By Andrew Bolt ~
It’s easy to criticise, but the feral Senate and a public fed lies are refusing to accept the spending cuts we need. Insisting on more would be courageous and dangerous:
Australia is taking the lazy way out of repairing its budget balance, relying on tax increases driven by economic growth, including bracket creep, while the rest of the advanced world is finding savings on the spending side.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that bold action is needed to improve the budgetary bottom line but countries including Australia face political difficulties.
I do wish, though, that Treasurer Scott Morrison had been backed more strongly by the rest of the government when insisting we have a spending problem. I now doubt the Budget will follow through on that:
Mr Morrison said additional spending commitments, such as on health and education, would be delivered “sustainably” and “in a way that taxpayers can afford”.
But Labor’s response is surely a recipe for mediocrity:
Mr Morrison said the tax burden would be less under the Coalition than it would under Labor, which has released policies to raise an additional $100 billion revenue over 10 years.
Let’s hope that Malcolm Turnbull’s latest big idea goes nowhere. Alan Mitchell:
Has Malcolm Turnbull found his National Broadband Network?… The infrastructure industry, which has been pushing a high-speed rail link between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, will be working hard to promote the ongoing expansion of Turnbull’s “vision”.
A thought bubble on rails, you could almost say.
And yet, even the most carefully crafted political gimmick can unexpectedly turn sour. First, there is the question of whether this investment in high-speed rail can be justified, given Australia’s low population density.
Then there are the questions surrounding the “value capture”. It is an excellent idea in tax reform theory but the increase in activity associated with the capital gains will impose costs on local and state governments. Will there be enough extra revenue to go around, or will there be “double taxation” and political resistance?…
The government will be steering resources potentially available for other projects into a massively expensive new rail system that is not viable without its support… The taxpayers almost certainly will be exposed to considerable risk, and the credit ratings agencies will be taking an interest…
More ominously, the consultant associated with Labor’s Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne high-speed rail proposal warned of the “lack of certainty about future demand and revenues, and the potential for cost over-runs during construction”. And while the consultant’s cost benefit analysis claimed a substantial net benefit to the community, ongoing taxpayer subsidies would be required to cover operating losses…
A new report by Institute of Economic Affairs says the cost of the high-speed rail could reach $150 billion, double the already escalated official estimate.
A high-profile group of unionists, academics and former public servants who oppose a corporate tax cut in the budget has been dubbed “the fatuous 50’’ by a conservative think tank.
Institute of Public Affairs chief John Roskam said many in the group had “spent so long on the public teat and no doubt have defined benefits superannuation schemes and won’t be affected by changes to superannuation’’.
“Their real world experience, for so many of these people is limited to the university common room. They have little idea about what it takes to run a business, employ people and create wealth,’’ he said.
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.