Peter Martin: the Treasurer’s go-to man

In what is reported as an EXCLUSIVE in today’s The Age, Peter Martin has the following story:

THE Coalition’s tax policies will cost Australian businesses  $4.57 billion  in their first full year of operation, according to the  Commonwealth  Treasury.

Prepared as Treasury attempts to come to grips with a suite of Coalition  policies yet to be announced, the analysis includes only those to which it has  publicly committed.    Excluded are policies with a negative but uncertain  impact on business, such as winding back the recent increase in the employee  tax-free threshold from $6000 to $18,200.

The three policies identified by Treasury are the Coalition’s commitment to  impose a 1.5 per cent tax levy on big firms to fund paid parental leave, its  decision to axe instant asset writeoff and other tax breaks for small business  funded from the carbon tax, and its decision to axe the ability for businesses  to “carry back” losses and obtain refunds for tax already paid funded from the  mining tax.

The analysis excludes the benefit to some businesses from axing the carbon  and mining taxes.

Treasury finds that businesses would lose $4.57 billion in the first full  year the Coalition’s three commitments were operational, accumulating to $17.2  billion over four years.

Its calculations suggest manufacturers would pay an extra $1.34 billion a  year, retailers an extra $930 million and the construction sector an extra $860  million a  year.

Although business as a whole would benefit from the Coalition’s policies  because of the removal of the $6.6 billion a year carbon tax and the $2 billion  a year mining tax, the analysis suggests that outside of the few big companies  paying those taxes the rest of Australian businesses would suffer.

There is one very truthful aspect to this piece written by Martin – the exclusive bit.

It has been pretty obvious for some time that Peter Martin is being used as the Treasurer’s go-to man by providing leaks in exchange for favourable coverage of the government’s line.  I guess it has always been thus with selected journalists, but has it ever been SO OBVIOUS?  There was further evidence of this lovely little loop in the period leading up to MYEFO.

But the real point I want to make is this:

WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?

There is no sense in which this is legitimate activity for public servants to undertake.  And were a government minister to ask for such analysis, the appropriate action of the public servants would be respectfully to decline the request.

I am absolutely amazed that Peter Martin can’t see this.

(Governments will typically try to get around this principle by feigning consideration of Coalition policies.  In these cases, there could be no such pretence as they involve direct reversals of recently enacted government policies and the rejection of the Coalition’s proposed parental leave scheme.)

And when it comes to Treasury’s reputation in this field, can I remind you of the hilarious inaccuracy of the PEFO – yes, it was expected that the 2011-12 Budget cash balance would come in around the $10 billion mark when the actual outcome was over $40 billion.  I ask you: who do you trust?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Peter Martin: the Treasurer’s go-to man

  1. Rabz

    WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?

    Given the world beating incompetence of treasury, you may as well ask the nearest dog, parrot or monkey to cost the policies.

    The subsequent analysis would be no less accurate.

  2. Cranto

    Let’s see what WHK Horwath reckon these policies will cost

  3. I wouldn’t trust anyone these days, Judith. Despite Sinclairs belief that these government employees are just doing their job, the partisanship is way too extreme.
    AbbottAbbottAbbott needs to cull the PS benches severely when he gets in.

  4. .

    Come on. Paid parental leave is just lowest common denominator socialism for marginal electorates.

    Hopefully Abbot won’t be able to afford it.

  5. Econocrat

    You are forgetting that the Parliamentary Budget Office now costs non-government policies. Treasury has no place in it.

    I suspect Martin Parkinson has got the Ken Henry Disease, and will be ‘quarantined’ after the next election.

  6. “AbbottAbbottAbbott needs to cull the PS benches severely when he gets in.”

    Why do you think they want Turnbull as leader? Because he would leave the public service untouched. Just imagine being in government with your entire workforce whiteanting you from day 1. Abbott MUSTweed out the PS, identifying any Labor moles for expulsion. Australia deserves it. Australia needs it.

  7. Des Deskperson

    ‘the appropriate action of the public servants would be respectfully to decline the request.’

