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A responsible audit? « Previous | |Next »
January 21, 2014

Whilst Peter Reith continues to bang the labor market reform drum in the Fairfax Press the politics of austerity is slowly being put into place. We really wont know much until Budget time 2014. Presumably this is the best way to build the trust and confidence between government, business, non- government organisations and the community that are required for major reform.

From what we can gather so far is that he Coalition's template to address the structural budget and economic issues facing Australia is pretty much the agenda of the Business Council of Australia. The official line is that the Commission was “not ruling anything in or out”, and that it was up to the government to decide how to act on its recommendations. Well, not quite. The Commission’s brief is to focus on cost-cutting because ways to increasing revenue are not on the table. They are not part of the Commission's brief.
MoirACommissionofaudit.jpg
Alan Moir

So it is austerity not long term economic reform--eg., a comprehensive and coherent national energy policy. The Business Council of Australia's position is that Australia's competitiveness has declined and our chances of maintaining the rates of economic growth that we need are far less certain:

we are staring down the barrel of almost a decade of deficits. This is the result of not having lived within our means, of not spending taxpayers’ money wisely in ways that boost national productivity and competitiveness, and committing to new long-term programs without a matching source of new revenue.....unless future governments reprioritise spending, and reduce the size and scope of government, they will have virtually no discretion to respond to the priorities of the day, let alone deal with the emerging and well-known pressures on the budget.The only way to get the budget back in order for the long term is to go back to basics with an audit of the scope, size and efficiency of government spending together with a disciplined approach to any proposals for new spending.

We can expect recommendations for a privatisation of government assets, the outsourcing in the form of the externalisation of services to commercial organisations, the reduction in unproductive regulation (ie., red and green tape), more flexibility and productivity in our workplaces, investment in the right infrastructure to ensure a productive economy (ie., to help business) and greater application of user pays.

What will be excluded is government subsidies to Big Business--Big Mining, the private health industry, the fossil fuel industry, trade-exposed industries etc. because this does not form part of the Business Council of Australia's overarching vision of securing enduring prosperity for all Australians.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:44 AM | | Comments (8)
Comments

Comments

"...not ruling anything in or out".
This is to obscure plans to bring back floggings for slaves not worked to death and tongue-cutting for those who dare question serfs being required to work 24/7 without notice, with the only rest coming on the eighth day?
The quote is of the usually smarmy, gut-turning type that marks most neolib documents.

welfare spending is unsustainable according to Kevin Andrews the Social Services Minister. Too many Australians depend on the government for their incomes. More than More than five million people now are in receipt of one form of welfare or another,

They won't touch the Age Pension though--that's the Coalition's base. But they will cut into Newstart and the Disability Pension. The cuts will be framed i n terms of the disability support pension being an easy "rort" to sign up to.

It looks as if the revenue side of the budget being off the table means a taxation amnesty to extremely wealthy people who have illegally offshored income or assets as a chance for these tax cheats to avoid jail.

So much for the Coalition's "debt crisis."

Meanwhile via its cover and lead article the Economist magazine advises that world-wide there are 9 trillion dollars worth of government owned assets that should be sold off.

Which reminds me that a public interest tax justice group recently gave a conservative estimate that there are over 32 trillion dollars stashed away in safe havens by uber-wealthy people. The kind of vulture capitalists that Mitt Romney represented.

Overall, it's still a very mainstream version of the neocon agenda. So much so that one might almost call it old-fashioned; the neocon dream of the 1980s seems to live on in the policies of the Abbott Govt.

Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and
actual effort to produce a good article… but what can
I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to
get anything done.

hit the carers. they may be rorting the system --ie., not actually doing the job they are claiming payments for.

What we have is a review of a major, vital part of our welfare infrastructure behind closed doors with the policy changes announced on budget night.