The MYEFO, the government acronym commonly now being translated as “mini-budget”, could be delivered sooner than later in the year.

Or spend? Pic: Jack Tran

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook - essentially a half-way overview of the May Budget’s progress - will be a significant occasion for Treasurer Wayne Swan to inject a bolt of confidence in the strategy he outlined just six months ago.

That strategy has been ripped and torn by falling resources prices and continued economic uncertainty in Europe. The bijou budget surplus of $1.5 billion is at risk because of falling tax revenue. Retailers continue to complain as consumers continue to save; employment growth is slow; the high value of the Australian dollar and the drop in prices for our minerals has meant we have imported more than we exported.

The MYEFO usually is held towards the end of the year, in December, but might be brought forward to late this month or early - really early - in November. No firm decision has been made.

There are precedents for October and November on both sides of politics, but not for current economic circumstances.

Mr Swan will have to combat the widely-held notion that the Australian economy has just two settings - boom, or catastrophe. The switch only goes one way or the other.

And the decline of mineral prices overseas - no mater the high level of mining investment here - has inclined some to argue the switch has moved from boom.

Plain-talking Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson on Friday addressed this perception of limited options and the pessimism it causes.

“The term ‘resources boom’ is simplistic, because the corollary of a boom is a bust,” Dr Parkinson told the John Curtin Institute.

“Yes, the terms of trade are coming off, but they remain, and are likely to remain, high by historical standards. In other words, we’re unlikely to see a bust - what we’re seeing is a longer, more complex story than the boom-and-bust cycle of generations past.

“So I would concur with Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, that rumours of the death of the mining sector have been greatly exaggerated.

“Instead of the boom-and-bust cycle, what we will see ultimately is mining becoming a much larger share of a reshaped economy. The mining sector is expected to rise from five per cent of gross value added in the early 2000s, to in the order of 10-12 per cent in the decades to come.”

The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has in the past few weeks pledged that a Coalition Government would “return to economic growth” and endorsed a “timely warning” from former Future Fund chairman David Murray that without care Australia could have an economic crisis like that of Greece.

Mr Abbott said on Thursday: “With its endless taxes, this Government is putting the economic future of our country at risk.”

However, Australia’s economy has recorded growth for the past 21 years and is a long way from an Athens collapse. And the Opposition itself thinks that despite a fall in government revenue, there will be money available for big ideas.

On July 1 Mr Abbott made a promise to the Liberal federal council which indicated he thought the economy would provide billions for extra spending. He confirmed $4 billion in those pledges last week.

Mr Abbott said in July that that as a “new commitment” a Coalition government, in its first 12 months, would dedicate $1.5 billion to the East-West Link road tunnel in Melbourne, $1.5 billion to the M4 East in Sydney, and $1 billion to the Gateway Motorway upgrade in Brisbane.

This would be new spending and not money taken from other transport works, and Mr Abbott anticipated the projects would quickly get underway, although by estimates from others they could take up to 10 years to be completed.

“Commonwealth funding at this level should enable these projects swiftly to proceed in conjunction with state and private funding,” he said on July 1.

However, it is likely after 24 months of a Coalition victory not a single piece of gravel will have been moved. The $1.5 billion from the Commonwealth would barely start projects worth $5 to $10 billion, money which would first have to be raised from state governments and private partners.

Then there would be planning and other approvals which would take time. Mr Abbott’s talking tunnels here. You don’t simply dig a four-lane hole through a city on a whim.

But an Abbott government would stump up with its share of the bills after 12 months - that is, as an item in the first Abbott Budget.

That’s a show of confidence in the economy.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

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    • Tubesteak says:

      06:41am | 08/10/12

      Our economy is more than just some mines, a few shopfronts and some manufacturers. Most of what we do is selling goods and services to ourselves. Some of what we do is selling goods and services overseas. While economic growth is slow overseas we’ve been dealing with this for a few years. We can continue with this. We are not looking at impending economic disaster just because resources prices are not at their peak. We will continue to cruise along.

    • GROBP says:

      08:45am | 08/10/12

      “Most of what we do is selling goods and services to ourselves.”

      That’s the problem. If there are other expenses (and there are huge other expenses), then we must, a mathematical FACT go backwards.

      As I’ve put to you before, if this were a legitimate sustainable way to run an economy, get half the unemployed to do star jumps all day and the other half can be entertained by the other half. In times of recession, we could drag ourselves out of it by all doing star jumps.

      If your theory has any credibility, couldn’t Greece get out of their mess by “simply” servicing each other? There is ZERO production in servicing each other.

      How is this so hard to understand Tubesteak?

      We are going broke.

    • Babylon says:

      09:54am | 08/10/12

      With the inherited, China run, self sustaining mining boom “Doing OK” is not good enough by a long shot. The Mining boom, that was the envy of the world, has now been sent packing to Africa by the Gillard Government and its taxes.

      Carr’s been doing the arse covering, ‘muddy waters’ Labor tactics to prevent Aussie voter outrage.

      - ‘We do not need the mining boom, it contributes little, directly only 2pc jobs. ( of course we all know indirectly its a benefit factor of x10)
      - ‘The mining boom is so full its ‘overbrimming’ and spilling over into Africa.
      - ferguson said the mining boom was over.
      - experts say the mining boom is over.
      - Gillard says its yet to peak?
      - Swan says commodity prices have killed the mining boom.

      The Australian mining boom has upped sticks and relocated to a lower operational cost environment in Africa. Its less hostile for investors.

      African Mining
      Q4 2011 = -16.8 percent
      Q2 2012 = +32 percent

      Reported by Reuters and Bloomberg.

      So Commodity prices and China spending not a problem in Africa! China’s the biggest African customer now.

      That the ‘mining boom is crap, we dont needed anyway’ argument is smashed by the largest African economy growing by 3.2 percent in that recessed area and despite Manufacturing trying to drag the figures down.

      The Australian experience is that we can have a badly run economy, with sectors collapsing or flirting with recession, but the mining boom makes everything look good and the same is true in Africa.

      Globally coal is at a 40 year high and holds 30 percent of the energy market according to BP and EngineerLive, with a 35 percent increase in Coal Fired power stations over the next 10 years and investment of $140 Billion a year. But our customers have been driven off shore by the Gillard Government. Kloppers tells us why:

      “BHP Billiton head Marius Kloppers has told European investors that Australia’s carbon and mining taxes have helped to render the nation’s coal industry unworthy of further investment at this time.”
      - smh ‘Taxes a Drag on Coal, Kloppers tells London Investors’

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:53am | 08/10/12

      You really have no idea of what you’re talking about. From your comment it is evident that you don’t understand the difference between private and public spending. Later, you think that 100% of the tax take is spent on welfare…...
      You’re a walking facepalm.

