May 2, 2014

Keane: government makes a mess of its pre-budget message

The Commission of Audit release won't make it any easier for a government struggling to keep control of its budget messages. Crikey's political editor delivers his verdict.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The Commission of Audit is not a report by the federal government but a report to the federal government. Just wanted to get that out there, because that point doesn’t appear to have been made at any time in recent weeks or in the last 24 hours.

The last government to try to release a major fiscal review in the lead-up to a budget was Kevin Rudd’s in 2010. That didn’t go well. “Didn’t go well” in the sense that, by the time the smoke cleared, Rudd’s party had removed him and a desperate deal with the mining industry had to be stitched up. Labor just managed to win another term in government, but they were crippled. So, in terms of how not to release a report, that one is pretty much the ne plus ultra.

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20 thoughts on “Keane: government makes a mess of its pre-budget message

  1. klewso

    An ill-disciplined party led by an undisciplined leader.

  2. zut alors

    None of this insufferable nonsense would be under discussion if Rudd’s RSPT had been allowed to proceed.

    Note that no big miners or multinationals (eg: Apple, Starbucks etc ) were injured in the production of this Audit.

  3. JohnB

    Bernard, this report was neither BY or TO the federal government, as stated in your first line.

    The report was produced FOR the government by a hand-picked team of partisans who were coached from the sidelines BY the government.

  4. Mark Duffett

    For the last 24 hours, the Commission of Audit has been ripped apart on social media

    I’m no stranger to social media, but this was news to me. I still wonder how much difference this sort of thing really makes outside the echo chambers of the usual suspects.

  5. Chris Hartwell

    Your average social-mediarite was simply shocked pensioners were targetted. Even dyed-in-the-wool LNP voters like some of my family. Some conceded they might have chosen poorly last September.

  6. MJPC

    Once again the LNP have got some of their cronies to carve up the proletariat without hitting the big end of town and this, I consider, will evolve as the major issue with it over the next 11 days.
    What’s missing from the CoA is when the entitlement of big business (particularly mining/energy) is going to be curbed. Nothing about cutting subsidies, or other largesse they receive.
    As for the discussion about the levy…tax…levy, who is Uncle Joe trying to kid? Levied for income of +$100,000, the only ones paying it will be PAYE taxpayers. Those higher up the totem pole will have their trusts, company right-offs and other tax minimisations to ensure the levy is just something paid by those further down the rungs. That’s why there has not been too much squelling from the big end of town (apart from Jerry Harvey, worried the proletariat will not be able to afford their next ipad), they know Joe’s rhetoric is for general consumption, and not for them.

  7. CML

    Bernard – Of course Hockey is “genuinely receptive to new ideas”. He doesn’t have any of his own!
    He also comes across to me as the least able treasurer in living memory. Most of my economist friends think Hockey is some kind of joke, especially if he believes any of the nonsense he sprouts ad nauseum.
    As for the CoA – what a bunch of wank+rs! In the area I know best – Health – they have no idea what they are talking about. As was said yesterday by both the Opposition and the Greens, implementation of ANY commission suggestions in this area would begin the process of dismantling Medicare. And as everybody should know, that is a recipe for disaster in both healthcare outcomes and economic efficiency.
    A far better way to go is to increase the Medicare Levy, permanently, by whatever amount is necessary to get rid of these ridiculous co-payment ‘thought bubbles’. It is looking likely that the co-payment will become a reality which will overwhelmingly affect the poor and disadvantaged, and end up costing a whole lot more in neglected early diagnosis and treatment of illness.
    There will be many, many people who are not able to afford said co-payment, won’t make the necessary visit to the GP, leading to much more costly treatment of entrenched or chronic conditions.
    So, the proposals on health issues in the CoA don’t even make sense from any point of view.

  8. Blair Martin

    One term governments will be all the rage! Victoria, Qld, NSW and then finally Abbott.

    Thank you, LNP imbeciles for making it some much easier to have you wiped out for a decade or more.

  9. Rod

    I thought the LNP were simply nasty ideologues with no vision or ideas. Now we can safely add stupid. Sarah Palin would be right at home – perhaps she is working for them on a 467. It is government of the privileged and wealthy corporations. Ignoring tax rorts says it all.

  10. AR

    As with krudd’s 20/20 farrago – I am happy to see all ideas on display, let a thousand flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. At least that way we can see the enemy clearly.

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