There can be little doubt the Federal Coalition Government is in election campaign mode following yesterday’s announcement of changes to how GST revenue will be paid to the states.
Treasurer Scott Morrison firmly hammered the final nail into the coffin of the ‘‘debt and deficit’’ mantra.
Mr Morrison’s claim that every state would be better off by ‘‘making the pie bigger’’, presumably by throwing in more funds, runs in direct contrast to his government’s promises during the 2013 election to rein in government spending and reduce debt.
Tax cuts aimed at workers and business, either passed through Federal Parliament or waiting on the whim of a few crossbench senators, also put paid to the former obsession with reducing government debt.
The Coalition appears to be gearing up to spend its way to victory at the next election by opening up the cash pumps for workers, businesses and state governments.
The Federal Government is reportedly carrying $640billion in debt as of the new financial year, up from $257billion when the Coalition took office in 2013 and abolished a self-imposed debt-ceiling.
The 2018 Federal Budget forecasts a deficit of $18.2billion, the 11th consecutive budget deficit.
Treasury has not banked a surplus since Prime Minister John Howard left office in 2007.
Both sides of politics appear to be on a ‘‘debt is good’’ unity ticket.
Neither shows much commitment to reducing Australia’s credit card, although the Coalition’s most recent budget forecasts a surplus for the 2020-21 financial year.
Figures released this week displayed Australians’ dangerous addiction to easy credit, with speculation that hundreds of thousands will never pay off their credit cards and be shackled to a lifetime of interest and repayments.
Let us hope the nation does not suffer a similar fate.