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.
Trajectory to surplus not the same thing as budgeting for a surplus
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.
A steady hand
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.
Is Netanyahu the only one alive to the threat of Iran
ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the US congress last week was the most powerful I have had the privilege of hearing from any leader at any time. Maybe he overegged it; he is, after all, facing election. But Netanyahu and many fellow Israelis believe the threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is real and imminent.
Go for a debt deal
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.
Queensland: 2015 and Beyond
On February 25th, the Australian Institute for Progress hosted a forum with the theme “Queensland: 2015 and Beyond” at the Queen’s Arms in New Farm, Brisbane.
It shouldn’t be too hard to explain why spending must slow
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.
Baird’s asset test
Privatising assets didn’t cost Newman his election. Ignoring basic politics did.
There was no government in waiting in broke Queensland
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.
Qld Labor’s Fiscal Strategy
The Queensland Labor Party went to last year’s election without a credible fiscal strategy. This is our assessment at the time. We will update our position after the treasurer delivers his budget on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.