Originally published in Crikey on May 22, 2012

Despite all the hoopla, budgets in Australia are rarely transformative or reforming. Indeed, it’s only the theatre and spectacle of budget night that means most people even notice it. If we started each budget with a blank sheet of paper it is inconceivable that year after year we would fund portfolio areas in virtually identical proportions. Either our priorities don’t really change over time or our budgets do a terrible job of reflecting our priorities.

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