Yes folks, Julia Gillard is softening that story about how she’s gonna achieve a budget surplus by 2012/13. Arguably it makes sense if there’s a huge bill from the floods, but now the fun starts. A bit like the anxious months when we waited for Wayne, Lindsay, Julia or Kevin to use the D(eficit) word in 2008, likewise we’ll have the usual hysteria around the issue.
Now far be it from me to say that, having failed to defend itself against allegations of waste and ‘spending like a drunken sailor’ the government didn’t need to promise something that kept itself fiscally nice to get it over the line at the last election. And that’s why if the government had set up an independent fiscal advisory board in its first term it could have finessed a lot of the problems it had then.
And having not set up one, it could have finessed a lot of its problems in crafting a minimum regrets election promise by promising to set one up and then to take its advice. Now it will all turn into a circus. Pity. An avoidable pity. Perhaps it’s not too late . . . who knows.