Growing Pains

This was Bill Shorten on the ABC’s 7.30 program in December 2014:

What I agree is that for Australia to have a bright future, then we’ve got to go for growth. And the way you go for growth is you spend money on skills and training and higher education. You make sure that you have a system where the infrastructure is being built and it’s working…

No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I am endeavouring to say and I’ll try and say it more concisely – I appreciate that you want that. It’s about the future. You know, Tony Abbott said at the G20 he’s not worried about the far distant future of 16 years. I think that’s not the right – Tony Abbott said the wrong thing there. It’s all about the future. I’m interested in policies. And this is how you build growth. If you’ve got growth, if you’re creating national wealth, then a lot of pressure comes off the budget. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to build the infrastructure of the future, you’ve got to have the skills and training of the future …

Here’s Malcolm Turnbull last weekend on Sky News:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says returning the budget to surplus is a long term project through growing the economy faster rather than raising taxes. 

Mr Turnbull said the government’s approach is to eliminate unjustified spending and maintain strong economic growth that boosts tax receipts.

‘It’s been very effective in other times and in other places, and is exactly how (New Zealand Prime Minister) John Key got back in to balance,’ Mr Turnbull told Sky News on Sunday.
I’d like to give Turnbull more credit for his remark on eliminating ‘unjustified spending’. However, it’s both inconsistent with his first remark and his conduct to date of increasing unjustified spending  (e.g. $1 billion on innovation).
If Turnbull wants to fix his poor polling, he should try being less like Bill Shorten, not more.




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