Hockey’s rearguard action to broach the beach of entitlement

In The Australian today:
“Without the ground having been adequately prepared, Joe Hockey and his landing party have struggled to secure a foothold on the beach of entitlement. And as they prepare to crawl through hostile terrain in the Senate, more causalities lie ahead. What could have been done to avert the losses will fuel controversy for years to come. Earlier release of the Audit Commission’s dire fiscal predictions would have helped. So would hammering home the fact that Labor’s promises were entirely unfunded, and would never have been delivered. The Department of Finance’s incoming government brief said as much; but although the government dropped hints, it couldn’t quite bring itself to break the bad news.”

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas is a columnist for The Australian newspaper and the inaugural Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong. The SMART Infrastructure Facility is a $61.8 million world-class research and training centre concerned with integrated infrastructure solutions for the future. Henry is also Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia. Prior to these concurrent roles Henry worked as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Henry's previous career was as an economist at the OECD in Paris, where amongst other roles he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment and was Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department.
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24 Responses to Hockey’s rearguard action to broach the beach of entitlement

  1. His Omniscience

    The main problem was Abbott’s ridiculous and spineless election promises not to touch anything, and the Liberals for electing such a politician to the leadership in the first place. The Liberals are simply reaping what they sowed: unsustainable election promises returning to bight them, when even the drover’s dog would have won by a country mile.

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    the Liberals for electing such a politician to the leadership in the first place

    Well, Turnbull was Leader at the time. You’d have preferred to keep him? Only Abbott led the way out of that morass with a grass roots revolt. He led well in Opposition too. Since the election he has been spineless, I agree, and it was stupid to make promises about Labor’s promises. It was also stupid to fail to point out very clearly and decidedly once elected that Labor’s promises were unfunded and that they had left the country broke and in horrendous debt with hefty interest bills. Ms. Credlin has a tin ear, maybe?

  3. Yohan

    Its true that the WA senate rerun meant they could not spook the voters by starting long groundwork leading up to the budget release. Unfortunate timing, thanks you dirty Green’s…

  4. Robert Blair

    Yohan:

    WA senate rerun

    Good point.

    But wasn’t the re-run down to the AEC losing ballots?

  5. JohnA

    Robert Blair #1346473, posted on June 14, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Yohan:
    WA senate rerun

    Good point.

    But wasn’t the re-run down to the AEC losing ballots?

    But Robert, ask yourself, Qui bono? who would gain from a re-run? Not the AEC.

    Then ask, how reliable has the AEC been in the past? VERY. Therefore the likelihood of incompetence or an internal error is pretty low.

    I would join two maxims:
    a) Napoleon – if you must choose between incompetence and malfeasance, prefer incompetence unless it is clearly excluded
    b) Sherlock Holmes – when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth

    so that on the balance of probabilities, I am inclined to agree with Yohan.

  6. Andrew

    Yep, the scumbag AEC cost the country 6 months start on the repair of the GFC (Gillard Financial Crisis). Gave 6 months for grubs like Bowen to run around the meeja saying “We didn’t leave a horrendous $40bn operating deficit set to continue in perpetuity until we default” and create the narrative.

    Why did we ever abolish the lash in this country??

  7. Paridell

    Well, at least they haven’t been driven off the beach. Perhaps lessons will be learned. Even the Dieppe raid was the ‘dawn of D-Day’.

    By the by, the quotation is accurate. The Australian really does have “more causalities lie ahead.” Rather puts a damper on the military metaphor.

  8. H B Bear

    Any Liberal attempt to sell their policies or the need for action is made infinitely more difficult by the media and what is passed off as journalism today. Putting to one side the systemic bias of the ALPBC staff co-op and the Socialist Broadcasting Service, Jabba, Shit Happens and Bungjourno provide daily 30 second sound bites for the 6pm news that “inform” most people of events.

    With a few exceptions, modern CEOs do not take strong positions on IR, wages, environment and other issues expecting the Liberals to deliver for them without doing any of the lifting. Contrast Hugh Morgan, Avi Pabo and others during the 1980s.

    Increasingly I see any economic progress through the political system as occurring in spite of it, rather than because of it.

  9. Tel

    Ahhh, the old rearguard beach head strategy. Nice one.

  10. Andrew

    That would be Arvi Parbo, Estonia’s second greatest export.

  11. Alfonso

    “provide daily 30 second sound bites for the 6pm news that “inform” most people of events.”

    Correct, Kylie and Shane get their political impressions from exactly this source only.
    Not newspapers, not tv current affairs, not the magic net. The 30 sec news slant is much underrated by political operators who prefer to think Shaney watches Lateline and Bolt.

  12. local oaf

    They should have spent far more time since the election on the economy.

    Far less time on setting up Royal Commissions, enquiries, Tim Wilson/18C, re-introduction of honours, etc.

