SPEECH - FEDERATION CHAMBER
MONDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2018
For the last 10 weeks, Canberrans Jackson Bursill and Cassie Cohen have been pounding the pavements down our vast and varied east coast.
Jackson and Cassie's Bounding Plains to Share project will take them from Cooktown to Melbourne. They will run 4,000 kilometres in 100 days, with each day marked by local stories of refugees who have enriched Australia after fleeing persecution and conflict overseas.
Bounding Plains to Share celebrates people who've made our country a better place, very much in the spirit of the Welcome to Australia movement.Read more
SKY NEWS AM AGENDA
MONDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECTS: Closing the Gap report card, Labor’s compensation scheme promise, Barnaby Joyce, company tax cuts.
KIERAN GILBERT: With me on the program now, Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. If we start where we concluded with Simon Birmingham in relation to the company tax cuts. Major businesses - Andrew Mackenzie the chief executive of BHP saying that if tax cuts flow, investment will also flow. And if you don’t, he says there are questions raised as to whether companies like his – the largest miner in the world – will choose to continue to make new investments in countries like ours.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, let’s start with what the Government says the benefit is to households would be of their company tax cut. They say that if you cut company taxes and fund it by raising income taxes on middle income Australia, household income grows by 0.1 per cent in the 2030s. If you put that in practical terms, that means you get one extra month of household income growth in the 2030s-
GILBERT: Why did Labor support company tax cuts previously then? Is it a road to Damascus conversion?
LEIGH: We were doing that in a context in which we were closing loopholes, Kieran-
GILBERT: You saw benefits, though, previously?
LEIGH: Good tax reform involves broadening the base and lowering the rate. This is simply rate lowering at the expense of middle income Australians. The Liberals’ own modelling is saying it’s delivering an extra month’s household income growth in the 2030s. At a time when debt’s just passed a half a trillion dollar mark, it doesn’t seem like a great use of tax payer money to me.Read more
SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2018
This has been one of the most emotional weeks that I've seen in politics in my 7½ years in this place, a tough week for people on both sides of the House, where the personal has melted into the political, when private lives have been splashed across the front page and pulled apart in this very chamber.
The incredibly brave member for Longman was yesterday forced to relive one of the hardest experiences of her life: the moment when, as a six-year-old, her mother dropped off her school and never came back to pick her up. Her gracious speech, given in the face of intense scrutiny, her capiacity for forgiveness instead of hatred, is what we should strive for as politicians.Read more
THE LIBERALS’ WAR ON CHARITIES
SPEECH – MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2018
On Monday, Senator Louise Pratt, Labor colleagues and I met with dozens of charities concerned about the latest salvo in the Liberals’ war on charities. They included the Australian Council for International Development, CHOICE, Red Cross, Oxfam, CARE Australia, the Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, ACOSS, World Vision, RESULTS Australia and Pew Charitable Trusts. There is bipartisan support for banning foreign political donations. Indeed, it's been a year since the Leader of the Opposition introduced a private member's bill that would do just that. But banning donations to political parties should not entail cutting down free speech.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2018
Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (17:13): I move:
That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:
'whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:
(1) is of the opinion that with Government debt soaring ever higher, it’s time the Turnbull Government abandoned its plan to give big business a multi-billion tax cut;
(2) notes that the Government is debating legislative fixes that are a result of its slapdash approach to policy making; and
(3) calls on the Government to commit to a post-implementation review of this measure'.
Labor will support the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017, but we will not do so without calling the attention of this House to the Treasurer's litany of mistakes.
Just over 21 years ago, English Premier League side Southampton fielded a substitute player, Ali Dia, who had just arrived at the injury-depleted side with virtually unknown footballing credentials. In a match Southampton lost 2-0, Dia himself was substituted after a shocking performance and released from his contract within two weeks.
