MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans for a fairer Australia; Healthcare funding.
PATRICIA KARVELAS: To talk through some of these issues I'm joined by a panel and you won't expect this, so keep listening. Nicki Hutley is a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, responsible for the report and the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has agreed to join us to answer questions on what they've come up with. Welcome to both of you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day, Patricia. Great to be with you.
NICKI HUTLEY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS: Thank you.
KARVELAS: So Nicki, I’ll start with you. Deloitte is arguing that Labor's policies would lower economic growth eventually by a third of a percent. Can you take me through the rationale that got you there?
HUTLEY: Yes, so I think it's important to know that there's a whole load of explanatory, you know, suggestions accompanying that number and what it is, what it is based on is saying that on the basis of tax policy alone that would be the impact on the economy. So compared to what the Coalition are offering, the Opposition are saying that they will have fewer tax cuts in the hands of people - so those tranches that the Coalition are promising to higher income earners, particularly further out at this stage not going ahead although they do have more at the lower end of the spectrum, and there are another raft of generous tax concessions that will be pulled back, in the form of negative gearing and franking credits and so on. And as a general rule of thumb when you take, you know - we are comparing two scenarios of one versus the other and saying that compared to the Coalition policies the higher amounts of tax collected have a negative impact on on the economy. But that said, there are a lot of other factors that are not taken into account and it's important to consider those things when we look at the picture as a whole. But of course people do tend to grab the headline.
KARVELAS: Andrew, what's your response to this analysis from Deloitte? Do you accept that there will be an economic cost from these revenue raising measures?
LEIGH: No I don't Patricia. This was a report that came out last month. There's no detail in the report as to how it's arrived at this figure of a third of a percentage point. That's just a one liner on page five and it looks only at the tax impact. So we don't accept that that's the impact of our bigger, better, fairer tax cuts in the economy - we actually think they'll have a stronger growth benefit. The report doesn't even look at the benefits for the Australian economy of Labor's spending on infrastructure, our spending on healthcare, our spending on education. If you uncap university places, get 200,000 more young people to university then that's got to have a productivity gain. If you put in place our competition reforms, that'll have a big gain. If you have a bit of stability in political leadership - not three prime ministers, three treasurers over six years but a stable, united government - then that will also have a growth gain. And if you ensure that you put aside those fiscal buffers which as Labor would do, paying down debt faster than the Coalition would, then you're better able to deal with a situation in which the world economy starts to wobble and we have to ensure that Australia doesn't go into recession - as the last Labor government had to do.Read more
HELPING MELBOURNIANS NAVIGATE THE TAX SYSTEM
THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2019
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders.
Thank you to Provost Mark Considine and Melbourne University Law School Dean Pip Nicholson for your hospitality. I’d particularly like to acknowledge my colleagues. Labor’s Melbourne candidate Luke Creasey is an educator and somebody who is passionate about social justice and is enthusiastic about today's announcement. Peter Khalil, a Melbourne University alumnus, an internationalist and somebody with whom I've had many conversations about the importance of providing better supports to disadvantaged members of our community. Ged Kearney, who has spent her life standing up for working people and who is one of our most thoughtful voices in the Labor team about how to ensure that we have public services that work for all.
I’d especially like to thank Sunita Jogarajan and Kate Fischer Doherty, whose thought leadership is bringing the tax clinic project together at the moment. This is an enormously exciting announcement for us, an announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would provide $150,000 in ongoing funding for a tax clinic here at Melbourne University. Not a one off trial, but ongoing support.Read more
SATURDAY, 13 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s $1 million in funding for the Holt District Playing Fields in Kippax.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks very much for being here today. My name's Andrew Leigh, the Federal Member for Fenner. I’m enormously proud to announce that a Shorten Labor Government would contribute $1 million towards the upgrade of the facilities here at the Holt Kippax District Playing Fields. Playing fields are places where memories are made and friendships are forged. I was talking to my son Theodore on the way over and he was chatting about his favourite sporting grounds. I think we can all remember as kids the importance of those local sporting facilities.
We've got to keep on upgrading our sporting facilities, making sure that they're prepared for developments like the influx of women and girls playing AFL. The upgrade will help to serve AFL, cricket and rugby league. It will be a vital resource for the community and is part of federal Labor's commitment to improving the quality of sporting facilities. I'll hand over now to Yvette Berry and Gordon Ramsay to say a few words.Read more
ABC MELBOURNE DRIVE
WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Electric vehicles, Labor’s cancer plan, Adani.
RAF EPSTEIN: Tim Wilson is the Liberal MP for the seat of Goldstein. He's also the head of the House Economics Committee. He's been running an Inquiry into Labor's changes to dividend imputation. Tim Wilson, thanks for coming in.
TIM WILSON: Thanks, Raf. It’s wonderful to be here. It's even better to represent a community that is going to have its first Medicare licensed MRI. I see a copy of my letter in front of you.
EPSTEIN: Yes, well one of your constituents has a bone to pick with you but we'll get to that, we'll get to that. Andrew Leigh also joins us in our Canberra studio. He's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He's the Labor MP for the seat of Fenner in Canberra. Andrew Leigh.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day Raf. Great to be back with you.Read more
LABOR’S CENTRIST ECONOMIC AGENDA
PER CAPITA REFORM AGENDA SERIES
MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS, MELBOURNE
11 APRIL 2019
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders. My thanks to Per Capita, particularly Executive Director Emma Dawson, for the chance to speak with you today.
Last month, journalist David Speers asked senior Liberal Party frontbencher Linda Reynolds a reasonable question: ‘Do you agree that flexibility in wages and keeping wages at modest levels is a deliberate feature of our economic architecture?’.
