Introducing Wayne Morrison: don’t take a bow

How disappointing has been the performance of the new Treasurer?  You could close your eyes and think that it is Wayne Swan talking drivel, presumably in part fed to him by his advisers and Treasury.  All ambitious politicians think they can be Treasurer; they are wrong.

What’s this walking away from achieving a budget surplus and introducing a new target of achieving a budget deficit below some long-run average (how far back to you go figuring this out?  Include WW2 perhaps?) of 0.8 per cent of GDP.

Evidently, according to Wayne Morrison, as long as the deficit is around or below (by assumption, mate, because these are forward estimates) 0.8 per cent, then everything’s OK. TRULY PATHETIC.

And Treasury seems to have lost the plot with its weak support for fiscal consolidation because we might need to waste more taxpayer money if there is a downturn in the economy.

NO NO NO – the argument for fiscal consolidation is to:

  • restrict government spending to core functions;
  • ensure that the benefits of government spending far outweigh the costs taking into account the excess burden of taxation;
  • ensure we retain our AAA credit rating;
  • reduce the deadweight burden of interest payments on government debt;

IT IS NOT ABOUT SETTING OURSELVES UP TO BINGE SPEND ON POINTLESS ENDS (THINK SCHOOL HALLS, PINK BATTS) IF SOME GORMLESS GROUP OF BUREAUCRATS – LAPPED UP BY WILLING POLITICIANS –  THINKS THE ECONOMY IS WEAKENING.

And as for Wayne Morrison’s equally pathetic assessment that the CPI indexation of the Age Pension was not a structural reform.  Oh please.  This was in fact recommended by the National Commission of Audit (as an interim measure before AWOTE was introduced as the indexation factor).

Actually, Wayne Morrison’s structural (sure) change to the Age Pension asset test and associated taper rate could go horribly wrong.  Unless you are a couple who thinks they can save over $800,000, it looks perfectly rational to spend up and end up with around $300,000 in assets and take up the full Age Pension.  Good one, Morro.  This change alone is likely to cost the federal budget heaps down the track.

The reality is that Turnbull and Morrison are completely hemmed in by those 54 votes, mainly worried backbenchers who have no appetite for spending cuts of any sort and embrace wasteful local boondoggles like drug addicts embrace Ice.  Think: roundabouts in Broome, upgrading local airports in Kangaroo Island, pointless new roads, etc. etc.

Here is David Uren’s piece:

 Scott Morrison wants to transform the way the government’s economic performance is judged, with less focus on the budget balance and greater attention on its ­strategies to lift growth.

People should stop asking “are we there yet”, he told the media after releasing his budget update this week. The mid-year economic and fiscal outlook pushed the date of a return to surplus out by another year to 2020-21. Instead, he said, they should focus on the progress being made.

The credit ratings agencies have indicated they are prepared to be patient, giving the new leadership under Malcolm Turnbull at least until the budget next May to come up with a better-defined strategy to restore budget health.

But the message from Morrison, in an interview with The Weekend Australian, is that next year’s budget will not be dramatically different. The government will continue with efforts to restrain the growth of public spending, but the Treasurer does not believe it can cut its way to surplus,

He rejects the “king hit” ­approach to cutting spending, tried in the Abbott government’s ill-fated 2014-15 budget. “The suggestion that there is somehow one budget, or one MYEFO, or one big set of saves, or one thing like that, or package of things that is brought down at one point of time, which forever changes the course, well, I think the economy and our finances are far more complex than that,” he says.

Morrison believes the public will accept his more tempered approach to budget policy. “Australians understand that. They really do. Their finances are more complex than that, so certainly the government’s would be.” He rejects suggestions the government is not making pro­gress in improving the deficit. The combined deficit for the four years to 2018-19 is $108 billion, whereas it was $132bn in the four years to 2017-18 and $157bn in the four years to 2016-17. “It’s been falling every year, the overall size of the cumulative four-yearly deficits, and so that says we are on the way,” he says.

But in a radical departure from the approach of his predecessor, Joe Hockey, Morrison suggests too much emphasis is placed on the return to surplus, noting deficits have been the norm for Australian government finances.

