Freak show? At least Barnaby didn’t blow the budget
Well what can I say about the first parliamentary week as shadow finance minister?
Tony wanted a speech and I delivered it at the Press Club. It would not have mattered if the speech had categorically disproved the theory of relativity, the issue would be the slip and when the question came where I had to, on my feet and in my head, quickly add up Labor party expenditure via MYEFO for the next four years, I said billion when I should have said trillion.
In that split second my head said trillion my heart said you have got to be joking that is enormous. My head was right but the result is for all to see on YouTube.
Now I sit back on the weekend and see it reported that I am a “bearded lady”, a “freak show”, “dead set dud”, a ticking bomb and part of some new Bjelke-Petersen plot.
Not a bad result after one week. Slightly premature in the judgement made, but that is politics and I will take it on the chin.
Why the attention? Well, because debt is out of control and if you want to see where it all ends up then cast your eye to Greece, Portugal, Spain, Iceland and the stresses that are on the US and England.
If we do not get the show under control and stop the trajectory of debt we are on then the money that we presume will be there for items of public expenditure such as health, defence, education, public broadcasters and roads will not be there. All the protestation in car parks will not balance the books. We can not keep going overseas and borrowing money to balance up our stuff-up.
To balance the books we have to either increase taxes, decrease costs or increase productivity. The Labor government will only discuss productivity because they are scared or evasive about the first two because it requires hard decisions. The results are there for all to see, their gross federal debt is beyond 120 billion and racing up, deficits march off into the future, and if the worse happened and the sovereign debt risk overseas brought a double dip recession, where would the money come from this time?
Where the Labor government could make savings in such as the $21 billion remainder of the unspent stimulus, they refuse to. Where any saving is suggested it is ridiculed. Their solution seems to be that divine providence will spare us at some magical point years away. No country ever had a big financial problem that did not start with a manageable one but Labor lacks the conviction to manage it.
In closing I would like to point to just one example of what happens when governments start running out of money because they have been profligate. In NSW the Dalwood Assessment Centre, Seaforth, and Palm Avenue School helped kids from the country with learning difficulties but this is being closed and sold off, basically a land grab for a government that is going bust. Years of providence and goodness is being closed because of the government’s bad financial management.
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