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.Read more
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.Read more
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
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.Read more
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.”Read more
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