During the past 30 years, the average deficit has been 0.8 per cent of gross domestic product, whereas Morrison’s budget update shows the deficit falling to 0.7 per cent of GDP by 2018-19.

“My point is that the historical average is that the budget is in deficit to the point of 0.8 per cent of GDP and we are actually going to be better than that based on the current projections,” he says.

The historical average of a deficit is an entirely new benchmark. Morrison conveys no hint of the “budget emergency” language used by the Coalition in opposition. The Coalition came to office promising a return to the budget standards maintained under the Howard government, with former treasurer Peter Costello’s definition of a “strong surplus” of at least 1 per cent of GDP promised, in this year’s budget, by 2023-24.

In Morrison’s budget update, that goal will now be attained “as soon as possible”, but Treasury’s crystal ball, which sees no further than 2025-26, sees a surplus reaching just 0.2 per cent of GDP. That would vanish altogether with the next budget downgrade.

Morrison says he has little choice. To cut government spending hard would undermine consumer confidence. He is counting on household spending to sustain the economy next year. It is getting domestic growth going that will make the difference to government finances, not big cuts to public spending.

“Even if some of the more hairy-chested recommendations were taken up and there were three times the level of savings in (the MYEFO) statement than the $10bn that was announced, in terms of the impact that would have on the debt 10 or 12 years from now, well, it would be ­marginal. Because what is driving those debt numbers is largely what is happening with the parameters,” he says, referring to developments in the economy beyond the ­government’s direct control.

Morrison says he will not pursue cuts to government spending simply to improve the budget position, but rather as part of his overall mission to reform the economy.

He is critical of some measures attempted in Hockey’s 2014-15 budget, saying they were simply cutting spending rather than reforming the way government spent. He distinguishes between what he terms “shavings measures”, which simply trim costs, and the “savings measures” that achieve genuine reform. Citing the example of the attempt to cut the indexation of age pensions to consumer prices rather than the much-faster-growing male total weekly earnings, to which they’ve been linked since the Howard government, he says, “That wasn’t going to fly, it wasn’t a structural savings in terms of ­reform.” His approach was to look at the purpose of the age pension as a welfare support in retirement and address the eligibility.

“You’ve got to go for structural change in your spending. Savings are important but savings should deliver over time and really improve the performance of government programs and services.”

He readily concedes further work is required. On Treasury’s forecasts, revenue will be matching the long-term average from next year, but spending, even out to 2018-19, still will be far above ­average levels. Spending was heading for a record 26.2 per cent of GDP, exceeding the Rudd government’s stimulus spending, as recently as September when Morrison and the cabinet expenditure review committee first started looking for savings. It was a detailed process, with more than 180 individual measures, some small, but the cumulative result was to hold spending at last year’s level of 25.9 per cent of GDP.

Morrison wants people to focus on the government’s economic policies, whether that is Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation policy, the Harper competition reforms, infrastructure investment or the forthcoming tax white paper. It is these that will make the difference to people’s welfare and to the health of public finances.

“Economic policy is being made every day and governments have to be acting on that every day, not just twice a year in a MYEFO and a budget,” he says. “Budgets are points of reconciliation, they’re points of drawing things together, but the actual policies are the things that count; that’s what actually makes the change. And they happen all the time. One of the things we’ve got to get away from in, if you like, the new politics is these static point-in-time assessments as being the be-all and end-all of economic performance.”

But dictating the way people assess the government’s economic performance is not easy, as Labor found when it failed to win electoral credit for Australia avoiding recession in the global financial crisis, instead being judged for the blowout in the deficit and wasteful spending. Debt interest, now the fastest rising budget cost, is becoming a political issue.

Creditors, from whom the government will seek $90bn this year, care a lot more about the budget deficit than they do about innovation policy. For the moment they are happy to lend, but the longer it takes to restore the budget, the less flexibility Australia will have when next it does face recession.

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83 Responses to Introducing Wayne Morrison: don’t take a bow

  1. Roger

    “The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul” – George Bernard Shaw (of all people!).

    At present, it seems most government back benchers are Pauls (just check their web pages).

