This has been a most disrupted weekend.
Some of has been good. Eating eldest's pork belly plus salad (it's a nice combination) while watching first a film and the Rugby test between Australia and New Zealand with both daughters. Then today somewhat unexpectedly watching youngest play hockey; her season had ended, but she had a last game as a sub.
Some of it has been not so good. Really, oh Wallabies, with 55% of the possession, how did you let the All Blacks beat you so badly?! Eighteen points no less. Did you let the Haka put you off? The photo is from the Canberra Times. Then youngest let some goals in, although she played well and did stop a penalty shot. That's one on one and quite hard to do.
Some of the weekend has been just plain bad. Waking in the early morning today to do some writing, I turned the air conditioner on to get some warmth. Half an hour later, it blew the fuses. Hours later, the electrician got things working again. Grrrr!
So what to write now? Well, just one thing.
For those who like acronyms, PEFO stands for the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Prepared by the Commonwealth Departments of Treasury and Finance, its purpose is summarised in this way:
The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 (the Charter) provides for the Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation (the Secretaries) to release publicly a Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report (PEFO) within 10 days of the issue of the writ for a general election. Such a writ was issued on 5 August 2013.
The purpose of the PEFO is to provide updated information on the economic and fiscal outlook. The information in the report takes into account, to the fullest extent possible, all Government decisions made before the issue of the writ and all other circumstances that may have a material effect on the economic and fiscal outlook.
The objective is, to use a phrase popularised by former Australian politician Don Chipp, to keep the bastards honest. As an aside, where are the Australian Democrats when we really need them? They provided a middle of the road alternative to those who find themselves unable to vote for either of the major parties or, today, the Greens.
This year's PEFO has attracted varying views. Economic columnist Ross Gittins is supportive (The devil's in the detail of Treasury data), fellow economic columnist Alan Kohler is not (PEFO a work of pure fantasy). For those who want to read the original, you will find it here. Ross Gittin's piece provides the best summary.
In many ways, this election campaign has been an economic policy free zone. What PEFO does is to lay down some parameters that both Labor and Coalition will have to deal with. How those parameters are interpreted depends upon particular bias, yet ignore them at your peril. The capacity of either of the leading contenders to deliver on their other promises depends on those parameters.
I make this point because, to my mind, neither of the main sides has yet provided a clear explanation, a clear picture, of the way that they are going to manage economic uncertainty. The policy elements may be there, but I need a simple explanation that I can test.