It’s September 2013. Treasurer Joe Hockey calls a press conference in which he outlines the Budget Outcome for 2012-13. It confirms a $7 billion surplus. Treasurer Hockey takes the opportunity to update the Treasury projections for the Budget surpluses out to 2015-16.
The solid US economic recovery, a slightly better performance in the Eurozone and an upswing in GDP growth in both China and India means that in each of the three years in the forward estimates, budget surpluses in excess of $10 billion are predicted. GDP growth is projected to hold around 3.5% and the unemployment rate is forecast to fall to 4.5%.
Mr Hockey claims credit for this beautiful set of numbers.
Mr Hockey says; “this is the stuff of the Coalition Government. We have been in power for less than 6 months and already we are delivering on our promise to run Budget surpluses. We are paying off Labor’s debt and we will lock in a scenario where this government pays its way.”
One sharp press hack asks; “But Mr Hockey, none of your plans to cut spending or to tighten the Budget are in place yet. How can you claim credit for this result?”
Mr Hockey replies; “look David, we are working hard to fix the budget and what you are seeing are the early rewards for that effort. We will deliver a Budget surplus every year in this term and that is why we are superior economic managers to Labor. Unemployment is below 5%, we are running surpluses of $10 billion each year and we are fixing the Australian economy that was wrecked by Labor.”
This scenario unfolds due to Kevin Rudd resigning from Parliament which forced a by election for his seat in Griffith. Mr Rudd’s resignation speech includes an assessment that he cannot remain in Parliament in the current circumstances and he will have a break before working out what he will do in future.
Labor get smashed in that by election with a swing of 11%. The new member for Griffith, Campbell Newman who sensationally lost his bid to enter State Parliament in March 2012, failing by 55 votes to win the State seat of Ashgrove, saw a vote of no confidence succeed in the week he entered the House of Representatives. A Federal election was of course called forthwith.
In breaking news, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed Kevin Rudd as Secretary General to the United Nations, a post he will take up at the beginning of 2014.
Newspoll shows the Coalition leading Labor 55% to 30% on the question who is a better economic manager.
The bookies odds for the 2016 election has the Coalition at $1.05, with the ALP at $9.00.