  2. vlad

    We have to throw these idiots out ASAP, even if (as it does) putting other idiots in, so that we can have some hope of throwing all the idiots out three years after that and get someone who knows the mess that we’re in and has some of the guts and nerve needed to get us out of it.

    Things will have to get worse before they can get better, in short(en).

  3. Caveman

    We have two PM’s with the same first name Julia Turnbull now two trasherers with the same first name Wayne , its spooky.

  4. Percy

    IT IS NOT ABOUT SETTING OURSELVES UP TO BINGE SPEND ON POINTLESS ENDS

    Maybe that could be a way to convince people to support spending cuts. “Hey folks, if you let us massively cut spending for the next ten years we’ll buy you all new Crapple phones at the end of it”

  5. Leigh Lowe

    The Big Road Trip.
    Scott Griswold.

  6. Zyconoclast

    Wayne Morrison

    (Tragic) Comedy gold.
    Well done Judith.

  7. I Am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    Yep, waste of space.

    Tremendously disappointing. Good government nowhere on the horizon.

  8. Leigh Lowe

    I note the was some reference to the Future Fund coming into play around 2021.
    What gives?
    Can they start ratting it then for current expenditures?

  9. Gab

    I note the was some reference to the Future Fund coming into play around 2021.

    Isn’t that the same year turnbull/Morrison announced the budget would be in surplus? Hmmm, coincidence surely. 🙄

  10. Empire

    He knows nothing of what he speaks and he is advised by Keynesians. What could go wrong?

  11. Jeremy Steyer

    Don’t worry.

    At least it’s better than when that evil bigoted conservative cretin Abbott was in charge.

    At least if you ask the Doomlord.

  12. Habib

    Vote Labor, this is like being diagnosed with a lingering, ugly and terminal disease; the choice is a futile course of epensive, painful and debilitating therapy which will inevitably fail under Dr Terrible, or getting some Nitschke up ya from derigstered intern Shortarse. Who will loot your house and accounts as soon as you pop your clogs. Reduce the suffering, get the collapse going, then we can purge the body politic of the feral flukes that infest it.

  13. Alfonso

    Morro is the biggest Liberal 5th column shock since Nelson,
    Who’da thought?
    Let’s face it, a Quisling main chancer,

  14. Andrew

    So remind me – ditching the A666ott-Hockey666 regime was good because they weren’t fair dinkum about tackling the budget disaster they inherited and went too soft on spending?

  15. candy

    It’s odd some of the things Scott Morrison does.

    Increasing the public service salaries – when they have already very excellent salaries and conditions above most Australian workers – rather than putting freeze on them for a year or two, yet wanting to jack up the GST and reduce salaries of the lower income who rely on penalties in casualised jobs.

    At the same time the new ABC boss has $900,000 salary. It’s crazy stuff we have in Australia.

  16. Rabz

    We will never, evah see another federal budget surplus in our lifetimes, peoples.

    They have gone the way of the Dodo.

    Pour yourself a very large snifter and enjoy the decline.

  17. James

    Abbott666 got rid of Martin Parkinson. Da Turd brought him back.

  18. egg_

    So remind me – ditching the A666ott-Hockey666 regime was good because they weren’t fair dinkum about tackling the budget disaster they inherited and went too soft on spending?

    Morro under Abbott would have likely been better than either case above.

  19. Rabz

    ditching the A666ott-Hockey666 regime was good because they weren’t fair dinkum about tackling the budget disaster they inherited and went too soft on spending?

    No one who advocates smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation would have advocated replacing those two utterly inept clowns with idiots as preposterous as the Waffler and Morristeen.

    So yes, consider yourself, reminded, young man.

  20. James

    Wayne Morrison? More like Vain or Vane.

  21. James

    Abbott666 at least tried. Da Turd not even bother.

  22. Rabz

    Abbott666 at least tried.

    By jacking up taxes? You’re joking, right?

  23. stackja

    ALP created the budget problem. TA tried to solve the budget problem with little help from his ‘friends’ and lots of trouble from ALP/Greens/MSM. Now MT is not really trying to fix the budget problem. SM needed TA’s support to stop the boats. MT is not now helping SM. MT’s action should not a surprise to realists.

