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Dutton hits the right notes in budget reply

By Graham Young - posted Monday, 20 May 2024

When I watched Opposition Leader Peter Dutton's speech in reply to the Budget, I had lines from Sondheim's "Bring in the Clowns" running through my head: "Me here at last on the ground/you in mid-air."

This was more imagery and literary allusion than there was in the duration of Mr. Dutton's Budget Reply speech.

But a plain speech was the medium that carried his message, as opposed to the federal treasurer's 29.05 minutes of exhortations and perorations.


The opposition leader is the plod-turned-politician you can rely on to stolidly get the job done-the ordinary bloke who is one of us.

A small businessman who employed 40 people. I know how you feel, unlike the members of the government bench who are all lifelong politicians.

His feet are on the ground and the other side are up in the air. Let's get Australia "Back on Track."

The consensus, with which I agree, is that Labor Treasurer Jim Chalmer's budget is inflationary and will do nothing to address the short- and long-term issues besetting the country, instead setting Australia up for bigger and more intrusive government with higher expenditure and higher taxes.

How do you repair Labor's excesses?

You increase the flexibility of the economy, reduce the costs, get government out of the way, and encourage people to be self-reliant.


Demography is a problem for us with too many migrants, and despite this a rapidly aging population.

This results in not enough houses and not enough workers. The treasurer almost ignored this with a miniscule reduction in immigration and nothing to address the looming worker shortage, apart from more immigration.

Dutton addressed all these areas, not with a huge amount of policy detail, but with enough substance to convince Australians that he cares and understands.

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This article was first published by the Epoch Times.

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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