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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Budget 2020 unravelled

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

This year’s budget is brave, bold and planned to save the Australian economy. Certainly it is the biggest stimulus package ever applied to the Australian economy and has a good chance to pull Australia out of the Covid-19 wilderness, provided there will be effective vaccines some time during 2021. If there are no vaccines by then then Plan B will be required, I guess the sort of therapeutic agents that seem to have pulled President Trump out of the wilderness.

Today I shall pick the eyes out of the news from last Wednesday and then today. Material in brackets is my occasional commentary.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Australian

‘The Joshua Spree’, The Oz, front page, Simon Benson and Geoff Chalmers.

‘Out of the gloom … a path of optimism, The Oz, front page, Paul Kelly.

‘A lot must go right, we assume’, The Oz, front page. Tom Dusevic.

‘The bottom line, The Oz, front page, scary graphs.

'Business gives its verdict: he’s nailed it,’ The Oz, p2, Rosie Lewis, Olivia Caisley.

‘New tax cuts: what you will get’, The Oz, p4, nice tables and stick figures.

‘Fistful of dollars’. 'incentive to splurge’, The Oz, p5, Rosie Lewis, for pensioners.

‘Poor [superannuation] funds named, shamed, banned from new members’, The Oz, p 5, Sid Mahar.

Etc, etc, etc.

(I must say as a self-funded retiree I get nothing, no tax breaks, no splurge money, not allowed to visit the holiday house, except briefly to check the horses and wildlife. ‘Yer on your own, cobber’.)

The Australian Financial Review

‘Scary debt injection to boost business-led jobs recovery’, AFR, p1, Phillip Coorey.

‘Company tax to rescue the economy, AFR, p1, Jennifer Hewett.

‘Glacial debt repair will be two-stage affair’ in fact ‘The rest of this decade’, AFR, pB8, John Kehoe.

‘Forecasts little more than ‘on the tail on the donkey’ exercise’, AFR, p B10, Laura Tingle.

Etc, etc, etc

‘Ex-RBA boss: low rates aren’t working’, AFR, p6, John Kehoe.

(A surprise that makes me rate Ian Macfarlane more highly. And by failing to raise rates in the gradual economic improvement after the GFC, as the US Fed did, the RBA lost the chance to provide useful rate cut stimulus this time.)

Herald Sun

‘Covid Cash Cure. Rapid Tax Cuts for Aussies. Pay lure to hire workers. Nations Debt to his $1.1 Trillion’, with nice cartoon figures of Scomo, Josh and a covid character, HT, front page.

‘High Price of virus recovery’, HT, pp 2 & 3, Tom Minear.

Also nice ‘5-Minute Budget Guide, HT, p2 & p3.

‘It all depends on an assumption’, HT, p 11 also ‘Weird and wild budget', front page, Terry McCrann.

‘Spend today, worry about it tomorrow’, p 14, also ‘Number Josh won’t mention’ front page, Andrew Bolt.

(Here is a quote from Mr Bolt. ‘Dear God, if only we’d spent a few of those billions early on efficiently tracking and quarantining infections the way Taiwan does, and a few billion on protecting the age-care homes that became our killing fields.

(‘Instead we chose crude and brutal bans – nowhere more than in Victoria, still in one of the world’s worse lockdowns – and the results were spelled in Frydenberg’s grim budget’.)

(With Peta Credlin’s brilliant forensic analysis of how Victoria got it so wrong, Andrew Bolt’s powerful column is among the best journalism for many years,)

Saturday, 10 October 2020

The Australian

‘Cash to go: the tax cuts start to flow’, The Oz, front page, Greg Brown.

‘Doubt over Premier’s testimony’, the Oz, front page, Ewen Hannon, Remy Varga, John Ferguson.

‘PM Banks on a New Liberal order. By capturing the middle ground the Prime minister and his Treasurer are limiting Labor’s scope and relevance’. The Oz, p13, Paul Kelly.

(‘Ideology is in retreat but it is never dead. While the crisis demanded Keynesian expansion the Morrison government has honoured the Liberal tradition with its method – the budget seeks to build recovery on tax cuts for individuals and tax incentives for companies. ‘Eight out of every 10 jobs in Australia are in the private sector,” Frydenberg said. “It needs a kickstart”.

‘Giants [USA and China] are spiralling towards an apocalyptic falling-out’, The Oz, p 13, Alan Dupont.

‘Life’s a riot for children of the revolution’, The Oz p13, Lional Shriver.

(‘Seemingly blindly madly, the West is destroying itself.

(‘The widespread COVED-19 lockdowns and the increasingly venomous Black Lives Matter movement are both destabilising phenomena instigated by people suffering from a perilous complacency. A surfeit of Western security, with no major wars and nearly uninterrupted prosperity for 75 years has created ab ahistorical under appreciation for the fragility of order. Perhaps the hyper-radicalising of the West in the second half of this year will prove a temporary mania, at the end of which we shall have fairer, more sensitive societies. But somehow I doubt it.’)

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