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The Coalition’s Looming Debt and Deficit Disaster

They’re spending like drunken sailors.

When you voted in the federal election last year, were you concerned about Labor’s debt and deficits, and did they effect how you voted? Did you think that Labor’s spending was unsustainable and had to be stopped?

Because if the answer is yes, the news is not good. The Coalition, right now, is on track to double Labor’s debt by December next year.

In the first three months of this financial year (2014-15) net debt increased from $202.46 billion to $221.33, a jump of 10 per cent. But that’s only part of the story. All the economic forecasts were projecting a net debt at the end of 2013/14 to be $178.10 billion.

So the actual figure of $202.46, realistically, is the true figure for which Labor must accept responsibility. If we accept that the $202.46 billion belongs to Labor, that still means that the Coalition have been spending like drunken sailors since June 30th 2014.

If we want to be relentlessly selfish and insist that the original Treasury projection of $178.10 is Labor’s to wear then the Coalition have thus exceeded Labor’s spending this financial year by $43.2 billion (up 24.3%).

Either way they are no better in managing the economy and based on future projections, they are on track to be a lot worse.

Since June this year the Coalition has borrowed $19 billion which, if maintained each quarter from now until December 2015 will double the debt they inherited in 2013.

Remember, this is net debt, not gross. The gross debt on which we pay interest is now $339.4 billion. When Labor lost office it was $284 billion. It seems extraordinary that Tony Abbott still happily refers to the need to fix the budget and to curtail Labor’s debt and deficit disaster when his own government is not only heading in the same direction, but is doing so at a faster rate than Labor.

It is worth noting that the repeal of the Carbon Tax left a gaping $2.8 billion hole and is further compounded by the repeal of the Mining Tax, the projected Paid Parental Leave Scheme and the Direct Action Plan. Yet, they are determined to push ahead on both.

Much of the Coalition’s projections in the 2013 Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) were independent of Treasury advice and we know they took some liberties with those figures to make Labor look bad. But, if they thought that was clever then they are in for an unholy awakening in the coming 12 months as revenues continue to decline and their spending continues to blow out.

So one has to wonder how it will be possible to avoid a looming debt and deficit disaster greater than the kind they accused Labor of, without some savage adjustments to revenues and expenditures. With the current budget impasse in the senate, the Coalition is going to have a lot of explaining to do as the months roll on and ever more embarrassing information is released.

One wonders how long the MSM can hold off reporting on the state of the economy and comparing it to Labor’s. We all remember how diligent they were during the Rudd/Gillard years. The October and November updates will be interesting reading as will the December quarter. As the position continues to worsen surely someone in the MSM will say something….won’t they?

In reality, if all the rhetoric about debt and deficit were true we should have gone bankrupt in the 1980’s when all the indices were far worse than they are now. The Howard government inherited a paltry $96 billion back in 1996. Hardly worth getting upset about today.

It might be worth taking a look at the Liberal Party website where they detailed their plan prior to the last election. It will be the standard by which we can measure their success. As things get progressively worse, it might suddenly disappear before too long.


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  1. Graeme Rust

    But where are they spending all that money? inquiry’s?? royal commissions?? maybe the one million jobs that abbortt promised??

  2. Annie Byam

    A good but unhappy article John. …. While I did know that debt has escalated under this dreadful Government, seeing cold hard figures makes me feel ill.

    As for the MSM …. ( and please – nobody fall about laughing – – – or crying, or wanting to punch me in the nose !! ) ….. it will be more than likely that Murdoch will blow the whistle on it, in a major way.

    Rupert Murdoch is first and foremost – a shrewd, hungry for more, billionaire businessman. …… and most likely his hunger, and his desire to maintain his reputation ( I believe ) …… will see him chastise this current Government – perhaps with a parting of the ways of the two ‘great friends’. …. Not sure I have ever heard Murdoch mention his relationship with Abbott in those terms – but then he never says much that is personal, anyway. …… Abbott on the other hand ….. !!!!

    Not everyone will see eye to eye with this report of a speech delivered by Murdoch ….. printed in the Australian on October 28th 2014, but I doubt the message will escape many.