  24. Dave of Cossack

    His real name is Dork or Dorky to his friends, if any.

  25. Ross B

    Morrison hitched his wagon to Turnbull. Turnbull won’t do anything that might undermine the reason the 54 bed wetters voted for him in September. Simple calculus. The Liberal Party seriously do not deserve their office.

  26. stackja

    Rabz
    #1895022, posted on December 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm
    Abbott666 at least tried.
    By jacking up taxes? You’re joking, right?

    And ALP/Greens would not cut spending. So Rabz, low taxes and high spending? Cut spending and taxes can be cut. Rabz, are you soft on ALP/Greens? Or just hard on Liberals?

  27. A Lurker

    Good government nowhere on the horizon.

    I think a complete overhaul of the system is necessary.

    My qualifications to run for public office in Australia as an MP or Senator:
    Attain age 30.
    Worked in or run a Small Business for at least five years.
    One year’s compulsory volunteering in the regions – in small business, farms, factories etc.
    Compulsory personality testing to rule out sociopathy, psychopathy, high levels of narcissism.

    plus

    Nine year term limits in Parliament either in Government or Opposition – after nine years you are back out in the regular workforce.

    (The above would remove the insane, the careerists, the infant-politicians, and the ones who hop from University straight into political staffer roles with no time spent in the real world.)

  28. Tel

    He rejects the “king hit” ­approach to cutting spending, tried in the Abbott government’s ill-fated 2014-15 budget.

    What got cut in 2014-2015 ?

  29. Rabz

    Cut spending and taxes can be cut.

    FFS, stackja – I’d rather these monumentally destructive imbeciles at least burdened us with deficits by cutting taxes rather than increasing expenditure (if they have the gall to claim can’t get cuts through a feral senate).

    BTW – Abbott first increased taxes when he was opposition leader – an incredible achievement. Look up his folding on the “bipartisan” NDIS levy, which was one of the last things Gillard achieved before she was knifed. The liberals had opposed funding the NDIS via an increase in taxes until Abbott inexplicably folded in April 2013.

    And FFS, can anyone here find a comment where I have advocated not cutting government expenditure?

  30. Rabz

    The first Abbott/Staples budget – the highlights:

    The resurrection of fuel excise
    A “da fairness” income tax increase
    Token spending cuts
    A deficit of $26 billion (actual result $37.9 billion)

  31. Andrew

    Even if some of the more hairy-chested recommendations were taken up and there were three times the level of savings in (the MYEFO) statement than the $10bn that was announced, in terms of the impact that would have on the debt 10 or 12 years from now, well, it would be ­marginal.

    – Wayne Morrison

    There is your problem. Morrison thinks that even if you multiply the very small savings by 3 times in MYEFO, that because it is still not overly significant in the grand scheme of things, we shouldn’t do it.

  32. Marcus

    Wasn’t Malcolm Turnbull’s rationale for getting the leadership that he could communicate to the Australian people, explain what needed to be done so they’d accept things like necessary spending cuts? Because it doesn’t look like he’s explaining terribly hard if Scott Morrison is so afraid that cuts will dent consumer confidence.

  33. James

    Abbott666 at least tried. He ripped $80billion out of health and education, refused to follow Gonski after the 4th year, got rid of hundreds of agencies, limited public servants pay rise to max 2.5%, paralysed CEFC, cut Family Benefit part A &B. He has been so demonized that he has to be hounded out of office. The Cats are probably the only place that refuses to recognize his evilness. The Liberals simply have no intestinal fortitude to follow through. Da Turd is there to reverse the fiscal restraints.

  34. Rabz

    so afraid that cuts will dent consumer confidence.

    Yes we couldn’t have any of the lumpen mass of welfare hoovering imbeciles out there “adversely affected” by cuts to their beloved gubmint bennerfits.

    The hits to the childcare, tobacco, alcohol and gambling sectors could cripple the economy instantaneously.

  35. candy

    Abbott666 at least tried. He ripped $80billion out of health and education, refused to follow Gonski after the 4th year, got rid of hundreds of agencies, limited public servants pay rise to max 2.5%, paralysed CEFC, cut Family Benefit part A &B

    True, James. Abbott and Hockey did their best and realised the seriousness of the debt situation into the future. They made some mistakes but they really tried to set a path to fiscal prudence.

