Monday 29 April 2013

Setting the scene for a horror budget

Looks like the Labor government of Australia has started the annual 'softening up' of the electorate in preparation for the nasties that will have be included in this year's budget in order to prevent the forecast deficit growing to party-annihilating levels prior to the September federal election. Even keeping the budget deficit to low double-digit billions will probably require a lot of smoke and mirrors, in addition to some direct revenue raising measures, given that the PM has ruled out winding back their major spending programs such as the unaffordable schools funding and unfunded disability care programs.

In yesterday's speech the PM said "the burden of the government's fiscal woes will be shared across the Australian community", but that also "while no one group will be singled out, cuts will be framed around Labor values" - which is usually code for middle-class taxpayers having to shoulder the burden of the massive expenditure programs Labor has been busy implementing during its final year in power.

While there is lip-service paid to the concept of "ask[ing] everyone to make some contribution" the reality of the PMs view that "People come with different capacities to the task" will mean that any cuts in expenditure or increased taxes are likely to target the 'middle class'.

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