The LNP’s revenge could backfire as KAP founder Bob Katter is now talking of directing preferences to Labor at the forthcoming federal election.
The politics of punishment. It might have seemed the smart thing to do at the time — to change the law to stop the Katter Australia Party getting its hands on $40,000 a year. The Queensland government was naturally upset that one of its own Liberal National Party members had deserted to the renegades and taken them to the threshold number of three that qualified for government funding. Yet the potentially Pyrrhic nature of the LNP’s revenge has quickly become apparent with the KAP founder Bob Katter now talking of directing preferences to Labor at the forthcoming federal election.
The next wave. Afghans are likely to join in increasing numbers those already thinking that the risk of a boat trip to Australia is worth taking. National Public Radio of the US reported at the weekend on how Afghanistan has hit a new milestone in its history of having some of the largest ebbs and flows of migration anywhere in the world.
For the first time since 2002 and the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, the country has a negative migration rate — more Afghans are leaving than returning.
The uncertainty of what Afghanistan will look like after 2014, when the NATO forces leave, has many Afghans heading for the exits, or at least trying to, and some are paying huge sums of money to get out any way they can.
Tough times continue for manufacturers. The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index continues to show that manufacturers are going through tough times. The November figure of 43.6 was the ninth monthly figure in a row below the 50 level that indicates a contraction in activity.
The only manufacturing sector that did not go backwards during the month was food and beverages.
Modest upward trend in retail sales. Hardly boom times for retailers either. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports this morning that its trend sales estimate rose 0.2% in October 2012 — the third consecutive 0.2% monthly rise. The seasonally adjusted estimate was relatively unchanged (0.0%) in October 2012. This follows a rise of 0.5% in September 2012 and a rise of 0.3% in August 2012.
So maybe an interest rate cut? Figures like these are no doubt behind the increased expectation that the Reserve Bank board will make a further cut in official interest rates when it meets tomorrow. The Crikey Interest Rate Indicator is now pointing strongly in that direction.