Perhaps the most important takeout from the leaders’ debate was when Scott Morrison admitted that it is Labor that introduces the big social reforms – Medicare, the PBS, the NDIS, paid parental leave, compulsory superannuation for example.
Labor might have the ideas but it was the Coalition who had to pay for them, sighed Scott.
They market themselves as the better economic managers. This seems to be based on Howard and Costello’s strategy of selling off every profitable asset we owned, privatising everything they could, whilst wasting the profits from the mining boom on doling out huge sums in tax cuts and deductions.
And they hit us with the GST.
Abbott’s strategy was to cut funding to everything except defence which has seen above budgeted rises every year. He sold the profitable Medibank Private for a short-term sugar hit to the budget, thus ceding any competitive control over private health insurance prices and coverage. He decided the NBN wasn’t worth doing properly – so now we have to go back and do it again with fibre.
He also imposed the 2% budget repair levy.
Josh Frydenberg’s smiling slide show and smug mugs were as close as the current mob came to any pretence of good economic management.
For many years they have ignored warnings about the compounding effect of multiple climate-induced disasters. They have resisted calls to prepare and actively fought against global commitments to reduce emissions and phase out fossil fuels. Their solution is to give a few hundred dollars to a selected few victims and then blame someone else, as Morrison tried to do last night about the bushfires by bringing up a lack of hazard reduction as a cause.
When faced with fires, floods and a pandemic, they abandoned any semblance of fiscal responsibility and threw money around in gay abandon.
Some form of stimulus was necessary but JobKeeper was poorly designed with few if any checks on eligibility compliance. A kid who worked one shift at McDonalds was all of a sudden on $750 a week. Businesses who saw massive increases in their profits were hugely subsidised with that money then going to shareholders and company directors. Others, like universities and the arts sector, were left out entirely.
We have gone from the promise of “back in black” to the three largest deficits in history and a structural deficit next financial year at 3.6 per cent of GDP.
Gross debt is forecast to reach a record $906 billion by the end of this financial year, grow to $977 billion in 2022-23 and top $1 trillion the following year. Interest payments in 2025-26 are projected to be $22.4 billion.
With increasing costs for health and aged care inevitable, instead of a plan to increase revenue, we are offered tax cuts for the wealthy and a dam for every Nationals electorate.
There is no recognition of the economic benefits Labor’s “big ideas” have delivered.
Not only do this lot concede they are not the party of big ideas, they have demonstrated that they also have no idea about how to plan for the future and budget and invest accordingly.
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