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Pinch and a punch and all that – happy December!
It being 1 December means you can now eat anything you’d like, it being “the season”, which is how I’ll be explaining away the chocolate I had for breakfast.
It also means the Queensland border is open to greater Sydney and Victoria (having already opened to regional NSW earlier) with a date for South Australia to follow, hopefully, in another week’s time.
Queensland’s economy needs it – the state debt is to hit $106bn – although the pandemic isn’t to blame for most of that. Queensland’s budget position hasn’t been great in years – it was one of the main reasons Campbell Newman was elected back in 2012 – but Queenslanders also love their services, which is one of the reasons Newman lost just three years later. Following the federal government’s lead, Queensland is the latest state to use its budget as the lynchpin in an economic stimulus plan. If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that government budgets are NOTHING like household accounts and debt and deficit is not the world ender the Howard government claimed it was. Plus, money is super cheap for government’s right now and those bonds have long-term low interest rates locked in, so given how rough the next few years will be, economically, for the world, governments need to do all they can to cushion the blow.
Speaking of cushioning the blow, the RBA is meeting today. It’s been talking about the need to focus on full employment over inflation and warning the federal government not to withdraw its stimulus too early. Australia has record low interest rates and the central bank has embarked on a mass bond-buying scheme, but it’s running out of levers. Governments have to step up.
Politics at the moment is all about China. The Chinese government did not back down yesterday, and China’s state media was defiant. Scott Morrison is still in quarantine at the Lodge (where he will be until Thursday) but the Coalition and Labor party is as one condemning China’s latest salvo in an escalating diplomatic spat, so we’ll keep you updated with that and everything else which happens in the corridors of power today.
You have Amy Remeikis with you, as well as Mike Bowers, Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp and Daniel Hurst.
I’ve had two coffees to wash down that chocolate. It’s gonna be that sort of day.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Australian politics live: Queensland border reopens; Morrison condemns China tweet | Australia news