It’s budget eve, and it’s a pre-election budget at that.
Today’s papers are full of promised spending, including billions in infrastructure, hints of an increase in defence funding, and there’s a promise from the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, that there will be a “material improvement” in the budget bottom line (a long way from “back in black”).
What people will be most interested in are pledges from the federal government that affect their hip pockets. A (temporary) cut in petrol excise is on the cards as bowser prices soar past $2 a litre.
More first homebuyers will get access to the scheme that helps them buy a home a deposit as low as 2%.
And many are waiting to see what the government will do about the low and middle tax offset – the so-called “lamington” – which is due to end this year.
Frydenberg has been pictured pounding the pavement (ever since former prime minister John Howard’s ubiquitous tracksuit-clad walks, the active pollie has been a thing) and he’s sure to be pacing through the media cycle today.
And (I am so sorry) Queensland is set for severe storms, with parts of the sodden east coast once again on flood alert. New South Wales also faces potential flash flooding.
As the politicians descend on Canberra today, there’ll be condolences for late Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, after her death from a heart attack at just 52.
It’s going to be a hectic week, the last sitting before the May election, and total manna for politics nerds. Here we go …