Media


Real tax announcements come with revenue - Doorstop, Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: Joe Hockey’s tax ineptitude

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks everyone for coming along this afternoon. We've just seen a most extraordinary press conference from the Treasurer of Australia, who the day before the Budget has announced his latest thought-bubble on multinational taxation. With the Budget coming down tomorrow, Joe Hockey cannot tell the Australian people how much his latest multinational thought-bubble will cost. He's delivered a garbled and incoherent press conference, in which he's been unable to say what these important changes will do for the Budget bottom line. You can bet that if Joe Hockey was announcing measures that hurt poor people, he'd know how much they'd added to the Budget bottom line down to the last cent. But yet again we're seeing a Treasurer utterly adrift from his portfolio, turning out because he wants to be seen, rather than because he's got something to say.

On the so called 'Google tax', we had Joe Hockey first saying he was going to legislate a Google tax, then was going to inquire into a Google tax, and then wasn't going to legislate a Google tax after all. So it's hard to know how seriously Australians should take this latest uncosted thought-bubble. By contrast Labor has a clear plan. It is guided by evidence from the OECD, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, it is consistent with our international tax obligations and it adds $7.2 billion to the budget bottom line. If Joe Hockey wants to include our carefully targeted and precisely costed measures in tomorrow night's Budget, he'll have Labor's full support. Happy to take questions.

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Hopeless Hockey blank on Budget again - Joint Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW TREASURER

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

 

ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION

MEMBER FOR FRASER

 

MEDIA RELEASE

HOPELESS HOCKEY BLANK ON BUDGET AGAIN

Joe Hockey has given a fresh display of his Budget ineptitude today when he would not name a revenue figure for a measure which is apparently in his Budget tomorrow.

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Public service on the chopping block again - Joint Media Release

 ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION

MEMBER FOR FRASER

 

 

GAI BRODTMANN MP

 

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE

 

MEMBER FOR CANBERRA

 

 

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER

SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  

MEDIA RELEASE

 

public service on the chopping block again

 

The Canberra community is outraged by reports today the Abbott Government will further reduce the size of the public service, with fresh cuts to be included in the Budget tomorrow night.

 

It is believed eight public sector departments will undergo so-called “functional reviews” with the aim of slashing more jobs.

 

The Coalition has already shed almost 17,000 public service jobs since coming to office in 2013.

 

This worrying news comes after Prime Minister Tony Abbott assured ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr that the worst of the Commonwealth job cuts were over at last month’s Council of Australian Governments meeting.

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Can the government get budget fairness right this time around? - AM Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: Childcare; Budget.

KIERAN GILBERT: I'm here with Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Education Minister Simon Birmingham. Good to see you both. First to you Andrew Leigh on the families package, the economics of all of this. I understand Labor doesn't want families to lose any payment but then if you're going to make the childcare situation more generous, more targeted. The money has got to come from somewhere and the savings that Jenny Macklin articulated earlier, which no doubt you'll refer to as well, they’re not enough to pay for the initial spending.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: We have supported a range of changes that the Government has made including ones which were characterised in a way which we wouldn't have put them forward to the Parliament. But we don't think kids get any cheaper when they turn six, which is at the heart of this proposal the Government's been trying to ram down the throat of the Parliament the last year. Instead, we think the Government should be looking at savings in the area of multinational tax, where we've got a carefully crafted policy, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office. Or the high income end of superannuation, where we've done the hard work. Labor is well ahead of the policy curve on this and the difference between what we've put on the table and what the Government has done is that our changes won't hurt the most vulnerable in Australian society. They won't try and address the Government Budget by hurting families.

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Vulnerable Australians are more than just a line on the balance sheet - Doorstop, Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015

SUBJECT/S: Budget; The invisible Treasurer; Childcare

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. I'm concerned, as we go into this Budget, that the Government hasn't learned the lessons of last year. It hasn't begun to think of vulnerable Australians as anything more than just a line on the balance sheet. Last year, the Budget was hurting young jobless people and pensioners. This year, if the pre-Budget speculation is anything to go by, we're looking at a Budget that's going to make life harder for families and maybe even for pregnant mums. It's not much of a Mother's Day present for women around Australia to discover that Tony Abbott has moved from wanting to deliver a gold-plated parental leave scheme, to saying that he'll leave things alone, to now saying he's going to make parental leave worse. Meanwhile, Joe Hockey is a bit like the star of Weekend At Bernie's - just being propped up by Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, unable to go out there and sell his Budget. Can anyone really imagine that Paul Keating, Peter Costello or Wayne Swan would have been sidelined in the way that Joe Hockey has throughout this Budget process? Australians gain confidence from a Treasurer who clearly understands the economy and is able to convey that Budget message. But at the moment, many of them are shaking their heads. Joe Hockey says that he is going to be handing down a Budget tomorrow night that's Tony Abbott's Budget, not his. Happy to take questions.

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Abbott Government hurting families but letting multinational companies off the hook - Media release

MEDIA RELEASE

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT HURTING FAMILIES BUT LETTING MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES OFF THE HOOK

Tony Abbott’s refusal to accept Labor’s plan to make multinational companies pay their fair share of tax shows his Government’s priorities are all wrong.

Labor has developed a sensible package of multinational tax measures that will return $7.2 billion to Australia over the next 10 years.