    Now, Mr Turnbull is loved by all. He can be brave and attempt the same. lol. will he?

  36. Leigh Lowe

    so afraid that cuts will dent consumer confidence.

    Says it all.
    “We believe that maintaining payments to welfare leeches provides greater economic stimulus than tax cuts to those who generate wealth.”
    Tell me again how the ALP are worse.

  37. Leigh Lowe

    Abbott666 at least tried. He ripped $80billion out of health and education, refused to follow Gonski after the 4th year, got rid of hundreds of agencies, limited public servants pay rise to max 2.5%, paralysed CEFC, cut Family Benefit part A &B

    And let’s not forget that every time … every time … they tried to get some traction on expenditure control, that fucking prick Captain Agility would dust off the leather jacket and head down to Ultimo for a spot of undermining.

  38. Stimpson J. Cat

    This gun’s for hire,
    Even if we’re just dancing in the dark.

  39. John

    Morrison was a lovely backbencher before Abbott made him. Jim Molland designed “stop the boat policy/strategy, Morrison took credit for it. Boats would never have stopped without Abbott support. Morrisson has no ability – fast talking is no ability (see Turnbull). Turnbull promoted Morrisson far beyond his ability, as he (Turnbull) promoted himself beyond his ability. Morrison will be worst than Swan (if that is at all possible). This is not going to end up well for Morrison. Malcolm will drop him like smelly reg that he is when the shit hits the fan. No loyalty from Malcolm! There is only one person that matters and that is Malcolm.

  40. John Comnenus

    Turnbull and Morrison are the bureaucrats’ bitches. Treasury broke in the new government in record time. Pathetic.

  41. 3d1k

    I’m disappointed.

    I can only surmise the combined TurnbullMorrison effort is solely designed not to rock the boat and to win an election.

    Post which I hope they understand, they have balls. The useless component of the Senate too.

  42. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    “We believe that maintaining payments to welfare leeches provides greater economic stimulus than tax cuts to those who generate wealth.”

    If I heard Lord Waffle use the phrase “generous social welfare” one more time, I would have hurled something at the T.V. screen. I’ve paid taxes all my life. If someone could tell me why I should be funding my own retirement, while going on funding “generous social welfare funding” I would be infinitely obliged.

  43. Old School Conservative

    Stimpson J. Cat
    #1895094, posted on December 22, 2015 at 10:26 pm
    This gun’s for hire,
    Even if we’re just dancing in the dark.

    Love your work Stimpy.

  44. Baldrick

    The AbbottBeast new what it took to make Morrison an up and coming star within the Liberal Party.

    Since Turnbuckle, Morrison’s alter ego is now on display … dim and untrustworthy.

  45. Combine Dave

    If the budget goes well Turnbull will brush Morrison aside and claim the glory of its success as his own.

    If it goes poorly Turncoat will drop Morrison faster than he dropped his recent play act at being a consultative ‘classic liberal’.

    Poor Morrison is not cut out to tangle with a political maestro like Maocolm.

    Under Abbott he had clear instructions, followed them and won much acclaim for stopping the boats.

    Under Turnbull his instructions to open the treasury purse strings and crank up taxes and spending will bring the Australia budget and economy to the brink of ruin.

    If any of the blame for that ever gets slated to the beloved-by-media Turnbull Government, Morrison is sure to be the fall guy.

  46. Combine Dave

    If I heard Lord Waffle use the phrase “generous social welfare” one more time, I would have hurled something at the T.V. screen. I’ve paid taxes all my life. If someone could tell me why I should be funding my own retirement, while going on funding “generous social welfare funding” I would be infinitely obliged.

    All such welfare should be reduced to a pittance, payable once s month as 1/12 of a pittance.

    This would enable tax cuts and more cash in the hand for working class people.

  47. Robber Baron

    Turnbull doesn’t care one bit about the Australian taxpayer. In fact, he can’t stand you.

