After the Budget – A Follow-Up to Last Week’s Politics Post

Well. The budgets have been delivered. I’ll focus on the Federal.

It’s a mixed bag of stuff. I’m still not buying it. A week ago, 7:30 on the ABC showed the pollies doing their pre-budget spin tour accompanied by the song from Mary Poppins – “A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down”. That, I think, sums it up, rather. They’ve got a few spoonfuls of “sugar” (like that benefit to small business) to help the “medicine” (like further cuts to aid etc.) go down.

And now, it’s being floated as a sign of an early election? Bring it.

I’ll let others explain more….
Cutting through the crap

The Coalition want to talk about the past or the future but never the present.  Here are a few details from this year’s budget.

Net debt in 2014-15 is estimated to be $250.2 billion and the face value of CGS on issue (gross debt) is expected to reach a within‑year peak of around $370 billion.

When the Abbott Government came to power in September 2013, there was $270 billion in Commonwealth securities on issue and net debt was about $170 billion.

Far from the much touted “budget repair”, to date gross debt has grown by $100 billion and net debt by $80 billion.  Over the forward estimates, the face value of CGS on issue is projected to rise to a within‑year peak of around $539 billion in 2018‑19. Having a go

It made my heart sing last night to hear Emma Alberici tell Mathias Cormann a few home truths in one of the best interviews I have seen in recent times.

Alberici asked, if an $18 billion deficit was a “budget emergency”, what do you call a deficit of $35 billion?

Cormann launched into his “they lied” spiel which seems to miss the point entirely.  Under pressure he went for the economic security blankie, “Labor was taking Australia to a debt of $667 billion within the decade.”

Here was my hallelujah moment when Alberici replied “They were your figures. With respect that is a nonsense figure that you continue to trot out that you made up yourselves. In the PEFO (Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook) figure, which is the one you really should be referring to, it was about $370 billion.”

Cormann’s flustered response was ‘was not…did not…you leftie Labor apologist you’, or words to that effect.  He said that he didn’t “create the figure” and that “we absolutely stand by it.” Fluffy figures, flawed calculations, false expectations.

Fair, reasonable and balanced. That has been Tony Abbott’s latest pre-budget mantra, a mantra that took a hiding after Joe Hockey delivered what will surely be his final attempt at a budget last night.

Even when they are trying to save themselves, the coalition have once again demonstrated how glued they are to an ideology of trickle-down economics they can neither shake off nor hide.

If this budget were to sway one single vote it would prove the collective IQ of the nation had gone into further decline.

The small business plan will not promote a credible path to more employment. That is sheer fantasy. They think by giving small business more money, the benefits will trickle down to the unemployed.

Accelerated write offs up to $20,000 and tax cuts will give small business greater liquidity and increased profit, but no real incentive to employ additional staff.


Who the heck do they think they’re kidding?