After yesterday’s speech in which Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard came clean about the parlous state of the national finances leading economic commentators have some choice words for the government (and the opposition) this morning.
Here are some of the highlights, starting with a withering takedown by Judith Sloan at The Australian (subscription):
The economic message is completely garbled – we are doing really well, much better than most other developed economies, but the budget is in the ditch and it is not our fault that we overestimated revenue.
The real purpose of the Prime Minister’s speech was to prime us for some bad news come budget night. You know the sort of thing: nothing is off the table, sacrifices will be expected of everyone – individuals, companies, institutions.
Alan Mitchell at the Australian Financial Review (subscription):
Julia Gillard would like us to blame the world economy, the Australian dollar and the Treasury’s revenue forecasts for her government’s fiscal problems.
But the truth is that those problems are fundamentally of her own making.
It was her government’s decisions that left the budget still in deficit at the peak of the biggest commodity price and mining investment boom in our history.
Jessica Irvine for News Ltd:
THE problem is there is no convincing plan from either side of politics to get us back to surplus.
BOTH sides of politics are to blame. The Howard government gave away tax cuts totalling nearly $120 billion in its last five budgets.
It is now obvious that those cuts were not affordable in the long term…
Terry McCrann at the Herald Sun:
If Gillard was a CEO in the corporate world, the very minimal thing she would have already done, would have been to sack her CFO for such lazy incompetence – while hoping that would save her from herself being sacked by her board of directors.
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