Josh Frydenberg then strays into the non-costings territory:
For costing by treasury and finance. During this election campaign, Anthony Albanese was found out. That he is not up to the job, he didn’t know the unemployment rate in an election campaign about jobs. He didn’t see the cash rate in an election campaign about the cost of living. In an election campaign about economic management, he and the Labor Party have not put forward one policy for independent costing by treasury and finance, in contrast with the Coalition, which has put on 35 guidelines.
And Australians already voting can go to the treasury and finance website and see those independent costings ahead of their vote. So this is an important election. We know the Coalition will deliver a strong budget bottom line and a stronger economy. And the Labor Party who will always spend more, who will always tax more, who will dust off the $387 billion of higher taxes from the last election to pay for their commitments at this election. (This is the second highest taxing government in the previous 30 years, the first being the Howard government. Debt had doubled before the pandemic)
Coalition costings announced
Josh Frydenberg is announcing the Coalition has made $2.3bn in new spending, which will be offset by an increase in the efficiency dividend to 2%. Efficiency dividends mean cuts. It will be up to departmental heads to determine where those cuts come from.
John Howard is robocalling people:
The Coalition is banking on having a better costings bottom line. Labor is hoping people will be willing to have a conversation about “quality” spend.
I think voters care about ensuring quality spend in our budget. We do the right thing with the money taxpayers provide to the federal government. That we grow the economy. That we provide more funding for skills and support more childcare – access to childcare – because of that benefit, I think voters care about that. Our policies have been very clear about that. Ultimately, this election – do you want more of the same? Do you want to give Mr. Morrison another three years? Or do you want something better? Then on to costings, which Penny Wong says will be released “in the usual way”. I remember when I was finance minister; if you remember,r, the Coalition in opposition released theirs on the Thursday before the election, which is what we would propose to do.
Q: So you’ll be releasing it on Thursday?
That’s what we said. What I would say is this – though. We’ve got wage data out tomorrow. We’ve got a prime minister who, you know, is pretty desperate about losing his job. Of course, they will try to make this an even issue. They don’t want to talk about the cost-of-living crisis. They don’t want to talk about the housing crisis. They don’t want to talk about the fact they’ve got $1tn of the debt; they’re taxing more than any government in history.
Penny Wong compared the policies (Labor’s shared equity scheme is open to 10,000 people). Who are we helping? Who is Mr. Morrison? Apart from helping himself, who is he saying this policy will help? People with enough super. A lot of young people don’t have enough super. A lot of women don’t have enough super. We’re saying we’ll help this end of the market, people who can’t otherwise afford to buy to buy. We want this to be the problem – the Coalition doesn’t think that. Bring more housing onto the market. We believe there’s a role for the federal government in housing. This is tha housing Australia fund that will build more houses, more affordable homes, more social housing, and bring more housing onto the market.
Penny Wong was also out and about this morning. She spoke to ABC News Breakfast about the costings (the Coalition is releasing theirs soon). But first, Wong had some things to say about Morrison’s housing plan: Look, this is a desperate plan from a desperate prime minister who wants to change the topic and wants to make Australians think that after nine years of being in government, after presiding over housing crisis and presiding over declining affordability, that somehow he does care about this issue.
I think you may have asked Mr Sukkar about Mr Falinski’s report, yesterday we saw Jane Hume driving a bulldozer through the bulldozer’s policy. Now he wants to gamble your super, the superannuation scheme, on a policy that won’t help people to buy. It won’t allow people to buy. It will increase housing prices. Scott Morris. has given an interview with the Australian newspaper where he has laid out his latest pitch to voters – vote for me because there is a lot of stuff on next week (Quad meetings and the like), and procedures are already in place:
“We know what we will do on Monday; we know what we will do on Sunday,” Mr. Morrison told The Australian in an exclusive interview in Brisbane on Monday. “We know what we have to do on the national security side. We know what we have to do on the Quad for that meeting on Tuesday.” He indicated there were “conventions” to cover such important meetings if the election result was unclear after the Saturday poll.
Josh Frydenberg was asked on ABC radio this morning what he thought about Scott Morrison’s assertion last night on 7.30 that electorates with teal independent challengers were not as impacted by economic shocks. Essentially he was saying they were wealthy enough to worry about things like climate change and integrity because they didn’t have to worry about money.
Kooyong is one of those electorates. Frydenberg said:
Well, different electorates have different priorities within those electorates. In my electorate, economic management is critical. For example, 30,000 people in the electorate had to receive the job keeper payment. Around 7,000 businesses small businesses received the cash flow boost. About 8,000 pensioners received the $250 fees that we recently announced.
So those economic initiatives, including the 60,000 taxpayers in Kooyong who received tax relief due to our measures, my community, like other communities, are sharing the benefits of strong Coalition economic management. They’re also interested in our policies for the future. That being said, they’re also focused on climate change.
And what I explained to people in my electorate as recently as a candidates forum last night was that our policies have delivered a 20% reduction in emissions based on 2005 levels, which is a higher reduction than what we’ve seen in many other comparable countries.
We will retain an internal system of editorial complaint handling. We accept the recommendations, but we have amended one already. The review recommends that the ombudsperson should report directly to the board. We should say to the board and the managing director, but the directors felt that this would simply be continuing our existing system; we wanted a different, more independent approach. So the ombudsman will report directly to the board, and the process will be separate from editorial management.
ABC to introduce an ombudsperson to manage complaints
The ABC Board has released an independent review of the editorial self-regulatory system and complaints handling.
The claim the system is flawed because the ABC “marks its homework” has been rejected.
