Media


Bringing the high flyers down to earth - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

BRINGING THE HIGH FLYERS DOWN TO EARTH

The Canberra Time, 23 February 2019

When Clive Palmer was recently revealed to have registered his Cessna Citation X in the Cayman Islands, sources close to the billionaire said that it was for three reasons: ‘for tax benefits and cheaper operational and maintenance costs’.

The idea that Palmer can save money by getting his jet serviced in a small island 15,000 kilometres away is, frankly, ludicrous. Indeed, his $4 million plane may never even have touched down there. But the Caymans charges no taxes, and is notoriously uncooperative with other governments - which is helpful when your creditors are chasing you for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Those who choose to use tax havens are mixing it with a group of characters that make the bar-room scene in Star Wars look like a church picnic. As recent leaks have revealed, tax havens are used by drug dealers and extortionists, kidnappers and kleptocrats. Many have just a virtual presence - one building in the Caymans is home to 18,000 companies. Others visit occasionally, just to ensure that the lawyers are keeping their affairs secret and untaxed.  According to one estimate, four out of every five dollars in tax havens are there in breach of other countries’ tax laws.

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A win for small business after Liberal backflip - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

ANDREW LEIGH
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR BRAND

A WIN FOR SMALL BUSINESS AFTER LIBERAL BACK FLIP

After three years of fighting against it, the Liberals have finally backed in Labor’s Small Business Access to Justice policy, which helps small business to bring cases of anti-competitive behaviour to court.

Scott Morrison was forced into a humiliating back down on the issue today, less than a week after Mathias Cormann conceded that the Government didn’t have the numbers to block the amendment in the Senate.

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Morrison just can't get the big economic calls right - Transcript, ABC News Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

ABC NEWS BREAKFAST

MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Medivac bill; IPSOS poll; Labor’s plans to help small business.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: To talk about this and other issues, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh joins us now from Canberra. Good morning to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Michael.

ROWLAND: Looking at this IPSOS poll first, has the Labor Party pulled the wrong reign here on asylum seekers?

LEIGH: Michael, I haven't commented on opinion polls in my nearly nine years in politics. And in my six years as an academic before that I wrote papers arguing that polls get too much attention. I’d be the last person to think that that ought to be our guiding star. Labor is focused on the big issues, on the stagnant wages, stagnant living standards and the fact that debt is going up while we're seeing living standards flatlining. They are the big issues for us.

ROWLAND: So the narrowest gap in six months, a four point drop in the Labor Party's primary vote does not concern you at all

LEIGH: We'd like to see the issues that matters to the Australian people implemented. Australians want the findings of the Hayne Royal Commission put into legislation. We would like to see parliament sit, not 10 days over 8 months, but sitting as the time that it takes in order to get the Hayne recommendations done. As you mentioned before, we will be grilling the government on this $500 million given to a company with headquarters in a shack on Kangaroo Island. It certainly smells a bit fishy to me.

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Labor will continue to fight for small business - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to help small business, upholding competition laws, petrol prices, Medivac bill.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Three years ago, Labor announced our Access to Justice for small business policy. It’s a policy that makes sure small business can take on the big end of town in competition litigation. Australia doesn't have enough private litigation upholding our competition laws. One of the reasons for that is that small business are scared about the prospect of being bankrupted by the other side’s legal costs. Labor's Access to Justice for small business policy has been welcomed by COSBOA, who say access to justice is a huge issue. It's been welcomed by the Small Business Ombudsman, herself a former Liberal chief minister, who has said that it's important to level the playing field between small business and big business. It’s also been welcomed by a range of Nationals - Barnaby Joyce, Keith Pitt, Andrew Broad and Llew O’Brien have said that they support Labor's access to justice for small business policy.

And yet Scott Morrison and the Liberals have been fighting against access to justice for small business for years now. They voted against it in the Senate as recently as Thursday night, they voted against our bill, when we brought it to the other place. And they have fought hard against small business, just as the Liberals fought hard against the banking royal commission. Let's not forget, Scott Morrison is the guy who voted against the Banking Royal Commission 26 times and only backed it after the big banks said they wanted a royal commission. Labor’s always been the party of small business. We've got a policy of data sharing for independent mechanics that ensures that they have the data they need to fix cars and stay in business. We've supported a mandatory code for auto dealers, levelling the imbalance that exists between the multinational manufacturers and the franchise operators that sell new cars. At the next election, small and big business will face the time same tax rates regardless of who wins. But under Labor, small business - and big business for that matter - will have access to the Australian Investment Guarantee, allowing more rapid depreciation of new purchases.

