>A few ill informed commentators enjoy rattling off the changes to the tax coverage in the four years since Labor won the 2007 election. They try to create an impression that the current government “is addicted to tax”. It is also a line the Opposition have used when trying to attack the government over the flood levy, the price on carbon, the mining tax among other things.
Prime Minister Gillard has been saying it, Treasurer Swan has been saying it, Finance Minister Wong has been saying it. But it seems not many are alert to what is a very simple message.
There will be spending cuts in the context of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and the Government will do whatever it takes to deliver a surplus in 2012-13 – and I note also a surplus in 2013-14 is essential for political and economic reasons.
>Admittedly, the notion of gross and net government debt is a little complex, but when someone speaks authoritatively about gross debt in particular, one would hope they understood the intricacies of the concepts involved and how the government debt market works before they opened their mouth. It is embarrassing and disturbing, therefore, to hear the Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb, join with the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce and Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott deliver sensational criticisms about the rise in gross debt in Australia.