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a ho hum Costello budget? « Previous | |Next »
May 8, 2006

Judging by all the leaks and hints the Costello 11th Budget doesn't look like much of a reform budget does it? Nor does there appear to be any rabiits in the hat that Paul Keating used to regularly pull out on budget night.

The budget surplus is around $5 billion greater than expected (it's around $17.6 billion) due to the commodities boom, with the money going to spent on tax cuts (to offset bracket creep), family benefits to working families. This will pump up the economy at a time when the Reserve Bank is reining in excess demand as the economy's capacity limits tighten and the current account deficit soars.

This will ensure a solid political base amongst 'Howard's struggling battlers' for the Coalition in the lead-up to next year's election.

Bill Leak

Oh, there are reports of a billion or so of dollars being spent on enhancing the nation's rail and road networks and new incentives for working mothers.

Systematic tax reform is off the agenda, as is a substantial investment in education and training to increase skilled workers with different skills, school education or the implications of an ageing Australia. The investment in the infrastructure is minimal, there is little by way of competition policy reform, and no overhaul in health care.

The mantra of good economic management by the Coalition is now starting to look more than a little ragged.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:09 PM | | Comments (4)


If good economic management means sitting on your hands as opportunity passes you by, then these guys are the best ever.

17 billion that could be spent on rebuilding our run down systems (run down because of these ridiculous surpluses we have been achieving), will be spent on more middle class bribery, with the end result sucked up by petrol prices and a follow up interest rate rise to offset the extra household spending.

This government is way past it's use by date. Completely stale and unable to make any real hard yards.

Three words - lazy and incompetent.

Big Bob,
well, it provides a golden opportunity for the Beazley ALP to do something positive doessn't it?

The opportunities exist: increasing productivity, tying that to wage increases and so heading off inflation, putting tax cuts into lifting the superannuation contribution above the current 9%; reducing the huge foreign debt etc.

They've gone back to the base of 38% primary viote ---you won't win an election from there given the Coalition sits on 42%.The Beazely-led ALP has lost the young and the new self-employed in the service economy.

I think that the next ALP government will be a reforming one. In fact, just like Keating and Hawke, I don't think they will get much choice about it. By the time this lot are tossed out, we will probably be in a real pickle.

I just don't know whether that has any traction with the electorate. Are they still happy to go to the trough each budget year, or do they yearn for something more long term than this?

I wonder if they are ready for anybody with a real forward looking vision?

I agree both your comments Gary and BigBob's.

And if the Beazley Opposition does buck the trend and produce a compelling economic vision for the country, will the electorate stand up and take notice, or will the incumbency-athon at a federal level be simply too strong a pressure on people's votes?