was substantial stamp duty concessions that enabled the development of Canberra and Darwin.
For both government and business this move to turn Australia into a truly Global Nation has a lot going for it. For those, including our young people, looking for career opportunities to supply the world with goods and services, they can expect to enjoy far better lives than would otherwise have been the case.
28th July 2018
“Why rate MPs on Voters Network?” I am asked. Here is the answer.
Good Government is not achieved by rallies, protests or voting for a candidate because he or she belongs to your favourite political party. Doing that makes the MP loyal to the party and the party is always loyal to its donors or financial backers. Political parties exist only to achieve the goals of donors and party members.
By rating your federal and state MPs monthly on the basis of what you find they or their party have been doing, you build yourself a database to which you can refer before you vote at the next election.
Only that way can you fairly gauge their performance over 3 or 4 years.
The 1st step to good government is to re-elect the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you want and replace (with anyone at all) the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you don’t want.
Just the fact that you and others rate their performance will encourage far better performance by your MPs. https://voters.network/join.php
24th july 2018
Started the day with a 3 km walk from 7 to 7.40 am. A good bit warmer than yesterday. No frost on the ground.
Busy day in the office. Started with a reminder email for FairGO arriving to say that that an issue involving a number of local residents was scheduled for discussion at Council tonight. That meant phone discussions during the day and emails to local councillors urging them to look for a solution that would deliver wins all around.
Then we worked on an adword campaign for our associated bank borrowers consultancy GBAC Advisory. There may be tough times ahead for some borrowers, particularly people who have paid premium prices for their homes or rental properties and borrowed heavily for them and for drought-stricken farmers. We need to let borrowers know not to let the bank walk all over them. There is nothing like sending a Votergram to every federal MP revealing some banking dishonesty to stave off bank abuse. FairGO does a lot of work for people battling banks.
We also worked on presentations to voters network members on why big business controls government and what voters can do to change that.
We had a look at communications with network members about funding the network and how to best let them know that it can only do what they make possible. The best source of funding is their Advanced Member program which costs members just $4 a month or $44 a year in advance. Most of that funds Hub Leaders to help towards their costs . A quarter goes to costs of electricity, phone, computers, ISP and web hosts, furniture and administration.
We sent off two Votergrams last night, one to 220 Federal MPs and one to 130 state MPs, both opposing the move by NSW lawyers to legalise rape if the man thought he had consent. This would move the question of consent from the victim to two lawyers arguing in court years later. Lawyers are sometimes a plague on society in their quest for fees. Responses to those Votergrams came in today which meant very full inboxes.
Received a credit card statement in the mail from the bank today (july 24) due date was July 25th, tomorrow. It is amazing what bankers will do to make customers pay late, so they can charge a mountain of interest. I paid it straight away to spite them.
Logged in to voters.network and had a say on a few of the Action Forum topics - TAFE ; MPs swapping political parties mid-term; Domestic, family and sexual violence. I did not have time to read the most recent posts on the topics of “Live sheep exports”; “a fairer tax system”; “Better banking”, “Immigration and population impacts” or “Energy policy”. Some of these topics will undoubtedly be closing soon so that a vote of network members can be taken on proposed solutions. All members can post their view on the forum. If any of these topics interest you, now is the time to login to www.voters.network and post a comment.
Checked and saw voters.network had 5,500 unique visitors this month so far. That is pleasing given the network is so new.
10.30 pm and I was about to check out Facebook where Voters Network has about 50 notifications from interested voters that I would like to read. They raise important issues and we can often explain why government is like it is.Think I might give it a miss until tomorrow Don’t know that I will get to twitter where FairGO posted last night on the legal rape issue. Time to close up.
Lawyers want to make rape legal!!!
Please fight the anti-female grab for fees by lawyers that “a person should not be guilty of sexual assault (rape) if he or she honestly believes that there is consent”. Women victims are silenced and lose their the right to consent or not consent to sex . Lawyers make a fortune in court debating what the MAN who raped her believed at the time it happened. It can affect men who are sexually assaulted too.
Written consent is the only PROVABLE consent with married, de-facto and brothel parties necessarily excluded.
A woman may never wish to give it and would never have to. Consent is only ever in question when she claims it was rape. Men simply need to get a signature if unsure. Please join our campaign to support this model to protect women and men from unscrupulous lawyers and brutal rapists.
