When I was at the Treasury, it was well understood that, while Treasury is not independent and works for the Government of the day, Budget documents should nonetheless be written in a non-partisan way, as it would be an inappropriate use of public resources to produce partisan material. In my view, the Tax Reform Roadmap released with the Budget on Tuesday night breaks that previously well-understood rule. The Roadmap contains strong criticism of the former Government for inappropriate spending of the revenue gains from the mining boom:
From 2003‐04 to 2007‐08 Budgets, including the forward estimates, the previous government received an additional $334 billion in unexpected revenue, and spent an unsustainable $314 billion in new expenditure and poorly targeted tax policy.
Regardless of whether or not that is true, unless the Treasury can prove it advised the former Government to run bigger surpluses at the time, it is completely inappropriate for a document prepared by the Treasury to contain this partisan attack.