    I think it important to understand, in all this, that your average Senior Executive Service employee in Treasury is an ecomomics wonk with no management, corporate or supervisory experience or responsibility and even if he – it’s usually a he – has any interest in or understanding of the ethical framework within which the APS operates, probably considers it secondary to demonstrating his own cleverness.

  8. Judith Sloan

    These estimates were done by Treasury not the PBO, I understand.

  9. Bruce

    Lets roll the tape:

    (26 July 2012) Earlier reports said the Treasury had prepared costings for at least a dozen Greens’ initiatives, but had refused to release the reports on the basis that they had been considered by Cabinet and were therefore part of the “deliberative process” and exempt from public release.

    OK so Treasury and the Government won’t release inconvenient numbers on Greens’ silly policies because of the fig leaf excuse. Peter Martin conspicuously writes no articles on leaked Treasury costings of Greens’ policies.

    (27 Aug 2010) During the election campaign, Mr Abbott said Treasury could not be trusted because of a leak to the Herald. The Coalition ignored the Charter of Budget Honesty and had its costings done by an independent accounting firm.

    So Treasury is now leaking costings of Coalition policies despite clear direction from the Opposition leader that they do not want nor trust costings by Treasury.

    I’d say that proves Treasury is politicised top to bottom, starting with ex-Climate Change Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson.

    Our ABC, the Dept of Climate Change & Energy Inefficiency, the infallible Treasury, blimey, the possible budget savings in a Coalition Federal Government are adding up higher and higher with every day.

  10. James Bauer

    Abbott is an anti-business clown. Our company tax is already one of the highest in the world and he wants to slog business with more tax? Is he out of his mind? I would expect this maybe of the Greens but a Liberal?

    Tony Abbott is a socialist through and through. He won’t even commit to rolling back the Fair Work Act.

    What a sad man.

  11. .

    Who in the Liberals could possibly replace him?

    Don’t say Turnbull.

    I know the LNP is highly suspect. They rolled the highly eminent John Humphreys (PBUH) from pre-selection and put in a fat uni student chick with no interest in the campaign whatsoever.

    The LNP are surrender monkeys to socialism.

  12. Luke

    My experience in government is that just over half the public service is eager to drink the cool aid whenever Labor is in government (although there is a percentage of those who are eager to drink no matter who is in government).

    Honestly the change in QLD has been sickening. Oh so many public servants who all of a sudden are all for new heights of accountability, transparency and genuine best practices. But when it was Labor in control it was all “see no errors, hear no lies, tell no inconvenient truths”.

  13. m0nty

    Who do I trust? Not Hockey and Robb with their $70 billion black hole, shamefully lied about at the last election. The more that the Libs’ policies are scrutinised, the less trustworthy they look.

  14. H B Bear

    Treasury just continues its long slide that accelerated under the Wombat Whisperer.

    They surrendered any expectation of being regarded as impartial or credible years ago. The Goose is probably the only person in Australia who believes that today – and he is a moron.

    Martin should have his desk cleared within 24 hours of the Coalition election win.

  15. H B Bear

    Ah Monty – the Treasury $70bn black hole. As elusive as a Labor surplus.

  16. Econocrat

    Martin should have his desk cleared within 24 hours of the Coalition election win.

    Agreed: and a few lowlights of the SES such as Rob Heferen and the former corporate services guy, Barry Sterland, who is now unbelievably been appointed Executive Director (International). Australia’s international economic presence run by a career public servant with project management skills. FFS!

  17. Monty @10:28am

    Who do I trust?

    The people Warren Mundine doesn’t…

  18. Gab

    THE Coalition’s tax policies will cost Australian businesses $4.57 billion in their first full year of operation, according to the Commonwealth Treasury.

    …and in the same breath these chuckleheads tell us Labor will have a budget surplus. Hilarious.

  19. Sleetmute

    I completely agree – I was wondeirng what Treasury was doing costing Coalition policies 12 months before any chance of them being implemented. Clearly Treasury staff can see the writing on the wall and know they will be gutted if the Coalition wins. I would frankly sack three-quarters of them and handpick some key externals such as Sinc, Ergas and Moran to recruit a new generation of people who understand that government fails 100 times more than markets fail.