    He is paid a handsome salary by the taxpayer and will get an indexed pension for life that’s vastly better than AWE. He also has cleverly moved his income generating assets off-shore to avoid the Australian tax regime. What the hell does he care if deficits and taxes go up, he’s immune. He is laughing at all you suckers!

    Vote 1 Layba.

  48. classical_hero

    The first Abbott/Staples budget – the highlights:

    The resurrection of fuel excise
    A “da fairness” income tax increase
    Token spending cuts
    A deficit of $26 billion (actual result $37.9 billion)

    Yet that budget was considered “unfair”, go figure. TA got hammered for that budget when he tried to make small cuts, just sho how low we have gone.

    If I want Australia to become like Greece, I would rather visit the country for myself, but I wouldn’t want to be living there, yet that seems to be our prospect.

  49. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    All such welfare should be reduced to a pittance, payable once s month as 1/12 of a pittance.

    I’m getting old, I know, but I do remember when the welfare system was designed to help those in genuine need – the unemployment benefit was there to sustain you between spells of work, not provide an alternative lifestyle, and the supporting mother’s benefit wasn’t there to fund a lifestyle that involved five children by three different fathers.

  50. DaveR

    Wayne Morrison – with direction and guidance under Abbott showed strength and soundness, under Tiberius Julius Turnbull the Usurper he now looks adrift and without bearing.

    A good general lost on the voyage of ambition?

  51. Yohan

    I love how Judith does not hold back. Her articles in the OZ today are great.

  52. Zyconoclast

    i’m getting old, I know, but I do remember when the welfare system was designed to help those in genuine need – the unemployment benefit was there to sustain you between spells of work, not provide an alternative lifestyle, and the supporting mother’s benefit wasn’t there to fund a lifestyle that involved five children by three different fathers.

    You are getting old. 5 children from 5 fathers is the current fashion.

  53. Paul farmer

    I am growing extremely concerned, I am joining the ldp. The reason we can’t muck around turning the deficit around like its some lazy Sunday drive to use the ridiculous metaphor our treasurer did is called 20 billion a year in dead interest that has to be paid. It is simple maths , that pays for a hell of a lot of services. That there is no segment of the liberal party screaming about is all the more concerning. This approach of meandering down the road sets us on a path like Europe or Japan, a road to economic malaise where taxes will have to stay high to fund the debt and so our economy will end up in a vice of stagnation, low growth and high taxes ……… And God help us if the labor party does get back in, Morrison and turnball have just given them a huge get of of jail, we are not going to hold you to account because we are no better ourself card………God we need a John Howard or a Peter Costello if we ever needed one.

  54. Ray

    I can remember the days when I quit the Liberal party because of my disappointment at the lost opportunities and the standard of economic management under the Howard government. Now I think I could be very happy if only we could return to that level of mismanagement.

  55. Ray

    The creatures outside looked from ALP to LNP, and from LNP to ALP, and from ALP to LNP again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    My apologies to Orwell.

  56. Aussiepundit

    You could close your eyes and think that it is Wayne Swan talking drivel, presumably in part fed to him by his advisers and Treasury

    At least we now know who’s really pulling the strings, and it ain’t the politicians.

    Another example is ill fated attempt to raise the GST. This was an idea first being workshopped by Gillard and Swan, then by Abbott and Hockey, and more recently by Turnbull and Morrison. Did they all independently come up with this brainwave?

    No. They all saw the same powerpoint presentation.

  57. GK

    So finally the truth is coming out, all politicians are really lefties and love spending other people’s money. There is no difference in parties anymore, especially since the population depending on taxpayer money is growing rapidly, and once these voting leeches reach 50% of the electorate there is no turning back.
    I expect that super will eventually be taxed on earnings before retirement (ie earnings achieved each year), severe restrictions on what you can access when you do retire and higher tax rates when you do access it when you do retire. And there is nothing we can do about it.

  58. OldOzzie

    Daily Telegraph Article says it all about Backstabbing, Slimebag, Sleeze Scott Morrison

    Scott Morrison: Federal Treasurer lost track of his own unclaimed money

    THE man responsible for looking after the nation’s economy and bringing the budget back into the black has lost track of his own finances.

