'Cancer of complacency' grips government

Finbar O'Mallon
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers blames a "cancer of complacency" for the state of Australia's economy

The Morrison government is gripped by a "cancer of complacency" when it comes to Australia's economy, the shadow treasurer believes.

Jim Chalmers will use a speech on Monday night to start mapping out Labor's economic agenda after its shock federal election loss.

An autopsy released last week was highly critical of Labor's muddied economic messaging, leaving it open to coalition attacks.

"Put bluntly, the Australian economy is running on fumes. Growth is too weak, too uncertain, and too narrow," Dr Chalmers will say.

He says the Morrison government is frozen in the headlights.

"The greatest threat to Australia's future growth is a cancer of complacency which cripples this Morrison government."

He points to declining demand, labour productivity and falling living standards, as well as interest rates below Global Financial Crisis-levels.

But Dr Chalmers says business groups are not comparing it to the GFC and calling for "kitchen sinks to be thrown at the problem".

"The Australian economy needs responsible, proportionate and measured stimulus to get it going again."

He will put forward Labor's alternative growth strategy.

It includes government incentives to boost business investment, overhauling the tertiary education sector to boost skills, as well as a focus on new, disruptive trends in the economy.

Dr Chalmers also says Labor would provide business certainty around renewable energy by better dealing with climate change.

"This moment of urgency is no time to succumb to the cancer of complacency."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has yet to rule out the party's controversial franking credits policy, with the tax refunds costing the government billions of dollars each year.

Mr Albanese says Labor will overhaul the "substance" of its policies to win back voter's trust.