What’s in the Budget that we know about? There has been talk of tax cuts, but that’s just par for the course.
Some pale green measures have been raised – rebates for installing energy and water saving devices in homes.
We’ve been told the budget will help mothers get back into the workforce by changing the tax arrangements for child care.
There’s talk of more medical research to meet the needs of an ageing population and funding to encourage GPs to make home visits; Mark Vaile has hinted at infrastructure spending; and a $1 billion package to encourage home ownership among Aborigines and lift education and health standards for indigenous people has also been foreshadowed.
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And so far, that’s about it.
No doubt the weekend papers will devote several hectares of space to speculation, along with their obligatory profiles of Peter Costello. But the trees they’re printed on may have died in vain if anyone is seeking serious information.
The government was never going to drop too many hints too early. The pale green measures were the first out – and Labor gazumped them with more significant plans of its own at the National Conference.
The Heffernan hoo-ha has disrupted the news cycle, too, but all the indications are that the Treasurer is playing his cards very close to his chest.
And why wouldn’t he? In an election year, you need to get bang for your buck.
Watch carefully over the weekend and on budget eve as the government primes the explosives as they seek to block Kevin Rudd’s road to the Lodge.