Which of the four main political parties is more likely to take the country out of recession?
The four main parties – the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, Liberal National Party and the National Party – have all been the main beneficiaries of the government’s stimulus spending.
Their economic policies have been hugely popular with the Australian public, which is crucial for the government in its bid to push through the budget.
However, there is an emerging view among some economists that the Coalition is more dependent on its coalition partners than the major parties are, given the recent downturn.
The Labor Party’s economic policies The Government has been focusing on the economy in recent weeks, with the Opposition calling for a return to balanced budgets and announcing a plan to spend $40 billion over the next four years to “reset the economy”.
On Thursday, Labor MP and former treasurer Joe Hockey told Parliament that the Government had “taken a big hit” from the economic downturn, and said that the economic recovery needed to be “rebalancing”.
“The Government needs to make sure it has a plan for how we’re going to re-balance the economy, and we have to do that in a way that makes sense for the Australian people,” he said.
Labor’s economic policy The Labor Party has been focused on the economic growth that will come with its budget, which it believes will create more jobs and boost wages.
The party’s chief economic adviser Peter Hall said the Coalition’s policy would lead to the country “losing a lot of jobs”.
However, the Prime Minister has indicated that the Labor policies would be rolled back in the coming years, arguing that the country’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly in recent years.
“We’ve seen that in terms of our economic performance, our economy has actually done well,” Mr Hockey said on Thursday.
He also pointed out that the coalition was also planning to invest $4.5 billion in the National Infrastructure Fund, a new funding package that would be funded by cutting government spending.
This will ensure that Australia’s infrastructure and roads remain strong and secure, and will help provide the financial support for those new roads and rail lines that will be built across Australia.
However Mr Hockey did not confirm that the National Investment Fund would be cut, instead suggesting that the plan would be changed to allow for the Federal Government to “rebalance” the budget by investing in infrastructure and services.
National Infrastructure Fund has been a major focus of the Coalition However the National Broadband Network was also a focus of Mr Hockey’s address, and he said the NBN would be delivered on time, with “unbelievable results”.
He said the rollout of the NBN had been “exceedingly successful”, with the Coalition having “reached all 50 per cent of our NBN coverage”.
Mr Hockey also confirmed that the Opposition would “rebuild our economy” with a focus on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and said the Government would “put forward a new program that will provide funding for people with disabilities”.
National Disability Insurance scheme The National Disability Benefits Scheme is the government-funded program that provides disability-related services for Australians who are unemployed or on the dole.
Under the scheme, people can claim up to $7,000 a year to cover their living costs, as well as their “living costs” such as childcare, rent, car payments and car maintenance.
Mr Hanson said that Mr Hockey had been a “huge help” in helping to push the Government’s NDIS reforms through Parliament, saying he was a “great leader”.
The Opposition leader also promised to work with the Government to deliver “a national program for the NDIS”, which would allow Australians to claim disability payments for up to a year, and would be paid by the Government.