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There is a big hole in Coalition savings, government says

The government claims to have found a $10 billion hole in the opposition’s $31.6 billion savings package. Labor bases its…

Chris Bowen, Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong are pushing for the Coalition to release their full costings. AAP/Lukas Coch

The government claims to have found a $10 billion hole in the opposition’s $31.6 billion savings package.

Labor bases its figure on material prepared before the caretaker period by Treasury, the Finance department and the Parliamentary Budget Office.

As the great debate over costings and savings continued, Kevin Rudd accused Tony Abbott of being “untruthful” with the Australian people.

Rudd said that Abbott had had no answer during last night’s debate when challenged to release all costings immediately.

The government says the $10 billion savings hole includes erroneous figures relating to not proceeding with the low-income superannuation contribution, and inaccuracy in calculating the savings from reducing public service staff by 12,000.

It also says that most of the $5.1 billion claimed saving from discontinuing free permits in the Jobs and Competitiveness Fund does not have an impact on the underlying cash balance, and just $300 million of the $1.5 billion saving from discontinuing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation can be claimed as only this portion hits the budget bottom line.

Rudd said that less than 10 days from the election “all we have from Mr Abbott so far, I believe, are deep questions about his judgment on policy priorities and now deep questions about his truthfulness in levelling with the Australian people about what all his costs are and where precisely he is going to cut.”

Abbott stood by all his savings numbers. He will release policy costings, some more savings and bottom line numbers next week, but will not commit to a precise timetable for getting back to surplus because he says the opposition cannot be sure of the budgetary numbers.

Meanwhile, Nationals leader Warren Truss announced a Coalition government would set up a National Stronger Regions Fund, to help communities with high rates of unemployment.

It would invest $200 million annually in local capital works. The money would have to be matched by state governments or communities. The program would start in 2015, when councils and community groups would be able to apply for grants between $20,000 and $10 million to meet half the cost of community building projects.

Join the conversation

81 Comments sorted by

    1. Thomas Liszt

      Systems analyst

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Thanks for the link.
      This is truly frightening.
      That man, his backers and followers are dangerous.

      Does the wider public know? I don't think so!

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      You need to refresh your memory on Rudd and Labor and that'll not be too hard to do at all for just look at the last six years.

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    3. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      You said: "Rupert Murdoch wants him. Gina Rinehart wants him. The miners want him. Big business wants him. Most of the media want him."

      In fact, any sane person wants him, or at least, prefers him to the only alternative on offer.

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    4. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Greg North

      In order to engage in a meaningful conversation both parties need to be in possession of relevant facts. The OZ mainstream media is known to be notorious in distributing false and/or misleading information. Fortunately there are many sources online that debunk those fallacies.
      Having been given access to accurate information, facts and figures, if one party in a conversation still insists in regurgitating baseless propaganda any further discussion is no longer useful and should end.
      Have a G’day

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    5. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Chris Harper

      In order to engage in a meaningful conversation both parties need to be in possession of relevant facts. The OZ mainstream media is known to be notorious in distributing false and/or misleading information. Fortunately there are many sources online that debunk those fallacies.
      Having been given access to accurate information, facts and figures, if one party in a conversation still insists in regurgitating baseless propaganda any further discussion is no longer useful and should end.
      Have a G’day

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    6. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Greg North

      Hi friend,
      I would thouroughly like to engage in a true conversation if you will.
      Haven't seen any evidence of it yet. I will keep an eye on your posts and if you should suddenly decide to base your spurious arguments on facts we've got a deal and we start having a decent mature conversation.
      I sincerely hope you'll try. It would be so much better for everyone!
      In anticipation,
      yours trully, John West.

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    7. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to John West

      John West,

      There is no chance of an intelligent conversation on 'The Conversation'. Like the ABC and many other sites that are dominated by self-claimed 'Progressives', virtually all the commenters are left wing extremists and ideologues. No chance of a rational, mature discussion with such people.

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John West

      There could be an opening for you in the fish farming business John.

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    9. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      Flustered and unable to muster a relevant factual argument Greg blurted: "Can you not enagage (sic) in true conversation rather than just spam. (sic)" He is retired, he says, yet apparently active in the fish farming business in some way connected to trolling. Probably bait is it Greg?