All a rapist has to do is stick a knife at your neck on his own or with a couple of mates and tell you to get into the back seat of the car with them. Then he can take you anywhere and they can rape you as much as they like for as long as they like. He can pick you up on a station, at a bus stop, walking down the street, in a pub or club or at a party. Once you are in a rapists car or premises you are caught. You do not need to do anything dangerous or unusual to become a rape victim.
As nobody can tell what a woman or man did or did not believe or consent to at the time of a rape, five years later, when the matter is heard in court, this transfers the question of consent from the woman or man being raped to the lawyers for the prosecution and defence.
Dollars signs come into legal eyes, perhaps $1,000 an hour or more for a lawyer. What rape victim can cope with that along with a lifetime of trauma. The family man rapist with a good paying career will find it essential to pay a defence lawyer $1,000 or more an hour.
That defence lawyer will paint the rape victim as a slut and disgusting whore who deserved what she got and had slept around for the past decade so that everyone thought she consented to sex with anyone. Lawyers are the low-life of a legal system that has very little to do with “justice”.
Only a strong reaction by voters can now save women and men from legalised rape.
This move to take away from a woman or man the right to consent or not consent to sex is purely about lawyers making money. Think of the fat legal fees these lawyers are going to notch up as they fight it out in court while the poor innocent victim is torn to shreds by the defence lawyer and the prosecution lawyer fights hard to protect her reputation. Her or his reputation is not the question. The only question is whether she/ he consented to sex or not.
The only way that consnt can be proved in a court is if both parties sign “I consent to sex with............... “ or I want to make love with..............” forms and exchange them. It is no more disruptive of the process than fitting a condom and it can be written by both parties well in advance.
Women concerned about romance need not do anything if they do not wish to and the man who had genuine loving consent will have nothing to worry about either, because there will never be a change of rape brought against that man. Consent would rest firmly with the woman or passive partner being penetrated.
It will pay for women to take this up now, because it will be too late after they have been raped. FairGO is a good way with Votergrams. Voters Network may also come out against the lawyers' ploy.
20th July 2018
How important are security, freedom and liberty to you?
Today Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was reported as saying that “voters wanted security above all, even if it sometimes came at the expense of their own liberty” and that “ there’s been shift from liberty towards security”. He also said “Politicians looking to respond to this anxiety had a choice of implementing policies that were right for the community or appeasing the masses, even if that policy wasn’t the rational choice.”
Does this reinforce a belief by some politicians that they are superior to the voters who elect & pay them? Are they?
How much freedom or liberty would you be happy to lose in order to enjoy security and what sort of security would encourage you to forfeit your freedom or liberty? Job, financial, national defence, trade, speech, competition?
Is it a prelude for an Australian dictatorship where liberty and freedom are quashed by politicians?
Do you believe that Mr. Ciobo knows better than Australian voters what is best for them?
Is it connected to the move to sell the ABC to private enterprise?
Is it related to new laws on terrorism or the prosecution of whistleblowers?
Is it related to trade deals that favour foreign countries over Australian businesses and farms?
If "the masses" disagree, could they remove that politician or party from office?
The article was about rising inequality in Australia. Who/ what do you believe has caused or is causing rising inequality?
Let us know your views by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise we Australians might find our freedom being curtailed in a way we don’t like. If people are interested we might put up a topic on the forum. Avoid talking parties and let us examine the proposition objectively.
Security - V- Freedom
19th July 2018
VOTING IS NOT ENOUGH
It was pointed out to me by one of those who visited our Facebook page that Mark Twain had said , “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” Remember, Twain was a humourist.
That is a bit like his comment that “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Democracy does demand more than voting for a political party in order to elect an unknown, unseen person to represent you in parliament. It requires voting for the best candidate, deciding what you want done and telling every Member of Parliament what that is, explaining why.
That is because democracy is a system of government by majority. If you convince more than half of the MPs, you will get what you want done. Ask one MP and you will mostly waste your time. What could one MP achieve in a parliament of 200?. Try a Votergram https://fairgo.org/votergrams.php !
16th July 2018
Privatisation of public assets – good for the pollies, bad for the people!
As an accountant I always look at the bottom line, the final result, the proof of the pudding.
Well voters can clearly see how they have been robbed blind by their own Members of Parliament who engineered two lots of privatisation.
The first was the privatisation of the government owned banks, Rural, Commonwealth, State, Commonwealth Development, Primary Industry etc. The Banking Royal Commission, which many of our politicians fought hard to prevent, has revealed the ruthless, predatory, dishonest and criminal conduct of bank directors and CEOs aimed at producing billion dollar profits for their banks and awarding multi-million dollars salaries to themselves in return for destroying the lives and savings of customers and sometimes driving them to suicide. That banks would do this when competition from honest government –owned banks was removed, should and would have been obvious to many of their political co-conspirators. Yet they fed the people to the sharks.
