Are budget projections a joke?

20th May 2017 7:00 AM
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a tour of Pacific Stone in Canberra, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.  (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison. LUKAS COCH

IS THE budget some kind of fictitious projection into the future or is it a realistic forecast?

Three years, four years, five years or even 10 years ahead are the periods projected and in most cases are nothing more than wet finger to the wind forecasts.

The treasurers making these predictions may not even be in power and circumstances can change dramatically over long periods making the projections a joke.

Why doesn't government get realistic and project only two years ahead to achieve their objectives, as voters are not interested or capable of remembering five or 10 year forecasts?

While long-term forecasts are interesting they should only be wish plans and something to aim for in the future.

Most voters are more interested in what is going to happen this and next year.

How many times have we heard treasurers promise to return to surplus in four years only to find it never happens? Most of us treat this kind of forecast as a joke.

KEITH WHITESIDE

Sippy Downs