    It is titled “Equality at risk in the West ” …. and he certainly has a go at his little um-ah ‘friend’ ….. but of course, politically correctly – does not name anyone specifically. He wouldn’t, he couldn’t.


    As a ‘teaser’ if you are interested – the following excerpt :

    ………… ” “This is one of the core lessons of my professional life — I have seen many politicians who have the best of intentions but who ­deliver the worst of outcomes.”

    With the global economy still struggling after the 2008-09 ­crisis, Mr Murdoch told economic decision-makers their prescriptions fell far short of the optimum economic and social ­results. …….. ”


    Don’t let the fact that Joe Hockey hosted the meeting / dinner / whatever. ….. He apparently was chosen, simply because the G20 will be held in our country this coming month. …. the normal ‘courtesy’ stuff.

    Murdoch’s speech was 9 pages long ( not on this site – but presumably able to found in full ) and a video accompanies this report, which I have yet to listen to – by a person I respect highly – Alan Kohler. ….. will get back to that later.

    A report from one of Murdoch’s own papers. !! ……. The first of many I would hope.

  3. David

    John thanks for presenting the figures in a way easy understood. My concern re the voting public generally, they dont have the faintest idea what is going on economically. Abbott, Hockey and the other stooge Cormann have continued where they left off in Opposition. Repeat over and over ‘Labor’s debt we must pay off, Labor’s mess we must clean up for you and your families benefit’. Words similar to those are echoed in QT daily, in media stops, in press conferences, in interviews, Labors mess we inherited.
    Abbott did it with the Julia and the carbon pricing when he used the same routine day after day, sometimes many times a day and the MSM gave him all the time he wanted.
    I guess Credlin believes she is on a winner again with the repetition game and she has pupils well versed in the delivery. Of course there is a huge difference now. They are Govt, their budget is a shambles and without the aid of their mate Palmer would be in an even bigger mess.
    With 2 years till next polling (Abbott doesn’t have the guts to go to a DD) much more water to flow under the bridge. they have introduced a newcomer to their deception, terrorists!! Waiting in the shadows to strike. Fear can be a devastating weapon and this bunch of home based political terrorists the LNP, are pushing it as hard as they did the ‘great big carbon tax on everything’. Conveniently Bill Shorten has popped in to smoke the peace pipe on Iraq and a few other matters so thats a corner the ALP will have to get themselves out of.
    Richard Marles attempted day in the limelight over the boats tow-back fortunately for Labor, was nipped in the bud. But not until social media and comments to the articles in the Guardian and Fairfax press rattled Shortens cage and he was forced to deny such a policy change 2 days later.
    I still think Marles is the wrong person to be Immigration Shadow, he can’t foot it with Morrison, sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t secretly like parts of Morrison’s policies, but perhaps I am being unkind.
    Anyway its a damn mess although the sun shone brightly on a very brave woman in the Senate this afternoon in the form of Nova Peris.She is a magnificent representative of her family, her people and Australia. That she stood up to Murdoch filth is a move others in her party could well take on board. i hope she will be in a position to ensure NewsCorp pay handsomely for those disgraceful attacks on her

  4. my say

    i could put my foot through the TV when ever i hear abbott and his cronies say they are doing this and that to clean up the mess left by labor,and ring the neck of every jurno and labor for not questioning the lying dead beats

  5. Miriam English

    I think this has always been the case with conservative governments. They always go on and on about how progressive governments fritter away money and spend like crazy, and that miserly conservative governments are good at bringing spending back under control and getting the economy back in shape, but as far as I can see it has always been the exact reverse of that.

    A while back I was discussing this online with someone in USA and they were absolutely certain that it was true that conservatives are careful with money and progressives cause the country to bleed money. I found some statistics from their own treasury that showed that every time a conservative government got in power the economy went into the red, then when a progressive government gained power they turned it around and brought things back to a good economy again. It is regular as clockwork.

    As far as I can see the only reason people believe the reverse is that it keeps being repeated, and you know the old Nazi propaganda wisdom that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it.

