Be afraid

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should be very concerned about a headline in the AFR this morning:

Turnbull back

The story itself says this:

Selling controversial tax changes to the public such as an increase in the GST will be a long and difficult journey, but a top Treasury official has publicly pledged that the department will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sell the case for reform.

These are the people who at the 2010 budget dropped data from a regression analysis to change the results and tell a better story.

These are the people who told the government that the mining industry only paid 13% in tax.

These are the people who didn’t understand how the mining tax they had sold to government would actually work.

These are the people who did some very dodgy modelling on the carbon tax.

These are the people who have done some very dodgy modelling on company tax receipts.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Treasury are not the best people to have at your back.

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47 Responses to Be afraid

  1. Struth says:

    Treasury are public servants are they not?
    So ……….what else is there to say.

  2. Just interested says:

    You would prima facie think they are people who always ‘had the back’ of government; I thought that was the idea of a permanent public service with tenure.

    That said, they are the people who do appear to provide poor advice, both to the RGR Government and then subsequently; I always wondered why the (failed) Abbott Government did not commission a review on the quality of Treasury advice as the first thing they did when entering government.

  3. Baldrick says:

    … a top Treasury official has publicly pledged that the department will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sell the case for reform.

    So it’s Turnbull and Treasury that we need to be afraid of, not just Treasury.

  4. rich says:

    review on the quality of Treasury advice as the first thing they did when entering government.

    Advice that prosecutes the case of big government, no matter how incorrect? Think of them as a propaganda arm rather than an impartial measurement arm of the state.

  5. Rabz says:

    Yet another mantra:

    More and increased taxes is not “tax reform”.

    You frigging dunderheads.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    We’ve got your back

    Today:

    Trust me. I got your back.

    Treasury, as I’ll say again should be abolished, the statutory functions transferred to the Reserve Bank and all the economic crap tendered out to the private sector. The place is a den of Gaia adoring lefties.

  7. . says:

    Increasing a tax rate is not reform.

    The government spends twice as much as it needs to deliver the same outcomes.

    Until the government cuts the budget in half and a war starts, there is no justification for tax increases, only tax cuts.

    Abolishing taxes on income and stamp duties would be reform, but to compensate for revenue neutrality is not. It is limiting how far reform can go.

  8. Rabz says:

    Treasury are not the best people to have at your back.

    Can’t help but wonder if Goose Swansteen would agree with that assertion.

    Nah – he’d disagree.

  9. Tel says:

    You forgot about how many times we were “about to run a surplus in just a few years”.

    I think they got every single revenue projection overstated from about 2009 onwards, or at least the majority of those.

  10. Driftforge says:

    ‘Will create data for intended purpose’

  11. Neenee says:

    So it’s Turnbull and Treasury that we need to be afraid of, not just Treasury Turnbull.

    There, fixed it.

  12. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should be very concerned about a headline in the AFR this morning:

    Noooooooo. I think perhaps that first line should read:

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull We should be very concerned about a headline in the AFR this morning:

    Because after all, what’s to concern The Fisher King? He’s going to need a big fat income stream to pay for his re-election, as I am not sure that there are enough leather fetishists, damaged women and ABC employees in Australia to deliver the overwhelming majority of seats he will need, especially in the Senate.

    So actually, Doomlord, it is US who should be worried.

    Mind you, I don’t mind the GST being raised, as long as income tax is reduced and the States get a bigger share of what they actually chalk up on the board. Yeah, right.

  13. Hydra says:

    Treasury function should be outsourced.

  14. H B Bear says:

    Yeah that global price on carbon that Treasury modelling used fills you with hope.

    Hope that no-one ever listens to these people again on anything.

  15. Rabz says:

    Yeah that global price on carbon that Treasury modelling used fills you with hope.

    Bear, I reckon that modelling was secretly developed by a certain colourless bureaucrat’s beloved wombats.

    Actually, scratch that – they probably would’ve come up with something that bore closer resemblance to reality.

  16. Diogenes says:

    Treasury has 1 main function … they can’t even do that … in your litany of woes … can’t get surplus/deficit +/-10% with half the year gone

  17. Infidel Tiger says:

    Turnbull thinks government legislates for innovation – perhaps the stupidest thing a smart person has ever said. Innovation can only occur without government interference or involvement.