    I especially find this bit interesting:

    Although business as a whole would benefit from the Coalition’s policies because of the removal of the $6.6 billion a year carbon tax and the $2 billion a year mining tax, the analysis suggests that outside of the few big companies paying those taxes the rest of Australian businesses would suffer.

    How about mentioning that only businesses with taxable income over $5m would pay the 1.5% levy for the paid parental leave policy? So small business may not ‘suffer’ as much as Martin suggests.

  20. Sleetmute

    Oh, and of course, Sloan, and I would add Kirchner to the RBA board.

  21. Token

    WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?

    Good question. Sounds to me like the department is spending more time on this task then trying to avoid $20 BILLION ERRORS and cocking up new taxes like the mining tax.

  22. chrism

    when we were teenagers at the beach at Port Elliot SA in the early 70′s, Peter was a dedicated Labor supporter – nothing has changed

  23. Econocrat

    I would frankly sack three-quarters of them and handpick some key externals such as Sinc, Ergas and Moran to recruit a new generation of people who understand that government fails 100 times more than markets fail.

    I would gut them of their functions first. Treasury parasites will not go away just because they cannot perform their functions. They will stay and run dead on any new agenda they don’t like.

    Start a Department of Commerce (or something) and locate them in, say, Sydney or Melbourne CBD, then transfer the Markets Group and Revenue Group functions to that. Appoint private sector types to run it and (guess what) no Treasury types are likely to either relocate, or be successful getting a gig. They will f-off to FaHCSIA.

    Macro Group (International side) should be sent to DFAT. And Fiscal should be rolled into Department of Finance.

    Leave “Treasury” with the receiver of public monies, notes and coinage, and debt issuance functions.

  24. Septimus

    Abbott MUST weed out the PS, identifying any Labor moles for expulsion. Australia deserves it. Australia needs it.

    I know, i’m laboring (sic) the point, but:

    O’Farrell MUST weed out the NSW PS, identifying any Labor moles for expulsion. NSW deserves it. NSW needs it.

    Repeat for all other States where Labor has previously been in government.

    Most recent example of the need? 37 errors each exceeding $20M in NSW Agencies 2011-12 financial statements, resulting in public embarrassment for the NSW Treasurer over the Government’s cost reduction budget strategies.

  25. Sleetmute

    Sounds like a plan Econocrat. And leaving Hockey in charge of those remaining functions would probably limit the harm he could do. Sinodinos could run the Markets and Revenue Groups.

  26. O’Farrell wouldn’t clear the enemy from his rear. He is now paying the price in the destabilising of his offensive effort.
    It’s a tactic the Soviets perfected in WW2, and they haven’t forgotten it.

  27. Uber

    Yet it can’t be denied Judith, that the Coalition intends to increase the tax burden on business, in what can only be considered radical, grasping tax policies.
    When will increases in taxation end? Will it only be when the combination of state and federal taxes exceeds 100% of earnings? How often has the socialist payroll tax alone sent a struggling business to the wall?
    Perhaps all we really want for Christmas is a whole lot less public spending.

  28. .

    Who do I trust? Not Hockey and Robb with their $70 billion black hole, shamefully lied about at the last election. The more that the Libs’ policies are scrutinised, the less trustworthy they look.

    What a gee up.

    The Liberals delivered consistent surpluses and probably didn’t cut taxes enough. The ALP have not delivered a budget surplus since…

  29. jumok

    I understand that government spending today is around $100 billion more per annum than it was in 2007. Taking into account inflation you would expect that a conservative government would be able to find significant savings in this steep increase. Hopefully that will be enough to start reducing government debt without increasing any taxes.

  30. Trevor

    There is no sense in which this is legitimate activity for public servants to undertake. And were a government minister to ask for such analysis, the appropriate action of the public servants would be respectfully to decline the request.

    I am absolutely amazed that Peter Martin can’t see this.

