REPORT ON INVESTIGATION INTO THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE
Over a month ago, Labor leader Bill Shorten called for an investigation into the Australian Tax Office after troubling allegations were raised by a joint Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation.
The Turnbull Government heeded our call, announcing an urgent investigation.
Labor calls on the Government to provide an update on that investigation, including the release of the report conducted by Treasury.Read more
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, MR MORRISON
Scott Morrison is again refusing to stand by his own Budget figures, this time hiding behind the Treasury as he dodges calls to release year-by-year costings of his income tax measures beyond the forward estimates.
Scott Morrison told ABC’s Insiders yesterday that:
Barrie Cassidy: So you are saying to the Parliament that it’s unreasonable to ask for year-on-year costings?
Scott Morrison: No, the Treasury in fact say that the within year estimates beyond the Forward Estimates are not reliable.
But if the figures are unreliable, why is the Budget website spruiking a tax relief calculator providing estimates to people beyond that four year period?
The website says someone earning $1 million a year will get an ongoing benefit of $7225 a year from 2024-25. Why don’t we get to know how much it will cost the budget per year?Read more
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER & SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SUNDAY, 13 MAY 2018
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan for a fairer car mechanics industry; Jane Prentice and the lack of women in the Coalition; Turnbull’s unfair Budget for the big end of town.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well thanks everyone for coming along to JAX Tyres today. Can I thank Angelo for hosting us here, acknowledge Stuart and Lesley from the AAAA, and wish a happy birthday for yesterday to Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten.
Conventional wisdom in Australian politics is that the Prime Minister is in the driver's seat and the Opposition are the backseat drivers but under Labor, in recent years we've seen that position reverse. From the Royal Commission to tax reform, it has been Labor that has been taking the wheel. And with today's announcement, Labor again takes the wheel on a critical issue for small business and Australian consumers.Read more
BILL SHORTEN, OPPOSITION LEADER
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
LABOR TAKES THE WHEEL FOR AUSSIE CAR OWNERS AND MECHANICS
Labor is driving a better deal to put more money back into the pockets of car owners and give 23,000 independent repairers a boost – with a plan to make car manufacturers share their technical information so that vehicles can be serviced by any mechanic.
New cars are computers on wheels. Real-time access to digital files and codes, which vary from car to car, is needed to complete many aspects of a repair or service. Car manufacturers generally own and control this technical information and in many cases are the only sources.Read more
FRIDAY, 11 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Labor’s Budget Reply.
SABRA LANE: We’re joined by the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh in our Canberra studio. Good morning and welcome.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning Sabra.
LANE: Labor is promising to double the cash hand out to middle and low income families, but not higher income families. Does Labor loathe aspirational working Australians?
LEIGH: Not in the least, Sabra. We’re just prioritising middle Australia, people who have seen sluggish wages growth over the course of the last decade. We’ve seen wages rising much more rapidly at the top than at the bottom and we’ve got a time now when inequality in Australia is at 75 year high. The fair go is under threat and Labor is prioritising looking after middle Australia with a tax cut that as you say is better, bigger and fairer.
LANE: But there’s nothing for those on $120,000, earning that kind of money a year. Why are they missing out?
LEIGH: There are more opportunities for their kids to go to university. There are more opportunities for them to get lifesaving MRI scans. Under Labor, we’ll invest in the roads that they use and ensure they’ve got a high quality national broadband network. Australia will be a fairer country under Labor, but we’ll also be a more productive nation. I know as somebody’s who is in the top couple of per cent of the income distribution, the benefits for all Australians flow right through. I’m very fortunate where I am in the Australian population. I believe I can afford to pay a little more tax in order to get those services we need, in order to make sure we get great teachers in every school.Read more
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 11 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Labor’s Budget Reply
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He joins us now from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, Good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Michael.
ROWLAND: We heard the challenge to the Government’s challenge there to submit the costings for those big tax cuts. Will the Opposition do that?
LEIGH: Michael. We’ve done exactly as the Treasurer did on Budget Night. The normal procedure on both sides is to release those headline costings but not the underlying documentation. You didn't see it in the Treasurer's budget on Tuesday.
ROWLAND; How can the Opposition afford to almost double that short-term tax handout to low to middle-income earners?
LEIGH: It's a great question with a simple answer. We don't give $80 billion to big companies to send off to their overseas shareholders. $17 billion of that company tax cut goes to the big banks. Bill Shorten isn't prioritising the offshore shareholders of the big banks, he's prioritizing their customers. That's why 10 million Australians will benefit from Labor's bigger, better and fairer tax cut.
ROWLAND: So, that $80 billion, that's a cost saving. You're counting that as a cost saving because you're not handing out those company tax cuts?
LEIGH: We're not and we don't believe it's appropriate to be putting in place a tax cut which, on the Government's own figures, adds 0. 1 per cent to household income in the 2030s.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECTS: Budget 2018-19; Section 44.
JO LAVERTY: The man who is across all the issues is Andrew Leigh, he's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. Hello, Andrew and thank you for joining us this afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G'day Jo, great to be with you.
LAVERTY: Nice to have you along. Let's start with the budget. We all acknowledge that the cost of living pressure is crippling a lot of Australians, so the idea that those in the middle to low income are going to get a tax break, that's a good thing, right?
