The Balancing Act

This week’s letter is going to be a brief one as the rush to get things done ahead of parliament resuming seems endless. While writing is a brief respite from the pressing matters of politics, today is not the day to luxuriate with words.

Since my foray last week into the folly of tax hikes, a growing number of MPs and business people have come to a similar conclusion. Perhaps most notable was former federal treasurer Peter Costello. There are now press reports that the mooted new tax is being revised, although I hope (for the good of the country) it will simply disappear.

Most of the people I have been speaking to this week hope it disappears too.

It seems all the budget speculation is causing serious concern for members of the community. I have had aged pensioners in tears during calls to my office because of what they think might be in the budget. Business people are worried about potential increased costs while families are concerned about how they are going to pay the bills if things are made tougher for them.

Of course I share their concerns and sincerely hope that their fears will not be realised.

Yes, our nation’s financial accounts are pretty poor which will necessitate a tough budget but our economic confidence is still very fragile; a fact that I know our senior ministers are aware of. They will have a tough time getting the balance right but notwithstanding my own concerns, I am still optimistic the budget will serve the national interest.

That’s it for now. Some of you will appreciate the brevity of this e-letter but I’ll undoubtedly make up for it next week as there will be a great deal to discuss after the budget.

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