Election 2016: what was all that about?

The media contingent has been quick to jump in and judge what went wrong for the Turnbull Government.

But surely there is a whiff of hypocrisy from those who have rushed in to say how badly Malcolm misjudged the electorate for most of these self-same reporters who called the election as good as won by the Turnbull Government a full week ago in the wake of the Brexit vote. A vote for the LNP would be a vote for stability virtually all newspaper editors declared. Well so much for that!

The Australian public were obviously very fed up with an overly long campaign, but they were also very clear in their purpose and did not simply accept that the $50 billion company tax cuts would sooner or later trickle down and improve the economy, even if this was the centrepiece of the ‘plan’ touted by Turnbull Government ministers. The public simply didn’t buy it.

So all bets are now off.

At the time of writing there are 10 seats yet to be declared, with the Coalition on 68 and the Labor Party holding 67. There are two Prime Ministers in waiting and negotiations with crossbenchers have begun in earnest.

So what does this mean for retirees? It means that the Budget 2016 measures, particularly those related to superannuation, are on hold at best and more likely to be scuttled, particularly the retrospective changes to the lifetime cap for non-concessional super contributions. And should it be the Labor Party which forms government, then a Royal Commission into the banking sector is entirely possible. Such an enquiry may – and should – result in the much tougher application of regulations with much more serious penalties for those who transgress. It also means that an increase in the age of entitlement for an Age Pension – from 67 to 70 by 2030 – is another ‘zombie’ measure which is unlikely to see the light of day.

Those who remember the 2010 election will recall the confusing days following polling day as the nation waited to see who would form government. But whilst it is disheartening to once again not have a clear mandate for one party or another, it is worth recalling that the subsequent so-called minority government led by Julia Gillard, with the support of independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, managed to pass an impressive number of groundbreaking, even controversial, legislative bills.

We have no idea who will next lead our nation. It may take as long as two to three weeks before we learn who will form government. But in a world of turmoil and uncertainty, we might remember how lucky we are to live in a country which is stable, secure and where most of us still have a roof over our heads and a meal on the table. A country where governments can change without a drop of blood being shed.

Written by Kaye Fallick

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