Budget week was more than usually combative. Scott Morrison outlined a plan for spending cap of 23.9 % of GDP, income tax cuts for all in the next decade (abolishing most of the dreaded ‘bracket creep’) and with a wafer thin budget surplus a year later than recently forecast.
All this is thanks to stronger commodity prices and stronger economic (especially jobs) growth, thus stronger tax receipts. This is the first acknowledgment of what Henry has predicted to be two years of economic sunshine. The catch is that with the coalition’s decade long reduction of company tax still on the plan the government has far less (hypothetical) cash to splash than the socialist opposition.
In his reply Bill ‘Rolled gold certain’ Shorten offered almost twice the initial tranche of tax cuts for battlers and various other gifts for his presumed voters. The rest of the government’s tax cuts, planned by Morrison for wealthier Australians, will not be supported by Labor as by offering lower % increases in post tax incomes than for battlers, but larger dollars, it is allegedly unfair. Like the proposed cuts to company tax this was presented as ‘more lolly for Turnbull’s mates in the big end of town'.
Labor is making a bold old fashioned play that Karl Marx or Jeremy Corben would be proud of. Henry thinks the government should put the company tax on hold because giving large tax cuts to banks being increasingly revealed as crooked and uncaring about customer welfare is simply untenable. Then they could stick to their guns on income tax reform, leaving their push for a more encouraged middle income group to be promoted hot and strong, and even brought forward.
Do not be confused, gentle readers, Bill Shorten will lie, confuse and misrepresent to achieve office, and will inflict further financial and motivational damage on Australia's most productive people if he is elected.
Fiona Prior covers the Archibald Prize results with her usual elegance and dash. Read on here.
Henry eyes were damp as Caaaarlton! beat the traditional rivals Essendon by 13 points in a hard fought match that will greatly improve team morale, fire up the youngsters and give everyone at Princes Park a great boost of confidence. Any further wins this season will be very welcome, but if the scalp of old rivals Collingwood is taken in round 14 on June 21 will be wild jubilation in Henry’s visit to Rome. (Last year saw wins over both Essendon and Collingwood, sufficient to calm the keenest supporters in this time of slow but steady rebuilding.)
Adelaide vrs Port was one for the ages and there were several other excellent games. Plus a proposal to break the competition into two halves and send the Gold Coast Suns to Tasmania. I’d also suggest that a Northern Australia team that could make the game truly national and allow us to see the enormous talent of Aboriginal players in greater numbers.
Image of the week