‘No, absolutely not’, replied Reynolds. ‘For Bill Shorten to even suggest that…’
‘I’m quoting Mathias Cormann’, Speers pointed out.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to restore and boost emergency relief funding in Canberra.
DAVID SMITH: Look, it's great to be here in the Electorate of Bean. My name is David Smith, Labor Senator for the ACT and we're here at one of the great social enterprises of the ACT, Communities at Work at their headquarters and alongside me is our Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and Families, Jenny McAllister and I'm also with Andrew Leigh, Member for Fenner and Alicia Payne, our candidate for Canberra.
One of the things that Labor is well aware of is that the fight against inequality is real. It's real here in Canberra. Here in Canberra at any time up to 35,000 Canberrans are living in poverty and that includes people who are working one or two jobs. That includes 9,000 children across the Territory.
Communities@Work does amazing work right across children’s services and senior services but there's particular work that they do in emergency relief work and that's why we're here today to talk about Labor's commitments both locally and nationally to restoring funding to this critical work here and across the country.Read more
ABC TASMANIA MORNINGS
MONDAY, 8 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to give Aussie hotels owners greater control of their business, Budget 2019.
CATHERINE ZENGERER: Tourism might be booming right across Tasmania, but if you are an accommodation provider and you are listed with one of the major online booking companies such as Expedia and Booking.com, then you may have had to sign a contract to say that you can't actually offer a discount for your own accommodation that undercuts what by the listing is on their pages. It's a contract known as a price parity clause and it's something that Labor is saying that they will get rid of if they're elected. We're certainly seeing a lot of politicians coming to Tasmania as we head towards a possible election. Andrew Leigh is one of them. He is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer for Labor and he's in our Launceston studio. Good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER:Good morning Catherine. Great to be with you.
ZENGERER: So what's prompted this policy review by Labor?
LEIGH: It's the situation you described in which many Australians are now booking through one of these multinational online platforms, such as Kayak or Priceline,Booking.com or Expedia. They go by a host of names, but there's two of them that control 85 per cent of the market and they're taking a whopping share of the accommodation bill. So if you use one of these platforms, then when you stay at a hotel, up to a third of the total bill can go to amultinational. One of the ways in which they managed to get such a large share of revenues is by telling hotels that they can't offer a better deal on their own websites. These so-called price parity clauses are banned in a host of European countries and we think that it's appropriate to ban them in Australia. It tilts the playing field too far away from our local tourism providers and too much in favour of the big multinational duopoly. It's fine to charge something for putting a booking in place, but 30 per cent - really? That's just over the top.Read more
FRIDAY, 5 APRIL 2019
SUBJECT: The Budget.
LEON BYNER: The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Leon.
BYNER: I want to, I want to start with a pretty obvious question and that is that you guys, if you get elected, are going to continue with the budget repair levy. Correct?
LEIGH: Indeed. We think certainly at a time when the Liberals have doubled the debt it’s important for us to have the same top tax rate that Tony Abbott had back in 2014 – when debt was half of what it is now.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 4 APRIL 2019
I rise to speak on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Mutual Reforms) Bill 2019. The idea of mutualism is vital to communities. Mutuals build trust and reciprocity. They are an essential part of an inclusive society helping to foster empathy for our fellow human beings. Cooperatives and mutuals, as member-owned enterprises, exist and operate in the same market as investor owned enterprises. They are voluntary associations of people, democratically run for their members, for the pursuit of a common social, cultural or economic goal. Eight out of 10 Australian adults are members of at least one cooperative or mutual. They account for some seven or eight per cent of GDP and 54,000 direct jobs. Mutuals such as HCF, Capricorn Society, ME Bank, Australian Unity, Sun Super and roadside organisations including the NRMA, the RACQ and the RACV are cooperatives and mutuals that are essential to Australian society.
Mutualism is also well placed to play a role in the digital economy. Internationally we have driver owned apps competing with Uber and Lyft. Coopify is an app connecting a childcare cooperative with clients in New York. Stocksy sells stock photographs supplied by its members online. In my own electorate of Fenner I have seen firsthand the benefits of the cooperative sector, with the National Health Co-op now expanding from its original location in Charnwood to set up more than half a dozen locations across Canberra and rural New South Wales.
Labor supports this bill. And why wouldn't we? This is a Labor idea. This is a bill enacting Labor policy and we are delighted to see it finally coming to the House.Read more
ABC RADIO CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 3 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: The Budget.
ANNA VIDOT: With me now from Parliament House is Andrew Leigh, Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer and of course Member for Fenner. Andrew Leigh, welcome.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day, Anna. Great to be with you.
VIDOT: The Coalition has now matched and it says slightly bettered Labor's low and middle income tax offsets and it says it will deliver a $7 billion surplus next year while also phasing in tax cuts over a decade. That's a pretty attractive proposition for the electorate, isn't it?
LEIGH: Let's go first to the surplus. This is a projected surplus, not a delivered surplus, from a government which promised that the budget would be in surplus in their first year and every year after that. They promised never to use the national credit card and then after six years of doubling net debt, they want a pat on the back for having put the national credit card back in the wallet. The fact is that net debt per person in Australia is now almost $15,000. That is twice as much as when the Coalition came to office. On income tax cuts, we welcome the fact that they backflipped. Last year they voted against similar tax cuts to the ones they are now apparently supporting. These tax cuts don't extend to people earning below $40,000. If we are elected in May, we will have to fix that up. We will certainly always support income tax relief for low and middle income earners. What we won't do is to back the Coalition's strategy of expanding tax loopholes for the top end of town. They’ve never seen a tax loophole for the rich that they won’t defend.Read more