Pre budget: Tuesday 2 April
What a farce it is to present a budget a few days out from the announcement of a general election. Particularly when you know that the odds of you winning are slim and your budget will become superfluous anyway. It’s yet another example of the mistrust people have for politicians.
Most voters will view it as a cynical pre-election move by a government that hasn’t been able to manage itself for 6 years.
Before commenting on this unnecessary exercise in yearly budgetary planning we must at first recognise that budgets are at best forecasts based on available evidence.
We won’t really know if it’s a surplus until November of 2020 when all the figures are finalised. So all this talk of a surplus budget is premature. The government is forecasting a very ambitious 3%growth rate for the year. It would only take a collapse in commodity prices and a surplus would be out the window.
Even blind Freddy knows that the only reason they are able to predict a surplus is that the price of iron ore and coal has risen dramatically over the past few months. To suggest that it is a result of sound economic management is saying that changing Prime Ministers frequently guarantee’s victory.
It is also unsurprising just how many of the voting fraternity think that a surplus budget wipes off all of our debt. No, Australia’s debt that the LNP have doubled still remains.
But in delivering his first budget just what will the treasurer tell us about the existing state of the economy. Nothing I have read thus far suggests the treasurer will mention the economic storms starting to rear the heads on the economic horizon. If America or Europe catches a cold then we are sure to get the flue.
Freydenberg tells us that his budget will ease the cost of living on those who need it most and to prove his point he will give pensioners and others $2 a week to help with electricity. Now we can give the grand kids some pocket money my wife said.
Delivering what can only be a political budget in the shade of an upcoming election is precarious. With only 3 days of sitting not many of the budget measures can be passed so it really is a campaign launch without the bells and whistles.
Shorten is calling the phony budget for what it is; a pantomime. Given they have been fighting each other for so long I’d suggest a few last minute cash splashes won’t mean much to the electorate.
As Shorten said:
“What new idea is the government going to do in the next six weeks that they couldn’t do in the last six years?”
Shorten is a better tactician than Morisson and his move to release Labor’s much more ambitious climate and energy and motor vehicle policies was a good move.I’m tipping there will be a lots of candy handed out on budget night. The problems for the government will be that it has either passed its used by date or the wrappers are to out of date.
Post budget: Wednesday 3 April
So, what are we to make of this budget? Well, it is a budget that gives and gives and gives and gives but has no interest in the things that matter.
It is one that Labor has said it will put aside before it’s own mini budget in September or there a-bouts. As it turns out it is a budget asking you to forget the last six years of division, disunity and of revolving door leadership. Just forgive and forget.
Even after doubling the debt to record heights they continue to roll out the debt truck, the debt emergency, of Labor’s incumbent years as if their own economic sins were their right to make.
It was so typically conservative, divorcing itself from the future, from science, from climate action, and solving our energy problems. Where were the voices shouting, “what price will the people of tomorrow pay for the stupidity of today’s folly”?
Where was the grand opening of eyes that had been closed for a generation? Where were the voices that could see that not having a climate change policy or an energy policy are part of that folly.
Labor is adopting Malcolm Turnbull’s policy on climate with their own enhancements. I call it entry politics. It’s the one their own party rejected.
The LNP is left with plans to spend $2bn “climate solutions fund” over 15 years, not 10 as they said a short time ago.
Morisson is stupidly making “carbon tax” noises again even though Peta Credlin admitted that under Abbott it was nothing more than a political hoax.
Why is this government so reluctant to adapt to change? That the world was far ahead of us on things that matter.
Why do they not see that if they were to win the next election we, given their objection to electric driven cars, might have to revert to manufacturing our own petrol driven cars because nobody else will be doing it.
At the risk of repeating myself a forecast is not a surplus. And when you have the NDIS paying for almost half of it you have to be contemptuous even cynical. And to take money away from the NDIS is nothing short of deplorable.
“Is it a moral fail to build an election surplus off starving the National Disability Insurance Scheme of money, leaving disabled people without the services they need?” Asked Jon Faine on ABC Radio.
And as I sat and listened to Josh Freydenberg giving away billions of dollars so effortlessly I had hopes of a small blessing for pensioners but it was not to be.
Now 6 years in power. All of it rotten and all of a sudden they think they deserve another three. Enough is enough.
This budget I believe isn’t the thinking of a progressive even ambitious government dedicated to marrying tax cuts to the common good. It is more that of an unfair government that assumes that those who earn under $40,000 will vote Labor and those earning $120,000 will vote LNP. Look at the tax cuts!
My thought for the day
We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.
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