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    10. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Greg North

      Hello mate.
      Thanks for that. Great idea. Never occurred to me. Might give iy a try!
      Have you thought about my suggestion to have a fact based conversation?
      How about if I remind you of a few relevant talking points? You must be getting bored by now repeating all the mindless slogans, gossip, spin and innuendo gathered from the Murdoch media.

      Remember some of the ALP achievements/bills since they came to office in 2007?
      • NBN (the real one) – total cost $37.4b (Government contribution: $30.4b…

      Read more
    11. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      Hi Graeme,
      Is Greg North someone John West rejects? You bet I am. One of my hobbies long line "troll" fishing.
      Cheers.

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    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John West

      The great NBN that no where near everyone needs to a residence and some people are silly enough to believe otherwise and also that it'll all be OK as long as they are not paying whilst they think they are not paying!
      A bit like most Labor reforms and that's who eventually is not going to pay but who is capable of meeting the costs.
      Supporters of the NDIS for instance initially claimed there would be no added cost and in fact benefits by having a more co-ordinated provision of services.
      As it is there'll certainly need to be some fine tuning of that program to make it viable within the greater realm of life, again Labor offering unjustified hope
      And as for the Sorry, Sorry, Sorry of Rudd, what was the follow up?
      Just like your fish, you need to get back into better scrutinising.

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    13. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      The digital divide of the LNP on show here. They just don't get it, parroting numbers they can't count either. They know the price of everything, they say, but the value of nothing.

      Fraudband: 2/3rds the price, 1/10th the speed, 15% the value.

      Fraudband: unspecified massive increased Telstra rental, unspecified Foxtel imposts, broken from the start entrenching continuous massive ongoing costs of repairs, replacements, and upgrades.

      Their NDIS is to be shot through full of costing holes depleting value so costing more for less. LNP calculating as usual.

      As for phony Tony's two weeks per year volunteer work in indigineous communities? Never happened.

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    14. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      i seem to remember the labor forecasts and costings to do with the budget went from a 1.2 billion surplus to a 33 billion dollar black hole in the matter of no time.

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    15. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      Mr Swan has revealed a fiscal shortfall for 2012/13 of $19.4 billion in place of what was forecast to be a budget surplus of $1.1 billion…

      The Government says a substantial decrease in nominal GDP has had a major impact on expected tax receipts, leaving a $33.3 billion revenue black hole across the four years of the forward estimates.

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    16. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Steven Waters

      No mate that doesn't cut it.. Those were Treasury forecasts merely publicised by Mr Swan. Got anything else? Check again.

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    17. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      that's what im talking about how he got the forecast so wrong in such a short time. the point is labor are going on about the LNPs budget no adding up when swann got it wrong so many times and still labor haven't shown their own costing for all their plans.

      from what we have seen in the past they have underestimated the costs of things and over estimate the returns they would get.

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  1. David Stein

    Businessman

    Thank you Michele for these revelations.
    Not surprising, really. Only the Liberal Party could think stopping permits issued at no cost to the Federal Government could possibly be a real 'cash' saving. The key campaign point being cash deficits translating into government debt, of course.

    The larger issue remains curiously unexplored - one week before the election, deficits apparently no longer matter to the coalition.
    After campaigning on debt and deficits, and telling, no shouting at us that the Coalition would immediately return to surplus, Tony and Joe are treating the electorate to a pea and thimble trick. Now we are told there will be no timetable to return to surplus. Just 'trust Tony'.
    And barely a murmur from the press on this enormous backflip by the coalition.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      Nothing is so surprising David including the porkies being spread by Labor in desperation for it has already been revealed that Treasury only did work on what Labor said and not anything put forward by the LNP.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-29/labor-claims-2410b-hole-in-coalition27s-budget-cuts/4922026
      A statement from the Treasury and Finance departments has also taken some of the sting out of the Government's claim.

      The departments said they had not costed the Opposition's policies but policy options as provided by Labor.

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    2. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Greg North

      But seriously Greg - how does stopping the handout of permits save the government any money?

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    3. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Greg North

      In order to engage in a meaningful conversation both parties need to be in possession of relevant facts. The OZ mainstream media is known to be notorious in distributing false and/or misleading information. Fortunately there are many sources online that debunk those fallacies.
      Having been given access to accurate information, facts and figures, if one party in a conversation still insists in regurgitating baseless propaganda any further discussion is no longer useful and should end.
      Have a G’day

      report
    4. John West

      logged in via email @outlook.com

      In reply to Greg North

      "The department said they had not costed the Opposition's policies".
      You are probably right. You simply can not effectivrely cost policies that either do not exist or if they do are still in transition from a coaster to blotting paper.
      I understand all of Labor's costings are out there, or am I mistaken?
      Correct me if I am wrong. On second thought don't! How would someone like you know? Silly me!
      Bye.