      Penguin and Babylon
      Think long-term. A mining boom only causes Dutch Disease. Therefore, if prices collapse or demand from our mining stocks reduces then miners will leave the stuff in the ground. They’re not going to dig up if it’s not economic to do so. Let the Chinese and Indians go and deal with whatever tinpot despot happens to be in power in Africa or South America. Then when they’ve sucked those countries dry or gotten fed up with nationalisation of industries (and their investments) they can come back and be a price-taker with us. Works for us. We’ve also got plenty of sustainable industries here.

    • Gregg says:

      12:30pm | 08/10/12

      So hilarious if it was not so sad!
      You on one hand claim of GROBP
      ” You really have no idea of what you’re talking about. “
      Then you state:
      Then when they’ve sucked those countries dry or gotten fed up with nationalisation of industries (and their investments) they can come back and be a price-taker with us. Works for us. We’ve also got plenty of sustainable industries here.

      You kind of do not understand that the government has put more of its eggs into revenue from booming mining, revenue that they intend to use for all sorts of things and so without that revenue they will either have to cut back on planned spending, raise revenue by other taxes and increases or borrow even more than they are doing now.

      It is fine to have private industry doing all sorts of domestic things and even their productivity will decline as some of what they do also gets affected by people not getting income because of a decline in the mining industry.

      So yep, minerals can be in the ground and we will certainly as a country not be cruising along unless you consider paying more taxes and being greater in debt is to be considered cruising.

    • GROBP says:

      12:37pm | 08/10/12


      “You really have no idea of what you’re talking about.”

      What arrogance. Instead of answering my points you dismiss with that garbage. You don’t answer because you can’t answer. You’re wrong and can’t even front the issue.

      “From your comment it is evident that you don’t understand the difference between private and public spending”.

      Enlighten me Tubesteak. It’s all money that has to be paid back. Your Keynesian economics isn’t working anywhere, why do you expect it to start? We’re going broke, there are indicators everywhere.

      “they can come back and be a price-taker with us.”

      That’s hilarious and the epitome of arrogance. That’s not what will happen. We’re on the way to being left out all together.

      “We’ve also got plenty of sustainable industries here. “

      Really? What are they?

    • Tubesteak says:

      02:01pm | 08/10/12

      What revenue have they put into their basket? You can only put into the basket what you’ve received. Just making a promise doesn’t mean you are committed to it. Everyone should know that by now from the “no Australian child living in poverty by 1990” to “LAW law tax cuts” to “core and non-core promises” to FuelWatch to carbon taxes. These promises have not affected the nation one iota. They’ll be funded when it comes time to deliver. They can try to raise taxes but they’ll lose government to someone that vows to decrease taxes and scrap the program.

      There is no answer to your comments because your comments make less sense than the cooing of a baby. You start dribbling on about expenses meaning we go backwards. What expenses? You do realise that if we are paying something to someone that that person receives the money? Thus, if my inputs to my business increases then these payments are going to another business? Swings and roundabouts. Then you started going on about starjumps…...
      You pay back money with income. Income you receive from taxes. Taxes on the economic activity of a nation. Moreover, can you point to what government debt we have. You do know our budget deficit is less than 10% of our GDP which is low compared to nations like the US which is 100% of their GDP. Moreover, you only have to make the interest payments on the loan.
      Left out altogether? Really? So they’ll never want our minerals? Never ever? Now I am the one who is laughing.
      Sustainable industries = finance (the most sustainable finance sector in our region). Superannuation (we have one of the largest superannuation sectors in the region and it is also one of the most stable thanks to the finance sector). Higher learning (one of our biggest exports). Tourism (people luvs to see them some kangaroos). There’s a few examples. Not an exhaustive list, though.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      02:52pm | 08/10/12

      @Babylon very well put.
      If we start believing the Labor party about Australia’s economic situation not only will we be very confused but quite soon very poor. The surplus that took the Libs 10 years to build has been squandered in record time by Labor. It was gone in a flash and now we have enormous debt a repeating cycle of labor governments.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      02:54pm | 08/10/12

      Yet another Abbott bashing peice from Malcolm Farr (Yawn)

    • Steve Putnam says:

      06:47am | 08/10/12

      That comment you quoted from Abbott “return to economic growth” shows the extent to which he is fog-bound within his own bullshit. As you mention, Australia has had 21 consecutive years of growth and has grown at an average 3.5% during the period of the Rudd/Gillard Governments.
      Abbott apparently sees nothing wrong with addressing a conference in London and “claiming boasting rights” for Australia’s economic performance, and then returning home and spreading a message of doom and gloom.
      As Tony Windsor basically said, Abbott is a cowboy who would say anything and do anything to get into power.

    • Freeman says:

      07:33am | 08/10/12

      Yeah Steve,

      21 months of growth facilitated by borrowed money. any Idiot can run growth while mortgaging the country to the eyeballs. Paying it back is the trick.

    • Rose says:

      07:53am | 08/10/12

      So Freeman, has the government defaulted or are they “paying it back”. Anyone with half a brain would realize that the borrowing would have happened regardless of who the government as, to try and make it sound otherwise is grossly dishonest!

    • Martin H says:

      08:07am | 08/10/12

      Freeman - Stick to your day job and leave economics to the adults.

      Governments don’t run growth, the economy does. What Steve said above is correct, Abbott said he will return Australia to economic growth after 21 years of actual economic growth, go figure because Abbott can’t. Do you or Abbott understand the difference between GDP and government surpluses or deficits? Abbott, Hockey and Robb are cowboys when it comes to the economy.

    • Charles says:

      08:07am | 08/10/12

      Freeman’s point is well made, growth via borrowing money to do it, is not sustainable.  The growth experienced in the Australian economy over the past 4-5 years has been due to borrowed money.  Ergo it is not sustainable.

      When you play the ‘thimble’ and ‘pea’ game, it is important to keep your eye on the pea, not the thimbles.

    • Freeman says:

      08:24am | 08/10/12


      That’s a whole other argument. All I say above is that the government cannot pat itself on the back for economic figures realised through unsustainable borrowing of cash.

      But since you asked, it’s laughable to think that the libs would have borrowed AS MUCH to waste on valueless BER schemes, pink bat ripoffs and free cash stimulus payments to people overseas and those who who didn’t feel any affects of the GFC such as the professionally unemployed in the first round of stimulus payments.

