FRIDAY, 15 MARCH 2019
SUBJECT: Labor’s plans to give Australians hotels control over their businesses.
LEON BYNER: You've got in this country two large businesses - these are multinational companies - who control up to 85 per cent of online accommodation bookings in Australia. And do you know what they are able to do - I think the fact that they could even do it in the first place was outrageous - that they say to a hotel or motel, doesn't matter who it is, what size, ‘you will not in your advertising on your Facebook for your company, your business, yu will not undercut our prices’. Because the fact of the matter is. if you book through them you'll often get a better deal. Now you've got companies like Expedia and Booking.com that have got 85 per cent of this market. Now I've got Dick Smith on the line and Dick, before I get to you I want you to hear what a good policy is about to do. Okay, so you stay there and don't go away. I want to talk to the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, I'm very glad to have you on today because one of my passions has been that for too long corporations have been able to bully small businesses and because they've got such market power they can get away with it. Now in this space of hotel bookings, tell us what you're proposing if you win the election.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Leon, we're planning to go straight to the problem you've talked about - getting rid of those price parity clauses that prevent small local hotels offering the best deal on their own websites. These large multinational booking providers have a massive share of the market and they're taking a whopping slice of booking fees. So if you book a hotel, coming to see WOMADelaide or the Adelaide Fringe, you might pay a $100 for a room and see $30 of that go overseas. A 30 per cent booking fee is a massive hit to a small operator.Read more
PUTTING AUSSIE HOTELS BACK IN CONTROL: THIRD PARTY SUPPORT
“The Accommodation Association of Australia welcomes this historic announcement from the Labor Party. Effectively this means that our industry, should the Labor Party win office, be able to finally offer the best rate directly to our customers without fear of being darkened or threatened by these big multinational online travel agents. This announcement is very welcome for our members and the industry across Australia, the winners will be the operators of small business and the public who can finally get a better deal by going direct online once this legislation is passed.”
- Richard Munro, Accommodation Association of Australia CEO.
“We were pleased to see Labor’s announcement today to ban online travel agent price parity clauses if elected to Government. Long overdue as accommodation providers and their customers are paying increasing and unsustainable commissions nearly all of which leave Australia.”
- Julian Ledger, YHA Australia CEO.Read more
CRACKING THE CONFUSOPOLY
DevPolicy Blog, 15 March 2019
Okeny Secondo is a disability support worker in his early-30s who lives in Redbank Plains, a suburb of Ipswich. Born in Sudan, he fled to Uganda as a child, then migrated to Australia. Mr Secondo and his wife, who works as a meat industry processor, send almost one-third of their income back to help friends and families in Africa.
‘I know what it’s like to live with uncertainty in a war-torn country’, he says. ‘I’m very happy to be able to support my family and friends to make them more secure. Sometimes we get urgent requests for emergencies and it’s great to be able to get money to them immediately.’
Mr Secondo is among thousands who send remittances to help people in developing nations. With international migration projected to account for a growing share of the population in the future, remittances will only grow in importance. When a grandparent falls ill, or a child needs to pay school fees, families in developing countries often turn to generous relatives in countries like Australia to send over some cash.Read more
BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
MEMBER FOR GORTON
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR PETRIE
LABOR WILL BACK OUR SUBBIES IN PETRIE
Today, we met with sub-contractors in Petrie to discuss the benefits of Labor’s Tradie Pay Guarantee.
Subbies working on federal government projects will be protected from being left unpaid when dodgy businesses go bust through the implementation of Labor’s Tradie Pay Guarantee.
A Shorten Labor Government will require large Commonwealth construction projects to establish a specially structured account – using a cascading statutory trust - that ensures all businesses down the supply chain get paid on time.Read more
TUESDAY, 12 MARCH 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to give Australians hotels control over their businesses, Nationals chaos and LNP civil war over coal, Adani.
JO BRISKEY, LABOR’S CANDIDATE FOR BONNER: Jo Briskey here, Labor's candidate running at the federal election for the seat of Bonner, where I'm welcoming Andrew and Ed and also Richard from the Accommodation Association here at the Manly Marina Cove Motel down in Manly in the wonderful electorate of Bonner, talking about Labor's policy today around making it easier and fairer for customers and local businesses and importantly for families being able to get some really great local accommodation, good accommodation for those family holidays. So I'm absolutely thrilled to be here this morning, welcoming these lovely gentlemen to the wonderful Manly harbourside. Andrew, would you like to say a few words about today’s announcement?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION: Thanks, Jo. It’s a real pleasure to be here with my friend and colleague Ed Husic and Jo Briskey, a terrific candidate for Bonner, and with Richard Munro, who has been campaigning hard on behalf of the accommodation industry for these vital changes. Labor wants to put power back in the hands of Australian tourists and Australian hotels. Right now, the duopoly of multinational booking providers going under various names - Expedia, Hotels.com, Kayak, Booking.com, Priceline, Wotif - have been dominating the market for online bookings. They’re charging extremely high booking fees - they can range up to 30 per cent. They're able to maintain their market share through what's called price parity clauses, by requiring small hotels like this one to not offer a cheaper price to guests on their own website. The result of that has been that up to a third of the cost of accommodation is going offshore to these large multinational firms. In a time when we've got wage growth in the doldrums, we've got retail sales down, where we've got disappointing growth figures, we don't want to see more policies benefiting the top end of town over Aussie small businesses.Read more
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST
TUESDAY, 12 MARCH 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to support sustainable public transport in Canberra, federal ICAC, Labor’s plans to give Australians hotels control over their businesses.