    Treasurer Scott Morrison has more than $600 sitting in an untouched St George Bank account and was only made aware of the existence of the surplus funds after he was contacted by The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

    The $609.87 is in an ­account held by Mr Morrison and wife Jenny that has been untouched for about a decade.

    The Treasurer is one of thousands of Australians who have had $1.18 billion seized by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ­because it has sat dormant.

    Ironically, the Coalition government overturned former treasurer Wayne Swan’s “piggy bank grab” after Labor cut the period before the government could claim the funds from seven years to three.

    Mr Morrison, who handles $405 billion in government revenue, said focusing on work commitments often meant Australians overlooked potential windfalls.

  59. Aussiepundit

    So finally the truth is coming out, all politicians are really lefties and love spending other people’s money.

    It’s worse than that.
    They’re not running the show.

  60. gary

    When the voters sacked the Howard govt as soon as they had paid off Keating and Hawke’s massive debt, it was obvious we were not going to get another govt that would take the pain of paying off debt until the debt was once again large enough to scare enough swing voters to accept the pain.

  61. Struth

    Was labor under a raging commo unionist Hawke as left wing?

    Australia did not vote for this.
    In that one point there is a lot to be said.
    We didn’t vote for handouts.
    We really didn’t.
    This is no more than the political elites looking for good media coverage.
    They, riding in private jets and helicopters, wanking themselves furiously at climate global bureaucrat parties, have betrayed their people.
    By God, they are going to pay.
    Vote anything right wing.
    Ask somebody from a real socialist country and history tells you.
    Socialism doesn’t stop until many, sometimes millions , are murdered.
    Voting labor should not be an option as a way to punish them.

  62. Reduce the suffering, get the collapse going, then we can purge the body politic of the feral flukes that infest it.

    Habib, it’s the only way out now. The maggots have to be removed before the wound can heal. (and even that is a poor analogy as maggots will eat dead flesh and help keep the wound clean.)

  63. GP

    overlooked potential windfalls.

    So now our own savings are classed as windfalls?

  64. Wayne morrison , love it .been saying kevin turnbull for ages and comrade bishop is already Jools who is tge liberal thompson? They are bound to have one ,career polliemupets always do ,it goes with the job.

  65. Tom

    Now is the time to plan ahead. Milk the Governments, whichever is in power, for whatever you can get away with. It’s what the left did every step of the way since Howard. They need to be repaid in droves, until we are broke. First, though, arrange your businesses and finances accordingly. That, my friends is the only solution to the mess they don’t want to fix.

  66. He also has cleverly moved his income generating assets off-shore to avoid the Australian tax regime.

    I want evidence of this RB. Yes, I’ve heard the rumours, but evidence so I can run with it.

  67. A good general lost on the voyage of ambition?

    DaveR: A good General has a sense of moral direction. When Morrison decided to be commit treason to his leader, he showed he had no morality.
    Curse him, Turnbull and Bishop.
    They have thrown Australia onto the funeral pyre.

  68. JohnA

    Scott Morrison wants to transform the way the government’s economic performance is judged, with less focus on the budget balance and greater attention on its ­strategies to lift growth.

    I note the similarity to a US Presidential candidate who successfully campaigned on a slogan about “Transforming America.”

    This government has gone native so damn quick! To quote Frank Wiesel from Yes, Minister
    “Yes, Jim, you just repeat everything the Civil Service has programmed you to say! What are you, a man or a mouth?” (Episode 4 Big Brother)

  69. Pat Heuvel

    I see what’s happened here: CFMEU puppet Shorten and his team of trained rodents was actually a distraction while the real Labor heavy lifters quietly replaced the Libs. Very clever. Oh well, as they say in the classics: “BOHICA”.

  70. mc

    Wayne morrison , love it .been saying kevin turnbull for ages and comrade bishop is already Jools who is tge liberal thompson? They are bound to have one ,career polliemupets always do ,it goes with the job.

    How does Craig Pyne sound? Wasn’t he the one that put the handbrake on people criticising expense claims?

  71. Norman Church

    Turnbull and Morrison are the bureaucrats’ bitches. Treasury broke in the new government in record time. Pathetic.

    There is a profound insight in this brief comment.

