Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP/Dean Lewins
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AAP/Dean Lewins

When will ScoMo call the election?

SCOTT Morrison and Bill Shorten have launched their pre-election campaigns amid speculation the Prime Minister could call a poll as early as Sunday.

Just hours after announcing a $527 million disability royal commission on Friday, the Prime Minister flew to Sydney to sell his Budget to the NSW Liberal Party.

The Opposition Leader visited a cancer centre to spruik his $2.3 billion masterplan to reduce out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients.

Coalition staff posted to campaign headquarters will arrive in Brisbane this weekend, however, it is understood there is a strong view Mr Morrison will not call an election until next Sunday so he has a week to sell the Budget.

Bill and Chloe Shorten. Picture: Gary Ramage
Bill and Chloe Shorten. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

 

Scott and Jenny Morrison. Picture: AAP /Mick Tsikas
Scott and Jenny Morrison. Picture: AAP /Mick Tsikas

It is understood the Liberal Party has sourced polling and focus group input on the Coalition's Budget and Mr Shorten's reply, and that could determine when the Prime Minister calls the election.

It is expected that Mr Morrison will on Monday travel to Queensland, where he needs to shore up nine Liberal-held marginal seats - Capricornia, Forde. Flynn, Dickson, Petrie, Dawson, Bonner, Leichhardt and Brisbane.

The Morrison Government also believes it has a chance of picking up the Labor-held seat of Herbert, based at Townsville in north Queensland.

Addressing the party faithful, which included former prime minister John Howard and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Mr Morrison yesterday poured scorn on Labor's record.

"Labor does not have the plan, have not learned anything from the time in Opposition or their time from when they were last in government," Mr Morrison said.

Sharpening attack lines, Mr Morrison told the audience: "You will be sent the bill for all Bill's spending".

"Let me remind you, that $200 billion before he even got to his reply, $200 billion of higher taxes on the Australian economy," he said.

"He made much the other night of how we are facing these headwinds, and he is right. He is absolutely right - we are.

"If someone said to me that you would go a lot quicker if you put a weight belt on, I would not believe them - and I would be right. But that is what Bill Shorten 's plan for the economy is.

"The harder you work, the better you do, good for you. I do not understand what the point would be of working hard under a Labor government.

"I really do not know. Why would you bother? Because the better you do, the harder you work, the more you put in, the more Bill Shorten puts his hand in your pocket."

 

On Friday, Mr Shorten said Labor could make significant investments in health because of its economic reforms.

"We can make this vision for helping people with their out-of-pocket costs in the fight of their lives because we've decided as a country, I want a better deal for cancer patients and not so much tax loopholes for the top end of town. It's all about priorities,'' Mr Shorten said.

"People will be sitting at home saying we've got the election coming up and what's the difference. Well, we are saying there is a difference - it's the difference in terms of priorities.

"You can vote for the existing government and they will keep the tax laws, in terms of negative gearing, favouring property investors over first home buyers - that's what they say they want to do.

"I have a different view. I want first home buyers to have a level playing field. And I want to free up some of the taxpayer subsidy which is inefficiently flowing to property investors in the future and instead, I want us to have a proper big picture."


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