Imagine there’s no polling, it’s easy if you try. No party politics, ahead only blue sky …

That’s the idea behind Crikey‘s fantasy budget — setting priorities based on economic sense and community need alone, not focus groups and marginal seats, and radically recalibrating the books to deliver it. It’s the sort of future thinking so lacking in public debate at the moment.

Bernard Keane kicked off the exercise yesterday, outlining his priorities as productivity stimulus, decarbonisation, housing supply, infrastructure works and fiscal stability. Today, he gets out the razor and tries to add it all up.

We want this to only be the start of the conversation. We’re engaging some of the smartest economic brains to design their fantasy budgets for Crikey next week. But the floor is open to amateur treasurers everywhere — email us your thoughts and we’ll compile the best responses. Remember, you can’t spend up big without identifying the savings.

It’s the budget talk we had to have.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey