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Lifeline Canberra urges Commonwealth to keep ACNC – WIN TV story – 16 April

International experts praise Australia’s charities commission – Thursday, 10 April 2014

This afternoon I issued a media release that further strengthens the case to keep the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission. Experts in Australia for the 6th International Charity Regulators Conference and Forum have praised the work of the new regulator and challenged claims that it is heavy handed and tying organisations in red-tape.






International praise for threatened national charities commission

International charity experts gathering in Melbourne and Sydney this week have praised Australia’s first but threatened national charity regulator for its strong and positive reputation in the sector and high compliance rates.

Experts visiting Australia for the 6th International Charity Regulators Forum have also challenged Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews’ view that the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) is heavy handed and tying organisations in red-tape.

Chief Legal Officer with the Charities Commission based in London, Kenneth Dibble, said the ACNC has had “extraordinary” success just 18 month since its inception:

“Introducing new regulations from scratch requires persuasion, good will and real interaction with charities and not for profits.  The ACNC has a mature relationship with the sector as a standalone regulator outside of the revenue office. It is flexible and sensitive to its constituency’s needs in a way that allows the sector to thrive. In such a short time the ACNC has commanded such respect from the sector. It’s very impressive.” – Kenneth Dibble, Chief Legal Officer, Charities Commission (for England and Wales)

Continue reading ‘International experts praise Australia’s charities commission – Thursday, 10 April 2014’ »

ABC NewsRadio – 21 March 2014

On ABC NewsRadio, I spoke about the impact of Coalition cuts on the Treasury, as highlighted by Martin Parkinson’s recent speech. Here’s a podcast.

Brendon Morrison

I spoke in parliament yesterday about Brendon Morrison, an ACT Labor stalwart who passed away recently.

Brendon Morrison, Members’ Statements, 24 February 2014

I rise to pay tribute to Brendon Morrison, a life member of the ACT Labor Party, who unexpectedly passed away last week. Brendon was a regular fixture at so many of our community events. He was an amputee and somebody whose presence was immediately apparent. I remember chatting away to Brendon with my son Sebastian there, and Brendon very happily talking with Sebastian about what it was like to be an amputee. I remember standing by the stone that sits out the front of the building commemorating the founding in 1913 of Canberra, and Brendon there talking about his long links to the region.

Continue reading ‘Brendon Morrison’ »


After running #AusPolValentines in 2012, and #ElectionValentines in 2013, I think this must be the year for #EconValentines (I have a pop economics book coming out in August).

Tweet your favourites, and here’s a few to get you going.

  • Are my expectations rational? #econvalentines
  • You’re the solution to my optimal stopping problem #econvalentines
  • You’re the equitable and efficient solution to my problem #econvalentines
  • You’ve got a monopoly on my heart #econvalentines

Update, Thursday night:

  • Let’s hold invisible hands together. #econvalentines
  • You complete me like the perfectly structured pigouvian tax. #econvalentines
  • @Elias_Hallaj When you are near me I devalue all my other investments #econvalentines
  • @Gary_Rake After more than 20yrs of marriage, still no sign of diminishing returns… #econvalentines
  • @AlysJ: you might be low in supply, but you’re high in the demand of my heart. #econvalentines
  • @rgmerk: “when it comes to love, I want to be your monopsonist.” #econvalentines
  • @TimHarcourt: with you I am forever in equilibrium #econvalentines
  • @julesmoxon: Our relationship is pareto optimal. #econvalentines
  • @John_Hanna: I’ve held nothing in Reserve. #econvalentines
  • @OBenPotter: shall I compare thee to a control group? #econvalentines
  • @MarciaKKeegan: when you walk into a crowded room, the Gini coefficient of beauty approaches 1 #econvalentines
  • @sarahinthesen8: Lets get fiscal. Fiscal. I wanna get fiscal. Let me hear your budget talk… #econvalentines
  • @HelenRazer Roses are Red / Violets are Blue / I think I’m a Keynesian statist but never get past the first 3 pages of the General Theory #econvalentines
  • @MattCowgill “There are no Harberger triangles in my heawhen you’re around” #econvalentines
  • @llewstevens You make my homo-economicus behave irrationally. #econvalentines
  • @laurie_msYou maximise my heart’s efficiency #econvalentines
  • Are my expectations rational? #econvalentines

Update, after Valentine’s Day:

  • @philippascott It’s so easy to love you, I always have the comparative advantage. #econvalentines
  • @MichaelAngwin Let our animal spirits run free #econvalentines
  • @asingh_au Let’s promise to forever maintain our information asymmetry, for I will always be your adverse selection #econvalentines
  • Our love is subject to the Jevons effect #econvalentines
  • @TimWattsMP You’re worth the transaction costs #econvalentines
  • You’re the maximum likelihood estimator that best fits my function. #econvalentines
  • @StevenDooley In the long run, we’re all dead. Let’s do it. #econvalentines
  • @EconNotRocketSc My YOUtilty function is convex, baby #econvalentines
  • @hawthorne00 You and me contango #econvalentines
  • @troywheatley You’re my only Giffen good. #econvalentines
  • @ben_mcduff I’m a deadweight loss without you #econvalentines
  • @JohnParkerCook My heart is outside of everyone’s production possibilities frontier except for yours #econvalentines
  • @JohnParkerCook Sorry, Federal Reserve, these bonds are not for sale on the open market #econvalentines
  • @szarka The search for a mate Is rather taxing. Can we end it right here And say we’re done matching? #econvalentines
  • @AnimalSpiritEd Roses are red, violets are blue; when the dating market cleared, my equilibrium was you. #econvalentines
  • @ecoen2tardes Love starts with “Let’s go for a random walk” #econvalentines
  • @jaykody Your curves never make me feel indifferent #econvalentines
  • @jmackin2 I’m 95% confident I love you #econvalentines

Also, check out Elizabeth Fosslien’s 14 Valentine’s Day economic charts.

    Industry assistance and entitlement – ABC NewsRadio, 4 February 2014

    On ABC NewsRadio this morning I highlighted the Abbott Government’s inconsistent approach to propping up business. The transcript is below.



    SUBJECT/S: Industry assistance

    PRESENTER: The Opposition says the Federal Treasurer’s warning that the age of entitlement in Australia is over displays a double standard. The Shadow Assistant Treasurer says it seems that for Joe Hockey the age of entitlement is coming to an end for the disadvantaged but it’s just beginning for the affluent. Dr Andrew Leigh is speaking to Steve Chase.

    STEVE CHASE (REPORTER): Andrew Leigh, Joe Hockey’s right isn’t he, when he says ‘the age of entitlement’ is over?

    LEIGH: I’ve never been quite sure what Mr Hockey means when he refers to the age of entitlement being over, to be honest Steve. What it seems to mean is that you’re going to cut back on income support for some of the most disadvantaged Australians, get rid of the School Kids Bonus which targets assistance to low income families and middle income families on their first day of school; but then put in place unfair and expensive paid parental leave, that gives the most to those who earn the most and get rid of the mining tax which overwhelmingly benefits mining billionaires. Seems to be as if the age of entitlement coming to end for the most disadvantaged, but it’s only just beginning for the most affluent.

    CHASE: But surely he’s speaking in the context of industry assistance?

    LEIGH: Well even there, you’ve got to wonder what the difference is between Cadbury which received an assurance of industry assistance from the Abbott Government before the election and SPC which isn’t getting it. The only difference that I can see is that Cadbury is in a marginal electorate and SPC is in a safe Coalition electorate. That doesn’t seem to me to be a good basis for determining industry policy.

    Continue reading ‘Industry assistance and entitlement – ABC NewsRadio, 4 February 2014’ »

    Australia Post – 2CC interview, 7 January 2014

    This morning I spoke to 2CC Summer Breakfast host, Chris Mac, about the importance of the universal service provided by Australia Post. The sale of Commonwealth-owned assets is being publically canvassed with a national review of competition law now underway and the National Commission of Audit due to report at the end of January. The full transcript is below.





    SUBJECT/S: Australia Post, Medibank Private, Cory Bernardi and abortion, the regulation of Australian charities, Japanese whaling, asylum seekers and Abbott Government broken promises

    CHRIS MAC: The Member for Fraser is Andrew Leigh. Andrew, a very good morning. You’re talking to one of your constituents.

    ANDREW LEIGH: G’day Chris. Good to chat with you.

    MAC: Firstly, the ACCC, through Rod Sims, is apparently saying to the Government, if you want to make some money sell the remaining assets we have. We haven’t got much left in the can to sell have we?

    LEIGH: There’s only a certain number of things Chris. While I certainly think you have to have a sensible conversation about these issues, I do wonder about the wisdom of selling off Australia Post. I wonder that there’s not more National Party members, for example, in the bush, pointed out that their cost of getting letters around would be an awful lot higher if we let the free market rip for letter delivery.

    MAC: I suppose it isn’t exactly a GrainCorp issue but for the people who live in country towns it’s probably as important as what happened to GrainCorp.

    LEIGH: I would have thought so. I mean if you’re in a small Australian country town and the postal service is an important link to the rest of the world. Australians cross-subsidise letter delivery. It’s no secret that it is cheaper to deliver a letter in the centre of Sydney than it is in the back of Bourke. But we live in a country where we think it ought to cost the same amount of money to send a letter from one place to another and you shouldn’t be penalised for living in a regional or rural area.

    Continue reading ‘Australia Post – 2CC interview, 7 January 2014’ »

    Transcript: Coalition Cuts and the NDIS – ABC Radio National

    I spoke with Marius Benson on ABC NewsRadio about Joe Hockey’s MYEFO, government spending levels and threats to DisabilityCare.









    SUBJECT/S: MYEFO, Coalition spending decisions, Coalition spending cuts, National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    MARIUS BENSON: Andrew Leigh, good morning.

    ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Marius.

    BENSON: The MYEFO statement from Joe Hockey yesterday showed that Federal Government spending is running at 25.9 per cent of Australia’s GDP, that is just below the only 26 per cent that was achieved during the GFC when the Rudd Government then was flooding the economy with cash to keep the economy going at a time when the world was contracting. Was 25.9 per cent just too high? Are cuts needed?

    LEIGH: Well it depends on which particular programs you’re talking about Marius and politics is always –

    BENSON: But before you go to individual programs, is that overall grounds for cuts? Are cuts needed at that level?

    LEIGH: But my answer to your question Marius is that you need to think about how government spending is being done. Productive government spending, that’s on things like education, infrastructure like the National Broadband Network, that’s laying the foundations for future prosperity. Cutting that would be a bit like getting rid of your house because you’ve got a mortgage. But you want to think very carefully about items of spending, and one of the things we did in the last term was to achieve the first ever cut in nominal spending by an Australian government in Australian history. In other words, even after inflation, we were spending less in our last year in office than the year before that. That’s very difficult to do, you’ve got to go through the Budget line by line and look at your values and your priorities, and I think now, something like a paid parental leave, $75,000 for millionaires and billionaires to have children, is probably something that Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey ought to rethink. I think now is probably not the time to be going into a program which is going to have probably no impact on productivity or participation if you judge by, say, somebody like Saul Eslake. Continue reading ‘Transcript: Coalition Cuts and the NDIS – ABC Radio National’ »

    A win for Australian charities as they enter the modern age

    Yesterday I issued a media release celebrating the Coalition’s failure to abolish the new statutory definition for charities that will take effect on 1 January 2014.





