BUDGET 2011 COMMENT: 'Yawn', it's the dull - but responsible - budget

BUDGET 2011 COMMENT: 'Yawn', it's the dull - but responsible - budget

Wayne Swan does his best to keep everybody happy - except retailers, some small businesses, welfare and dentists - and bores the pants off nearly everybody else

Look it's 10pm and I'm still in front of the computer because I feel professionally obligated to try and you tell something exciting or interesting about Treasurer Wayne Swan's 2011/12 Federal Budget.

But I can't. You see, there's not a lot wrong or right with the 2011/12 Budget because really there's not a lot to it. Well, there is; there are an awful lot of white pages with lots of figures and details but they all - on first impression - seem to end up at the same place: Safe economic management with little flair. Wayne gets a 6.5 out of 10.

Retail is upset, the dentists are upset, some welfare agencies are a bit miffed, but overall business says it ticks its boxes and is happy with it and, more importantly, it will return Australia's economy to the black by 2012/13 with a surplus, no less.

On the broader picture, think world stage, that means Australia should retain the nation's sovereign credit rating. And that's good.

Small business hasn't benefitted a lot but it hasn't suffered too much either. And it's nearly always unhappy about something in a Federal Budget.

Telling point: Most of the unions like it. Crikey.

It loks like there some ups and downs in ICT spending with some schemes cutback or canned but others announced. Two casualties were the Vocational Education Broadband Network and grants to ISPs for filtering methods put in place under the contentious mandatory internet filtering scheme. Their loss is unlikely to raise too many blood pressures. There was, however, $35.6 million for NBN implementation support.

Tech experts will delve into the budget's depths over the next 24 hours and deliver the minutiae and what it all really means but it's hard to escape the impression that this is a an exercise in economic management designed to do one thing - get Australia's budget back in the black ... and if the Gillard Government survives another year and it can announce 'back in black' (actually AC/DC would be way more exciting than this budget) then Swan and co will crow long, hard and loud.

And who knows next year's Federal Budget might be a wee bit more stimulating.

But if you want a real yardstick on how humdrum this Budget really is: the Australian dollar in post-budget announcement trading virtually failed to react to it, hardly moving against the US dollar. Normally, there is some movement. At least, a bit. Something. Yawn.

Now i'm going to bed.

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Tags retailsmall businessICTWayne SwanFederal Budget 2011ec onomy


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