ScoMo has urged voters to ‘get shopping’ as retailers sweat on last-minute sales while claiming the threat of Labor’s negative gearing policy was having a negative impact on consumer sentiment.
The Age reports that it is more likely that sluggish household consumption figures have been the dumbbell weighing down Australia’s economic growth over the past year, as consumers shut their wallets thanks to the triple threat of low wage growth, falling house prices and rising energy costs.
The problem with poor retail sales over Christmas is that it is a drain on GST tax returns and this affects the budget going into the next election. Not a good look for the Coalition.
The problem with this message is most people spend on credit cards so Morrison is basically encouraging people to increase levels of credit card debt, already very high in Australia.
The other interesting aspect of this message is that Morrison has linked the drop in Christmas spending to the Labor Party’s expressed policy of limiting negative gearing. There is no evidence for this claim and cause-and-effect are distant in both time and space.
Morrison has simply trotted out as a stocking filler at Christmas. When is he going to realise the Australian electorate is a little bit smarter than this, even at Christmas.
It is more likely that people are spending less this Christmas because they don’t have as much money as result of stagnant wages growth.
This is something that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg did not mention in his budget update when he spoke about the Coalition’s wonderful economic management which is approaching budget surplus.
The strong economic growth is a result of higher tax returns from strong coal and iron exports to China, nothing to do with government policies, something Ross Gittins of the Sydney Morning Herald pointed out.
Frydenberg is a smart bloke but this disingenuous nonsense does his credibility no good. We expect this from people like Morrison, Tony Abbott, Eric abets and Barnaby Joyce.
But people have Frydenberg marked as a future Prime Minister and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Australian electorate is no longer going to suffer fools gladly.
And he has an opportunity to separate himself from the rest of the pack.
The days of just standing up saying anything you think you can get away with are over.