Fact-checking the ABC

So the ABC – whose job it is to provide factual information – has provided a handy guide to the budget process. Including the term “revenue collapse” that our left-of-centre friends keep talking about.

Over the past few years there has been a significant drop in the amount of tax revenue coming in to the government. There is some contention over the reasons behind the drop, but economists are united in saying that at least part of the problem facing the government in its quest to return to a surplus stems from a lack of revenue, rather than too much government spending.

Really? Tax Revenue has fallen?

Not according to the MYEFO. In the graph below I show tax revenue and, as can be seen, it has been growing in the past few years.

Tax revenue MYEFO 2013-4

Revenue this financial year is about 23 per cent higher than Peter Costello had to spend in 2007-08. Remember government has other sources of revenue too. Total Receipts are up nearly 24 per cent on what Peter Costello had in 2007-08. Spending is up 50 per cent. That is why the budget is in deficit.

Even as a percentage of GDP Tax Revenue and Total Receipts have been rising over the past few years. There has been no “significant drop in the amount of tax revenue coming in to the government”. What has happened is that forecast revenue has exceeded actual revenue but only university administrators – and now the ABC – would describe that situation as being a drop in revenue.

(HT: Trish)

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42 Responses to Fact-checking the ABC

  1. Rabz

    Mantra Time™ (again).

  2. Dr Faustus

    Middle-class welfare:

    Middle-class welfare is a term used by economists and commentators to refer to the increase in tax breaks and welfare payments for those on higher incomes that came in under the Howard Government.

    The private health insurance rebate for higher income earners has been singled out as an example of this.

    The majority of the policies labelled “middle-class welfare” were maintained by the Rudd and Gillard governments, with any attempts to wind them back labelled “class warfare”.

    But some economists have argued this has significantly contributed to the collapse in tax revenue.

    My goodness. Someone has struggled heroically to achieve balance and accuracy here…

  3. Joe Goodacre

    This makes more sense then using payments and receipts as a % of GDP to explain what’s going on with the budget. It’s clear here – revenue has gone up, payments have gone up more.

    Arguing revenue/payments as a % of GDP seems like it’s used to argue that Howard had it right, when really it hides that spending increased substantially under their watch.

  4. Matt

    I wish my revenue would collapse like that.

  5. ar

    It’s a simple enough word equation for the leftists.

    Government spends more than it receives = revenue shortfall = drop in revenue.

  6. stackja

    ABC wrong? I am shocked!

  7. Rabz

    - Total Receipts are up nearly 24 per cent on what Peter Costello had in 2007-08.
    - Spending is up 50 per cent.
    - That is why the budget is in deficit.

    Incomprehensible, innit?

  8. Tom

    …economists are united in saying that at least part of the problem facing the government in its quest to return to a surplus stems from a lack of revenue, rather than too much government spending.

    That is a flat-out white lie, Tim Leslie. Why has it not been retracted? So you’re happy to be identified as a political activist who will do whatever it takes, including flat-out lying, to help your statist tribe win this week’s propapganda war? On what basis do you call this “journalism”?

    Retract it NOW!!!

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    the ABC – whose job it is to provide factual information

    You are kidding aren’t you Prof Davidson? The ABC hasn’t consistently provided factual information since the day John Howard was elected as Prime Minister. Nearly twenty years ago. Remember the “Howard haters”, many of which oozed down the halls of the Ultimo kolkhoz?

    What they excrete into our ears and eyes is partisan propaganda designed to foster the left in their inevitable victory of the proletariat. For which I pay taxes whether I like it or not.

    Fire the lot of them now, before they do even more damage to this great country.

  10. Steve D

    I’m sure Paul Barry would appreciate such a tip. It will be all over Media Watch next week, for sure.

    Perhaps our resident Twittersnipe par-excellence JC would like to pass the tip on?

  11. Mr Rusty

    economists are united in saying that at least part of the problem facing the government in its quest to return to a surplus stems from a lack of revenue, rather than too much government spending.

    Are they? Fuck, I’ve got serious comprehension problems then.
    Either that or the ABC don’t think Sinc, Sloan, Ergas, Moran et al. are economists and David “I’m not an economist” Marr is.

  12. Natural Instinct

    EXPENSES MYEFO (p43, Table 3.11)
    2013-14 412
    2014-15 418
    2015-16 436
    2016-17 457
    If these numbers do not reduce it has all been a lot of hot air, and we have all been had.

  13. H B Bear

    The Liars Party are really getting good value for their $10m for the ALPBC and Mr Virginia Trioli.

  14. Toiling Mass

    Fact-checking the ABC

    You do realise that one of the definitions of ‘check’ is to stop or slow the progress of something.

    The Fact Checking Unit is very aptly named.

  15. rickw

    I wish my revenue would collapse like that.

    Yeah, let me know if you work out how to do it, I would love a revenue collapse like that….

    What has CPI been dawdling along at during the same period?

    The Labor idiots started spending like drunks, now the Liberal idiots don’t want to end the party.

    Looks like we’ll have to end it for them.

  16. ChrisPer

    Shut it down.
    Fire them all.
    Sell the real estate.

  17. john constantine

    the reason the abc exists is to balance the hateful tory scum that refuse to have a conversation acknowledging that feelings are as true as facts and figures.

    the abc exists to convey the vibe of the zeitgeist, people that insist on numbers being more important than feelings will be dealt with when the right sort regain power.

    the abc just needs more funding to provide a sheltered workshop for all the leftie journos from fairfax/guardian/ crikey…………………

    saw yesterday that fairfax is looking at closing another 30 small papers, as they can’t compete against free content.

  18. Grigory M

    Government spends more than it receives = revenue shortfall = drop in revenue.

