Stephen Kirchner sceptically assesses attempts to sell a budget which he describes as ‘fiscal Hobbesianism’1 bq. (Treasury Secretary, Ken) Henry tries to spin the Budget as a positive contribution to these goals [labour productivity and labour force participation], but the Budget’s contribution is marginal at best and broader progress on structural reform in the Australian economy has come to a grinding halt. It is a damning indictment of Australia’s policy establishment that the great structural reform agenda of the 1980s and 1990s has now been reduced to measures such as taxpayer-funded baby-sitting. (“institutional-economics”:http://www.institutional-economics.com/) 1 I’m not sure what this means; but it sounds sufficiently dreadful. I think it’s a sort of reverse metonomy: SK means what Hobbes might have called fiscal Leviathanism … if he’d thought of it.
Peter Gallagher is a leading Australian consultant on trade and public policy.[bio].
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