Remember that when you vote at the next election.
The second was the sale of electricity assets. Devoid of the ability to manage day-to-day government finances, raising the taxes to fund necessary expenditure, politicians had embarked on privatisation of all manner of jobs including using outside consultants to do jobs that permanent staff would have done for half as much. The damage to the economy was such that they needed funds to provide infrastructure, also constructed by outside companies at about twice the cost of government employees.
The advantage was that underpaid staff could not punish their (government) employers through the ballot box because they no longer worked for the government. No wonder inequality has increased. That was part of the purpose of privatisation.
To fill the funding gap and probably help some friends, the politicians decided to sell off the electricity assets the people had built up over decades. To get a good price they had to slug the electricity users who elected and paid them, with a price hike. The new owners, having paid a premium price then felt entitled to charge even higher prices to earn a reasonable return on their investment. All of those politicians, bureaucrats and consultants who engineered the sales would have understood that to be the inevitable outcome of a high priced sale. They just did not care what impact it had on the people. Pollies fed them to the electric eels.
Remember that too when you cast your vote next time.
I think that FairGO may run a campaign to have the electricity prices lowered by up to 50% over the next 5 years if enough voters are interested. They can join Voters Network and express their views on the Action Forum. Voters will decide what they would like to do, so it is all up to them. We are ready to assist with whatever they decide.
We would suggest that they link their votes to what they want government to do, rather than supporting the same tired old people or parties if those local MP work against them on issues like privatisation. Likewise they should support those local MPs who stick up for the public when their parties are trying to enrich party donors through contracts or sale of assets.
It is very disappointing to see the change in the way many politicians regard the interests of the general public and I suspect that is because voters have rewarded them with votes when they have worked against those voters. Loyalty can be costly, very costly!
14th July - The day the French people decided they had had enough of being treated like dirt by their rulers. Democracy gives us a ballot box in place of the guillotine. It is just as effective if used wisely in order to obtain a fair go from the people we elected for just that purpose.
Ripped off on power prices by the people we pay.
Ross Gittins calls it “naivety” but we pay out top politicians and bureaucrats enough money for them to know exactly what they are doing.
Electricity consumers have been robbed of a perfectly good government-owned relatively inexpensive essential electricity service. Politicians sold it to businesses. Between them, they have robbed us blind.
Voters Network is planning to form an Electricity Action Team if enough network members are interested. Their aim might be a 50% cut in electricity prices over the next 5 years. That may involve voters replacing those politicians, political parties and bureaucrats who accepted our votes, our money and yet still sold us out to unscrupulous private enterprise profiteers. Australians might need to start a new government owned power supplier. We might also want to network our power supplies and leave the thieving electricity traders out of our lives. Success will depend mainly on how many electricity consumers join Voters Network and Electricity Action Team.
This is government working steadfastly against voters as it so frequently does. Voters Network is your best chance for changing the attitude of government by culling out the dishonest MPs and bureaucrats, replacing them with MPs who subscribe to the idea of “Government for the People” rather than “Government for the benefit of politicians and those who fund political parties”.
This may just be the tip of another corruption iceberg like the banking scandal proudly support by many MPs for decades.
Use the contact form on www.voters.network to let the network HQ know if you would be interested in joining that team.
PS. Voters Network is also in the process of establishing, with FairGO and associate GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd, www.gbac.com.au , a Better Banking Network to build on 30 years of helping bank borrowers get a better deal and mostly avoid foreclosure. In recent negotiations where GBAC Advisory and FairGO worked together to expose inappropriate bank action to MPs, one client was offered a million dollars off the bank debt and allowed 6 months to refinance the balance. A credit card company wrote off half of a $20,000 debt. GBAC Advisory helps businesses and farms obtain the right sort of loans to suit their circumstances. In terms of a "fair go" that is as important as being treated fairly by government.
8th July 2018
It’s what democracy is about!
Voters elect to parliament people they trust and believe capable, to serve them well.
Voters tell those people what they want them to do.
If those Members of Parliament do what voters want, voters re-elect them.
If they don’t voters vote them out. Repeat the process.
So what has gone wrong?
Voters have relied too heavily on those they elect, to do the job properly.
Political parties have formed and voters have taken the easy road of just voting for whatever candidate is endorse by their favourite political party.
