Australian federal election 2022 live: Coalition to release costings as Morrison and Albanese try to win hearts and minds

Then on to costings, which Penny Wong says will be released “in the usual way”;

I can remember when I was finance minister, if you can remember back that far, the coalition in opposition released theirs on the Thursday before the election. Which is what we would propose to do.

Q: So you’ll be releasing it on Thursday.

That’s what we said. What I would say is this – though. We’ve got wages data out tomorrow. We’ve got a prime minister who, you know, is pretty desperate about losing his job. Of course they’re going to try to make this even issue. They don’t want to talk about the cost of living crisis. They don’t want to talk about the housing crisis. They don’t want to talk about the fact they’ve got one trillion dollars of the debt, they’re taxing more than any government in history.

Penny Wong compared the policies (Labor’s shared equity scheme is open to 10,000 people)

Who are we helping? Who is Mr Morrison, apart from helping himself, who is he saying this policy will help? People with enough super. A lot of young people don’t have enough super.

A lot of women don’t have enough super. We’re saying we’ll help this end of the market, people who can’t otherwise afford to buy to buy. We want to bring more housing onto the market.

We think there’s a role for federal government in housing. This is the problem – the coalition doesn’t think that. We’ve got a housing Australia fund which will build more houses, more affordable houses, more social housing, bring more housing onto the market.

Penny Wong was also out and about this morning. She spoke to ABC News Breakfast about the costings (the Coalition is releasing theirs very soon). But first Wong had some things to say about Morrison’s housing plan:

Look, this is a desperate plan from a desperate prime minister who wants to change the topic and wants to make Australians think that after nine years of being in government, after presiding over housing crisis and presiding over declining affordability, that somehow he really does care about this issue. Now he wants to gamble your super, the superannuation scheme, on a policy that won’t help people to buy. It won’t help people to buy. I think you may have asked Mr Sukkar about Mr Falinski’s report, yesterday we saw Jane Hume driving a bulldozer through the bulldozer’s policy. It will increase housing prices.

Scott Morrison has given an interview with the Australian newspaper where he has laid out his latest pitch to voters – vote for me because there is a lot of stuff on next week (Quad meetings and the like) and procedures are already in place:

“We know what we will do on Monday; we know what we will do on Sunday,” Mr Morrison told The Australian in an exclusive interview in Brisbane on Monday.

“We know what we have to do on the national security side. We know what we have to do on the Quad for that meeting on Tuesday.”

He indicated there were “conventions” to cover such important meetings if the election result was unclear after the Saturday poll.

Josh Frydenberg was asked on ABC radio this morning what he thought about Scott Morrison’s assertion last night on 7.30 that electorates with teal independent challengers were not as impacted by economic shocks. Essentially he was saying they were wealthy enough to worry about things like climate change and integrity, because they didn’t have to worry about money.

Kooyong is one of those electorates. Frydenberg said:

Well, differently electorates have different priorities within those electorates. In my electorate, economic management is absolutely critical.

For example, 30,000 people in the electorate had to receive the jobkeeper a payment. Around 7,000 businesses small businesses received the cash flow boost. Around 8,000 pensioners received the $250 payments that we recently announced.

So those economic initiatives, including the 60,000 taxpayers in Kooyong who received tax relief as a result of our measures, you know, my community like other communities, that are sharing the benefits of strong Coalition economic management, and they’re also interested in our policies going forward. That being said, they’re also focused on climate change.

And what I’ve explained to people in my electorate as recently as a candidates forum last night was, was that our policies have delivered a 20% reduction in emissions based on 2005 levels, which is a higher reduction than what we’ve seen in many other comparable countries

Ita Buttrose:

We will retain an internal system of editorial complaint handling. We accept the recommendations, but we have amended one already. The review recommends that the ombudsman should report directly to the board. We should report to the board and the managing director, but the directors felt that this would simply be continuing the system we already have and we wanted a different more independent approach. So the ombudsman will report directly to the board and the process will be separate from editorial management.

ABC to introduce an ombudsman to manage complaints

Amanda Meade

Amanda Meade

The ABC Board has released an independent review of the editorial self-regulatory system and complaints handling.

The claim the system is flawed because the ABC “marks its own homework” has been rejected.

The review’s key recommendation is that the ABC should retain an in-house process as the frontline in complaints resolution and introduce the new role of ABC Ombudsman to lead it.

Ita Buttrose is now speaking to RN Breakfast. She says the review shows the ABC takes its viewers concerns seriously.

Labor to release costings on Thursday

Bill Shorten has told the Nine network the Labor campaign will release its costings on Thursday.

First of all, Mr Morrison would like to think that everyone forgets what happened in previous elections. When Mr Abbott ran for Prime Minister in 2010 and 2013, he released his costings in the last week. This government when I ran against them previously released their costings in the last week and that’s what we’re doing, in the usual way.

