THURSDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECT/S: GST distribution, Malcolm Turnbull’s $65 billion handout to big business; IMF support for reforms to negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount; the Greens’ economic incompetence on housing.
CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Well, it’s good to be here in Adelaide and be joined by my friend and colleague Andrew Leigh. I’ll deal with just a couple of matters before handing over to Andrew to deal with housing and the Greens.
Firstly, here in Adelaide again, it’s important to note the Productivity Commission’s review into GST distribution would see $557 million taken away from South Australia – the equivalent of 5,340 teachers or 5,000 nurses employed by the South Australian Government. Of course, as I said in Hobart earlier in the week, I’ll say the same in Perth as I do in Hobart or Adelaide – the people of Western Australia have very legitimate grievance when it comes to GST distribution and the Labor Party is the only party with a plan to fix it by topping up West Australia’s Budget through an allocation from the Commonwealth Budget, without taking a single dollar away from South Australia or Tasmania.
I can come here to South Australia and say that, Scott Morrison cannot. I don’t know if the Treasurer is going to make a special guest appearance here during the South Australian election campaign, but he should be ruling out changing the GST distribution for South Australia and he should also be trying to fix Western Australia’s problems just as Bill Shorten and I have announced he will do.Read more
TURNBULL GOVERNMENT CUTS A RECURRING NIGHTMARE FOR AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS STAFF
The Turnbull Government’s handling of the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows their disregard for evidence-based policymaking.
In January, we learnt that the nation’s statistical agency was cutting staff. Almost a month on from that date, there’s worse to come.
Almost 100 hardworking public servants in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart are set to lose their jobs.
It’s like a recurring nightmare.Read more
'LUCKY BOY IN THE LUCKY COUNTRY
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MAX CORDEN, ECONOMIST'
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
MONDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2018
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today, and recognise Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt, Professor Hal Hill, Professor Bob Gregory, and the extraordinary Max Corden.
As an empirical economist, I naturally prepared for today’s book launch by looking at the relevant datasets. Two big themes of this book are Max’s passion for migration and his research on reducing tariffs. So I opened up Stata, and looked through various datasets, hoping to find one on Australian attitudes to both questions.
Eventually, I struck digital gold. The 1998 Australian Election Study asked whether tariffs should be used to protect industry. Eleven percent disagreed, a view with which I imagine Max would broadly share. It also asked about the number of migrants that Australia should take, and 11 percent said Australia should take more migrants. Max holds both views, something that is true of 2 percent of Australians. So Max, I’m afraid that your Australian sales are unlikely to ever exceed half a million.Read more
How Many Kermits are in Your Wallet Now?
Business Insider, 19 February 2018
Do you have $3000 in your wallet right now?
Funny, because according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, that’s the average amount of cash on issue. So if you’re carrying less than $3000, someone else is carrying more.
Something else is funny about our money. If you’re like me, you haven’t seen many $100 notes lately. And yet nearly half of the value of all cash in Australia is in the big green notes affectionately known as ‘Kermits’. The Reserve Bank of Australia says that the number of Kermits has almost doubled in the past decade.
So who is taking all the cash?
United States economist Kenneth Rogoff, author of the book The Curse of Cash, has an answer – and it isn’t particularly pleasant.
According to Rogoff, tax evaders, human traffickers and drug runners are the main sources of demand for hard currency. So when we think about cash, we have to remember not only the convenience that it brings to law-abiding citizens, but also the benefits that it conveys to wrongdoers.Read more
THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP
LAUNCHING ADAM MASTERS AND JOHN UHR'S 'LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE AND RHETORIC'
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
THURSDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2018
Words matter. That's truer now than ever before. In the age of Twitter and Trump, in the age of fast paced social media, the notion that leadership and rhetoric are inextricably tied together is a critical one.
I first came to think hard about the value of public rhetoric while working for Michael Kirby as his High Court associate in the late 1990s, then furthered that interest at Harvard, serving as teaching fellow to Michael Waldman, who had just stepped down as Bill Clinton's chief speechwriter. I have on the wall of my parliamentary office a large photograph of Barack Obama speaking in Manassas on the eve of the 2008 election – perhaps the best campaigning political speech ever given.Read more
ANDREW LEIGH MP, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
TIM HAMMOND MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
GOVERNMENT ADOPTS LABOR’S POLICIES - TWO YEARS LATE
Two years after Labor called for an increase in anti-consumer penalties, the Turnbull Government has finally introduced a bill to Parliament.
On June 15, 2016, Labor announced a plan to reform competition, stating that we would increase civil penalties, increase penalties for anti-competitive conduct, increase the ACCC’s litigation budget and give a market studies function to the ACCC.
610 days later, the Turnbull Government finally introduced a bill to legislate part of that plan.
While we welcome Scott Morrison and his colleagues adopting our idea to increase in penalties for anti-consumer conduct, we’d also encourage them to take on the rest of our measures.Read more
CLOSING THE GAP CHARITY COULD BE CAUGHT BY THE LIBERALS’ WAR ON CHARITIES
Charities remain fearful after Malcolm Turnbull refused to clarify aspects of his government’s poorly written bill which could silence civil society.
In Question Time today, Tanya Plibersek asked:
In his Closing the Gap speech yesterday, the Prime Minister lauded the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, part-funded by US based Atlantic Philanthropies, which aims to produce community leaders who will speak up and push for social change. Can the Prime Minister confirm that his new electoral rules would mean Atlantic Fellows would be defined as a “political campaigner” and would be forced to hand back the US$50 million donation that made their good work possible?
Mr Turnbull’s response?
I reject the assertion in that question completely.
A refusal to answer the question is not good enough.Read more
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECT/S: Valentine’s Day in Canberra; Turnbull Government’s love for millionaires and multinationals.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, everyone. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and the Federal Member for Fenner. And as a Canberra representative, can I just wish all of you happy Valentine’s Day and acknowledge that there really is no more romantic city in Australia than Canberra. When the kangaroos are jumping, the kookaburras are singing, the restaurants are open and you’ve got weather like today, you reflect to yourself what a gorgeous, romantic city this is.
But on a less lovely note, we’ve had reports today that a fifth of Australia’s biggest companies paid zero tax for at least three years. Now I admit multinational tax dodging might not be the most romantic topic in the world, but it’s pretty important. This report suggests that some big Australian companies haven’t paid tax for up to a decade. And yet the Turnbull Government’s top priority is a $65 billion company tax cut.
The Turnbull Government needs to break up with multinational tax dodgers and fall in love with ordinary Australians. They need to stand on the side of ordinary Australians who don’t want to see their income taxes go up, rather than protecting large multinational corporations and millionaires, the only people getting a tax cut under the Turnbull Government.Read more
LABOR HAS NO LOVE FOR TAX AVOIDERS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
One in five of Australia’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years, but Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s priority still remains giving a $65 billion tax cut to big business.
Today’s report should be cause for heartbreak in the Turnbull Government, but Mr Morrison remains infatuated with tax-dodging multinationals.Read more
SPEECH - FEDERATION CHAMBER
TUESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2018
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is thousands of hardworking Canberrans may soon have a quick and easy way to get to work.
But the bad news is the coalition is trying to stop it. I'm afraid Liberal Senator Zed Seselja is trying his best to hold up investment in public transport and light rail in Canberra.
We know a majority of Canberrans don't agree with it. In fact, the people of this city went to an election on this issue; actually, they went to two elections on this issue.Read more