Actions speak louder than words, results more than rhetoric. Peter Costello summarised it perfectly this morning. Wayne Swan really is out of his depth. Last year, Mr Swan promised no less than 500 times that he would deliver a budget surplus this year.
Senator Scott Ryan spoke in strong opposition against the Gillard Government’s attempt to regulate the media and stifle free speech in Australia.
Thursday, 10 May 2012.
Wayne Swan delivered his fifth budget, and again, we are seeing a further increase in debt. Through accounting tricks and shuffling money between months and years, the Treasurer is making a false claim about having turned around his record of debt and deficit. Labor’s accounting tricks would be prohibited if you tried the same running your own business. And while there are many, a few are worthy of note.
Here are just a couple of the many examples available. The Coal Sector Jobs Package spends a great deal of money this financial year, and a lot in future years, but miraculously, spends close to nothing next year. Take a look at this telling graph.
The Energy Security Fund does the same. Billions are spent this year and in future years, but during the very year the carbon tax is introduced, the Labor Government will spend almost nothing again. No this graph is not a mistake!
The only explanation for these tricks is that spending is being artificially lowered in the coming year so as to manufacture a false surplus.
Labor’s own track record tells us this surplus will never be delivered and the tale of the current financial year illustrates Labor’s mismanagement of the budget. Only 18 months ago, Labor predicted a $12 billion deficit. A year ago this had blown out to $23 billion. Six months ago it was predicted to be $37 billion. And tonight we find out it will now be $44 billion.
Labor has overseen a $32 billion blowout in less than a year and a half, and a 100 per cent blowout in only 12 months The numbers in tonight’s budget are as rubbery as their predictions over the last 18 months.
And all this while major projects, like the National Broadband Network, are kept ‘off budget’ so that spending is simply not counted when claiming a surplus.
Wayne Swan has again hidden deep in the budget papers an attempt to increase the debt ceiling for the Commonwealth – from $250 billion to $300 billion. Why would a Government predict a surplus, while also giving itself permission to borrow more than any Australian government in history? A government in surplus should not need to borrow more.
Labor will undoubtedly attempt to spin this budget remorselessly over the coming few days, but the figures speak for themselves, Labor cannot be trusted to manage our nation’s finances and the Australian people know that a track record is a better predictor of future behaviour than empty promises from a Government that has lost even a fleeting relationship with the truth.