Paul Kelly 3-4 Fedruary, 2024
'Looming tax brawl at the election misses the nations interest'.
'The economic planets are moving into alignment for the Albanese government. There is no guarentees but the outlook is for interest rates later this year, a second budget surplus, rising real wages and higher tax july from July all workers under $146,000.'
'Under this scenario only an inept government would stumble to election defeat to defeat in early 2025'.
(I must say I think there is a real opportunity, but I will leave this matter now.)
'Labor's task is to settle an unsettled nation. The nation's mood hovers around knife-edge equitivocation. While core economic indicators are set to improve giving Labor its electoral recovery opportunity, the damage to living oppotunity, the damage to living standards, suspicion of the Albanese government and fears the country is on the wrong track, are potent warnings for Labor that things could go wrong'.
'The main news, however, is that Labor's No. challenge - curbing high in flation - is showing tangible results.' (With a new reduction of inflation to 4.1 per cent in the year to December 2023 from 5.4 in September.)
'Albanese is exuding confidence. He is reverting to his 1922 election pose as Mr Compassion.
'As leader, Dutton has displayed great skill in the tactical decisions he has made. But he cannot afford a tactical blunder at this point. Voting against the tax cuts would be an extreme high risk. This is the trap Labor has set, it would be folly for the Coalition to fall in to it.'
'Labor thinks its tax revamp is a winner. The opposition has a the material for a devastating TV campaign that ruins Albanese's credibility starting with his "my word is my bond" pledge, anchored across the next election campaign.'
'It is not about the national interest tax reform that Australia needs. It intrenches our excessive reliance for revenue. It is old style ALP redistributional politics.'
'As for the Coalition, its mistake is to think about restoring stage three. The opposition has to to begin with a fresh page. '
'The grave, almost inevitable task is nor in the Albanese's broken promise stage three makes further reform even more difficult.'
'As leader, Peter Dutton, has displayed great skill in his tactical decisions but he cannot afford a tactical blunder. Voting the tax cuts would be an extreme high risk. That is the trap has set.'
'Chalmers has often said Australia cannot just revert to its pre-dandemic economic norm. Exactly. But where are the policies to rekindle a superior growth and productivity strategy.'
'If Labor cannot deliver that agenda, it won't be a long term government. For too long the Australian political, - and much elite opinion - has put economic reform on the back burner. This has into the policy and cultural debate like a spreading cancer, the upshot being chronic being over the economy, rising popululism, parliamentary change and fixed on 'how someone is ripping me off' rather than a rising tide that lifts all boats.'
'That's the call. But lifting economic growth and living standards will need to do more than anything Labor that Labor has produced so far.'