The ball has been bounced and the Government’s two star players have got an attack of the fumbles.
The Age reports that: Malcolm Turnbull’s standing as the Coalition’s great communicator has taken a second hit in two days, this time when he was pressed on the cost of the centrepiece of his “jobs and growth” budget.
In Prime Minister’s interview with David Speers on Sky News Speers posed the question no fewer than 14 times in the interview, but did not get one clear, concise answer.
Having announced a 10-year company tax cut plan as the key to secure prosperity, Turnbull should have been primed to answer the obvious question: how much will it cost?
The Treasurer was just an unimpressive when 3AW’s Neil Mitchell pressed him on the same issue, at one point telling the broadcaster: “Well, I’ll let you look it up mate.”
The day before the ABC interviewer Jon Faine asserted current policies were creating intergenerational conflict by locking “the kids of your and my generation” out of the housing market, Turnbull shot back: “Well, are your kids locked out of the housing market Jon?”
Turnbull: “Well, you should shell our for them, you should support them, a wealthy man like you.”
Bill shorten was quick to pick up the Prime Minister’s stumble
“Is that really the Prime Minister’s advice for young Australians struggling to buy their first home?” Bill Shorten asked at the first opportunity. “Have rich parents?”
The positives of the budget are pretty limited so the Government will need to make the most of what they’ve got. While predictions for bringing the budget back into surplus are pretty shaky, it would be good for both Turnbull and Morrison to know how much of the major programs is going to cost.
It is difficult to argue that your good financial manager if you don’t have the numbers you fingertips.
And the indications are that the budget has not been particularly well received.
This is a poll conducted in The Age so the sample is likely to be biased but it does have over 18,000 participants, more than most opinion polls. And the issue that came up for the vast proportion of the voters is lack of action on negative gearing.
And how did the “jobs and growth” message go?
Badly. And it wasn’t for lack of saying it frequently enough but only 18% think that the budget will and boost business and create jobs.
If Turnbull calls a double dissolution, we can expect be bored to death by Scott Morrison and Matthias Cormann trying to sell a budget that has very few selling points.
Prediction: if things keep going badly for the Coalition and the polls do not improve, Turnbull will not call a double dissolution.