Archives for posts with tag: Joe Hockey

Listening to the Treasurer and others, you may get the impression that a blowout in spending has caused a structural deficit. This does not accord with the analysis of the independent Parliamentary Budget Office. I alluded to this in my piece in the Guardian the other day, but I think it’s worth quoting the PBO at length:

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I thought this was a particularly interesting sentence in today’s mini-Budget, in light of the anti-carbon pricing campaign over the past couple of years:

The removal of the carbon tax is expected to lower headline and underlying inflation by less than 1/4 of a percentage point in 2014-15, relative to the 2013 PEFO, which had factored in the previous Government’s policy of moving to a carbon trading system. 

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The West Australian has a scoop today on one possible policy that could emerge from the new Government’s Commission of Audit:

The university education debt of millions of Australians could be sold off under a proposal to be examined by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s inquiry into the state of the nation’s finances.

In a move that could boost the Budget bottom line, up to $23 billion of outstanding Higher Education Contribution Scheme debt would be effectively privatised under a plan that has already won support in some financial circles.

One proposal that has backing in the financial sector is to convert the $22.6 billion in HECS debt held by 1.6 million Australians into a financial product. In a process called securitisation, the responsibility for HECS debts would be bought by the private sector and then sold to investors.

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I have an opinion piece in the Guardian Australia, in which I defend the Australian welfare state against its conservative critics. Please read it!

Joe Hockey has called for an “end to the age of entitlement”. He added on Lateline that “we need to compare ourselves with our Asian neighbours where the entitlements programs of the state are far less than they are in Australia”.  He says that “the age of unlimited and unfunded entitlement to government services and income support is over”. He compares the 16% of GDP that Australia devotes to social spending with Korea’s figure of “around 10%,” which is actually 7.6% on the latest OECD figures.

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