SKY NEWS, AM AGENDA
MONDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2017
SUBJECTS: Trumbull’s year so far; Bernexit; Clean Energy Finance Corporation investing in coal.
KIERAN GILBERT: With me now is Labor frontbencher, Andrew Leigh. There were reports over the break that Cory Bernardi will be leaving the Liberals and setting up his own Australian conservative movement and now the ABC is suggesting that is going to happen within 48 hours Your thoughts and reaction on that story?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: We thought Tony Abbott had set the benchmark for a bad start when he knighted Prince Phillip but it seems Malcolm Turnbull is able to go one better. He has had a catastrophic start to the year, Kieran. A lack of policy direction, losing his health minister and now with Cory Bernardi and George Christensen clearly off the reservation. This is a Prime Minister who isn't even able to lead his own party let alone to tell the nation where he wants to go. Nor to answer that fundamental question: what's the point of the Turnbull Government?Read more
Sir Tony Atkinson: The Economist who had the measure of inequality, Canberra Times, 4 January 2017
If you've ever referred to ‘the 1 percent’, you're using the work of Tony Atkinson. Tony, who died on 1 January, aged 72, contributed as much as any modern economist to the study of poverty and inequality.
When I first met Tony in the early-2000s, I was struck by the contrast between his exalted status and his willingness to engage with a mere PhD student. He was the head of Oxford's prestigious Nuffield College, and had recently been knighted by both the British and French governments. It always made me smile when I thought that the only ‘Sir’ I knew was my inequality coauthor.
Trained originally as a mathematician, Tony could crunch numbers with the best of them. But like Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, he recognised the importance of economics being grounded in history and politics. He was generous to intellectual predecessors like his Cambridge teachers James Meade and Joan Robinson. When we worked together on the antipodes, he made sure that our articles acknowledged the groundbreaking work of Australian researchers like Timothy Coghlan and Colin Clark.
Tony's interest in poverty and inequality was piqued in the 1960s, when he worked with deprived children in Hamburg, Germany. Over the next five decades, there was virtually no aspect of the field that he left untouched. He created his own inequality measure (the Atkinson Index), devised a novel technique for estimating wealth inequality from inheritance data, and shook up public finance through his work on optimal taxation with Joseph Stiglitz (who would go on to win the Nobel Prize).Read more
WEDNESDAY, 13 MAY 2015
SUBJECT/S: Budget 2015
GARY ADSHEAD: I'm here with Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Thanks for your time, Andrew.
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER ANDREW LEIGH: Pleasure, Gary.
ADSHEAD: Alright now look: looking at the Budget, it's about fairness they say. They're calling it about fairness and encouraging people to have a go. Are you going to get on board with this one?
LEIGH: Look, I think there are two ways in which you can view the Budget. You can firstly put Tony Abbott's own test to it. He said that under a Coalition Government debt would be down, taxes would be down, spending would be down. Under all of those tests, the Budget has gone in the opposite direction. Double the deficit since last year and the highest tax and spending levels under this Government that we've seen. But the other way, as you say, is the fairness test and investment in the future. There, I worry that Western Australia has had $8 billion ripped out of schools and hospitals. There’s no investment in science and research which will underpin the job growth of the future. So the long-run plan really seems to be missing from the Budget.