The AFR has published my letter on budget strategy, which is similar to the letter published in yesterday’s Australian. Interestingly, the AFR is running as its front page lead the support given by the Parliamentary Budget Office for the budget tightening (see below) and its editorial supports that under the heading “PBO confirms the budget problem”. Support from this section of the Fairfax Press may help the Coalition and put pressure on Labor to come clean on whether it would do anything (other than the deficit levy on high incomes) to reduce the deficit. Meantime the ABC, which seems to deteriorate day by day, is focussing on events overseas and police policy here.
Note also that the lead story says the Coalition “is preparing an information campaign to try to take control of the budget message”. It appears that this may involve some kind of advertising. One can only hope that it will include some of the points “missing” from the budget presentation, including that “straight” international comparisons of tax revenues relative to GDP show Australian taxes levels slightly above European levels (see article below by former Treasury officer, Geoff Carmody, published by the AFR). Why weren’t such points made in the Budget Speech?