The Abbott Government has been dragged kicking and screaming by Labor into acknowledging that multinational tax avoidance is a problem for Australia.

Now, it is preparing to hand down a budget filled with smoke-and-mirrors tax measures in an effort to save Tony Abbott’s job.

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Want to back small business? Keep Immigration in Belconnen then - 2CC

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA

FRIDAY, 1 MAY 2015

SUBJECT/S: marriage equality; Indonesia; keeping the Department of Immigration in Belconnen

MARK PARTON: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has rejected his deputy's call to force Labor MPs and Senators to support same sex marriage. Tanya Plibersek wants the ALP members of parliament made to follow the party's policy and vote for gay marriage. Labor currently allows a conscience vote on the issue in parliament and some Labor MPs are considering whether they would cross the floor over the issue and risk expulsion from the party. Bill Shorten said that while he supports same sex marriage, colleagues who do not should not be made to vote for it. We were talking about this earlier in the week and I'm going to get Andrew Leigh to join the conversation now. He's the Member for Fraser in the north of Canberra, g'day Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH: ACTING SHADOW TREASURER: G'day Mark, how are you?

PARTON: Excellent. It just astounds me that if we could ask all Australians today whether they support same sex marriage, I'm supremely confident that they would say yes. And I don't understand why our parliament can't get over this hurdle. Talk to me.

LEIGH: It is really strange, isn't it Mark? Because you think back – and I remember well when we had the last vote, because my third son was born on that day, 19 September, 2012 – since then we've had the UK Government and the New Zealand Government, both run by conservatives, embrace same sex marriage. A majority of Americans now live in states where same sex couples can get married, and the US Supreme Court is currently considering a case as to whether to make it national. So the mood has shifted a lot on this. What has surprised me is that the Australian Parliament could, at one stage, have been a leader. Now we'll end up being towards the back of the pack in accepting same sex marriage when it inevitably happens. 

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Hockey spends $11 million of your money on a Coalition ad campaign - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

HOCKEY SPENDS $11 MILLION OF YOUR MONEY ON A COALITION AD CAMPAIGN

Joe Hockey must end his taxpayer-funded Budget advertising campaign today after new revelations the Liberal Government has wasted more than $11 million on TV, radio, online and billboard ads.

Having poured millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into the advertising campaign selling their flawed and politicised Intergenerational Report, it seems the age of entitlement is over for everyone except Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.

This is an absurd waste of money – and includes the fee paid to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki to act as the public face of the campaign.

Now Dr Karl says he is so concerned about how flawed this report is he wants nothing to do with it. He feels so strongly about it that he’s promised to give away his entire fee.

Why is taxpayers’ money being wasted on an ad campaign when even the star of the show says it should end?

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Tax and the art of semantic contortion - Chifley Research Centre

Tax and the art of semantic contortion, Chifley Research Centre, 30 April

‘Fairness’ is a word that’s been getting a pretty heavy workout since the Abbott Government handed down its first budget almost a year ago.

The Australian community and Labor have responded with one voice to say that the government’s plans for health, education, pensions and more were not fair. I don’t have that many words of praise for Joe Hockey’s first crack at the national books. But the Budget certainly did a good job of reinforcing how much Australians prize the egalitarian social compact this country was founded on.

What’s more, the Budget backlash revealed that Australians share a deeply-held understanding of what is and isn’t fair. For all our differences in lifestyles, backgrounds and habits, the majority of us agree that taking the most from those with the least doesn’t qualify. Although we may support different footy teams or tune in to different TV programs, we are united in believing that sharing the load between business and families, and between high-income earners and low, sure does.

That’s why it’s been puzzling to see Joe Hockey and his supporters attempting the redefine fairness with the tax discussion paper. Having muddled the definition of a regressive tax when he was raising fuel taxes, the Treasurer now wants us to stop asking whether particular taxes are regressive or how much the poorest pay compared to the better-off.

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The economics of today - Teenfinca Magazine

Increasing financial literacy among young people is really important. That's why I was pleased to contribute to The Wealth Academy's latest edition of Teenfinca magazine.

The Economics of Today, Teenfinca

In an experiment on food choices, students were asked to choose between some free junk food or a free piece of fruit. Half chose junk food, and half chose fruit. They were then asked to come back a week later. Upon their return, they were asked whether they would like to switch their choice. Hardly anyone who’d chosen junk food switched to fruit, but two thirds of those who’d said fruit switched to junk food on the day. As the old joke goes: what’s the best day to start a diet? – Tomorrow.

One of the fundamental ideas of economics is the notion of discount rates, meaning that we value things less when they are further away in time. If you offer me $100 now or $100 in a year’s time, it’s reasonable that I’d prefer the money now. Even if I didn’t want to spend it, I could put it in the bank or buy some shares, and the money would be likely to be worth more tomorrow.

But in recent years, economists have noticed something odd about how people discount the future. The difference between today and tomorrow seems to be treated differently from any other one-day delay. For example, if I ask you to choose between $10 in ten days’ time or $11 in eleven days’ time, you’ll probably wait the extra day. But you’re more likely to opt for $10 today over $11 tomorrow. In both cases, the deal is the same – a day’s delay buys you another dollar. But the magic of ‘now’ is often too tempting to refuse.

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