You might not have expected to find inequality in people’s smiles, but it’s there.
WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Banks, credit squeeze.
LEON BYNER: Let's talk to the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning. Do you agree that we might and should expect this?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Leon, and good morning your listeners. I certainly am concerned when you see this kind of behaviour going on by banks. I mean, it's one thing to make sure that you're doing your due diligence on a borrower, but it's another thing to be engaging in this sort of pretty intrusive involvement in people's lives. Just because you can see in your neighbour’s bathroom window, you shouldn’t start making comments on their body when you see them in the street. And the fact is we've got a bit of a credit squeeze on at the moment. The Council of Financial Regulators has warned of this last year. Philip Lowe the head of the Reserve Bank has warned about credit - having been quite loose for a number of years - now potentially becoming too tight. I think this is just the latest manifestation of it.Read more
ABC NEWS 24 AFTERNOON LIVE
MONDAY, 21 JANUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Politics and parenting, gender balance in political parties, Kelly O’Dwyer.
GEMMA VENESS: Returning to our earlier story, the resignation of Kelly O'Dwyer. For more on this, we're joined by the ABC’s chief political writer Annabel Crab and Labor MP Andrew Leigh also joins us from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, I will start with you. Kelly O'Dwyer's decision to quit politics and, as she has said, her desire for a third child - is this another point scored for the notion that work-life balance in federal politics could be a myth?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: It’s a personal decision for Kelly and I wish her and her husband Jon all the best as they manage their lives from here on. The conversation has been partly around the challenge for the Liberal Party having now so few women, particularly in its senior ranks. They are closer to one in five, we're closer to one in two, and that means that they are more vulnerable to any particular resignation. But it’s opened up the conversation around juggling parenting and politics and that's something that I think is important for all political parents to talk about. Obviously women have it tougher, but making sure that that work-life balance is effective gives us a broader range of people who would be willing to put their hands up and go into politics if they think they don't have to choose between politics and a family.Read more
ABC MELBOURNE DRIVE
MONDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: The Coalition’s debt-doubling debacle, Labor’s plans to close multinational tax loopholes and make big business pay their fair share, Labor National Conference.
PRUE BENTLEY: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and is with us now. Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon, Prue. Great to be with you.
BENTLEY: First, before we get to the National Conference, the Government released their mid-year budget update this morning and they’re crowing about - particularly about a projected surplus for next year of $4.1 billion. This is what Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said to Ali Moore this morning.
JOSH FRYDENBERG, TREASURER: Well, the results today are the product of more than five years of hard work - disciplined design making, including more targeted and restrained spending, as well as putting in place tax cuts for small business people and for households and for families. So today’s, the first job we need to do is to deliver a surplus and the seance job we need to do is pay back Labor’s debt and we’ve still got that to do.
BENTLEY: That was Treasurer Josh Frydenberg this morning. Andrew Leigh, a return to surplus, that’s good news for the Government. That’s good news for the Australian public, isn’t it?
LEIGH: It's certainly good news, but I think what you heard there it wasn't merely crowing - it was what George Orwell called blackwhite. This is a government that came to office in 2013 promising a surplus in their first year and in every year after that. And they’re on track, on their own numbers, to deliver six deficits and finally promising a surplus after having doubled net debt. As you know, Labor took on debt during the global financial crisis to save the economy in the teeth of the worst global recession that we'd seen since the greatest since the Great Depression. We managed to save 200,000 jobs. But what's the Coalition's excuse for having doubled net debt since 2013? They just don't have one.Read more
THE COALITION’S WAR ON CHARITIES
48TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ADELAIDE
Over the last five years, the Liberals have been waging a war on charities. They have attempted to shut down the charities commission, the body supported by four out of five charities. When they couldn't get that legislation through parliament, they decided to appoint as its head Gary Johns. Now Gary Johns is somebody who's attacked the Indigenous charity Recognise, he’s criticised BeyondBlue, he’s described Indigenous women as “cash cows”. Putting Gary Johns in charge of the charities commission is like putting Ned Kelly in charge of bank security. It’s like putting Bronwyn Bishop in charge of transport for politicians.
