Government Adviser Tells Budget Critics To Stop 'Huff and Puff'

Getty/Lisa Lake

The AFR reports this morning that the Government’s top business adviser Maurice Newman has joined the chorus of business disquiet over the political intransigence which is gripping Canberra as the Government seeks to get its budget through the Senate.

Newman said:

You can huff and puff about broken promises but the government is charged with the responsibility to ensure we get back to some sort of fiscal balance. We need to fix this, Financial Review.

Those who don’t like what the government is doing, what are the alternatives? I don’t know what the alternatives are

Like a lot of business leaders, Newman thinks the Government could have gone further with its cuts but he is also echoing increased calls from Australia’s business leadership, including Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder yesterday, that the uncertainty around the budget is bad for the economy.

Business hates uncertainty and the impact it has on consumer confidence and the ability of businesses and households to make decision with any clarity or sense of what the future might look like.

Indeed, the Senate looks like a minefield for the budget with opposition on all fronts.

Labor’s and the Greens’ opposition is clear but Clive Palmer’s PUP remains a conundrum after the Government agreed to demands for more staff in order to assuage Clive Palmer’s previous call that he wouldn’t negotiate with the Government unless he received more resources.

Yesterday’s dismissal of the extra staff as inadequate muddies the waters further.

Expect to hear more from Australia’s business elite in the days and weeks ahead.

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