Yes, we have put our headline figures out. Then we’ve been very upfront. But let’s not forget that if Mr Morrison wants to have an argument about financial creditability, he has taken our debt to $1 trillion. There’s not enough zeros to run across the screen. He is desperate. He just wants to bag Labor.

Katharine Murphy has seen some polling showing Labor has the potential to make gains in Queensland:

Labor is deploying frontbencher Penny Wong to the electorates of Brisbane and Higgins in the final days of the election campaign, as the opposition becomes increasingly bullish about its prospects in the Liberal-held seats due to voter disaffection with Scott Morrison.

Strategists say Labor’s internal polling points to opportunity in four Liberal-held seats – Brisbane and Ryan in Queensland, Bennelong in Sydney and Higgins in Victoria – because disapproval of Morrison is high in these electorates and disaffected centrist progressive voters don’t have a teal independent to back.

Guardian Australia understands in private YouGov seat polls, 58% of respondents in Ryan, 57% in Bennelong, 62% in Brisbane and 65% in Higgins disapproved of Morrison’s performance as prime minister when asked whether they had a positive or negative view of the Liberal leader.

Back to Radio RN Breakfast, Josh Frydenberg is asked why Scott Morrison isn’t on his election signage.

There’s a lot of signage of me because I’m the candidate, he says.

Asked again, he says;

It is my name and my name only on the ballot box.

The Liberal campaign is in Darwin this morning. They believe they can win Lingiari.

Frydenberg flags $2.3bn public sector cuts

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has told Radio National the Coalition will impose a further 0.5% “efficiency dividend” on the public sector, cutting $2.3bn from government departments and agencies that develop policy and deliver services.

He said:

The way the efficiency dividend works is it’s up to departmental heads to find those efficiencies … The annual departmental bill is $327bn, what we’re saying is it will be reduced to $324bn … They are best placed to work out how they will find efficiencies.”

Frydenberg noted that Labor also had an efficiency dividend when it was last in office.

Frydenberg claimed that Labor’s policies, such as urgent care centres have not been properly costed, and Anthony Albanese was forced to retract the claim it had been independently costed by the PBO.

Asked about Jane Hume’s comments that tapping superannuation for housing would cause a temporary “bump” in prices, Frydenberg pivoted to noting that first home buyers would bring forward their purchase.

Frydenberg relied on the Property Council for claims property prices won’t rise much. He noted the policy is estimated to add $5bn to the housing market, which would not have a “material” impact on the housing market.

Part of the Coalition’s costings include efficiency dividends – which is just another way of saying cuts.

Where from? Josh Frydenberg can’t say. That will be up to departmental heads.

He told ABC Radio RN:

Well, the way the efficiency dividend works is it’s up to departmental heads to to find those efficiencies within their own organisation.

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, and finance minister, Simon Birmingham, will release the Coalition’s costings in Melbourne this morning.

The costings will show a budget improvement of $1bn over four years, which is peanuts, really, given in the 2022 budget the government chose to spend $70bn of the $100bn improvement in the bottom line. The $1bn saving is largely driven by a public sector efficiency dividend, or, in plain English: cuts to agencies that develop policy and deliver services.

The government will use the occasion to reheat claims that Labor is fiscally irresponsible, citing claims it would have spent $81bn more during the pandemic a factoid based on heroic assumptions about how much Labor would’ve boosted jobseeker. It also conveniently ignores the $40bn of jobkeeper given by the Coalition to companies that didn’t meet the revenue downturn threshold.

The Coalition is also targeting Labor for having not yet submitted its policies to the Parliamentary Budget Office for costing, leaving it to the dying days of the campaign – the same trick Tony Abbott pulled before the 2013 election.

Frydenberg said:

We have submitted 35 policies for costing yet Labor has submitted none. Labor can’t manage money and to avoid proper scrutiny they have not submitted their costings for independent verification and publication during the campaign.

Birmingham said:

The Morrison government will always pursue opportunities to strengthen the budget while growing the economy and guaranteeing essential services.

Good morning

There are just four days to go and Scott Morrison 2.0 and Anthony Albanese are doing all the can to win hearts and minds.

But as the battle of the photo ops continues, both campaigns are trying to win the headline battle, with each leader trying to paint the other as the bigger risk.

Today, that’s led the Coalition to announce its releasing its costings in a move designed to wedge Labor who are yet to announce theirs.

Costings used to be a big deal and were treated seriously. Then it became just another political weapon.

I’d rather modelling that looks at whether than $1bn would increase employment etc etc.

Costings [correctly] don’t have 2nd order impacts (eg spending this $1bn will generate $500m income tax) so they often say little about actual *economic* impact

— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) May 16, 2022

But the Coalition will say they can improve the budget bottom line and then use that to point the finger at Labor. After setting up a housing battle, the Coalition is now looking for an ‘economic managers’ fight.

We’ll bring you all of the day as it happens. I’m currently swimming in coffee and it still doesn’t seem to be enough.

Ready? Nope, me either. Still, we must begin.


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