    Why do conservative governments always ruin the economy and progressive ones repair it? I think it has to do with what they spend the money on. Conservatives spend big on military and giveaways to the wealthy, while letting the main engines of the economy wilt — weapons get blown up or just sit unused, either way they are a total loss, and wealthy people don’t, on the whole, create jobs and they tend to be very good at avoiding paying taxes. Progressives help the population and small businesses who are the ones who buy things in an economy — if they can’t buy things then the economy is dead in the water.

  6. John Kelly

    It may be my imagination but it seems lately, that the ABC has gone decidedly cooler on its reporting of adverse government issues. Perhaps it’s the threat of further cuts that’s made them back off. The alternative is to be creative in the way information is reported, e.g. linking it to other mainstream events. When, for example, Abbott or Hockey talk about the state of the budget, independent journalists should have the facts memorised and ask the right questions. The likelihood is that the relevant government ministers will stuff up and say something stupid enough like, “poor people don’t drive cars”, making the event a news story.

  7. Trevr

    I find it somewhat hilarious to listen to Herr Goosestepper Abbott and his variations of his 3 word slogans as he educates the Bogans.

    Just can not help but respond that Herr Abbottiod, in explaining his economic and political value shitstem, as he tries to traduce the previous Governments political history actually gives a concise and factual rendition of his own Abbott rabble Political and economic standing.

    Funny that, me thinks, how a persons voiced complaint gives a fuller interpretation of the complainers condition than that of the person being complained about.

    Touche. Sack Abbott. Abbott Rabble Can’t Govern, Can’t Count, Can’t Stop Lying.

  8. Loz

    How do we get the message out? Unfortunately many people do not go online to hear other viewpoints. I find it totally frustrating and depressing that this government is getting away with bad government.

  9. David

    John I suspect you are correct and if ABC Staff are being as timid as sleeping overnight in a supposed haunted house, my feelings on their future, it’s already decided and no amount of friendly Govt coverage will change what Abbott/Credlin and Turnbull have in store for them. One thing is certain, the major benefactor will be the Govts Lord and Master Murdoch.
    I feel more for SBS Staff, they are nothing in this Govts eyes and a waste of money, despite Turnbulls false admiration. Turnbull does as he is told.

  10. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John Kelly, you have hit the nail on the head. ABC journalism is significantly less critical of adverse Abbott government policies and implementation. I agree it is Abbott’s overt and covert threats to ABC cuts that keeps them and their management intimidated.

    I’ve lost a considerable amount of my faith in the ABC and that is why I am frequenting AIMN, other alternative media blogs and Twitter.

    Every cloud has a silver lining because once I relied on the ABC to inform me. Now, I find my information and form my opinions via my own first hand observations and a distillation of information provided via various primary and secondary sources on social media. This for me, is a liberating and energising higher stage in my growth as an activist.

    The growing impact of alternative, grassroots, independent media is a ray of sunshine and it is a realistic possibility for puncturing the stranglehold on news reporting by conservative media.

  11. June M Bullivant OAM

    This government has lied and lied, blamed and blamed, never taken responsibility for their own actions, they are out of control, how the ordinary Australian will ever recover I do not know.

  12. Leanne

    Was going to comment on the lacklustre ABC. But you all took the words out of my mouth. They’re almost as bad as Shorten and the ALP.

  13. O'Bleak

    Abbott was always going to be a disaster for this country. I believed it from the moment the idiots made him their leader. If one thinks about the dullards who occupy seats on the front bench and places Abbott at the head what exactly does this image portray. They are a laughing stock. They’re so convinced of their own superiority that no amount of evidence could possibly penetrate their skulls deeply enough for them to realise the extent to which they are loathed. Spending huge amounts of money on bullshit to attempt to frighten the population into liking them is as likely to work as a naked paedophile with a hard on selling sweets at a school fete. The morons have been exposed for what they are. No amount of wriggling, squirming, lying or bribery will put the shine back on this particular turd. ELECTION NOW!!

  14. Marcpayen

    I read yesterday that thE closing the gaps indigenous employment program cost 1.5 billion dollars and created 277 jobs for indigenous Australians thats a little over 5 mill for each job created money well spent ????

