For Budget 2012/13: cut defence by $5.4 billion over the forward estimates, dole out $6.5 billion more in welfare in FY12/13, increase ‘special purpose’ payments (re-election fund) by $6.4 billion in FY12/13, shift $6.76 billion of expenditure from FY12/13 into FY11/12, gouge $815 million in dividend payments from government business entities in FY12/13, increase taxes by $50.9 billion over the forward estimates, and rely on unrealistically high income, company and GST tax-revenue forecasts based on out-dated GDP estimates – at odds with RBA GDP estimates – to get you into a surplus in FY12/13 and another term in office.
Abbott’s right of reply address was unconventional, powerful and effective. It is just another little bit of ammunition that will hit the ALP. My favourite part was when Abbott called the carbon tax as socialism dressed up as environmentalism, or words to the effect. I’d prefer to call it socialism dressed up as science.