The Labor Party provided a bold policy approach at this election.
They’ve worked out a ‘small ball’ approach to policy at election time may not work if you want to make big policy decisions once you win.
The idea is to build a winning coalition by adding to its trade union and socially progressive base:
- those frustrated by stagnating family incomes;
- millennials trying to get into the property market; and
- those who just want to stick it to the top end of town.
So therefore there are policies in areas such as:
Tax and superannuation: proposals include (amongst others) limiting negative gearing to new housing from 1 January 2020, halving the capital gains tax discount for all assets purchased after 1 January 2020, lowering the annual non-concessional contributions for superannuation to $75,000 and High Income Superannuation Contribution threshold to $200,000, reversing the introduction of catch-up concessional contributions and changes to tax deductibility for personal superannuation contributions so as to pay for other priorities – that is ‘to make sure that we can properly fund our schools and our hospitals and get our budget into surplus sustainably, not without raiding the wheelchair fund of disabled people.’
Industrial relations: proposals include (amongst others) reversing the cuts to penalty rates made by the Fair Work Commission, ensuring the minimum wage is a ‘living wage’, providing that workers employed through a labour hire company will receive the same pay and conditions as people employed directly and ending the use of so-called ‘permanent casuals’ by introducing an objective definition of casual.
Constitutional and climate change intitiatives (that may very well attract ‘bull moose’ liberals): including (amongst others) a constitutionally recognised ‘voice’ for First Nations people, an indicative votes as to whether there should be ‘a’ republic, followed by a model to be submitted to the electorate in a referendum after ‘consultation’, and having a target to deliver 50% renewables and of 50 per cent of new car sales being electric vehicles by 2030.
Most of this was laid out early so it could claim a ‘mandate’ for reform.
The issue that will be decided on Saturday will be whether this will be the basis for a Shorten Government being the successor of the Whitlam and/or Hawke legacies (arguably two different traditions within Labor) or that the offering is so bold and risky that electors are convinced that now is not the time to change government, leading to a Fightback! Type result for Labor.
We shall see.
If they win, we will examine some of their published policies and see how they could look in legislative form.
If you require any assistance in analysing, and proposing changes to any legislation prepared by the new government, don’t hesitate to contact us.