Dec 21, 2012

Swan alters course, delivers early Christmas present for Joe

Wayne Swan's abandonment of the surplus commitment isn't the opening of the fiscal floodgates, but it's a great gift for Joe Hockey. Perhaps voters will be smarter than either major party on this vexed issue.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Wayne Swan

Yes, Joe, there is a Santa Claus, his name is Wayne and he’s come five days early for you.

Ever since he became shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey has been saying Labor would never deliver a surplus. Yesterday Wayne Swan came as close to vindicating him as we’re likely to see before the election campaign.

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95 thoughts on “Swan alters course, delivers early Christmas present for Joe

  1. GeeWizz

    First it was going to be a $3 Billion Dollar Surplus.

    Then a $1.5 Billion Dollar Surplus

    Then a $1.1 Billion Dollar Surplus.

    Then 4 months into the data Labor gives up and says it’s all just too hard.

    Now we are gonna get a $10+ Billion Dollar deficit. But it’s okay says Swanny, it’s not my fault.. how was I to know things wouldn’t go exactly to Plan A’s specifications, this running an economy thingy is kinda hard.

    Hey we’ve given up on stopping the boats, given up to the Greens blackmail on the carbon tax and now we are giving up on a budget surplus.

    But don’t worry folks… Labor can have another shot at that elusive Labor budget surplus… in another 23 Years.

  2. floorer

    Maybe voters opposed a return to surplus because they know how bad the economy is despite the *stats* saying otherwise.

  3. Apollo

    No need to worry about the surplus because the world is going to end today.

    But if we survive, we might get unexpected strong revenue for December. I went into Melbourne the other day and saw businesses were buzzing, property sales looked good too. Maybe it’s because we’re close to Christmas.

  4. WTF

    Only Swan was saying he can do it, anyone with half a brain realised a long time ago that every sentence leaving the man’s lips is rubbish. In any case – surely if it can’t be pinned on Abbott than the bigger the deficit the better it must be for working families. That is how incompetence works!

  5. Apollo

    Australian businesses might be able to bring the Australian dollar down against the USD. Maybe if they divest 70% of their export returns into other currencies to convert back to AUD when it’s profitable, and 30% USD to AUD. I’m guessing, I don’t know a lot about currency tradings.

  6. GeeWizz

    JOURNALIST: If you don’t make a, get the Budget back in to surplus in 2012-2013, this is a question to both of you, the cameras are on – will you resign?

    PM: (laughs) The Budget is coming back to surplus, no ifs no buts it will happen.

    JOURNALIST: So that’s a ‘yes’?

    PM: Matthew, I know and you know like these questions during campaigns but the Budget’s coming back to surplus. There’s no credible analysis on our economic plan that it won’t come back to surplus.

  7. Paul Barry

    Good decision. No need to weaken the economy now. Should the economy becomes robust enough in the second half, they can cut spending in the final quarter if it looks achievable.

  8. Hunt Ian

    GeeWizz is all full of it – as a person who has never thought it especially necessary to get the budget back to surplus this year, nor even that it has to be in balance over the cycle, I am not dismayed by Swan’s refusal to shove the economy into recession.

    Unfortunately, we cannot say that “austerity” Abbott and Joe will refuse to push the economy into recession. In fact, it is guaranteed that they will, while trying to cook up a monstrous shortfall in the books with a repeat of the Costello audit of Queensland and blame Labor for the recession they will say we will to have because Labor “spent like drunken sailors”. They will no doubt be assisted by MSM, especially the “small government” push that Murdoch employs. Unfortunately again, many Australians seem a bit as thick as Abbott and Joe think them to be. So sending the economy into recession (Tony has been learning all about it in the UK) and dismantling the welfare state will be order of the day, along with attempts to resurrect the worst elements of Work Choices around individual agreements and withdrawal of rights of access, with the help of Consevative state governments.

    Joe has already signalled how to dismantle the welfare state. There must be incentives for families to spend themslves on tyheir health care and these incentives should be universal. Everyone, rich and poor, should have an incentive to take out private health insurance for health care,. In the case of the poor, the incentives will include cutting all levels of publicly funded care to a bare minimum and waiting in very long queues for elective procedures. In education, everyone, whether rich or poor, should have an incentive to contribute to their own children’s education, provided by bigger grants to schools that don’t get state funding and cutting back on extra federal funding for public schools so that poorer parents have an incentive to contribute more through school fees. The higher the school fees, the less will federal funding of public schools be cut back.
    We unfortunately can expect that deception and all the Goebbels techniques that some parts of MSM already seem to have adopted from Fox News, even if not so thoroughly, will play a big part in this. GeeWizz, can we suggest that you have a little celebration over Xmas? it will be on the house.

  9. مكينSultanofAustralisTerraNullius

    ooooo, that swanie is such a c()ck teaser. first he flirted with the Ozis on the surplus, now he teases blowjoe’s weener. he may do bullwinkle to surprise us all.

  10. Bill Hilliger

    @ Geewizz: Wayne Swan is a fool, he should have done what Joe Hockey will do if he gets to control the fiscal levers, that is; sell Medibank Private, and any of the few remaining government assets after the Howard/Costello sell offs to bring about a surplus. He should have cut Health, Education, free financial gifts to private school, sell off public schools, delete child care assistance, increase taxes for people earning between $50-250K. That would have brought a surplus. But wait that’s not all! Cut taxes for people earning more than $250K as they are the job creators; you know a’ la’ the Fux News and Republican Tea Party mantra that would be so familiar to you. Lastly make the Hume, Newell, Pacific and New England highways toll roads, or better still sell them too. Lastly cut old age pensions by at least 20% and stop subsidising incontince pads for people over 75. There would be a massive surplus, and the spending like drunken sailors transferred to the Australian people. THAT’S what we want, and thats what we will get if Joe gets in. Can’t wait for the wailing to start. Oh how, (according to the polls the MSM, it seems like many fellow Australian people) I hate an even a slightly caring for the people government.

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