When the Morrison government released the last federal budget in early May, it was immediately clear to political observers across the country that it had been drawn up for an election.
Many of the key demographics the government struggles with in polls have been carefully targeted. $ 3.4 billion has been allocated to improve the safety, economic security, health and well-being of women.
Some of the most important items in what some have called the “women’s budget” are:
• $ 1.7 billion to reduce child care costs for the second and subsequent children under five.
Removal of the cap on childcare subsidies from July 2022
• $ 164.8 million for a trial program to help women escape family and domestic violence. the
The program would provide victims with cash payments of $ 1,500 and additional funds for rental obligations, tuition and furniture.
• $ 129 million in legal aid to help women access the justice system.
After the recent damning findings of the Royal Commission on the Quality and Safety of Elderly Care, the country’s elderly were also high on the government’s budget priority list.
The budget pledged to inject $ 17.7 billion over five years to improve the elderly care system, with an additional $ 6.5 billion allocated to providing home care packages to up to 80 000 elderly Australians.
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The country’s first potential buyers have also been heavily targeted in the budget, with multiple policies put forward to help them enter the real estate market.
The government guarantee for new housing (formerly known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme) will provide an additional 10,000 places under the program, allowing first-time buyers to buy or build a new home with a down payment of just 5%.
Meanwhile, the government’s new Family Housing Guarantee will allow up to 10,000 single parents with dependents to buy a home with a deposit as low as 2% percent, provided they earn less. $ 125,000 per year. Despite warnings from a wide range of real estate analysts and economists that these measures will only add fuel to already rising house prices, they nonetheless gain wide political approval from the United States. electorate in the broad sense.
But as the government tries to regain political momentum after losing the last four newsletters to Labor, many wonder why the PM would take Australia to the polls this year, when they still have close to 12 months in office.
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It arguably comes down to one key issue, the economy.
As it stands, the economy is doing better than the most wildly optimistic expectations. The Prime Minister is widely viewed by the electorate as the leader who saved the nation from the coronavirus recession, which we are still seeing decimating economies around the world on the evening news.
But as Australia and the world head into an uncertain future, defined by the biggest government stimulus pullback in history, things could change dramatically by the end of the Morrison government’s term in May. .
In the United States, the positive economic surprises have come to a screeching halt, despite $ 3.62 trillion (US $ 2.8 trillion) in additional stimulus funds since the end of last year.
A number of different indicators surprised the consensus estimates significantly on the downside, including employment figures, consumer confidence and retail sales.
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At the same time, inflation figures in the United States have become much higher than analysts had anticipated and there are already clear signs of inflationary fears that are weighing heavily on consumer confidence.
Rising costs for housing, cars and major purchases of durable goods have caused consumers’ perceived purchasing conditions for these items to plummet, in some cases to decades-long lows.
Home buying conditions were particularly hard hit, with conditions collapsing to their lowest level since January 1983, a time when US interest rates were 13.3 percent.
Tarric Brooker is a freelance journalist and social commentator | @AvidCommenter