Tonight is the night. After most reporters will have knocked off for the week, Treasury will quietly announce that Australia’s gross debt has clicked over $500 billion. This will signal three things. Hardship for citizens ahead, a decline in Australia’s global standing, and monumental hypocrisy from the Coalition.

Before the 2013 election, Coalition MPs were scathing about Labor debt levels, cutting no slack for the global financial crisis (GFC) -- the worst economic downturn in 80 years.