Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Campaign spending promises

The Victorian state election is coming up in a couple of week's time. Politicians are busy making promises on what they will spend money on if elected. Australian politicians seem to know how to sing only one tune when it comes to campaigning for an election. They will tell you that if elected, they will build the much-awaited for railway extension, or inject more money into the health system, or pump more funds into the school system, etc, etc.

I have this to say to incumbent Premier John Brumby: stop making spending promises on an ad hoc basis. Just present the next year's budget and let everyone see how you are going to cut the budget cake. Whatever spending promise you make each time is going to mean something else will be taken out, if balancing the budget is important to you. Therefore I won't be taken in by the line "if elected, I will build this, or that..." You already have had 3 years to do that, and much more, if including the time you served as Finance Minister under the previous premier.

By the way, if you cannot manage one project - the Myki - how do you think you have been managing the state of Victoria? Myki project is behind by 4 years now. Your only way out of this mess is to keep paring down the project deliverables. If you have business sense (important for a premier, isn't it?), this project should be scrapped long ago. Of course, it does not look good on you. How did all the budget blowouts happen in the case of the desalination plant and the road improvement works? Did you even try to manage the utility companies that seem to be having a free run at increasing prices now? What ARE you managing?

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