Wayne’s Wong: What’s A Billion Or Two Between Friends?

12 Jul

My slaughter of the Treasury sacred cow appears all the more apropos today, after reading Christian Kerr’s article in the Australian this morning (emphasis added):

Swan and crew a billion or two short of budget neutral

Most voters hope their treasurers live by the old saw “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”.

Not Wayne Swan. He considers billions neither really here nor there. Or so it seems.

On ABC radio yesterday, the Treasurer first tried to avoid answering a question about whether the government’s carbon tax package would be, as promised, budget neutral.

“There always is an upfront cost with these very big reforms,” the Treasurer replied. Or started to.

The interviewer pulled him up. “You’ve promised for a long time that this would be budget neutral, not that there would be an up-front cost,” she said.

Swan caved in. “It is broadly budget neutral over the forward estimates,” he conceded, and added: “We will bring the budget back to surplus in 2012-13.”

Swan was reluctant to discuss the detail, and Finance Minister Penny Wong was simply not across it. Or got it wrong. She stumbled over just how much revenue a carbon tax would raise.

“I think it’s about $18bn from memory,” Senator Wong said on Adelaide radio.

Christopher Pyne was also on the show. “Are you sure it’s not $21bn?” he suggested.

“Twenty-one, he might be right,” the Finance Minister conceded.

“It’s $21bn,” Mr Pyne replied. “I’m not the finance minister but I read the documents.”

It was not a good look for the minister charged with looking after the government’s bottom line. Particularly when she is also the former minister for climate change. But it turns out both Senator Wong and Mr Pyne were wrong. The figure is $25bn.

If you know someone who actually believes that Treasury/Swan/Wong are within a bull’s roar of knowing what their Great Carbon Dioxide Scam will really cost ...”Tell ’em they’re dreaming!”

2 Responses to “Wayne’s Wong: What’s A Billion Or Two Between Friends?”

  1. Tomorrows Serf July 12, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Let’s cut to the chase…

    Either they are blithering idiots OR,…they know EXACTLY what they are doing, and everything is on track to “Ratf..k” (thanks KEV) this country..

    There is, of course, a third possibility…

    They ARE blithering idiots, AND they ARE trying to Ratf..k this country..

    Do we still shoot people for TREASON???

    • The Blissful Ignoramus July 12, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      I suspect your third “possibility” as the most plausible 😉

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