    • Tator says:

      08:42am | 08/10/12

      actually the ALP is still borrowing money at around $1 billion a week, whilst supposedly generating a surplus this financial year.  So far for the 2012/13 financial year, they have increased Government Debt by around $18 billion dollars in just over three months.  Data from AOFM

    • Rose says:

      08:54am | 08/10/12

      Freeman, John Howard proved beyond a shadow of any doubt that the Libs are capable of gross financial mismanagement, his commitment to unnecessary and unsustainable middle class welfare was unshakeable. When the ALP try to curb it by introducing means testing, the Libs get all up in arms about ‘class warfare’. Then you have Abbott’s grossly irresponsible maternity leave proposal and his direct action plan, which will guarantee cash handouts to the worst polluters for zero benefit.
      Clearly, if the Liberals are going to make the claim that any strength in the economy is the result of the ‘mining boom’ then the ALP can lay exactly the same claim about the previous Liberal government,

    • Freeman says:

      08:56am | 08/10/12

      Martin H,

      I haven’t said anything of Abbott’s comment and I don’t wish to defend it. I simply say while our economy may show growth of 3.5% for the Rudd/Gillard gov, it occurred while they borrowed money hand over first to pump into the economy.

    • alan Pevie says:

      08:58am | 08/10/12

      Steve Putnam, with respect i don’t think you are very bright. Anyone can spend, spend borrowed money. Just like you with your bankcard. Some time in the near future the public, the Australian people have to pay it back.
      Got that? Alan Pevie

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      09:06am | 08/10/12

      The economy is completely ruined and we are heading for the biggest disaster since 1932. There isn’t a single Minister who knows what they are doing and the whole shebang is run by liars and frauds that are picking on Alan Jones to divert attention from the enormous economic and social iceberg dead ahead of the ship of state.

      The only thing that can possibly save us is for Tony Abbott, a veritable saint, and his band of irreproachable apostles like Hockey, Pyne, Barnaby Joyce, and Kelly O’Dwyer - none of whom have ever told a lie - to take control and lead us to a radiant future in the Promised Land.

      I know this is true because I have read it in Piers Akerman’s column nearly every day for five years and heard it from Alan Jones every morning since our Great Father and Teacher, John Howard, lost the 2007 election as a result of underhanded tactics and political smear campaigns waged by criminals, frauds and spivs in the pay of the satanic Labor Party.

      It must be true. Piers and Alan wouldn’t lie, twist the truth, or concoct complete beat-ups out of nothing, would they? They are, after all, the hoplites of a Pantheon of Super-Heroes that also includes such fair-minded luminaries as Larry Pickering and Andrew Bolt.

      These four champions of free speech, democracy, and “trickle down” capitalism unhesitatingly give credit where credit is due. As they have all correctly pointed out, the GFC was caused by greedy socialist unions always demanding more; grasping pensioners; and welfare Kings and Queens who don’t know the meaning of the word “work” and spend all their time socialising, drinking, gambling and smoking while believing they are entitled to food, housing and medical care at the expense of hard-working, thrifty, self-made people like Gina Rinehart. After all, there are plenty of African millionaires who amassed their capital working in Gina’s mines for $2/day – so it can be done.

      There is no doubt: all those growth figures are lies and we are headed for national disaster of titanic, or Grecian, proportions.

    • Rose says:

      09:10am | 08/10/12

      The money that was borrowed was borrowed out of necessity to keep the economy ticking over and to keep people in jobs. To not borrow would’ve been reckless and irresponsible.

    • FINK says:

      09:21am | 08/10/12

      @Reg Whiteman,
      Is that a p!sstake, if not, WTF are you on?

    • Sharz says:

      09:55am | 08/10/12


      Reg is on your side he just talks fancy!


      Very impressive language to make up for Reg’s lack of empathy for his fellow Australians.

    • lostinperth says:

      09:59am | 08/10/12

      Rose you are contradicting yourself. 
      “The money that was borrowed was borrowed out of necessity to keep the economy ticking over and to keep people in jobs. To not borrow would’ve been reckless and irresponsible.

      Yet it has to be paid back. Which is something the ALP has not uttered a word about. Uou criticise Howard for financial mismanagement - yet he ran surpluses which is something no ALP government has done in a generation. You criticise his “middle class welfare” yet the ALP increases it. They give out a thousand bucks to each taxpayer, a lot of which went overseas on holidays on stuff bought on the internet.

      ALP spending is reckless, not targeted, and never seems to have a cost-benefit analysys applied.
      Anyone defending the ALP’s fiscal policy has - to quote you “half a brain” and I suspect the half that controls logic and basic maths is the bit missing.

    • Babylon says:

      10:11am | 08/10/12

      The 2008 GFC devastated Europe and the US. Here in Aspac we had the emerging markets growth and a mining boom that was the envy of the world, run by China and keeping us safe.

      Week in week out since August 2011 we have been bleeding jobs in all sectors.

      Australians could not have failed to notice the weekly announcements in the media, a 100 jobs gone there, a 1000 jobs gone here.

      Whats happened? When it became clear the Gillard Government was going to put the cost of operations up by 15 percent ( carbon tax plus gst), industries already struggling with the high dollar from Government borrowing, and high wages from a high cost of living, gave up Aussie jobs to cope.

      Manufacturing, the realm of the working class Aussie, used to contribute 25 percent to the economy directly, but already only 5 percent of what we consume is made here and we have a greeno Labor Government that thinks manufacturing belongs in the Third World, preferring Services ( Office jocky Jobs).

      Carbon tax is design to punishes manufacturing, tge theory goes, until they turn “Green.” Of course most industries that is not posdibke. Easier to relocate overseas.

      However, comparing ourselves to ravaged Europe, instead of Aspac where we live and compete, makes us look OK and hides the uncompetitiveness of the Australian economy that had many gifts like the mining boom.

