John Quiggin writes in The Guardian (6.2.15) that the idea that budget deficits constitute ‘robbing our children’ remains a staple in calls for reform. In fact, intergenerational inequity was resolved in the 1990s:
‘The idea that public spending today places an unfair burden on the younger generation is belied by even the most cursory examination of the 2014 budget cuts. Some of the biggest proposed cuts were imposed on school (the abandonment of the forward commitments under Gonski) and university students (fee deregulation and funding cuts).
‘As a community, we need to assess the extent to which we are willing to meet social needs through public expenditure, which must ultimately be financed by taxation. This is an issue which neither side of politics has been willing to address honestly. Scare stories about future fiscal disasters don’t help.’