Morrison is gone, Frydenberg tries to salvage the furniture
Scott Morrison is gone. Anthony Albanese will win the election. Josh Frydenberg fights to save some of the furniture.
There, it is said.
Commentators are generally too afraid of being wrong about the 2019 election to call them, carefully hedging their collective bets.
Something similar happened in 1996 after the surprise victory of Paul Keating’s “True Believers” in 1993, but the polls and the national mood are fed up with the Morrison government in 2022 as they were fed up with the Keating government in 1996.
The majority of the electorate perceives the Coalition as tired, cynical and short of talent after nine years in power – not fit for purpose.
The hole left by the “moderate” Liberal leaders who left Parliament before the last election has not been closed. And the successful Scott Morrison/Alex Hawke maneuver to secure more ‘captain’s picks’ in May is likely to make matters worse.
At the end of the presidential election, the “liar” label remained stuck on Scott Morrison in the same way the “untrustworthy” label was stuck on Bill Shorten three years ago.
How is Mr. Morrison?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will avoid the Liberal Party’s most fringe seat in Sydney during the election campaign, leaving his most popular treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, to help first-term MP Dave Sharma in the battle for Wentworth “, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
So with the election lost, the next leader of the federal Liberal Party, Josh Frydenberg (if he doesn’t lose his seat), will use the promise of taxpayers’ money on Tuesday night to try to limit the magnitude of the loss and to restore its image with the party.
When you are desperate and don’t have to worry about doing anything you promise, nothing is off limits.
Hell, ‘carporks’ are back on the agenda, along with other promises of smoke and mirror infrastructure – an extra billion dollars a year for 10 years to cook up another ‘record’ spend . (In real terms, that’s not a raise, but again watch most media fall into the trap.)
And while the Reserve Bank needs to start raising interest rates to warm up a little an economy that’s supposed to be overheating with $250 billion in excess savings, Mr. Frydenberg will “cash in” millions of voters.
But for just one example of how cynical Mr Frydenberg is willing to be, the prize goes to his promise to extend the 50% cut in the self-funded minimum pension levy for pensioners for another year.
In a bid to win the pensioner vote ahead of the next election budget, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has pledged the Coalition will leave pension tax untouched and extend minimum levy cuts introduced during the pandemic until June. 2023″, correctly reported the Canberra timetables.
And that’s all measurement is.
This defeats the stated purpose of the many tax breaks enjoyed by the superannuation – to provide a comfortable retirement.
Instead, Mr. Frydenberg points to the super’s real purpose for many wealthier retirees: an estate-planning tool.
Sure, the Treasurer uttered verbiage about providing “retirees with greater flexibility and certainty about their savings”, but that’s a lie – it’s just pandering to the comfortable base and any retiree stupid enough to confuse their interests with those of this base.
And that, in Mr. Frydenberg’s own words, attempts to ratchet up the sentiment stirred up by the franking credits reform proposal three years ago: “In this election we say again to pensioners – under a government Morrison, there will be no increase in pension contributions.”
The work isn’t great either after the last time, but that’s not the point.
The stupidity of Mr. Frydenberg’s policy is that an 81-year-old pensioner will only be required to withdraw 3.5% of his super balance. A 74-year-old pensioner only has to withdraw 2.5%.
Any retiree who only needs 2.5 or 3.5% of their super balance to live comfortably has done extremely well in the best tax haven this side of the Caribbean.
Any semi-competent super account has enough money to not require the sale of assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements.
And it would have to be a very poor super fund not to earn more than the discounted withdrawal requirement anyway.
Mr. Frydenberg tells us that he has the same attitude towards supers as Peter Costello and John Howard did when they went beyond flattering the rich by offering super hiding places and perks, seriously damaging the integrity of the system and putting unsustainable pressure on the budget.
Such is Mr. Frydenberg’s integrity, his degree of fiscal credibility.
Ironically, it was Scott Morrison as treasurer who cut short the worst of Howard/Costello’s success.
Now, as failing prime minister, he oversees a small downgrade.
The desperate will do anything.