Ian McAuley on what real economic management looks like

CPD fellow Ian McAuley points out that there is more to managing the Australian economy than simply keeping the books.

First published on the ABC’s The Drum Unleashed on August 18 2010.

“Fiscal management is more than just bookkeping”

It would be refreshing to hear a debate about economic policy.

If the media reports so far are any guide, however, the main issues in any debate will be debt and waste – words which have an easy resonance among voters. There will be disputes about the Coalition’s costings of election promises, and about who will bring the budget to surplus sooner.

Such questions are mainly about fiscal policy – the management of public budgets. Just as a company must manage its finances so too must a government. But there is more to economic management than keeping a bank account and preparing a cash budget – much more.

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