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The “sound economic management” of the Coalition has increased net debt by 250%

The monthly account figures for December have been released and they put a lie to the Coalition’s claims of “sound economic management” – at least their version of it.

Far from being “back in black”, as our work experience treasurer prematurely claimed last year with his Cheshire cat grin, the deficit for the year to 31 December 2019 was $15,170 million – a deterioration of over a billion dollars in the two weeks since MYEFO was brought out.

Likewise, our net debt has grown from $161,253 million at 31 August 2013, a week before the 2013 election, to $403,036 million at the end of December – a 250% increase.

Opinions differ about whether or not this a good thing. Most would agree that we need that government spending to keep the economy afloat.

But that’s not been the mantra that the Coalition have shoved down our throat since the GFC. “Spending like drunken sailors”. “Debt and deficit disaster”. “Paying the mortgage on the nation’s credit card”.

It has become increasingly apparent that this lot do not have a clue what they are doing. There is no plan, no direction, no purpose – just a whole lot of words that mean nothing and money thrown around to win votes.

Sound economic managers my arse.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    I waited in vain yesterday on Insiders for the host to raise this when the Treasurer made this claim , but of course he didn’t. None of them ever do. The deficit has been increasing gradually since they took government, and for no good reasons. The LNP has never been better at managing the books and yet they have the public fooled completely. Why???

  2. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. Should the $400 million be
    $400 billion?

  3. Ken

    There was never going to be a surplus no matter what the Libs said.

  4. Kaye Lee


    Yes $403,036 million = $403 billion (It’s a comma not a dot). That’s how they report it in the financial statements.

    Gross debt (AGS on issue) is now $568.1 billion with another $3 billion to be issued this week.


  5. whatever

    Please be aware that MOST of the so-called “Finance News” you see on TV or carried on various MSM websites is either absolute nonsense, or just pro-Conservative messaging.
    StockBrokers everywhere use computer programs to take care of the buying and selling these days. You therefore cannot really say that “investors were spooked by (insert MSM headline)” and the Market crashed.
    They regularly try to describe any fleeting Market surge as “investors encouraged by Conservative leadership”.

  6. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks for the correction, Kaye.

  7. Terence Mills

    This morning we will see if the Murdoch/Rinehart collective can take over the National party.

    Going by Sky-after-dark last night the pitch is on to have viewers contact their regional National party branches and ensure that elected members supported a Joyce/Canavan ticket.

    I think we are about to see a political party taken over by the mining lobby with the support of Murdoch media.

    We are in dangerous territory folks !

  8. Kaye Lee

    Not yet Terence. 🙂

  9. Kaye Lee

    Off topic, but I have also been waiting for the greenhouse gas emissions data for the September Quarter – it has to be released before the end of this month – and I found something strange.

    The site where all the info on emissions is usually published had this message:

    “The Climate change function transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020.”


    So climate change is no longer under the department of agriculture, water and the environment.

    Looking further at that administrative order….

    “The new AAO reflects the following changes:

    Transfer employment and skills functions to the renamed Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
    Transfer agriculture functions to the renamed Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
    Transfer small business and energy functions to the renamed Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
    Transfer communications and arts functions to the renamed Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
    The Department known as Services Australia (formerly known as the Department of Human Services) will be established as a new Executive Agency, within the Social Services Portfolio.”


    Why? And does climate change come under energy now? And how much will this change cost in stationery alone?

  10. Clipbord

    A moving target is harder to hit?
    Or will critical docs be ‘lost’ in the transition?

  11. Kronomex

    The LNP, proof that the Oozlum bird exists and thrives in Canberra.

  12. Geoff Andrews

    You quite reasonably ask:

    The LNP has never been better at managing the books and yet they have the public fooled completely. Why???

    The real question is HOW?
    By saying it over & over again, like learning the 7 times table.
    Labor seems happy with that – well, they’ve done nothing to counter it but at least they haven’t apologized for what apparently the first deficit in Australia’s history in 2013. Another thing the financially astute do is to soberly, weigh up all the imponderables, proceed slowly, do their homework before wasting public money like Labor did eg pink batts (the deaths! the deaths!); school halls (the waste, the waste)
    So unfortunate that the Hon B. Joyce was not successful in his valiant tilt at the Gnats leadership. His accountancy qualifications would have been invaluable.

  13. Kaye Lee


    They recently updated the site for the monthly financial accounts too. A while ago I went to look up what the net debt was when the Coalition took over and they had completely left out the 2013-14 financial year. I rang the department and they said oops…and fixed it a couple of days later. I mean seriously….don’t they have proof readers?

    Yes, change makes things much easier to lose or to pass the buck.

  14. Terence Mills

    Question is, will Morrison invite Canavan back into cabinet and would McCormack permit that ?

  15. Kaye Lee

    That won’t happen – Chester and Pitt look like getting the portfolios with Landry in some junior spot? Canavan is Deputy Senate leader.

    The Nats are given a certain number of spots and the Libs would kill Morrison if he gave them one of theirs.

  16. Luke Daglish

    Kaye Lee,
    I watched insiders and Josh said, we have to get rid of Labor’s debt of $48 and a half billion, I think he was trying to con us it was $480 billion. I replayed it just to make sure. they are all con artists.

  17. Kaye Lee


    The $48.5 billion was the deficit for the 2013-14 financial year. When they took over, a little over 2 months into that year, PEFO projected the deficit would be $30 billion and Hockey then added hugely to it to make it look bigger to blame on Labor. eg his unsolicited gift of $8.8 billion to the RBA.


    Deficit is just what we spend compared to what we earn for one year. The debt is the cumulative shortfall.

  18. Bruce White

    Kate Lee, reshuffling the ministries seems ironically like reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.
    Palmer is going to start calling in his favours soon I suspect.
    The coalition need more liferafts than available.
    Titanic 2 isn’t going to save them. tick,tick,tick…

  19. Geoff Andrews

    Sad to see the word “nett” disappear from our vocabulary.

  20. TuffGuy

    Er pardon me but he has nothing to do with cheshire cats and everything to do with being a JERK WITH A SMIRK. There is a big difference between a grin and a smirk.

  21. Stephengb

    This changes it for me

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