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  2. Thomas Liszt

    Systems analyst

    Does anyone truly believe anything the coalition comes up with these days?

    Just had a look at TC fact check.
    Good to see that some pollies are telling the truth!

    The three claims of Bill Shorten regarding wages, industrial conflict and labour productivity are broadly correct.

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  3. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    More like "There's a Big Hole in Coalition Savings, EVERYBODY Says"
    2010 all over again.
    Abbott's election to lose.
    Again.
    "Abbott Loses Again!"

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      You need to stick with the truth Janes and by now you no doubt know that Labor's claim is not endorsed by Treasury, it being information Labor had put forward that has been costed.
      You would have thought a government would have thought Treasury would have enough work to do instead pf playing Labor's games.
      Just shows how irresponsible Labor are, irresponsible enough to get the hiding they deserve tomorrow week.

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    2. Greg Young

      Program Director

      In reply to Greg North

      Not so long ago, you and your mates were deriding Treasury as a source of accurate information.

      You are also not telling the (whole) truth. No matter how you stack it, the LN'P have not demonstrated savings (i.e. cuts) that adequately covered their announced spending.

      After putting up with people like you banging on about surpluses for so long now, it's disgusting that you just turn a blind eye when Abbott turns that hard and fast commitment into "some time in the next 10 years".

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    3. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      A note of desperation seems to be creeping into your replies, Greg.
      It is just like 2010 AGAIN, because Abbott has done precisely nothing since 2010.
      Same fiscal Blackhole, same "Destroy the NBN", that country voters still want.
      Same endless whining negativity that everyone associates with poor losers who don't want to change.
      Same old mantra that the voters got it wrong at the last two elections.
      Same old Howard era "Walking Dead".
      While Labor has done what?
      Govern.
      Come on, Greg, try to remember!
      Australians are voting for a government, not for a complaints and excuses office.

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      Somehow James I doubt that you really have to try to be a joker when it comes to politics for it is Rudd doing all the desperation dives, sort of like a high dive and then Oh sh$t, someone has drained the pool just like Labor drain the Nations money pool or is it synchronised swimming that he is attempting with Penny and Chris?, not even in the finalists.
      Now in all seriousness, why would you have been expecting the LNP to have been doing anything but offer a future hope to Australians whilst they have been in opposition and they have certainly done that without any maniacal thought bubbles.
      If you want Labor and Labor supporters to remember Howard, remember a surplus left for the incoming government, neglible debt and neglible boats for starters and most people having a pretty good quality of life.

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    5. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      More incoherent drivel, Greg?
      You don't try very hard do you?
      Is that why you support the equally lazy Abbott?
      She'll be right?
      Can't understand why, if you are so confident of victory, you constantly come up with your desperate and unstable commentary.
      Faking it till you make it like your preferred PM?
      Fake polls substituted for facts causing you some doubts, Greg?
      Don't worry it will be all over soon.
      2010 AGAIN!

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      It's more Don't worry, be happy James, just like the West Indies with Cricket and hey, they played such glorious cricket in their heyday that it was not a problem at all seeing a better team win.
      I reckon you could do with a dose of that no worries and for me, sure it'll be right mate whoever wins and whilst I've been up front with a prediction of a majority of twenty seats, there's no doubt for polls can be horribly wrong.
      You might even get your Kevolemon or we could have Tony and the LNP with a thirty seat majority according to some predictions.
      Five sleeps and a bit and we ought to have a fair idea and we can enjoy the ride for the last week.
      I'm sure Kevin will be running amuck in utmost desperation not to go down as the third in a trio of PMs who have not become PM following a subsequent single election.
      Should be tops for a few more laughs.

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    7. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Sorry, Greg I don't do Cricket, an English game foisted upon their colonial underlings, (yes it is a good game, yet rather indolent for the taste of many from the colder parts of Britain where standing around waiting for a ball to head your way would probably bring on frostbite).
      So your amusing comparison is lost on me, but as long as you are amused and happy Greg, then it must all be good!

