Comments on Stephen Koukoulas "Sense should squib a surplus promise", 23/09/2013, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/23/economy/sense-should-squib-surplus-promise
The talks of whether the budget is in crisis or not come down to different perspectives and what you compare with. If one compares ours with those in deeper trouble as Stephen did, ours is in a much better shape and not in crisis. On the other hand, if one compares with prudent practices as the Coalition implies, ours was not good and the speed of the debt growth may be described as crisis.
Both have a point of their own logic and reasoning.
However, the right thing to do is to choose the better elements of each side and do a better job in both managing the budget (better than in the past years to avoid wastes and reduce unnecessary spendings and achieving surplus as early as possible) and keeps the economy growing (the traditional fiscal policy management for the economy).
To achieve that, the government needs structural reforms to government expenditures to achieve the same outcomes with less spending or achieve better outcomes with the same spending.
So, it is important to bear in mind that fiscal policy has two dimensions of both a aggregate size and its structural content and work on both aspects to achieve the most optimal outcomes.
A good economist pays attention to both dimensions when considering fiscal policy.