Dec 18, 2013

Can Joe Hockey use his MYEFO con for real reform?

Yesterday's mid-year budget forecast is a crass political confection. But it will be valuable if Joe Hockey can use it to build support for reform within government ranks.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

As con jobs go, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s MYEFO yesterday wasn’t particularly subtle. But then the Coalition in “budget black hole” mode rarely is. The $10 billion “Beazley black hole of 1996” was a fiction cobbled together by Finance bureaucrats and flogged remorselessly by the Howard government.

But it’s Treasury bureaucrats who are complicit in this one, because the invention of nearly $70 billion worth of extra budget deficits is, after you take out the surge in expenditure this year since Hockey became Treasurer, almost entirely the product of a big downward revision in nominal GDP growth forecasts and thus of revenue.

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16 thoughts on “Can Joe Hockey use his MYEFO con for real reform?

  1. Jimmy

    This govt make the hard decisions? They have already lost the lead int the polls without even doing anything and their priorities regarding legislation are removing the carbon & mining taxes and paying out billions in direct action and the PPL plus reversing the small amount of progress the ALP made on middle calss welfare and the structural deficit – things are going to get much worse under this mob.

  2. klewso

    “Ground Hog Day” – with Hockey grinding out the histrionics?

  3. Jimmy

    “Prime Minister Tony Abbott says many Holden workers will be “liberated” by the loss of their jobs at the carmaker.” (ABC)

    Look out Tony is coming to liberate you!

  4. The Hood


  5. MJPC

    Jimmy, if he gets workchoices Mk2 in ; sorry “productivity improvements”; all PAYE workers will be ‘liberated’; revolution now!

  6. Jimmy

    Tell me who’s that ly in’, Tone the Liberator
    Tell me who’s that ly in’, Tone the Liberator
    Tell me who’s that ly in’, Tone the Liberator
    Wrote the book on dodgy deals

  7. Michael Reid

    Nice piece Bernard and useful. Thanks.

  8. Enquvist

    “It’s clear that this is a serious blow to an industry under pressure. This greedy grab from the government is costing sales today. It’s costing jobs today.”

    – Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader – 19th July 2013

  9. Hamis Hill

    If anyone wants to see what this DLP regime is going to look like, try what the Republic of Ireland is just recovering from.
    No Liberals in either regime, and it shows.
    Is Turnbull the last “Liberal”, by the way?
    Howard was certainly the last Liberal PM, in charge of the sell-out.
    Ask Gerard Henderson, he’s written books and articles about it.

  10. CML

    They li*d all the way through three years of opposition. What makes anyone think they have changed their spots?
    It will be a travesty of justice if Hockey’s spin actually puts them in a better position in the electorates’ eyes before the next election. I am guessing that won’t happen!

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