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  4. Peter Evans

    Retired

    "Nationals leader Warren Truss announced a Coalition government would set up a National Stronger Regions Fund". Administration should be cheap as I am sure the public service still has some white boards. Arrangements such as this are very prone to pork barrelling and I am sure Senate Estimates will have a field day with spending.

    On a more serious note it confirms the trend for the Coalition to be big spending. While perhaps not as dangerous as austerity it does pose significant dangers if as Mr Abbott states a return to surplus will be delayed to ensure all promises are implemented. It begins to look as if there is no firm program for achieving a surplus at an appropriate time.

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    1. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Jeff Dean

      They have not "said that Rudds claims are wrong [sic]"
      They have said they did not cost the exact policy - note the EXACT policy. But they did take a look at a bunch of scenarios that were pretty close.

      And you only have to look at the $31 billion to realize it's a fraud. There is a huge black hole - $5 billion of the supposed $31 billion has no cash impact at all - the coalition is not issuing free permits that does not cost consolidated revenue even 1 penny. Abbott is telling us that's a 'saving' since they are not issuing the permits.
      It's just a disgrace - the savings are just not there, and candidly to link to a News Ltd article is just silly. On Tuesday, the Press Council felt obliged to write to News Ltd papers telling them to, you know, please report accurately.

      No wonder Abbott is too scared to release the whole shebang. What other massive howlers will we find?!

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    2. Jeff Dean

      Super Brain Surgeon

      In reply to David Stein

      OK, so the ABC who have been reporting this are wrong too; The nine network; SBS etc. etc. etc. they are all not reporting accurately.

      And yes the Treasury have said they did NOT give Rudd a $10 billion dollar figure which he Rudd claimed they had.

      Dear me I trust the treasury officials more than I do Mr thought bubble.

      I mean just a couple of weeks ago he was all for foreign investment in the Top end of Australia, last night he was walking away from foreign investment. Bubble head Rudd, that's about the size of it, along with his lies.

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    3. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Jeff Dean

      Correct - the reporting on this issue has been atrocious. The supposed $31 billion 'savings' has not lasted 24 hours.

      As I said previously, although I'm not sure you are really interested in the facts, all the bureaucrats did was to split hairs. They said they did not specifically cost the Coalition's policies, the Government presented them with scenarios which were pretty darn close to what the Coalition policies ended up being.

      The Coalition is trying to pretend to get more 'savings' from accrual accounting sleight of hand. The electorate really only cares about cash savings - you know - the things that will actually reduce the deficit that needs borrowed money to fund.

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      They costed what Labor put forward before the election was called and so how would Labor know full details of policies?
      Rudd, Bowen and Wong are all guilty of misleading the Australian public and should all stand down and not contest the election.

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      Accrual savings or what is in the forward estimates is used continuously by the government.
      You even have Labor crowing about funding Gonski for two years past the forward estimates and yet Bowen the Treasurer on Q&A last week would not put a figure on what those two years cost would be nor how Labor would be able to fund it.
      Labor is full of smoke and mirrors ploys.

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    6. David Stein

      Businessman

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - accrual is a red herring in this situation. Hockey deliberately attempted to claim that the $31 billion would reduce future debt.
      What drives the borrowing requirement is a cash deficit.
      Imagine if Hockey had said - 'here is $31 billion in savings, oh, but not all of it would have increased the debt'. He would have been laughed out of the Press Club. It's just a shame the journos don't have much of a clue about accounting so Hockey was able to sneak out thinking he got away with it.
      They tried to be tricky, overplayed their hand and got caught out.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Stein

      Any reduction in deficit budgetting that eventually gets the country back to living within its means will some debt to be repaid.
      Meanwhile the after more immediate effect is that if there is less of a deficit, then that means less borrowings and so that adds up to less debt for the future that has to be repaid.
      Why would you think any savings would have increased debt!
      It is more than Journos that need some accounting lessons.
      As for being caught out, we have a guy who want us to elect him PM…

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    8. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Greg North

      "Any reduction in deficit budgetting that eventually gets the country back to living within its means will some debt to be repaid. "

      To anybody with some knowledge of how our monetary system actually works Greg that statement is up there with the best (or worst) of Hockey's.

      It borders the moronic.

      For heaven's sake, learn some economics instead of regurgitating tabloid nonsense.

