John Howard, at the Liberal Party launch, promised an extra $9.5Billion to voters. This brings his total to almost $65 Billion.
Kevin Rudd, claiming the economic conservative high ground, promised an extra $2.3Billion at the Labor Party's launch. this brought his total to almost $57Billion.
The possible effects of election spending by the end of 2009 are:
- Home Loan Interest Rates under John Howard: 11% - 12%
- Home Loan Interest Rates under Kevin Rudd: 9% - 10%
Of course, John Howard could have some "non-core" promises that he won't implement; and Kevin Rudd could increase the amount of budget surplus retained from 1% to 1.5%-2% during the current boom.
John Howard has gone for the "Go for Growth" slogan - the problem is that there is no room for growth without inflation. Both he and Peter Costello are ideologically locked into retaining only 1% of GDP, even as the economy is overheating and creating inflation. Excessive growth is NOT what the economy needs at the moment.
Kevin Rudd has gone for the "New Leadership" slogan. If elected, his leadership will be tested by the economic conditions he inherits. An overheated economy with rising inflation and significant overseas pressures. Increasing the retained budget surplus from 1% to 1.5% will be a challenge.