At the time of writing the 2012 Budget had not yet been handed down, yet the media is filling its sites with “the Opposition says . . .” rubbish. Here are some examples:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told his shadow cabinet that while Mr Swan would trumpet a budget surplus, it would be a surplus based on “fiddled figures”.
“Whether it will be the things that have been moved from next year into this year, whether it’s the things that are moved off the budget that should be on the budget, it will be a cooked books surplus,” he said.
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey questioned how Labor could be returning the budget to surplus after a series of budget leaks suggested it was spending more than it was saving.
“Wayne Swan doesn’t know whether he is Santa Claus or the Christmas Grinch,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“On the one hand the government is making large announcements and handing out money, and on the other hand they’re talking about tough cutbacks.”
Mr Hockey wants to see the detail of Mr Swan’s “loss carry-back” benefit before supporting it, claiming it is an idea stolen from the coalition.
“I wish they would stop stealing our initiatives. They lambasted it at the time. Now they’re doing it,” he said.
He also refused to say whether he would back a new education rebate.
He described the government’s revamp of the education tax refund into twice-yearly payments as “dressing mutton up as lamb”.
Mr Hockey said the policy change amounted to giving out money to people whether they needed it or not.
And from another source:
The Opposition attacked the Budget in advance and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey questioned whether Treasurer Swan would ever deliver his promise.
“(Tonight) we just want the Treasurer to tell the truth,” Mr Hockey said yesterday.
“(Tonight) we want the Treasurer to give the full, unfiltered picture about the Budget. We all know that he won’t be there to see it through.
“We all know that Julia Gillard won’t be there to see it through. He will promise a surplus, a surplus that will never be delivered.”
The Opposition is certain to attack the projected cuts and Tony Abbott today took aim at the entire Budget calculations, accusing the Government of cooking the figures.“Frankly the $1.5 billion surplus is essentially just a rounding error,” Mr Abbott said.He said the Government would have to first cover a $40 billion deficit for 2011-12.”This is a cooked-books surplus based on fiddled figures and yet again no one should take this Government seriously,” Mr Abbott said.
Addressing the shadow cabinet, the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, took aim at the school children’s bonus. ”Everyone knows what this is about. This is disguised carbon tax compensation,” he said. ”It is yet another carbon tax bribe paid with borrowed money.”
The shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, said the government had confused its message about a tough budget by handing out money as well as cutting costs.
Get the picture? Click on any of the hundreds of related articles in Google News and you won’t have to look hard to see somewhere that “the Opposition says . . .”
The Treasurer is about to hand down the Budget and I’ll be back later to add more of what “the Oppositions says . . . ”
It is now the day after and oddly there is little of “the Opposition says . . .”
Could not overlook this ridiculous comment though:
The claim comes as Opposition front bencher Kevin Andrews said if people were given the money they would spend it on poker machines and fancy electronics and not their children.