How all these taxes will help Tony Abbott win the 2016 election

Tony Abbott is throwing his promises under the bus with glee. He promised no new taxes and has now pledged a debt levy and an increase in petrol tax.

He knows how electoral cycles work. Pain and broken promises early in your term are forgotten later:

The 2014 Budget is full of taxes and cuts.

The 2015 Budget will have a few more cuts and be austere.

Then in 2016, election promises will start getting made. “How can we afford these?” people willl ask.

Finally, with an election probably just a few months away, the 2016 Budget comes out. Lo and Behold! Australia’s fiscal position is in surplus, taxes can be cut and the spending can begin.

The press goes into a fury of congratulation over Mr Abbott’s “strong leadership.” Lots of photos appear of him standing outside new hospitals, with a big smile on his face.

To most people, the grumbling of early 2014 is as relevant to the political situation as the result of the 1974 VFL Grand final. Labor can’t get over the broken promises and keeps talking about the past, while Mr Abbott is focused on the future.

Don’t believe me? Evidence for how this works is right under our noses.

The coverage of the Victorian government’s first Budget looked like this:

“THE Baillieu government has been forced to slash more than $2 billion in spending from its first budget in an attempt to insulate the state economy from looming financial pain and deliver on its election promises.

And with Treasurer Kim Wells’ budget predicting a $4.1 billion hit to GST revenue alone over the next five years, the budget also launches a tax crackdown, with 50 new jobs at the state revenue office to raise an extra $235 million.

The Coalition went to the election promising $1.6 billion in savings, but yesterday announced deeper cuts totalling an extra $638 million.”

Coverage of the pre-election budget looks like this:



Mr Abbott is playing the long con. But with a shorter election cycle than was available to Mr Napthine, (federal is three years, not four) it’s more of a gamble. Will it work?


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Thomas the Think Engine is the blog of a trained economist. It comes to you from Melbourne Australia.

3 thoughts on “How all these taxes will help Tony Abbott win the 2016 election”

  1. No way will i forget this bogan,i didnt vote for him and never would.I dont like being treated like i am 5 years old and spun a pack of lies.


  2. Are you for real? You must Be taking special drugs! Where I live and people I talk to say they will never vote Liberal again until Abbott is replaced by Turnbull. Abbott is as popular as Rolf Harris and is the most hated PM in history.

    My prediction, Labor win in 2016 by a landslide not seen in Australian politics. Bill Shorten will be next PM and Abbott will go down in history as a one hit wonder. The liberals will spend the next decade in opposition and Sloppy Joe can kiss any ambition of becoming PM goodbye as he is just as toxic as Abbott.
    If the Liberals have any hope of winning in 2016, they need to dump Abbott now and banish Sloppy Joe, Pyne, Morrison and Corman to the back bench and get them out of sight if the public.

    Failing that, it’s bye bye Tone and hello Bill!
    Abbott knows this, he knows he wont win in 2016 and knows he as popular as an anal wart. This is why he is trying to ram through the senate his bills to stamp his mark on Australian politics while he has the chance.
    I don’t believe even the most ardent liberal supporter would piss down Abbott’s throat if it was on fire. What we have here in power is Dumb and Dumber!

    A smart person would have their money on Labor in 2016. just to re cap, the only way the Liberals can win in 2016 is to dump Abbott and Hockey!


    1. I will admit, I wrote this piece before the budget, and before the polls turned. I’m not sure I’d give it the same title today!


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