Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mixed News for Labor, Libs

There has been mixed news for the major parties in the last few days:
  • the Cabinet leak about Julia Gillard questioning the costs, and the political value, of a paid maternity scheme, and possibly pension rises above normal should never have occurred. It was good news for Tony Abbott, and a number of Opposition members trotted out to the media for the 5-10s media sound bite. Cabinet discussions are supposed to be confidential. The finger is being pointed at Kevin Rudd, but no evidence has been made public to support that, and he has denied any responsibility. Cabinet leaks are not common, but the last Liberal-National government had them too. There were police raids on newspapers and individual journalists over leaked Cabinet documents previewing Howard's intervention in Aboriginal communities in the NT. That was 14-Nov-2004. The raids were ordered by Howard's Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
  • Economics has largely favoured Julia Gillard's government. The inflation figures released today for both CPI and underlying inflation fell, and it is likely there will be no interest rate rise this month. Fairfax newspapers reported, in the business section, that the predicted price rises from both Labor's Climate Change policy, and from the Coalition's increased tax on big business, will be about the same. Whichever party is elected, the "Coles & Wollies" effect will be similar. Mortgage applications rose by 2.3% in the June quarter, and the decline in personal credit (loans and credit card applications) will be good for an economy overloaded with personal debt. All up, good news for Julia Gillard's Government, and not good for Tony Abbott's Opposition. The news gives voters no reason to change government. Tony Abbott has been forced to promise a tax cut for business, but it won't take effect till after 2013, or perhaps in teh budget before an election. It's a cynical backflip, while attempting to be populist  to buiness.
  • The media ran stories about Julia Gillard's photo makeover for Women's Weekly. Yes, it's only images & story, but it will  only help Juila Gillard's standing with women, and possibly some men. Already the Coalition is worried about her appeal. It will likely remain a significant stumbling block for Tony Abbott.
Score: ALP: 5; Coalition: 2