  15. stephentardrew


    There is one big snake at the bottom of the garden and that is pre-elections stats. If the LNP are in trouble there are many journalists, I would imagine, that would like a bit of pay back and this is what the LNP is afraid of. Other than selling off the whole ABC, which is poisoned chalice, they will have to face, a maybe not too cooperative public, and an ABC tugging at the bit to be free of political interference.

    There are many more pieces on the chess board and don’t forget a lowly pawn can help trap the king.

    The debt will become apparent while manufacturing will be in crisis, vehicle industry and renewables, and the thing they will require more than anything is revenue. And as you so effectively demonstrate that is the monkey in the room.

    Their first Budget was a complete misread and disaster, their corporate, financial sector and banking mates won’t tolerate increased taxes and charges so they are left with middle, lower-class workers and welfare recipients to make up the deficit. Well good luck with that chaps.

    So all is not gloom an doom.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    if the LNP Neanderthals don’t get how you and we despise them and their stupidity after reading your stark analogy of them, I don’t know what will make them see.

  17. Kerri

    Sadly John, the spin will go something like this……
    “If Labor had allowed the budget to go ahead when it was first presented the debt and deficit could have been stopped dead in its tracks. But because they would not pass the budget the debt Labor created has got worse and worse and now we will all have to lift more by paying higher co payments and more GST”
    I mean we all know??? It’s all Labors fault!!!

  18. Wiradjuri Wally

    I clearly remember Amanda Vanstone in the second — yes SECOND — Howard government saying that “Labor’s Black Hole” was to blame for [insert anything vaguely relevant here ]


  19. John Kelly

    The LNP claim they have a mandate to fix the budget. If they can’t, either because the Senate won’t pass unpopular measures, or the spending blows out because of their PPLS or Direct Action, or Border Security measures cost too much, then that is their failing, not anything prior to 2013. It will demonstrate, at the very least, that they are no better at managing the budget. Blaming Labor, by then, just won’t cut it regardless of any MSM spin doctors.

  20. Graeme Chibnall

    I am going to share this article on social media. I have read it , and totally agree with your inference to the fact that this Government and most other governments rely upon the treating of the masses by using the old method of “if you can’t blind them with science baffle them with” Labor and others who wish to refrain from the quest for truth should all be reminded that they representing the Australian people ,risk judgement, as their silence and inaction will be seen as complicity.

  21. Manfred

    These crazy Fundamentalist’s are on a ideological rampage for evil. Like Gough Whitlam did for the greater good. The IPA Salivates cheers and claps their hands. Most Conservatives lack empathy for their fellow man. I would say that 85% of the Liberal front bench has some kind of mental disorder. With most of them; it’s a nurture disorder. Joe Hockey’s thin skin and lack of love is plain to see. Tony Abbott is just so angry because he’s not very bright and lacks ingenuity and hates clever people. Unfortunately Tony is stuck with this because it’s in his DNA. Tony is too arrogant to come to terms with his lack of acumen. We are headed for disaster with him.
    And what happened to Julie Bishop as child? The mind boggles. Poor Julie! But really; poor world .Then we have joker of the pack. The nastiest Shakespearean villain of them all. Christopher Pyne. Was Christopher born just plain evil? With Christopher he may well have been born this way? His lack of empathy is fascinating to watch. If he quit politics and became an actor I would watch every one of his performances; such is his allure. Maybe I’m wrong maybe something did happen to him also? I could go on. But we are paying dearly for these unsound characters.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I cannot fault your character portrayals of these LNP Neanderthals, but I would love to see how you would describe Scott Morrison. Please do, please, please.

  23. corvus boreus

    For the ‘creepy creatures lurking just behind the eyes and under the skin’ award, apart from the exploits of that aficionado of excessive body-contact, the shuddering, glaring goanna himself, Mr Anthony(I like hanging out under a rug with Jonesy and Richo with my, um, tongue hanging out[wink]) Abbott, my vote would go to either the leader of the house, Mr Erik(don’t mention the war) Abetz, for his microspasmic eyebrow arches and twitchy rictus jaw action as he rages on the floor, or the attorney general, Mr George(it’s for your own good) Brandis, his for thin lipped, beady eyed look as he espouses of the virtues of bigotry, spying and torture.

