Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here's the Opposition's line - responsible, measured...

"Today the Prime Minister has announced his intention to plunge Australia’s budget into deficit.

The Prime Minister claimed that this would be a ‘temporary deficit’.

Experience tells us that Labor deficits are never temporary.

We have seen what happens when Labor governments drive budgets into deficit.

Like a drug, Labor is addicted debt.

The last ‘temporary’ Labor deficit ran for 6 years until the defeat of the Keating Government in 1996.

Labor’s definition of a temporary deficit is what Australia has to have until a Coalition government makes the tough decisions required to repair the economic damage.

It took the Coalition ten years to pay off the $96 billion debt left by Labor’s last ‘temporary’ deficit.

Australian taxpayers paid an interest bill of $8.5 billion a year on that ‘temporary’ deficit.

On the current growth forecasts there is no reason for the Prime Minister to send Australia’s budget into deficit.

On the Government’s own figures growth next year will be 2%.

12 months ago the Rudd Government inherited a $20 billion surplus.

Today the spectre of deficit looms."

Julie Bishop MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Treasurer

Oh my.


redback_original said...

I vote conservative. Despite all the criticism of the Howard/Costello government for not spending enough on infrastructure I'm glad we've got a huge big whopping surplus in 2008.

I'm also glad our current government has finally had the guts to use the D word and say they will do whatever it takes to keep confidence in the economy.

I don't have great regard for our Treasurer, Captain Quiver, because he doesn't even have confidence in his own ability... in his own voice... let alone the Australian economy.

However, there are confident performers in this government (Rudd, Tanner and Gillard) who will maintain confidence in this economy whatever it takes - even if that means using some red ink.

Anonymous said...

Peter, any chance you can post a link to the actual budget bottom-line figures for the years of the Hawke-Keating Governments?

I was not aware that they ran 6 straight deficits in a row, as Julie Bishop claims. Are her claims correct?


Anonymous said...

if one does the numbers on the last Coalition budget and put a growth rate of 1.5% and the assumption of lower China growth guess what you get.

Hint if the structural deficit is $8b then it goes red

Marek said...

It took the Coalition ten years to pay off the $96 billion debt left by Labor

that claim can't be right can it?

Anonymous said...

The press gallery is failing its responsibility to the public by blandly reporting deceitful Opposition scaremongering over the budget instead of giving people the unadorned economic facts.

All governments are going into deficit at this time. And that is the right response to an economic shock of this magnitude. If the Rudd government clung to the surplus out of some misguided sense of propriety - when the economy needs the government to fulfill the vacuum left by disappearing private demand - THAT would be irresponsible.

The economically ignorant press gallery hacks, who spend their lives chasing "gaffe" headlines, need to wise up. Here's what Citigroup's economists (hardly a nest of irresponsible lefties) say today about Rudd's admission:

“This development is good news and very much in-line with our thinking. While the government seems shy to commit to moving the budget into deficit, we see this outcome as both inevitable and desirable in the current circumstances. With a net asset position, the Commonwealth government is also well positioned to increase debt issuance to help fund infrastructure and other investments, both via the three Investments Funds and more directly with the States. We see both these policy initiatives as being vital to helping Australia avoid a worse economic outcome than the significant slowing that is coming.”

Can we PLEASE get away from the wedge, gotcha politics of the Howard era and start calling an economic spade a spade??

Peter Martin said...

Dear Anonymous,

I've found the historical info you want in the budget papers, and I'll give it its own post.

Anonymous said...

I think many make the mistake of thinking Turnbull and the Opposition are particularly concerned about the Australian economy in preference to making political points. Turnbull is for Turnbull alone and the LNP is for the LNP alone regardless of what is good for country.

But even if the Opposition has given up on having moral or ethical standards it is the media that should be informing the public and setting them straight as to the truth of things. Unfortunately the right-wing media (we all know who they are) also put supporting Turnbull before the well being of the country and its people.

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