The Budget Mirage And The Debts And Deficits Ruse

It’s Budget time and we’ve spent the last week analysing the third Budget announcement from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Our verdict? Don’t believe the hype: it’s not a ‘big-spending’ Budget; and it’s not a Budget the Labor Party would have introduced.

We think it’s yet another lost opportunity for the Australian economy and the community – just like Peter Costello squandering the mining boom in the early 2000s, this could be another chance to make positive long-term changes to government spending that ends up being flushed down the drain.

What would Labor do? We don’t know: it’s not the role of the Opposition of the day to provide itemised line items and specific policies the government and the media can then dissect and misrepresent – Albanese won’t make the same mistakes Shorten made with the franking credits policy, where he allowed the Liberal Party too must scope to completely distort the intention of the scheme. Just the broad brush strokes of policy is all that’s needed at the moment.

Will the Budget swing the next election for the Liberal–National Coalition? Both the Budget and the Budget Reply will be forgotten at the time of the next election, and the verdict will still come down to competence and who the electorate will trust on debts and deficits.

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