    • Rose says:

      10:23am | 08/10/12

      Actually, I don’t think I contradicted myself at all. I do believe that if it is necessary to borrow money to keep Australia’s economy ticking over then that’s what needs to happen, I also believe that the amount borrowed is manageable and will be paid back, although I also believe that should there be a Liberal government that they will ensure that the paying back will be as painful as possible (for those already struggling, they will still protect the well off) in order to prove a point, i.e. Campbell Newman.
      As for the stimulus package, it was a two time payment, at such a time as the Government thought it was necessary to keep the economy moving. Whether or not it was necessary or not, or effective or not is beside the point, the fact is it was a once off. Howard’s middle class welfare has become a permanent noose around our heads, grants for First home buyers, baby bonuses etc. Howard changed the Australian middle class’ mindset to be one of entitlement, he made vote buying an art-form and he did so knowingly and recklessly. Abbott has shown that, with his maternity leave plan, that he wants to extend that recklessness. Attempts by Labor to make the system fairer with means testing have been slammed as class warfare, so don’t accuse Labor of not trying to curb middle class welfare, while they have bought into it to a certain extent, it is most definitely Liberal’s baby!
      The idea that Liberals are the ones who are responsible money managers is a joke, they have done enormous damage to the Australian psyche by their blatant vote buying exercises and they were protected from the fallout by the mining ‘boom’, Labor may not be much better, but they’re absolutely no worse!

    • Rose says:

      10:33am | 08/10/12

      Well obviously Sharz, and that’s why I didn’t respond to him!!

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      10:40am | 08/10/12

      @Fink. I get daily injections of fat-extract from Akerman, Jones, Bolt and Pickering.

      I can assure you that, from a close reading of the well-researched, rigorously analytical, and erudite comments on Mr. Akerman’s august blog, fully 99.8% of Australians intend to vote coalition at the next election.

      One of Mr. Akerman’s very eloquent daily bloggers, a Mr. John Jay, had this to say about Mr. Abbott yesterday. I think it speaks for itself and demonstrates the quality of conservative journalism in this country:

      “This man, who was born to bring great love, humanity and wisdom to a country in deep need.
      Therein is the reason for the gnashing teeth.
      Tony Abbott is the enemy of the forces of destruction .. for he is allied to love, goodness, service.
      Evil opposes good.
      Tony Abbott is on the side of good. ”

    • FINK says:

      11:08am | 08/10/12

      @Reg Whiteman,
      Oh! okay Reg, I get it now! once you mention Akerman I knew instantly, it was p!sstake…my mistake.

    • Sharz says:

      12:08pm | 08/10/12


      “Evil opposes good.
      Tony Abbott is on the side of good.”

      “Deceit compounds deceit”
      Who said;  “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead to the Australian people?”

    • MattyC says:

      12:20pm | 08/10/12

      Babyloon - we cant be bleedng jobs in all sectors if unemployment rate is hovering essentially unchanged since Aug 2011

      I believe that you have been called out previously for making things up on this blog.

    • Babylon says:

      12:41pm | 08/10/12

      The China run mining boom gave Australia 21 months of growth, not the Gillard Government.

      The Gillard Government has just gone on the usual spend and borrow policy, that we see with most socialist governments do, failing to create anything new and profitable.

      By November 2013 we will have $300 Billion debt, a budget black hole deficit of $120 Billion and no Mining boom. They’ve driven that off to Africa, where there is no war of words and no CT or MRRT.

      With the returns expected from the MRRT gone and the carbon floor price u-turn changing income from $15 to $8 a tonne, the Gillard Government is going to struggle to pay off our huge debt.

      If the Gillard Government had delivered any level of economic stability, then they would be able to tell Australians where the money is going to come from for:
      Dental Scheme
      Asst Child Care
      Add Asylum seekers
      NBN (amortised)

      Adding up to $120 Billion.

      Instead the Gillard Government answers direct questions on money with slurs in Parliament. ’ Wheres the money coming from’ answer ’ what does the Coalition know about Budgetting?’ Talk about obviously evasive!

      We got one answer from Penny Wong, she said they were going to save $30 million per year by cutting back on first class travel and accommodation. Wow good to your selves! BUT Thats not going to pay the interest even on $120 Billion!

      They’ve also talked about taxing your super ! And savings! To pay for there reckless spending and borrowing. You’ll be buying Dog food to live on in retirement after 30 years of work and paying taxes.

      Oh no, we need a rescue package to pay off the debt. The economy is being mis managed and ’ OK ’ is pi$$ poor for an Asiapac economy in the emerging markets region.

      The smoke screen is to compare us to Spain, but live, play and compete in the Asiapac, not Europe.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      03:01pm | 08/10/12

      Martin H perhaps you better take your own advice you gave to Freeman. When a government spends Masses of money that does stimulate growth as that money goes to business in building projects and infrastructure. That money is then used to employ workers to build these projects. those workers then spend the money hence growth in the economy. Which is what the government did when they pissed away our surplus as a short term solution to the WFC which is proving to be a long term problem only now they don’t have any money left and EXPERT economists from around the world are saying Australia is about to get hit. If you believe Swan about the economy who has a personal agenda in making us believe everyting is ok seeing as there is an election next year. Then you really need to open your eyes. Only question is can they hold of the crash long enough to get past the next election

    • The New Economist says:

      03:50pm | 08/10/12


      Come to me when you have growth without borrowing billions.

      Debt increased by over $60B last Financial Year, beating the 2009-10 record.


      The Mining Boom?? The Howard Government delivered 7 out of 8 Surpluses before the Mining Boom. The prices of most minerals commodities have been higher over the past 3-years than throughout the Howard Government.

      Our economy is about to be hit again ...... in 2008 we were running solid surpluses, mostly because of what previous Governments had done, so it absorbed a lot of the impact ...... in 2012 running massive deficits because of the current worthless government.

      So if our economy does take a hit what do you think would be an appropriate annual increase in debt??

    • James In Footscray says:

      06:49am | 08/10/12

      ‘The economy will be OK’ is not a great endorsement of the current government. Where’s the political and economic ambition? Where’s the Hawke/Keating-style brilliance?

    • Alfie says:

      07:59am | 08/10/12

      “Where’s the political and economic ambition?”

      Labor’s only ambition is to hold office at all cost. Don’t expect any stroke brilliance from this pack of drongos - they are too busy throwing dirt at the opposition to worry about the economy.

    • Mattb says:

      10:38am | 08/10/12

      Alfie says:07:59am | 08/10/12
      “Where’s the political and economic ambition?”
      Labor’s only ambition is to hold office at all cost. Don’t expect any stroke brilliance from this pack of drongos - they are too busy throwing dirt at the opposition to worry about the economy. “

      Coalition’s only ambition is to gain office at all cost. Don’t expect any stroke brilliance from this pack of drongos - they are too busy throwing dirt at the government to worry about the economy.

      Boring isnt it Alfie..

    • Bertrand says:

      11:13am | 08/10/12

      If the ALP’s only desire is to hold onto power at all costs, why would they push through two deeply unpopular economic reforms in the form of the carbon and mining taxes? Surely a party that merely wants power for power’s sake would simply stick to petty populism.

