Goodness me, via the AFR:
Scott Morrison has launched an early assault on Labor’s tax agenda by releasing Treasury modelling showing his opponents proposed increases and refusal to match the Coalition’s tax cuts would tally $387 billion during the next decade.
The use of Treasury modelling, which the government had prepared before Mr Morrison called a May 18 election on Thursday, signals a tough and bitter campaign ahead.
The government, which begins the campaign as the underdog, has also modelled Labor’s climate change policy, even though the policy detail is yet to be finalised, and is expected to unveil this during the campaign.
Chris Bowen is right to be pissed off:
This is what @JoshFrydenberg has given out to media for publication tomorrow: dodgy “Treasury costings” of Labor policies. Given Treasury has said repeatedly they don’t cost Labor’s policies, someone’s got some explaining to do… pic.twitter.com/X7EaPrv3zJ
— Chris Bowen (@Bowenchris) April 11, 2019
Why is Treasury, a tax-payer funded organ, entering the political debate with partial analysis? Most of these revenue gains are justifiable economically and without putting them in broader national interest context they are meaningless beyond a politicised endorsement of Coalition views.
For instance, the franking credit and negative gearing reforms are ending tax dodges not hiking them. They will change the way the economy grows with relative winners and losers not worse off overall. How has Treasury accounted for that?
Or, why is not doing the Coalition’s egregious tax bracket flattening seen as a tax hike. We don’t know what a prospective Labor Government will do with revenue five years out. That’s if the revenue is even available given Budget commodity price estimates are far too high. Given Treasury’s shockingly bad record of forecasting why would believe any of this?
In short, Treasury has used fictitious revenue to declare a fictitious tax hike for a fictitious economy some time far into a fictitious future.
Give us all a break.