Tony Abbott's top business adviser says a 'softly, softly' approach to budget reform won't work

Tony Abbott in Parliament. Photo: Getty Images

The Prime Minister’s top business adviser warns any hopes of repairing the budget deficit “seems to have all but evaporated” following the leadership spill motion.

Maurice Newman has a column in The Australian today, warning that a “fractured” Liberal Party will likely take a more timid approach to improving national finances at this “critical budgetary crossroads”, when “what is required is strong, urgent action”.

“All attempts to reduce the budget ¬≠deficit have faced a hostile reaction, with the Labor line of equity and fairness relentlessly pursued,” Newman writes.

“And, in an uncertain world, as the deficit widens, the task becomes politically and economically more difficult with each passing day.

“From now on, a fractured party and an emboldened Senate and opposition must mean a more softly, softly approach to policy when what is required is strong, urgent action.”

Newman warned the message we’re sending to the world is “Australia lacks the maturity and stamina to balance its budget”.

His assessment could mean that Australia really is in crisis.

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