    Er, I want to know what I and other taxpayers are up for if I vote for the Coalition; don’t you? I can’t believe that you have a problem with this Judith. I first started worrying about the coalition when Hockey did not release his costings to Treasury for analysis in the lead up to the last election. They might have got my vote otherwise. Purely because of that, my vote went to the guys who did subject their promises to scrutiny, even thought I am not a traditional Labor supporter by any long shot.

    Give me a reason to vote for you, Liberals. Put out some real policy, cost it (with Treasury), and let me judge, FFS! I’m going to have to go Green this time, otherwise, because voting for Labor twice in a row is too much.

  31. Michelle

    No excuse now for the Treasury not to release the costings done earlier for the Greens. Come on leaker. Be a pal. Give us a gander at the figures you did legit for the Greens.

  32. Paul

    Treasury is costing unannounced policies of the Party who isn’t in Government. Hilarious to the point of criminal.

  33. Pete

    Our public service needs a real going over. From the socialist loony left in charge of educating our young,(and brainwashing our journalists) to the many that have much to loose if the problems for Aboriginals ever really got solved, to treasury and the ABC and SBS and on and on etc. They are the real problem,(they spawn under labor) and as this government gets closer to the election, I suspect we are going to be treated to a grand show. Australia is on the edge of a left wing abyss, and this time , so close to killing our democracy, they are either going to win or go down screeming their vile untruths and hatred. This is so important, for our nations sake we must get these taxpayer funded left wing activist back in line. They can agitate with their own money….not ours.

  34. alan

    since when has anyone in treasury got something right. just look a swan’s magical disappearing surplus. given the number of economists and mathamaticians employed, but obviously underworked, and they still can’t get a simple budget right

  35. James Bauer

    There’s a load of talent in the Liberal Party, although not enough on the front bench (get ancient has-beens like Bishop out of there).

    There’s Cory Bernardi, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Steven Ciobo, Andrew Robb, Alex Hawke…any of whom I would absolutely love to be Prime Minister. Especially Ciobo.

    Just axe the big-government phony Tony Abbott, tell Malcolm he has to reaffirm his ideological values or be kicked from the Liberal Party, then demote anyone from the front bench who does not have genuinely reformist attitudes.

  36. MaggieM

    Why doesn’t Peter Margin give us a costing of what this Government has already spent – not what the next Government may spend.

  37. Daremo

    Are you surprised, really? I am not!

    The public service has always been Labor learning. I recall in 2006 (ish) when John Howard won the election, my director came to work on Monday very sad. When I asked what was wrong, she said, “I can’t believe he won”.

    That was my introduction to a fair and impartial public service.

  38. Brett t r

    The only relevant fact here is that all officers of the Commonwealth, as per the APS Code of Conduct, ‘must’ be apolitical.

    That the Secretary of the Treasury seems, and it does seem he as, allowed the gov of the day to obtain this non information is a reflection on the Secretary and his unfitness for office. He is a ALP hack period.

    As many above have noted, and Terry McRann has on so many occasions noted by way of factual examples past, Treasury’s record in modeling or predicting all things economic have been a joke, just appalling and the only way to stop a blatant abuse of the executive is to sack the Secretary when Abbott wins gov, which I’m not sure Hockey will do, I’m a conservative voter but in several portfolio areas I have no confidence the LNP gov will have the guts to take on issues like this, or the huge political behemoth the ABC has become, especially if Turnbull remains Minister. I’d set up a Parliamentary Secretary solely responsible for the ABC and remove it from Turnbull’s influence because serious terminations are required to restore ‘our’ ABC to what is has always meant to be, apolitical and delivering core business services only. Abbott for mine is so spooked not wanting to live up to the luv media narrative of the extremist that I’m seriously doubtful he’ll have the guts to take head on or allow his Ministers the licence to really make change, but time will tell.

  39. Samuel J

    There is a systematic bias against any public servant who has conservative leanings. During ALP governments, they are actively discriminated against while those who align themselves to the ALP government get rocketed ahead.

    During Coalition governments, the ALP-aligned public servants suck up and keep the few conservative aligned public servants down. Coalition governments have proven time and time again to lack any partisanship, while ALP governments are highly partisan.