      You could start here, "Deficit spending 101 – Part 1"

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=332

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  5. Natasha turnbull

    Student

    Michelle needs to up date her information:

    Secretaries of treasury and finance department just put out statements that they have never done Coalition's election costing nor given Labor a figure of $10 billion hole.

    Kevin Rudd Labor's desperate act has backfired. How much integrity and credibility have they got left?

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  6. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    Kevin Rudd says of Tony Abbott there are 'deep questions about his judgment on policy priorities and now deep questions about his truthfulness in levelling with the Australian people about what all his costs are and where precisely he is going to cut.'

    There are other issues. How come it has taken so long for Warren Truss to come out with anything of substance? After all he could be deputy PM if the LNP comes to power.

    Trust Abbott? Trust Truss?

    After last week's Sky news report on the…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Rudd's lips were moving Lee, whether quivering or telling lies, either way it is all irrelevant as the man will be in eight days time.

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  7. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    Rudd needs to be sacked by the people of Australia in eight days for the misleading he is doing and the porkies he is telling in his desperation.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-29/labor-claims-2410b-hole-in-coalition27s-budget-cuts/4922026 reveals the truth of the matter.
    " A statement from the Treasury and Finance departments has also taken some of the sting out of the Government's claim.
    The departments said they had not costed the Opposition's policies but policy options as provided by…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      Labor made an interpretation of what they thought opposition policies would be prior to the election being called and you would need to consider an even earlier date if Labor were to do an even half decent job of putting together whatever they came up with and got their costings prior to the election being called.
      It is all kind of pie in the sky and the only gobbledeegook is with Rudd and his thought bubbles, the sun perhaps a bit strong for him, bursting them all or has he taken to the movie…

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    2. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      "In 2007 Labor got policy costings in at 5 pm. on the Friday before the election and you can see where they took us for the next nearly six years.."

      In 2010 Hocky's numbers were found so dodgy that their 'verifying' backers were later substantially fined for their complicit deception and unprofessional conduct.

      "In 2007 Labor got policy costings in at 5 pm. on the Friday before.." You would agree that Hockey has seven minutes remaining then to take us back to the future.

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    3. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      "In 2007 Labor got policy costings in at 5 pm..."

      "In 2010 Hockey's numbers were found so dodgy that their 'verifying' backers were later substantially fined for their complicit deception and unprofessional conduct."

      What's this, a day gone and no reflexive ridiculous come-back Greg? No scripted answer, eh? I saw Hockey at the Press Club let that one go through to the keeper too. After all he'd only had three years to invent an explanation for his shonky wonky figures...

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    4. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      "Rudd needs to be sacked by the people of Australia in eight days for the misleading he is doing and the porkies he is telling in his desperation. " You're kidding me, but not as much as the noalition has kidded you, again:

      Coalition's climate policy would cost vastly more than budgeted, study finds http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/29/coalition-climate-change-modelling-shortfall

      Ooops!

      http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/the-pond-sees-sunny-days-it-thought.html#.UiGY19d-9hF

      Read more
    5. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      Labor was always going to get my vote, precisely on its record; particularly when it could start could talking about that record fully from the GFC on, once Giilard's Big Lobes were booted out.

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    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Greg North

      "In 2007 Labor got policy costings in at 5 pm. on the Friday before the election and you can see where they took us for the next nearly six years."
      True Greg, but even when know, Rudd was inheriting a magic pudding, which given he campaigned as a fiscal conservative, there was no real pressure to place on Rudd.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Michelle not unlike most journalists prepares articles on information available at the time and it would seem that the Treasury revelations on Rudd's illwork was not available in time.
      It does make for interesting reading just how many supporters join Rudd in covering themselves in less than glory.

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    2. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg,
      It struck me that the curators here have left the headline in place, despite the developments in the story. A non biased journal would have placed the update above the old story.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      This one could be called the Ruddster Dumbergate.
      No wonder he is hiding behind sunglasses today, even aboard the bus, perhaps all that thought bubble pressure twanging the optical nerves to get the yes a bit bloodshot!

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    2. Neville Mattick
      Neville Mattick is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grazier: ALP Member at A 4th Generation Grazing Station

      In reply to Peter Lang

      The main mistake made by the new Government was to sign into law the Howard Tax Cuts for the big end of town that has deliberately sunk the budget to where it is:

      http://bit.ly/121xwHW

      "The income tax cuts were also heavily skewed to high income earners. Over the past seven years they have cost the budget $169 billion, of which 43% or $71 billion went to the top 10% of income earners. This was more than the total benefit of tax cuts to the bottom 80%, who together received only $63 billion."