    A win for Australian charities as they enter the modern age

    Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh, says the charitable sector can breathe a sigh of relief that a long-awaited reform will go ahead in the new year.

    “From January 2014 a new statutory definition of charities championed by Labor will apply – one that reduces costs, provides clarity for charities and protection for those doing advocacy.”

    Without consulting the not-for-profit sector Minister Kevin Andrews tried to scuttle the change with an amendment that would have forced charities to continue to rely on 400 years of common law.

    “Mr Andrews has failed. The new definition will apply from January and until such time as a repeal passes the Senate,” said Dr Leigh whose portfolio involves charities and tax.

    “The charitable sector overwhelmingly supports a statutory definition of charity. No one wants to wade through court cases to decide if they’re a charity.”

    This has been a long time coming. Back in 2000 former Prime Minister John Howard announced the establishment of the Charity Definition Inquiry saying:

    “We need to ensure that the legislative and administrative framework in which they operate is appropriate to the modern social and economic environment. Yet the common law definition of a charity, which is based on a legal concept dating back to 1601, has resulted in a number of legal definitions and often gives rise to legal disputes.” – John Howard

    “The sector, which employs up to a million Australians and fought hard for the Charities Bill 2013, has been alarmed that Minister Andrew sought to delay the new definition and keep charities stuck in the 17th century,” said Dr Leigh.

    During a committee hearing this week, World Vision Australia CEO and Community Council of Australia Chair, Reverend Tim Costello gave evidence supported by other sector representatives that the sector was very surprised by the Government’s attempt to take Australian charities back four centuries.

    “This new definition is extraordinarily important for all of us. With the consultations and over 200 submissions made, I have not heard of anyone in the sector who was troubled by this definition.”’ – Tim Costello

    “Advocacy is not a dirty word. It gives individuals and disadvantaged groups a voice. I’m delighted the new definition will apply from January – positively affecting many organisations working with vulnerable Australians this Christmas who seek to create lasting change,” added Dr Leigh.

    Continue reading ‘A win for Australian charities as they enter the modern age’ »

    Government Backs Down on Closing Tax Loopholes, Blows $3 Billion Hole in Budget – Media Release – Sunday 15 December 2013

    Yesterday I issued a media release highlighting Labor’s concern regarding the Coalition’s tax loopholes.





    Government Backs Down on Closing Tax Loopholes, Blows $3 Billion Hole in Budget

    The Coalition has increased the budget deficit by $3 billion as a result of abandoning savings measures, Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh said today.

    “Late on Saturday afternoon, the government announced that it would not proceed with 48 tax savings measures that had been announced but not yet enacted,” said Dr Leigh.

    “Combined with similar decisions made on 6 November, this will cost the budget $3 billion.”

    “In abandoning these savings measures and proceeding with a tax cut for mining billionaires, the government is showing that it has the wrong priorities.”

    “The Government of ‘no surprises and no excuses’ can’t persist in blaming Labor for its budget woes, when it won’t follow through with responsible savings measures.

    “No wonder the Government needed to strike a deal with the Greens for unlimited debt.”

    Continue reading ‘Government Backs Down on Closing Tax Loopholes, Blows $3 Billion Hole in Budget – Media Release – Sunday 15 December 2013’ »

    Classic comedy – ABC 666, Wednesday 11 December

    Stretching the brain in different directions, this morning I had a laugh with ABC 666′s Ross Solly and Jo Laverty about the classic Dead Parrot sketch by Monty Python. Here’s the chat and here’s the link to the skit.

    Abbott’s axe to hurt small business at the worst possible time – 1 December 2013






    Abbott’s axe to hurt small business at the worst possible time

    Business is unhappy with the Abbott Government’s plans to cut the loss carry-back scheme and the instant asset write-off.

    This week the Abbott Government will vote to axe tax breaks for Australian small businesses introduced by Labor.

    “Mr Abbott is taking an axe to a tax break for small business,” said Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh.

