Focusing on debt will be less effective for Labor than going after the Coalition’s failed vaccine rollout.
As Josh Frydenberg revealed his big-spending budget, Labor was roasting the Coalition for delivering its eighth consecutive deficit. In a week dominated by the treasurer, a narrative quickly coalesced — helped on by a flurry of drops — that this budget would be generous, almost “Labor-lite”.
With funding for aged care, childcare and mental health, it seemed like a pre-election budget that left the opposition with little room to manoeuvre. Its immediate response seems to have focused on the government’s wastefulness: the $1 trillion debt, the failure after eight years to deliver a surplus, the preference for a sugar-hit headline over policy substance.
But voters seem to like big spending, and in a time of global economic uncertainty the budget’s generosity could go down well. Can deficit-hawking work for Labor?
What should Labor do to cut through after a big-spending budget? Read on.
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