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Invented budget ‘crisis’ hides incoherence and inconsistency

The “budget crisis” created by the Senate is an invention: the government has walked away from billions in additional revenue itself.

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‘Perpetual-motion Palmer’ leaves government in turmoil

The Abbott government is in trouble. So does it wait for Clive Palmer to burn out, or the PUP to break up — or rethink its key messages?

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iSentia index: sport and foreign affairs dominate discussion

A big week for sports fans made for a quiet week politically — the first one since the budget was delivered.

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Abbott faces the ‘Gillard challenge’: down in the polls

Polling shows the budget sales process has damaged both the budget and its chief spruiker, the PM. Tony Abbott now finds himself in Julia Gillard’s situation; can he climb out of it?

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It’s time to grit our teeth and face fiscal reality

This government blames all of its unpopular budget cuts on the spending of the previous government, and no doubt the next government will do the same. But Stephen Bartos, ACIL Allen Consulting public policy and governance expert, says the real problem is that time is not on our side.

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Why selling a budget is far harder than in the days of Hawke and Howard

It’s no longer as easy as it once was to communicate difficult budgets, and that’s unlikely to change.

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Jesus is coming — to your local primary school

The government is all about austerity — except when it comes to putting Christian chaplains in state schools. We investigate how the scheme works, who’s using it, and how you become a chaplain.

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Co-payments and inept budget messaging put Coalition in a hole

What’s the purpose of the Medicare co-payments? It’s a good question that not even the government has been able to answer in its shambolic efforts to sell the budget

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Don’t confuse protest marches with PR stunts

Crikey readers have their say on Thailand, Manus Island and the effectiveness of protest marches

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Are we under threat from an army of the disabled? Not quite

Despite the Daily Telegraph’s hyper-ventilation over disability support pension recipients, the most important number is trending downward. Economist Tom Westland reports.

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How the government bumbled into a budget disaster

A series of errors by the government’s strategists have turned the 2014 budget into a political disaster. The narrative has gotten away from Tony Abbott.

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Fear and hypocrisy will only get you so far

Crikey readers have their say on broken promises and on-water matters.

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Memo to MPs: how to break a promise and get away with it

Breaking a promise has ended some prime minister’s careers, while others have thrived. Why? And which camp will Tony Abbott fall into?

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Privatising ASIC register would be a blow to transparency — and victims

Charging fees to search the ASIC register is outrageous enough. Privatising the register, which would lead to higher costs, would be worse still.

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A hard landing for the ABC’s version of soft diplomacy

Cutting funding and abandoning the Australia Network attacks the ABC’s international role via the back door, argues Rodney Tiffen at Inside Story.

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Consumer sentiment might become the government’s real budget crisis

Consumer sentiment has responded negatively to the budget, but it remains to be seen if that translate into real economic consequences, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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iSentia index: nothing but the budget

The gorgeous Abbott government’s budget has sparked plenty of discussion — most of it heated and negative.

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Caro’s Flotsam and Jetsam: ugly little liars edition

Surprise! The budget is not only cruel and horrific, it’s worse than you’d thought. The Coalition has broken so very many of its election promises, just to stick the boot into the poor, sick and old.

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Crikey Clarifier: can the Senate really slay the budget?

Labor and Greens MPs declare they’ll block the federal budget in the Senate. Can they follow through? ACIL Allen Consulting public policy and governance expert Stephen Bartos walks through the process.

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Essential: what we really hate (and like) in the federal budget

Voters split on their reaction to the budget along party lines, but there’s some agreement about who won and lost last week, this week’s Essential Report shows.

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Tips and rumours

Alan Bond loves the budget … thumbs down for Campbell Newman … verdict on that Mirabella jostle …

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Why Australia could do with having S&P downgrade our credit

A rating downgrade will have little effect on the Australian economy — and is unlikely to happen anyway, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

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War on kids: budget just latest attack on younger Australians

The federal budget measures targeting young people are just part of a much wider policy attack on younger Australians.

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Coalition’s economic hopes rest on China’s steel mills

The long-term success of the budget will depend heavily on the appetite of Chinese steel mills for our iron ore, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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Tips and rumours: the budget rage edition

Mirabella jostled out of uni lecture … military pension rip-off? … pics from March in May …

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