Another Night of Spin
A head of a federal budget that aims to re-define the contribution of the Labor Party to our national economic malaise, all Australians are entitled to be cynical about what they will be told.
After four years of untruths and spin, Australians are sick to death of being told what is good for us by a group of politicians who have demonstrated they don’t care about us.
The essential message from Labor over the past 48 months is that everyday Australians aren’t capable of making appropriate decisions for themselves. The encroachment of the nanny state, rising taxes and contempt for the electorate by Labor ministers bear this out.
Nowhere is this more evident than the soon to start carbon tax. This was the tax both major parties promised we would not have but only one, the Coalition, has been wise enough to keep their pact.
Labor sold their soul to the Greens for the promise of clinging to power and are now reaping what they sowed. Having done a deal with the political devil, Labor has been plunged into electoral hell. Few listen to what they say whilst almost everyone is critical of what they do; demonstrable proof that actions do speak far louder than words.
Over the past two weeks, Labor rhetoric has been focused on a ‘tough budget’. This is the same claim they have made every year since being elected and clocked up $167 billion in deficit spending. This is money that will have to be repaid by successive generations to pay for Labor’s spendthrift and cavalier approach to public finances.
The rhetoric has been matched by a version of three card monte, where spending is shuffled in and out of various years to deliver a promised surplus in the year ahead.
While the budget bottom line announced tonight may indeed contain a positive figure, few, if any serious pundits believe it will be delivered. In fact, we won’t know the final result until more than 15 months down the track. Few can imagine we won’t see a change in government before then. Fewer still believe any claim by this government for fiscal conservatism.
The lesson for all Australians is very clear. A short-term approach to showering voters with handouts provides a glimmer of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy economic world. However, the long-term consequences of a moment in the sun make the financial outlook darker still.
Only four years ago, our national accounts were in credit. With no net debt and a mining boom established, our future opportunities were limited only by our imagination – and prudent financial management.
Regrettably, the latter wasn’t forthcoming and we have a tough road ahead.
Notwithstanding that we are better placed than other nations who took the same path we are now on, albeit two decades earlier, we need to arrest the social democratic disease that has captured our government.
The answer to a struggling economy isn’t centralised decision-making, it is self-regulation and free enterprise. The answer to government debt isn’t more government spending but a cut in taxes and nanny state programs.
This has been proven time and time again, in different economies across the world, most recently in Sweden where the centre-right government took the path other European nations refused to contemplate.
I believe most Australians can see the road we need to take. They now need an opportunity to choose a new group of people to take them there.