According to the Australian Liberal Party, the Australia economy is in the toilet.
Trying to find any definitive economic statements from the LNP is always difficult. The coalition tends towards general fear-mongering, and the less data the better. Try reading Tony Abbot’s “Address to the 2012 Economic and Social Outlook Conference, Melbourne”. Yes, in this tedious and babbling speech Tones selectively quotes figures suggesting that Australia has slipped badly from the glorious days of the Howard Government. The trouble is that in all 3000 words of faulty comparisons, not a single word is spent acknowledging the devastating impact of the “Global Financial Crisis” (GFC). In Tony Abbott’s world the global economy stayed on an unswerving dead-straight line from the minute Howard was kicked out of office. The earth didn’t shake and entire countries didn’t fall into the monetary abyss. And, dear friends, Australia, somehow, didn’t weather the devastation under the sensible economic policies of a hated Labor government.
Fascinating, isn’t it? Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey appear to be under the delusion that they would have been able to maintain surpluses during the GFC and the country, as a consequence, would not have suffered crippling unemployment and runaway inflation. That would have been a neat trick. Lucky they never got a chance to try their arm.
So, once again, according to the Liberals, Australia needs a conservative government to bail the country out of the economic mess. There lies a problem for the Libs – Australia is doing very well economically, thank you very much. In fact, for our weight, we are kicking some serious economic arse.
While any party can claim pretty much anything they like – it is politics, after all - it is a useful exercise to test our economic credentials with the rest of the world. If Labor is screwing up, as claimed, this will soon show up in the numbers. After all, Labor have been calling the shots these past five years. If things are going badly, they need to claim some of the responsibility, but if things are going well, likewise they should get credit for doing a good job. Let’s look at the data, shall we?
Out of approximately 262 countries
· Australia ranks 13th in the world in GDP
· Australia’s purchasing power parity is 19th in the world.
· The Australian unemployment rate is the 151st lowest in the world. Lower than the United Kingdom (112th) the United States (104th) and France (96th).
· Australia’s tax revenue is 81st in the world at 33.5 cents in the dollar. The UK’s is 40.9.
· Australian public debt (% of GPD) is a low 26.9 compared with the UK (88.7) and the US (73.6). Yet all we hear from the conservatives is our runaway spending. Their claims are worse than stupid.
· The Australian budget revenues ranks 11th in the world.
· Our deficit? Australia is running a budget deficit of about -0.80. The United States is running -7.60 (the same as Greece) and the UK is around -7.70
· Australian inflation rate is in the vicinity of 2.2% whilst the UK is 2.8%.
· All this with Australia ranked 55 in population with the rest of the world (22.2 million)
Labor might be in a hell of a state politically, well, who could argue otherwise? But as economic managers they have done a heroic job which will only be acknowledged by historians, it seems.
When you stand in that little box in September and prepare to throw Labor out of office - as is your democratic right - consider just which bunch of ratbags you will be putting in their place. Think twice before you install the idiotic crew who were going to lock up the money and throw away the key even as the global economic tsunami hit our shores. If you are reading this and you still have a job, be thankful that Labor was in charge.
The numbers don’t lie – we are in pretty good shape.