By Andrew Bolt ~
I assume someone in the Turnbull Government has whispered these sweet nothings in journalist Peter Martin’s ear. If so, it seems the Government is not only giving up on slashing our massive debt, but is planning to increase it:
While the media has been obsessing about tax, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been focused on setting Australia up. To do it, he’ll need to borrow big sums of money for exceptionally long periods at at extraordinarily low interest rates…
What will Turnbull want the money for? Here’s where it gets interesting. He dropped broad hints in a speech in Sydney on Friday…
Turnbull quotes economist Edward Glaeser, who wrote Triumph of the City, to make the point that cities are our greatest invention… Getting more people into cities boosts the Australian economy, boosts incomes and boosts government revenue. Which is where the budget comes in.
Turnbull’s predecessor funded roads more or less as he wanted. He didn’t insist on thorough analysis. And despite labelling himself the infrastructure prime minister, Tony Abbott never spent that much money. Turnbull is prepared to spend more, so long as it can be rigorously demonstrated that the project will pay dividends…
Turnbull’s major projects minister, Paul Fletcher, will produce a discussion paper outlining how value-capture will work within weeks. It could open the way for all sorts of projects previously regarded as uneconomic or not yet economic, including a Melbourne-Brisbane freight rail line, a railway to the site of Sydney’s second airport, and (perhaps) a Melbourne-Brisbane high-speed passenger line.
Day by day, Turnbull looks more like the former (Labor) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. For all the pretty words, name-dropping, bagging of Tony Abbott and sweet theorising, all that this amounts to is borrowing even more to spend even more.
If this is indeed a leak or a sanctioned hint, it says a lot that it’s given to Martin.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.