In a rare outbreak of actual policy discussion last night in the leaders’ debate, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited the United Kingdom as an example of a country that had cut company tax and generated growth while defending his $48 billion company tax cut. Except the UK demonstrates exactly the opposite — as Crikey’s Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer showed in March, the UK’s economic growth record compares poorly to ours despite Australia having a significantly higher company tax rate.
Especially damningly, both wages growth and productivity have been much worse in the UK — in fact, labour productivity has gone backwards. But the UK’s company tax cut has helped in one area — the budget deficit. The UK Tories make our Liberals look like fiscal disciplinarians: the budget deficit in 2015 was 4.4% of GDP, compared to 2.4% of GDP here. Thank goodness the government’s funding cuts killed of the ABC Fact Check unit.