Labor leader Kevin Rudd has pounced upon comments by Coalition Minister for Finance Nick Minchin stating that Australia does not have a skills shortage. Rudd announced that the Coalition cannot manage inflation because of internal disagreement as to its cause.
"We have Senator Minchin saying there is no skills shortage – one week ago we had Mr Howard saying there is a skills crisis," reported Rudd. “If the Howard government can't agree on the causes of inflation, how can we trust the Howard government in the future to come up with the solutions in dealing with inflation long term?"
Despite the gaffe, the Coalition still leads the Labor party in the polls as the preferred economic manager of the country. Because of the focus on interest rates, the economy remains the main issue over which the two parties will fight. In the wake of last week’s interest rate rise, John Howard has said that despite his former promise to keep rates low, the Coalition is still the party most likely to manage the economy well.
The Labor Party remain overall leaders in the polls and lead in issues such as the environment, health and education.