We’re
struggling to identify losers from this budget. The winners include
welfare recipients, taxpayers, old folk, young people, coastal
dwellers, public servants, business, the RBA and investors.

The
economy – another winner – will experience solid growth of around 3 %
in the “forecast year of 2005/06” after a bit of a pause this year –
“the pause that refreshes”, although this was not offered as a
description. Unemployment will remain low, the terms of trade will
remain high (I lapse into the economist’s argot, as the Treasurer did
not, to his credit) and investment in mining projects will boost
exports next year. This is, incidentally, the fourth year in a row that
Treasury has predicted export recovery – like a stopped clock, it must
be right sometime.

Our overwhelming impression is that this is
not a conventional Treasurer’s budget – and of course we all know why.
Here is a prime minister in waiting, dishing it out to all and sundry,
responsible, grave and, well, Prime Ministerial. Good on you mate.

Read more here.

Peter Fray

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