  72. I expect that super will eventually be taxed on earnings before retirement (ie earnings achieved each year), severe restrictions on what you can access when you do retire and higher tax rates when you do access it when you do retire. And there is nothing we can do about it.

    There’s always something you can do about it, GK. If everyone turned their Super spigot down to the basic level, and those who could do it, took all they could from their funds and put it offshore somewhere safe, then the Super Industry would take one hell of a hit into its cash flow. The vote of ‘no confidence’ in the system may make the pollies wake up to the fact they are prodding a deranged giraffe with a taste for blood.

  73. Dan

    When you think about it the idea of one politician reforming “the economy” is almost comic. Almost as funny as humans trying to change the temperature of the world … Oh wait we are doing that too…

  74. Neil

    ALP created the budget problem

    Yes and no.

    Swan most probably let Treasury have more say than what Costello did. Swan stated before the 2007 election that he would let Treasury run the country if something like the GFC happened. The home insulation scheme was presented to the Howard govt as a climate change scheme which the Howard govt rejected because it would be too difficult to manage. It was presented again as a stimulus program to the Rudd govt which Swan agreed to.

    Treasury and Swan should share the blame for our budget problems

  75. Louis Hissink

    Basically it means that Swannie and company planted too many fiscal landmines that the present lot can’t defuse, and hence the distraction of changing the goal posts.

    We rivv in intellesting times

  76. Aussiepundit

    Basically it means that Swannie and company planted too many fiscal landmines that the present lot can’t defuse, and hence the distraction of changing the goal posts.

    No, it doesn’t mean that.

  77. Richard Bender

    Even if some of the more hairy-chested recommendations were taken up and there were three times the level of savings in (the MYEFO) statement than the $10bn that was announced, in terms of the impact that would have on the debt 10 or 12 years from now, well, it would be ­marginal.

    FFS. At the same time you announced $10 billion in ‘savings’, you announced $10 billion in new expenditure. Of course the effect is marginal if the actual reduction in expenditure is two thirds of bugger all. If you reduced spending by $30 billion each year you would be much, much closer to a surplus.

  78. Squirrel

    “Creditors, from whom the government will seek $90bn this year, care a lot more about the budget deficit than they do about innovation policy. For the moment they are happy to lend, but the longer it takes to restore the budget, the less flexibility Australia will have when next it does face recession.”

    In time, the markets will sort this out – the passing political players (of all stripes) are simply waving, and drowning.

  79. Jack Lacton

    BTW – Scott Morriswan works better than Wayne Morrison.

  80. .

    A Lurker
    #1895035, posted on December 22, 2015 at 8:59 pm
    Good government nowhere on the horizon.

    I think a complete overhaul of the system is necessary.

    My qualifications to run for public office in Australia as an MP or Senator:
    Attain age 30.
    Worked in or run a Small Business for at least five years.
    One year’s compulsory volunteering in the regions – in small business, farms, factories etc.
    Compulsory personality testing to rule out sociopathy, psychopathy, high levels of narcissism.

    plus

    Nine year term limits in Parliament either in Government or Opposition – after nine years you are back out in the regular workforce.

    (The above would remove the insane, the careerists, the infant-politicians, and the ones who hop from University straight into political staffer roles with no time spent in the real world.)

    Just have sortition (for the House). You could have recall elections and referenda to sack bad MPs and strike down bad laws – and as for the Senate? Have the House half fill it by appointment after each election.

    I’d say one five year term limit, plus a possible ten year one term in the Senate.

    The executive should be like a board and CEO *replacing* the crown and PM. Let the board be appointed by parliament, and confirm the appointment of the CEO and board with the public.

  81. Rayvic

    “We have to throw these idiots out ASAP, even if (as it does) putting other idiots in, so that we can have some hope of throwing all the idiots out three years after that and get someone who knows the mess that we’re in and has some of the guts and nerve needed to get us out of it.”

    That raises the 64 dollar question:
    How many one-term governments do we have to endure before someone who knows the mess that we’re in finds the guts and nerve needed to get us out of it?

    Turnbull and Wayne Morrison should bow out if they lose the next election. Perhaps Tony Abbott should stick around.

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