(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

All politicians know that numbers create news. It’s simple maths: the bigger the number, the greater the news. And Scott Morrison knows this better than most. He knows how to use numbers as signs of action for the media -- and he knows journalists can’t resist them. Just look back over the past week...

First, there was the manufacturing package. The headline "$1.5 billion" stood in for policy substance and it was fed out through the government’s preferred MO: briefings to the gallery to shape the morning news and the PM providing "the event" in front of the camera. No details. Plans to come.

This was a tricky number to message. It had to be enough to grab the headline. Tick. “National rebuild via $1.5bn budget push,” screamed The Australian.