Wednesday, 14 May 2008

"We have no intention of hoarding the strong surplus for its own sake. This money is not ours."

Message to Michael Cullen from Australia. Australian Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered his first Budget, delivering tax cuts, middle class welfare cuts (called by some ignorant commentators "picking the pockets of the rich"), a $21.7 billion surplus ... and this amazing statement: "We have no intention of hoarding the strong surplus for its own sake. This money is not ours."

Bravo!  I have no idea whether he meant what he said, (decide for yourself, the whole speech is here) but that's an incredible statement to hear from  any country's Treasurer.  It would be nice to think Michael Cullen was listening.

And there's a message in the budget too for John Key. Unlike other politicians who fail to realise that tax cuts must be met with concomitant cuts in spending, the ALP's Treasurer pointed out (as the Courier Mail puts it) "the $47 billion in tax cuts had been checked by an equivalent $47 billion in savings measures."  Bravo, a second time.

Now, it may be true, as Opposition treasury spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says, that Swan's budget is an "economic con."  It may be true that this is all spin -- after all, along with the cuts, there's $55 billion in there for a "Working Families Support Package," and $20 billion for a "Building Australia Fund" -- and in saying that the money isn't his, it was in the context of announcing "a new Health and Hospitals Fund to finance improvements to hospitals and the health care system, and "a new Education Investment Fund to finance skills, TAFE colleges and universities" -- but it's fascinating that this is one Labor Treasurer who at least wants to spin in the appropriate direction, and who looks as if he might enjoys letting people keep more of their own money.


  1. Sigh: Australia gets faster broadband, we get a broken train set :

  2. Hi Bryan,

    Good to see you around the blogosphere.

  3. Thanks falfulu though perhaps I am unwise to be using my real name :-)

  4. Elijah Lineberry14 May 2008, 13:19:00

    Yes, well done to Wayne Swan with his first Budget.

    The difference between the Australian and NZ Labo[u]r parties is shown by this Budget (in comparison with what Cullen has been doing for years).

    The Australian Labor [sic] party abolished Socialism 30 years ago, unlike our own Labour Party.

    The Australian Labor chaps tend to be likeable people with life experiences and a sense of fun, such as Bob Hawke, or Paul Keating's hilarious turn of phrase, and even Wayne Swan's ummmm 'interesting' private life (where he claims to have 'forgotten' he had a first Wife for a few weeks in the 1970s) that with the anally retentive ex schoolmasters and university lecturers who have never been either laid, stoned or drunk within our own Labour Party.

    The Australian Labor Party for 30 years has been focused on "The Big Picture" (as Keating defined it a couple of decades back) whereas our own Labour party is focused on the next news cycle and has no vision whatsoever.

  5. Word to the wise, don't get excited in the least about Wayne Swan. You won't find a more disgusting, evil bloodsucker. Ewwwww!

    However, the ALP are smart enough to know that Aussies didn't actually want a change in economic policy when they voted Howard out, so they will make it look like they are keeping the status quo for the short-term.

    It sounds to me like Swan is trying to sound like Costello, while doing something completely different.

  6. Mitch is right.

    Labour don't want to flog the horses until they have them tied to the cart good and tight.

    If you really want to gte an understanding of these socialist vermin, take a look at what they've done in State govt, say in NSW.



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