Business leaders disingenuously pretend they wouldn’t bash Labor for abandoning surplus promise

Unlike their compatriots in the right-wing IPA, or their representatives in the Liberal Party, the “business leaders” of Australia are apparently out there demanding that the federal government “spend what it takes” instead of concentrating on returning the budget to surplus:

BUSINESS leaders have urged the Gillard government to spend what it takes to fix the economic damage from the floods – and worry later about returning the federal budget to surplus…

”No one in Queensland or in Horsham or in Echuca or Rochester will thank government for getting into surplus by a couple of dollars if they lose their jobs and their businesses shut down,” said the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout.
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Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox agreed. ”I think we’ve just got to get everyone up and going. Whether we finish up in a deficit or in a positive balance, it’s more important that we’ve got everyone in Australia working and having nobody in difficulties like exist at the moment,” he said.

Can you imagine if the Gillard government abandoned that pledge, how quickly Ridout and Fox and the rest of the BCA would jump on them for it? How hard they’d hammer the Labor Party at the next election for “breaking its promises” and “profligate spending”?

Oh yes, they can sound compassionate now, but they’ll still support the Liberals using the floods to demand the abandonment of any government policy they didn’t like before the floods:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott warned that the flood damage bill would be ”enormous, perhaps even gargantuan” and declared the national broadband network a luxury Australia could not afford.

Of course, using the floods to argue your previous position is very wrong, so I’m sure that’s not what Tony is doing there.

Meanwhile, Herald Sun readers are adamantly opposed to a flood levy to assist their fellow countrymen.

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6 responses to “Business leaders disingenuously pretend they wouldn’t bash Labor for abandoning surplus promise

  1. Australia going into further deficit to save business’s and jobs? What a laugh, what did they think the stimulus was about? And who complained the most?

    I’m sure the motza profit that Harvey Norman all the other retailers and other contractors are about to make from this disaster will no doubt be put back into the community wont it? Yea of course it will. The government should immediately put a levy on these companies to help with the clean up. The only people to suffer from this will be as per usual, the bastards at the lower end of the socio economic scale, mostly people who couldn’t afford the flood insurance. As an aside I see the insurance companies are already warning people they may not be covered. To quote one arsehole representing insurance company’s on the ABC, they all should have read the fine print. I’m sure our immigrant friends, and other uneducated souls, who all speak and read the Queens English, will be most impressed.

  2. The other people to suffer from this will be the poor who require the government services that’ll be cut or underfunded to pay for getting the budget to surplus.

  3. “The other people to suffer from this will be the poor who require the government services that’ll be cut or underfunded to pay for getting the budget to surplus.”

    Indeed. For mine, this will now be just about impossible. However the cuts to social welfare will no doubt still go ahead. It will be interesting if Abbott has an ideology transplant and starts to complain about the social welfare and other cuts? As an aside I wonder if he still thinks global warming is still crap?

  4. If a budget surplus is so vital (I’m not convinced it is) then why not put a levy on Australian tax payers. I’m sure the rightards won’t mind, if a surplus is so vital to our civilisation.

    Anyway, it’s a stupid promise to make unless one has a crystal ball.

    “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott warned that the flood damage bill would be ”enormous, perhaps even gargantuan” and declared the national broadband network a luxury Australia could not afford”

    What a dick, I say withdraw from Afghanistan that’ll save a few quid.

  5. “What a dick, I say withdraw from Afghanistan that’ll save a few quid.”

    Yep! straight away if not sooner.

  6. “What a dick, I say withdraw from Afghanistan that’ll save a few quid.”

    Hear hear.

    BTW Tony, broadband in the bush actually makes it easier to keep track of whats happening in severe rainstorms, especially in areas like this where one small area can see 500 mm of rain in 3 or 4 hours (Jan ’08 flood in Kyogle).

    I suspect what happened at Toowoomba was similar.

    So you know, think about what you are saying.

    I’m sooo sick of people using disasters to push their personal bandwagons.

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