FOUR REASONS FOR TARGETING FOUR PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT
KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO THE INEQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY CONFERENCE, CO-HOSTED BY GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
28 JUNE 2019
My thanks to the organisers of this important conference for the chance to speak with you today.
I acknowledge the traditional Indigenous owners of the lands on which we meet today, and pay respects to their elders. Achieving equality of opportunity relies crucially on Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Over the past generation, inequality in Australia has risen markedly. Whether measured by wealth, income, earnings or consumption, the gap has widened. As many of the presentations in this conference have highlighted, more inequality has meant more social immobility. I think of this using the analogy of a ladder: when the rungs are spaced a long way apart, it’s harder to climb up and down.
There’s also an issue of misperceptions. Many Australians think that the distribution of incomes is fairer than it really is. Surveyed on their perceived level of wealth inequality, the typical Australian thinks that we have a more equal distribution of wealth than in Scandinavia. In reality, Australian inequality is closer to inequality in the United States.Read more
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2019
Subjects: Territory rights, assisted dying, Cory Bernardi.
ROD HENSHAW: Australian states and territories are looking closely at how Victoria's voluntary euthanasia laws play out, following that state's introduction of the legislation which came into effect yesterday as we all know. Here in the ACT, a number of rights advocates are hoping the Victorian model will lead to the federal government relaxing its legislative hold on the ACT and the Northern Territory, which has so far prevented the introduction of similar assisted dying legislation. Now Dr Andrew Leigh, the Member for Fenner here in Canberra, has undertaken to have talks with his Labor colleagues at federal level to see if there's a way forward. Andrew Leigh’s on the line with me now. Andrew, good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Rod. Great to be with you.
HENSHAW: Thanks so much for joining us. Just before we get into this very important subject, I've got some breaking news this afternoon that Senator Cory Bernardi rather is deregistering his Australian conservatives.
LEIGH: Well, it's a decision from a man who took top spot on his party's Senate ticket, got elected for a six year term and then immediately quit and set up his own party. I'm not sure what his plan is for getting re-elected under his own name, but I imagine that he's staring down the barrel of his last term in office if he is to stay a member of the Australian conservatives.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2019
Subjects: Income tax cuts; the macroeconomy.
ROSS GREENWOOD: So let's now pick up a bit of where this goes to with the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Always good to have him on the program. From the Labor Party of course, Andrew Leigh is on the line. Andrew, as always, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY: Pleasure, Ross. Great to be with you.
GREENWOOD: All right. Okay, let's go through some of these bits and pieces. Number one, Mathias Cormann is going to put enormous pressure on your side of politics when Parliament resumes to try and pass his tax cut bill in its entirety. Of course, he's also been through the crossbenchers, some of whom are horse trading trying to get it through. Why now is it that the Labor Party would resist this? Surely it's a case whereby the Reserve Bank says we need tax cuts, many Australians understand the need for tax cuts. Why is it that the Labor Party would even resist on the whole package of tax cuts that are to come over the next four years?
SKY NEWS AM AGENDA
MONDAY, 17 JUNE 2019
Subjects: Hong Kong protests, tax cuts, Paladin, medevac.
LAURA JAYES: Joining me now from Canberra is Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh. Before we get to the economic, the economic policies and those tax cuts passing or not passing through Parliament, I want to ask you first Dr Leigh about your view of what's happened in Hong Kong in the last week and whether the Australian Government has done enough to support these protesters or has there been this fear of a China backlash perhaps.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Laura. Great to be with you. I really take my hat off to the bravery of those two million Hong Kongers who've taken to the streets to demand their fundamental liberties. Under the 50 year handover that was agreed in 1997, it is important that Hong Kong maintain that separate system and I’ve been surprised frankly that the Australian Government hasn't been speaking out in support of those protesters who've been arguing against the fugitive extradition laws.Read more
SMALL-L LIBERALISM AND THE LABOR TRADITION*
KEYNOTE ADDRESS - SECOND ANNUAL HISTORY AND THE HILL CONFERENCE - AUSTRALIAN POLICY AND HISTORY
13 JUNE 2019
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders.
In many countries, social democrats are on the ropes. In the United States, Republicans control the White House and the Senate. At a state level, 23 states are fully controlled by Republicans, compared with just 15 by Democrats. In Britain, the internal turmoil inside the Conservative Party has not translated into support for Labour, with prominent Labour figures now joining the Liberal Democrats. In Germany, the 2017 election loss saw the social democrats record their worst defeat in the post-war era. In France, social democrats came fifth in the presidential election. Social democrats have also seen a collapse in their vote in the Netherlands, Italy and Hungary.Read more
REAGAN'S TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER DIES
Australian Financial Review, 12 June 2019
A mark of a great policy economist is their willingness to stick to good science, even where it disagrees with their preferred side of politics. American economist Martin Feldstein, who died this week at the age of 79, was such a person.
