It is hard to imagine what the Coalition’s strategy will be for the next election.
Their corporate tax cuts for big business are on the nose. Suggesting that someone on $200,000 should pay the same tax rate as someone on $40,000 will also be a hard sell.
How can they possibly pursue Bill Shorten for an old donation by the union to Getup after Malcolm’s Reefgate? Kill Bill has not resonated outside the rusted-ons.
The dual citizenship debacle appears to be over without punishment from the public.
Emma Husar has fallen on her sword and it will be hard to make mileage out of that considering unresolved allegations of sexual harassment still linger over Barnaby Joyce even if they didn’t pursue him for rooting a staff member and spending way too much time in Canberra.
They can’t trot out the debt and deficit disaster again as gross debt is now over $529 billion and they have run five deficit budgets.
Power prices will no doubt be a big issue but, even with “axing the tax”, electricity bills have continued to rise significantly over the last few years and most people believe, unlike the government, that renewables will make them cheaper.
The reef bleaching and the drought have focused attention on climate change again and here, the Coalition have got nothing. The very vocal group of climate change deniers in the government have hamstrung them from taking any meaningful action.
There is a stoush going on about funding deals for private schools. I have to say I don’t like the special deals the Labor Party are proposing but they are winning the support of the Catholics at the moment.
The public are screaming for a federal corruption watchdog but the Coalition remain implacable. Shorten is at least speaking about the possibility of some sort of integrity body.
No-one trusts the Coalition on health despite the bits and pieces funding announcements from Hunt for niche concerns. Hospital waiting times have blown out and many health services no longer bulk bill.
Ignoring calls from everyone, the Coalition refuses to consider increasing Newstart payments and have actively tried to reduce them along with benefits paid to pensioners. This is a promise Labor must commit to.
With every expert saying stagnant wages are a drag on the economy, the government chose to enact the recommendation to cut penalty rates for our lowest paid workers. You will also hear calls from some of them to abolish the minimum wage. Wages will always be viewed by the Liberal party as a drain on employers rather than a fair distribution of the wealth created by labour.
Superannuation is another area where the Coalition have angered many. First they scrapped the planned increase in the Superannuation Guarantee and then they changed the rules retrospectively about charging tax on super incomes over $100,000.
Even with housing prices coming down fractionally (or not rising as quickly), housing affordability remains a problem that the Coalition seem to have no plan to tackle. Cutting down on interest only loans has helped a bit but Labor’s plan to rein in excessively generous property tax concessions on existing properties will do more to address inequality and boost construction.
The Coalition tried to stir the leadership speculation pot suggesting Albanese was about to stage a coup, but that is a gutsy play considering every day, their own members are publicly questioning Turnbull’s leadership whilst Labor has presented a very united front (aside from some backroom factional stuff which they really must stop).
After peremptorily rejecting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, making no progress on constitutional recognition and very little on closing the gap, and slashing half a billion from promised funding, any pretence at concern for Indigenous Affairs is out.
Pretty much all the government is left with is Peter Dutton wandering around trying to scare us all by vilifying certain groups in our society.
What a sorry prospect that is.