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:Read more
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.
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.
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.
MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Kerryn Phelps’ amendments; Banking Royal Commission; Closing unsustainable tax loopholes; Tim Wilson’s and Ian Goodenough’s abuse of parliament.
KIERAN GILBERT: With us now in the Canberra studio is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. With so much at stake and you're just three months out from the election, Labor can't afford to be giving the Government mileage on this issue can it in terms of border protection generally?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran this isn't about the politics, it's about the policy. We need to make sure that people who are sick on Manus and Nauru get the medical attention they need. And of course we have to make sure that the people smuggler trade doesn't resume. Labor put a stop to it with the refugee resettlement agreement in 2013 and I'm shocked that the Government is now encouraging people smugglers back into business as part of their political strategy.
ABC NEWS WEEKEND BREAKFAST
SATURDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission, closing unsustainable tax loopholes, Tim Wilson’s abuse of parliament, Kerryn Phelps’ amendments.
JOHANNA NICHOLSON: To discuss this and more we're joined now by Andrew Leigh, who's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and federal Member for Fenner. Thanks so much for your time this morning. Let's start with the banking royal commission. Labor has indicated that it will accept all of the recommendations at least in principle and look at implementing those recommendations from the Royal Commission. If Labor goes ahead and bans bank payments to brokers, won't that save the banks a lot of money? And are you concerned about that?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Johanna, this is an important report. It was hard hitting, but not as hard hitting as some had anticipated - after all, bank shares rose on the announcement of the Hayne Royal Commission report. So Labor believes it’s appropriate to implement it in full, including the recommendations around mortgage brokers. They can play an important role in the industry, but they need to be acting for the customer and the point that a royal commissioner made was that too often they seem to be acting for the lender rather than for the borrower. But it's so true to form that the Coalition, even with this royal commission report, is unable to say that they'll go ahead and implement it. Already they're looking at how they can back in the special interests rather than the interest of all Australians.Read more
ABC CANBERRA MORNINGS
THURSDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Closing unsustainable tax loopholes, Tim Wilson’s conflicts of interest.
ADAM SHIRLEY: Andrew Leigh is the Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He's with us on Mornings. Dr Leigh, really appreciate your time. Many people, especially self-funded retirees, have planned to support themselves in part with franking credits. Is it unfair that Labor removes future funds that these people have budgeted for?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you and your listeners. I think it's unfair that the Tax Office is currently writing checks to a group of people who are overwhelmingly in the top part of the wealth distribution. Most Australians think of the Tax Office as someone you pay - you make a contribution to the Tax Office so government can deliver public services. But for a small group of Australians - 8 per cent of Australians - the Tax Office is an organisation that sends you cheques. Refundable dividend imputation is not something any other country in the world does. It's not something we do with any other tax concession. Half of the benefits are going to people with more than two and a half million dollars superannuation accounts. And if we don't close this loophole, we won't be able to extend early childhood to 3 year olds, we won’t be able to give $14 billion more to public schools, we won’t be able to reduce those emergency and elective surgery waiting lists.Read more
MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR BRAND
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
NEW SUPERCOMPLAINTS POLICY: THIRD PARTY SUPPORT
‘We need quick action from our regulators when consumer issues arise. A new Super Complaints system will help get fast and transparent action from the consumer watchdog to prevent issues from taking root and affecting more people… People deserve to know that their complaints are being taken seriously and that having the courage to speak up will help make sure others don’t suffer a similar fate. All political parties should adopt this policy which will ensure a fairer marketplace for Australians.’
- Gerard Brody, Consumer Action Law Centre chief executive.Read more
ABC CANBERRA DRIVE
TUESDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: The Banking Royal Commission.
ANNA VIDOT: On the line now, Labor's Andrew Leigh - Of course, Dr Andrew Leigh, MP here in the ACT - for the other side of things and also an economist. So with that hat on as well. Dr Andrew Leigh, welcome to ABC Radio Canberra.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Anna. Great to be with you too.
VIDOT: You too. What does parliament need to do most urgently to try to bring the recommendations of the Royal Commission to life and start this, this process towards rebuilding trust in Australia's financial institutions?
LEIGH: I think the first thing would be to sit for as many days as necessary to deal with the Royal Commission's recommendations. What's extraordinary is the government has the Parliament sitting for only 10 days the first half of this year. And given the seismic nature of this royal commission's findings, I think it's absolutely incumbent upon the government to ensure that Parliament sits for as long as it needs to to implement the recommendations.Read more
THURSDAY, 31 JANUARY 2019
SUBJECT: Labor's plans to empower consumer and small business advocacy groups.
LEON BYNER: It just so happens that the Federal Opposition - who according to the polls are going to win government, you can never be sure, but that's what the polls say – have said that when we get into office, we’re going to make these laws much tougher. And so much so that what they are saying is that if a business is dealing with - a big business caught putting unfair terms into contracts with suppliers, they could face fines of up to $10 million. And this plan, Labor says, will help smaller businesses break into concentrated markets. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Andrew, is this going to be properly enforced? Because so often we have laws which are there but we don’t use them.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Absolutely, Leon. We’ve said that we’ll increase the budget of the litigation department of the competition watchdog, so it’s able to go after more anti-competitive and anti-consumer conduct. Competition is terrific for consumers, but it’s got to work well and as you said, there have been too many instances recently where that hasn’t happened. We’ve had Nurofen selling different kinds of pain medications which only differ in the colour of the box. We had Dulux sell us cooling paint that doesn’t cool, Uncle Toby’s sold us protein oats that didn’t have any protein in them. The list of companies which have been reprimanded by the ACCC for anti-consumer conduct reads like a who’s who of the top end of town. So we need to get that balance right. That’s why we’re saying a Shorten Labor Government would ban unfair contract terms. We’d also create a supercomplaints power, so that consumer organisations and bodies like CHOICE could bring forward systematically concerns over consumers being ripped off.Read more