By Des Moore
In interpreting the budget it is important to realise the Coalition will face the election in May with electoral polling which indicates it is almost certain to lose. As such, apart from possibly indicating the Coalition’s budget as no more than a manifesto with which to start the election debate, the same applies to the manifesto which Shorten has announced. He is now further developing that by announcing yesterday the 50% compulsory electric cars by 2050, which has (rightly) been widely characterised as absurd. Shorten has also failed to indicate the costs of his environmental policies. This situation further widens the gap between the two parties on the issue of dangerous global warming which appears likely to be a major discussion item. Unfortunately, the Treasurer’s budget address re-stated the Coalition’s existing policy of reducing emissions as stated in Paris and announced a $3.5bn “climate solution package” apparently designed to soften the moderates within the Coalition. Another bad poll would provide the opportunity to moderate this policy but it looks as though such a moderation is not politically possible.
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