LEIGH: Absolutely and we'll support it. What we are concerned about though, Jo, is that the cost of this income tax cut is dwarfed by the $80 billion that the Government would give to multinational corporations. So they're looking to take $17 billion out of our schools and give $17 billion to the big banks. Most of that money is going to flow into the pockets of shareholders rather than the pockets of workers. So, that'll be one of the key battlegrounds in the coming election. Of course we'll support those low and middle income earner tax cuts.
LAVERTY: So that is going to be supported, we've been hearing in the news today that you're going to have a good hard think about it before you offer your support to those tax cuts?
LEIGH: There's a second tranche which is contingent on Malcolm Turnbull being re-elected twice and those tax cuts we don't even know the cost of yet, so it would be irresponsible to make a clear decision on those. The ones that are meant to take effect on the 1st of July this year which are targeted at middle income Australians who have seen wages stagnate over recent years. They're tax cuts I'm sure people will welcome. They won't make up for stagnant wages. Wage growth is well down on what will be compensated for by this, particularly if you were on penalty rates.Read more
TICKY, SKY BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.
TICKY FULLERTON, HOST: Let’s get some reaction to the Budget from the other side of politics now. Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, good to see you there.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Likewise, Ticky.
FULLERTON: Now, we’ve got these by-elections happening. Bill Shorten says he’s looking forward to the opportunity for labour to make its case, but what the government did last night in a political budget was bring it right back to these income tax breaks.
LEIGH: Ticky, there’s two parts to the income tax changes. One is a set of tax changes to apply from the first of July this year that targets low and middle income earners, maxing out at $530 a year. Labor has said we’ll support that tranche of income tax changes. And then there’s another tranche which don’t apply until you’ve re-elected Malcolm Turnbull for two terms apparently, which we don’t even know the full cost of.
FULLERTON: No, exactly, But you’re banking on the government chopping these two policies in half, are you?
LEIGH: Well, it’s the only sensible thing to do. One set of them has bipartisan support. The other the government is yet to put figures on and don’t apply for two more elections. So let’s get the bit done that we all agree on and then let’s have a discussion about the other section.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.
ROSS GREENWOOD, HOST: To give you his reaction, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh is always great with his time here on Money News and we appreciate it this evening Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G'day Ross, great to be with you.
GREENWOOD: I know it's busy for you between divisions. I was just going through some of my calls there about something the government put out last night as part of its budget and that is that 40 percent of Australian households, two in five, receive more in government payments than they pay in income taxes. Effectively, what the government was trying to show was that those higher paid families in particular are increasingly paying a greater burden or share of the overall personal tax in Australia. Is this something that troubles you as the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, as you have to make decisions about how to carve up the pie as you go forward?
LEIGH: Ross, sometimes the snapshot can be misleading. You want to look at what social insurance does over the course of a lifetime. It's true that only a minority of us are using the income safety net at any given time, but at different stages of our life we use it. So a young person might tap into social insurance when they're at university getting assistance, they might be unemployed at some point and use the social safety net, and then again they might get the pension at the end of their life. In between times they would be paying into the system and that's how social insurance is supposed to work. So I’m certainly not troubled by statistics of that kind, I think it is really important that in an age where we've got inequality as high as it's been in three-quarters of a century, that we do have a progressive tax system.Read more
MIRANDA DEVINE LIVE
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECTS: Resignations of Susan Lamb, Josh Wilson and Justine Keay; Budget 2018-19; Randomistas.
MIRANDA DEVINE: I am sure that Labor is not so extreme left at all when it comes to taxes. So nevertheless the opposition of course as they should, has come out swinging against Scott Morrison's budget measures and I'm glad to say that the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me on the line. Good afternoon Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon. Great to be with you too.
DEVINE: Now before we get onto your reaction to the budget I want to ask you about Katy Gallagher do you still support. Bill Shorten's claims all those months ago that Labor has a strict vetting process for dual citizenship candidates?
LEIGH: We certainly have a strict vetting process and it's one which I know is enormously time-consuming and expensive for many of our candidates. It was based on what the Australian Electoral Commission's candidate's handbook said which is that people needed to take reasonable steps to renounce any dual citizenship before they're nominated. Today's High Court judgment has surprised many including noted constitutional expert George Williams. So obviously it's one that we will comply with and work through. You've seen the statements to the House today from Justine Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson. But this is a surprise to many people.
DEVINE: But still I mean Labor spent a long time criticising the coalition for its handling of its dual citizenship politicians who were caught out, but they refused. You refused to send your MPs or Senators just to the High Court. In hindsight, should Bill Shorten have agreed to cooperate with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue?
LEIGH: Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We did indeed suggest to Malcolm Turnbull that there be a joint referral of a number of people on both sides of the House to the High Court. Malcolm Turnbull didn't accede to that. You know you've seen people from both sides of the house now fall foul to this. Barnaby Joyce, John Alexander on the other side just to name a couple. So this has been quite a surprise to many and I don't think many careful watchers of Australian politics such as you and I would have predicted five years ago that we would see a dozen or so Members of Parliament go. Indeed I heard someone saying section 44 was so named because it's eventually going to cost the careers of 44 parliamentarians if this keeps up.Read more