Sunday, September 05, 2010

Fit to govern?

Here's an extract from Laura Tingle's forthright piece in Friday's Financial Review.

The whole thing is worth reading. Her arguments are persuasive:

"There are two possible
explanations for how an
opposition presenting itself as
an alternative government could end
up with an $11 billion hole in the
cost of its election commitments.

One is that they are liars, the other
is that they are clunkheads. Actually,
there is a third explanation: they are
and clunkheads.

But whatever the combination,
they are not fit to govern.

Going back to the federal election
in 1987, the cost of election promises
has always been hotly disputed.

Labor‘s chance of winning the
2004 election, for example, was
derailed by AMA claims that its
Medicare Gold policy would cost
$2.9 billion more than it said.

But what has occurred in
Canberra this week is in another
sphere altogether.

Treasury and the Department of
Finance, when finally given the
chance to scrutinise the Coalition's
policies, have not just found huge
discrepancies in the costings of
individual policies, but what can
onlybe described as a systematic
exercise in creative accounting.

The picture that emerges from the
econocrats' report is that the
opposition very purposely created a
dodgy set of numbers which were
never expected to withstand any
scrutiny and would require the
intervention of the Australian
Securities and Investments
Commission if it was a company.

The opposition simply hoped it
could bluff its way into office by
refusing to allow the figures to be
scrutinised before polling day...

Continued here, via subscription.

Related Posts

. "Carefully modelled by NATSEM"?

. Coalition costings: The inexcusable, the inexplicable...

. Thursday Column: Could Costingsgate widen?