The way we were: come back Josh, says 2022

by | May 4, 2022 | Lobbyland

A day after the first election-campaign raise in interest rates in five elections, the men who would be treasurer after May 21 squared off at the National Press Club in Canberra.

For a man who once had a great future in front of him, Josh Frydenberg spent a lot of time talking about the past, specifically 2019 and that year’s election triumph. It’s a time he would probably like to have stayed in, when Liberal seats were leafy blue, not swamped in teal. 

Frydenberg wanted us to be grateful for the low unemployment and remember that inflation is higher everywhere else. Labor shadow Jim Chalmers reminded us of stagnating wages and the exploding cost of living. 

Chalmers squared up well, forcing Frydenberg to admit that he (Chalmers) was not economically unlearned even if his leader Anthony Albanese doesn’t know the unemployment rate.

When Josh said: ‘’We know the Labor Party will always tax more, they’ll always spend more’’, Jim hit back: ‘’The Treasurer has just lied to you.’’

The Coalition’s line that Albanese is not qualified to be prime minister because he has no experience as treasurer was wisely queried by a reporter who pointed out that the likes of Menzies, Hawke and Abbott, not to mention on the world stage the likes of Angela Merkel and Volodymyr Zelensky didnt hold economic portfolios either.

Labor’s problem remains the lingering perceptions that it doesn’t manage money as well as the Coalition. Here at MWM we know otherwise. And Chalmers pointed out that the tax take has been lower under Labor governments than the Coalition over the past 30 years. 

Alas Labor does possess a starry-eyed faith in its ability to find, and fund, battalions of nurses, aged carers and childcare specialists who are prepared to work anywhere, at any time, for not very much.

Chalmers talked up these appointments as a benefit to the economy: the ‘’care economy. The cost is substantial, I’m not disputing that. But so are the benefits.’’

Mark Sawyer is a journalist with Michael West Media. He has extensive experience in print and digital media in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Australia.

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