Another reboot, another self-inflicted disaster. The last one was the budget timing announcement, designed to reset the agenda and fire the gun for the 2019 election, ruined at the moment of its announcement by Julia Banks. Yesterday it was MYEFO, designed to at least end the year with a fiscal platform for the government's pitch of economic management.
It was being overshadowed even as Josh Frydenberg and Mathias Cormann delivered it, courtesy of the Nationals. Frydenberg and Cormann have every right to be furious -- especially the latter. The better fiscal outcome is mostly due to the good luck of better commodity prices and improvements to multinational company tax collection put in place by Labor. But Cormann has also done an outstanding job at curbing spending, right from the get-go back in 2013 but particularly over the last year as the coffers have filled and his colleagues have started eyeing off the treasure. Yesterday, as the best Finance Minister since John Fahey, he was entitled to enjoy finally delivering some good news after all the hard work of the last five years.