Apr 19, 2013

Hockey, finally, sees the light on the road to Treasury

The Coalition's acceptance that it won't return immediately to surplus contradicts its silly rhetoric. But it's sensible and realistic, writes Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

So Joe has seen the light on the budget. Amazing how the prospect of actually having to make real decisions rather than sound off from opposition can focus the mind. All sorts of Damascene conversions can happen.

For years the Coalition has been insisting the only reason the budget wasn’t in surplus was Labor’s profligate spending. Only the Coalition could deliver surpluses, and it’d deliver one immediately upon returning to government. Coalition MPs rejected Labor’s argument that revenue was being continually written down through lower corporate tax receipts, reflecting the high dollar and mining companies reinvesting their profits in new capacity. They mocked Treasurer Wayne Swan’s claim that the financial crisis had dramatically undermined revenue. The financial crisis, they insisted, was over years ago.

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43 thoughts on “Hockey, finally, sees the light on the road to Treasury

  1. mikehilliard

    What, they can’t provide a budget surplus! But..but they promised! I’m devastated, that would mean Tony lied. Please Bernard & Glenn, please tell me it can’t be true.

  2. drovers cat

    Hockey must have been reading today’s Guardian, which reports the IMF has told UK Chancellor Osborne not to comntinue his austerity program as it’s causing the recession.

  3. Achmed

    Abbott and Hockeys constant and regular claims that they would bring the budget into surplus in the first term were misleading rhetoric and no more “sensible” than Swan making the budget surplus claim.

    And look at how the MSM and Abbott/Hockey tore the Labor Govt to bits over it.

    All quiet about the back peddle by Hockey though.

  4. David Hand

    This is encouraging. We are going to get sensible economic leadership when the coalition takes power in September. No election promises are to be immediately broken by a future treasurer who actually understands that people remember what you have said.

    This is in sharp contrast to the incumbant.

  5. zut alors

    “…Hockey has shown that…he’s not as dumb as his rhetoric makes him look.”

    But there’s a sporting chance he could be even dumber.

    The surplus ghost has been stalking Abbott & Hockey for many months, it’s finally caught up and given them a well deserved fright.

  6. Achmed


    Explain this as good economic management-
    Repeal the CT. Keep the $4.4 billion a year in tax cuts. Introduce Direct Action at the cost of $3.2 billion.

    nearly $16 billion over 3 years

    Then add the promised tax cuts to business, another couple of billion

    Yet nothing to replace the “income” provided by the CT yet fund the other promises.

  7. klewso

    Sunset in Bernardi Valley?

  8. Achmed

    Promises to remove the super $500 contribution to lowest paid workers, but no promise to remove 15% tax on super earnings over $100,000. No promise to reinstate the cuts to the baby bonus. Looks like Labor are making the unpopular decisions, then condemed by Abbott who is deceptively not telling the people that he really agrees with the changes but….knows it would damage his chances of election to the top job. He is NOT about Australians – he is about Tony being PM

  9. Achmed

    Abbotts policy is to sell Medibank Private that adds over $300 million a year to Govt coffers. Better to sell and get a one off payment, just Like Howard did with Telstra, airports, gold bullion etc.

  10. zut alors

    mikehilliard, they’ve pulled the the pea and thimble trick – now promising there won’t be a surplus.

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