In a game of You’re the Treasurer, Sydney Morning Herald have put together an interactive site to allow you to try and make the hard decisions. The reported estimates of a $17 Billion shortfall to government revenue needs to be found. The game puts you in charge and challenges you to make the necessary cuts to help Treasurer Wayne Swann to get budget back on track.
It’s easy to play, just jump over to the SMH and click on the programs that you’d cancel to close the $17B gap. The decisions aren’t easy with categories hitting on critical industries like health, education and defence, but that’s the reality of the Treasurer’s job.
If nothing else, it’s a bit of fun that may help you be a little more compassionate to the task of our politicians who often get a bad wrap regardless of what they choose. The point here is there’s no easy or clear direction, whichever options you choose, you’ll leave some industries unhappy or worse, with an increase in unemployment.
Something worth pointing out to our readers is the last item on the list, NBN. You’ll notice this figure is $0, strange at first given the $30-$40 Billion being debated. The reason for this is that NBN construction is off-budget spending, meaning even if you scaled back the Labor offering to something similar to the cheap coalition plan, it won’t impact the core budget and do anything to close the projected $17 funding gap.
As the budget isn’t a voting content like your favourite reality TV show, there is no capacity to share you decisions with your politicians. Despite having so many important issues on the table, our wonderful democracy allows only one vote on polling day.