13
May
2014

Budgeting and Modelling

What does one do when attempts to convert fail?  Presumably not succumb to what Henry Ergas describes below as Calvinist despair reflected in Robert Lowell’s poem After the Surprising Conversions: “Cut your own throat. Cut your own throat. Now! Now!”. Henry might have added that Lowell portrayed a scene where “All the good work was quashed. We were undone”.

Whatever, the Government’s last minute decision to ask the independent (sic)  Remuneration Tribunal to freeze ministerial salaries for a year does smack of a “something needs to be done” approach to help sell the basis of tomorrow’s budget. As does the reported attempt to arrange for Treasury to use a model which produces favourable economic results (apparently this was done under Labor).

Such modelling has become common place when the believers in dangerous global warming need support, as they apparently did in the official US National Climate Assessment predictions of threatening sea levels. This at a time when Antarctic sea ice is at record levels and, although Arctic levels have been declining, that makes no difference to sea levels because Arctic ice is already in the sea. But this use of modelling destroys its credibility.

Perhaps combining the back offices of the National Gallery and Library (and other agencies) will help obtain converts to the budget. Let us hope that the end product is better than the reported one.