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Josh’s double act

by Callum Foote | Mar 15, 2022 | Lobbyland

The floods are off the front pages and the Budget is on. It’s all about the rising cost of living because it is Budget time, election Budget time too. “More tax relief and a freezing or cutting of petrol excise are being considered,” announced the AFR. That’s a reference to the $1080 tax offset which pointy-headed people refer to as LAMITO.

Interesting that regular AFR columnist, indeed regular columnist in The Australian too, Josh Frydenberg, is also spruiking economic reform. Are tax cuts and excise cuts “economic reform”? 

As the nation’s debt marches to $1 trillion and a record Budget deficit looms, there are two big questions: one, how does the government manage to sell tax cuts and sell its “superior economic managers” credentials at the same time? 

And two: how does Josh Frydenberg juggle his work as a columnist for The Australian and the AFR while being the nation’s treasurer at a time of such turmoil and fiscal crisis? Is he a superhero or is some public relations operative writing this stuff?  

Over at Murdoch’s The Australian meanwhile, it’s still wall-to-wall Putin. Although, a little further down the page, the Murdoch pundits are pouring water on the fires of media talk of petrol excise cuts. “Forget the fuel excise, let’s find oil in Australia,” says fossil fuel fan Terry McCrann.

Callum Foote was a reporter for Michael West Media for four years.

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