Opposition leader Peter Dutton may have a pulse, after all.
Having wasted six months objecting to the feel-good Voice, he has finally realised that Australians are getting poorer and this is fertile ground for LNP politics.
In a promising sign, wokester frauds are already in a tizz about it. David Crowe is a good example:
Australia is about to enter a new and ugly blame game over the price shocks that are hurting households and dominating the dispute over this week’s federal budget.
It turns out some of the culprits for this soaring inflation just landed at an airport near you. That’s right: the migrants did it.
This is the attack line from Peter Dutton that could turn the argument over the budget into a dirty campaign that stokes fears about newcomers and creates an almighty scare about a big Australia.
So it is important right now, before the fears go from ignition to explosion, to examine the budget forecasts and challenge the claims about the pressure on inflation.
One key point is clear: there is a very good chance the net intake will be lower than everyone thinks.
Treasury officials predict 400,000 in net overseas migration this financial year and 315,000 migrants next year, as revealed by this masthead and others on April 28. The new figures on budget night were for subsequent years: 260,000 each year.
That means 1.5 million migrants over five years.
Dutton launched an attack on this number in his first question in the first question time after the budget, then kept it up on Thursday. He placed his bets in a calculated political move.
No matter what the logic about these numbers, his rhetoric taps into deep concerns about population growth and a changing society.
But this is not the first time net overseas migration has been high. The Coalition expected 1.3 million migrants over five years in its budget in April 2019, when Dutton was home affairs minister.
What drivel. A few points.
- On hypocrisy, David Crowe is a reformed Murdoch hack. Should we never listen to anything he writes? Well, maybe…
- On millions of migrants over five years, did Australia have a cost of living inflation problem in 2019 versus today’s rents catastrophe? You tell me:
No, so Dutton is on solid ground regarding this immigration surge being more damaging than the last in terms of cost of living. Though the last was certainly damaging enough to living standards.
Dutton should go super hard on this. Indeed, he should take up the ideas of Professor Ross Garnaut to resolve Albo’ housing shortage shocker. They would also resolve crush loading and the falling wage growth Albo is about to deliver:
- cut immigration (my suggestion is 100k);
- massively boost public investment in housing (which will humiliate Albo’s tiny fund), and
- adjust APRA macroprudential standards to ensure RBA tightening does not hit new builds.
Throw in some China hawkishness and this plan will get Dutton elected in two years’ time as Albo’s wokester army of uber-hypocrites impoverishes and enrages the polity in equal measure.