Sitting on the other side of the world, I’ve felt rather removed from budget commentary, though I’ve found much to agree with in Nicholas Gruen’sÂ called for harsher cuts in middle-class welfare (can we means-test the first homeowners’ grant too?), Andrew Norton’sÂ call for fewer cuts in basic statistical provision (would Lindsay Tanner mind if we took some of the higher education fund and used it to patch up his cuts toÂ the ABS?), and Joshua Gans’Â characterisation of the revamped Baby Bonus as parental leave lite (will those folks in the OECD now classify Australia as a country that provides 10 weeks’ paid leave at the minimum wage?). I also liked Peter Martin’sÂ use of currency and bond prices to glean a revealed preference notion of how surprised the markets were by the budget. There must be a paper in this for an enterprising student.
Update: Gigi Foster draws my attention to Michael Baker’s discussionÂ of how the ABS cuts will affect our ability toÂ understand what’s going on in the retail sector.