      I'd rather have a decent forward looking "repository" in Government than the "suppository" that will have the Nation howling within months.

      The decent thing done for low income earners' (eg: on the Land) is the new tax free threshold, no sign of that from the Howard era for us, then again he (PM Howard) did involve Australia in three wars and introduce a shiny new Tax.

      "Am I right? or am I right."

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    3. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Neville Mattick

      Um probably not. Economist Professor Ann Harding made the following observation after research of Howard era " the prosperity of the Howard years had been spread across all income deciles. "The spread of income growth is very positive and there is strong growth at the bottom - the bottom hasn't been left out," she reported. By analysing the difference between private income and final income (after government transfers) Harding found that the top 40 per cent of income earners was supporting the bottom…

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    4. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Neville Mattick

      "The decent thing done for low income earners' (eg: on the Land)"
      Actually, the decent thing would to buy out the remainder of your Crown Leases at tuppance per hectare.

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    5. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Brett is a well known economic fact that the biggest decrease in inequality in Australia, occurred during the Howard Years. But what all these insincere berks who lie through their teeth about "squandered surpluses" and "upper middle class welfare" was that in fact, Howard was commander of the largest redistribution of income and wealth in favor of the bottom 30% of our people, that has never been happened on a such a scale in our past, and unlikely to be repeated in our lifetime.

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    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      That great distribution also largely explained who so many Australian parents were finally able to flee to Maoist public schools.

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  8. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    >"The government claims to have found a $10 billion hole in the opposition’s $31.6 billion savings package."

    They were wrong.

    They lied! ... Again!!

    Labor has been lying for six years - and it ramped it up during the election campaign.

    There is no excuse for releasing confidential documents they should not have released. That demonstrates a lack of integrity. They cannot be trusted.

    They misunderstood the analyses and misinterpreted them. It demonstrates the incompetence of the…

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    1. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Peter Lang

      It's quite funny Peter, sub-vocalising my way through your tirade with the name "WHK Horwath" (and the 2010 Coalition's costings debacle) still echoing in my ears.

      Yes, Labor was remiss in not disclosing their costings earlier in 2010 but their "auditors" were not fined for professional misconduct.

      And you rounded it all off nicely with the obligatory "debt and deficit" reference...

      To save yourself that sort of embarrassment in future you really should look at that reference I gave Greg North a bit earlier.

      It won't change your tribal allegiances but it might help you sleep better at night.

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    2. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to John Armour

      Wow! What hypocrisy. Or ignorance. Or ideological blindness.

      Tell me about the Labor blunders that total $300 billion of debt with decreasing productivity as well - i.e. nothing to show for the debt.

      And explain the 2012-13 promised surplus that turned into an $18 billion deficit and a few weeks later into a $33 billion deficit.

      And that with all the resources of Treasury, while you complain about the Coalition's relatively small error in 2010 when it had virtually no resources.

      How does the Coalition's 2010 cost estimate compare (in competence and completeness with Labor's 2007 costings? Do you even know? Have you compared them?

      Quick. Call someone in the Labor party to tell you how to spin your way out of this.

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    3. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Peter Lang

      I suppose I could try and explain that debt to a monopoly issuer of the currency is a meaningless concept but I don't think you'd get it, for "debt" is not what it seems.

      You may not know for example (I'd be amazed if you did...) that the Howard government continued to issue debt even when the budget was in surplus, just to keep the bond market happy.

      The "debt" by the way is not $300 billion. It's about $185 billion, and what we're getting for it is stuff called "infrastructure". And 200,000 jobs that were about to go down the gurgler.

      You're also wrong (or more likely just confused) about labour productivity.

      I don't know what planet you live on but it's not exactly a secret that productivity has been booming for the last 2 years, reaching an all-time high in February this year.

      Stick with gut feelings when you vote next Saturday Peter. You'll be on much safer ground than trying to justify your choice with "facts".

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    4. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Oh, the 2010 professional misconduct, deceit, deception, lying, trickery, dishonesty, dodginess, incompetence are just relatively small noalition errors to do with money. So what do noalition average or relatively large errors amount to?

