Mar 3, 2015

Hockey’s intergenerational partisanship risks sensible debate

By turning the Intergenerational report into an attack on Labor, Joe Hockey will wreck the value of a report designed to facilitate sensible long-term debate, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s fiddling with the Intergenerational Report numbers will make a substantial difference in what was once a non-political document meant to enable Australians to understand Australia’s long-term economic challenges. It is now merely an effort to restore Hockey’s and Tony Abbott’s policy credentials.

The Intergenerational Report is a Coalition creation from former treasurer Peter Costello: under the Charter of Budget Honesty legislation in 1998, one was to be prepared every five years “to assess the long-term sustainability of current government policies over the 40 years following the release of the report, including by taking account of the financial implications of demographic change.” As the legislation suggests, it was to be a forward-looking document, focused on the politics of the day. None of the 2002, nor the 2007, nor the 2010 IGRs mention the then-opposition parties. The closest any of them get to politics is in the first report in 2002 — released at the same time as the budget — which noted in passing that a particular bill was blocked in the Senate.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

10 thoughts on “Hockey’s intergenerational partisanship risks sensible debate

  1. Dogs breakfast

    There is no limbo stick too low for Hockey to slither under.

    For this report to have any value, it has to be about where the current generation is shifting costs onto the following generations.

    A statement to the Australian people of how they are ripping money out of their children’s and grand-children’s hands.

    I wonder how much climate change is covered? Easily the biggest cost shift, and security shift, of responsibilities to future generations.

  2. Alex

    We’ve really outdone ourselves by electing this mob as government.

  3. Electric Lardyland

    I do look forward to another expensive, wasteful, probably ineffective government ad campaign, that will apparently attempt to convince the public, that the government needs to spend public money wisely.

  4. Bill Hilliger

    The thought around the traps in my electorate of Kooyong is that property owning pensioners cop at least a 10% cut to their pensions and allowances. Then by way of reverse mortgages on their properties make up that 10% shortfall. Hence a great saving and contribution the looming intergenerational issue.

  5. CML

    If you live in Kooyong, Bill, you shouldn’t need to be a pensioner!! Isn’t that what reverse mortgage is supposed to be about?

  6. Scott Grant

    Whatever else, if Climate Change is downplayed, or omitted, it will be stark proof that this document is pure propaganda without a shred of credibility. If it is included and given the prominence it deserves, that leaves Joe Hockey and his government without a shred of credibility.

    But we knew that anyway.

  7. fg gcmh

    @dogs brekfreast “I wonder how much climate change is covered? ”

    not at all from what i read

  8. Bill Hilliger

    @CML, … am a fortunate self funded retiree not eligible for any pension or part thereof. Nor any other Centrelink kind of payments. Furthermore, nor do I have any canny investments or tax arrangements; still paying tax.

  9. klewso

    “Sensible debate”? When Murdoch’s got your back?

  10. Keith1

    Come back home Peter Costello, all is forgiven! (Until the next election.) You can even bring your smirk.
    @CML I didn’t actually detect any note of complaint in Bill Hilliger’s post, on his own behalf or anyone else’s.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details