Barnaby’s Budget Reply

1 Dec

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this.

Senator Joyce’s response to Wayne’s budget update.

Yes, he’s been busy with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. But we just knew it wouldn’t take long for Australia’s prophet on debt risk to speak outside his portfolio again … as pledged.

From the Canberra Times (emphasis added):

Swan drowns in a sea of debt

In GK Chesterton’s Father Brown novels the world renowned criminal Flambeau makes a name for himself by forming a successful London dairy company even though he owns no cows, no carts and no milk. Instead, he served his customers by moving the milk bottles outside people’s homes to the homes of his customers.

All very similar to Wayne Swan’s crisis budget. Moving money from his year of surplus to his years of non-surplus years before and after. No cows, no milk, no focus on increased production just a bunch of very tricky, very sneaky accounting tricks. Remember their surplus does not pay off the extra $15 billion they will now borrow this year.

A crisis budget from a crisis government who reflect the sobriety of the situation with the appointment of a new Speaker for the House of Representatives. Greeting the Queen or President at the next official soiree will be; Peter Neil Slipper. Yes all is under control on the Good Green Ship Labor.

There is no better recent portrayal of their exemplary management skills than the announcement of “regional experts” to help the 2.1 million people of the Murray-Darling “adapt” to the challenges of the precision hydrology skills so evidently amorphous in the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan. I have always thought floor 30, Martin Place, Sydney is precisely the place to be to help those at the south-west NSW town of Griffith who have failed to better appreciate the Green-Labor-Independent government’s empathy and earnest desire to maintain our major food producing asset.

I love the way Labor rise to the challenge. If they are not cooling houses before setting fire to 194 of them, they are cooling the whole planet with a carbon tax and now they are redesigning how we feed ourselves with the glossy wonder of the latest draft Plan for the Murray-Darling Basin.

Canberra you are the canary in the coal mine on Australian Government debt. With debt rising by $2.1 billion, again, last week to $219 billion gross, the crossword puzzle at the bottom of this enclosure is moving into depressing focus as we hold on by our talons to the inverse view of this mad bird cage.

Surprise, surprise then the government has announced further cuts to the public service. Does the $2.5 billion spent on ceiling insulation look smart now? What about $16 billion on school halls? Now’s the perfect time to spend $50 billion on a second telephone network.

Now Wayne Swan predicts that the gross debt will race over our current debt ceiling of $250 billion by the end of this financial year* and over $270 billion by the end of the forward estimates. It looks like that unless we extend the overdraft again next year our nation will get the notice at the checkout “transaction declined, see bank for details.”

Why is it that after years of warning about a lack of cost management we now have to believe that those that are so witless as not to see it coming are competent enough to manage us through it. I publicly offered a bet in 2009 for a thousand dollars, which Mr Swan never took, that Labor would never deliver their predicted surplus. An organisation that delivers week in, week out rolling deficits covered with accelerated borrowing is not going to deliver an annualised surplus. No change in behaviour, no change in outcome.

They told us to throw the scales out the window, it is your net weight that matters and your gross weight is only going up because each week you are wearing an additional two kilograms of clothes, apparently. Oh, it is all so clear now, depressingly so.

The bleeding obvious from years ago has now mugged our inept government and Canberra, the cuts I predicted have now crystallised in their initial stage in Wong and Swan’s announcement. It will get worse.

Yes I have a palpable sense of frustration that not only did the government not react earlier when the remedy would be a less bitter pill, but others, the economic commentariat of the fourth estate, did not forensically question the Government’s rhetoric that we had no issues.

Does the crisis budget deal with the crisis? Nope. Carbon Taxes, NBNs and now shutting down sections of the Murray-Darling, there is no stomach in this management for the hard decisions. The golden rule is invest where you make money and cut where it costs you, prioritise and know your threats and be pragmatic not romantic in your long term plan.

Barnaby is right.

* And so was I … see Nov 2 post “Australia On Target To Hit Debt Ceiling By Mid-2012”

3 Responses to “Barnaby’s Budget Reply”

  1. Betty Whiffin December 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Barnaby you are always RIGHT. Your predictions and insight was based on FACTS but Swan’s mid-year budget forecast is nothing but hogwash. Take for example the explosion of the boat people coming to Australia, the white elephant NBN, the Mining Tax which, according to sources,, may not yield what the Treasurer is counting on And there may be another flood. (By the way where has the flood tax gone – people are paying it but nothing seems to be done) This mid-year forecast is something drawn up by a schoolboy who has only had a primary education in mathematics. Labor/Greens are so scared of Abbott that, having said that they would have the budget back in surplus by 2012/13 are doing all the tricks they can think of to try to make people believe them. The whole thing is a complete farce.

    • Betty Whiffin December 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      I know that Mathias Cormann would thoroughy agree with you. He always has insight and intelligence and can see that this forecast of Swan’s is a complete charade. Have a lot of time for Barnaby & Mathias.

  2. Twodogs December 2, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Barnaby is right. No insight even required, just plain old staring-you-in-the-face facts.

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