FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2019
Subjects: Scott Morrison’s mishandling of the economy, climate change, nuclear power.
ROSS GREENWOOD: The Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury is Andrew Leigh. He's always great with his time in the program and he joins me this evening. Andrew, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Ross. Welcome back. Great to be chatting with you.
GREENWOOD: Okeydoke. I want to go to a couple of bits and pieces here. Number one - the surplus, Australia's budget having a surplus right now. We haven't seen an actual surplus for more than a decade. How important is it for Australia to have a budget surplus?
LEIGH: Labor believes that Australia can meet the surplus target but also do more to support consumer spending. As you noted, the ‘cash splash’ has turned into a retail trickle. These July and August figures now seem to suggest that Australians have simply put that additional money into savings rather than putting it back into the economy-
ABC NEWS RADIO
FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2019
Subjects: Scott Morrison’s Lowy address.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: I think it's deeply dangerous for Australia to start flirting with protectionism and isolationism. That might be a bad idea for a country like the United States with over 300 million people, but it's a terrible idea for a medium sized economy like Australia with 25 million people. Our prosperity depends on engaging with the world. We've benefited massively from migration, trade and foreign investment. Sure we can do all of those things better and we should be better engaged with international organisations, but the idea that a retreat into narrow tribal nationalism is a success story for Australia is a crazy one.
MANDY PRESLAND, HOST: Mr Morrison says he's putting Australia first. What's wrong with that?Read more
TIME TO AXE THE COSY DEALS AND FIX THE LABOUR MARKET
The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 2019
When the Reserve Bank Governor is saying he’d like to see stronger wage growth, you know the problem has become dire. Over the past six years, real wages have grown at just 0.7 percent a year. In the six years before that – a period spanning the Global Financial Crisis – real wages grew at 1.8 percent annually. Among the likely culprits for the wages slowdown are poor productivity, declining union membership rates, wage theft scandals, penalty rate cuts, and public sector wage caps.
But another factor may also be to blame: constraints on job mobility. Standard economics tells us that wages increase when employees are in demand. If you have a dozen job offers, you’re likely to earn more than if you’re stuck with a single option. That’s part of the reason that people earn more in big cities, and less in one-company towns. Employees who switch firms tend to get a bigger pay bump than those who stay put.Read more
ABC RN DRIVE
MONDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: Australian economy floundering under the Liberals; Interest Rate Decision; Retirement Income Review.
TOM TILLEY: The Reserve Bank is widely expected to cut its official cash rate to the new historic low of 0.75 per cent. So is that actually going to solve our economic problems, or is it just going to push up house prices? We'll get to interest rates in just a moment. First, let's go to the Government's review of the retirement income system. This hasn't been done since superannuation was first made compulsory back in 1992. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Andrew, welcome to the show. The government started out by-
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thanks, Tom. Great to be with you.
CANBERRA'S CANNABIS CRITICS NEED TO FIND BIGGER PROBLEMS TO WORRY ABOUT
This week, the ACT became the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The change is a modest one - Chief Minister Andrew Barr describes it as ‘evolution rather than revolution’. But you wouldn’t know it to listen to Scott Morrison and his Coalition colleagues, who have described the changes as ‘dangerous’, ‘madness’ and ‘unconscionable’. So let’s bust four myths about cannabis in Canberra.
Myth 1: Cannabis is currently criminalised in Canberra. Since 1992, people possessing small amounts of cannabis are not charged with a crime. Instead, they are issued with a ‘Simple Cannabis Offence Notice’, which typically involves a $100 fine. The same system applies in some other parts of Australia, including South Australia and the Northern Territory. The aim is to ensure that police can focus on violent crime, rather than having ACT law enforcement tied up prosecuting people caught in possession of a single joint.Read more
ABC RADIO CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: ACT cannabis legislation.
