Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Election Bribe Budget: Sweeteners for Voters to Stay with the Coalition

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Shreya Christinahttps://cafe-madrid.com
Shreya has been with cafe-madrid.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider cafe-madrid.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

When Josh Frydenberg says his main cost-of-living measures are “temporary” and “targeted,” he’s exactly right, though the reasons are more opportunistic than he’d say publicly.

He says it’s all about giving help when needed, while not costing money in the long run.

But actually, and equally so, the measures are aimed squarely at the upcoming elections, and resolutely at vote-buying. When money speaks, the government has picked up the megaphone.

This is a budget for the moment – blatantly an election bribe, and unconcerned when it comes with bad policy.

Halving the fuel tax for six months is a large enough reduction for motorists. The change will begin to flow over the next two weeks.

Let alone experts who argue that this is a bad move on revenue, environment and fairness. In any case, the designated endpoint avoids the problem John Howard created in 2001 when he indefinitely froze excise indexation and it took many years for a government to have the nerve to reinstate it.

The $420 one-time payment to more than 10 million low- and middle-income people supplements the LMITO compensation they receive when they file their tax returns from July 1. But after that there is no more LMITO.

The government desperately needs older voters to stick with it to stand a chance of survival. Thus, retirees will receive a one-time additional benefit of $250 within a few weeks.

To cover all bases and minimize complaints that some people missed, payment also goes to caregivers, veterans, the unemployed, eligible self-funded retirees, and concession card holders.

For voters concerned about debt and deficits — the liberal mantra of the old pre-COVID days — the projected $78 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year is just over $20 billion better than forecast in December’s budget update. The peak for net debt is expected to be in 2026.

The government will rely on its fiscal and jobs figures to defend its economic credentials in the May election campaign, the date Scott Morrison will announce shortly.

The government can reasonably boast of its record job creation, with the unemployment rate, now 4%, set to drop to 3.75% in a few months. JobKeeper kept jobs (although a lot of money was wasted due to the scheme’s design) and the economic recovery was strong.

But the fiscal outlook for wages is a more problematic story. Inflation (after a strong peak) is expected to reach 3% in 2022-23, with an estimated wage increase just above 3.25%.

That means that for many people, keeping up with the rise in the cost of living will be impossible or barely feasible, despite the temporary allocations of the budget.

The government has thrown everything into this budget in terms of election sweeteners.

But how much of an impact will the sugar have on the intentions of voters who, according to the latest News Poll, have left the coalition behind Labor 45-55%?

Labor can neutralize some of the budget’s impact by embracing the alms (the retirees and beneficiaries will have received theirs before the election anyway).

Even before the budget was cut, Labor said it would not stand in the way of the excise cut. It won’t get in the way of cash payments.

That’s in line with Albanian’s small target strategy and desire to divert the campaign argument to other issues.

But the budget and the economy – the government’s favorite area – will dominate the political discussion in the coming days.

Scott Morrison will be looking for some “bounce” out of the budget and this is important in the short term.

If he can reverse Labour’s lead, that will change the mood when the formal campaign begins.

Sometimes budgets give a boost, often not. It’s hard to see how the government could have done much more to pump air into this balloon.

The big question is whether, despite the charitable giving and generally favorable economic conditions, people will continue to feel financially under pressure and politically out of order with the government – ​​and with the prime minister in particular.

This article was republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

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