Have you heard of “big-ticket” items?
They’re expensive goods, like a house or a car.
“Small-ticket” items are the opposite. They’re inexpensive.
Well, if you’re a company, it can make sense to sell both types of goods.
You use cheap items to attract a customer, and once you’ve made a sale and established a relationship, you try to sell them your expensive goods, which are more profitable for you.
Is there an equivalent in politics?
Turns out there is, if you think about it.
Federal budgets are like marketing campaigns
When reading through federal budgets, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of policies in them.
They contain so many spending proposals.
Big plans. Small plans. Projects that need a few years’ funding. Some demanding decades of funding.
And there are lots of policies that are heavily promoted, even though they’re unlikely to cost or achieve much.
In extreme cases, Treasury officials put a dash (–) next to them in the budget papers to note that the cost of the policy is so miniscule there’s no point worrying about it, from a fiscal perspective.
Were there any policies like that in last week’s budget?
One example was the Morrison government’s changes to the “downsizer scheme”.
The original downsizer scheme was introduced in the 2017-18 budget to address problems with housing affordability.
Under the scheme, anyone aged 65 or older could boost their superannuation savings with a one-off contribution worth up to…