By Andrew Bolt ~
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already destroyed one strong Liberal leader – Tony Abbott. Now he threatens to destroy the reputation of the likely next – Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Morrison this week correctly briefed journalists that there would be no huge personal tax cuts in the Budget:
Mr Morrison has indicated that individual tax cuts – which he has previously flagged – will not be possible until the budget is in better shape.
What else could he say? After all, Turnbull had already robbed Morrison of the money he’d need for those cuts by withdrawing his support for tentative plans to raise the GST to fund tax cuts:
Sources say relations between Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison have become strained over the extent of tax reform policy, with the Treasurer keen for more ambitious reform including significant income tax cuts which would be paid for by a politically unpopular 50 per cent hike to the GST.
But Turnbull has not liked Morrison telling journalists the plain truth about the consequences of Turnbull’s about-face.
There are now very persuasive reports that Turnbull has reprimanded Morrison for his briefing.
I am utterly perplexed. What would Turnbull have Morrison say instead? That, sure, he’s got plenty of cash for everything from tax cuts, cheques for the dead, overpriced school halls, and associated other wild spending?
We’ve seen that movie before.
How Morrison disentangles himself from Turnbull’s death hold without hurting the government will test his political skills to the utmost.
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.