Sunday, April 21, 2013

A scary financial position

I hate budgeting. But I do understand the value of knowing what's coming in and going out. My oft told story - my personal forward income is looking a little shaky for the next 12 months so buying a new car may have to wait.

OK then. A bunch of Australia's spending plans were conceived when our tax base looked stronger. Like them or not, the mining tax and the carbon tax were assumed to be bringing in billions of dollars.

The ass has fallen out of both of those taxes. The mining lawyers did an end run on MRRT and the world price of carbon is about $4, while the government has been planning for it to be about $30.

"Kids, dad has lost his job. We'll be making some money, but we just need to be careful."

Telling me that the Australian economy is strong is irrelevant. Unless the government has ways of extracting that money from the economy (taxes) then it's like being a fan of Adam Scott - he'll be rich and we'll be happy for him, just no better off.

Show me how the Australian government budget is any different to what we need to do at home. Anyone who continues to argue on "how much we need it" (NDIS, Gonski, NBN) is missing the point. They're the kids in the equation. Surely the "rob Peter to pay Paul" education trade off this week made that clear. Government cash is finite.

The budget surplus or deficit should not be thought of as an end in itself, but the result of doing things properly. Responsibly.

I'm not angry. I'm not stirring trouble. I'm fucking scared.

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