From 1982 to 1984, Feldstein served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, which effectively made him Ronald Reagan’s top economic adviser. While Reagan oversaw a massive increase in government debt, Feldstein urged balanced budgets. At a time when many in the Reagan administration were willing to let deficits balloon, Feldstein recognised that there are only two ways to pay for government spending: taxes now or taxes later.
I first met Marty, as he was generally known, as a student in a small graduate class on public finance in the early-2000s. His love of teaching was legendary, and he had for many years taught Economics 10, Harvard’s signature undergraduate class on economics. Among graduate students, Marty focused special attention on areas where he had published journal articles (he wrote more than 300) or op-eds (which he produced prolifically).Read more
ABC DRIVE MELBOURNE
WEDNESDAY, 5 JUNE 2019
Subjects: AFP raids, economy, Canberra.
HOST: Andrew Leigh is the ALP member for the seat of Fenner in the ACT, joining us from our Canberra studio. How are you going Andrew?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY: Very well, Raf. G’day, Tim. How are you?
TIM WILSON: Good, Andrew. How are you?
LEIGH: Wonderfully well.
HOST: Tim, I’ll start with you, as a Government representative in some ways. Are you concerned by the raids? Are they an infringement on people's ability to report on government?Read more
INDIGENOUS SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EVENT
31 MAY 2019
Like Auntie Roslyn Brown, I acknowledge that we're meeting on traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and pay my respect to elders, past and present. I acknowledge the extraordinary leadership of Cindy Mitchell as the executive chief executive officer of Mill House Ventures, recognise Maree Sainsbury, Peter Radoll, Dennis Foley, Susan Moylan-Coombs, Adrian Appo and many other distinguished guests here today. I was a regular visitor to University of Canberra's campus during the course of the election campaign and I certainly hope to be back on a regular basis over the course of this term, and I'll say very briefly at the end of some remarks about one of those visits.
When I was at university, I worked as an instructor at Sport and Recreation camps. One of the things we used to teach children to do was to throw a boomerang. One of the great things you can do when you've got a group of kids around and they're looking at a boomerang is to turn the boomerang over so the flat side is up and ask them to tell you the difference between the two arms of the boomerang. Eventually they see the bevelled edge of the two arms sits on the bottom of one arm on the top of the other. When they reflect on it a bit more they realise that it's those two bevels that cause the boomerang as it spins to trace out an arc. In an instant they come to realise the sheer ingenuity of those who tens of thousands of years ago invented the boomerang.
APPOINTMENT AS A SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER
I am pleased to be appointed by Anthony Albanese as Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury.
Labor has always been the party that drives economic reform in Australia. When the Grattan Institute identified the ten biggest economic reforms of the past generation, six were Labor reforms, three were bipartisan, and only one was a Coalition idea.
The election result does not change the problems in the Australian economy. Living standards and wages have been stagnant for years. The business startup rate is falling. Household debt and government debt have skyrocketed. Australia is missing in action when it comes to global reform of the multinational tax and trading system. Poverty and inequality are too high.Read more
ABC CANBERRA DRIVE
THURSDAY, 30 MAY 2019
Subjects: The federal election, Labor frontbench.
ANNA VIDOT: Andrew Leigh, thank you for joining us this afternoon and commiserations.
ANDREW LEIGH, MEMBER FOR FENNER: Oh thanks, Anna. That's very kind, but terrific news that Katy Gallagher is in the shadow ministry. Canberrans can be confident that they're going to be well represented on Labor's frontbench.
VIDOT: And we're all on tenterhooks to find out exactly what portfolios she’ll be taking over. In a statement that you released earlier today, Andrew Leigh, you urged non-factionally aligned members of the Labor Party to stay engaged. But why should they, when your contribution has been rewarded in this way?
LEIGH: Well, I've had the privilege for the last six years of being on Labor's frontbench, working as the Shadow Assistant Treasurer on developing nearly 20 multinational tax policies, as Shadow Minister for Competition working on a dozen monopoly-busting policies and as the first-ever Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits on engaging with the community sector and building their policies. So I've had a great privilege working on those policies and I'll be exceptionally active over the next three years to make sure that the values of Canberra and that my ideas on economics are incorporated into Labor's policy agenda for the next election.Read more