GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up: PM takes poll hit
- Labor leads the Coalition in this week’s Newspoll, 54 to 46 per cent in two-party preferred terms.
- The PM has announced federal funding for the new Geelong City Deal in Victoria.
- Former PM Malcolm Turnbull represented the Government at a conference in Bali earlier this week, causing some tension back home.
- Australia officially ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) this week.
- A new Deloitte survey has revealed falling customer confidence in Australia’s banks.
- Labor announced its plan to combat multinational and high wealth tax avoidance.
- Victorian Labor has come out ahead of the Coalition in the latest State Newspoll.
Labor has enjoyed a boost in the polls following the Government’s loss in Wentworth at the 20 October by-election. The latest Newspoll revealed a two-party preferred split of 54 to 46 per cent, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s net approval rating has fallen into the negative for the first time, reaching -3 as the Coalition enters minority government. Labor has also gained ground in the primary vote, on 39 per cent compared to the Government’s result of 36. The PM has sought to downplay the polling, telling the media, “I frankly don’t have the time to focus on those sorts of things”.
Funding for Geelong
Early in the week, the Prime Minister spent time in Victoria to announce a Commonwealth funding boost of $154 million for the Geelong City Deal. A collaborative effort between the federal, state and local levels of government, the deal will “unlock the economic potential of the region’s tourism industry, revitalise the Geelong city centre and boost emerging businesses”.
Turnbull makes waves
Malcolm Turnbull has re-entered the political fray this week after returning home from New York. While appearing at the Our Ocean Conference in Indonesia on behalf of the Australian Government, Mr Turnbull publicly warned the Morrison Government that its proposal to relocate the Australian embassy from Israel to Jerusalem would likely produce a “very negative reaction” from our regional neighbours. Going further, the former PM assured Indonesian President Joko Widodo that a trade agreement between the two countries would be settled “in a couple of weeks”, despite diplomatic tensions. In response, Mr Morrison has said that Mr Turnbull went beyond his brief in Indonesia and will not be carrying out any further international missions on the Government’s behalf. Mr Turnbull will appear on the ABC’s Q&A program next Thursday, marking his first media appearance since being ousted by the Liberal Party.
Australia has become the sixth country to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), which is predicted to provide $15.6 billion in annual benefits to the national economy by 2030. The trade agreement will facilitate new access to markets in TPP-11 countries; will ensure domestic exporters of industrial products do not face a tariff disadvantage; and expand access to the Japanese market beyond what is currently possible under the bilateral Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The first of two tariff reductions will kick in on 30 December, when the agreement comes into force.
Lost confidence in banks
As we head towards round seven of the Banking and Finance Royal Commission, a new Deloitte survey has revealed a lack of customer trust in banks. The Deloitte Trust Index – Banking 2018 found that 59 per cent of customers believe that banks hold shareholder interests at heart, while just over half of customers do not believe banks “do what is good, right and fair”. The next round of Royal Commission hearings, commencing 19 November, will focus on policy matters arising from previous rounds. Heads of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) will reportedly appear, following recent criticism of the industry regulators’ efficacy in Commissioner Hayne’s Interim Report.
Labor’s tax plan
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced that a Labor Government will introduce a range of new measures to tackle multinational and high wealth tax avoidance, saving the Budget $4.8 billion over the next decade. The tax “crackdown” will target a loophole that prevents companies from deducting bad debt from related party finance arrangements, and deny deductions for travel to and from overseas tax havens. In response to the announcement, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said Labor that “can’t be trusted” to deliver on multinational tax policy, while highlighting a series of initiatives previously implemented by the Coalition.
Victoria Votes 2018
A recent Newspoll has positioned the Victorian Labor Party squarely ahead of the Coalition, with a two-party preferred lead of 54 to 46 per cent. The result comes just four weeks before Victorians head to the polls on 24 November. For more information on the upcoming State Election, check out GRACosway’s first issue of ‘Victoria Votes 2018’.