DUELING LOAN SCHEMES
The Age reports that the Coalition’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme would mean that first-home buyers would only need to save 5% of the cost of a home deposit, rather than 20%. The $500 million scheme would come into effect January 1 2019, apply to singles earning less than $125,000 a year and couples earning less than $200,000 a year, and be capped at 10,000 loans per year. Less than three hours later, Labor promised to match it.
Critics say the now bipartisan policy will encourage young home buyers to take on more risk and increase their debt, as well as potentially drive up housing prices, while some conservatives are also unhappy with the Coalition’s “socialist” ($) policy announcement.
LABOR LEADS, SHORTEN JUMPS
The latest Newspoll ($) shows a still-tight race for the federal election, with Labor maintaining its slim 51-49 two-party preferred margin for the third week in a row.
Bill Shorten’s popularity has jumped following his humanising response to The Daily Telegraph’s “Mother of Invention” ($) hit piece, with his net approval ratings reaching a four-year high. But as analysis by The Australian points out, this has not been accompanied by a “resurgence” in Labor’s overall polling numbers.
Meanwhile, recent internal polls for Kooyong and Higgins have the Liberals concerned about their eastern Melbourne heartland, with their once healthy two-party leads dropping to 51-49 and 52-48 respectively.
MORRISON RESURRECTS EAST-WEST LINK
Both sides will be attempting to woo Melbourne this week with transport infrastructure promises. Scott Morrison has pledged $4 billion for the axed East-West Link, claiming it will be enough to partner with the private sector and complete the project without the Victorian government’s financial input. The Age points out, however, that the project can’t be built without state partnership.
Shorten, meanwhile, has offered to chip in $10 billion to Melbourne’s proposed suburban rail loop — a transport project the Victorian government actually wants.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
The former deputy prime minister cryptically responds to critics who called him out for spending the weekend before the election at the races with the boys.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The traditional costings game was designed to enable governments to declare that opposition policies were unfunded or had “black holes” because of accounting errors or missed nuances of design that only Treasury could identify. Labor has entirely stymied this line of attack — the government’s focus has been on the fact that Labor’s policies are, in effect, too funded, by tax increases. Indeed, if anything, the black hole lurks on the government side, with its commitment to tax cuts for high-income earners requiring $40 billion worth of spending cuts, which have not been spelt out during the campaign.”
“I am not here to rubbish Dodson, he has a lengthy track record of seeking change for our people. But he is part of the political machine. He is part of a major party and is beholden to policies drafted about us without us, and because of that I view this announcement by Bill Shorten with the cynicism that is necessary for black fullas.”
“The blazered id of the bourgeoisie, envy and frustration at lives given over to accumulation, sprayed around with spittle and tea-moistened Tim Tam flakes. Peter Costello, ex-Higgins, was their shape-shifting lizard god. The hate, the anger drained into me, took a pint of Scotch later to sluice it out — flashback to eight-year-old self being told by white family friends that “that bloody Communist Hawke wants to take my money and give it to the Abos!”
A federal election is just six days away – apparently policy purity will have to come later – Shane Wright (The Age): “Just a week ago, the Coalition was accusing Bill Shorten of being a communist for his plan to subsidise the wages of childcare workers. Now, they have gone all Karl Marx by outlining a plan that effectively means the government of the day has an equity share in the private mortgages of home owners.”
None of us can afford another hung parliament – Peta Credlin (The Daily Telegraph): “Effectively, they’re members of a small “g” green party, while denying their political orientation in order to scoop up “progressive” Liberal voters and then harvest the Labor preferences needed to win. But make no mistake, what they tell Liberal supporters before the election is vastly different to how they actually operate once in office.”
Why Scott Morrison had to make a last-minute policy push – Sean Kelly (The Age): “For almost nine months, Scott Morrison has been barrelling towards an almost zero-policy campaign. The strategy has been his, and the coming result – victory or defeat – is largely on his head. Along the way, he has tried every trick to make his empty campaign seem at least half-full. He delayed it until the last possible moment, believing something unexpected might happen. It did – but the murderous attack on Christchurch made his dog-whistling much harder.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Bodies will meet face to face for the first time to discuss a new Closing the Gap agreement, with around 40 peak organisations expected to attend from around the country. CEO Pat Turner AM will give the opening address.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, Greens leader Richard Di Natale and independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines will appear on Q&A.
The City of Sydney council will discuss and possibly pass their proposed plan for a 24-hour city.
Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher MP, NSW Senator Marise Payne and Liberal Candidate for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh will make a funding announcement for Panthers on the Prowl.
Homelessness NSW, along with several other housing organisations, will host a public forum, “Homelessness – A National Crisis”.
Sweden’s deputy director of prosecutions will hold a press conference to announce whether she will reopen an investigation into an outstanding rape allegation against Julian Assange.