Friday, May 20, 2022

Party Games 31/38 United Australia Party

Clive Palmer's ongoing campaign to make me less likely to wear an enforcer tshirt in public because I don't want to be confused with one of his supporters continues to be one of the most annoying political parties. From mass spam text messages to buying out every second billboard to very long tv commercials, the United Australia Party keeps on giving (note, despite claiming 3 former prime ministers as members, this United Australia Party has no actual connection to this Australia United Party that merged with the Liberals in 1945).

Clive and the UAP have really tried to make hay of COVID, but have consistently been on the wrong side of things, be it opposing lockdowns to the point of suing WA, importing a tonne of hydroxychloroquine that doesn't actually work against COVID, and more. 

Policy wise they promise big but give little detail. They've put up a lot of signs about capping mortgages at 3% but haven't said how. This is important because this will have a major impact on how things play out. If they just cap the interest rate banks can charge, banks will reduce the amount of mortgages they issue as they will not want to take on the extra risk. If they have the government pay any excess interest, then that means taxpayers will be subsidising people mortgages at a massive cost, and even though I'm almost at the point of buying, don't think this is a good idea. They also want to make the first $30k paid on a mortgage each year to be tax deductible, which unless they propose to do the same for renters (spoiler alert, they're not) just blatantly gives more favourable treatment to people paying a mortgage.

They also propose paying off the national debt by putting a 15% export fee on iron ore, and that this can only be used to pay off the debt. This does in part neglect the fact that government debt is usually issued via long term bonds, and the Australian government currently has bonds issued that go out until 2051, and while the government can offer to repurchase such bonds, they can't currently force people to sell them back. I also note that they only want to apply the export fee to iron ore, I'd like to suggest that maybe they should expand it to nickle as well, as I'm sure Clive would like to do his bit to help Australia.

Another interesting one I found was part of their plan to improve wages is to give people a 50% discount on income from a second job. I think this would just result in companies giving everyone two jobs and pocketing the savings.

On the plus side, they do want to cancel all HECS debts, which I will continue to support even though I'll have finally paid mine off this year, increasing welfare payments, and they support introducing nuclear power.

Unfortunately the few good things do not outweigh the crazy, and the UAP is in serious contention for last place on my ballot.

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