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What happened to Swan’s surplus? Now we know

The Final Budget Outcome for 2012-13 shows how Wayne Swan’s surplus commitment fell apart - and why he was right to walk away from it.

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Crikey Clarifier: the election costings, and whether you can believe them

There’s an almighty row over what the election promises would cost. How do the parties come up with their cost estimates, and is there much truth in them? Governance expert Stephen Bartos looks under the bonnet.

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Economic lessons from WA: nobody booms over this bust

The Western Australian government’s budget and Rio Tinto’s continuing reliance on the Pilbara reflect economic reality rather than political or corporate rhetoric, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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Labor’s education lead is Gonski

Crikey readers talk Gonski and the government’s mini-budget.

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Fantasy budget: Richard Denniss would cut from the rich

The Australian Institute executive director Richard Denniss says Australia would have a lot more money for services if it did not keep giving tax breaks to the rich.

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Forget the politics and have a Merry Christmas

Crikey readers weigh in with their pre-Christmas opinions.

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Crikey Calling #5: death of a surplus and the 2012 Crikeys

In the last episode of Crikey Calling for the year, Bernard Keane and Jason Whittaker discuss the announcement that the federal government won’t be delivering a surplus next year. Then it’s time for a wrap of the year that was in politics and the awarding of the 2012 Crikeys.

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Newman swimming in a budget that’s a sea of red

Campbell Newman’s public service cuts reflect a nation-wide crisis of revenue for the states, but also a political perspective on the danger of debt.

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Budget surplus with added sex scandal

Crikey media wrap: Journalists will be locked up for seven hours in Parliament House today to pour over Treasurer Wayne Swan’s latest budget offering, which promises to return a $1.5 billion surplus.

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Austerity drives cutbacks in military spending, here and abroad

Yesterday’s defence spending cutbacks won’t have much impact from the critical perspective of industry policy.

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Matters for judgment for Labor MPs

Labor has increased the chances of an early election with its poor judgment over Andrew Wilkie.

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Playing fiscal games when we no longer set the rules

All politicians now need to accept that we face significant fiscal challenges for years to come. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer report.

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MYEFO: Swan cuts to save the thinnest of surpluses

The government has unveiled a range of spending cuts but they won’t stop a big blowout in this year’s budget deficit.

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Swan can cut, but the bad news from overseas won’t stop

While the mining boom continues to power the Australian economy, the news from offshore continues to worsen.

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Locking in a surplus with the carbon price pea-and-thimble trick

Forgetting cutting emissions - the carbon price package has a shorter term benefit for the government. There’s one minister relieved that the carbon pricing package is locked in, and not for anything to do with emissions abatement.

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David Murray takes on the fiscal consensus

Despite widespread agreement that the government doesn’t need to return to surplus next year, one figure wants us to go harder and faster.

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Laugh until you cry — can we put a levy on political stupidity?

The debate over the flood levy is one of those moments that makes you want to cry over the mediocrity of our leaders.

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Labor’s lazy levy

There’s something faintly absurd about a government with a budget loaded with superfluous spending and the lowest debt levels in the developed world insisting that it needs a new tax to pay for the impact of natural disasters.

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How Labor found itself in a surplus trap

Labor’s abandonment of economic reform after 1996 has left it adrift and the party’s adherence to its promised 2012-13 surplus reflects how it let its enemies define its economic credibility.

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Gruen: paying for Australia’s infrastructure deficit

Rather than simply getting budgets into operating surplus — mostly a very good thing — Australian governments have embraced the notion that all debt is bad, writes Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economic.

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Employment data might give pause to hairshirt brigade — or not

The rise in unemployment is good news and bad news — good news because it reflects higher participation, but bad news because it confirms the domestic economy is still soft.

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Everything’s up, except the deficit — and housing

Today’s Mid-Year Economic Forecast (MYEFO) shows an appreciable acceleration in economic growth this year, but as expected the higher dollar has hit government revenue.

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Joe cut and pastes on commodity prices

Joe Hockey misses the point in his cut’n’paste effort today about our reliance on commodity prices. Australia has always ridden commodity booms. The real issue is the strength of the dollar.

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The Sydney Morning Herald | FEDERAL|

Gillard and Abbott jump on the spending cuts bandwagon

Australians have grown accustomed to politicians with deep pockets, prepared to woo voters with their big-spending election promises. But in 2010 the latest fad is not to spend. This may be admirable, writes Jessica Irvine, but will good policy fall victim to fashion?

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Crikey Blogs | ECONOMY|

What if unemployment was as forecast?

Back in the 2009/10 budget, Treasury forecast that unemployment in Australia would hit 8.25% around June 2010. Possum Comitatus charts that against what actually happened, showing two very different Australias.

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Womens Agenda

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