    “By reducing the thresholds available under the small business asset write-off regime from $6500 to $1000, Mr Abbott is adding complexity and compliance costs for small businesses.”

    Under Labor’s plan companies can carry a tax loss back and receive a refund by claiming a tax offset against the tax they had previously paid – known as a loss carry-back tax offset.

    “The Government needs to explain why it is increasing costs and red-tape for small business,” said Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Small Business, Bernie Ripoll.

    ”How can they promise to reduce $1billion of red tape, then makes cuts that increase red tape and compliance costs for small business?”

    “This is just another example of the Government’s rhetoric not matching up with its actions.”

    “Australians running small businesses are quickly learning that they did not get the government that they were promised.”

    The Australian Industry Group (AiGroup) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) told a Senate Inquiry that scrapping nearly $4 billion in tax concessions will increase compliance costs and reduce investment returns at a time when small business needs all the help it can get.

    “We do not support the repeal of the loss carry-back provisions and we do not support the proposal to reduce the small business asset write-off threshold.”

    “The proposal to remove the instant write-off facility for small business will have a material impact on them and will decrease investment at the time it is needed most.” – Dr Peter Burn, AiGroup

    And support retaining the Instant Asset Write-Off by saying:

    “It relieves business of all the paperwork, it reduces the costs they have to pay their accountants and gives them more time in their  businesses-less money to the accountants and more money for reinvestment” -  Dr Burn

    “We do support the retention of the instant asset write-off provisions and the provisions relating to carry-back of losses, which are measures that support small business.”  - Mr Peter Anderson, ACCI

    The Senate Economics Committee is due to release its report on the MRRT repeal bills on Monday.

    Sunday, 1 December 2013

    Media Release – Voluntary redundancies represent a broken promise – 6 November 2013


    Gai Brodtmann

    Andrew Leigh

    Kate Lundy

    6 November 2013


    Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and Senator for the ACT Kate Lundy have called on ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja to admit that he has broken his natural attrition promise.

    The three say that Senator Seselja’s pre-election promise that planned public service job cuts would be made through natural attrition alone is looking increasingly feeble, with the Canberra Times reporting this week that several departments have already offered post-election redundancies.

    Senator Zed Seselja repeated throughout the 2013 election campaign that the Coalition would only cut jobs from the public service through natural attrition, not through redundancies:

    Continue reading ‘Media Release – Voluntary redundancies represent a broken promise – 6 November 2013’ »

    Where to Next for Labor?

    My Chronicle column looks at the implications of the federal election result.

    Legislation Shows Labor Stamp on National Identity, The Chronicle, 1 October 2013

    In my lifetime, Federal Labor has only lost office on three occasions: 1975, 1996 and 2013. Unlike 1975 and 1996, the last election did not see Canberrans electing any Coalition members to the House of Representatives. So like Labor supporters across Australia, the typical Canberran is probably feeling a little bruised by the election result.

    So the question for the ALP and our supporters is: where do we go next?

    Continue reading ‘Where to Next for Labor?’ »

    Talking Politics – 25 September 2013

    On breakfast radio I spoke with Mark Parton about last night’s Labor leadership debate, the NBN and the folly of the Coalition’s ‘direct action’ plan to tackle climate change. Here’s the transcript:


    Mark Parton: Andrew Fraser is the Labor member, Andrew Fraser (chuckle), Andrew Leigh, is the Labor member, not the first time it’s been done everyone. He’s the Labor member for Fraser. We’ve got a lot that we wanted to catch up with Andrew about, he’s on the line. Morning Andrew.

    Andrew Leigh: Morning Mark. How are you?

    Mark Parton: Not too bad. A good little forum involving Albo and Bill last night.

    Leigh: Yes, I quite enjoyed it. To me it illustrated that whichever way we end up going on the leadership we can’t go wrong. We’ve got two strong Labor figures who are not walking away from what we did in government. The challenge I think when you lose  government is that you’ve got to recognise that you made mistakes, but you don’t’ want to take your entire six years and say, ‘well let’s throw all that out and start again from scratch’. If we did that we wouldn’t be the Labor Party.

