Team Howard has spent the last few days framing the debate for the now confirmed sixth interest rate rise since the last election. In a moment of candour, Member for Blair Cameron Thompson revealed the strategy in simple terms “What it does is underline the strong economic performance of this government and to that extent if you want to draw a political line under it, it’s a positive for the Government.”
Every sound bite has been used to emphasise the fear factor in the coming ‘difficult economic times’. An experienced Team Howard will be a better bet to keep inflation under control and interest rate rises will always be fewer and lower under a Coalition government. Electing an inexperienced Rudd Labor government with 70% trade unionists will cause rampant inflation and the destruction of economic life as we know it. “We will determine the inflation and interest rates and the circumstance under which they happen!”
Despite warnings from the Reserve Bank and impartial economists over the last three years that its hoard and spend budget/election strategy was inflationary, exacerbated by failure to invest in capacity expansion, Howard and his apologists wants the punters to believe it’s all down to the drought and oil prices. It’s a risky message – how will Team Howard control inflation and interest rates? By keeping government expenditure in check (yeah right – that one’s blown right out of the water) and by keeping the cost of wages under control. Which brings us back to Work Choices with the promise of lower wages for workers for the good of the economy. If the economic future is really as tough as the fear campaign would suggest will there be a need for more drastic ‘Work Choices’ post-election?
In the lead up to today’s interest rate rise the Beemer & Beachhouse Brigade have been busy telling Australians that they have never had it so good – and we have the statistics to prove it! – despite the ratio of private debt to GNP being higher than at any other time in history. Yeah OK, you might have a few problems paying bills and buying the things you want, but things have never been better! Communications Minister Helen-they-have-internet-on-Broadband-now-Coonan has produced an OECD report to her liking, showing that Australian Broadband ranks 6th in the world! This stunning improvement is based on Advertised Speed (not actual) but still places us behind New Zealand.
So if you turn up on polling day, anxious that you are having trouble surviving from one pay to the next as bills mount and the credit card spirals out of control, or if you are frustrated at the lack of, speed of, cost of your 6th best in the world broadband speed, just remember – it is only your perception. It is not real! It’s only a statistical aberration. You never had it so good! Better vote for Team Howard.
Cross posted at Blogotariat.