    So if you’re conservative and a public servant, you don’t get ahead very easily (or too far).

    Is it any wonder, then, that natural selection would lead to an ALP-dominated public service?

    If an Abbott government wants to address this systematic bias, it must ruthlessly be partisan and appoint people who sympathise to infiltrate – not just the secretary level. There needs to be an entire clan of conservative leaning public servants.

    But I fear that, like John Howard, an Abbott government will baulk at the opportunity and the ALP-aligned public servants will continue to call the shots in the public service (remember that the Secretary (CEO) is the ultimately authority for appointing public servants, not the minister, under the public service act).

  40. SteveC

    James Bauer at 3.55
    Cory Bernardi, seriously?
    That would be this Cory Bernardi?

    If we are prepared to redefine marriage … what is the next step?”

    ”The next step … is having three people that love each other should be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people. There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/bestiality-enters-gay-wed-debate-20120918-264qn.html#ixzz2BKN6Ye1m

  41. Ian

    Yes the prejudice coming out of Treasury is a disgrace. Far from the days of a quiet corridor conversation, their bias bacame obvious when Gruen was responding to senate questions about the MRRT. Treasury indicated that haematite reserves (68% Fe) were sufficient for 50 years. In their policy support for the MRRT there was not the faintest acknowledgement of the fact that if you either doubled or halved the iron ore price than reserves were either the whole of the pilbara or nothing. There was no discussion of the new haematite ores in west africa or brazil and there was no discussion of the fact that RIO/BHP as global players with sufficiently large balance sheets could easily relocate their capital elsewhere. Instead all we got was this little quisling Gruen who could only see the combination of 40 years of fixed capital and high prices. It was such a stunning example of either blind economics and or deep bias. On top of that they either should have known or were being wilfully ignorant in the issue of royalties and their constitutional entanglement.

    No one should forget what deep treachery various treasury individuals have engaged in to the visible detriment of the australian economy. I say hang the little *********

  42. M Ryutin

    WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?
    You now know what. Treasury is now not a public service department (and never will be again), but an arm of the governing party. For the present that is the ALP. Treasury models have, for the whole term of this government, been predicated on ‘government policy’, whatever it happens to be from time to time, the assumptions of their models to be aligned to whatever the government is proposing. That is crystal clear from the pathetic (and wrong) forecasts the have produced. Why wouldn’t such a supine and kept department do whatever are the political wishes of the current government? No matter how far removed from its former and supposedly non-partisan position.

    The Public Service shall cease to exist as an independent advisory body and we as Australians will suffer for it with poor policy.

  43. Chris M

    If you make a comment (a mild, polite comment) on Peter Martins blog that is just mildly critical of Labor the post will be promptly deleted.

    Seems to be quite a few of this type about. Why can’t he manage to be apolitical about economic issues?

  44. davey street

    Pretty obvious why Treasury is telling lies this far out from the election about the Liberals. They are part of the Labor party and always have been because everyone who works there is required to be a member of the CPSU. It’s astonishing no one in the msm ever mentions this fact of life. That is why the Coalition always has it’s policies costed independently of Treasuries just prior to elections, state and federal.

  45. Treasury Officer

    Why does the cat keep bagging Treasury?I’m a Treasury officer (long-term) and have faithfully served the government of the day.Peter Costello used to give us costing exercises for policies that looked remarkably like Labor policies.If the Treasurer asks us to cost a policy then we do.No fear, no favour. We get it wrong too sometimes, but hey we don’t get to change our forecasts every day like the private sector.

    As for Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey – do you really think they want smaller goverment? I don’t. Wayne is a nice man and an excellent Treasurer, probably better than Peter Costello. But I have enjoyed working for both. At least the current government is interested in social spending. I don’t want a Tony Abbott government ripping out the heart of our social fabric. But if the Australian people vote for Abbott at the next election, I’ll keep working hard at Treasury to help stop Abbott from ripping out social spending.

  46. Dianne

    Isn’t the bigger issue here the corruption of the workforce?

