Just last night (or was I dreaming) I heard Mr Abbott boast of being up front with the Australian people about his policy costings through the recent but still unresolved Oz election.
Don’t trust him too much, Alice!
This morning we read: $7bn hole in Abbott’s policy costings. Not just a little hole.
The departments of Treasury and Finance, in a report handed to the three key rural independent MPs yesterday, found the Coalition policies would improve the budget bottom line by just $4.5 billion – not the $11.5 billion claimed.
The figures have dealt a blow to Mr Abbott’s hopes of securing the support of the rural independents to form the next Australian government on the grounds of being a responsible economic manager.
Tony Windsor, one of the key MPs who will decide Mr Abbott’s political fate, said last night the discrepancies raised questions about the Coalition’s integrity. ”The Coalition must explain these discrepancies,” he said.
I smelt a rat (didn’t you?) when I saw details during the election of the “independent” auditors used by the Coalition.
…Which is encouraging up to a point. That point is that Coalition has not seen fit to air those costings – as it would have had to if it submitted them to Treasury and Finance in accordance with the Charter of Budget Honesty – and that Horwath has not done so either.
We are asked to take both Horwath and the Coalition on trust. Then known as Hendry, Rae and Court, Horwath had as its founding partner in 1938 Charles Court, later to become Sir Charles Court, the long-serving Liberal premier of Western Australia and father of Richard Court, the Liberal premier from 1993 to 2001… Horwath principal Geoff Kidd told The Age last night Sir Charles kept an office in the firm after he retired from politics and maintained an active interest in its work.
Horwath costed the policies of the Western Australian Liberal Party during its successful run for office in 2008 and the South Australian Liberals in their unsuccessful tilt at government in March this year…