What a busy day Budget Day is for Australian political journalists. On the 10th May this year, Treasurer Wayne Swan announced that the Budget is in a bigger deficit than they had promised, but that there were some severe cuts to spending. He said that this was necessary so that the budget could return to surplus by 2012-13.

Treasurer Wayne Swan - Image from abc.net.au

However, economics commentator Ross Gittins wonders why there is such a rush to return the Budget to surplus, arguing that if the economy is not travelling so well (as a result of the Global Financial Crisis and natural disasters), there really needn’t be such a rush – these setbacks are just temporary.

Gittins also commends the Gillard government for being courageous in their spending cuts. These will include pushing those on welfare out into the workforce, and using the $350 billion budget to help create up to 500,000 jobs in the next three years. The budget will also mean that those who have company cars, private health insurance and family trusts will need to tighten their money belts, as well as those who pay their university fees up front, stay-at-home mothers and wealthy couples with dependent children.

I’m one of those people who pays my fees up front. Now I’m not rich by any stretch, and neither are my parents – I just worked a hell of a lot in the year before I started uni, and it’s the money I earned then that I’ve been using to pay my fees with. So while this will mean I will no longer get my 20 percent discount for paying upfront, I do think it’s totally legitimate to cancel this – it doesn’t make for an equal society when uni students lucky enough to have wealthy parents can actually pay LESS for tertiary education than their less fortunate counterparts. Anyway, there’s my two cents worth. Back to the professional analysis.

Wayne Swan has said the main focus of this year’s budget is the mining sector, and jobs, though according to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, this is at the cost of the average person’s cost of living.

Tony Abbott has also received his amount of criticism from Crikey, with Bernard Keane accusing Tony Abbott of simply being against the budget and the Labour Government, but with no real content to his address to the House of Representatives.

For a nice rounded overview, check this out from the ABC website.

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