Analysis by Isentia has revealed the most popular language from last night’s Federal Budget.
Isentia has examined the word usage in budget speeches for the past decade to see how governments have used words and language over time. This messaging analysis, the firm argues, helps us understand how politicians are framing their budgets beyond the major spending announcements.
But instead of talking about major spends the government focused on talking about jobs, and while they did not break the record for mentions of the word jobs, as expected they still mentioned the word an inordinate number of times, Isentia found.
Andrew Ledovskikh, insights specialist for ANZ at Isentia, commented: “Faced with a massive budget deficit and economy recovering from a global economic shock, the Morrison government has announced a raft of spending measures and pivoted away from talk of balancing budgets.”
“The Coalition generally does not like to talk about budgets and surpluses as much as Labor did and particularly avoids the topic when there is not good news,” he said.
“This budget speech avoided a discussion of deficits, surpluses and balance that have often been a focus in budget nights over the past decade.”
While Coalition governments tend to talk less about their “investments” and “spending”, they do regularly like to point out their “record investments” in specific areas.
The Morrison government has also made a point of highlighting policies that are aimed at women, using the word more often than any government in the past decade.
The government has also surprisingly been one of the only governments in the past decade to use the phrase “climate change” in the budget speech.
It was only mentioned once last night, but that’s still more than most other budgets, which have avoided directly using the phrase.
The safety of Australians from external and internal threats (not including road safety) has been a theme mentioned in most Coalition budgets over the past decade.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg mentioned it nine times in the 2021 budget speech, more than the Turnbull government mentioned it in three years and Abbott in two.
The armed forces got a mention and there was increased spending announced in light of rising tensions with China. The Gillard government never mentioned safety in a budget speech.
While “spending” continued to be a dirty word for Morrison, with only one direct mention, the Morrison government continued talking about their “investments” at record rates for a Coalition government.
More than any other government in the past decade the Morrison government has tried to highlight their and the Australian people’s values on budget night, and link the budget to those values, Isentia said.
Last night was no exception with Frydenberg again recounting the values of the Coalition government that underpinned the budget, although only once this year.
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