    • Colin says:

      11:25am | 08/10/12

      Bertrand - the ALP pushed through the mining and carbon taxes because that’s what the Greens wanted, and they needed the Greens on side to hold government.

    • AdamC says:

      11:47am | 08/10/12


      In the case of the carbon tax, because they were concerned (rightly or wrongly) that the Greens would refuse to support their minority government if they didn’t.

      In the case of the MRRT, because they are desperate for money to fund populist promises they have implicitly made (Gonski and the NDIS) and thought a tax on coal and iron ore would be a cash bonanza.

      Also, neither of these policies are ‘economic reforms’.

    • james says:

      12:46pm | 08/10/12

      Super increase is not an economic reform.

    • Alfie says:

      04:01pm | 08/10/12


      What are you a parrot? Try writing your own comments.

    • Suzanne says:

      06:56am | 08/10/12

      The economy has real issues and its deep, ask any tradie, truckie, postal worker, retail worker etc etc.  Even ask the public service.

      Could not happen at a worse time for Swan and Gillard for the election next year

    • Phil S says:

      07:42am | 08/10/12

      Way to be specific Suzanne. “Ask some people and you’ll see we are all doomed. DOOOOOOOMED”

      I think I’ll take my advice from people who actually know what they are talking about, thanks. Not someone who is likely to be influenced by doom and gloom talk. If I find a tradie/truckie/postie/etc who says the economy is fine, will you believe it is all ok? If their political party of choice disagrees with your current choice, will you ignore them?

      I’ll stop asking hard questions…

    • Terry2 says:

      08:38am | 08/10/12

      Suzanne, Let’s take your sources individually: in my area you can’t get a tradie, they’ve all gone to mines and those left are run off their feet; truckies are mainly complaining about tight schedules imposed by the big retailers: retail seems to be bubbling along but people like Gerry Harvey need to look at their business model, their advertising for instance, we have to mute the sound on our TV when they come on because they shout at us.
      Postal workers are worried because there has been a persistent rumour that the coalition in power would sell Australia Post.
      Public Servants are certainly worried about a future coalition government after what has been done eslewhere, particularly the wholesale sackings in Queensland which were poorly considered and implemented.
      Otherwise things seem to be ticking along quite nicely.

    • Richard says:

      10:21am | 08/10/12

      @Terry2: but yes, that’s the point. All the tradies have been earning big bucks building new mines. The Federal Government has been counting its chickens before they hatch that this investment boom in new mine infrastructure was going to continue on basically indefinitely. Now the RBA is warning that the peak of the boom is less than 12 months ago, whilst other financial institutions are saying that it has already peaked!

      What that means is that, shortly, tens of thousands of workers who were earning over a hundred thousand dollars a year are going to find themselves under-employed. Sure, they might be able to pick up domestic work here and there wiring up your new reno or something, but the fact is, their wages are going to take a big hit, which means they’ll have less discretionary spending power, which, in such numbers, is going to negatively affect the ancillary economy.

    • Big Jay says:

      01:21pm | 08/10/12

      @Phil S - Don’t be so dismissive of @Suzanne above. I’m in a full time salaried position (private sector), so I don’t see the ebb’s and flows of the general economy.

      But I do talk to people just around the traps like Suzanne says, I buy a cake and while the shop assistant is packing it ask them how is business, do the same when you get a taxi, haircut, and you’ll get a general impression,

      Truckies/posties/shop assistants/hospitality notice the drop off in demand very quickly. And it’s not about asking one person in isolation FFS!

    • Nick says:

      07:10am | 08/10/12

      Yes the economy will be OK and will do even better once the Libs return to government.The only thing currently keeping the economy in shape as we all know is the mining boom.This failed government can in no way take any credit for that.

    • Phil S says:

      07:44am | 08/10/12

      Did you read the article? You know, the bit about how using the word ‘boom’ is considered too black and white for this debate?

      Of course not! you are too busy being outraged by the government to enter any real discussion.

    • GROBP says:

      08:26am | 08/10/12


      The economy is on the edge of doom. It won’t be okay. We’ve pinned all our hopes on just one industry. That industry has, surprise surprise collapsed. Who would have thought while 200k truckies here, 10k Mongolia would not be sustainable.

      Libs are politicians too.

      I predict in ten years, we’ll be earning less than half what we do now, our dollar will collapse, food will be tripple. Housing will be a quarter what it presently is, we’ll be farming every bit of land in a desperate attempt to feed our inflated population and revive our economy.

      We will never learn.

    • bananabender56 says:

      07:16am | 08/10/12

      Australian growth is despite government involvement. If commodity prices double over a month what involvement has the Government had in that? They will of course take the proceeds from this and depending upon the maturity and experience of the Government will either use it to pay off national debt, build infrastructure or piss it away on handouts to more and more people. Unfortunately we seem to be in the vote buying cycle.

    • Terry2 says:

      07:39am | 08/10/12

      The opposition, who previously said that ” interest rates would always be lower under a coalition government” are now saying that the recent RBA reduction of .25% was a sign of a weakening economy. So, does that now mean that the coalition in government would take an increase in interest rates as an economic achievement ?
      I’m confused (again) !

    • Rose says:

      09:24am | 08/10/12

      Don’t be confused, both sides will say whatever they think the public will believe, even if they said the complete opposite even the day before. Politics is a game, and the people playing it make up the rules as they go along!

    • GROBP says:

      07:41am | 08/10/12

      How can an economy that spends 100% of It’s tax revenue on welfare be okay? That borrows or sells stuff for anything else?

      Without change we’ll be broke in no time.

      Link to follow, David Murray saying we WILL be like Greece if we don’t change.

      Let’s not forget, the opposition are politicians too.

    • Ed Burke says:

      09:02am | 08/10/12

      GROBP if you believe your statement,you need some serious math re-education.

    • GROBP says:

      07:43am | 08/10/12

      Is Hockey in the opposition?

      He says we have to stop spending.

    • Rose says:

      08:26am | 08/10/12

      He might want to tell Abbott that, Abbott plans on spending money all over the shop, up to $75,000 in maternity leave payments for some (deserving supposedly) mum, billions on his direct action crap and the $4b spending as outlined in this piece.

    • GROBP says:

      08:50am | 08/10/12

      Couldn’t agree more Rose.

      That’s however what the entitled electorate is demanding.

      We all need to stop spending, stop populating Australia and start producing. Anything else and the quality of future generations’ lives will be nothing like what we’ve taken for granted and destroyed.

    • Achmed says:

      03:17pm | 08/10/12

      And Abbott just found another $5 million for CCTV cameras in atempt to “cash in” on the emotions of the community over the tragic rape/murder in Melbourne.

