Conrad Liveris

About Conrad Liveris

Conrad Liveris is a community advocate and operations analyst working in policy and business development with a focus on gender equality and intergenerational issues.

#Budget2015: The adults don’t seem to be back in charge

After hearing ex-Prime Minister John Howard speak at the PwC #Budget2015 breakfast, Conrad Liveris’s take-way was that #Budget2015 was a political budget from a political government.

After last year’s effort, it is easy to call #Budget2015 “non-offensive”.

Preaching to the base, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott have focused their energy on survival. In arguing that this #Budget2015 is for the day and one of stimulus, Hockey and Abbott have been criticised as being too like Wayne Swan.

I guess that’s what happens when you risked your jobs last year. It’s almost ironic that they loathe Swan so because they do a great job of emulating him.

The government has been criticised for not considering reform on a wider scale. Sure, they’ve paid attention to childcare and are testing out $246 million on nannies, but there’s real questions over budgetary modelling, sustainability and possibilities.

Yesterday, at a breakfast hosted by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), John Howard spoke on the political palatability of #Budget2015. However, he went on to encourage greater reform in the economy, specifically around industrial relations and taxation.

From an intergenerational point of view, this makes perfect sense.We are stuck now in a position of rising spending, revenue issues and a government in deadlock on real reform. By doing nothing the next generation loses. Big time.

Splitting the difference, Howard noted the “fortuitous state of the economy” but emphasised the need for government reform.

If you don’t use the good times to do something bold, when will you?

Noting that small business and the ageing population were the base of the Liberal Party, Howard said that “we could not deny what happened in February” referring to the failed leadership spill. The reality is that #Budget2015 is a political budget from a political government – a government not acting in our long-term interests by dodging the hard discussions.

They’re trying to save their political arses.

A mature government would act in our best interests.

#Budget2015 is framed with our short-term interests in mind, but long term we have a lot to be concerned about.

I guess we need to question whether the adults really are back in charge.

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