    Perhaps it is time for a bit of a check & balance on the appointments that have been made to all sorts of sectors of the public service.

    I mean we have files going missing, we have abc leftist commentary rather than reporting on the news, we have suggestions about higher appointments the list goes on.

    What to do….

  47. m0nty

    WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?

    Someone should. The Coalition obviously isn’t up to the job. And they can’t hire accountants to fake the process any more, that wheeze has been rumbled.

  48. James Bauer

    Treasury is not telling lies. They are telling the truth about the Coalition’s anti-business, socialist policies.

    SteveC: Problem? I’m not a social conservative but it’s not like I care.

  49. 2dogs

    Whatever happened to the Parliamentary Budget Office, which was supposed to be part of the “new paradigm” of this parliament?

    I take it that it has been consigned to the same rubbish bin as the other new paradigm components, such as relevant ministers’ answers in question time.

  50. Interesting that the government is happy to talk about Treasury modeling of opposition policy, but never bothered releasing Treasury’s modeling of the government’s stimulus.

  51. .

    Someone should. The Coalition obviously isn’t up to the job. And they can’t hire accountants to fake the process any more, that wheeze has been rumbled.

    No monty you are lying.

    Senior hacks at Treasury are ruining the careers of their young charges at anywhere else but treasury itself with their dishonesty and dialled in incompetence.

  52. Samuel J

    Martin is being played like a fiddle

  53. wreckage

    The Coalition obviously isn’t up to the job.

    It’s just a matter of fact tat the Coalition are never worse than the ALP at basic accounting, economics, or numeracy. That’s because some of them – not all but some – have experience outside the gated community of party politics.

  54. .

    monty wants a mouth breathing retard like roxon to prepare budgets. FMD.

  55. benson

    Whatever happened to the Parliamentary Budget Office, which was supposed to be part of the “new paradigm” of this parliament?

    The PBO was a bad idea anyway – just another agency to accumulate more Labor sleeper agents.

  56. Sean McHugh

    This means that the Treasury can be added to the list of government agencies indulging in political activism for Labor. Apparently having almost all of the television media at their eager disposal is not enough.

  57. John A

    SteveC you said in reply to James Bauer at 3.55:

    Cory Bernardi, seriously?
    That would be this Cory Bernardi?
    If we are prepared to redefine marriage … what is the next step?”

    etc.

    You are being disingenuous in deliberately distorting Sen Bernardi’s argument, as well as playing the man instead of the ball in this thread.

    So GET REAL!

  58. m0nty

    It’s just a matter of fact tat the Coalition are never worse than the ALP at basic accounting, economics, or numeracy.

    The Coalition were demonstrably worse than the ALP at the last election. Lies like this are easily seen through. How is that promise that interest rates would always be lower under the Coalition going? Seems to me the cash rate has always been lower under Rudd/Gillard than under Howard, save for one blip in about 2002.

  59. Rabz

    How is that promise…

    … of a surplus going, you shameless laybore shill?

  60. JC

    Fat Boy

    The RBA sets interest rates. The government sets fiscal policy. Most normal, that is non-obese partisan hacks, would think that the level of debt over the past 5 years would have been materially less under a coalition government for reasons that are basically axiomatic. Therefore interest rates at the present time would have been lower and the exchange rate less (upward) pressured.

    As someone who failed first year economics, which is mostly though not all of course, an expansion of 12 year economics, I find it pretty amusing whenever you attempt to discuss matters economic… and get your fat arse kicked each time.

  61. JC

    Martin is being played like a fiddle

    I don’t think he gives a shit. In fact he’d be pretty happy seeing he’s the go to guy and gets the stories published.

    Also he’s a 3rd rate partisan hack so in his mind he’s doing the cause lots of good.

  62. m0nty

    JC, if you truly believe in the modern globalised financial system that Australian government borrowings have any actual effect on home loan interest rates, then it is you who is the economic illiterate. You have been sucked in by Costello’s lies just like every other fool.

