PUBLIC MOUTHPIECE: Australian Bankers' Association CEO and former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh at Australian Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison's post-budget National Press Club.
PUBLIC MOUTHPIECE: Australian Bankers' Association CEO and former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh at Australian Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison's post-budget National Press Club. LUKAS COCH

Not everyone wins, but 2017 Federal Budget is fair

I'M NOT a commentator, but...

I watched the post-Budget address to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

I'm not sure if we can put it down to Isaish Firebrace winning through to the Eurovision grand final (his semi-final was particularly tough) or whether there's been a conversion on the way to Damascus (probably not the best place to be travelling to if one wants to keep in Peter Dutton's good books) but Scott Morrison was absolutely buoyant.

Okay. So it was all about the Budget.

And on first and second look, the federal treasurer is entitled to be proud of this one.

At the National Press Club, he spoke of the necessity in the new political environment, for politicians not to be afraid to change their thoughts concerning long-held ideologies.

Good policy always deserves to be enacted, even if opposition forces resist its passage.

But if policy settings clearly either aren't working or prove to damage people, then politicians shouldn't be criticised for changing their stance. Better to change course than to arrogantly run off a cliff.

This is a responsible Budget and one that takes government responsibility to people capital in equal priority to solely economic and monetary matters.

A welcome change to recent budgets.

The NDIS will now be fully funded.

Few should begrudge the government imposing a moderate increase to the Medicare levy to achieve this. For those who have the attitude that disability doesn't affect them; well, that's the thing about disability: it can strike anyone at any time.

Hence, the ALP's idea that only the highest income earners should foot the bill, by extending the term of the Budget Repair Levy, is misguided.

The NDIS is something we should all proudly own.

Shorten's attempt to use it as ammunition in his increasingly inept class warfare strategy makes him look - well frankly - disingenuous.

The likes of the Member formerly known as Prime Minister have been unnecessarily critical of the review on education funding.

As it pertains to funding of Catholic schools, perhaps the critics should have waited to voice protest until after the findings of the Greiner Report had been released. Because, it now appears that bishops have been diverting government funding away from their less-prestigious schools in favour of their elite establishments.

So, any measures being proposed to bring funding back to a needs basis must be welcomed.

There is also no point in the Big Five banks crying poor over the proposed imposition of a 0.06% levy on them.

Threats to pass this impost on to their customers can just be added to the long list of contemptible and inconsumable conduct we have seen from these establishments in the recent past.

I don't see what they hope to achieve from appointing former Queensland premier Anna Bligh to be their public mouthpiece. The banks are clearly playing the political game and not that well. I expect that if we see a change in government next election, Anna will be out and Newman will be in.

The 2017/18 Budget has its winners and losers because you can never please everybody.

The important thing to note that this one is fair.

I don't buy the argument coming from ACOSS and the Greens that measures announced to clamp down on that small number of unemployed who are gaming the system are demonising everyone on welfare.

It's an argument that probably gains favour with many in One Nation but most people are intelligent enough to differentiate.

The only thing the government must be careful of is how they handle this measure.

The last thing we need is the substance-addicted taking desperate measures if their benefits are cut off. That clearly wouldn't be to anyone's benefit.

As a whole, there is little we can criticise about this Budget.

Given there is much in this one which leans towards the Centre position that Labor wants to occupy, it will be quite fascinating to view the Opposition Leader's Reply.

I kinda hope that if Mr Shorten was to be honest with both himself and the rest of us, he'll stand at the Despatch Box, pause momentarily and say, "I've got nothing”.

Budget honesty wouldn't get more real than that.

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