I've never understood why the Opposition Leader delivers the Budget Reply instead of the Shadow Treasurer. I also don't understand why the Government has been using such nonsensical arguments in their attacks on Bill Shorten even before he's delivered the speech. The guy is an awful orator; he may well do the job for you!
The main thing that has left me confused is The Prime Minister and the Government's refusal to answer questions on the cost of their business tax cuts over 10 years; they say that Treasury have done the modelling, but won't release it and won't say why.
To my mind, there are three options; they don't really know - this seems unlikely. The cost is huge and will cause them political pain - much more likely. Or they're doing exactly what their recent predecessors have done and are failing to educate the public about their economic rationale.
It seems - from the little Turnbull did say to David Speers - they expect the flow on effects of those business tax cuts to induce spending in other small businesses and hiring more staff who then pay income tax, thus raising government revenue overall.
Personally, I'm sceptical. Whilst it's plausible, I haven't found anyone who can point to modelling that shows tax cuts do actually equal GDP growth. But if that is their thinking, why not tell us!?
The Opposition Leader's Budget Reply Speech is always politics-heavy and policy-light, Shorten kept to this tradition, but rather than attacking the government for 30 minutes straight he used it as a launch pad for his election campaign. There will be plenty of details that he'll need to outline in the coming weeks, but he gave a surprisingly coherent pitch.
It seems we'll have a Coalition focussed on economic growth and a Labor Party focussed on social justice. Like me, I think most people want a balance between the two - that's why I'm standing as an Independent.