Costello bullish on country’s future

There must be something in the job descriptions of Australian Federal Treasurers that insists on a level of smugness after a certain time in office.

Most of us remember Treasurer Keating in his heyday extolling the virtues of J-curve analysis.

Costello appears to have inherited a similar degree of comfort in his position.

On 3 November at the Hyatt Hotel in Perth, Mr Costello delivered his view of the Australian position in the world economy and the need for tax reform to about 500 people.

On the day that the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 25 basis points, the Treasurer was upbeat as to prospects for Australia’s economy.

Having navigated its way through the Asian crisis, the settings were certainly in place to create an economy with a strong base.

The current account deficit has been a major problem for successive governments for years.

However, Mr Costello believes that the present deficit, at over 5 per cent of GDP, is far superior to the position in which the Keating/Hawke governments found themselves.

The Treasurer also believes that the CAD has peaked at its current level and will decline from this point on.

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