Australia’s economy has become a key battlefield for the major parties in Election 2016, with both fighting to earn voters’ trust with the nation’s finances.
‘Jobs and growth’ – a mantra repeated ad nauseum – was the Coalition’s ultimate goal, while the ALP took aim at negative gearing reform and rejected the LNP’s proposed company tax cuts.
Labor has been less forthcoming on the national budget deficit.
Under the Coalition, surplus would be reached by about 2020-21, according to the most recent estimates, while Labor was yet to commit to a timeframe.
Take The New Daily‘s first pre-election quiz to find out just how much you know about the state of Australia’s economy.
Before the 2013 election, when Australia’s net debt was $161.3 billion, Tony Abbott said the Coalition had identified savings to achieve “a reduction of $30 billion in net debt”. Over the 32 months since, net debt has:
One government holds the impressive Australian record of achieving an annual GDP growth rate above 8.0 per cent for two consecutive quarters and also hitting 9.0 per cent for one quarter. The Treasurer was:
The federal budget is usually handed down in May. But between 1901 and 1993, it was delivered in August. Why the change in 1994?
The Coalition’s recent Commission of Audit was charged with finding ways to save taxpayers’ money. Its budget was $1 million. On completion, its final bill was:
The best measure of the actual jobs any economy generates is hours worked per adult per month. This varies around the 85 mark. There was once a record streak when this indicator exceeded 88.3 for 24 consecutive months. The Treasurer then was:
Treasurer Scott Morrison insists Australia’s problem is spending, not revenue. So in last week’s budget government spending over the next three years was:
According to the budget papers, only one treasurer has ever cut spending in dollar terms from the previous year. He was:
Chevron Australia Petroleum made $1.7 billion profit in 2014. The recent Senate inquiry into tax avoidance was told Chevron paid in tax for every $1 million in profit (not revenue):
One Australian Treasurer has the dismal distinction of having, in his first eight months:
• monthly hours worked per person decline from 84.7 to 83.8
• gross debt expand by more than $32 billion
• foreign exchange reserves collapse by 15 per cent
• the cash rate cut by 25 basis points by the Reserve Bank to stimulate growth
This sorry soul was:
One year ago, the 2015 budget papers predicted the 2018-19 deficit would be $6.9 billion.
Now, the projected deficit for 2018-19 is:
In his March speech recalling the Senate, Malcolm Turnbull said the Australian Building and Construction Commission was necessary for productivity. There was one remarkable period when labour productivity increased for a record 20 straight quarters, rising from 58.4 index points to 66.0. Which Treasurer and Prime Minister got this going?
Since the September 2013 election, through 32 months of steady global economic recovery, how many of these variables have improved?
1. Budget deficit as percentage of GDP
2. Gross debt
3. Net debt
4. Rate of wage growth
5. Jobless rate
6. People unemployed
7. Hours worked per person per month
8. Balance of trade
9. Current account as percentage of GDP
10. Business confidence (NAB)
11. Consumer confidence (Westpac)
12. Small business sentiment (NAB)
13. Interest rates
14. Household savings
15. Household debt to GDP
16. Crude oil production
17. Steel production
18. Value of the Aussie dollar relative to the US$
19. Value of the Aussie dollar relative to the euro
20. Australia’s gold reserves
21. Government 10 year bond rate
22. Credit ratings (S&P, Moody’s, Fitch)
23. Economic freedom (Heritage)
24. Competitiveness ranking (WEF)
25. Corruption index (Transparency)
* Disputes with the quizmaster via the comments section are welcome and correspondence will cheerfully be entered into.