TUESDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Franking credits, Labor’s Tradie Pay Guarantee.
LEON BYNER: Let's bring in the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, thanks for coming on. What do you say to what Gottliebsen had to say?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Australia is unusual in the world - in fact, unique in the world - in having a system of refundable franking credits. It's not the way franking credits worked when Paul Keating introduced it in 1987. It was changed in 2001. So there’s a group of taxpayers - 8 per cent of taxpayers - who don't pay the Tax Office, they get paid by the Tax Office. And at a time when we want to invest in solving the crisis in aged care, to put more money into schools and invest in reducing those hospital waiting lists and extend early childhood the three year olds, we have to look at tax concessions like this one. You have to ask yourself: if this is such a great tax arrangement, why are we the only country in the world doing it this way? More than half the benefits go to people with more than two and a half million dollars in their superannuation account. I don't deny that they worked hard and saved hard, but the question is whether they should be getting a cheque from the government at a time when the government says it can't afford to put in place enough home care packages for our older Australians.Read more
TUESDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to protect our tradies; Snowy 2.0; AAT appointments.
CATHY O'TOOLE, MEMBER FOR HERBERT: It's great to be here today at the Oonoonba State School with the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh, the Dawson candidate for Labor, Belinda Hassan and our candidate for Queensland Senator, Nita Green. We're here today to look at the school and the result of what's happened at the floods.
But what I would like to say to the people of Townsville, on top of these dreadful floods, we have had an incredibly horrible tragedy happen overnight with the loss of two little children - a three year old and five year old from one family. I am sure I can say on behalf of this whole community, our hearts go out to that family. And I would ask our community in the spirit of resilience and cooperation that we have seen throughout the floods, that we think about this family, and we do what we can do in our own communities to be as supportive as is humanly possible for this family at such a dreadfully difficult time.
But from that moving to our purpose of being here today, the announcement that Bill is going to make just folds in beautifully into the fact that our city is literally being rebuilt. That's what's happening now. The contractors and workers who are here are doing a magnificent job - as they are all over the city, and we just need to ensure that we protect them into the future. And I'll just hand over to Bill.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS
MONDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to make mergers fairer; Banking Royal Commission and Labor’s Banking Fairness Fund.
ROSS GREENWOOD: I want to take you to the Labor Party and its policies. As you know and as we saw today, Labor remains well ahead in the polls and so you've got to watch the policies to understand what's taking place in a prospective Labor Government after the May federal election. Now a few of them are important. One of them quite clearly is in regards to banking. And this is about though the government saying or rather Labor saying that if elected it would actually hit the banks to pay some $640 million to create a fund to allow more Australians access to compensation if the wrong thing is done to them by their banks. Now this would include more broadly - not just the big four banks, but it would include the likes of Macquarie, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Bank of Queensland would be in there as well, contributing to this fund. Now that tops up what is already available through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, which has been increased in terms of its payouts in the last little while. Second thing is also, as a part of this, Labor will fund more financial counsellors that will help people and small businesses to take on the banks. So at the moment there is a a number of them out there, say there's 500 or so, they’re saying they'd like to see a thousand out there. But on top of that also a few other bits and pieces, say for example when big companies merge, is competition taken out of the marketplace or not? We’ll again hear Labor as saying they want the ACCC to go back and review mergers and after they've happened see whether the desired consequences have actually occurred. Now to help us out here, let's bring in Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and the Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity is on the line right now. Andrew, as always, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: A pleasure, Ross. A lot to get through there.
GREENWOOD: There is a lot to go through. Let's start with your portfolio specifically and that's this area of the ACCC and mergers. Now clearly there are some mergers that take place you look back in hindsight and say it was actually just a concentration of power - they got more power, they were able to basically clean up their competition. Is that the desired you know sort of effect of what you're trying to achieve here?Read more
LABOR WILL MAKE MERGER ANALYSIS SMARTER
Corporate misbehaviour at the expense of everyday Australians will be targeted under a Shorten Labor Government, which will require the competition watchdog to learn from its track record on approving mergers.
Many sectors in Australia are heavily concentrated, which can lead to firms using their market power to raise prices. Despite this, there is currently no official process for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to decide whether it made a mistake in allowing mergers.
From 1989 to 2018, the number of mergers in Australia increased seven-fold, from 259 to 1909, with the total value of merger transactions rising from US$34 to US$146 billion. As every sports fan knows, if you don’t learn from your past performance, you’re less likely to improve in the future.Read more
For many Australians, the fact is that everything is going up except their wages - Transcript, Sky News
MONDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Newspoll; Wage growth; Hayne Royal Commission; Climate change policy.
KIERAN GILBERT: With me now is Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. Andrew thanks very much for your time. Is it your view - and I know you’re not someone who comments on polls fortnight to fortnight but in the broad sense, is the issue of border protection and boats not a first order issue for most people that cost of living as Simon Benson put it before, the hip pocket remains the most decisive matter ahead of the election.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Sure does, Kieran. For many Australians, the fact is that everything is going up except their wages. They're feeling a squeeze on the household budget caused by rising energy prices, caused by the fact that the Government's been unable to put in place a serious energy policy. The Government don’t have a single policy that will boost wages. Unlike Labor who will immediately restore penalty rates and make sure that we're having proper workplace bargaining. And the Government at the same time has been focused on their internal infighting on working out who's Prime Minister, who's Treasurer, rather than setting the policy levers that are absolutely essential to get business humming again. We need to get productivity growth up and really see the economy fulfilling its true potential.