    Australia is, of course, part of a global economy: neither the nation’s government nor its businesses are constrained to borrowing in the domestic economy. They meet their financing needs not just in the lap pool of Australian savings but in the ocean of world savings; and the impact of the government’s borrowing on global debt markets is near negligible. This is a principle well known in the United States, which has long since lost the fiscal fetishism that still holds Australians in the thrall of budget surpluses. Says the American journalist James Ledbetter: “Today the thesis that such measly sums [moderate budget deficits] could control or even significantly influence the overall economy will produce, at best, polite throat-clearing from the average American banker or businessperson.”

  63. JC

    Fat Boy

    Fiscal policy impacts interest rates and interest policy of the RBA. This is a given. It’s about as factual as you could get in something like economics.

    If we had materially less borrowing than the $250 billion or so that we’ve borrowed in the middle of an historic commodity boom there would be a propensity for lower rates.

    Look you horribly obese creature, for three years now banks have had experienced funding pressures on their balance sheets which has been seen through their reluctance to match interest rate falls. If there wasn’t that 250 billion leviathan looking to borrow $100 million each day, their net interest margins (cost of funds) would be healthier and therefore rates they lend out at would be lower. The exchange rate would also have been less pressured.

    And by the way, dickhead, “the ocean of world funding”, as that stupid piece of yours described it, had a massive shock as a result of the European crisis causing global markets to hunker down. Yes there is money we can borrow in the global markets, but domestic funds would be cheaper. Check out which part of banks balance sheets are the cheapest form of funding for the Australian banks… Banks deposits or going out and raising money through global credit markets as Greece or Spain is about to keel over? Take a guess which fat boy.

    You really need to stop talking about this stuff because you’re fucking absolutely awful at it. It’s like hearing chalk screeching on a fucking blackboard, you fat oaf.

  64. alan

    JC

    6 Nov 12 at 9:43 am

    It is a strange correlation that you make between a fat body and intellect. Buddha was fat, Ghandi was thin, Sherlock Holmes was thin, Mycroft was fat.
    Henry the VIII was fat, William the Conqueror was thin.
    Statement:-You are fat therefore you are stupid.end of statement.
    In your case you are probably thin and definitely stupid.

  65. Sean McHugh

    Is there a reason, other than oversight, that my comment from 7:46 AM is still awaiting moderation, while later ones have been posted? I am not complaining, just asking.

  66. m0nty

    Fiscal policy impacts interest rates and interest policy of the RBA. This is a given. It’s about as factual as you could get in something like economics.

    If we had materially less borrowing than the $250 billion or so that we’ve borrowed in the middle of an historic commodity boom there would be a propensity for lower rates.

    JC, your understanding of economics is clearly limited, stuck in old modes of thinking. You can’t even get the basic numbers right, it’s actually $150 billion.

    Riddle me this: Australian government net debt was 3.8% at the end of Howard’s reign in 2007/08 and at the end of the current financial year it will be 9.2%. Yet the cash rate was 6.75% when the Howard government left office and is now 3.25%.

    What’s your explanation? Have you got any justification for that set of figures except, “oh yeah but nah, they’d always be better under us, yeah nah”? That sort of magical thinking is why the right is losing economic credibility, because the public is starting to wake up to that bullshit.

  67. Skuter

    m0nty, the whole world doesn’t want to hold Australian dollars, so we only ever have access to a fraction of the world’s savings. That fraction is higher than normal at the moment because central banks are scrambling to increase Australian dollar reserves at present. This is not because they think we are great but because they are worried about the value of other currencies. This will turn one day and that fraction will fall. Because we don’t have enough domestic savings, our major banks need to borrow offshore and so in that sense, an increase in the supply of government bonds takes up more of that fraction, at the expense of our banks.

    Also, it is our gross debt that is relevant here because the financial assets that the Commonwealth holds that offset their liabilities are not necessarily all that liquid. Do you really think the government could call in all HECS debts, for example? What would happen if the government tried to liquidate even a portion of the future fund? Perhaps we could pull out of the IMF and redeem our quota?

    Nice try, but you have indeed shown how economically illiterate you are.

