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.