Coalition’s economic record is a mess

Recently, Australia’s gross national debt reached a new record. The Australian Office of Financial Management announced that the bonds on issue that taxpayers will eventually have to repay now equal $734.4 billion.

The Coalition is about to commence their eighth year in government. When Labor left office in 2013 debt was sitting at $257 billion.

It would be duplicitous of former Treasurer and current Prime Minister Morrison to pretend this new record debt and deficit is all due to the pandemic. In fact, the Liberals accumulated two-thirds of the debt before any of us had ever heard of the Coronavirus.

Even before the devastating bushfires of last summer and the pandemic hit, our nation’s annual growth was already well-below trend, consumption was weak, business investment had fallen, underemployment and household debt hit record highs and wages growth had hit a record low.

Australia’s remarkable run of nearly three decades of economic growth ended on Scott Morrison’s watch.

I seriously doubt the ability of the Coalition’s economic team when it comes to getting the nation out of this mess. There are already one million Australians unemployed and another 240,000 expected to be unemployed by Christmas.

Sadly, Mr Morrison doesn’t appear to understand the structural damage to the budget that has occurred on his watch. So, very recently, he was happy to sell coffee cups as a marketing gimmick announcing a surplus. However, the harsh reality is that Treasury is now predicting a deficit of $184.5 billion for this year. Our nation now needs leadership rather than marketing slogans and short term political point-scoring.

Qld Labor govt urged to support recovery plan

Annerley Labor is supporting the current Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) campaign recommending the Queensland Labor government adopt and implement its recovery plan.

Adopting it at their July general meeting, Branch members strongly agreed that economic activity aimed at addressing climate change would be instrumental in boosting the economy in the wake of a devastating global health pandemic.

The LEAN recovery plan is based on five key pillars:

  1. Build public renewables – invest in Queensland jobs by building 1GW of shovel-ready renewable energy projects which will create jobs and bring down power prices
  2. Build quality, energy efficient public housing – building 100,000 sustainably designed public dwellings by 2036 will bring down household and construction emissions and create good jobs
  3. Train Queenslanders for work in land management – an investment of $200 million would create 2,000 jobs to revegetate fire-damaged land, train 2000 Queenslanders in new skill, while safely social distancing, and to look after our land and environment
  4. Invest in active transport infrastructure – our cities and towns need infrastructure investment to allow social distancing, reduce long distance travel, and decrease congestion
  5. Build it here and create sustainable export industries – Queensland Labor can lead a recovery that creates better jobs than before. By requiring local content in manufacturing wind turbines, and investing in new industries like hydrogen production and carbon farming we can export into growth markets, rather than relying on risky industries like gas.

LEAN believes that their plan will help ensure the Queensland government’s recovery policies are ‘designed and implemented in the best interest of Queenslanders, both present and future generations’. 

Importantly, supporters of the recovery plan believe that it is consistent with Labor’s long term commitment to reducing Australia’s carbon emissions, creating a fair and sustainable recovery from COVID shutdown while transitioning to a low-carbon economy and protecting Australia from dangerous climate change.