LABOR is facing a multi-billion-dollar blow to its budget bottom line as Kevin Rudd prepares to fast-track a cut to the carbon price to blunt Coalition attacks…
Such a cut, while retaining carbon tax compensation measures, would rip $15 billion from the budget, according to the opposition…
A more rapid switch to a floating carbon price, currently not due until 2015, would have to be legislated.
Parliament has now risen so any change to the timetable would have to be an election commitment.
The massive cost is one thing.
But this would mean Rudd becomes the second Labor leader going into an election promising:
There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.
Rudd in his press conference today says he’s not going to make any big decisions soon. He’s learned from the last time that promises need to be made with “proper process”.
As for the “Gonski” education reforms, Rudd says David Gonski is on his wife’s board and doesn’t want his name associated with the schools’ funding scheme promoted by Julia Gillard.
Rudd says it was too confusing a name, and he then explains it should be referred to be what it actually aims to do – lift standards, give school principals more ability to hire and fire, make schools create school improvement plans, and fund schools on the basis of need. It is now a schools improvement plan.
First decision on policy: Rudd will now support this schools improvement plan and extend by two weeks the June 30 deadline that states had to sign up.
So no change to policy. Just to the badging.
Rudd challenges Tony Abbott to a debate on debt at the National Press Club. This is an inversion of the normal paradigm of Opposition leaders desperate to get debates, and Prime Ministers reluctant to grant them that status.
Rudd for the first time will take questions from journalists.
As I suggested in last week’s Bolt Report, Rudd has taken up the slogan of “bringing Australians together”. He says this is a rebuttal of Tony Abbott’s approach. In fact, it’s a repudiation of Gillard’s.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.