When is a pork barrel not a pork barrel?

When it’s a littler pork barrel.

Tony Abbott is having a tough week. Some of it expected which isn’t so bad but a couple of surprises have been visited upon him that he would not have anticipated. Firstly The Greens signed on for supporting Labor which hardly rates as a shock but it took another level of negotiation out of the mix. Julia’s work load got a little bit shorter.

Then Treasury discovered that Joe “I don’t tell lies” Hockey had a massive hole in his budget. This shouldn’t have been that big a shock after they tried to hide their figures in the first place but they don’t seem to have an answer to it. The approach of “my savings are bigger than yours” does nothing to dispel the impression that they just aren’t that good when it comes to the Economy.

The fractured responses by the Libs to the GFC with some days holding the opposite view to the day before and then the final idea that facing it with higher unemployment was a better approach, has continued their wobble under Abbott.

But the biggest problem of all was offering the $1B hospital to the independent Wilkie and having him dismiss it as unfunded and opting for Gillard’s more restrained $350M upgrade. The funny part about this one is it completely blindsided Abbott who thought he could spend his way into Government. I imagine he would have thought he was dreaming when he first heard the news.

We find out this week where it is all heading and I’m still thinking it will collapse at the final hurdle and we will end up back at the polls. I can’t see Katter voting for his Dad’s old party and I can’t see Tony Windsor knocking off the National Broadband Network.

If either party gets the numbers it will still be a tough gig.


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