A fluoro nightmare for the Coalition

Tony Abbott had no choice but to stick with Coalition policy to end auto subsidies by 2015 and it could come back to bite ahead of the next election.

Tony Abbott has ended the speculation about a shift in Coalition policy on subsidies for the car industry, confirming a day after returning from holidays that he will stick to the Howard government timetable for ending assistance by 2015, in contrast to Labor's plan to carry on with subsidies to 2020.

This move looks 'brave', but only in the sense in which Sir Humphrey Appleby used that term in the comedy series 'Yes Minister' – mainly to strike fear into the heart of his feckless minister.

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