Abbott and Hockey scramble to survive a political train wreck

March 19, 2015 1:06 PM

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Surprisingly close to the last election, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey were still promising a golden age for Australia's finances. "Our commitment is emphatic. Based on the numbers published today, we will deliver a surplus in our first year and every year after that," Hockey told the ABC's AM program in January 2013, just eight months before the poll.

The result is that the 2016 election (there will be no double dissolution this year) will be preceded by two pre-election budgets focused on political consolidation – unkindly called vote-buying – rather then fiscal repair.

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