ANNA VIDOT: On the line with me is the Member for Fenner, the federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Andrew Leigh, what do you make first of all of the passage of this legislation through the Assembly yesterday?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Anna. Good to be with you. I think this is a modest change - as Andrew Barr has put it, evolution rather than revolution. It's been nearly a generation since the ACT first introduced Simple CannabisOffence Notices, which decriminalised possession of small amounts of marijuana. That's something that other jurisdictions in Australia have since followed, with South Australia and the Northern Territory among them. All they're doing is now saying in the ACT that those $100 fines will no longer be levied. There’s about 100 people a year, as I understand, who pay a $100 fine for having a small amount of marijuana and no longer will they have those fines. This means that the police can focus on frying bigger fish, focus on the offences that are of considerably more concern to the community.
ABC RADIO SYDNEY
MONDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: The Morrison Government's inaction costing Australian drivers big bucks.
WENDY HARMER: Who we’ve got on to have a chat about this ‘Your car, Your choice’ is Andrew Leigh. He’s the Federal Labor MP for Fenner in the ACT and he's also Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. He has been on this case for a couple of years now. He says that really we should be looking at this issue really carefully. The ACCC, as Robbie mentioned, has been arguing that dealers should have to hand over this information to independent mechanic, they’ve been saying this for two years now but nothing has happened. Why not? We would like you to share your own experiences in dealing with this - 1300 222 702 is our number. Andrew Leigh joins us now. Hello, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Wendy. How are you?
HARMER: Good, good. Why have you taken this up as a cause?
LEIGH: It seems a basic issue of fairness to me, that if you're an independent mechanic you should have the data you need to fix modern cars. They’re extraordinarily complicated. The typical modern car has 10 million lines of software code. To put that into perspective, a Boeing 787 has only 6 million lines of software code. So if you don't have the software, it's pretty hard to fix a lot of problems.Read more
WHY AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF FIVE PER CENT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE
The Canberra Times, 10 September 2019
If you’ve ever been jobless, you know the truth: unemployment sucks. It’s not just the lack of money, but the hit to self-esteem. Being asked ‘what do you do?’ can be almost as dispiriting as the uncertainty of applying for job after job. Unemployment increases rates of depression, diabetes and even death.
Yet it has become commonplace to regard ‘full employment’ in Australia as an unemployment rate of 5 per cent, or even higher. That’s effectively saying that at any point in time, 700,000 of our fellow citizens will have to put up with joblessness.Read more
SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
MONDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: Cashless welfare card, mandatory drug testing for social security recipients, drug testing for politicians, the economy struggling under the government, the Morrison Government’s lack of plan for productivity.
LAURA JAYES: Let's go live now to Canberra. Joining me is Labor MP Andrew Leigh. Thanks so much for your time. Let's start on the cashless welfare card. Evidence has showed that it is working in some of these communities. Do you dispute that?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Laura, all the evidence that I've read suggests that this card won't create a single additional job, and there's concerns that it has adverse impacts on financial management and Aboriginal peoples’ sense of autonomy. When it’s rolled out on a compulsory basis, which is where Labor has our chief concerns, this seems to have more adverse impacts than positive benefits.Read more
THURSDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: Climate strikes, the Morrison Government’s inaction on climate change; the economy floundering under a floundering government.
NEIL MITCHELL: On the line is the Labor Member for Fenner, he’s a former assistant shadow treasurer. Some say the smartest man in the Parliament. He’s a professor of economics at the ANU - Dr Andrew Leigh, morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Neil. How are you?
MITCHELL: I'm okay. So do you think - you’re the teacher in a sense, is it a smart thing for kids to go on strike?
LEIGH: Well, as you say Neil, I've spent painfully long in education. I barely missed a day of school and then went touniversity for another ten years. But not all learning happens in formal institutions, and I think getting together to campaign for an issue bigger than yourself is pretty important. We often talk about Generation Z as being self-centred, yet they’re anything but. It's an altruistic movement which is focused on dealing with the central challenge that the planet faces right now. And that's why it's gotten support from thousands of scientists, from firms like Atlassian and from many of those who've been carefully watching the climate debate, watching the planet warm and seeing Australia's emissions just going up and up under the Morrison Government.Read more