Meanwhile, Labor’s been working with the charitable sector. We see a vibrant role for charities in supporting better public policy. We don’t just believe that environmental charities should be planting trees, we believe they should be talking about deforestation. We don’t just believe that social justice charities should be serving a soup kitchen, we believe they can play a role in talking about poverty.Read more
SKY NEWS AGENDA
MONDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS; Labor Conference, MYEFO, IPSOS poll, negative gearing, asylum seeker policy, Newstart allowance review.
LAURA JAYES: Andrew Leigh is at the Labor Conference and he joins us live here this morning. Andrew Leigh, thank you for your time. We’re yet to see these figures officially but as we know the good news is selectively leaked out ahead of the budget update today. What do you make of the figures? Halving the deficit this year and a bigger return the surplus next year, good news and who do you credit?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Laura, what you just heard from the Treasurer and the Finance Minister was a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud. This is a Government which came to office in 2013 promising that there would be surpluses in their first year and every year after that. They haven’t delivered a single surplus and they’ve doubled net debt. Gross debt has now crashed through about the half a trillion dollar barrier. They castigated Wayne Swan because he promised a surplus which then didn't materialise after the economy was whacked with the biggest downturn since the Great Depression. And now they're saying they’re delivering a surplus - well, they're not. They’re promising a surplus yet again, as they did before the election. Australians will reasonably ask why is it that the Coalition will stand up for every multinational tax loophole but not support fair funding of schools? Because when you hear them talk about a higher taxing agenda-Read more
A STRONG ECONOMY FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS
48TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ADELAIDE
Thank you, President Swan.
Inequality in Australia is now at a 75-year high. If you were alive when inequality was this bad and you don’t have life membership, I’d encourage you to see Wayne Swan afterwards.
It is a pleasure to speak in favour of this important chapter alongside my friends Chris and Jim, because this chapter goes to the heart of what a Shorten Labor Government would deliver for the economy.
If you’re a billionaire, then the Liberals have been a great government. They’ve never seen a tax loophole they won’t defend. If he’s re-elected at the election, Scott Morrison will be back fighting once more for tax cuts for the biggest companies in Australia. Because, as he said less than six months ago, ‘we don't flip flop on these things’.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 6 DECEMBER 2018
Lionel Murphy put it best when he said, 'Mr Neal is entitled to be an agitator,' in support of the notion that our civil society is richer when we encourage people to dissent, to complain, to speak out, on issues where they have a different view.
In our schools we frequently have student representative councils and debating competitions. Here in the parliament we have the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program, PACER, which even today is bringing to this building school students to engage in the process of parliament. It is bringing students to our national capital so they can better understand our civil society. When I was at school, I protested in Martin Place against education changes being made by Terry Metherell, an experience from which I learned a great deal, not just about education but about the process of making a difference, as students do when they join peaceful protests against laws with which they disagree.
So it was surprising to hear the Prime Minister say, 'We do not support our schools being turned into parliaments,' when in fact that is what a government program does in many schools, to allow students to learn about civics.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2018
Shane Madden was one of Canberra's finest lawyers. He was part of the senior leadership team when the ACT Department of Public Prosecutions was formed under Ken Crispin in 1991. ACT Bar Association President Steve Whybrow said:
Shane was a fine trial advocate whose dark emerald robes and pinstripe pants were a defining sartorial feature.Read more
MONDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: World leaders’ game of guess who at the G20, Malcolm Turnbull’s call for an early election, trade, inequality, encryption legislation.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and federal Member for Fenner. This weekend Scott Morrison was in Argentina, where Donald Trump was asking the questions so many Australians are asking: “where is Malcolm Trumble? What have you done with him? Why did you change the government?” Angela Merkel, like many Australians, is puzzled as to who Scott Morrison is. Like many Australians, having to consult their own cheat sheets in order to work out what the Liberal Party has done. Because unlike Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull actually faced an election. And indeed when he first entered parliament, unlike Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull fairly won a contested preselection.Read more