NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

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.