LABOR WILL REQUIRE FIRMS TO REPORT THE RATIO OF CEO PAY TO MEDIAN WORKER PAY
A Shorten Labor Government would promote fairness and tackle inequality in the workplace by requiring all listed firms with more than 250 employees to report the ratio of their CEO pay to the pay of the median employee.
The call for CEO pay transparency follows a report which found that the average total pay of ASX100 CEOs rose by 9 per cent last year - four times the speed of average wage growth. The median ASX100 CEO earned more than $4 million.
The best-paid Australian CEOs, Domino’s Don Meij, made $37 million last year. This was after a year in which the Fair Work Ombudsman publicly complained that Domino’s had failed to comply with requests to provide information into claims that Domino’s franchisees were paying workers as little as $10 an hour. Mr Meij made $10 every eight seconds.Read more
SATURDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission interim report, the crisis in aged care, troop deployment, free trade.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for being here today. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. It was in April 2016 that Labor first called for a Banking Royal Commission. Scott Morrison opposed it, voted against it 26 times in the parliament, called it a populist whinge. And it took until November 2017 before the Government finally announced the Banking Royal Commission. If the government had followed Labor's lead, we wouldn't now be discussing the Interim Report of the Banking Royal Commission – we would be implementing the final report of the Banking Royal Commission. I want to commend the many victims who have come forward and told their stories to the banking Royal Commission. But because the Liberals delayed a Banking Royal Commission for more than 600 days, many of these victims were hurt who wouldn't have been hurt otherwise. If the government had acted when Labor called for a Banking Royal Commission, some of the egregious wrongdoing that we've seen wouldn't have occurred.
Now, this Banking Royal Commission is important to air the wrongdoing that's been occurring in the banking sector. The Royal Commissioner has said the problem lies in greed. We're never going to see greed in the banking sector tackled by a prime minister whose role model is Gordon Gekko. If you take a 'greed is good' philosophy to government, as the Liberals do, you're never going to be able to implement the reforms that are needed to tackle the wrongdoing in banking.
This royal commission is an important economic reform. The Royal Commissioner has gone to some of the fundamental issues within the sector, issues around vertical integration and conflicted remuneration. Labor's hope is that out of this will emerge a stronger banking sector. Finance is, after all, the lifeblood of the economy. We're committed to a royal commission implementation taskforce within Treasury under a Shorten Labor Government. We've said that if elected, Chris Bowen would report regularly to Parliament on the progress of implementing the royal commission's recommendations.
A Banking Royal Commission is not only about exposing wrongdoing - it's about strengthening the economic fundamentals of Australia. Again, Labor got the big economic call right and the Liberals got it wrong. Just as we saw during the global financial crisis, when the Liberals got the economic call wrong by voting against the second tranche of fiscal stimulus that helped save 200,000 jobs and tens of thousands of small businesses. Just as we saw in the past, when the Liberals opposed capital gains taxation and Medicare and universal superannuation. Labor has gotten the big economic calls right and Scott Morrison has gotten them wrong. It’s time Scott Morrison didn't just call on banks to apologize but apologized himself. Scott Morrison needs to apologize to the Australian people for standing in the way of this Banking Royal Commission, for delaying it in a way in which we've seen more victims hurt and a significant delay in the implementation of these important reforms.Read more
TIME TO ACT ON MUTUALS REFORM
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Labor intervening in Australian mortgage market and minimising impact of Global Financial Crisis.
Labor has a strong history of making the rights calls for the economy and it’s with this in mind that we renew our push for increased competition in the banking sector.
This chaotic Coalition won’t give the banks real competition, but Labor will take action.Read more
HOW THE TAX SYSTEM CAN NARROW (OR WIDEN) THE GENDER GAP
Ten Daily, 26 September 2018
There are significant gender differences in Australia today. More large companies are run by men named John than by women. Women comprise fewer than one-third of judges and federal parliamentarians. Among full-time workers, women earn 85 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is like women working without pay for the first seven weeks of the year. Because mothers are more likely to take a career break to look after the kids, the lifetime earnings gap is larger still: a difference reflected in the fact that men have nearly twice as much in their superannuation accounts.
Yet when it was suggested a few months ago that we should consider the gender impact of tax changes, Scott Morrison called the idea ‘nonsense’. If you think that Australia has more work to do on the path towards gender equality, then it seems strange to rule out the possibility that the tax system could have any role to play on that journey.
The fact is, the tax system already exacerbates gender inequality in a number of important respects.Read more
THE POSTCODE PARADOX: WHY IS AUSTRALIAN INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY SO LOW, AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO INCREASE IT?
EVATT FOUNDATION NSW PARLIAMENT LECTURE
TUESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2018
I acknowledge that we meet on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay respect to their Elders past and present. I’m grateful we’re joined by current parliamentarians John Graham, Julia Finn, Mick Veitch, Adam Searle, and Penny Sharpe, and former parliamentarians Jeannette McHugh and Bruce Childs. Special thanks to Clara Edwards and Chris Sheil of the Evatt Foundation for the honour of speaking with you today. And what better respondent could I have than Labor’s candidate for Balmain, 94 years after Evatt first won that seat for our party? Elly Howse will be a great member for Balmain, and I hope you will support her in that goal.
