May 11, 2005 | Graham

Best budget analysis

The best budget analysis I’ve found this morning is not in the pages of the daily broadsheets, but rather in two documents prepared by Saul Eslake, the ANZ’s Chief Economist. His Budget Report (pdf 88kb) starts like this:

Budget 2005-06: The Magic Pudding
In a post election year there was no pressure on the Government to spend its way to popularity. It was time for a healthy dose of economic realism, fiscal rectitude, and vision. And this year there was no fear of an obstructionist Senate with the Government gaining control from 1 July. With the sale of Telstra back on the agenda it again became critical to distinguish between the headline surplus
(including the proceeds of asset sales) and the underlying surplus (ex asset sales).
On the surface this Budget looked like a magic pudding – tax cuts for all, virtually full delivery of election promises, a concerted effort to increase labour force participation by moving people from welfare to work, and still delivering healthy underlying cash surpluses. But it was a Budget built on the windfall gains of cyclically high commodity prices and the projected highest terms of trade in 50 years. In our opinion these gains should have been saved so as to moderate domestic demand and take pressure off interest rates. There is a real risk now that the RBA will feel the need to lift interest rates again.

His Post-Budget slides (pdf 150kb) give graphic examples to back up his conclusions.

Posted by Graham at 12:22 pm | Comments Off on Best budget analysis |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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