Amongst the hard-sell flurry of post-Budget performances by the Government, the annual IPAA ACT/AIM Post Budget Economic Briefing in Canberra brought a measured perspective to the debate.
Executive Director, Fiscal Group, at the Department of the Treasury, Nigel Ray and Chief Economist at BT Financial Group, Dr Chris Caton were well armed with graphs, PowerPoint presentations and the accompanying lingo that had many of the breakfast attendees at the National Gallery of Australia's Gandel Hall hastily taking notes and asking intelligent questions.
The intelligent answers were more telling, with Dr Chris looking to get the $7 co-payment from each of the attendees as they left the building in return for his sage advice that our debt is small and there's no fiscal crisis, the levy at the top end is inequitable and the chopping of the foreign aid budget is shameful.
He's surprised by the focus on pensions and we're the only country with an income test as well as being the fourth lowest spender of 34 OECD countries.
Excise: get over it! The GST will rise and the Feds will blame the States.
And he's mortified that his foray into the "twittersphere" after leaving the PS for the private sector gained a mere 62 followers between May and September last year.
He'll get over that.
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