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Crikey says: bold words from a Treasurer abroad

The media painted Robert Hughes as a monster — could he ever get a fair trial? Bernard Keane calls out Bob Carr, author and jetsetter, for hypocrisy. Bad news for those hoping for faster broadband, but good news on jobs. It might be time for Eddie Obeid to stop wearing his OAM. And Helen Razer on why fashion models’ weight doesn’t matter.

But I think there is a good understanding in Australia that the current settings we have in place are unsustainable. Australians know that.”

That’s what Joe Hockey has told a mob of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington. It probably went down a treat with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde to hear that Australians all understand government spending must be cut in the name of fiscal sustainability, and we’re on standby to “make a contribution”.

Good luck with that, Joe.

We’ve heard the strains of tough-talking budget rhetoric for some months now, but we’re yet to see any genuine plans to achieve it. The government is either bereft of ideas to significantly cut spending or afraid of letting voters in on its plans. There were few big spending cuts by the Coalition outlined before the election. What we got instead were promises to cut taxes and spend more (paid parental leave). So, Joe, where are these cuts going to come from?

The government must stop walking both sides of the street. If it’s really going to “wind back some spending that our population have come to take for granted”, as Hockey said, then get on with it. We’re waiting for the Commission of Audit to be made public, and we’re waiting for Hockey’s first budget next month. Now’s the time.

And if the government lacks the ticker to cut spending, stop pretending otherwise.

4
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    One thing Shockey’s is economical with, is the truth.
    Tough budget this year - and one to buy votes in two years time, just like Howard and Cosjello?
    How would this “fetid deficit” look if not for those tax-cuts-for-votes and Iraq, both Howard/Limited News Party (of which Shockey was a member) legacies?

  • 2
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The word is, age and other social pensions will be cut by the amount the former Rudd/Gillard government irresponsibly increased them.

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Old 9 Fingers is still wearing open toed sandals as an aid to numeracy. I wonder what aid he has for his equally deficient ethical standards - earplugs?

  • 4
    Malcolm Street
    Posted Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Bill - Hell will freeze over before this government does anything with age pensions - oldies are its core constituency.

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