The Budget was never passed. Australia has no budget, but it has an election. And the money allocated last year starts to run out on July 1. It is the current Senate, not the new one, whatever that is, which needs to sit to fix this, fill this void if you like, regardless of the election result.

There is no choice but to keep the country running; the pensions, the public service, the army, keep them all paid. There are 38 senators retiring or seeking re-election; their last day is is June 30, 2019. This means there is one more publicly funded return business class fare, Darwin to Canberra, for Senator Nigel Scullion.

If Senator Scullion has a fishing trip planned for his senatorial retirement, he might want to check his dates. (There are many retiring, NSW senator Senator Doug Cameron would be in the same boat.)

We don’t know who will win the election. Let’s say it is Labor and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen. Will the new senate enact his franking credits policy? That will depend on the make up of the new senate.

The Facts of Life: Qantas, the CBA and the Franking Credits Factory

All at sea

Politics and the economy may well look and feel quite different six months from now. Here’s our table of 30 numbers which we offer as a guide. It’s “the N30”. Some numbers will change, others won’t. Our list captures a moment – as at March 15, 2019. Some look back to December 15, 2018. And we expect to update the list, after the election, as at 15 June 2019.

Some of our numbers will change if the election victor can enact its promises. Other numbers will move if the balance of power shifts in Parliament. The Reserve Bank will be watching bond yields. And the value of franking credits will shift as ASX quoted share-prices fluctuate.

We thought it might be interesting to count the number of women in cabinet and on ASX top 20 boards. And we introduce the idea of the “dole unit” to keep track of the relative value of low to middle incomes. The minimum wage is 2.6 times Newstart – so it’s 2.6 dole units.

We think we have enough in our 30 numbers to track the this year’s political and economic moods.

  December 15,
March 15,
Dole units or
% change
Dole $14,305
Tax-Free Threshold $21,595 1.5
Single Pension $23,457 1.6
AFSA Single Modest Income $27,648 1.9
ASX20 Franking Credit Pension $28,610 2.0
Minimum Wage $37,501 2.6
AFSA Single Comfortable Income $43,317 3
Bank Franking Credit Pension $45,366 3.2
Small Business All-Offsets
$66,125 4.6
Median Full-Time Earnings $68,640 4.8
Females on ASX 20 Boards 33.90%
Females in Federal Cabinet 30.40%
Average age of
Federal Cabinet Members
Average years
Cabinet Members in Parliament
Days Prime Minister
has held office
ASX 20 Dividend Yield 5.33% 4.91%
ASX 20 Franking Credit Yield 1.89% 1.79%
ASX 20 3159 3436 8.78%
4 Banks Dividend Yield 7.03% 6.68%
4 Banks Franking Credit Yield 3.01% 2.86%
4 Bank Index 4104 4231 3.09%
2 Year Government Bond Yield 1.98% 1.59%
10 Year Government Bond Yield 2.45% 1.98%
Occasional Numbers
Qantas Business Class
Perth London
Year 12 school fees
Government Members HofR 49.30%
Opposition Members HofR 46.00%
Minor Party Members HofR 4.70%
Government Senators 41.30%
Opposition Senators 33.30%
Minor Party Senators 25.40%

All numbers as at March 15, 2019.


ASX website. Bloomberg LP website. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. Parliament of Australia website. Australian Taxation Office website. Bureau of Statistics website. Fairwork website. Department of Human Services website. Qantas website. Four Sydney and Melbourne boys and girls school websites. Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia website.


Tax-free threshold is calculated after the effects of LITO and LAMITO.

Small business all-offsets sweet spot is the maximum LITO, LAMITO and SBITO offsets, assuming the small business owner  carries on no other activities.

Share prices and bond yields are three-day averages around the date.

4BankIndex: derived from capitalisation of four major banks.

A franking credit pension: ASX20 – franking credits derived from last two dividends, percentage franked and share price; average of equally weighted and index weighted notional portfolios. Four banks – derived from average of two notional portfolios. Each portfolio holds $1.6 million (the pension-phase cap).

Females on ASX boards: reported board membership supplemented by reported senior non-board positions.

School fees: average of four prominent Sydney and Melbourne non-government schools

The Qantas fare is the fare quoted on March 15 to fly on June 15, 2019.

Shorten to Frydenberg: I’ll see you, raise you and raise the tax-free threshold

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