    I doubt he’s smart enough to realise Treasury is a den of iniquity that should have the doors sealed and saran gas released inside it.

  18. A Lurker says:

    I get the impression that Doomlord is falling out of luurve with the Turnbull Government. 😉

  19. johanna says:

    Treasury has been progressively corrupted ever since John Stone left as the boss. It used to be a beach-head of hard-nosed economists whose job it was to say “no.” In the RGR years, they put the former head of the Climate Change department in there, FFS! This is a person who inherently believes in defying the law of economic gravity, and who imports and promotes the people who agree with him.

    They did the same to the Productivity Commission.

  20. PaulW says:

    a top Treasury official has publicly pledged that the department will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sell the case for reform.

    His name wouldn’t be Good win by any chance

  21. I get the impression that Doomlord is falling out of luurve with the Turnbull Government. 😉

    I don’t reckon. I think we’ve got a True Believer here. But time will tell.

  22. rich says:

    I reckon that modelling was secretly developed by a certain colourless bureaucrat’s beloved wombats.

    You squeeze the wombat and pills of policy comes out, like a fortune cookie. Written on every little paper is tax hike = tax reform.

  23. Ragu says:

    What do you expect when some LNP moron is out there promoting PolicyHACK!

    Whatever the plook that means.

    But it’s hip and edgy, like a thousand dollar leather jacket and a wife that looks like a dude. The new policy line writes itself;

    Inclusive taxation

  24. Giuseppe De Simone says:

    As Treasury is responsible for revenue and the budget balance but not directly responsible for expenditure (this is the role of the Finance Department overseeing individual spending departments), tax reform by Treasury is code for tax increases to bring the budget back into balance. As most people are net beneficiaries of government budget measures (i.e. the tax they pay is lower than the transfer payments and services such as health and education they consume), the only tax increases which stand a chance of passing (unless there is a significant compensation bribe paid) are those which target relatively few individuals – the high income earners and the retired wealthy. Losing the high income earners destroys your innovation and entrepreneurship and losing the retired wealthy who just leave the country with their wealth means you have to import more capital. Both are stupid stupid moves.

  25. JohnA says:

    From Yes, Minister, the definition of Treasury policy:

    “Grab as much money as you possibly can squeeze out of the populace, and only then figure out what you want to spend it on.”

  26. mundi says:

    Why is this top official not being sacked by the minister immediately.

    For the treasury to take a political stand in favour of taxation is intolerable.

  27. Adrian says:

    Treasury have never been less important with the advent of the ATO, ASIC, AFOM and the Dept of Finance.

  28. Dear Philippa,
    Perhaps I should learn how to use an anonymising email service so that it works?
    So hard to keep things confidential these days.
    It is indeed a tragedy that I am not receiving emails from any Muslim-panicked, single, bitter white male over the age of 60, being the most common demographic there now.
    For the record, I enjoy your comments when they aren’t to do with politics, economics, abortion, or climate change. I guess that leaves your adventures in Catholic dating. But yes, that was funny.
    Cheers,
    Your distant observer,
    Steve
    From Brisbane

    Ladies and gents, I need a quick poll on this.

    Do I continue to post these ramblings to the Cat, thus giving ‘SfB’ or his impersonator their clearly much-craved oxygen?

    Or do I just delete them with an amused shake of the head?

    Votes to be in within the next half-hour, at which time polling will close. The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

  29. Adrian says:

    Treasury has been progressively corrupted ever since John Stone left as the boss…

    Ever since responsibility for the Commonwealth Budget was taken off Treasury, they were left with revenue and economic forecasting and a very thin policy capability. All the difficult aspects of taxation and financial regulation are undertaken by Treasury’s supporting agencies like the ATO and ASIC; however, Treasury lacks the skills and resources to understand what those agencies do in practice.

    Dept of Finance has a better understanding of what Treasury’s agencies do because every year they have to review their operations and funding requests in line with the Commonwealth budget process.

