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missing in action « Previous | |Next »
November 4, 2007

It's not just Abbott who is missing in action, is it. It is also the media groomed and savvy Costello. He's a good Parliamentary performer--the best in Parliament, but what has he done by way of reform as Treasurer? What is his reform heritage? I can think of the Intergeneration Report? The GST was mostly Howard.

Abbott.jpg
Matt Golding

He hasn't done much for higher education has he? What has he done to enable Australia to transform into an information society? Or enabling Australia to address climate change in a sustainable way? After all, he is Australia's longest-serving treasurer who has brought down 12 federal budgets in succession, 10 of which have been in surplus. So where is the investment needed for more spending on infrastructure and skills formation to give the economy greater productive capacity?

I guess Costello's view is that Australians spend a few months tossing hamburgers, cleaning toilets, while they save up to launch their own digital company and that slow broadband will ensure that this happens. Isn't he an advocate of encouraging parents to spend more on education, with the consequence of public education system increasingly coming to resemble a safety net rather than the quality mainstream option?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:07 PM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
Costello doesn't even bother to grapple with the gorilla in the room---the tax cuts that will tip more than $15billion in cash into voters' pockets from July 1 next year---in an economy running at full tilt.

His investment efforts in higher education are minimal.

So where is the investment needed for more spending on infrastructure and skills formation to give the economy greater productive capacity?

I guess Costello's view is that Australians spend a few months tossing hamburgers, cleaning toilets, while they save up to launch their own digital company and that slow broadband will ensure that this happens. Isn't he an advocate of encouraging parents to spend more on education, with the consequence of public education system increasingly coming to resemble a safety net rather than the quality mainstream option?

I've been saying that to whoever would listen for years it seems now.

Nan,
Costello's reform of higher education was an education fund of $3 billion or so, in which the interest from the fund is to be invested in higher education.

He's made no attempt to address the flaws in the Dawkins reforms of the 1980s other than to ensure education is a private good. Somehow the market is supposed to sort out who supplies those goods, and how; even though it is still a heavily regulated market marked by political interference.

Costello has been so seduced by the resources boom that he sees no need to do long term economic policy planning around the central role of knowledge in an information society.