Friday, August 27, 2010

Treasury Leaks?

It is impossible to know what the negotiating tactics of the various parties are in the fall-out from the election. There are suggestions that the coalition stance is motivated by a view that a new election would suit them - or that if they did form minority government they would suffer.

The alternative view is that they just want to establish ground rules that say they won't fold to just anything the independents want.

But the fascinating piece is that the coalition is still declining to send its policies to Treasury for costing - on the grounds that Treasury is biased and - shock, horror - leaks. To this I only say - "Godwin Grech".

If the coalition was concerned about leaks in Treasury perhaps they should have taken action to have the supposed leaker to their side charged, not use his (false) information for a political campaign.

Finally Sinclair Davidson has weighed in and suggested that the independents need to argue for a Parliamentary Budget Office (a coalition policy) and thrown in a Debates Commission. Stuffed if I know what the latter does unless you firsthave legislation requiring debates, and if that existed why the AEC couldn't administer it.

As to the respective role of Treasury versus a PBO - they are both meant to be independent. Why create a new body rather than fix any faults with the one we have? And doesn't the Parliamentary Library's research services extend to finances? Wasn't it there that the mid-election report on NBN costing came from?

But finally, the sheer hypocrisy of the Coalition is breathtaking. The Treasury is OK for doing election costings when it is "our" treasury, but not when it is "theirs".

Oh - and the NSW Right must be destroyed (of both parties)

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