Today Scott Morrison made an announcement on what the government was intending to do if re-elected:
“Millions of Australians will soon save $10 per script for common medications, which means those taking one medication a month could save $120 a year, or those taking two medications a month could save $240 a year.
“Because of our strong economic management, the Coalition is winding the clock back on the cost of medications, reducing the cost per script to 2008 prices.”
Now one of the troubles with being an incumbent government is that people eventually start to pick fault with things even if they’re a good idea. “Why didn’t you do it earlier?” is a common response and to a certain extent that’s unfair because nobody can do everything all at once. However, it’s also a legitimate question, particularly when a government is saying what an excellent idea it is. If it’s so good, why wasn’t it one of your first priorities and why is it only being trotted it in an election campaign?
Notwithstanding all that, I wonder how many people noticed the way, Slippery Scotty just inserted one of the great myths of Australian politics: The superiority of the Liberals’ economic management.
I’m sure that there’ll be saying but Labor always spend too much and create debt and cause global share markets to crash and… Look, Labor just can’t manage money.
Which brings me back to Morrison’s statement about strong economic management. Because of it, he tells us, they are “winding the clock back on the cost of medications” and that we’ll have 2008 prices… Wow, isn’t that impressive?
Except for one little detail which nobody picked him up on: What the hell does he mean by “strong economic management”? I mean, his party has presided over an increase in debt to the point that it’s about to hit one trillion dollars which – to give you some perspective: If God had put a thousand dollars aside every day for Jesus to spend at the second coming, he still wouldn’t have hit the trillion dollar mark. As for the actual budget, well, it’s not in surplus and there’s no plan to have it in surplus because, like just about every problem the government sees, there’s nothing that they can do about it. It’s outside their control and they don’t hold a hose.
If a trillion dollar debt and an inability to get the budget back to surplus is STRONG economic management, what does weak economic management look like?
I envisage Labor saying that they’ll match this promise only to have some journalist ask them to tell us where the money is coming from.
Economic management – it seems – means that the Liberals can manage to get away with not being held to account on the subject of the economy because if they propose something then it must be good economics. Just like when Josh Frydenberg tells us that low unemployment is the result of the government but high prices and low wages are nothing to do with them,
And speaking of Josh…
Josh attacks the independents as fake independents at every opportunity and suggests that they are actually a party. This is quite interesting as a line of attack and seems to suggest that the idea of being part of a party is somehow wrong. I mean, while they might all be in favour of action on climate change and an integrity commission, they don’t function like a party and we could have a long debate about this, but I think there’s a stranger subtext. If, for the sake of argument, one of them said, “Yes, we are but aren’t the people criticising us also a party and don’t they have members of their party calling net zero dead so which party do people want?”
Driving around Kooyong over the past few days, it’s hard to miss enormous portable billboards on the back of trucks with Josh’s beaming face and the words “Strong economy”… They’ve cut back on the three word slogans in the interests of economy.
But I couldn’t help wonder why Josh is getting large trucks. When I ventured out this morning there was a very small car with signs encouraging us to vote for Gladys Lui.
I mean, it does seem a bit unfair. Josh gets a big truck and she gets a small car… Is this merit or just because he’s the Treasurer? Or is it because the Liberals have given up on Chisholm?
Ah well, in 21 days we’ll discover how close it really is.
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