DAN BOURCHIER: Although the date for the next election hasn't yet been set, it's largely seeming like it will be at some point in the later half of May. But we've seen lots of election promises on both sides of the aisle - everyone really make commitments right across the nation. Today Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will announce a $200 million investment towards stage two of Canberra's light rail track to Woden, if Labor's elected the next federal election. Federal MP for Fenner is Andrew Leigh, he's with us on the phone. Good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning Dan. You're sounding as though you’re a bit croaky at the moment?
BOURCHIER: I'm a little, a little bit congested, but I’ll persevere onwards and upwards.
LEIGH: I hope you’re on the mend soon.
BOURCHIER: Tell me, why is Labor making this commitment?
LEIGH: It's really important that we get going on light rail all the way through from Gungahlin to Woden. As you recall, Dan, when we were last in office Labor funded the Majura Parkway, an important piece of road infrastructure taking pressure off our roads. This is a vital commitment that a Shorten Government would make - $200 million towards to stage two. So that’s light rail from the city through to Woden. It'll create hundreds of jobs and it'll ensure that people are able to move swiftly through the city as modern light rail projects do. It's been championed by Alicia Payne, our candidate for Canberra, and I know she'll continue working on those issues with the route if she is elected.Read more
LABOR TO PUT AUSSIE HOTELS BACK IN CONTROL
Local accommodation providers will have greater control of their own businesses under a Shorten Labor Government, making small businesses more competitive and reducing the price of a weekend away.
If elected, Labor would ensure that Australia’s accommodation providers would have the ability to set their own prices so they can compete with the multinationals behind the world’s largest online booking sites.Read more
ABC RN DRIVE
TUESDAY, 12 MARCH 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s push to give Australians a living wage, Josh Frydenberg’s backflip on the recommendations from the Banking Royal Commission, Labor’s plans to give Australians hotels control over their businesses.
PATRICIA KARVELAS: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and he joins us. Welcome back to RN Drive.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thank you, Patricia. Great to be with you.
KARVELAS: So the Federal Government has abolished the plan to dump trail commissions for mortgage brokers because of concerns around competition. They're going to get the ACCC to review it and they've got another review in three years. Why not review it given so much of the sector says that they worried about competition and that this will favour the big banks?
LEIGH: You just have to look at Kenneth Haynes’ report, which said on the issue of trail commissions ‘to put it bluntly they are money for nothing’. Now that’s a pretty damning indictment on their system. Trail commissions have been removed in other contexts and we believe it's appropriate to follow the Hayne Royal Commission’s advice on this.Read more
WHAT IF CASH REFUNDS FOR FRANKING CREDITS DIDN’T EXIST?
Australian Financial Review, 11 March 2019
Suppose that Australia - like every other country in the world - did not provide cash refunds of franking credits to anyone except pensioners.
Now imagine that a government decided to implement such a policy.
How would it fund it? For starters, the cost would be significant - nearly $6 billion a year. That’s over $200 for every man, woman and child in Australia. So it might raise income taxes on middle-income earners or increase the GST. Or it could rip money out of the health or education system.Read more
Phoenixing is a bit like tax avoidance: you've got to constantly be updating the laws to keep up with the wrongdoers - Transcript, ABC Melbourne
THURSDAY, 7 MARCH 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to crack down on dodgy directors; Australia’s per-capita recession; Labor’s plans to close tax loopholes.
JON FAINE: Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Treasurer from the Federal Opposition and he thinks he has found a formula for dealing with this. Mr Leigh good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning Jon, great to be with you.
FAINE: I first reported on this 25 years ago when I was working on ABC TV's The Investigators, no one has been able to crack this nut for the decade since, what do you think you can do about it now?
LEIGH: Phoenixing is a bit like tax avoidance: you've got to constantly be updating the laws to keep up with the wrongdoers. But we've put together a pretty comprehensive plan: a Tradie Pay Guarantee with so-called ‘cascading trusts’ which ensure that on big Commonwealth projects people who do the work on time, get paid on time. We'll beef up the funding to ASIC to run cases going after dodgy phoenix directors, not only to catch them but send an example to the rest of the industry.Read more