The Coalition don’t trust Treasury so, we are told, they can’t give us their costings. They can’t work out what they’re going to spend, what taxes they’re going to cut and what savings they intend to make. Because, in spite of Hockey saying earlier in the year, “the only numbers than we can rely on are the PEFO numbers released by the heads of department during the course of the election campaign”, we know find that the Coalition can’t use those figures and consequently can’t add up their own figures.
Well, I suppose we do know that in 2010, Treasury did find that the Coalition couldn’t, in fact, add up their own figures when an $11 billion hole was found. So the Coalition announced that they wouldn’t use Treasury but an accounting firm who added up the figures that they were given and then announced that the figures did in fact add up to the total that was on Joe Hockey’s calculator. Of course this firm did get wrapped over the knuckles, because apparently accountants are meant to do more than primary school addition, and as a result, this election campaign there’ll be NO adding up!
(I did try to use this argument with my wife. Owing to the untrustworthy nature of Treasury figures, there’s no way I can work out a budget, so the expensive bottle of red is quite ok in spite of me not working last week. Her response was most unkind, but she’s always been more on the Left side of politics, so she wasn’t swayed by my use of Joe Hockey to back my logic).
In a sort of extreme Keynesian view of the world, it could be argued that Abbott’s proposal to cut taxes and not making any significant spending cuts, could stimulate the economy enough to actually improve the Budget bottom line. But I’ve never heard anyone on his side of politics argue that in the past. It’s not even an argument that they’re putting forward now. What they are arguing is that we’ll have a stronger economy ONCE they’re elected, and that the Budget will be in surplus.
Reductions in revenue:
- The Mining Tax and the ENORMOUS Carbon Tax eliminated – These are supposedly costing businesses and households a bucketload of money. So, on their argument this is an ENORMOUS loss of revenue.
- The 1.5% reduction in company tax for all companies to compensate the biggest companies for 1.5% levy for the Parental Leave Scheme.
- The Paid Parental Leave Scheme which being paid for from the levy which doesn’t amount to a net gain after the company tax reduction.
- Increased Border Protection
- The Direct Action Plan for reducing emissions
- Increased spending on roads
- The slightly shorter NBN which only goes to the corner.
So this leaves a big gap if they’re planning to bring the budget back into Surplus. Even sacking 100,000 public servants wouldn’t raise that sort of money.
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