  30. Fred Lenin says:

    Is there any way a future government of Real Australians can privatise as much of the public”service” .,as a cost cutting excersize? One day we might have a government controlled by tge New Australian Liberty Alliance ,which is launched this month.at ladt we have a chance to vote for people who are not career aparatchiks of the national green laboral pardee ,might be a chance to get rid of kevin turnbull ,juliar bishop shorten and tge drug dealers wife .

  31. Fred Lenin says:

    Phillipa ,delete the leftist propaganda of sfb ,he has 80 per cent of the meeja on his team where we woukd not get a chance to differ from the pardee line ,keep Catallaxy pollution free , that is my advice. For what its worth . Thanks. fredlenin .

  32. Thank you for playing, Freddy.

  33. rich says:

    Keep sfb’s mail as evidence of making threats over a carriage service

    Ignore him

  34. johanna says:

    Adrian, is that you?

    Jo

  35. MareeS says:

    Memo to Treasury: I have Malcolm’s back, an if he lays a hand on my SMSF, the knife has a very sharp blade.

    Disclaimer to AFP and ASIO: this is not a personal threat, just me trying to add humour to the interweb. Unsuccessfully, if you knock on our front door tonight.

  36. James says:

    I don’t mind the GST being raised, as long as income tax is reduced and the States get a bigger share of what they actually chalk up on the board.

    Bowen was right for once. He mentioned that there are so many things that we want from the increased GST, but we can only deliver one.

    (1) address bracket creep by reducing income tax
    (2) reduce company tax
    (3) increase health and education spending
    (4) reduce budget deficit
    (5) compensate the low income earners and welfare recipients

    Most of the money will go to (5)

  37. H B Bear says:

    Good laundry list too by the way Sinc.

    Treasury should stick to molesting wombats.

  38. Ubique says:

    Treasury has long fallen into the hands of political opportunists. Time and again they determine the desired political – bureaucratic outcome and then look to doctor evidence to back it up. Frank and fearless advice? Forget it.

  39. Kool Aid Kid says:

    Many years ago I remember Leo Hielscher saying to me that Queensland would be tax free. That was in the coal boom of the 1980s. It didn’t happen. Judging from the string, I suspect that folk have yet to realise how much doo-doo is about to rain. Being a resident (usually) of other parts north of here, I would suggest that the Oz experience of recent years is freewheeling toward a rather long drop. Our kids are going to have real trouble replicating our lived experience, and they will reward us with a much more dynamic attitude to change. For starters, you can fully expect that the soft tax regime of the past 20 years will be contracted. For the simple reason that kids won’t have the means to sustain our tax free retirement and gold plated health services. Of course, you could all join me offshore. But I can tell you: it ain’t nearly so nice.

  40. Sydney Boy says:

    Unfortunately James, I believe you are correct.

  41. Jannie says:

    If you don’t feed the beast nicely I will threaten to bite your hand off. Then it will swallow your arm. And it will remind you how lucky you are it didn’t start with your head.

  42. Jannie says:

    Phillipa, I am probably a bit late, but IMHO you should not feed seagulls such as Sfb because they will crap on your fish and chips.

  43. Crossie says:

    Selling controversial tax changes to the public such as an increase in the GST will be a long and difficult journey, but a top Treasury official has publicly pledged that the department will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sell the case for reform.

    They keep forgetting that they are in the ACT and if they wish to join their one worlder friends they I’ll have to come through Goulburn, Yass or one of the state capitals where we will be waiting.

  44. Robbo says:

    I’m more than happy to see those dickheads at Treasury at Turnbull’s back. They will guarantee that the conniving, disloyal, mendacious, untrustworthy bastard doesn’t survive as PM for very long.

  45. "Up The Workers!" says:

    Does anybody know what Piggy Howes, who famously “had Juliar’s back”, ended up DOING with it?

    Did he ever return it to her, like the All-singing, All-dancing “Dr. Emo” presumably did with her Prime Ministerial contact lenses that he once swallowed?

  46. Econocrat says:

    So, Treasury now publicly chooses which governments it supports?!?

    And with friends like Treasury, you don’t need enemies.

  47. m0nty says:

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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