Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This will strike terror into the hearts of Abbott and Hockey

It may even finish them politically.

From Lenore Taylor this morning:

THE independent Tony Windsor will ask the two main parties to submit all their election policies to the Treasury for costing so negotiations to form a government can begin with an agreed budgetary starting point.

The Coalition refused to submit most of its big-ticket policies to the Treasury during the election campaign on the grounds that a leaked Treasury document published in the Herald had eroded confidence in the process. Coalition costings were checked by an accounting firm instead.

The decision led to furious argument between the parties in the final days of the campaign.

Labor accused the Coalition of looking for an excuse to avoid scrutiny and said the costings released just three days before the election would blow out the budget bottom line by $5 billion over the next four years, rather than improving it by $11 billion as the Coalition claimed. The Coalition said it had released more detailed information than any previous opposition.

But Mr Windsor said he wanted an agreed starting point for the talks that will determine who forms government, and would suggest to his fellow independents a full Treasury costing of both parties' election platforms as starting point. He said the concern about leaks was no longer valid since the election was over and the policies were all on the public record.

''I think both of them should submit all their policies to the Treasury … we need to know where we stand.''

The point is, despite all the talk of auditing, the Coalition's figures were never designed to withstand scrutiny.

Such scrutiny will show many of the promised savings do not exist.

It'll show Abbott, Hockey and Robb to be anything but the sober, responsible managers they said they were.

And also a little less than honest.

They will have shot themselves in the foot, once again.

Related Posts

. Coalition costings

. "Costings". Is that all there is?

. Hockey: "It was an audit" Auditing firm: "We are not responsible for what he says"

. Coaliton "too dim" to stop its own rules being used against it