|“A tax doesn’t stop being a tax just because you give it a different name”
So what was the highlight of last night’s budget ……
Well it had to be ABC’s Sarah Ferguson’s post budget interview with Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Sarah’s opening question was “Is it liberating for a politician to decide election promises don’t matter?” BOOM!
In essence that’s what last night’s Federal Budget was all about.
It was the breaking of what were clear pre-election promises made by the then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. You remember the “no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to pensions, no changes to GST, no cuts to the ABC and SBS under any Government I lead”. And just to make sure you were listening, he then went on to say that there would be no tax increases and that the budget would be returned to surplus.
Of all that was said above, the only promise that survived was “the no changes to GST” but if you consider that the cost burden of health and education has now been pushed back to the States, then its only logical to assume that a change here is only a matter of time.
So why did the Government feel compelled do this?
Well the answer to this question is pretty simple really.
By adjusting numbers to suit, the Government has built a strong case that the budget is in desperate need of repair, a crisis in fact, and that without immediate action that we, and future generations, would be impoverished.
Let’s be frank here …. this is complete nonsense.
The fact is that our government debt level, measured relative to the size of the economy, is less than one quarter of the average for the developed world.
This is not to argue that we should have more debt, only to say that, whatever the costs of the deficit may be, leaving us with an unsustainable level of debt is not one of them.
Now while we can quibble about this, we do need to focus on what decisions were actually made.
For his part, Treasurer Hockey needs to be commended for at least having a vision. It was nice, given the events of the past six years, to hear someone speak with confidence and deliver some basic home truths. Yes the age of entitlement is well and truly finished.
That said, some of the decisions made are questionable and what is of most interest now is the actions of the Senate …. fair to say that we are in for some interesting times ahead
Listed below is a summary of what was put forth:-