The Business Spectator posed the question:
If you could make one change to this year’s federal budget what would you do? And why?
There is just so much that is bad about the budget that it becomes so difficult to nominate a single change.
If there was one thing to change about the budget process overall it would be to not have crafted the budget around being “fair”, but rather around being “responsible”. The challenge Australia faces is that our budget is on track to being finally balanced at a higher level of GDP, as opposed to a lower level of GDP. The irresponsible spending of the Rudd-Gillard government will have become permanent. Increased government spending crowds out private initiative and promises higher taxes in future. Small wonder the private sector isn’t expanding. By being “responsible” the Abbott government could have introduced spending cuts to welfare without then having to spend in other areas and also raising taxes. The one thing that Joe Hockey needed to announce on budget night, but didn’t, was a credible and plausible return to surplus. That might not have been “fair” but it would have been “responsible”.