A budget deficit is more popular than Tony Abbott?
So a budget surplus is unlikely for 2012-13. So says Treasurer Wayne Swan.
It is unclear what the political fallout will be, but there is no doubt the government will be injured a little at least in the short term.
Or will it?
An Essential poll of 29 October showed that 37% of the population supported the return to budget surplus while 43% were opposed or in other words, supported a deficit. If the government can articulate the reasons for the likely shortfall on the budget for this year, perhaps the damage will be short lived or negligible.
That noted, it is interesting to see that in the Essential poll of 10 December, approval for Mr Abbott as Leader of the Opposition was 33%, while disapproval was 56%.
Which just goes to show that a budget deficit is 10 percentage points more popular than Mr Abbott, for whatever that’s worth.