Manager of Policy Edward Cavanough for The Guardian.
The 2016 budget is aimed at neutralising the Labor party, solidifying the government’s upper middle class base, and distancing itself from its first two years in office, with the express intent of getting it over the election finish line – in front – on 2 July.
Instead of offering bold new ideas for reform, the government offers a new slogan: Jobs and Growth. Thirteen times, in fact, in the treasurer’s speech. And its plan for jobs and growth relies heavily on recycled ideas of governments past.
It is as limited in its ambition as it is in its innovation.
The budget offers minimal structural reform. There are tax cuts for small (and eventually large, multinational) businesses, and for those earning over $80,000 per year. But these are not themselves bold or even new ideas. The personal income tax cuts are reminiscent of the Howard era tendency to slash the upper-middle class tax burden, and the opposition is already on the record suggesting the corporate tax rate should be reduced to 25%.
It’s the day after the budget and the government launches its traditional big sell. All the measures, and all the reaction from Canberra