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EXPENSE: The Liberals’ pledge to retain Royal Perth Hospital was a politically astute, but financially costly, move. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Nahan must get back to basics

The May budget looms as an important opportunity for the Barnett government to put its economic house in order.

Treasurer Mike Nahan has drawn on one of Paul Keating’s tactics, while federal treasurer (1983-91) during the Hawke Labor government, in using a colourful turn of phrase to direct attention to the state of the economy.

‘Banana republic’ and ‘the recession Australia had to have’ are just two headline-grabbing quotes Mr Keating employed to demonstrate the country was not in good shape and that change – however unpalatable – was essential.

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