    • forrest says:

      07:43am | 08/10/12

      the funniest thing ever is Swan gloating about interest rates dropping when the RBA did it to keep the economy out of a threatening recession! Go figure how adult is our current bunch of leaders Swan, Emerson, Roxon and Conroy!

    • Freeman says:

      07:44am | 08/10/12

      “The bijou budget surplus of $1.5 billion is at risk because of falling tax revenue”

      Absolute crap. The surplus was always based on super optimistic treasury figures and the bringing forward of spending to last finacial year. falling comodity prices were no surprise to anyone.

    • Achmed says:

      08:12am | 08/10/12

      According to Abbott the Aust economy is effectively a basket case but still retains its triple A rating.  If its the basketcase that Abbott and his sycophant supporters keep telling the public how can he afford to be making so many spending promises?
      Is he counting on the 2% tax increase for business to pay for maternity leave to produce more than he needs to pay the equivalent of $150,000 per year?
      he will do away with the carbon “tax”.  But from somewhere in the budget he will find upwards of over $2billion of taxpayer money to give to the polluters.  He will also find the multi-millions to purchase land to plant his trees as part of his carbon plan.  Then find he money to buy the trees (been to a nursery lately) and pay for them to be planted watered and maintained.  Remembering he has reduced income by doing away with the CT and the MRRT.
      Where will all this money come from?  Well we can forget the tax cuts we got this year, they will also be repealled.  Unemployment will increase as he axes Govt Depts staff.  So your (and mine) waiting time for things like passports, tax returns etc will increase and be delayed.

      I look forward to his election budget.  Lets see if he has the fortitude and courage to use the Election Budget Review system John Howard put in place or will he hide behind the dodgy figures from a Liberla suporter accountancy firm? - again

    • earl says:

      08:31am | 08/10/12

      Did you realise the carbon tax compensation leaves the government 5 billion in the RED, after the tax is collected?

    • Stephen T says:

      11:22am | 08/10/12

      @Achmed: I earn a modest wage below the average and my wife does not work, although incapable of attaining employment she does not meet the new requirements to qualify for a spousal deduction with taxation.  So while the tax free threshold may have been raised to compensate for effects the Carbon Tax in my case the government has clawed it back with interest, rounded to the nearest dollar I’m 25 dollars a week worse off under the new system.  Swann and Gillard by association have been particularly dishonest in the manner in which they have managed this travesty of a policy; they are scrambling to cover their backsides and I for one to not wish them well.

    • Achmed says:

      01:11pm | 08/10/12

      @earl and Stephen T…Why ignore Abbott’s Direct Action Carbon Plan?

      Indefensible?  Easier to criticise the current system than to question the validity of Abbotts proposal?  Are you among the unthinking/unquestioning mass who will vote for Abbott based solely on the one line “repeal the tax”????

    • Stephen T says:

      01:30pm | 08/10/12

      @Achmed: No I’m one of the disenfranchised and will vote for the Liberal Party because I have no faith in the Labor Party or any officials therein.  At the present time I would rather pin my hopes in the unknown than risk my future to the proven incompetence that I see in the government, truly if I managed my household budget or conducted a business the way that Labor is managing the Australian economy I would either be bankrupt or answering to the ACCC.

    • Stephen T says:

      03:22pm | 08/10/12

      @Achmed: One last thing just in case you have been misinformed Gillards Carbon Tax is based on Arthur C. Pigou’s original [ Pigovian] model, sadly it’s a bastardised implementation as the original did not provide compensation for the offending producers.  Based on the results of the European implementation the Gillard Carbon tax will do very little to mitigate the effects of pollution in the atmosphere, it will however have a significant cost for people at the bottom end of the food chain.  The EU acted early, opening its scheme in 2005. However since then the scheme has failed to deliver a price effective in stimulating low carbon investment. In fact the scheme has delivered windfalls to power generators, steel and cement companies that were allocated emission permits for free. It has been beset by problems such as stolen permits, reselling of offsets which should have been retired from use once submitted, now we are going to be linked to this market.  Direct action is based on practical engineering solutions such as carbon capture and storage unlike Gillards Carbon Tax Direct action has a proven history of success, the   Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says CCS could contribute between 10% and 55% of the cumulative worldwide carbon-mitigation effort over the next 90 years. Norway, which first began storing CO2, has cut its emissions by almost a million tons a year, or about 3% of the country’s 1990 levels.  As of late 2011, the total CO2 storage capacity of all 14 projects in operation or under construction is over 33 million tonnes a year. This is broadly equivalent to preventing the emissions from more than six million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.  Now I leave you with the question,  if you were serious about climate change what course of action would you undertake?

    • earl says:

      03:37pm | 08/10/12

      Did you address the question regarding the fact that he has REDUCED the deficit by stopping the compensation for the carbon tax by MORE than the amount he would spend on direct action?

    • Achmed says:

      03:41pm | 08/10/12

      @Stephen T….Its a shame you have adopted that view.  The Labor Party and I fell out in WA when the Gallop contacted my employer to tell me to stop e-mailing and making comment through the media about what I believed was a betrayal of Labor promises.
      But I wont sit back and not question what Abbott’s claims.

    • Stephen T says:

      04:21pm | 08/10/12

      @Achmed:  Questioning does not help a lot I’m afraid ,and to be truthfull I take nothing at face value. Still I am aware of the alternatives though and I do see some of the things that he proposes as being better for Australia, the world and environment than what we currently have in place.

    • Achmed says:

      04:36pm | 08/10/12

      @Stephen T Abbott repeals the carbon “tax”. 
      How will he ensure the price rises attributed to the CT are removed?  How will he seperate price rises that are normal increased business costs from the CT rise?
      How much taxpayer money out of the budget will he give the polluters?
      How will he police the spending of that money ensuring its not just added to the prifit bottom line or CEO bonus?  How much will it cost to oversee the proper spending of taxpayer money?  Lets remember what happens when businesses are not watched closely when they have access to taxpayer money - they steal and rort -Pink Batts and BER.
      How much is the land he needs (the same area as Tasmania) going to cost to purchase?
      Is it land that is now growing our food crops?  Is it land that even Mother Nature gave up trying to grow trees on?
      How much is it going to cost to buy the trees?  (Been to a nursery lately)
      How much to plant, water and maintain?
      How much to pay compensation to polluters who have purchased carbon credits?
      What will happen to the tax cuts?
      Just a few questions I would want to see addressed before I voted for Abbott.

