Monday, August 09, 2010

Libs Economic Woes

Today was not a good day for Tony Abbott.  After yesterday's official election launch in Brisbane, he was a rooster. Today, he's a feather-duster. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, Andrew Robb & Barnaby Joyce were all part of some economic shambles. Politicians love the media attention ... except when they fall over themselves making mistakes.

In a week when Labor is running ads showing part of an interview in which Peter Costello said he wouldn't support Tony Abbott to run the economy, Mr Abbott  & friends stumbled on economics. It went like this:
  • on radio this morning, Tony Abbott announced net recurrent spending cuts of more than $18 Billion, and that the Coalition's spending on policies would be much less than that. (ie less than $18 Billion)
  • at the National Press Club debate with Wayne Swan, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said "We've announced savings of $28.534 billion, so, so far we have $2.8 billion of net savings on the announced policies" That is, spending on policies would be about $25 - $26 Billion:  more than $7 Billion more than the $18 Billion claimed by Tony Abbott. 
  • Later in the day, Andrew Robb tried to explain away the difference, saying that Joe Hockey had included the $7Billion savings from the policy to drop the extra tax on super-mining profits. Except that that figure is accepted by Tony Abbott as $10 Billion, not $7 Billion.
  • Barnaby Joyce was interviewed on SykNews in the afternoon, and repeatedly tried to deflect questions on the Coalition's costs of policies, and tried to redirect an answer about Labor. When challenged about the costs of Coalition policies, he said that policies would be submitted to treasury for costings, and "we don't have the resources that Labor has" (that's true, but the reverse was true before the last election, when Joyce was part of a government! He was just having a whinge) The real economic faux pas by Barnaby Joyce was that the Coalition must submit policies AND costings to Treasury. Treasury doesn't do costings for the Opposition!
It's impossible for voters not to think that Abbott, Hockey, Robb and Joyce don't have a handle on economics. It will probably be reflected in polling about which party is the better economic manager.