September 16, 2008

Horse 916 - Baked Beans, Jam Sandwiches and Back Benches
Copy and download the MP3 - it's a lark!

In what will surely go down as one of the most memorable speeches in parliamentary history, Federal Opposition Leader Dr Brendan Nelson has condemned the Government over its refusal to increase the rate of the pension before May next year. He plans to introduce a private member's bill into Parliament to increase the base rate of the single aged pension by $30 a week, but he has not yet revealed when he will do so and accused the PM of failing to help older Australians and forcing them to live off "baked beans and jam sandwiches."

Yes, the state of pensions is shocking. Currently the single aged pension stands at a pathetic $273 a week. If you bear in mind that I pay $290 a week in rent, then it's very easy to see why something should be done yesterday if not sooner; quite frankly I slam both the Government for not already delivering on an election promise and the Liberal Party who whilst in Government had 11 years to think about it.

Updated 21 minutes ago
Malcolm Turnbull has seized the Liberal leadership from Brendan Nelson after winning this morning's party room ballot by 45 votes to 41. Julie Bishop was unopposed and will remain as deputy leader.
Dr Nelson called the spill late yesterday in a move designed to surprise Mr Turnbull, who had been on holiday in Italy last week. Dr Nelson has held the leadership since last November, when he won the job in a vote against Mr Turnbull by 45 votes to 42.

Now I ask all sorts of questions. Was Dr Nelson playing a bit of self-serving? Now that he moves from being Federal Opposition Leader to completely out of the Shadow Cabinet, does that now mean that he himself will have to decide whether to have baked beans or jam sandwiches for lunch? Perhaps he could be indulgent and have both.

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