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Labor will fix fundraising for Australian not-for-profits - Media Release

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
MEMBER FOR FENNER
 
CATRYNA BILYK
CHAIR OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON CHARITY FUNDRAISING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
 
LABOR WILL FIX FUNDRAISING FOR AUSTRALIAN NOT FOR PROFITS

After six years of government hostility, Australian charities finally have something to look forward to.

The Senate Select Committee’s Report into Charitable Fundraising in the 21st Century, tabled yesterday, urges parliament to fix Australia’s fundraising laws within the next two years.

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Government must back Labor on small business after Senate humiliation - Media Release

GOVERNMENT MUST BACK LABOR ON SMALL BUSINESS AFTER SENATE HUMILIATION

The Coalition suffered a humiliating loss last night after being forced to admit it didn’t have the numbers to block Labor’s Small Business Access to Justice policy, which helps small business to bring cases of anti-competitive behaviour to court.

Scott Morrison must stop backing the big end of town and change his position on our Access to Justice policy, which passed the Senate last night without division after Mathias Cormann admitted:

“I actually believe that the Government doesn't have the numbers for this amendment, we accept that.”

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Economic Mismanagement - Matter of Public Importance, Speech

MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 13 FEBRUARY 2019

Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (15:44):  It's not often I pick up a copy of the Australian Spectator—hardly a bastion of sensible thought—but my eyes were drawn to an article on Monday by Victorian Liberal Party member Tom Waite. He wrote:

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Labor's reforms delivering for the budget ... again - Media Release

The Australian Tax Office has confirmed that $2.7 billion of revenue was protected from being lost to the Black Economy in the 2015-16 financial year as a result of the Taxable Payment Reporting System introduced by Labor in the 2011-12 Budget.
 
To put this beyond doubt before the Coalition tries to steal credit: yesterday’s result is solely due to Labor’s tax integrity measures in the building and construction industry.

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Only Labor will make sure we get tough on the banks - Doorstop, Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
PARLIAMENT HOUSE
WEDNESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission; Closing unsustainable tax loopholes; Tim Wilson, Stuart Robert and Ian Goodenough; Asylum seeker medical evacuation bill.
 
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. The Liberal Party of Australia has turned into a party of the banks, by the banks and for the banks. This is a Liberal Party who is operating in the traditions of Garfield Barwick and the bottom of the harbour schemes. It is the Liberal Party that fought against Labor's 2012 Future of Financial Advice reforms and then in 2014 tried to remove the duty of financial advisers to act in their best interests of the client, tried to restore conflicted remuneration, tried to remove the requirement for advisers to have people opt in at least every two years. The Liberal Party of Australia opposed the Royal Commission into the banks, voting against it 26 times. And now they have said that they won't implement the recommendations in full as the Labor Party will do. The Liberal Party of Australia isn't willing to schedule the extra sittings that we need right now in order to tackle the findings of the banking Royal Commission. 

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Coalition stalled on independent mechanics plan - Media Release

COALITION STALLED ON INDEPENDENT MECHANICS PLAN

A Shorten Labor Government has a plan to help independent mechanics – the Coalition plans to have a chat.

Stakeholders have been explicit about the Government’s approach, with the Australia Automotive Aftermarket Association stating today that “it is now time for the Government to build on the ACCC’s findings and recommendations and implement a Mandatory Code as a matter of urgency”.

Despite having almost nine months to match Labor’s detailed policy, the Coalition have merely committed to another inquiry via an insipid consultation paper document riddled with bad ideas.

  • While the Coalition document suggests restricting access to some information for independent mechanics, a Shorten Labor Government will adopt the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s starting position that all data is shared.
  • While the Coalition suggests having no consequences for not adhering to the mandatory code, a Shorten Labor Government will propose penalties for those who do not comply.
  • And while the Coalition suggests giving manufacturers the upper hand when it comes to recommending replacement parts, a Shorten Labor Government will ensure motorists get access to affordable Australian-made aftermarket parts.
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