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‘Fancy spin and slick marketing’: Pre-budget speech fails to impress

  • April 30 2021
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Invest

‘Fancy spin and slick marketing’: Pre-budget speech fails to impress

By Cameron Micallef
April 30 2021

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has failed to commit to a strategy, walking away from an austerity budget on 11 May but again relying on businesses to do the heavy lifting, his pre-budget speech revealed.

Jim Chalmers and Josh Frydenberg

‘Fancy spin and slick marketing’: Pre-budget speech fails to impress

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  • April 30 2021
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has failed to commit to a strategy, walking away from an austerity budget on 11 May but again relying on businesses to do the heavy lifting, his pre-budget speech revealed.

Jim Chalmers and Josh Frydenberg

Just two years ago, the government promised to deliver the first surplus in over a decade, declaring “today we’re bringing the budget back in black”.

Now the Treasurer is looking to abandon his low-debt austerity stance, instead trying to drive the economy into a position of strength through lowering the unemployment rate, strengthening wages and inflating Australia’s debt away.

He used his pre-budget remarks at the Australian Chamber of Commerce to announce the government’s changing tactics. However, he failed to announce any plan as to how the government will achieve its promises.

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“Looking further ahead, our challenge once we recover from this crisis is to again rebuild our fiscal buffers,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“We have done it before and we will do it again.”

“But we won’t be undertaking any sharp pivots towards ‘austerity’.”

However, Mr Frydenberg stopped short of completely splashing the cash, instead putting the onus on the business sector to carry the recovery.

“Large-scale government support is no substitute for sustainable jobs in profitable firms” and that the government would instead focus on growing the economy in order to service its debt obligations.

His remarks were heavily criticised by opposition treasurer Jim Chalmers, who called the speech “fancy spin and slick marketing”.

“What really matters is all of that job insecurity, underemployment and stagnant wages,” Mr Chalmers said.

“This is the same guy who printed the ‘back in black’ mugs. These are the same people that said when debt was $200 billion, it was a disaster, but now it’s heading north of a trillion dollars is management, prudent and sensible.”

While highlighting that, on the surface, increasing employment and spending during a crisis is prudent management, he questioned the plan which failed to provide any further details as to how the government will get Australians into better-paying jobs.

“This treasurer thinks he can spin and grin his way to full employment when what we really need in the budget is a plan to achieve full employment.

“Now this speech once again is all about politics and not economics. What this speech is saying to the Australian people is there will still be austerity, there will still be budget cuts, but the Australian people have to wait till the other side of an election to find out what they might be.

“All this speech does is push budget nasties from this side of the election to the next side of the election.”

Mr Chalmers said he welcomes the recovery from the deepest recession Australia has had this century, but highlighted how the recovery is not even, with those on the bottom being pushed further behind.

“We still have almost 2 million Australians who can’t find a job or can’t find enough hours to support their loved ones,” Mr Chalmers said.

The opposition treasurer said the budget cannot be another missed opportunity to invest in Australia’s people and their employment, “with the Treasurer simply sprouting numbers without releasing details as to how he will improve Australia’s unemployment rate”.

“It needs to be an opportunity to make the necessary investments in employment to have an actual jobs plan and not just slick marketing spin.

“What we desperately need to see in this recovery is Australians able to get ahead, to find work, to find the hours they need so they are not left behind as we recover from this deep and damaging recession,” Mr Chalmers said.

‘Fancy spin and slick marketing’: Pre-budget speech fails to impress
Jim Chalmers and Josh Frydenberg
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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