At the PwC Federal Budget breakfast this morning at the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds convention centre, popular finance commentator Peter Switzer gave an entertaining and informative address on last night’s Federal Budget, which he labelled the Blackadder Budget, because a cunning plan is afoot. In Switzer’s view, it is a cunning plan that is designed to make Joe Hockey appear like a fiscal genius. Switzer was very persuasive in his view that the Budget forecasts on economic growth are conservative and the Government could actually achieve much better budget outcomes, including an earlier return to surplus. Let’s hope so.
Also notable were presentations by:
- Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls, who wasn’t happy about the future reductions in health and education funding relative to the previous baselines, and noted he would take up the fight to Canberra for additional funding; and
- former PM John Howard, who agreed with the PwC CEO and Tax Partner that Australia needs fundamental tax reform (e.g. raising more revenue from the GST), and who memorably noted that “context is everything” when explaining his decision in the early 2000s to remove fuel excise indexation, a decision reversed in last night’s budget (N.B. the context Howard was referring to was the Government having just implemented the GST and community concern that people were then being unfairly taxed at the bowser).
PwC has made the slides for its Budget Breakfast available on its website.
A big thank you to Denise Morton from Effective Governance for having invited me along to the breakfast.
Finally, 4BC today made my interview on the Federal Budget with Ben Davis from yesterday afternoon available on its website (you’ll have to scroll down the page a bit to find it, however):