Gillard Starts To Fight For Re-election Already
16 July 2012 00:30 - Phoebe Robinson
As Australia’s federal election looms Julia Gillard the current Prime Minister who is trailing in the opinion polls said she will fight for re-election on her record of good economic management. The PM is running short of time to turn the tables as her minority Labour government’s performance has eroded since her introduction of new taxes and the lawmaker scandals that have come to light in recent weeks.
Gillard told colleges yesterday, “The next election will be fought on the reality of our record,” our strong economy with our surplus, low interest rates, jobs. The fight’s on and we will fight it and win it.”
Her speech yesterday shoes she is looking to the country’s economic successes for example last month’s report showed last month that GDP product grew in the first quarter at the fastest annual pace in more than four years. Moreover Australian consumer confidence rose to a five-month high as households responded to the central bank’s 1.25% points of interest rate cuts since November. Furthermore the sentiment index for July advanced to 99.1% which is the highest level since February according to Westpac Banking Corp and Melbourne Institute survey.
The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates by 50 basis points late last year and a total of 75 basis points in May and June. The benchmark rate now sits at 3.5% which is still higher than the majority of developed world central bank rates. The rise of unemployment in June furthered speculation of a fifth interest-rate reduction in the last nine months as the Eurozone crisis has haltered global economic growth.
In September 2010 in a very close election Gillard managed to put together a minority government with the support of some independents and some Greens. In returned for this support she backtracked on a pledge that she would not enforce a tax on carbon emissions which she has now created and was put into action on July 1.
Gillard has increased benefit payments to lower and middle class income households from the revenue she has produced from the new taxes that have recently been imposed on the country. She is hoping that these increased benefits would create a voter backlash in the run up to the federal elections which must be held before November 2013.
An independent review of Gillard’s famous Fair Work Act has been submitted and is soon to be released this month and Gillard has said, “We will use the Fair Work Act review to lock in fairness, to lock in bargaining in good faith, to lock them in for the future.”