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In the land of film and television fiction, the IMF is the Impossible Mission Force. Depending on your age, you will automatically think of either Tom Cruise or Peter Graves playing the lead character of Ethan Hunt (Cruise) or Jim Phelps (Graves).
Mr Hunt’s (Graves’) mission, if he chooses to accept it was usually some impossible mission (hence the name) that usually involve some form of deception.
In the land of economic and financial policy fiction, howeverm the IMF is the International Monetary Fund, housed in Paris and lead by a French woman offering economic advice one would expect from an organisation based in Paris France.
Late last month, the IMF Board (the Paris one not the film one) concluded its:
This is a process whereby Australian Commonwealth Treasury technocrats (including previously Dr Martin Parkinson — Dr Ken Henry worked down the road at the OECD), describe the economic thinking of the Commonwealth Treasury to the economic oracles of Paris.
In the IMF report of this consultation, here is a key sentence from the IMF’s assessment. The highlight belongs to TAFKAS:
(IMF) Directors encouraged the authorities to exercise prudence in approving permanent tax cuts or expenditure increases.
Firstly, note the recommendation to the “authorities”, as in the Treasury officials. It seems a foreign concept to the Europeans that it is actually an elected government and not some cabal of faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats that determines national fiscal policy. But then they recommend exercising prudence in approving permanent tax cuts or expenditure increases.
This is basically Euro-Bureau-Speak for keep those taxes high. If you don’t, we high tax Europeans may be forced to cut our taxes.
Australia’s mission, as recommended by the IMF, should we choose to accept it will lead to higher taxes and higher government spending. And if we accept it, our economy rather than the advice of the IMF will self destruct in 5 seconds.