The budget will be back in surplus earlier than expected and will also showcase the first surplus since John Howard was prime minister.
It will be a stark contrast from the last Labor Government, which didn’t deliver a surplus. The Morrison Government will be certain to remind the electorate of this from Budget Night to election day.
Further income tax cuts are well and truly on the agenda, to counteract Labor’s pledge to offer bigger tax cuts for low-middle income earners.
Infrastructure spending is also a policy battlefield and the Government will be trumpeting its 10-year $75 billion infrastructure plan.
This Budget is basically the Morrison Government’s election manifesto and will only be able to be implemented if the Government is re-elected in May.
OFF TO THE POLLS
The one certainty next Tuesday’s budget will do is presage the Prime Minister calling the May election.
The election will most likely be on May 18, but May 11 is also being considered. The Prime Minister will either visit the Governor-General on April 7 or April 14, to formally fire the starter-gun on the federal poll.
Calling the election on April 7, will see the Government avoid a week of Senate Estimates, scheduled for the week of April 8, which will entail the usual round of forensic questioning that the Government will want to avoid.
Remember the last round of recent Senate estimates was dominated by the HelloWorld issue, involving the close relationship between Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, and a major Liberal Party donor. The Government will not want to see a repeat of this issue, just weeks out from the federal poll.
ONE NATION, PREFERENCES AND CONSPIRACIES
When Pauline Hanson was elected to Federal Parliament in 1996, she famously recorded a video for the Australian community stating that “if you are watching this video, it means I am dead!” or words to that effect.
Back then it was pretty weird, but One Nation now seems to have outdone itself.
In a media sting carried out by Qatari news outlet, Al Jazeera, Senator Hanson’s Chief of Staff, James Ashby, and One Nation’s Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, have been caught on tape apparently seeking up to $20m from the NRA in the USA, in exchange for One Nation weakening Australia’s gun laws.
To add to the weirdness, Pauline Hanson has been caught on tape seemingly questioning the Port Arthur massacre and wondering, if in fact, it was a Government plot in order to tighten gun restrictions.
Let’s be blunt, you couldn’t make this stuff up!!
Needless to say, Pauline Hanson has attacked the media claiming it is a stitch up and called on authorities to investigate Al Jazeera.
The political fallout has resulted in the Prime Minister being forced to announce the Liberal Party would preference One Nation below Labor, putting an end to any prospect of garnering One Nation preferences at the May election.