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    5. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      "And that with all the resources of Treasury, while you complain about the Coalition's relatively small error in 2010 when it had virtually no resources. "

      Yes Graeme, just small change apparently, 'cos they didn't have the resources to get their costings done properly.

      Never mind the professional misconduct, deceit, etc that you mention.

      Peter does have a point though, about the disadvantaged situation of Opposition parties at election time.

      Clearly what we need is something like a Charter of Budget Honesty where opposition parties can get their policies costed by Treasury, for free, and not risk having their reputations traduced by being forced to go to shonky back-yard bean-counters to get their sums checked.

      That assumes of course that they really do want their costings checked, that they've got nothing to hide.

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    6. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to John Armour

      Oh, so never mind LNP, Abbot and Hockey, with a track record of promoting professional misconduct, deceit, and further unmentionables concerning money and power. Ok, that seems an appropriate response.

      Peter has no point. They had three years, to implement their own pre-existing Costello charter of honesty. Hang on... Costello? Budget honesty? I begin to see their claimed disadvantage.

      If an opposition party isn't shonky they can have their policies tested by Treasury, Finance and the PBO, for free, in similar fashion to the this opposition's assumed costings based on their announcements thus far were recently tested. They just have to submit them. There is still time for them to do so and have the test results published before the media blackout.

      I won't be holding my breath until they do that. After all that would require honesty in sticking to their own previous policies and a certain degree of honesty that their record shows them incapable of.

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  9. Dao Nguyen

    logged in via Facebook

    '...The government claims to have found a $10 billion hole in the opposition’s $31.6 billion savings package...'
    I think PM Kevin Rudd has made a tactical faux-pas when announcing the 10 billion dollars budget blackhole in coalition policy costing while relying on finance's wobbly costing spreadsheets based upon treasury's unrealistic economic parameters or PBO's shoddy methodologies. Adhering to visionary policies with their implication ramifications and long term impacts on the economy would be…

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    1. John Armour

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Dao Nguyen

      I've got to agree with your "PBO's shoddy methodologies" Dao.

      Bill Mitchell had an interesting take on the subject earlier this year when the PBO published its first report:

      "Australian PBO – another myth-making neo-liberal institution"

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=24026

      Ever since I can remember we've always had this game with "black holes", often "discovered" by the new incoming government after the election and used to justify the pursuit of previously hidden agendas.

      Costello's Charter of Budget Honesty was supposed to end all that.

      Your suggestion of more debate around "vision" rather than meaningless (and mostly) wrong numbers would be a welcome change, but that would deprive the media and the party spinmeisters of their "gotcha" moments and the voting mass of its nightly entertainment.

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  10. Steven Waters

    logged in via Facebook

    all the focus is on the LNP 10 billion dollar short fall in their costings. what i would like to know is how does labor pay for all their policies with the NBN, gonski, the NDIS, another 68,000 child care places, 200 mill for the car industry, the fast rail, the northern plan and all the other announcements they have made. they are just the same if not worse.

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    1. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Steven Waters

      Labor laid it all out months ago in the government economic statement. There is hardly any focus, actual scrutiny, on the noalition $70B shortfall. The government's numbers are there, and have withstood impartial competent and public review. The noalition's numbers are missing, unreviewable, and this is what has not been scrutinised.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      You believe what you want to Graeme but Rudd has made all sorts of promises since the government economic statement and many of the opposition's programs, costs and savings have already been declared, right from the budget reply speech.
      The focus on costings is merely a ploy by Rudd and Labor, they largely irrelevant as many writers have already acknowledged that changes do get made because of changing economic circumstances just as Labor have shown on numerous occasions recently.
      And then Rudd has nothing left by negativity and personal attacks.
      He is an insult to the office of PM and the sooner we see the end of him, the better off, Australia and all Australians will be.

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    3. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Greg North

      The act of belief is all yours Greg. Belief there is no $70B shortfall unless you, like no other voter, have seen the costings they are supposed to have tucked up their sleeve. Rudd looked good on Q&A last night being very Prime Ministerial, calm, cool, collected, frank, articulate, visionary, credible - I could go on I suppose, but a convincing positive contrast to Dr Doom and the noalition in so many ways, not least in being on top of budgetary matters.

      BTW, who are these many writers Greg? Who do they work for? What numbers have they, like you, seen that no one else has? Have you any facts at all?

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