Australian Federal Budget 2017: Terry McCrann says Budget a dangerous disgrace

Australian Federal Budget 2017: Terry McCrann says Budget a dangerous disgrace, by Terry McCrann.

PETA Credlin was exactly right. This is a budget for the next Newspoll.

It is not the budget that should follow an election win, even a narrow win. That’s when you are supposed to take the tough decisions. …

It is not a budget from a Liberal treasurer. It increases taxes big-time. And even that’s not been done to slash the deficit, but to fund even more spending, off its already high base. …

Yes, it’s a budget that opposition leader Bill Shorten (or former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan) could happily have unveiled, although he most certainly won’t endorse it. …

The two “fiscal centrepieces” are the supposed “return to surplus” in 2020-21 (the same year as last year’s budget forecast) — or one year earlier, in 2019-20 on the “good debt/bad debt/ metric — and that debt characterisation to justify and fund an infrastructure spending surge.

But it gets there by massive tax increases. The two big ones are of course the bank levy — a tax either on bank customers or bank shareholders, in both case YOU — and the increased Medicare levy.

But the silent and only too real tax increase of “bracket creep” is alive and well. Income tax receipts leap, and I mean LEAP, by $60 billion to a staggering figure of $253 billion in the 2020-21 year, to be more than 30 percent higher, in just four years, on 2016-17’s harvest.

And the debt keeps rising, to over $600 billion gross, $375 billion net — even on these optimistic numbers. It is in sum, a dangerous disgrace.

Like allthe western word, the Australia Government has a spending problem. It simply spends too much. TOo many promises made, too many votes to buy. The Libersals, being more finscally responsibel, feel obliged to fund it — so they have increased taxes. This tax increase, much delayed, is the inevitable response to Labor’s big spending increases under Rudd and Gillard.

On optics, the Labor Party has greatly outplayed the Liberal Party — the Liberals cop the blame for the tax increases caused by Labor’s spending increases and the Liberal’s inability to reverse them. And it’s not the first time. Only Costello broke the pattern, and only because of the general economic bubble (from 1982 to 2007).