A NOTHING BUDGET
... with a little nothing for everyone
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Of the many Canberra budget lockups I have been in, this one is the first time the authors of the budget should have been locked up instead of the journos. It is a budget which is framed entirely for the coming election and completely ignores Moody's close eye on Labor’s dangerous deficit. Loss of an AAA rating will impact on every man, woman and child in Australia.
The only budget component of any interest is the easy mark of a tobacco tax increase. Well, that didn’t take a lot of thinking about did it? Shorten adds up the receipts to about $48 billion over ten years and forgets to deduct those poor bastards who will give up and refuse to pay $70 for a smoke.
Morrison halved the expected receipts to around $28 billion, which means he expects at least half of current smokers to resort to cheap chop chop or grow their own tobacco.
But these tobacco receipts are gathered over ten years and according to reports most of those smokers will soon be dead, and not many dead people continue to pay $70 for a packet of fags. So Shorten’s and Morrison’s estimates are wildly inaccurate... but it sounds like a lot of savings so let’s include it in the budget anyway because in ten years' time it will be someone else’s problem.
Apart from shifting a few tax thresholds around, this will be a nothing budget and it will make a mockery of Government accounting.
It’s a budget that will stick to Turnbull like shit to a blanket for decades to come. If he had the testicular fortitude to at least risk his hide in the coming election in favour of bringing down a responsible budget he may have deserved some credit, but this is a survival-of-Turnbull budget with nothing that impacts on the national interest.
Most economists are more interested in the Reserve Bank’s response to a low inflation rate. The trouble there is that any movement in the cash interest rate will be meaningless when the rate is so low. Any move would need to be at least a full percentage point but the RBA has never been that adventurous and it would see the banks laughing all the way to the, um, er, banks. Anyway the RBA is ignored by the banks who now do their own thing.
The attack on multinational taxation is a regurgitated Whitlam policy from the seventies and, like the attack on negative gearing, it didn’t work then either. The expected return of less than $3 billion is a pittance of no budgetary consequence and no deduction is made due to global businesses who will shift their headquarters to more submissive locations denying the Australian Government of any bloody tax. After all, that’s what their shareholders will demand.
The Coalition’s repetitive election motto of, “we are all about jobs and growth” is another indication of its woolly thinking; those with a job don’t give a stuff and the only growth they’ve ever seen is in Government spending. Those without a job are on social benefits and will invariably vote Labor regardless.
Shorten had great success naming Abbott’s 2015 budget as “unfair”, but this one isn’t even that! It’s a nothing budget! and the thinnest edition ever.
...and they’ve locked the wrong people up!