    • Stephen T says:

      06:03pm | 08/10/12

      Achmed, that would need to be worked out. Considering what we have at the present though direct action is an improvement.  Truly the ETS does not work, all that it offer is a windfall opportunity for banks and brokers, that is my biggest objection to it.  Have a good night.

    • fedup labourvoter says:

      08:18am | 08/10/12

      Yes the economy is going great, despite the banks shedding thousands of jobs, the Federal govt and state govts shedding thousands of PS jobs, the retail sector is booming with thousands of shops closing and shedding thousands of staff, manufacturing is booming with closures, yes the glass may not be quite half full, more like 1/3 full.  And of course the labour and greens despised MINING Sector is still keeping the country afloat despite all their efforts to shut it down.  Labour heavily criticised the two speed economy under Howard years, but yet they have done nothing positive to change this, only shut down sectors.  We will not see the true effects of labours anti mining policies for another 10 years, when the lack of investment decisions now will be a depressed sector then, and labour will just say it’s somebody elses problem in 10 years time.

    • GROBP says:

      08:33am | 08/10/12

      I don’t think I’ve ever yet said anything positive about Labor, but the mining collapse is not their fault.

      It’s a simple cycle. Other (far cheaper) mines throughout the world are supplying at a lesser rate. AND the demand has declined.

      Labor did plenty, plenty, plenty wrong but they didn’t kill the mining boom.

    • fedup labourvoter says:

      09:10am | 08/10/12

      GROBP, I didn’s say labour killed the mining boom, my comments say that mining is keeping the country going. and you are correct to suggest that there are many other factors, like the high cost of our labour, the high dollar.  But don’t forget, the mining sector is reviewing many investments today - in response to govt policies and the dollar and labour costs, investments like the BHP Olympic dam, and there will be others. The RBA have said, there are 20 years of forward contracts in the mining sector, but what I am saying is in 10 years time there needs to be newer investments to come on stream, but there won’t, or fewer than what would be needed to keep the mining sector going beyond 20 years. It takes the mining industry a number of years to explore and build the infrastructure for newer mines, these are what labour and the greens are trying to stop now.

    • GROBP says:

      09:27am | 08/10/12

      @fedup labourvoter

      I think commodities will be sourced from anywhere but Australia. There was a boom, China et al sourced there stuff from anywhere that could supply their insatiable appetite. That appetite has waned and will now be supplied from places at a tenth the price. As a result, Australia will go broke just like Greece and every other western country that thought globalising with countries earning a tenth what we do was a good idea.

      Now the whole world is “emerging”, every commodity we used to get for next to nothing will sky rocket. Food will triple over the next ten years and our wages will halve. We’ve sold a lot of farm land to foreigners, at the same time yields are declining every year. We’re are in big trouble and continue to populate an over populated and broke country.

      This is not an economy that should be talked up by any politician.

    • Borderer says:

      09:39am | 08/10/12

      Not exactly correct, soveriegn risk has made investment a problem, their backflipping on the introduction of taxes (mining and carbon) and tax cutting (1% company tax) has caused great concern. Why would you invest here on a greatly reduced ROI when you can do that elsewhere? Why did the investment planned in mines suddenly pull out when the taxes were introduced? Co-incidence? Did the investment planners at BHP get their long term forecasts wrong or was a big new tax on the mining sector introduced by a government who’s written promises aren’t worth anything the real issue? I didn’t see an article about the BHP investment planners being laid off but I did see one about the chairman of BHP saying in London that it was too expensive to mine in Australia. Economic down turns, currency values and commodity prices are short term issues, mine expansions and mine development are long term ones.
      Don’t forget the mining super tax is a 15% hit on profit but it is a 21.4% hit on ROI. Basically kills investment in new mines unless there is a significantly lower cost in mining in Australia compared to the rest of the world.

    • GROBP says:

      09:58am | 08/10/12


      I agree the tax wasn’t a good thing, however in the position we find ourselves (broke), I don’t know what else governments can do (except for the obvious, reduce welfare, stop populating). It would have been far better if the mining companies were all Australian owned (which they’re not) and all workers Australian. Then we are transferring wealth to Australia as opposed to what we normally do transfer wealth from Australia. This obviously can’t go on and it’s crunch time now.

      The baltic dry index indicated a commodity correction long ago. They are simply using less. Sovereign risk is a huge aspect I agree (been burned a couple of times myself with small African mines), but the premium being paid in Australia was simply unsustainable. We thought we were a lot better than we were, something people still refuse to see, and something we just don’t seem to learn well.

      The market is about to teach us some unbelievably harsh lessons. We’ve given away all our advantages and will now be brought in to line with lifestyles more like emerging countries. Even that’s hard to see given so few of us actually work.

    • BMJ says:

      08:29am | 08/10/12

      Australia is truly the lucky country. Without the mines we would be in a muddle.

    • Kathy says:

      08:30am | 08/10/12

      Abbott has just become completely irrelevant. This is the man who will lose two elections on the trot. 4 years down the tube for the Liberals. Couldnt happen to a better bunch of losers.

    • Rosie says:

      09:04am | 08/10/12


      Abbott ‘irrelevant’ how you wish! Ask Wayne Swan; “how is the borrowed hard cash treasury bonds going?

      It is a wonder “Even the Opposition reckons the economy will be OK.” The Treasurer is preaching that we must not talk the economy down because we are doing very well, fairing much better than Greece, low interests etc but forgetting to tell the public that it is all on Borrowed Money - a problem that any incoming Govt will have to deal with. LNP have done it before and will do it again ie pay off Labor debt!

      Good equation for you and others that refuse to open their eyes to what this Govt is up to.

      debt+debt+austerity does not = Growth!

    • Kathy says:

      11:42am | 08/10/12

      Rosie we all know you work for the Liberal Party hunni so why do you bother to come on here trying to pass yourself off as a concerned citizen?

    • Davina says:

      12:34pm | 08/10/12


      How about responding to what Rosie’s asking in her first paragraph?

      ‘Ask Wayne Swan; “how is the borrowed hard cash treasury bonds going’?

      While you’re at it also ask him how much fun he is having spending borrowed money without worrying about Australian taxpayers having to pay it back when he isn’t the Federal Treasurer any longer!?

    • Kathy says:

      02:35pm | 08/10/12

      Davina hunni what role do you play at Liberal HQ? Mailroom perchance?

