Tony Abbott Responds To Mid-Year Budget Update

Tony Abbott has described the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as a “crisis mini-budget.”

Speaking at a joint press conference with Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb, Abbott claimed there is now no buffer against international economic problems because of the incompetence of the government.

  • Listen to Abbott, Hockey and Robb (19m)

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Transcript of joint press conference with Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb.

TONY ABBOTT: Today the Government has finally admitted what the Coalition has been saying for months. Namely, there is a crisis in Europe, there is a global economic slowdown and it will impact on Australia. I want to make the fundamental point that this is a government which is imperilling our ability to respond to this global problem. It is imperilling our ability to respond to this very serious set of international economic numbers.

This is a government which is making a bad situation worse with its new taxes and with its continuing waste. There is no good time to introduce bad taxes but this is the worst possible time to be introducing a carbon tax and a mining tax which are going to damage Australia’s international competitiveness. [Read more…]

Swan Releases MYEFO: Budget Surplus Shaved

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). It forecasts an increased budget deficit for 2011-12 and a small surplus in 2012-13.

Key points from MYEFO:

  • 2011-12 budget deficit has increased to $37 billion from the budget forecast of $23 billion.
  • The budget surplus for 2012-13 has been downgraded from $3.5 billion to $1.5 billion.
  • Deteriorating economic conditions have cut $20 billion from revenue over the four-year forward estimates.
  • Additional savings of $11.5 billion over four years have been announced.
  • The baby bonus has been cut from $5400 to $5000.
  • A 2.5% efficiency dividend, on top of an existing 1.5%, will produce savings across government departments of $1.5 billion.
  • The federal and High Courts, and cultural institutions such as the Australian War Memorial have been been protected from cuts.
  • There will be a crackdown on living away from home tax concessions, an increase in the eligibility age for the dependent spouse offset.
  • Gross Domestic Product is now forecast to grow by 3.25%, down from 4.25%.
  • Unemployment is expected to be 5.5% in 2011-12 and 2012-13, slightly up on budget forecasts.

[Read more…]

After Four Years, Labor Is Still Buying Time

The Labor Government celebrated four years in office on Thursday with a manoeuvre that all but guaranteed it will serve a full term.

AnniversaryAs it embarks on its fifth year in office, Peter Slipper’s defection has enabled Julia Gillard to fulfil one of the most important goals of a prime minister: to insulate her government against sudden threats and extend its longevity.

The means may make some pall but the ends are delightful for a government living on the edge.

But not much else has changed. Only the madly optimistic believe Labor will make it to a sixth birthday.

Of all Australia’s federal governments since World War I, only those led by Scullin (1929-32) and Whitlam (1972-75) failed to make it to four years, although death and party-room coups meant the prime ministerial baton was often snatched from one leader and deposited with another. Only Scullin, Whitlam, Fraser and Howard led their parties to victory and then back into opposition. [Read more…]

Tony Abbott Speech on the Economy to The Sydney Institute

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has delivered a speech on the economy to The Sydney Institute.

Whilst containing no new policy initiatives, the speech attempts to broaden Abbott’s campaign against the government into the prevailing discussion about China and the economic crisis in Europe.

Abbott reiterated his proposals for budget cuts, improved economic growth, productivity reform and workforce participation.

AUDIO of the speech will be posted here once it becomes available.

Official transcript of Tony Abbott’s speech to The Sydney Institute.

Almost 50 years ago, an influential book described Australia as the “lucky country”.

Author Donald Horne meant that we’d relied on our luck rather than on our insights or on our hard work to get where we are but the irony was largely missed.

As if to prove his point, the tag passed into popular use and ever since has helped to reinforce the complacent expectation that something would always turn up to keep us safe and prosperous.

There is a complacent assumption from people who should know better that Australia is largely immune to the economic turmoil threatening Europe because China’s growth guarantees our future prosperity.

There’s no doubt that the China boom has sustained Australia’s economic success over the past decade.

There should equally be no doubt that the boom will one day end. Otherwise, it would be the first never-ending boom in human history. [Read more…]

Liberal Party Launches New Attack On Labor’s 4th Anniversary

Ahead of the fourth anniversary of Labor’s 2007 election victory, the Liberal Party has launched a new attack on the Rudd and Gillard governments.

The campaign includes an advertisement and a “briefing note” on “Labor’s four years of failure”.