  68. JC

    JC, your understanding of economics is clearly limited, stuck in old modes of thinking.

    Lol, yea you’re the renaissance man fat boy.

    You can’t even get the basic numbers right, it’s actually $150 billion.

    That’s net debt. It’s a meaningless and dishonest number because the only metric entities like ratings agencies use is gross debt. As skuter alluded to, try and keep a straight face that HECS repayments will continue merrily along in the face of an economic crisis, you partisan economic illiterate moron.

    Riddle me this: Australian government net debt was 3.8% at the end of Howard’s reign in 2007/08 and at the end of the current financial year it will be 9.2%. Yet the cash rate was 6.75% when the Howard government left office and is now 3.25%.

    Riddle you what dickhead? There’s not riddle. You’re choosing to compare the peak in Australian interest rates during Howard’s time with now?

    Look fat boy, what I said and will continue to say is that interest rates, that is the rate borrowers are able to take up loans, including the government would be a lot lower if we had less debt. That’s a fact.

    What’s your explanation?

    My explanation is that you failed first year economics and that you’re a fat partisan hack. Embittered too.

    Have you got any justification for that set of figures except, “oh yeah but nah, they’d always be better under us, yeah nah”?

    Not really, because what you’re tying to make fun of is actually true. The coalition would be running with much less debt and therefore financial markets would be experiencing far less pressure.

    That sort of magical thinking is why the right is losing economic credibility, because the public is starting to wake up to that bullshit.

    Go down a dozen Krispys fat boy.

  69. alan

    Look fat boy, what I said and will continue to say is that interest rates, that is the rate borrowers are able to take up loans, including the government would be a lot lower if we had less debt. That’s a fact.

    Hesus
    I liked that except for the derogatory Fat thing.
    Your thinking is sometimes good.But your presentation is always poor.
    Keep trying. YES YOU CAN succeed

  70. Gab

    I ask you: who do you trust?

    Certainly not Labor and certainly not Labor’s Treasury.

    WAYNE Swan’s office has outed itself as the source of Treasury modelling on Coalition policies that it used to make a political point.

    The modelling, published by Fairfax this week, found the Coalition’s tax policies would cost businesses $4.57 billion in their first full year of operation.

    Fairfax said the modelling was undertaken “as Treasury attempts to come to grips with a suite of Coalition policies”.

    But it is understood the work was commissioned by the Treasurer’s office.

    Mr Swan’s spokesman said it was “not remotely unusual” for Treasury to analyse policies that were in the public domain, or for governments to disseminate the material.

    “From time to time governments of both persuasions publicise information to contribute to a more fulsome debate about policies,” the spokesman told The Australian.

  71. Pedro

    You can’t blame Peter Martin for reporting a leak. He’s a journo, that’s what they do. You also can’t argue that Abbott’s PPL scheme is doubly dumb.

    The criticism of the Treasury is entirely justified. Clearly that work was party-political. Frankly, it’s embezzlement.

    It’s lucky for Abbott that he has the worst govt in our modern history to make him look good. To me he seems a socially conservative social democrat. Perhaps he’ll surprise us in govt, but Howard had good form on economic reform before being elected but I don’t get the same sense about Abbott.

  72. Econocrat

    @Treasury Officer

    But if the Australian people vote for Abbott at the next election, I’ll keep working hard at Treasury to help stop Abbott from ripping out social spending.

    FFS!

    Thought Treasury officers were all Labor stooges, but this is unbelieveable.

    Pack your desk sunshine.

  73. m0nty

    You’re choosing to compare the peak in Australian interest rates during Howard’s time with now?

    Read it again. The Howard figure was the end of his term, not the peak. You are so lazy, JC.

    Look fat boy, what I said and will continue to say is that interest rates, that is the rate borrowers are able to take up loans, including the government would be a lot lower if we had less debt. That’s a fact.

    No, it’s not. Australian government debt is a drop in the ocean in a globalised financial market. It makes two-fifths of a poofteenth of difference.

    My explanation is [abuse]

    Always the sign that JC has comprehensively lost the argument, once again.

Comments are closed.