PwC Budget breakfast tickets on sale – business sees need for budget repair, even if politicians don’t

Howard2003

Former PM John Howard, who will speak at PwC’s Federal Budget Breakfast in Brisbane on 13 May

On the morning after the night the Federal Budget is delivered, the most desirable tickets in Brisbane are to PwC’s Budget Breakfast, which this year will again feature former PM John Howard, the Queensland Treasurer (although a new one this time, Curtis Pitt), Peter Switzer, and a few PwC senior executives. If you’d like to attend, I’d recommend buying a ticket as soon as you can off the PwC website.

I’ve noticed that PwC has labelled this year’s Budget breakfast “Prepare for repair”, which appears a bit optimistic, given the PM’s recent worrying comment that, more-or-less, our debt really isn’t so bad after all. Although the business community and the majority of economists see a clear need for budget repair, sadly the Government appears to have given up. After the political debacle of last year’s Budget, it’s pretty clear that the Federal Government won’t be proposing any major budget repair measures this time, which is a real shame—given the recent Intergenerational Report basically confirmed Australia has a large structural budget deficit, and we’ll have to get used to permanent deficits and growing debt.

I expect this year’s Budget will be very poorly received by the various speakers at the Budget breakfast. Indeed, Peter Switzer in particular will be very disappointed with the Government. To those who were in the audience last year, he will need to explain why his prediction that last year’s budget was a “Blackadder Budget”, with a cunning plan afoot, turned out to be so wrong (see my post on last year’s PwC Budget breakfast).

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