    • C says:

      08:51am | 08/10/12

      Oh yes, the economy is in great shape - perhaps. Looked at state debt lately? Looked at the way services are being cut back? Seen your latest electricity bill?  I don’t own a car but I imagine prices have risen there too.
      Oh and the cost of employing people keeps rising so businesses are closing and going off-shore where the labour is cheaper, the regulations are less and the unions do not have the rights to over-ride the employers at every turn.
      Oh and we didn;t actually borrow any money did we? The government didn’t give any hand outs or waste billions on things like the BER, pink batts etc. All that is a mirage.
      And the bankers saying that things are not good and that we need to be aware of the end of the mining boom…well, that’s not going to happen because our buddy China is going to want what we dig out of the ground for years yet - oh and a bit of the ground as well.
      Mmm yes, the economy is in really good shape.We have nothing to worry about. Labor will be around for another couple of generations…
      It’s a nightmare! Someone wake me up please!

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:58am | 08/10/12

      If Abbott’s so concerned about the high taxes we pay, as you suggested, then why worry about the carbon tax, why not get rid of the GST that Howard brought to us. What a winner that is for them. They won an election running with that, Hewson lost on on it and they said that getting rid of 3 taxes and making one 10 percent GST was going to be better.

      Well, it’s not better and never will be as the taxes they got rid of weren’t put on services before were they?. Now, everything we buy, everything that provides a type of service is taxed with GST and we haven’t got the money to pay for it all although it is a boom for the States and the Federalis. This insidious tax has been responsible for a massive increase in the cost of living for us all and that is, us all. They don’t miss anyone with it. It is the biggest scam and blight that we have ever had placed on us and can not be removed, how convenient for them. This country can never go broke while they have GST, so as Joh said, ” Don’t you worry about that.”

      Now, rather than going on about the Carbon Tax and how bad that is for us, he would be better saying I will get rid of the GST if elected and friends and foes out there, that would be the best political move any prospective Government could make for the people of this country. We never bring it up on here do we, it’s always the carbon tax which fades into insignificance in regard to GST which is sending everyone down the financial gurgler but has been great in filling the coffers of the Governments Corporation.

    • Rose says:

      09:42am | 08/10/12

      If Abbott was concerned about tax he wouldn’t be planning a brand new one to finance an exorbitant and unnecessary maternity leave scheme. A scheme that sees some babies worth $75,000 and others worth less than the minimum wage, with the bulk of the money going to those who need it the least.

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      10:02am | 08/10/12

      Rose, you are foolish. The first principle of free market capitalism make very clear that, for the market to operate effectively, there needs to be “incentive”.

      That means that the rich always need the incentive of more money; while conversely, the poor always need the incentive of greater poverty and more hardship so that they will strive even harder to make something of themselves. Giving the poor Government hand-outs only robs them of their dignity and creates a welfare “entitlement” mentality.

      It’s all perfectly simple.

    • Richard says:

      10:24am | 08/10/12

      @youdy beady: its because the GST is the most efficient tax we’ve got, and harms economic growth far less than any other type of tax. Income tax terribly retards economic growth, as does things like payroll tax. The absolute worst retarder of economic growth, though, is the Carbon Tax, for reasons I’ve articulated at length many many times here on this site already, over a good number of years.

    • Rose says:

      10:46am | 08/10/12

      My mistake Reg, i thought it was all about rewarding the good people while making sure the bad people suffer. Thankyou for correcting me. Of course it’s all about incentives!!

    • Reg Whiteman says:

      11:47am | 08/10/12

      @ Rose. That’s right - and you can always tell the “good” people from the “bad” people by the number of black numerals on their bank statements. It’s all part of God’s plan to reward those deserving a life of riches and ease; and punishing those who do not.

      There are, of course, the “deserving poor” and the “undeserving poor”. Our problem, as a nation, is that we give far too many benefits to the “undeserving poor” while not giving enough to the “deserving poor” like me.

      At least the USA has it right and gave a trillion or more to the deserving poor on Wall Street and Detroit while, rightly, mostly ignoring the collapsing public infrastructure that is only used by the undeserving poor anyway.

      It is all about checks and balances and a fair distribution of national wealth.

    • Tator says:

      01:08pm | 08/10/12

      so you prefer a scheme which disadvantages the 60% of the female workforce who earn between the minimum wage and the Australian Average income by reducing their income to the minimum wage whilst on maternity leave.  Politics of envy gets people no where.  In the mean time, those with paid maternity leave in their contracts or enterprise agreements get to keep it, enhancing the unfairness of such a policy whilst Abbott’s would ensure that the females who are in that 60% get to maintain their income levels whilst on parental leave which they have worked hard at attaining and removing that additional level of discrimination that you prefer.

    • Rose says:

      02:37pm | 08/10/12

      No Tator, I believe in a welfare system that is only ever designed to provide a safety net for those in need, not one that provides lifestyle choices for those who already have what they need. John Howard did this nation a great disservice when he created this middle class entitlement attitude. That he did while at the same time demonizing those who are in need is unforgivable.

    • JamesP says:

      02:56pm | 08/10/12


      John Howard had budget surpluses? A sign that under his government the economy was doing fine and a productivity was good. His treasurer Peter Costello didn’t have to fudge the books to acquire those budget surpluses.

      Swan’s hand outs is done by borrowing and putting the country into debt.

    • AdamC says:

      10:21am | 08/10/12

      It is weird that, for all the rhetoric about infrastructure, can anyone name any ‘hard’ infrastructure (roads, rail, air and sea ports) that it has built, initiated or funded? There is the NBN and some investments in ‘soft’ infrastructure (mainly the school hall stuff) but that seems to be it.

      As to the Australian economy more broadly, I agree that, while it will not be as lavish as it could have been, the resource investment boom is still happening and will result in greater capacity and production in the resources sector in future. That will have some positive impacts in terms of employment and government revenue, but it will make the economy more volatile due to the shifts in commodity prices. (Miners are, ultimately, price takers.)

      However, most people’s livlihoods depend on the domestic service economy, which is where government policy should be focussed. It is in these areas where productivity growth has lagged. In the US, believe it or not, the retail sector has been the main driver of productivity growth for some years. The government needs to focus on reforms that will improve the performance of areas like retail and construction that compose most of Australia’s economic output.

    • off centre says:

      01:06pm | 08/10/12

      Is it any wonder how the emerging economies have become so rich so quickly?? It is because all the wealth has been drained off from the western countries! If you don’t believe me, just look at where manufacturing and jobs are going (leaving this country behind).

      It’s no use voting Labor out next year - the damage has already been done by this and previous governments. What you’re looking at are tough times ahead. But looking at the state of Australian society and the calibre of our politicians, I must say, we really do deserve what’s coming.


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