The floodgates opened on the weekend. As if mortified by press complaints that there had been minimal leaking of Budget news, the Government let pretty much everyone have a scoop. And Wayne Swan was everywhere, too, complete with family photos and casual attire as he put the inevitable finishing touches on the Budget.

But the mixed messages remain. The rich will cop it, but the Medicare surcharge goes. The global financial crunch will hit revenues hard, but an assault on tax expenditures will yield billions. The taxation and transfer system will be fundamentally reviewed, but the GST and super are sacrosanct.