In this episode: rebooting the National Disability Insurance Scheme; the build-up to the federal Budget; and the latest opinion polls – good news for the Prime Minister; bad news for the Opposition leader.
There’s been a build-up to the Budget which will be announced on 9 May, it’s at the final stages of development and still working out what will be palatable at this point of the political cycle, and what’s in the interests of the Australian community and the economy.
There’s a wide range of budget issues coming into focus – the cost of the AUKUS deal with the United States and Britain; the amount allocated towards social housing; and there’s also the debate about whether the Stage 3 tax cuts should proceed, even though they won’t commence until 1 July 2024 – there’s also the cost of Medicare and raising the rate of Jobseeker payments – a standard ‘bread and butter’ Labor issue that many in the community are finding it difficult to understand why the government is being so recalcitrant about.
The focus of attention of the week has been on the NDIS, which Bill Shorten promises to reboot and reform after the previous Coalition government mismanaged the program during its term in office. It is a costly program, but it’s an essential program – but the Budget announcement will confirm if the dollars are going to be matched up with the rhetoric.
There are new opinion polls, and they provide bad news for Peter Dutton, and good news for the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Sometimes, a prime minister can be made to look good because of a weak opposition leader – but the flipside is that an Opposition can be made to look even worse because of a competent government – in this case, it’s probably a combination of the two – but despite all attempts by the mainstream media to boost his stocks, the polling for Dutton has reached his lowest level, and it just keeps getting worse and worse for the Liberal Party.
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