  24. ejdur662

    Shared on my Facebook page

  25. stephentardrew

    John you are right blaming Labor is not going to cut it especially after waxing lyrical about their superior financial management skills. Booting the middle class and poor is a fools game. There are a lot of angry people out there. Thomas Picketty has thrown the left an economic lifeline even though the right has done its best to vilify him the facts of increasing inequality are indisputable. If the opposition parties and independents are smart they will loading up their attack with a raft of facts that will drown out Abbot’s cry “it’s all Labors fault”. Reminds me of the boy who cried wolf. You will never get sanity from the intellectually challenged dystopian personalities of the LNP.

  26. stephentardrew


    Love Brandis’ “I will decide” which is an elegantly simple way to inform us we now have an Attorney General who is dictator. You can trust me? Yeah right journalist will be little bundles of joy and laughter putting their lives and future into Mr Piggies hands (I try not to be disrespectful). I love the way it is all presented as you can trust me I am George Badarse Santa (maria) and if you are good you can have a ride on Rudolph.

  27. DanDark

    Bigot Brandis is a member of this elite club full of lawyers, judges, journalists it’s an all men’s club, I did ring and asked about the ” wonderfully eccentric social occasions” and what did they do behind those big red doors get up and dance naked around a vase of flowers lol

  28. doctorrob54

    No you are not being unkind David. Marles is no better than Morriscum.
    Why is there not more immigration officers OS,screening,assessing,and OKing bona fide, refugees.
    Why didn’t Labor do this,or start demanding it happen now,and this is their policy when they win.
    I don’t think they give a f’k about winning the next election.And I am starting to care even less.

  29. jason1738

    This is there whole agenda!! Look if the Government goes broke then what gets cut? Social Programs and the Conservative HATE social programs so this is an attack through the back door! This is what George Lakoff describes as a strategic initiative, it does many things at once and the main game is to starve the beast to kill social programs… this is the play book from America! These guys have taken their play book right from the Heritage foundation and the Republican party… and just like America the progressive movement scattered to the winds and with no infrastructure just are washed aside … time to wake up- the conservatives are not stupid and they are WINNING!!!

  30. Eileen Ray

    This article assumes that someone is interested in the truth. Looking at the LNP antics on climate change they are only interested in spin. They will spin their way out of this debacle too. The media won’t keep them accountable.

  31. Totaram

    JASON has got it right. Just saying these guys are stupid doesn’t cut it. Even if they themselves are cretins, the people who run the show have a plan and that is working. Unless that is made clear to everyone, we cannot oppose this and win.

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m listening Totaram and Jason.

    Spreading the word. Being prepared to stand and be counted. Forming alliances with political, social enterprises, philanthropic changemakers, grassroots organisations etc, etc.

    These are the steps that need to be taken to make the changes to the political environment so to get Abbott and his LNP Neanderthals and masters out.

    In their places, we need progressive policies that show vision, some risk, passion and understanding that our community is a social entity first and a socio-economic one second.

    We all know we’re up against mega-billionaires but even mega-billionaires need our combined labour and enterprises to operate for them to survive off parasitically.

    Make the discussion. The passion builds the momentum. Abbott and his Neanderthals are losing their hold already.

  33. Choppa

    John – they had a mandate to reduce debt….labor has blocked nearly all savings measures on programs labor could never afford. It’s still as simple as “its Labors fault”. No question about it.

    But labor have given the aussies t second choice. If you expect people to fund your life for you – (1) the libs option is work for it. (2) the labor option is sleep with nova kneebone. Suddenly working looks attractive doesn’t it.

    Most new spending the libs committed to, labor would’ve done the same. The debt issue is still very much the result of the most incompetent government we will hopefully ever see in this land. Your article does nothing to disprove those facts.

    How much do we miss the mining boom already?

  34. Kaye Lee


    Do you recall the Coalition making a deal with the Greens as soon as they got into power to increase the debt ceiling to $500 billion? How is this Labor’s fault? Do you recall Joe Hockey’s first move was to borrow almost $9 billion to gift to the reserve bank who hadn’t asked for it? How is this Labor’s fault? Do you recall the Coalition blocking savings measures suggested by Labor like stopping people from fraudulently claiming business usage for their car? Do you recall the Coalition giving up billions in revenue from the carbon and mining taxes, choosing instead to maintain billions in fossil fuel subsidies and payments to polluters to upgrade their factories with taxpayer money? How is this Labor’s fault?