    Parton: Now I’m trying to think, I’m trying to delve through my memories about comments that have been made regarding this contest I don’t recognise that you’ve indicated publicly which way you’re going have you?

    Leigh: I haven’t. And part of the reason, I mean I’ve been upfront with both candidates about who I’ll support, but part of the reason that I’m being a little coy publicly is just that my branch members get to have a vote, and I think it’s terrific that they can make a different decision from me.

    Continue reading ‘Talking Politics – 25 September 2013’ »

    Breaking Politics – 23 September 2013

    On Fairfax TV today I joined host Tim Lester to talk about some of the issues of the day – the future of the NBN, new secrecy surrounding asylum seeker arrivals, reports of the heavy hand of the Abbott Government against consumer boycotts and the Labor leadership contest. The video is here. Here’s the transcript:

    TIM LESTER: Fairfax Newspapers have reported that the whole board of the National Broadband Network has offered its resignation to new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. What does that mean for the future of NBN and other issues related to the broadband network? Our Monday regular is Andrew Leigh – he’s in the studio to discuss this and other stories that are around this morning. Andrew, thank you for your time.

    ANDREW LEIGH: Pleasure Tim.

    LESTER: How ominous is it that the board of the NBN would say en mass to a new minister; “we’ll fall on our swords”?

    LEIGH: Well it does speak to their confidence in the Coalition’s NBN policy, doesn’t it Tim? I mean the Coalition’s NBN policy is dramatically inferior to Labor’s NBN because it offers fibre to the cabinet down the street, rather than fibre to the home. That means you get about 25 megabits a second. Maybe a bit better than what some people have now, but certainly not the transformative technology you have when you get a hundred, a thousand megabits a second down the fibre cable to your home. That’s when a video conference starts to look like the high definition TV picture that we see in the evening. That, for example, would make a big difference to Breaking Politics, which would then begin to not worry about whether people were on-site or off-site. But as your viewers would well know, they can easily tell when someone’s using Skype on the current clunky connections, and it’s not going to be much better under Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN. Continue reading ‘Breaking Politics – 23 September 2013’ »

    A new playground for the National Arboretum

    Remarks at the opening of the National Arboretum playground

    22 June 2013

    Check Against Delivery

    [Acknowledgments omitted]

    I’m here today representing Federal Minister Catherine King, who I think perhaps has the best excuse in history for not being at an event: it is Catherine’s son’s 5th birthday today.

    So she is organising his 5th birthday and I think if ever there was a reason to miss a playground opening, then that’s a pretty darn good one.

    There are some events for a federal politician that aren’t so family friendly.

    Continue reading ‘A new playground for the National Arboretum’ »

    Sky AM Agenda Video and Transcript – 6th May 2013

    I chatted with Kieran Gilbert and Senator Mitch Fifield about the Coalition’s divided stance on Paid Parental Leave, and about my research on inequality in Australia.

    Continue reading ‘Sky AM Agenda Video and Transcript – 6th May 2013’ »

    Inaugural NATSEM Lecture at the University of Canberra

    On March 6 I visited the University of Canberra for the Inaugural NATSEM Lecture. I spoke on the topic of ‘Estimating Top Wealth Shares in Australia over the Past Century’.

    I’m Hiring

    Having recently been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, I’m looking to hire three staff members to work in my Parliament House office. I’m particularly looking for:

    • an understanding of government legislation processes (ideally gleaned through time working in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet); and/or
    • economic nous (experience working on a budget in the Commonwealth Treasury would be ideal)

    Dry wit, a modicum of wisdom, a yen for hard work, and and an ability to pen sparkling prose to a tight deadline are all desirable qualities.

    If you’re interested, please send a CV and covering email to asperand I’ll be moving fairly quickly – so the earlier, the better.

