• Hannah Phillips

The Week in Politics


In a fortnight’s time, the government will have to return to Parliament with a semblance of having got its act together.

This will mean having a strategy worked out on the corporate tax cuts and energy, sorting out the problems with the My Health Record and having established the elements of a re-election agenda.

If the government can develop a strong sensible platform then Malcolm Turnbull can ignore criticism from Tony Abbott and start settings his sights on the Opposition Leader.


However the prospects are not good.

The problem with managerialist leaders like Mr Turnbull and Theresa May is that they seem more intent on managing problems than manufacturing sustainable solutions.

When it comes to energy policy it appears that the Prime Minister is so intent implementing his Snowy Hydro 2.0 solution at taxpayer and consumer expense that he is ruling out alternatives, including pushing the states into gas exploration.

When it comes to corporate tax cuts the government is incapable of fashioning policy that would see some of the subsidies to big business removed in exchange for the cuts.

In the case of health and education the ministers involved are unable to fashion comprehensive deals that can be put to the states and the medical profession.

All in all, the Turnbull government has the appearance of a failure.

But would a Shorten government be any better?

The answer is only if it drops the core philosophy of its economic policy, that the current economic situation is fundamentally unfair.

As they stand at the moment Labor’s policy prescriptions will inevitably lead to a shrinking economy.

If business investment declines, as the Business Council of Australia says it will under Labor, then it will have to go into damage control immediately.

It has the idea that its policy of investment incentives will do the trick but, in the short term, these will flow predominantly to companies in the defence industry space who are already reaping enormous benefits from government contracts.

In the circumstances ‘Kill Bill’ is the best policy option around.

Australia would probably prosper under an Albanese Labor government.

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