Well, the 2009 Australian budget is a triumph for Wayne Swan and the Rudd Government. They've managed to save $150 billion. Wow.
Yes, there is a budget deficit of $58 billion, an Australian record. But Treasury recieved $200 billion less in revenues this year due to the GFC. To make up that gap is remarkable. Well done to all involved.
And yet. What's that I hear? Whingeing. The endless parade of people claiming there's "nothing in it for them". Another legacy of the Howard years: everyday people who see the budget not as the national economic plan, but as a hand out of goodies. (And oh, the clamour from the right wingnuts today! They claim to support unfetterred free markets, but try to shove their noses out of the trough, and woe is you). One particular man interviewed on Nine News last night claimed that as there were no perks for small business in the budget, he had no incentive to hire new people, and would have to work longer hours. Um, that's how the market works. Pay someone to work for you, or do the work yourself. Next you'll be complaining you have to clean your own house as you can't afford a lady who does.
Seriously, the Budget, and the Australian people, right now are reminding me of a homeowner who notices their house on fire and reacts by frantically ringing the post office to get them to hold their mail. We're not focussing on the real issue here. (Thank you Ross Gittins). There's a whole lot of recession to get through and we've barely even started - this is not the time to be worrying about how long it will take to pay off the deficit.
Anyway, there's no increase in Austudy, so the Budget isn't helping me. Stupid Rudd.