As Treasurer Wayne Swan delivers his, and Kevin Rudd's, first budget, it seems he was right - there are "no surprises". that's because most of the important news had been leaked to the media. In doing so, the government has avoided attacks on any surprise elements.
So, as previously reported in the media there is money for: education, health, infrastructure, tax cuts, child-care rebates, means-testing of some government benefits and rebates, preventive health programmes were all flagged.
Given the Auditor-General's concerns about lack of accountability (& ethics?) in the former Coalition Government's regional programme, it is not surprising that they have been dropped, and replaced.
This afternoon, the Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson,, used Question Time to ask:
"Isn't this a Budget of confusion from a Government that doesn't know what it's doing?" The Liberal/National Party Opposition is critical of the Government's spending cuts (about $33 Billion), saying it will slow down the economy and cost jobs. Spending growth is the lowest in almost 10 years - 1.1%.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded by saying: "It (the Opposition) is no longer articulating any credible economic policy position in the lead-up to this Budget."
The Opposition is critical of the lack of spending, because that was always its policy - dump ever-more money into the economy. It was a policy that contributed to economic demand exceeding GDP, and contributing to the inflationary pressures, and interest rates, we are now experiencing. They might well remain without economic credibility for some years yet.