The economics of this budget we shall see for ourselves tomorrow night. From everything we so far know, it’s not the budget I would have brought down but I am in sympathy with its aims. The problem will, however, be the politics. So far, and especially on economic matters, this government does politics very badly.
I understood why they decided to run a silent operation on border protection. But on other matters, what has drawn most of my attention is how on just about every issue I can think of, little has been done to shape the narrative. Labor was a catastrophe, enough for three Liberal terms in office. But the way the politics and the engagement with the community has gone, they will be lucky to survive in 2016.
The horrors of the Labor economic mismanagement ought to have been a constant theme from the day the election ended. The horrors at what was found in the books should have been drummed time and again by the government. These are genuine horrors, so why we didn’t continuously hear about NBN and company, or the unfunded nature of the NDIS, or the additions caused by Gonski, or the bank of unfunded promises that will sink us, or the carbon tax and its destructive capabilities, or any of the rest I do not know. They will therefore bring in a pain-for-everyone budget that may appeal to some but will alienate a good many others.
No one will understand the economics of this budget without instruction. The instruction should have begun months ago. Whether in regard to its economics it is a good budget or a bad one, the reality is that professional politicians though they may be, the politics has been dreadful.