Day to Day Politics: The average punter wouldn’t know.
Friday 13 May
So much happens ‘day to day’ in an election campaign. How much of it gets through to the average punter? How much permeates their minds and leaves such an indelible impression that it affects the way they vote? Take this week, for example.
1 The fact that the Prime Minister has been named in the Panama papers may or may not have any significance. However, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have questions to answer.
Arthur Sinodinos, himself under investigation for shady deals told Radio National:
“That is a dead horse being flogged, it’s a 20-year matter, its old news – they just want to run it because they can. The Fin Review on its front page should be debating policy instead of behaving like a down market tabloid”.
“Time never diminishes the crime”.
A twenty year duration didn’t seem to matter in Julia Gillard’s case.
So Turnbull should give a full explanation of his involvement with the company in question and any others that were registered by Mossack Fonseca in Panama or other tax havens.
Mathias Cormann, the Coalition’s official campaign spokesperson (the fastest political mouth in Australia) said:
“Obviously this is more than 20 years ago. There is absolutely no suggestion of any wrongdoing”.
I think the Coalition appointed him their spokesperson because they didn’t want anything to be understood.
2 The rating agencies have been at it again warning the Government that our ballooning foreign debt, which has risen to 62% of GDP, up from 50% in the last three years could affect our AAA rating.
3 It seems that the National is somewhat upset with the Liberals focus on the ‘new economy’ (at least their version of it) and instead use the expression the ‘old economy’ instead. Now that’s forward thinking.
4 Many in the Coalition are upset with the retrospectivity of its changes to Superannuation. The rich and privileged are in uproar. Whatever angle you come from and however they argue it, it is retrospective.
5 A few days prior to Malcolm Turnbull announcing the election Greg Hunt, the Coalition’s second best liar released modelling by Energetics that he said those who said they couldn’t reach their targets were totality wrong. And he told The Australian Newspaper just that. “Who else?”, you might ask.
But Peter Holt, associate at Energetics, told Guardian Australia that the policies would only achieve those reductions with changes – either large funding top-ups to the ERF (estimated by others at least $6bn) or a strengthening of the safeguards mechanism so it turned into a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme.
Which all rather confirms what Turnbull said just a few years ago:
“If you want to … cut carbon emissions … in a very substantial way to the levels that the scientists are telling us we need to do by mid-century to avoid dangerous climate change, then a direct action policy where … industry was able to freely pollute, if you like, and the government was just spending more and more taxpayers’ money to offset it, that would become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead.”
The ABC also did a fact check on an assumption of Turnbull’s.
The claim: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 is “second only to the emission cuts offered by Brazil” when measured on a per capita basis.
The verdict: Australia’s per capita reductions for 2030 will be 50 to 52 per cent lower than 2005 levels, which is smaller than the 53 per cent per capita reduction Brazil will make over the same time period, but the per capita cuts of Norway, at 57 per cent, and Switzerland, at 60 per cent, are even higher than both Brazil and Australia. Mr Turnbull is incorrect.
6 Cory Bernardi has been relegated to second position on the Liberal Party’s South Australian ticket. Education Minister Simon Birmingham as the senior member replaces him. Doesn’t sound much on the surface but with Nick Xenophon’s NXT party, the new Senate voting changes and the nature of double-dissolution elections, which see the full Senate go to the polls as opposed to the usual half-Senate there will be an element of unpredictability involved.
7 A Guardian Lonergan poll of 1,841 voters taken across the country from Friday to Sunday confirms other national polling results – the two major parties enter the eight-week election campaign neck and neck, each with 50% of the two-party preferred vote.
But Malcolm Turnbull’s election-eve budget may have harmed his prospects with younger voters, with a strong majority saying the “jobs and growth plan” had made them less inclined to vote for the Coalition.
8 Finally, a response to my post yesterday “It’s about jobs and growth stupid” from a friend Bruce Beamish who lives in Moe Victoria. (We performed in the Australian play ‘Dimboola’ together):
“Yes it is all predicated on the concept that somehow the benevolent philanthropic people at the top of the income list will invest in the Magic Pudding of Jobs and Growth. When they may just as well send it to an overseas tax haven. It is their choice.
I have mentioned previously the cunning GST implementation which relied on those that are well off selling out those who are less so. Does anybody really think that tightening up the superannuation concessions will not see a transfer to the safety net of negative gearing?
Just another cunning plan that appears to be doing something but still looks after the well off because they still have a very tax effective vehicle to reduce their taxable income. No mention of family trusts, another method by which the well-off hide their money and minimise tax.
All these concessions and perks to our taxation system generally benefit the few at the expense of the many. They therefore skew the system and the revenue stream is diverted to individuals rather than services that everyone can benefit from.
Very cynical. Yes good economic management, for the few at the expense of those less well off. Dare I revisit that John Howard special? Un Australian.
Yes, the Car industry. We cannot prop it up any longer? The age of entitlement is over Joe Hockey (In his plumb overseas job). Yet we can lavish 50 billion dollars on a submarine program? Yes there will be some flow on, however the Car industry was an existing industry with an established supplier network.
It is also an industry of high-tech jobs. No one doubts that it has been subsidised, so are our farmers. The Submarine building will not see much real action for some time. In the meantime many people will be out of work. Could it be the main thrust of the Submarine building program was to shore up things for Christopher Pyne and his fellow liberals in SA?
There is a sop to WA shipbuilders, of course WA is home to Colin Barnett. He of the typically fractious WA type of politician. SO give him a bone and he will be quiet and also those pesky WA based federal LNP supporters who make trouble as well.
No mention of shipbuilding at Williamstown Dockyard in Melbourne which has been in existence since the 1850s and built many a ship, or Newcastle or Whyalla both which had shipbuilding industries. Must not be LNP seats or LNP seats under threat. Do we even need 12 submarines? Of course Defence will say yes, it is like Christmas to them”.
My thought for the day.
“Words have special meaning when they are written by the intellectually rich but mean nothing when written by the intellectually corrupt”.