Nick Minchin likes to play at being the
hard man of the Liberals Right faction. It seems, though, that this
only extends to pandering to an extreme conservative social agenda –
turning up at functions organised by various front groups for the lunar
right and then running the Sergeant Schultz defence when he gets sprung.

The
Finance Minister doesn’t seem all that keen on doing anything about the
embarrassment of the big taxing, big spending, big pork barrelling
policies of the Howard Government.

Big cuts to the top tax
rate would hurt economic growth and could force the budget into deficit
without savage reductions in spending, Minchin has warned.

He
told a South Australian Liberal Party state council meeting on Friday
many people were experts on how to spend money but not how to save it,
according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
“I almost never see realistic proposals for cutting expenditure. Those
who want further substantial income tax cuts should tell us all where
they think the Government can and should reduce its expenditure to pay
for their cuts.”

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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