Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Pascoe on the low hurdles Hockey is setting himself

In Joe Hockey sets himself the lowest of hurdles to save the world Michael Pascoe observes that "Joe Hockey frames the rules for the local politico-economic game to suit himself with hurdles so low that they're part of the grass".

Hockey has set a goal of an economic growth rate of 3%, something that we were likely to achieve anyway:
That's the benefit of setting the rules: announce a target that you're on track to achieve, achieve it and then announce yourself to be the winner and an economic hero.
Pascoe goes on to write:
Australia does face various challenges, as all economies do. There are improvements that need making, unnecessary spending that can be trimmed, entitlements that should be reduced (mainly at the upper end) and a more efficient and equitable taxation system to be pursued, starting with ending the blatant rorting. In various speeches, sound treasury secretaries and RBA officials have made the case for reform being necessary to protect and enhance our standard of living.

Unfortunately though, attempts by either side of politics to launch rational reforms are immediately reduced to political games. On the available evidence, it increasingly looks like May's budget preparation, with all its huffing and puffing, is more about politics than economics. Dressing it up further in a supposed cloak of G20 global commitments borders on moving it into farce.

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