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opinion

Out with the old…

… in with the same old story.

You’ll have to pardon me if I’m somewhat cynical about government, newly elected in a historical landslide, coming in and saying there’s a $4.5 billion dollar “hole” in the budget not revealed by the previous administration, and that means all our policies have to be “reviewed”.

It sounds like the perfect excuse to abuse the broad mandate handed to the incoming government. The spin is already revving up – the “hole” is over forward projections:

In December the half-yearly review of the budget forecast a surplus of $432 million for 2012-13 and $129 million in 2013-14 (see report, page 4).

However, yesterday’s briefings revealed the updated prediction is for a deficit of $405 million in 2012-13, which is forecast to rise to $1.2 billion in 2013-14.

The Treasury briefings show that by 2014-15, the budget will have fallen $2.4 billion into deficit. However, this is beyond the scope of the forward estimates, which only run to 2013-14.

The government reached its $4.5 billion figure by adding up the forecast deficits between 2012-13 and 2014-15.

And further to this is the obsession with a AAA credit rating, for which they say we don’t want to threaten by borrowing. What’s the point of a credit rating if you don’t use that credit?

Labour was full of incompetent fools, but let it not be said that the Coalition is not above petty old politicking.

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