Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's not just the Red Book. Now the Coalition's got hold of the Blue Book

...and handed it to us. Thank you Joe.

Some background:

Oh to be a fly on the wall post-election Sunday morning.

That's when Treasury chief Ken Henry, Finance boss David Tune and a handful of senior officers could arrive in Melbourne or Sydney for days of intense talks about the real state of the nation's finances and the real worth of the winning party's promises.

In 2007 the talks began in Brisbane Sunday morning and lasted two days.

By the time they were finished Kevin Rudd and his incoming Treasurer Wayne Swan would have got a fair idea that a number of their promises were duds.

Henry and Tune will carry with them one of two books, either the so-called "red book" routinely prepared for a new government, or the "blue book," routinely prepared for government's returning to office.

The most famous handover of a red book took place in the deserted bar of Canberra's Lakeside Hotel early Sunday morning in 1983 when Treasury Secretary John Stone explained to the incoming Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating that they faced a budget deficit far bigger than had been admitted by their predecessors and they would not be able to fund all their promises...

Redacted Blue Book Part 1

Parts 2, 3 and 4 over the fold:

Redacted Blue Book Pt2

Redacted Blue Book Pt3

Redacted Blue Book Pt4

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. Wednesday column: Oh to be a fly on the wall Sunday morning...

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