HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 JULY 2019
A zettabyte is a billion terabytes. A decade ago, global annual data generation was less than one zettabyte. When the coalition came to office in 2013, it was a few zettabytes. Now it is around 25 zettabytes and projected next year to go to 40 zettabytes. We currently produce the same amount of digital data every two days as we did in a year in 2002. The rise of the Internet of Things and wearables technologies and falling storage costs have meant that data is ubiquitous and has the potential to greatly improve the quality of social services and business productivity.
In areas such as health data, energy and social services, it is possible to get significant advantages to the benefit of all Australians, and yet Australia currently lags behind other countries when it comes to access to data. As a report from the Australian Data Archive in 2016 noted:
Australia is well behind the UK, US and most of Europe on open data. This is impacting Australia's ability to be competitive [in research] and its standing [in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences] discipline.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 JULY 2019
Earlier this year, Alan Krueger died. He was one of the leading labour economists of his generation, having done path-breaking research on minimum wages and employment, education, terrorism, health care, the opioid epidemic and the gig economy.
He pioneered the Great Gatsby curve and wrote Rockonomics, published posthumously.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 JULY 2019
Australians are rightly concerned about multinational tax avoidance. They want a crackdown on tax havens and profit shifting. But what do they get instead?
They get Senator Cormann, who received free flights from Helloworld, a company headed by Andrew Burnes, the former Liberal Party federal treasurer, and a company that received a contract to provide travel management services to the Commonwealth in 2015.Read more
TACKLING INEQUALITY MEANS CRACKING DOWN ON TAX HAVENS
One of the world’s most reputable not-for-profit groups is urging the Coalition to crack down on tax havens, saying Australia is “falling far behind” on tax transparency.
New research released by Oxfam today estimates that governments around the world are losing $190 billion a year in tax revenue as multinational tax avoiders conceal funds.
An estimated $15 billion is being ripped away from the African continent, home to half of the world’s people living in extreme poverty. While billions of dollars is being hidden from their governments, 40 per cent of the people living in sub-Saharan Africa still don’t have access to clean drinking water.Read more
MONDAY, 29 JULY 2019
Subjects: The Morrison Government’s mediocre record on productivity, tax havens, Angus Taylor, the need to raise Newstart.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning. We've seen reports today that Australia's productivity performance is in the doldrums. After decades in which we had productivity growth averaging around 2 per cent, over the last couple of years we've seen it in just 0.2 per cent – a tenth of its previous level. The Productivity Commission has described productivity as being ‘troubling’ and ‘mediocre’.
We’ve got mediocre productivity performance from the mediocre Morrison Government.Read more
A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA FOR TACKLING AUSTRALIA’S PRODUCTIVITY CRISIS
Inside Story, 29 July 2019
At the start of June, the Productivity Commission quietly dropped a bombshell. Australia’s productivity growth had basically stalled. Labour productivity — output per hour worked — was more or less flatlining. After a generation in which labour productivity had grown at almost 2 per cent a year, it had tumbled to just 0.2 per cent.
The commission called the results “mediocre” and “troubling,” but for some sectors they were downright appalling. In farming, mining, construction, transport and retail, labour productivity went backwards. In other words, workers in those sectors were producing less per hour than they had the year before. The latest numbers continued a trend of weakening productivity growth that the commission dates back to 2013.Read more
ABC NEWS RADIO
THURSDAY, 25 JULY 2019
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: It’s a pretty extraordinary suggestion that we would take people earning under $50,000 out of the superannuation system. I don’t know why it is that when the Liberals sit down to go back to their basic philosophies, they're not talking about helping low income workers, they’re not talking about dealing with wage theft or climate change. It's all about saying ‘well I'm in a job with 15 per cent super contribution, but wouldn't be beaut if the poorest Australians didn't have anything in their super at all’.
HOST: Well, why don't you think Australians - I mean, particularly those on low incomes, like you say - why shouldn't they have the freedom to decide for themselves how to save?
LEIGH: Universal superannuation ensures that all Australians get the benefits of those compounding returns. Countries around the world look to Australia as an exemplar of a country that's managed to put in place superannuation for everyone. But the Liberals think that superannuation should only be for the rich, and they think instead the poor should be shut out of the system. It's just not the way to go. And if Scott Morrison is serious when he tells backbenchers they shouldn't be freelancing, then he'll crack down on this one.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 JULY 2019
Born in Agra and raised in Chandigarh, Deepak-Raj Gupta probably didn't imagine, when he moved to Melbourne as an international student in 1989, that one day he would be serving in the ACT Legislative Assembly. But, as a result of a number of tragedies and coincidences, he is about to join that august body.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 JULY 2019
Warren Buffett once said that it is only when the tide goes out you can work out who is swimming without any clothes. As the tide starts to go out on the Australian economy, it's not a pretty look for the Prime Minister and the Treasurer.
At the heart of the problems for the Australian economy is lacklustre wage growth which is running now at half the level it was before the global financial crisis. Productivity in Australia has been, according to the Productivity Commission, ‘mediocre’. That's because the government is failing to put in place essential investments in education and in infrastructure. We’re also seeing a falling back in demand which means that our employment rate is a full percentage point higher than Britain, New Zealand, the United States or Germany.Read more
MONDAY, 22 JULY 2019
Subjects: The Drought Future Fund; the Morrison Government’s lack of policy clothing; foreign fighters; protesters; superannuation.
HOST: Thank you very much for your time this morning. One of the bills - and great to be with you - one of the bills that will be debated this week is the future drought fund. Will Labor support it?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: If it’s got new money, we're very happy to back it. The problem is so far the government simply wants to do pea and thimble tricks, moving money from one fund to another. The money they want to put in this future drought fund comes from the Building Australia Fund, which is the fund providing infrastructure across the nation, including in rural and regional communities-
HOST: But the government-
LEIGH: So it's beyond me why you want to take money out of rural and regional infrastructure and put it in combating drought. What farmers need is new resources, not a reallocation of existing ones.