The review’s key recommendation is that ABC should retain an in-house process as the frontline in complaints resolution and introduce the new role of the ABC Ombudsman to lead it.
Ita Buttrose is now speaking to RN Breakfast. She says the review shows that ABC takes its viewer’s concerns seriously.
Updated at 18.23 EDT
Labor to release costings on Thursday
Bill Shorten has told the Nine network the Labor campaign will release its costings on Thursday. First, Mr. Morrison would like to think that everyone forgets what happened in previous elections. When Mr. Abbott ran for Prime Minister in 2010 and 2013, he released his costings last week. When I ran against them, this government released their costings in the previous week, and that’s what we’re doing, in the usual way. Yes, we have put our headline figures out. Then we’ve been very upfront. But let’s not forget that if Mr. Morrison wants to argue about financial creditability, he has taken our debt to $1 trillion. There are not enough zeros to run across the screen. He is desperate. He wants to bag Labor.
Katharine Murphy has seen some polling showing Labor has the potential to make gains in Queensland: Labor is deploying frontbencher Penny Wong to the electorates of Brisbane and Higgins in the final days of the election campaign as the opposition becomes increasingly bullish about its prospects in the Liberal-held seats due to voter disaffection with Scott Morrison. Strategists say Labor’s internal polling points to opportunity in four Liberal-held seats – Brisbane and Ryan in Queensland, Bennelong in Sydney, and Higgins in Victoria – because disapproval of Morrison is high in these electorates, disaffected centrist progressive voters don’t have a teal independent to back.
Guardian Australia understands in private YouGov seat polls, 58% of respondents in Ryan, 57% in Bennelong, 62% in Brisbane, and 65% in Higgins disapproved of Morrison’s performance as prime minister when asked whether they had a positive or negative view of the Liberal leader. Back to Radio RN Breakfast, Josh Frydenberg is asked why Scott Morrison isn’t on his election signage.
He says there’s a lot of signage of me because I’m the candidate.
Asked again, he says;
It is my name, which is only on the ballot box.
Updated at 17.55 EDT
The Liberal campaign is in Darwin this morning. They believe they can win Lingiari.
Updated at 17.48 EDT
Frydenberg flags $2.3bn public sector cuts
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Radio National the Coalition would impose a further 0.5% “efficiency dividend” on the public sector, cutting $2.3bn from government departments and agencies that develop policy and deliver services.
The efficiency dividend works because it’s up to departmental heads to find those efficiencies … The annual departmental bill is $327bn; we’re saying it will be reduced to $324bn … They are best placed to work out how they will find efficiencies.” Frydenberg noted that Labor also had an efficiency dividend when it was last in office. Frydenberg claimed that Labor’s policies, such as urgent care centers, have not been properly costed, and Anthony Albanese was forced to retract the claim it had been independently costed by the PBO.
Asked about Jane Hume’s comments that tapping superannuation for housing would cause a temporary “bump” in prices, Frydenberg noted that first-home buyers would bring forward their purchase. Frydenberg relied on the Property Council for claims property prices won’t rise much. He said the policy is estimated to add $5bn to the housing market, which would not have a “material” impact on the housing market.
Updated at 18.16 EDT
Part of the Coalition’s costings includes efficiency dividends – another way of saying cuts.
Where from? Josh Frydenberg can’t say. That will be up to departmental heads.
He told ABC Radio RN:
The efficiency dividend works because it’s up to departmental heads to find those efficiencies within their organization.
Updated at 17.46 EDT
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, and finance minister, Simon Birmingham, will release the Coalition’s costings in Melbourne this morning. The costings will show a budget improvement of $1bn over four years, which is peanuts, given in the 2022 budget; the government chose to spend $70bn of the $100bn improvement in the bottom line. The $1bn saving is largely driven by a public sector efficiency dividend, or, in plain English: cuts to agencies that develop policy and deliver services.
The government will use the occasion to reheat claims that Labor is fiscally irresponsible, citing allegations it would have spent $81bn more during the pandemic, a factoid based on heroic assumptions about how much Labor would’ve boosted jobseeker. It also conveniently ignores the $40bn of job keeper the Coalition gave to companies that didn’t meet the revenue downturn threshold. The Coalition is also targeting Labor for having not yet submitted its policies to the Parliamentary Budget Office for costing, leaving it to the campaign’s dying days – the same trick Tony Abbott pulled before the 2013 election.
We have submitted 35 policies for costing, yet Labor has offered none. Labor can’t manage money, and to avoid proper scrutiny, they have not submitted their costings for independent verification and publication during the campaign.
The Morrison government will always pursue opportunities to strengthen the budget while growing the economy and guaranteeing essential services. There are just four days to go, and Scott Morrison 2.0 and Anthony Albanese are doing all they can to win hearts and minds. But as the battle of the photo ops continues, both campaigns are trying to win the headline battle, with each leader trying to paint the other as the bigger risk. Today, that’s led the Coalition to announce its release of costings in a move designed to wedge Labor who have yet to tell theirs. Costings used to be a big deal and were treated seriously. Then it became just another political weapon.
I’d rather modeling that looks at whether $1bn would increase employment etc. etc. Costings [correctly] don’t have 2nd order impacts (e.g., spending this $1bn will generate $500m income tax), so they often say little about actual *economic* impact. Still, the Coalition will say they can improve the budget bottom line and then use that to point the finger at Labor. After setting up a housing battle, the Coalitionseeksg an ‘economic managers’ fight. We’ll bring you all of the day as it happens. I’m currently swimming in coffee, but it still doesn’t seem enough.