Voters have been busy doing other things and so forgot their vital role of telling MPs what they want done.
Members of Parliament have therefore become loyal to the party that promotes them to voters and loyal to the financial backers of those parties, rather than to the voters who elect and pay them.
When MPs do good things that voters want, voters remain stonily silent. No word of thanks is given to MPs.
When voters do not like what MPs do, voters criticise politicians publicly in the media, making the MPs look bad in public. This is never a good way to encourage better performance.
If voters do decide to “have their say” they say it to the media and hope MPs are listening . It has an impact like telling your friends that the children need to tidy up their rooms and hoping that the children are listening and will respond.
When MPs in their favourite political party consistently do what voters don’t like, most of those voters still vote to re-elect them, because even if their favourite political party neglects them, out of loyalty, they would not vote for someone else. Loyalty to an MP or party who treat voters badly just encourages them to keep on treating those same voters badly.
What is the solution?
Tell all MPs or at least your own local MPs (but 1 MP in a parliament of 100 or 200 can only do so much) what you want, on a constant basis. Votergrams https://fairgo.org/votergrams.php make that easy.
Be lavish in expressing your praise and appreciation of MPs who do what you want. That at least tells them they are on the right track and are appreciated when they do what you want.
If you are going to criticise individual MPs, do it privately to them alone. Nobody enjoys public criticism and you do want them on your side.
Join voters network https://voters.network/join.php so that you can confer with other voters to sort out differences of opinion on important matters, because politicians do not know what to do if one group of voters wants one thing and another group wants the opposite. Then nothing gets done! If we confer and compromise ,the vast majority will probably agree on a lot of what concerns us.
Remember that politicians are just ordinary Australians who chose politics instead of plumbing, accountancy or farming. They are no better or worse, cleverer or sillier, more or less honest than the rest of us. Don’t expect miracles or perfection, because it is not going to happen.
Voters must diplomatically guide government if they want to enjoy good government and vastly more enjoyable and more rewarding lives. Politicians are in parliament to represent voters, not to lead them. Leading is for kings, queens and dictators who execute or gaol dissidents. We enjoy the freedom of democracy, but need to use it properly.
That is how democracy works, whether we like it or not. It was quite a surprise to me when I started Votergrams in 1986. By the time I had established FairGO https://fairgo.org/ four years later, I had learned that politicians were just as happy to help voters as to hinder them.
But like everything in life, influencing government and persuading politicians needs to be done carefully, strategically and diplomatically if success is to be enjoyed.
5th July 2018
THE FAIR GO
The Treasurer talks of "The fair go", but how much of a fair go is it when young Australians without much money, like I was at 18 starting to study accountancy, can't get a decent vocational education free or cheaply becuse politicians have decided that it is more important to let shonks run private colleges that teach very little of importance at all and pick up big subsidies from our hard earned taxes.
How fair is it when the biggest tax breaks are reserved for companies earning billions of dollars a year so that they pay a lower rate of tax on each extra dollar than an average australian wage earner?
Fairness is subjective, but the idea of giving all young Australians a chance to earn a decent living and help Australia compete internationally is not far off it in my mind.
2nd July 2018
Bankers & politicians in the limelight
We are pleased to see the Federal Government shifting school funding onto a basis that relates to the wealth or income of the students’ parents. We have consistently argued that the poorest children in Australia should be provided with education that is equal to the best.
That gives them a reasonable chance in life and it positions Australia to better take on the challenges of a very competitive and rapidly changing world. Members of Parliament have listened to our comments, researched and evaluated options and made a move in what we see as the right direction.
We are also very happy to see so much money going into the issue of domestic and family violence and personal safety. There is a long way to go and we will continue to focus our campaigns on prevention.
The tax stalemate on tax cuts for the billionaires of big business and big banking seems constructive to us.
The banking conduct revealed by the Banking Royal Commission is disgraceful and CEOs should be in gaol. They yet may be. Again we should be careful about judging all bankers by the actions of a relatively small number of executives.
Today Ms. Alexandra Gartmann, the CEO of Rural Bank, a subsidiary of Bendigo Bank was grilled on some appalling aspects of Rural Bank’s behaviour. It is worth noting that she has only been involved with Rural Bank since October 2015, long after the misbehaviour occurred. In a recent case we handled of extremely bad treatment a farmer had received from her bank ove many years, Ms Gartmann could not have been more helpful and actually had bank executives fly to Sydney from Adelaide and Brisbane to meet with us here and reach a settlement. No other bank has ever done that for us.
