The breaking news this afternoon that the Gillard government is abandoning its surplus commitment comes as no surprise whatsoever; I have been watching the live coverage of Wayne Swan on Sky News, and the self-important bubble looks so frightened I wonder if he’s wet himself.
This is a short post on account of the fact I’m busy for the rest of the day, but I will post again this evening, but whichever way you cut it today’s development was foreseen by everyone except the Treasurer himself.
It underlines how much political hot air has been expended by Gillard and her Treasurer in the face of what virtually everyone else — including this column — called, months ago, as a likely financial year deficit of between $12 and $15 billion.
And it vindicates shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s line that this government will never produce a balanced budget.
A $3.9 billion deterioration in corporate tax receipts is officially the pretext for the abandonment of the Labor pledge, and Swan says the government will revisit its forecasts early in 2013.
But the bird has flown — not just for this financial year, but for the life of the Labor government, given the likely drubbing facing the ALP at next year’s election.
And Swan knows it, and he knows this is a battering ram handed to the Coalition that will be ruthlessly used against Labor in the months ahead.
Further, it’s happened on one of the self-important bubble’s cherished stints on watch as the “Acting Prime Minister.”
No wonder he looks like he’s peed himself.
I’ll comment again later tonight.