  13. Vicki

    Henry Ergas is right in drawing attention to the the problem that welfare as a form of income is now firmly entrenched in Australian society. Even the term “welfare” has been rebranded to become “transfer payments”. This has happened, as he points out, over three decades and it is a concept that is going to be hellish to dislodge.

    Nor should the conservative side of politics dodge the blame for this. Howard perpetuated it through various measures, particularly Family Benefit payments. The growing idea that it was a normal entitlement was never seriously challenged.

    Good grief, if you said publicly today that “welfare” is, in point of fact, the “charity of taxpayers”, you would risk social ostracism.

    Hockey, to his credit, has fretted against the growth of welfare for many years. But he was unable to get any traction in the party. Whatever reservations one has about the rest of the Budget, and Lib strategy in general (& I have plenty!), I think Hockey should be supported in his battle against the culture of “entitlement”.

  14. sabrina

    Most politicians are habitual liars, some more than the others, Abbott and team are no exceptions. They lied to get into the power, when they easily could have done without, but played safe.
    Come the next election time, most of us will have to overlook the lies as the alternatives are pathetic to say the least.

  15. Muphin

    Tony Abbott should have made a pre budget national announcement and explained to the people why such harsh measures must be taken, he did NOT and is suffering the consequences.
    The only way Abbott/Hockey is going to sell the budget is to shackle the ABC by dismissing the current board and senior management. Then reappoint UNBIASED board members and management.
    The ABC has become a political force in it’s own right. It has a far-left political network and its unwavering conviction about who should be running this country, and how.
    This WISH will never happen while Malcolm Turnbull is the Communications Minister. My opinion is that Turnbull is deliberately allowing the ABC bias to undermine Tony Abbotts Prime Ministership, Turnbull wants the Prime Ministers job.

  16. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    Defund the alpbc and sbs,close them down,withdraw all government advertising from fauxfacsand encotprage it to go bankrupt ,(as it will with present “management” ).it only needs a good push and its insolvent,jump on biased lefties in other media,ATO checks on millionaires who support left causes ,do what the US liebor pardee did to opponents,good for the goose?

  17. Defund the alpbc and sbs,close them down

    Cue the mantra, but using Australian language, not imported yankee bullshit…

    Shut.it.down.
    Sack.them.all
    .

  18. IMHO the Coalition should have had a mini-budget ASAP after election.

  19. MT Isa Miner

    Muphin

    #1346594, posted on June 14, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Tony Abbott should have made a pre budget national announcement and explained to the people why such harsh measures must be taken, he did NOT and is suffering the consequences.
    The only way Abbott/Hockey is going to sell the budget is to shackle the ABC by dismissing the current board and senior management. Then reappoint UNBIASED board members and management.
    The ABC has become a political force in it’s own right. It has a far-left political network and its unwavering conviction about who should be running this country, and how.
    This WISH will never happen while Malcolm Turnbull is the Communications Minister. My opinion is that Turnbull is deliberately allowing the ABC bias to undermine Tony Abbotts Prime Ministership, Turnbull wants the Prime Ministers job.

    What he said.

    Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    #1346664, posted on June 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Defund the alpbc and sbs,close them down,withdraw all government advertising from fauxfacsand encotprage it to go bankrupt ,(as it will with present “management” ).it only needs a good push and its insolvent,jump on biased lefties in other media,ATO checks on millionaires who support left causes ,do what the US liebor pardee did to opponents,good for the goose?

    The Beer Whisperer

    #1346696, posted on June 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Defund the alpbc and sbs,close them down

    Cue the mantra, but using Australian language, not imported yankee bullshit…

    Shut.it.down.
    Sack.them.all.

    Rabz doctrine all the way.

  20. MT Isa Miner

    H B Bear

    #1346535, posted on June 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Any Liberal attempt to sell their policies or the need for action is made infinitely more difficult by the media and what is passed off as journalism today. Putting to one side the systemic bias of the ALPBC staff co-op and the Socialist Broadcasting Service, Jabba, Shit Happens and Bungjourno provide daily 30 second sound bites for the 6pm news that “inform” most people of events.
    …………..
    Increasingly I see any economic progress through the political system as occurring in spite of it, rather than because of it.

    I reckon your right, Bear. Maybe dot’s idea of Cat activism- well , he meant LDP activism, is one way to get a chink in the wall. Wonder what his plan is?

  21. queensland observer

    Sell the abc by all means, but keep the rural radio network in public hands

  22. Alfonso

    Oh, so Wet welfare statist big gov Joe wants to do a minuscule trim on the mendicants for marketing purposes?
    Spare me.

    .

  23. Yohan

    Increasingly I see any economic progress through the political system as occurring in spite of it, rather than because of it.

    This is so true unfortunately.

    That would be Arvi Parbo, Estonia’s second greatest export.

    So whats Estonia’s 1st greatest export?

  24. Andrew

    So whats Estonia’s 1st greatest export?

    Weekends for Finns on the piss and ethnically-Russian hookers.

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