In conjunction with our GBAC Advisory we continue to assist bank customers in receiving fair treatment from their banks, particularly when there are loan problems, or if people want to assess the risks posed by borrowing before they sign on the dotted line.
We criticise them a lot and many deserve it, but we should be careful not to judge all bankers by the the dishonest ones.
Beware End-Of-Year spending
Australian businesses, individuals and farmers are being bombarded with advertisements enticing them to spend before the end of the financial year to gain more tax deductions. This happens in other countries at the end of their financial years too.
There is a question as to why one would spend a dollar to gain a 30 cent tax deduction. I am more in favour of spending 30 cents to make $1.
If it is tax deductible when you spend it before June 30th, then it will be just as tax deductible when you spend it in July or August or in fact when you need it next March.
If you run an overdraft or debt, your interest charge between when you buy the item and when you need it will reduce the tax benefit. Time and money are inextricably linked for those who want to maximise their profits.
Those who do spend up big because they want the tax deduction should remember that the same spending reduces their net profit before tax. That is a figure that features highly in bank assessments of borrowers. The less profit earned, the greater the risk to the lender and therefore to the borrower.
For anyone buying on a credit card that is going to attract interest there is another factor to consider.
27th June 2018
Big business versus the biggest body of voters
When I started in Chartered Accountancy private companies paid a lower tax rate than public companies, due to the ease with which public companies raise funds. That difference should be reinstated by politicians now at 5c to 10c in the dollar.
Many Australian wage and salary earners pay a higher rate of tax than companies and on top of that they pay 10% GST when they spend it and huge stamp duty when they buy a home.
The best boost for the economy would be to boost the pay of the lowest earning 25% of tax payers by 25% and allow salaries to be deducted at 150% of what is paid, removing payroll tax altogether.
Businesses headed by CEOs earning $5 million a year make employment and pay decisions based on pre-tax profitability. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise. The ASX top 100 companies should be required to table in parliament the net staff increases and pay rate increases they undertake to make in each of the next 3 years if the big business tax cuts are passed or retained. If there is a purpose in tax cuts other than being re-elected, let’s tie big business to it.
We could also pay off the national debt that is enriching the wealthy money-lenders and impoverishing the rest of us.
Beware the news you read on the tax cuts because most is not news but an orchestrated PR campaign by big business to mislead voters. These are the richest taxpayers in Australia who cut and export jobs to boost already high profits, trying to pay less tax than ordinary salary and wage earners. It is not about helping small family businesses at all. Don't be fooled.
26 June 2018
The Great Australian Bank Robbery
The Great Australian Bank Robbery has really been caused by Australian politicians who first de-regulated banks so that they could cheat and defraud customers and then sold off the government banks so that people were forced to used banks controlled by unprincipled private individuals and organisations, with some exceptions.
Those politicians, by neglect or accident, then ensured that the remaining regulatory authorities did nothing to stop the banks from robbing their customers, particularly borrowers and investors.
Many lives have been shattered, some lost, while the big banks have made billions of dollars in profits on which they paid extra specially low rates of tax provided by politicians with the additional advantage of loopholes which allowed them to avoid much of the tax altogether. Big Bank CEO’s are the highest paid executives in the universe because of how they ran their banks and robbed their customers.
The remedy lies only with Australian politicians. They need to re-regulate the Robber Banks, and re-establish government banks or take a controlling shareholding in each of the big banks.
That’s not quite right. The remedy also lies with the voters who could just decide that they want politicians who are on their side rather than working against them.
What about a FREE BANK. The government can give billions of dollars to banks, big business and NGOs in tax concessions, subsidies, grants and tax breaks on top of the billions banks have already earned by robbing their customers through de-regulation, so why can’t the government give the same sort of money away to small businesses, low income earners and farmers by way of interest-free loans?
If the loans were carefully structured and managed by the free bank and the borrowers so that payments were made on time and the loans cleared as quickly as profits would allow, wouldn’t that get the economy going in a hurry.
In the same way, by saving a bit on tax concessions for the super-rich and reducing welfare dependence by all those who got new jobs because business was booming with interest-free loans, maybe the government could establish Free Bank Home Loans, again giving away only the same as it would otherwise pay in favours, welfare and subsidies. It could provide that such loans would only be allowed on homes selling at 20% below market value. That would provide a safety margin for security purposes, reduce the borrowings and avoid a housing price boom.
I have arranged purchases of substantial properties through interest-free loans and it has worked well for all parties.
When you think about it, giving interest-free loans to poorer people is a very good way to make them less poor and mor