Overreach. It’s always fun to watch. Via the AFR:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has vowed to slash government red tape to unlock investment and opened the door to industrial relations reform, challenging business to make the case for change and to deliver “shared gains” for workers and employers.
In his first major domestic policy speech since winning the election last month, the Prime Minister will rebuff criticism his government lacks a reform agenda, also outlining plans to overhaul the vocational training system and embrace technology to deliver greater competition in banking, insurance and utilities for consumers.
Declaring his task is to get consumers and businesses “off the economic sidelines”, Mr Morrison will also ratchet up pressure on Labor to back the full $158 billion income tax cut package, which would deliver an immediate boost to the economy the equivalent of two interest rate cuts.
Of course ScoMo lacks a reform agenda. He won by destroying Labor’s. Conservative governments are only ever about stopping reform, hence the word “conservative”.
ScoMo’s political mastery is to occupy areas of the political economy that are in pain owing to Australia’s lost economic decade, to make soothing sounds that reassure and distract from a policy inertia that is making it all worse. Hence we get:
- fake immigration cuts and the blokey ScoMo to reassure that Australiana is intact;
- fake low wages mitigation in the form of “opportunity, aspiration and tax cuts”;
- fake prosperity in the form of a “strong economy” at the headline which is disastrous per capita;
- fake housing affordability in FHB incentives;
- fake energy reform with big sticks aimed at the wrong problem and a coal power station as the gas cartel is protected;
- fake surpluses as a weak economy is compensated by lucky commodity prices;
- fake tax cuts based upon cyclical revenue.
ScoMo’s entire political narrative is a finely crafted fake to hide Australia’s falling living standards.
Hence he will need to be awfully careful about shifting off the fake territory to actual policy lest he exposes himself to the raw and brutal reality that he has offered nothing but that things will get slowly worse. He appears to realise what a poisoned chalice this is:
“Like you, our government believes in cooperative workplaces,” he will tell the business group in Perth.
“In his new capacity as Minister for Industrial Relations, I am asking Christian Porter to take a fresh look at how the system is operating and where there may be impediments to shared gains for employers and employees.
“Any changes in this area must be evidence-based, protect the rights and entitlements of workers and have clear gains for the economy and for working Australians.
“We would expect business organisations such as yours to build the evidence for change and help bring the community along with you too.”
Nothing will revive Labor faster that ScoMo sweeping aside the reassuring miasma that he doing something while actually doing nothing. Breaking into the open with a raft of wages crushing reforms espoused by the businessomics loons at the AFR and The Australian is his worst case option.