Was Peta Credlin correct in defending Abbott’s election promises?

‘The 2014 budget did not break election promises,’ says Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff. Hmmm…

Former prime minister Tony Abbott speaks with his then chief of staff Peta Credlin, 2016 (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)
Former prime minister Tony Abbott speaks with his then chief of staff Peta Credlin, 2016 (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

On Thursday, Peta Credlin — former chief of staff to then prime minister Tony Abbott and current News Corp commentator — gave her response to the first episode of the ABC’s Nemesis, the three-part post-mortem on the Coalition governments between 2013 and 2022. In the absence on the show of her or Abbott (the first former PM to decline the ABC’s invitation to one of these retrospectives) came Credlin’s piece in The Australian, which recounted her time in government and modestly concludes:

Part of the reason you are reading me in The Australian today is that when the caricature of me was created by the plotters out to get Abbott, as a staffer I had no voice; I could not respond and all I could do was cop it. When that changed, I knew it would be near impossible to counter what had been manufactured and that my best response was to enter the public square and let people who had heard the criticisms take a closer look and make up their own minds. Having the top-rating show on Sky News for the past three years is my answer to ‘those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat’.

It also features the following striking claim:

It’s hardly surprising, given the nature of the program, that the ABC failed to put the record straight on a couple of key issues. The 2014 budget did not break election promises.

Let’s interrogate that. Did the 2014 budget keep its promises on:

The ABC and SBS: No.

Pensions: No.

On Medicare locals: Nope.

On personal tax: Not really.

Foreign aid: Nothing doin‘.

On health and education: Depends who you ask.

Indigenous affairs: Not on your nelly.

Do any other broken election promises come to mind? Let us know your thoughts by writing to letters@crikey.com.au. Please include your full name to be considered for publication. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.

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