From Ross Gittins
Don’t be too alarmed by the startling proposals by the National Commission of Audit. Few of its recommendations will make it into the budget on Tuesday week. They were never intended to.
Ostensibly, the commission wants to reverse the tide of a century of federal-state relations, substantially dismantle Medicare, crack down on the age pension while leaving superannuation tax concessions unscathed, reduce Medicare to something mainly for the poor, hit middle-income families and make the treatment of welfare recipients much harsher.
Don’t believe it. Truth is, almost all incoming Coalition governments have commissioned commissions of audit since Nick Greiner used the tactic in 1988. What all the federal and state audit reports since then have in common is that only a handful of their recommendations are ever acted on.
That’s not their purpose. Rather, it’s to claim that the previous, Labor government left the books in a terrible mess, thereby justifying an initial, horror budget – all Labor’s fault – and the breaking of any election promises now found to be inconvenient.
In this case, the audit report is softening us up for the budget by raising the spectre of a much tougher budget than we’re likely to get. It’s Joe Hockey getting ready to leave unsaid: See, I let you off lightly.
I could be wrong...
As Joe tells us that "some recommendations are common sense" and that some "are courageous", most of them are plain crazy and most inefficient in the long run...
The commission of audit is the most inefficient and wasteful waste of tax payers' money. It's the worst example of low productivity and of course, plagiarism... Most of the recommendations are recycled from that of the report commissioned by John Howard in 1997 (?)— a report that Costello placed in the rubbish bin, with a grin... For Costello, it would have been too much hard work... It was easier for him to coast along. As Keating said, Costello was a lazy treasurer.
But this time around, with the crazy brats running Canberra, we have so far no clue as to which "recommendations" are coming to hit us in the gonads... Be prepared for some REAL pain even if Joe claims "see, we did not hit you as hard as we could have..." Adult government? Pissy rascals, devilish kids and stupid punks. They make Denis the Menace look like a choir boy and A Clockwork Orange closer to our shivering skin...
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