John Menadue. Are Conservatives better economic managers?

May 3, 2016

According to opinion polls the public clearly believe that Conservatives are better economic managers. Like other Conservative leaders, Malcolm Turnbull keeps asserting that this is so.  Tonight in the budget, Scott Morrison will probably tell us about the importance of growth and jobs and that the Coalition can deliver in this area but Labor cannot.

But the evidence does not support the view that the Conservatives are better economic managers.

In this blog on 20 April 2016, Ian McAuley discussed this issue in ‘Are Conservatives better economic managers?‘  Amongst other things, Ian McAuley pointed out that over the last 50 years we have had 17 Federal Treasurers and that only two have been awarded the coveted Euromoney ‘Finance Minister of the Year Award’.  They were both Labor Treasurers: Keating and Swan.  The former received this award for leading major economic reform in Australia in the 1980s and early 1990s. The latter received the award because of his handling of the global financial crisis.

In The Guardian on 2 May 2016, economist Stephen Koukoulas asserts that ‘Labor’s economic record is better than the Coalition’s‘. Koukoulas points out that

‘in terms of jobs and growth, the ABS data show that average quarterly GDP growth and average monthly increases in employment are stronger when Labor has been in government compared with the Coalition. … GDP and employment growth both rise at a faster pace when Labor is in government.’

I will be posting additional articles on this issue ‘are Conservatives better economic managers?’

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