The election campaign grinds on, and we are not yet half way there. In this post I look at some of the claims being made on the economy, and it can serve as an open thread on the election.
The Coalition has made a big play on jobs and growth, plus Labor’s said recklessness and inability to manage the economy, finding huge ‘black holes’ in their costings. Of course, Labor is yet to supply it’s costings, which in 2013 the LNP only released on the Thursday before the election. So, always helpful to a fault, they’ve done Labor’s work for them.
Problem is, say Labor, it was a litany of fiction and lies. For example:
- Labor’s foreign aid policy as announced by deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, was costed by Labor at $224m. In a disingenuous mathematical distortion, Morrison and Cormann suggested it was in fact $19b because of a bipartisan target of getting foreign aid to .5% of gross national income.
- “Now, let’s make no mistake here: Joe Hockey had a reputation for making errors whereas Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann are not stupid people.
“They know exactly what they’re doing; these are not accidents from the two of them.
“They know the information they are giving the Australian people is wrong, but they intend to give it anyway because they believe they can get away with it,” he said.
The instrumental ethics of Turnbull is staggering. Anything goes to achieve power.
If you think I’m just being partisan, Peter Martin says ScoMo and Cormann’s effort was a ” triumph of hope over experience” and “much of it was fiction. He says these guys should not take to figuring when they don’t have the Public service to do it for them.
Laura Tingle says they must be getting desperate and Morrison and Cormann were left with over-egging all over their face.
The LNP have a tradition of finding ‘black holes’. Can you spot the Beazley black hole of the 1998 election?
It’s that last tiny deficit, coming out of the early 1990s recession.
Stephen Koukoulas has researched the economic competence of every government back to Whitlam’s, and has found Labor governments superior in both jobs and growth. There are some surprises – how well the Whitlam government performs, for example.
The LNP always wants to sweep away the GFC as though it never happened. That’s why the Rudd-Gillard government looks ordinary in absolute terms. When Koukoulas benchmarks our performance against the US economy, Rudd-Gillard actually comes out best of all:
Finally, Koukoulas has also looked at three promises made by Abbott which weren’t delivered.
Abbott claim No 1
In the campaign launch Abbott said: “We’ll build a stronger economy so everyone can get ahead.” He added: “I want to lift everyone’s standard of living.”
Abbott-Turnbull achieved about 2.5% pa growth, the same as Rudd-Gillard without the GFC.
Abbott claim No 2
“We’ll get the budget back under control by ending Labor’s waste”. He added, “By the end of a Coalition government’s first term, the budget will be on-track to a believable surplus”.
- Unfortunately for the Liberals, its third budget confirmed a three-fold increase in the budget deficit, a blowout in net government debt to the highest level in 60 years and government spending as a share of GDP above 25.2% in every year, to outpace the level of spending of just 24.1% in the last full year of the Labor government in 2012-13.
Abbott claim No 3
- “I want our workers to be the best paid in the world and for that to happen, we have to be amongst the most productive in the world”. He added, “I want to see wages and benefits rise in line with a growing economy.”
- The bad news for the Coalition and the electorate is that annual wages growth has weakened to 2.2%, the lowest for 50 years. At the same time, overall productivity measured as real GDP per hour worked has fallen in the past year. Low wages growth and faltering productivity are among the most serious shortcomings of the last three years of Coalition economic management.
Con-artists and duds, surely.