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Better economic managers, keeping us safe, lower taxes – a mantra with no basis in reality

Scott Morrison’s campaigning revolves around very little aside from photo shoots, attacking Bill Shorten, and making announcements about money in marginal seats.

He tells us they are better economic managers which might sound true if you were a large corporation or a rich individual. Their wealth has certainly increased.

But to the more than three million Australians who live in poverty, to the 120,000 who are homeless, to the 10% who are underemployed or the 5% who are unemployed, to the workers whose wages have stagnated, to pensioners struggling to pay rent and power bills, to parents unable to afford childcare, to young people starting their working lives with a large debt for their education and skills training – this is not their lived reality.

Morrison tells us that only the Coalition can keep us safe. I guess if stopping 1,000 refugees from starting a new life in Australia makes you feel safe, he has done that.

The boats carrying refugees actually stopped when Kevin Rudd introduced the policy that boat arrivals would never be resettled in Australia. Boat turnbacks have enforced that policy. A flood of asylum seekers much larger than those who arrived by boat have come by plane instead.

But I’m not sure that the tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence are feeling safe. And I wonder how safe the rainbow community feel as their lives are judged and voted on and with religious organisations insisting on their right to shun them regardless. How safe are our kids in the institutions to which we entrust them? How safe are our elderly when in aged care? How safe are Indigenous people in our judicial system? How safe are women in their workplaces or to walk alone at night?

With excruciating predictability, Scott Morrison has promised more CCTV cameras. Does that really have to be dragged out every election? Just do it.

And of course – taxes.

Morrison tells us that the Coalition wants us to keep more of our own money in our pockets.

Except they were the ones who undid the freeze on fuel indexation, an increased tax burden on everybody both directly and indirectly.

They imposed a budget repair levy on high-income earners, didn’t repair the budget, but got rid of it before an election in order to claim they were reducing taxes.

They hugely increased the taxes on smoking which was, arguably, a good thing. Except it was a Labor proposal that they adopted after having previously lambasted it as an unfair tax on poor people.

After promising not to change superannuation, the Coalition reduced the threshold at which high-income earners pay an extra 15% additional contributions tax from $300,000 to $250,000 as well as other changes limiting contributions and capping pension phase accounts.

They got rid of a carbon price which was working to reduce emissions and introduced a carbon price through their inefficient safeguards mechanism which has seen public money used to pay polluters yet emissions have increased.

And if you wanted people to keep more of their own money in their pockets, why would you reduce penalty rates for the lowest paid workers?

All of these things have happened. But what is even more concerning is what might happen if Scott Morrison was given the reins for a third term.

Let’s not forget, it was the Coalition who introduced the GST and made the decision to impose it on power bills (and tampons) despite essential items being supposedly exempt. Shower caps are apparently more essential than electricity.

In January 2016, then treasurer Scott Morrison made the argument that the GST needed to be on the table if the government was going to deliver income or company tax cuts.

Morrison said it was a “fantasy” that cracking down on multinational tax avoidance, or reducing the generosity of superannuation tax breaks, would deliver sufficient scope to enable the government to counter the impact of bracket creep, or deliver broader personal income tax cuts beyond basic bracket creep compensation, or cut company taxes.

Businesses, of course, get to claim back any GST they pay – not so for normal working people or pensioners.

The Grattan Institute calculated that, in order to achieve its arbitrary cap on taxation as a proportion of GDP, the Coalition will need to cut spending by about $40bn a year by 2029-30.

They warned that “achieving such a reduction [in spending] would require significant cuts in spending growth across almost every major spending area, during a period when we know that an ageing population will increase spending pressures, particularly in health and welfare”.

Will the GST rise? Will GP co-payments make a comeback? Will the retirement age increase to 70? Will eligibility for pensions get harder? Will young people be cut off from unemployment benefits? Will family benefits be further cut? Will remote communities be cut off from government services?

