Is Budget Day Redundant in the Google Age?

Last Tuesday’s budget announcements mean little because it was based on information that was at least six months old.

Since Treasury and the Australian Bureau of statistics began many years ago they have both laboriously compiled the best information they could from obscure sources, and have taken at least six months, often years to come up with any meaningful information.

But that was in the days when the world turned much slower. With the digital age everything happens at an alarming rate. Six months ago was an alien planet and Budgets made on information about what was happening six months ago are not in anyway connected with today’s economic reality.

Do you want to know what I had for supper on Tuesday? If it does interest you ask Google. Data in the digital age is instant.

The Government have been caught out several times lately by making decisions based on six-month old information. When they compiled the Budget for the year ahead it was based the world that existed six months ago. They are flying blind.

What is going to happen in a year’s time? The only thing that can be guaranteed is that it will not be what is predicted.

It is time that government in Australia, whoever holds power, took advantage of the data available and gather data and analyse it in a timely manner. If that means that the government of the day releases data and modifies policy several times a year that how it is. We need to get used to shifting economic realities and shifting budgets.

Labour made a mistake in asking treasury for the current and forecast economic conditions when they formulated last Tuesday’s Budget because it was based on historic, not current data. For current data they should have asked Google.

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