Website pays lip service to allowing us to make decisions

EDITORIAL: It's one thing to say to your family: "We only have $5, should I buy bread or milk?"

But it's an entirely different for a government to effectively crowd-source its budget - particularly when the decisions people are being asked to make do not reflect a realistic take on the state's finances, nor the myriad options available.

The Newman Government's interactive website pays lip service to allowing Queenslanders to make the difficult decisions: "should we sell off assets, or cut the public service? Do we cut first-home owners a break, or give investors a hand?"

Unfortunately, logic dictates that the choices available online are a massive over-simplification of reality.

A multi-choice quiz with a realistic representative of the Budget choices would be unwieldy - fair enough -but the version that has been presented is so black-and-white that it has lost all meaning.

It may be a cynical view, but it seems to me that the budget tool presented to voters is not there to actually give them a choice or even just to gather public opinion.

It's there to show them how difficult it is to make choices - a move that seems aimed at garnering sympathy over what will undoubtedly be, for all Queenslanders, a painful budget no matter which way they vote.

That said - it's well worth having a look at, even if it's just so that you can be informed over what the ugly choices are likely to be.



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