At a closed door discussion in Melbourne yesterday, concern was expressed that our ‘boom’ could be over very quickly.
Don Argus has examined the government’s cashflows which he says is the best analysis of the budget and he finds:
“Things can deteriorate quickly both because of bad luck and bad policy design”.
He says about our political will in regard to spending and taxing policies:
“There is a big difference between borrowing money for infrastructure spending that will benefit our children, and borrowing money to spend on ourselves today with no future benefits.”
In a speech described as a ‘devastating critique’ concern is expressed over the low level of public debate and scrutiny about large investments such as $5bn increase to Australia’s contribution to the International Monetary Fund quota – which helps bailouts of countries like Greece – and a $2bn yearly contribution to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for five years from 1 July.
“If a CEO of a corporation produced numbers like that he wouldn’t be there after the second budget..
The community has become accustomed to receiving payments and services from government..
We need political leadership that can clearly explain to the electorate why tough adjustments must be made and they will need courage to implement change.”
Don Argus is a former BHP Billtion Chairman, NAB Chief Executive and Co-Chair of the government’s policy transition group on the mining tax.
It is being said that relations between business and the government have continued to deteriorate and that some lobby groups are being less critical of the Coalition in the expectation of a change of government.
The call for a public conversation is coming from several quarters