    And how much does a war cost?

  35. John Kelly

    Choppa, I hope you get Kaye’s point. Doubling Labor’s debt can only be attributed to LNP management.

  36. Möbius Ecko

    Choppa how come they have a mandate to reduce Labor’s debt when they won the election but when in opposition they blocked the savings and revenue measures Labor attempted to bring in? Indeed not only did the Abbott opposition at ever opportunity block savings and revenue measures put up by Labor they insisted Labor increase spending and forgo revenue measures.

  37. Möbius Ecko

    For your info Kaye. The Abbott government has mooted that eight new frigates will be built in Adelaide. They are accelerating a program that will cost well over $10 billion.

    This is purely a political move timed for the next election as they received a massive backlash in breaking their major promise on building the new submarines in Adelaide. Wonder what Choppa thinks of all the broken promises made by this government, far more than any before it and way more than his supposed most incompetent government?

    I also note that Choppa is either a mind reader or is a member of the Labor party as he knows what they are going to do before they have done it or stated they are going to do it; “labor would’ve done the same”.

  38. David

    Kaye Lee re choppa…facts are a mere distraction to it…never let a fantasy get in the way..they stagger among us.

  39. DanDark

    Lamb chops is back because the Liarbils know Tones is as popular as a turd floating in a public swimming pool soooo they have to crawl out from under their rocks to defend the turd, but they are wasting their time lol Tones is a fascist and a nasty nasty little man, judge me on performance he said to the science mob other day, he got a clap, one person clapped, what an embarrassment for him, but he laughed thought it was funny, Tones really is a brain dead dipshit with no idea how the world works, napthine wants Tones to stay away from Vic, but he turns up and man hugs him in an interview lol …. I rang nana nap Naptimes office and said, “here’s a suggestion a royal commission into the 4 big banks after the crimes they committed against the little people, and the damage they have wreaked on the people, no they only want to run witch hunts into unions” she bloody hung up, the truth hurts yep 🙂

  40. Ian Pycroft

    I feel that ,The Australian Government will Follow the Good Old USA down the same path with a Major Blowout of Federal funds ,, The result will be ,The USA will fall into Recession and Current Australian Gov will follow the leader in this Event , They say the Depression of the1930s will be a picnic compared to what will happen ,when this trend of finance of western governments seem to follow , but only the Tax Payer will be Left to pick up what pieces in a very long time ,,, The new World $ will be Asian based and a push from world country’s seem to favour this ,, So we may see the Yuan be or take over

  41. DC

    O’Bleak (Oct 30 7:29 pm) and Jennifer Meyer-Smith (Oct 30 9:53 pm). Spot on with those comments. That’s the thing my ignorant liberal supporting friends and even family don’t get. When I say ignorant I’m only talking about the area of politics. Some of these Coalition voters I love and respect and they are certainly not ignorant in all things in fact some of them are much smarter than I am in many ways but be it through either lack of time, lack of interest in politics or just in built beliefs they are ignorant of politics, climate science and economics. The three things you need to be misinformed about in order to be comfortable with the Coalition being in power.

    They think its all a bit of tit for tat like we hate the current government in the same way that they hated the former government. They have no idea how much deeper and more informed my mistrust is of many institutions including the ALP but none more so than the Abbot Coalition with Peta Credlin pushing the IPA agenda. But they are fast learning now.

    Sidenote: ABC2 recently cancelled the only daily news satire in Australia that (most of the time) wasn’t afraid to say it how it is;

  42. Möbius Ecko

    Hockey admits there’s a revenue problem. Where’s the carbon tax? Where’s the MRT? Why the tax breaks for the wealthy and subsidies to big profitable businesses?

  43. Möbius Ecko

    Andrew Forrest has launched Supreme Court proceedings to prevent mining at his Pilbara cattle station. Sadly this is not a joke.

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