As it turned out, he'd bluffed his way into the job by getting a university friend to impersonate Ballon d'Or winner George Weah in a phone call to manager Graeme Souness to extol the player's skills. Souness's misplaced faith was mocked for decades to come. The player whom Dia replaced, Matt Le Tissier, spoke of the new substitute's performance in the following terms: 'He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice. It was very, very embarrassing to watch.' Souness defended the decision on the basis that his playing stocks were depleted, but nonetheless confessed that the experience was 'a kick in the bollocks'.Read more
TREASURER PATCHES UP HIS OWN PATCH-UP
Another day, another muck up by Scott Morrison.
Since its announcement, Labor has supported cutting taxes for businesses with a turnover below $2 million.
However, as early as September 2016, tax experts have warned that the actual legislation itself was unclear about whether or not bucket companies earning so-called passive income would be eligible for this tax cut.
The Turnbull Government initially denied that there was a problem, then after more than a year, they admitted that their legislation was faulty, and introduced a bill to fix it.
We were assured that this would be the end of it. But today, we will see the Turnbull Government patching up their patch-up. They have to amend their own amending bill, admitting - yet again – that they can't get the basics right.Read more
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECTS: Productivity Commission’s draft report on Competition in the Australian Financial System; Turnbull Government’s latest fumble on tax policy: PC endorses more transparency for the Council of Financial Regulators; Barnaby Joyce; share market volatility.
CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Well good morning everybody, thanks for coming.
This morning, yet another damning indictment of Scott Morrison’s management of negative gearing in the housing market.
Today we see the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report into banking competition. Now of course competition in banking and financial services is vital and we said that the Productivity Commission should be commissioned to undertake this review. But what has the Productivity Commission found?
Let us remember that Scott Morrison has for months been saying the answer to Australia’s housing affordability problems is to leave all the heavy lifting to the regulators, to leave all the heavy lifting to APRA, who would engage in macro-prudential regulation and that would fix everything. He told us there was no need to fix negative gearing. He told us that as recently as yesterday.
The Productivity Commission report has found that because Scott Morrison has left the heavy lifting to the regulators, to APRA, that in fact banks have increased their profit margins and that has been subsidised by the tax payer due to negative gearing.
The Productivity Commission has said that this has led to a windfall for the banks. Their words, ‘a windfall; for the banks. And half of that windfall has been subsidised by the Australian tax payer through negative gearing. Now we’ve said all along that negative gearing must be fixed. Evidence mounts day after day for months now, that negative gearing has to be fixed. It appears that Scott Morrison is the only person who doesn’t want to fix negative gearing. Cabinet, of course rolled him when he dared even suggest it be considered.Read more
Festival shows off our fun side
The Chronicle, 6 February 2018
What do Nordic folk dancing, African food and writer Poh Lin Yeow have in common? They’ll all be featuring at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, kicking off on 16 February.
One man who would have been proud of our colourful festival was King O’Malley, a member of the first Australian parliament who was a great champion for Canberra.Read more
THE WAR ON CHARITIES CONTINUES
Representatives worried about the Turnbull Government’s war on charities gathered at Parliament House today to voice their concerns.
Along with my Labor colleagues, I met with dozens of representatives from organisations including:
- Australian Council for International Development
- Red Cross
- Fred Hollows Foundation
- Oxfam Australia
- CARE Australia
- Consumer Action Law Centre
- Financial Counselling Australia
- Australian Council of Social Service
- World Vision Australia
- RESULTS Australia
- Pew Charitable Trusts
Two-thirds of Australian charities recently told Pro Bono that they are finding it harder to be heard by the federal government than five years ago.Read more
Paying decent wages not just a fair go, it’s good for business too
The Daily Telegraph, 26 January 2018
In 1914, Henry Ford shocked America when he announced that he would double the pay of his workers, to $5 a day. He didn’t do this out of a sense of social justice or concern for his workers – remember that Ford Motors was known for its aggressive anti-union tactics. He did it because he understood the economic case for decent wages.
At a time when other car makers were trying to cut costs, Ford increased his wage bill by $10 million – more than half the firm’s annual profits. One competitor predicted that the workers wouldn’t know what to do with the extra cash – that they would be ‘demoralised by this sudden affluence’.