Editorial - Monday, April 14: Hockey playing games?

IF early reports of the content of the Federal Budget to be handed down in May are the usual reliable indication, there might not be much good news ahead for taxpayers.

Treasurer Joe Hockey isn't missing an opportunity to tell us how bleak the future looks, and based on past form this is the government getting its bad news out of the way early so the news on budget night doesn't seem so gloomy.

Governments don't try to pack the budget with treats to sway the community these days, mainly because they can't afford them.

Rather the tactic is to make taxpayers expect the worst and hope they'll then be happy if things don't turn out as badly as they were led to believe.

Leak a story that something will cost, say, $20 more after the budget and when the real figure is only $10 then people won't be so upset - that's how the deception works.

Let's hope however Mr Hockey isn't playing games when raising the prospect of lifting the retirement age.

This is too serious a subject for political games.

The population has every right to be sensitive about the age when they can stop work and access their superannuation or are able to receive a pension.

That is not to say lifting the retirement age shouldn't be pondered.

It is a subject that needs serious consideration by our politicians, but are they capable of holding such a discussion?

Perhaps we should expect the worst - the usual political game playing - and then perhaps the result won't seem so bad.

David Moase

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