Less than four weeks ago, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was still singing his own praises:
“Australia approaches the challenges ahead from a position of economic strength with the Coalition Government’s economic plan and responsible budget management contributing to the resilience of the Australian economy.”
Under the Coalition’s “responsible budget management”, net debt has increased from $161,253 million at 31 August 2013, a week before the election, to $424,164 million at the end of February this year.
Remember when the Coalition screamed blue murder about Labor increasing the debt ceiling to $300 billion?
Well, gross debt as of the end of last week was $579.2b with another $4.1 billion of AGS to be issued this week alone.
Before the bushfires and coronavirus hit, the economy was weak.
Real GDP grew by 1.9 per cent in 2018-19, softer than the 3 per cent growth forecast in the 2018-19 Budget, and the Wage Price Index increased by 2.3 per cent, below the 2¾ per cent growth forecast in the 2018-19 Budget.
Job creation was only keeping up with population increase and underemployment was emerging as a significant problem.
When asked by Leigh Sales about how the Coalition had blasted Labor’s stimulus package during the GFC, Frydenberg replied that he is “not looking backwards” – there will be no admitting fault.
Still stuck in slogan land, Coalition language is changing.
We have gone from a “targeted, modest and scalable” response to “targeted, measured and scalable” and now Frydenberg is calling for “quick, strong and co-ordinated action” from the G20 countries.
The self-satisfied smirks, the ridiculing of the idea of well-being, and the draconian persecution of the unemployed have disappeared.
After more than a decade of their bullshit, all of a sudden, “we are all in this together”.
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