SPEECH, FEDERATION CHAMBER
THURSDAY, 24 MAY 2018
During my lifetime we in Australia have decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting adults. We have removed many forms of institutionalised discrimination against LGBT+ Australians. And we have belatedly legislated same-sex marriage.
There is more to be done in Australia, but there is much more to be done around the world. According to the ILGA's 2017 report, as of May 2017, 72 states continue to criminalise same-sex consensual activity—that is, more than one-third of the world's nations. There are currently eight nations in which the death penalty is imposed as a punishment for same-sex consensual sexual acts.Read more
SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 24 MAY 2018
There is a reason the government ran out of speakers on this debate. There is a reason the Treasurer had no-one behind him. It's because this government is, deep down, ashamed of the package they have. They're ashamed that we on this side of the House are offering tax cuts which are better, bigger and fairer than theirs. On budget night, the Treasurer cunningly put together two sets of tax cuts—a set that comes in in about six weeks time and a set that comes in in about six years time. The set that come in in about six weeks time would, according to the Grattan Institute, make the tax system more progressive. That's why Labor is happy to support those tax cuts due to take effect in six weeks time. In fact, we won't just back them. We'll do better. We will offer an average Australian an additional $400 a week compared to those opposite.Read more
SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 22 MAY 2018
There's one thing worse than right-wing ideologues, and that's unoriginal right-wing ideologues who have to borrow their tax-cutting strategy from overseas. The story of this government's personal income tax plan originates in United States Republican law, with people like Irving Kristol and Grover Norquist. To see the origins of this, you need to look back to the Bush tax cuts implemented in 2003, which saw 53 per cent of the cuts going to the top one per cent. American taxpayers making $10 million or more pocketed an average of $1 million a year. But, in order to hide from the American people the impact of that tax cut, a short-term stimulus was put in place, and so everybody saw an immediate handout but, over the long run, it was the most affluent who received the most.Read more
Launch of National Volunteer Week 2018
21 May 2018
When I think back to my childhood, volunteering is among the most memorable things I did. Working with the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers to build a track in Nowra. Standing in Hornsby shopping centre dressed in a clown suit, selling juggling balls to raise money for Oxfam. Volunteering at Redfern Legal Centre and the ACT Welfare Rights Centre as a law student and junior lawyer.
But while we have this huge strength for volunteering which Minister Tehan has referred to, the overall statistics suggest a problem. As Australia has become more ‘disconnected’ on a range of dimensions. So too, volunteering has fallen. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the share of people who volunteered in the past year has fallen from 36 per cent to 31 per cent. We need to turn that trend around. That’s why Labor leader Bill Shorten after the last election made the historic decision of creating a portfolio for charities and not for profits, recognising that volunteering doesn't sit neatly within environment, law or social services but spans all of those areas and much more.Read more
BUDGET 2018: THEY CUT, YOU PAY
SPEECH – MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
We've seen many Malcolm Turnbulls over the years.
We've seen the Republican Malcolm Turnbull and the Malcolm Turnbull who says that it's ‘not the time’ to become a republic.
We've seen the multicultural member for Wentworth and the member for Wentworth who appoints Peter Dutton.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who wanted a Labor Senate spot and we've seen the member for Wentworth who would spend a million dollars of his own money to win an election.
We've seen the Q&A member for Wentworth and the member for Wentworth who cuts the ABC.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who was in here in 2016 wanting to raise income taxes and the member for Wentworth who was in here saying he was going to cut income taxes.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who crossed the floor to support an emissions trading scheme and the member for Wentworth who is presiding over an increase in Australian emissions.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who said that there was never a more exciting time to be Prime Minister and the member for Wentworth who struggled to stay awake last night!
Now we're seeing the street-spruiker member for Wentworth saying, 'It is time for the closing-down sale—grab a bargain.'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
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2017
I have spoken half a dozen times in this parliament in support of marriage equality.
As an economist, we are often faced with public -policy decisions that involve trade-offs: one group made better off while another group is made worse off. This is, to my great delight, not one of those debates. This is a moment where a group of Australians will be made better off. Australians in same-sex relationships will have the opportunity to wed, and no-one will be made worse off.
Heterosexual marriages, like my own, will not be weakened. Indeed, some may be strengthened, given that, as we know, some heterosexual couples have held off tying the knot until marriage equality becomes reality.Read more
MONDAY, 4 DECEMBER 2017
Last week, by a vote of 51 to 49, the US Senate passed a major corporate tax cut.
The bill has several similarities with the corporate tax cut being debated here. A survey by the University of Chicago found that 37 out of 38 US economists said the GOP bill would increase the deficit. The 38th later said they didn't understand the question.
In Australia, an Economic Society of Australia survey of 31 economists found two-thirds agreeing that ‘Australia will receive a bigger economic growth dividend in the long run by spending on education than by offering an equivalent amount in a tax cut to business’. Treasury's own estimates say that the government's big-business company tax cut would deliver only a 0.1 per cent increase in personal income - in the 2030s.Read more
MONDAY, 4 DECEMBER 2017
Two and half weeks ago I joined Canberrans in a park near my office as we waited for the results of the vote on marriage equality.
The results were overwhelming.
Compared with the 62 per cent vote nationally, 74 per cent of Canberrans supported same-sex marriage, making the ACT not just the OECD's most livable region, not just a Lonely Planet a must-visit destination, but also the state or territory in Australia with the highest support for same-sex marriage.
But these figures don't tell the full story.Read more
Cooperative week for Australia’s most cooperative sector - Speech to the Business Council Of Co-Operatives and Mutuals Summit Dinner
ADDRESS TO THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF CO-OPERATIVES AND MUTUALS SUMMIT DINNER
THURSDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2017
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
Thank you Annabel [Crabb] for that characteristically double-edged introduction.
It’s been a cooperative week for Australia’s most cooperative sector. Politicians are not always famous for our ability to cooperate with one another. I trust if we do nothing else that Michael and I can help to assuage the stereotype tonight.
As Michael said, he was the only Coalition MP to come to my book launch recently – although it has to be said that precisely one week after the book was launched I got a telephone call from Liberal cabinet minister, saying ‘so I’m in the room, where is this book launch of yours?’
There’s a metaphor there. I’ll come back to it.
I acknowledge Melina Morrison, your extraordinarily hard working CEO, who recently encouraged the creation of the Parliamentary Friends of Mutuals and Co-ops. I acknowledge Chris Ketter – there is no stronger champion of cooperatives or Queensland in the room. Scott Emerson. Outgoing BCCM chair, Andrew Crane.Read more