After several months of faux campaigning on both sides, the government announced the federal election would be held in six weeks time. It will be interesting to see what each side offers during the campaign. Generally neither side is all that wonderful for the aspiring middle classes - Labor tends to offers expansion of social services, which sounds great in theory but unfortunately leads to some combination of higher federal deficits, increasing unemployment and higher inflation/interest rates. The Liberal party tends towards user-pays and less support for welfare and public serivce, and reduces unemployment, but at the expense of lower real wage increases for the lower income workers.
Those in the middle tend to miss out from both parties - paying higher taxes than they get in benefits (due to means and income testing of benefits) from the left, and not earning enough to benefit from flattening the tax scales by the right, while having to pay more for required services under the user-pays systems.
I'll be watching closely to see what specific promises are made during the campaign that would be of benefit to my specific situation. But it's all rather academic anyhow - whichever party wins office will probably break a large number of the 'non-core' promises made during the election campaign, and many of the nasty surprises (eg. tax increases or service cuts needed to fund the promises that are kept) tend to only come to light after the election is over. The only good thing is that both parties have tended more towards the centre in order to woo the swinging voters, so there isn't such a great difference between them as there used to be.
Copyright Enough Wealth 2007