On Tuesday 14th May, Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered what many have called a ‘safe’ budget. Opting not to use his time to outline a range of pre-election sweeteners, the government chose to defend its deficit position in a bland budget that focussed on Labor’s two legacy items – Gonski and the NDIS.
It seems the Australian public is becoming disengaged with politics. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that ‘the average Joe’ see little relevance in the Budget. Responses from a JWS survey published in The Financial Review show voters have a lack of personal interest in the Budget, don’t know what Gonski is all about, and whilst they care about funding for disabled Australians, struggle to understand how the NDIS differs from the current system.
With all polls suggesting a landslide win to the Coalition in September, the relevance of this budget comes into question. How relevant can a budget can be if it is only good for around 100 days? The answer probably doesn’t matter. What matters here is the intent behind the budget and what an incoming government might do.
This was clearly a budget from a government wishing to leave a legacy of education reform and disability care. With this being said, how should Eye Spy readers respond to this budget?
The answer is to be proactive and focus on value for the incoming government. This means, a focus on the value of the medicines, devices and biotech industries. The value of patents, the supply chain, R&D, local manufacturing and jobs. The value of new medicines, generic medicines, and PBS savings. An incoming government will prepare plans for its first 100 days in office and the medicines industry should consider how it can capitalise on this by ensuring messages are heard and options to drive certainty and predictability are discussed within the first 100 days.