The week that was for sleep deprived mums.

Keep your babies close. An election is nigh, and politicians all over the country will be looking for cute little people to kiss.

In the next few days, the Prime Minister will call an election for July 2. A normal election campaign goes for 33 days, give or take a week. This year, our festival of democracy is going to go on (and on)…for eight exhausting weeks. Welcome to the winter of your discontent.

It’s going to be a long couple of months, so each Friday I’m going to attempt to cut through the guff and provide you with a cheat sheet of the week’s key political issues. I’m mum to a three month old, and, as such, I have the attention span of a goldfish – so you can be guaranteed that you will only get the really essential bits and pieces from this sleep-deprived election correspondent.

This week the Budget and Opposition’s reply set the themes for the next two months of campaigning from both parties. You can expect to hear ‘jobs and growth’ ad-nauseam from the Coalition and the ALP will be telling you that they are fighting ‘for people’ (to remind you that the Liberal Party are all about ‘Malcolm’s millionaires’ the big banks and corporations).

PM Malcolm Turnbull is set for an election campaign. Image via Getty.

Sprinkles include:

If you own a small (or not so small business), with a turnover of up to $10 million (lucky you), you will enjoy a company tax cut of 1%. Eventually, the plan is for the definition of small business to extend to those with a turnover of up to 1 billion (i.e. Coles). If you enjoy stabbing yourself with a fork, try watching this interview with the Prime-Minister dodging questions about the long term cost of the company tax cuts. I watched it for 40 seconds, it was excruciating.

If you earn between $80,000 or $87,000 you will be moved into a lower tax bracket, saving you about six bucks a week. Enjoy your milkshake. The Government also announced a crackdown on multinational tax avoidance, or a ‘Google tax’. This aims to stop multinationals (such as Apple and Google) from shifting their profits earned in Australia to offshore tax havens. Generous tax concessions for high income earners’ superannuation contributions have also been tightened.


If you’re a committed smoker, (or just sneak the occasional wine-time dart), there’s never been a better time to give it up. A series of increases in the tobacco excise are coming. Devils and details: The Government's freeze on Medicare rebates continues. Labor calls this the 'GP tax by stealth' and it means that the rebates doctors receive when they see you haven’t been increased. The Australian Medical Association has warned that with the cost of service provision going up (rent, etc), doctors will have no choice but to increase the out of pocket cost for patients.

The Government has kept a war chest of $1.7 billion in ‘decisions made but not announced’. That’s code for ‘stuff to announce in the election campaign’, so watch this space. Remember how Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme turned from a plan to support 'women of calibre’ into stopping double-dippers? The Government hasn’t changed it’s position, and is still banking on getting those changes through the Senate after the election. Cheap labour has never been cheaper. The new ‘work for the dole’ internship scheme offers payments of up to $10,000 for participating businesses - but payments of just $4 an hour for interns. Increases to the childcare rebate from up to $7500 to $10,000 have been delayed until 2018 or until unpopular changes to the Family Tax Benefit system pass the Senate.

We're ready. A photo posted by Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) on


Bill Shorten outlined his pitch for Prime Ministership with the protection of Medicare front and centre; a commitment to the full funding of Gonski education reforms, supporting for same-sex marriage and closing the gender pay-gap. Labor will support the cut to small business for those with a turn over of up to $2 million.

If you want to know more about how the budget impacts you, Mamamia’s Alys Gagnon wrote a great analysis - highlighting that women and families have been particularly dudded. The ABC also has a nifty ‘winners and losers’ site.

We are going to talk a lot of about negative gearing and affordable housing during the election campaign, with this emerging as clear point of difference in party policies. The Prime Minister suggested on radio this week that wealthy parents should fork out the cash to help their kids get into the property market and Labor has seized on this comment as being out of touch. They argue that the Prime Minister’s only advice to young people trying to get into the housing market is to 'have wealthy parents'.

In other news, in response to a slowing economy, the Reserve Bank announced that interest rates would be dropped to a record low cash rate of 1.75%. Instead of inflation, we are currently experiencing deflation, where goods and services become cheaper. This sounds good, but it’s not.

With the closing of the 44th Parliament, there were a number of notable resignations and retirements. This includes Bronwyn Bishop and Labor’s Melissa Parke. Clive Palmer announced that he will not be seeking re-election for his Queensland seat of Fairfax but hasn’t ruled out a tilt at the Senate.

With the starters gun about to go, polls suggest the parties are almost neck and neck, with Labor edging ahead. Could Malcolm Turnbull do a John Hewson and lose the unloseable election?

Of course, we are not the only people set to suffer through a never-ending election campaign. In the United States, it’s been confirmed that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for President, with his main competitor, Senator Ted Cruz, calling it quits and withdrawing from the race.

And finally, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slowly but surely becoming a parody of himself If you haven’t joined the cult following yet, there’s still room on the bandwagon (just). Oh, and former musician turned politician Peter Garrett is turning musician again! He’s getting the band back together with news that Midnight Oil will be touring for the first time since 2002.

See you next Friday.

Katie is a regular guest on ABC Radio Melbourne’s Friday Wrap segment. Right now she’s mum to a three month old, so she eats a lot of cake and spends a disproportionate amount of time walking around in circles at K-Mart.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does his own 'mic drop' ahead of the Invictus Games.

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