It’s the pointy end of the political season and as the Grand Final kicks off, it appears the Opposition will be kicking with a ten goal breeze.
Whilst the Coalition’s own goals have dampened their prospects of success, the Opposition have not exactly made themselves a small target. Sure, when the Liberal National internal laundry is being regularly aired, Labor disappear from public view, however overall they have put forward a rather aggressive policy agenda.
After a decade of discussion, this election does feature promises of substantial tax reform – just not the kind of reform that is good for the country. Labor’s tax plans will collect more money for the government and make it even more difficult for the average earner to get ahead.
They will cut capital gains tax concessions and remove tax credits for many-self funded retirees – unless they are in a union-sanctioned retirement scheme. It’s all part of the class warfare and wealth distribution that will engorge government and diminish the rest of us.
Regrettably, the Coalition has scarcely laid a glove on Labor’s radical agenda. This has emboldened Labor with the Shadow Treasurer even daring unhappy Australians not to vote for them. It was a demonstration of almost unprecedented arrogance but it hasn’t yet threatened to derail the Labor campaign train.
Next week’s budget will be almost the last opportunity for the Coalition to strike back. After years of dithering, they need to present a clear and viable plan that will rein-in government spending and return money and power to the people.
It’s widely expected that the budget will deliver the first national surplus in over a decade, although I feel confident it will do so by employing the customary smoke and mirrors.
There will be no financial reckoning of the NBN billions that have been lost. The off balance sheet ‘investments’ will not be counted as part of the debt. Rosy growth figures and fanciful expenditure restraint will remain the centrepiece of our forward estimates and there is sure to be a poisoned chalice or two in the event of a government election loss.
If that premise is correct, it won’t bode well for the government. They need to be bold and reaffirm the stewardship and economic management that have been the key advantage of centre-right governments over their rivals.
Their plan should start with lower, fairer and flatter taxes. They should explain to every worker that a tax cut will leave more money in their pocket and allow more jobs to be created and sustained.
They need to improve the lot for pensioners to ensure that all retirees are able to live with dignity.
They need to acknowledge the reality that their immigration policy is taking our personal wellbeing backwards and they need to focus more on our domestic policy outcomes rather than appeasing unelected bureaucrats.
In short, whether the government wins or loses this next election, what ‘face’ they present next week will determine the shape of the country for the future. A further sop to the left will only blur the lines between our major parties even more. It would exacerbate the slide toward European-style socialism that will leave the people powerless against the elites.
If, on the other hand, they reacquaint themselves with the Conservative policy agenda, it will stop them being a slightly less bad version of the alternative but there might be some hope for the future for all of us.
In the meantime, a vote for the Australian Conservatives in the Senate will make whomever forms government a better one.
Things that make you go Hmm…
A slippery customer in Melbourne and a Sydney driver takes evasive measures while Sydney kills another bar. Shopping around on private health is no joke while travellers warned not to ‘begpack’ but avoid fake police.
Chatty tax scrapped but is this Britain’s first thought-criminal? Tennessee’s rainbow goes full circle. Facebook settles on ads and a red rag to Spaniards although don't be fooled by Apple, Select women’s outerwear issues could be the Rhodes to riches with a little dong for this assault and no play for these NY kids.