The truth is that no one will pay a single cent more tax under Labor's reforms to dividend imputation - Transcript, 2CC
MONDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Franking credits, school chaplains, climate change, Ita Buttrose.
TIM SHAW: Last week, ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja met with retirees at a forum at Parliament House. He was with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, looking at Labor's planned changes to franking credits. Senator Seselja joined me on the program on Wednesday ahead of the forum and he said it will leave thousands of retirees worse off. It's always good to get the other side's view. Dr Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Labor MP for Fenner, is on the line. Good morning, sir.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Tim. How are you?
BRINGING THE HIGH FLYERS DOWN TO EARTH
The Canberra Time, 23 February 2019
When Clive Palmer was recently revealed to have registered his Cessna Citation X in the Cayman Islands, sources close to the billionaire said that it was for three reasons: ‘for tax benefits and cheaper operational and maintenance costs’.
The idea that Palmer can save money by getting his jet serviced in a small island 15,000 kilometres away is, frankly, ludicrous. Indeed, his $4 million plane may never even have touched down there. But the Caymans charges no taxes, and is notoriously uncooperative with other governments - which is helpful when your creditors are chasing you for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Those who choose to use tax havens are mixing it with a group of characters that make the bar-room scene in Star Wars look like a church picnic. As recent leaks have revealed, tax havens are used by drug dealers and extortionists, kidnappers and kleptocrats. Many have just a virtual presence - one building in the Caymans is home to 18,000 companies. Others visit occasionally, just to ensure that the lawyers are keeping their affairs secret and untaxed. According to one estimate, four out of every five dollars in tax havens are there in breach of other countries’ tax laws.Read more
CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR BRAND
A WIN FOR SMALL BUSINESS AFTER LIBERAL BACK FLIP
After three years of fighting against it, the Liberals have finally backed in Labor’s Small Business Access to Justice policy, which helps small business to bring cases of anti-competitive behaviour to court.
Scott Morrison was forced into a humiliating back down on the issue today, less than a week after Mathias Cormann conceded that the Government didn’t have the numbers to block the amendment in the Senate.Read more
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST
MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Medivac bill; IPSOS poll; Labor’s plans to help small business.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: To talk about this and other issues, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh joins us now from Canberra. Good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Michael.
ROWLAND: Looking at this IPSOS poll first, has the Labor Party pulled the wrong reign here on asylum seekers?
LEIGH: Michael, I haven't commented on opinion polls in my nearly nine years in politics. And in my six years as an academic before that I wrote papers arguing that polls get too much attention. I’d be the last person to think that that ought to be our guiding star. Labor is focused on the big issues, on the stagnant wages, stagnant living standards and the fact that debt is going up while we're seeing living standards flatlining. They are the big issues for us.
ROWLAND: So the narrowest gap in six months, a four point drop in the Labor Party's primary vote does not concern you at all
LEIGH: We'd like to see the issues that matters to the Australian people implemented. Australians want the findings of the Hayne Royal Commission put into legislation. We would like to see parliament sit, not 10 days over 8 months, but sitting as the time that it takes in order to get the Hayne recommendations done. As you mentioned before, we will be grilling the government on this $500 million given to a company with headquarters in a shack on Kangaroo Island. It certainly smells a bit fishy to me.Read more
MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to help small business, upholding competition laws, petrol prices, Medivac bill.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Three years ago, Labor announced our Access to Justice for small business policy. It’s a policy that makes sure small business can take on the big end of town in competition litigation. Australia doesn't have enough private litigation upholding our competition laws. One of the reasons for that is that small business are scared about the prospect of being bankrupted by the other side’s legal costs. Labor's Access to Justice for small business policy has been welcomed by COSBOA, who say access to justice is a huge issue. It's been welcomed by the Small Business Ombudsman, herself a former Liberal chief minister, who has said that it's important to level the playing field between small business and big business. It’s also been welcomed by a range of Nationals - Barnaby Joyce, Keith Pitt, Andrew Broad and Llew O’Brien have said that they support Labor's access to justice for small business policy.
And yet Scott Morrison and the Liberals have been fighting against access to justice for small business for years now. They voted against it in the Senate as recently as Thursday night, they voted against our bill, when we brought it to the other place. And they have fought hard against small business, just as the Liberals fought hard against the banking royal commission. Let's not forget, Scott Morrison is the guy who voted against the Banking Royal Commission 26 times and only backed it after the big banks said they wanted a royal commission. Labor’s always been the party of small business. We've got a policy of data sharing for independent mechanics that ensures that they have the data they need to fix cars and stay in business. We've supported a mandatory code for auto dealers, levelling the imbalance that exists between the multinational manufacturers and the franchise operators that sell new cars. At the next election, small and big business will face the time same tax rates regardless of who wins. But under Labor, small business - and big business for that matter - will have access to the Australian Investment Guarantee, allowing more rapid depreciation of new purchases.Read more