The Fifth Estate: Boom Time Budget
Bad for business, good for ‘struggle street’, sharing the resource boom, hampering overseas investment. This is just some of what’s being said about Labor’s 2012-13 budget.
One week on from budget night, join Stephen Mayne, George Megalogenis and host Sally Warhaft as they explore Australia’s fiscal fortitude. Battling opposition jibes that Labor cannot deliver surpluses – and fulfilling his desire to deliver on a long-held promise – Wayne Swan’s 2012-13 planned budget surplus is here ‘on time, as promised and ahead of every other major advanced economy’.
But is this projected return to surplus genuine, or a result of creative accounting? With households largely escaping the cost-cutting measures, who are the winners and losers – and how do the states fare? Will this ‘election’ budget, wearing its Labor values proudly on its sleeve, win back the heartland? Does the average Australian care?
Stephen Mayne is a Walkley Award winning journalist who for almost 10 years worked as a reporter, business editor, gossip columnist and chief of staff at major Australian newspapers.
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade, Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era, Australia’s Second Chance and Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.