Not a political story on any list. Campaign reading: modern campaigning. In modern campaigning issues are not debated, they're closed off. Read "So much to do and so few tax dollars", in which The Sydney Morning Herald's Ross Gittins explains that the aim of leaders in this campaign is to make it to election day while giving as few commitments as possible about what they'll do in the next three years.
"I wouldn't mind so much if they were trying to stay unencumbered, able to respond to any eventuality. But actually they're trying to create the illusion that everything they have planned will solve our problems without any price to be paid."Depressing but necessary reading as the election campaign staggers on, as "both sides' belief that government debt is evil condemns us to a life of inadequate public infrastructure". In "Tony Abbott's GST full stop could be just another black hole" on The Guardian Australia, Lenore Taylor take us back to the 1996 election when everyone knew the budget was in deficit but pretended to believe it was in surplus. After John Howard's victory, he uncovered "with suitable gasps of feigned surprise, the $8bn 'Beazley black hole', resulting in some serious cost-cutting in the 1996 budget and the 'charter of budget honesty', which is why we get this pre-election fiscal and economic outlook -- or PEFO -- in the first place."
"Abbott wants to be a prime minister known for both truthfulness and economic management. But he's busy making promises that bring the first intention into direct conflict with the second."Tim Colebatch, economics editor of The Age, bluntly tells it like he sees it in "These numbers are a slap in the face for the Coalition":
"You have to salute the courage of Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance Department secretary David Tune. Under serious pressure from their next political masters to produce a set of numbers favourable to the Coalition, they have stood their ground ... Moreover, their medium-term projections confirm that, in the eyes of the experts who run it, the budget is not out of control ... On these estimates, Australia's fiscal position is not good, but it is manageable, and it is heading in the right direction.""Green slayer -- Abbott to banish fringe party from lower house" -- The Daily Telegraph's Simon Benson has the election news story of the morning revealing that the Liberal Party definitely will be putting Labor ahead of the Greens when distributing House of Representatives preferences. With the economy the major issue in this election it is no surprise that writers with an economic bent are doing so well on our journalist of the campaign honour list.