ELECTION 2016: Need-To-Know Basics Of The Major Players’ Economic Plans

G’day, and welcome to PEDESTRIAN.TV’s crib sheet for today’s Federal Election. Maybe you’re standing in line at your local primary school RN waiting to vote – hell, maybe you’re balancing your phone in one hand, and a dank democracy snag in the other – so we’ll try to keep this short and shiny. 

This is our take on all matters relating to cash money, and how each of the major political players say they’ll divvy up our nation’s dosh. That includes your money, too, so y’all best be paying attention. 

Is this a comprehensive run-down? Nope. Will you leave this article with a bit more nous about the situation? Hopefully. So, here’s how Liberal, Labor, the Greens and minor parties stack up on…
We’re hitting you with the heavy stuff first. Still, pretty bloody important to have a handle on, ‘cos nations just aren’t that great at operating without drawing from citizens’ coffers. 
Unlike other elections in living memory, the GST isn’t really that big of a deal this time around. Labor has vowed not to touch it, while insisting the Liberals are dying to jack it up. 
While that possibility was considered in Turnbull & Co’s “root and branch” look at the taxation system, they passed on it in favour of other cost-saving measures. 
Earlier this year, the Greens labelled the GST “regressive”, and they announced they’d fight “tooth and nail” against any increases. Overall, other financial issues seem to be more pressing for everyone involved RN.
Issues like business tax. The Liberals, traditionally seen as the serious economically-focussed party, have pledged to cut taxes for small businesses. They’ve also put forth their plan to up the income tax threshold for some high income earners to stop ’em copping a 37% tax rate.

Of course, Duncan Storrar’s saga on Q&A was sparked by that decision. 

Labor have signaled they’ll cut small business taxes to similar (but slightly higher) levels than the Liberals, but they’ve shitcanned the Coalition’s push to eventually bring every company’s tax rate down to 25%. 

The Greens have stated they won’t even be looking at cuts to income and company tax this election, instead focusing on reigning in large corporations and their tax avoidance schemes. 

If you bloody hate the fact the Feds take some of your moolah at all, have a gander at the Liberal Democrats take on the matter. They’re allergic to tax in the exact same way firebrand Senator David Leyonhjelm isn’t allergic to his cats. 


Righto, here’s the big one. One of the main sticking points this election for anyone who doesn’t yet possess a property empire is the fact negative gearing lends such massive benefits to those who already do

Housing prices are quite high – have you noticed? – and many believe property investors taking advantage of those tax breaks have locked first-time buyers out of the market.

We could hold forth on this one for the rest of this here article, but it plays out like this:

The Liberals are reticent to fiddle with negative gearing nor Capital Gains Tax concessions. It’s part of their belief that those benefits aid families trying to “invest and provide a future for their families.” 

That’s true, to an extent, seeing as the current system in the current housing market is super, super gr8 for investors already involved (if prices keep going up, that is). 

Labor want to ensure only new properties can be negatively geared, thereby encouraging an increase in housing stock – and a decrease in prices as a result. Currently geared properties will be grandfathered, though. 
They claim reigning those concessions in will yield beaucoup bucks for the Government, too. 
The Greens go further, asserting they’ll remove all negative gearing on non-commercial properties, while also grandfathering currently geared properties. 
Would going that far shuffle up Australia’s economy? Yeah. Do the Greens think that’s a bad thing? Nah, not necessarily. 
Hoo boy. Education seemingly plays an integral role in each party’s policy position, largely due to the changing nature of the Aussie economy. 
Basically, the resource boom is dunzo, and manufacturing here hasn’t looked too flash for a while; as a result, the nation’s young guns are being urged to use their noggins to pursue gigs in science, technology, and related fields. 

The Liberals in particular are dead keen on STEM degrees, and they’re set on pumping cash into areas that’ll promote the proliferation of clever young guns. However, they’ve also been criticised – heeeavily – for contemplating the deregulation of university fees.

Labor recognise that automation is going to royally fuck up a whole slew of traditional industries, so while they’re on board with keeping up a robust TAFE system, they’re also focussed on tech, ICT and entrepreneurial competency. They’re promising 20,000 debt-free STEM degrees a year, for five years. That’s a pretty big deal.
The Greens haven’t revealed anything quite as grandiose, instead offering to reduce HELP debts by 20% across the board and to reinstate scholarships for lower-income and otherwise disadvantaged scholars. 


Well, now that we’re going to be part of a super-educated global economy, it sure would be swell if we had a first-rate internet system in place. Right? Right?
Yeah, well. The Liberal Party are still committed to a National Broadband Network comprised of several technologies, including good ol’ (read: bad ol’) copper. Top-notch fibre connections will be installed along a hodge-podge mix of other systems. It’s not ideal – it may even be rendered obsolete worryingly soon – and even former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull seems to recognise that fact. 

Bill Shorten’s gang have asserted they’ll do what they can to to honour existing NBN contracts, but promise to eventually install fibre to the premises to an extra 2 million locales over the Coalition’s plan – many of them in rural areas. 

The Greens go further. They want to launch an inquiry into moving from proposed fibre to the node systems towards more “future-proofed” technologies, and are interested in “retiring” the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) system Telstra agreed to upgrade at great cost.

If you want to get reeeally deep into the internet and all of the goings-on related to it, scope out the Pirate Party. They’re mostly about updating IP laws, but you better believe those same laws will come into play on our internet system. 


It might seem a bit ridic to lump the environment in with economic issues, but the truth is all the money on Earth won’t mean diddly if the Earth itself carks it.

Of course, it’s here that the Greens tend to hold sway. The proliferation of clean, renewable energy sources continues to be a cornerstone of their policy platform. Same goes for their take on global warming, where they offer a slew of initiatives aimed at reducing our environmental impact. 

Labor want 50% of all energy provided by renewable sources in 15 years’ time, and they want to introduce another emissions trading scheme to limit how much damage us pesky humans can do to the environment.

After the outright denialism of the Abbott government, the Liberals have somewhat softened their approach on the topic of climate change. Despite extensive coral bleaching, they’re presenting the protection of the Great Barrier Reef as a matter of utmost importance. They’ve also promoted their $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

They’re still sticking with their awkward $2.5 billion scheme to pay companies not to pollute, though. 

So, now you’ve got an inkling towards how each party are skewed on issues relating to the economy and the pieces that comprise it. In a lil’ while, we’ll recap what’ll happen to the people within that economic framework.

Source: The Liberal Party / The Labor Party / The Greens.
Photo: ABC / Lisa Maree Williams / Stefan Postles / Getty.