    Of course. It’s elementary. Surely, you can see that Sinc and Trish?

    Sigh – the ABC. Trioli’s hubby gets a budget of $10m pa to produce this rubbish? FFS.

  19. MemoryVault

    Government spends more than it receives = revenue shortfall = drop in revenue.

    Labor solution = borrow more = increase in revenue = spend more
    LNP solution = tax more = increase in revenue = spend more

    Political economics is easy, once you get the hang of it.

  20. Baldrick

    Come on … be fair. That’s been the Labor Party line for the last six years. Of course the ABC would support that idea.

  21. Mr Rusty

    Trioli’s hubby gets a budget of $10m pa to produce this rubbish?

    I don’t think it was produced by the Fact Checking unit, they at least they have an ex-finance / banking person who would understand a basic graph and the issue of revenue v spending.

  22. struth

    Ah………public servants find spending isn’t the problem.
    Says it all really.

  23. Ubique

    Commonwealth Government revenues in 2012-13 totalled $360.2 billion. Peter Costello’s last full year in the Treasurer’s chair saw revenues of $278 billion. Revenue collapse indeed.

  24. James of the Glen

    Oh dear, Russell Coight the Fact Checker has been at work again.

  25. Fisky

    There is no revenue crisis, except in so far as revenue has risen far too quickly.

  26. Infidel Tiger

    How much have average incomes increased over the same period?

  27. the abc just needs more funding to provide a sheltered workshop for all the leftie journos from fairfax/guardian/ crikey…………………

    saw yesterday that fairfax is looking at closing another 30 small papers, as they can’t compete against free content.

    Could Fairfax’s inability to read a balance sheet at managerial level be related to their journalists’ inability to read a balance sheet at reporting level?

  28. Baldrick

    The ABC article wasn’t produced by their FactCheck Unit.

    It was written by Tim Leslie … a sometime reporter and photographer. Go figure.

  29. JMH

    Oh dear, Russell Coight the Fact Checker has been at work again.

    And that comment gets 100 points. :)

  30. Mr Rusty

    I want a waterfront property, Aston Martin, annual round the world holiday (first class and 5 star hotels) and to eat out every night at the best restaurants in town.
    I can’t afford any of those things.
    Do I have a revenue crisis?
    And more importantly; do I qualify for Government assistance?

  31. Grigory M

    The ABC article wasn’t produced by their FactCheck Unit.

    It was written by Tim Leslie … a sometime reporter and photographer. Go figure.

    Ah, just so. A word about Tim:

    Tim Leslie joined the ABC in 2008 as a reporter and producer for News Online. Since then he has covered several elections and major natural disasters as both a photographer and journalist, including the 2010 federal election and the 2011 Queensland floods. Tim also travelled to France in 2009 for an online special on the missing soldiers of Fromelles.

  32. Fibro

    Efficiency dividend required in tonights budget for the ALPBC.

    62% or greater woudl be a good start.

  33. Andrew

    So revenue has only grown 4.4% p.a., in line with AWOTE. Not quite at the levels the Goose expected, and to be fair they had to raise tax a LOT to get to that level.

    But wait, the Goose never promised to balance the budget PLUS run an enormous surplus PLUS fund the Future Fund (ever again). Instead, he just promised to have us to zero.

    When adjusted for Costello’s FF contributions and subtracting his EXCESS revenue (surplus), we’re not 45% up in 6 years from where we started. That’s 6.4% p.a. that the criminals could have increased spending and still got there. We’re $40bn in the hole from even THAT low base.

  34. Sir Fred Lenin

    Bruce of Newcastle mentions ” victory of the Proletariat” now what do the alp/green/ fascists,akademiks,union officials and stenographers of the meeja have to do with the Proletariat? I was always under the impression that Proletariat meant workers,hat does that have to do with lowest middle class drones? None of them have done a real days work in their miserable lives.

  35. MemoryVault

    I want a waterfront property, Aston Martin, annual round the world holiday (first class and 5 star hotels) and to eat out every night at the best restaurants in town.
    I can’t afford any of those things.
    Do I have a revenue crisis?

    No, you have a career crisis.
    You need to become an Australian politician.

    Not sure if that qualifies as “government assistance” or not.

  36. JC

    @mscott Trioli’s Squeeze who runs the ABC fact checking unit caught lying. http://tinyurl.com/mme66q2 #auspol

  37. Alfonso

    Yawn.
    Their ABC’s standard leftoid agitprop is not the problem.
    That I’m paying for it is.

    Poor ‘ol Catholic Welfare State Tone needs to sell me an indulgence so I’m free of his compulsory leftoid charity BS.

  38. egg_

    the ABC – whose job it is to provide factual information

    When you’re “a stranger to the truth”, how would you recognize a fact to check?

  39. Notafan

    Private Health Insurance rebate. Wasn’t that introduced to encourage people to take out or maintain private health insurance to reduce pressure on the public sector thus reducing government outlays?
    Aren’t there also little financial penalties built into health insurance premiums to induce people to take out health insurance before they turn 30? And also tax penalties for not having insurance if your income is over a certain amount?
    What happens if people drop their insurance once the rebate is removed?
    I thought this happened once before.
    I’m not sure I would call health insurance rebates middle class welfare.

  40. MemoryVault

    An hour to go. Are we going have an open forum on it, Sinc?
    Perhaps Carpe could run a “kick in the face” lotto in place of interruptions?

  41. Barry

    Journos were all sucked in by Swannie’s constant references to revenue “writedowns”, which they assumed was a fancy way of saying revenue had decreased.

  42. Tel

    Efficiency dividend required in tonights budget for the ALPBC.

    62% or greater woudl be a good start.

    While they keep telling half the story, they should get half the budget.

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