To speak in honour of Herbert Vere Evatt is to be reminded of one’s own inadequacies. State parliamentarian at age 31. High Court judge at 36. Attorney General under Curtin. President of the United Nations General Assembly. Leader of the Federal Opposition. Chief Justice of NSW. Author of seminal books on the Rum Rebellion, the royal prerogative, and Labor’s conscription split.Read more
SKY NEWS AGENDA
MONDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Julie Bishop, the Coalition’s policy black hole, Newspoll.
KIERAN GILBERT, HOST: Welcome back to the program. With me now is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Good morning and welcome to you, I want to play for our viewers some comments made by Julie Bishop on 60 minutes and then I'll get your thoughts on them.
JULIE BISHOP, LIBERAL MP: I think the question term probably does more damage to the reputation of the political class than any other issue. There's far too much throwing of insults and vicious behaviour, name calling and alike, and the public see that as no better than school children. In fact, not as well behaved as school children. As a minister and as a shadow minister, you are judged on your ability to strike a blow against your political opponent.
GILBERT: The former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop there with Chris Uhlmann on Nine Network. What do you make of those remarks? Do you agree that the tone of Question Time should improve?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Question Time’s a peculiarly Australian institution, Kieran, and it’s one in which there is a good deal more shouting than there is in the more genteel British equivalent. I think sometimes people do forget their old debating injunction that interjections should only be hurled if they are concise, witty and pertinent. But it's important that we make sure that Question Time does show us that our best. I'm not sure we always live up to that standard-Read more
INDEPENDENT MECHANICS WILL BENEFIT IF WE BREAK MANUFACTURER'S SECRET CODE
The Australian, 24 September 2018
Just imagine if your local plumber told you that they couldn’t fix your new toilet, because the manufacturer wouldn’t give them the instruction manuals. Instead, you had to go to an ‘authorised plumber’ - approved by the manufacturer.
Sounds farcical, doesn’t it? But this is the situation that tens of thousands of independent mechanics find themselves in across Australia, as they struggle to get software updates from vehicle manufacturers.
Modern cars are computers on wheels, with dozens of onboard computers controlling everything from the engine to the entertainment system. Like your smartphone, the software gets regular updates. When a part is changed, the system will sometimes ask the mechanic to enter a special code.
Independent mechanics are happy to pay a fair rate for these data, but right now some makers are outright refusing to share them. The result is that independent mechanics get less business, drivers get less choice, and everyone gets frustrated.Read more
TAX HAVENS: THE LITTLE ISLANDS THAT ARE COSTING YOU BIG MONEY
TAX AND TRANSFER POLICY INSTITUTE
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, CANBERRA
FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we’re meeting today, and pay my respects to their elders past and present.
Friends, we can’t put it off any longer. The time has come to talk about Peter.
As you may know, Peter is the CEO and owner of the famous company Peter & Co.[i] Peter is well connected and has the means to create an anonymous shell company where ownership disclosure regulations are relaxed. I hear he’s chosen the Cayman Islands.
Many banks in tax havens cater to the wealthy and are not reliable in sharing information with foreign tax authorities, so Peter has opened an account under the shell company’s name in another tax haven. Word on the street is that Peter has selected Panama for this part of his business dealings.
The last piece of the elaborate puzzle is for Peter & Co. to buy consulting and legal services from his Cayman shell company, with the money wired to his shell company’s Panama account.
The arrangement, on paper, looks legitimate at first glance, but the result is Peter reducing his company’s tax-assessable income – shifting profits out of Australia.Read more
TACKLING TAX HAVENS
A Shorten Labor Government will clamp down on unsubstantiated allowances for travel to tax havens and target ‘passport shopping’ through measures raising more than $9 million over the forward estimates.
Globally, around $600 billion of profits are estimated to be shifted to tax havens, representing almost 40 percent of multinational profits
Tax havens are used by drug-runners, extortionists and money-launderers. They are used to hide the proceeds of fraud, corruption and tax evasion. According to one estimate, around four-fifths of money in offshore bank accounts is there in breach of other countries’ tax laws.
Under Australian tax law, a company executive can receive tax-free allowances related to travel to Bermuda, Panama and similar jurisdictions.Read more
ABC RN DRIVE
THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: School funding, gender advocacy toolkit, women in politics, housing.
PATRICIA KARVELAS, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Welcome to RN Drive.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Patricia. Great to be with you.
KARVELAS: The federal government announced it will adopt a new funding model that uses parental tax data to calculate the school's wealth. That means wealthier schools should get funding and needier schools would get more as well. Does Labor think that's a good idea?
LEIGH: Patricia, we’re certainly open to refinements that target need. Labor's the party that's founded on the notion of fairness and equity. So if we can improve targeting, then that makes sense-
KARVELAS: So you support it?
LEIGH: But the key question here is whether or not the government intends to put the money back into public schools that it's ripped out. I mean, you remember in the 2013 election Tony Abbott went to the election with signs at polling booths saying you can vote Labor or Liberal-
KARVELAS: That's some time ago. The government has actually funded state schools, has delivered on the Gonski model.
LEIGH: No, it hasn't. No. They have ripped $14 billion out of schools and I love the way Josh Frydenberg talks about how he's capping spending and then with the next breath says that he's not cutting from schools. And the fact is their first budget cut $30 billion from schools and then they reduced it to a $22 billion cut, now to a $17 billion cut. Now they've done a special deal for Catholic and independent schools. But 2.5 million Australian kids who attend public schools are still missing out.Read more