Anthony Albanese’s election as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister marks the fourth time the Labor Party has taken power from opposition. The 2022 election marks a reality of enormous deficit with gross debt expected to reach $1.2 trillion and the Labor Party enters without a credible framework for fiscal repair to bring the budget back to balance. Albanese has stated his support for a 5.1% pay rise for 2% of workers on the minimum wage, a strong push for higher growth given the recent decoupling of wages with the tight Labor market - amounting concerns for even greater inflationary pressures and rising costs of living.
Labor had promised to increase spending on the care economy in health, aged care and childcare as well as placing emphasis on defence spending with a commitment to net zero by 2050. The ALP would deliver a budget bottom line, $8.4bn deeper in deficit than the Liberal Party. Despite this, their budget repair strategy would foreseeably require booming export industries in coal and gas to pay down Australia’s burgeoning debt and would see that the Labor Government resist pressure from the Greens to clamp down on new gas and coal projects. However, the Labor had been clear in its support for the responsible development of Australia’s natural resources where the increasingly influential Green and climate-focused independents will eventually push the ALP towards more ambitious targets on emission reductions.