May 10, 2007 | Graham

Rudd’s budget reply not enough

Kevin Rudd’s response to the budget is not good enough. He’s claiming to be a visionary, but his promises are all variations on themes that the government has already made its own.
A major theme under Labor is that John Howard has wasted 10 years of opportunity and that Howard is stuck in the 50s. So what is Rudd’s budget response? He promises every school in the country $1.5 million to build a manual arts block. This is a riff on the moves that Howard has already made to promote the trades which is at the same time a step back into the 50s when plenty of schools had manual arts programs. That’s because TAFE hadn’t been invented then, and the Australian economy was much more aligned towards secondary industry.
Now we’re a country where tertiary industry is where the opportunities are.
It’s also worth noting that tertiary industry gives a country better opportunities for high growth because they require less capital, and get a higher return on it. So Howard’s pitch on universities, which feed into the tertiary sector, is actually more visionary and more likely to deliver a country equipped for life after the mining boom.
Undoubtedly Rudd’s promises are just as carefully targeted as the government’s. Trade training always goes down well with blue-collar conservatives, a group that Howard has made his own. And there would be plenty of females 25-40 (a key swing group) who are sweating on a tradesman coming to fix something this side of the New Year. More trade training gives something to both groups.
But why should voters trust Rudd on his education promise? Afterall, trade training is a state responsibility and the reason that we are short of tradesman is because of mismanagement by state labor governments. Coming from Queensland Rudd would know how to play this refrain. We can all sing along with Peter Beattie when he says “I take full responsibility for the problem, I created it, and that’s why I want you to give me a mandate so that I can fix it.” Works well for Peter, will it work for Kevin?

Posted by Graham at 10:36 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. Nice site. Thanks!!!

    Comment by Formica Plastic Laminate — May 22, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

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