These are all things the government has wanted to do or already done.

They have to pay for their tax cuts to big business and the wealthy somehow.

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  1. king1394

    Just a note on security cameras: unless someone is actually watching and able to immediately dispatch some rescue, they are worse than useless. As a taxi driver, I was stolen from by a couple of passengers. You take the film to the local police, one or two glance at it and announce they do not know the people filmed, and that is all that happens. CCTV, like much else, only provides an illusion of safety

  2. whatever

    Door to door salesmen from the 1950’s, thats all the LNP ever were, and are now.

  3. Kronomex

    They are definitely better economic managers for the 10%, corporations, mining companies, and other assorted leeches. Keeping them safe, see previous comment. Lower taxes, ditto.

    “Morrison tells us that the Coalition wants us to keep more of our own money in our pockets.” He means the 10 – 1% club and big business of course. The other 90% are there to keep the trickle (reverse waterfall?) up going full bore.

  4. David Bruce

    The LNP are directly responsible for the current disintegration of Australian society. Whatever happened to “no child living in poverty in Australia” as I recall the mantra from Bob Hawke.

    Economic management refers to the ability of the government to ensure that loans can be repaid without default. Good economic management doesn’t guarantee prosperity for all.

    What Macron is doing to France is the same as Morrison is doing to Australia! I will be putting the LNP last this month.

    I was wondering if the “fit and proper person requirements” could be applied to all candidates and sitting members of the Federal parliament? It applies to the selection and appointment of company directors. TAFE directors and many other executive positions!

    Is any one convinced either party has a solution to the social upheaval currently destroying Australia?

  5. Terence Mills

    Interesting that two Liberal candidates have today been sacked for racist and homophobic comments and two One Nation candidates sacked for misogynistic behaviour in strip clubs from Washington to Thailand.

    I bet the Liberal dirt factory are in a frenzy to find something, anything on the Labor candidates.

  6. totaram

    David Bruce: Morrison will acknowledge nothing that makes his “economic management” look weak. If he doesn’t have a problem, he doesn’t need to do anything about it. Simples!

  7. Kaye Lee

    Hilarious story of the day goes to Angus Taylor who forgot to switch facebook accounts before he posted on his own facebook page in the comments section “Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus”. I suppose he has to fill in his time somehow since he can’t go out in public anymore but it kinda worries me when politicians keep sending messages under the wrong name or to the wrong person (Peter Dutton trying to express his support for sexual harasser Jamie Briggs by calling Samantha Maiden a mad f*cking witch…and then sent the text to Samantha Maiden).

  8. Aortic

    Trickle down economics simply means people get pissed on from a greater and greater height.

  9. Stefano

    Lots of good points here Kaye Lee. Bill Shorten should be hammering these facts at every opportunity, nice guys come last in oz politics, Bill.

  10. totaram

    I was just watching “the Drum” on the ABC and at the end of it I suddenly saw a little skit making fun of Bill Shorten and the Labor party and its policies. Pure election advertising. Is this even allowed? And how did it get into the ABC?
    What is going on here?

  11. paul walter

    totaram, If you subject yourself to the Drum you deserve all you get.

    It takes a particular type of mindset and digestive system to deal with it, particularly when you consider it is one of the better things on a TV landscape so barren that even it becomes tolerable.

  12. paul walter

    Re Angus Taylor, Dan Tehan’s twin brother ( you could add Porter, Littleproud and Tudge), what a dismal preppie whose ego is so huge that there is a shortage of space for the other twenty-five million Australians he notionally shares the continent with.

  13. Kaye Lee


    After that skit I said to my husband the desire to appear “balanced” has robbed the ABC of the obligation to honestly inform us. They are at pains to say, look we make fun of everyone. Disappointing considering we are in an election campaign to reduce such important policies to Sammy J’s playschool politics. But hey….someone did a bad tweet….let’s talk about that rather than this pesky policy stuff that will cost us a fortune.

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