In the 2015-16 Queensland Budget, the Government has shown it subscribes to the maxim that one might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.
The 2015 Queensland Budget essentially ignores the real issues in Queensland, or tries to make them vanish through creative accounting.
The 2015 Federal Budget represents a capitulation by the government to the ALP and the Senate and builds a populist base for the next election.
As I mentioned to Pat Hession on Townsville ABC radio yesterday afternoon, the 2015-16 Federal Budget simply kicks the can down the road, as they say, leaving it for a future Government (or this one if it stays in power) to make the hard decisions necessary to truly repair the budget (see my post on Queensland Economy Watch from May 12). A trajectory back to surplus is not the same thing as budgeting for a surplus, and there is no surplus over the forward estimates, just a steady fall in the deficit – a fall which may not occur as projected, as new budget pressures emerge in coming years and the Government commits to new expenditures or renews old programs.
This time last year, we noted that the budget was one of pretend austerity. Much of the debate following the budget then pretended that the austerity was real. It was not real austerity then and it is not real austerity now. In Chart 1 below, drawn from Statement No.10 page 6, we see the payments of the budget as a percent of GDP. Last year the budget was for year 2014/15.
Bill Shorten should take a long hard look at Labor leaders Luke Foley in NSW, Premier Daniel Andrews in Victoria and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Queensland. None has a plan to pay down debt, none has money to spend, and each has wrong plans to enhance productivity.
In 1996, when Pauline Hanson was asked on 60 Minutes if she was xenophobic, she replied: “Please explain?” It was an intelligent question from a poorly read person to a smart-arse journalist.
Privatising assets didn’t cost Newman his election. Ignoring basic politics did.
The real result from the Queensland election is that drovers’ dogs will occupy the Treasury benches for the foreseeable future. There was no government in waiting, just a bunch of kids waiting their turn.
Queensland-based policy think tank the Australian Institute of Progress, has called for a truthful election campaign, saying the choices facing Queenslanders were too important to permit political fictions and misinformation.