    Update: I’ve now concluded the selection process. Thanks to the more than 50 people who took the trouble to apply – I’m sorry there were only a limited number of opportunities.

    ABC RN Drive with Waleed Aly

    On ABC RN Drive yesterday, I spoke with Waleed Aly about the Labor leadership, and the importance of now focusing on Labor’s many reforms. Here’s a podcast.

    Welcoming the Babies Cancelled

    With rain forecast all morning, we’ve decided to cancel today’s Welcoming the Babies. Apologies for any inconvenience.


    With Valentine’s Day 2013 marking precisely seven months to the federal election, I thought it’d be fun to come up with a few #ElectionValentines (in the spirit of the #AuspolValentines tag that I ran on twitter last year).

    Just put your message on Twitter with #ElectionValentines, and I’ll post the best ones here. Or if you’re not on Twitter, put your Election Valentine in the comments below.

    And because Valentine’s Day is a time of love, no scratchy ones please.

    A couple to get you started:

    • You’ve got my first preference. #ElectionValentines
    • Roses are red, violets are blue. You’ll always do better than my number two. #ElectionValentines
    • At the end of the day, you’re the only soul that counts. #ElectionValentines

    Others have joined in:

    Talking Gun Control

    702 ABC Sydney with Richard Glover

    2CC Breakfast With Mark Parton – 14 January 2013

    I spoke with both Mark Parton and Richard Glover about Australia’s gun buy-back program. We chatted about Philip Alpers’ new paper for a Baltimore gun summit, and some of the issues it raised. Can population growth explain the increase in the number of guns in Australia? And has the number of households with a gun increased? Have a listen…

    Sky AM Agenda – 14 January 2013

    On the first AM Agenda for the year, I spoke with host David Lipson and Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield about how the declining tax/GDP share affects the government’s bottom line, why a profits-based mining tax beats royalties, and the complexities of providing arms to Syrian rebels.

    Abbott confirms plans to get rid of 20,000 jobs from the ACT

    More Canberra public service job cuts promised by Tony Abbott this week. Mr Abbott said in a speech yesterday “Do we really need 20,000 more public servants in Canberra today than we had at the end of the Howard era? We don’t…”.


    Andrew Leigh MP

    Member for Fraser

    Gai Brodtmann MP

    Member for Canberra

    23 November 2012

    Abbott confirms plans to get rid of 20,000 jobs from the ACT

    Tony Abbott has confirmed that a Federal Coalition government will get rid of 20,000 jobs in the ACT – potentially throwing our economy back into the same type of downturn we suffered when John Howard slashed the public sector in 1996. Continue reading ‘Abbott confirms plans to get rid of 20,000 jobs from the ACT’ »

    Sky AM Agenda 22 November

    Today on AM Agenda, Keiran Gilbert spoke with Kelly O’Dwyer and me about the complexities of asylum seeker policy

    Child Care Survey – Results

    I recently surveyed the Fraser electorate on their experiences with local child care.

    The headline results? Most people are happy with their child’s care, many still collect the Child Care Rebate either quarterly or annually despite fortnightly now being an option and it’s about a 50/50 split as to whether parents are prepared to pay higher fees for reduced staff turnover and higher salaries.

    Continue reading ‘Child Care Survey – Results’ »

    A Life in Public Service

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave a wonderful speech last night to the Community and Public Sector Union National Leaders’ Conference. I thought it was a lovely statement of the important role of unions and also the work done by public servants to assist the Australian community. As an Australian Labor Party politician from the ACT, these are two areas that are important to me and I thought I’d share the Prime Minister’s words here.

    28 AUGUST 2011

    Yours is the model of a modern labour union.

    Committed to the oldest union principles.

    Sharing, sticking together, the strong in the workplace protecting the weak.
    Continue reading ‘A Life in Public Service’ »

    Labor Futures

    A couple of interesting pieces in the press recently on Labor futures: