TRIALS CHANGING LIVES
Friday, 18 May 2018 - The Daily Telegraph
It’s no ordinary courtroom. If former drug users take a step forward – by finding a job, staying off drugs or graduating from the program – the judge leads the courtroom in a round of applause. When one man, a former heavy user and dealer, graduated from the program to the applause of the courtroom, he wept. ‘You were the first people who gave me a chance.’
If applauding drug users makes you uneasy, you’re not the only one. When the NSW Drug Court was proposed in 1999, the nation was in the grip of a heroin epidemic. Many people thought that harsher sentences were the only answer. Many experts, including former Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, were sceptical that the Drug Court would work.Read more
CENTRAL COAST RECONNECTED FORUM A SUCCESS
Central Coast charities and not-for-profits came together today to exchange ideas on boosting social capital and community engagement at another successful ‘Reconnected’ roundtable.
While the Turnbull Government is working in Parliament to stifle the voice of our charities, Labor is listening to the sector to hear how we can ensure our communities have stronger bonds and louder voices.Read more
REPORT ON INVESTIGATION INTO THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE
Over a month ago, Labor leader Bill Shorten called for an investigation into the Australian Tax Office after troubling allegations were raised by a joint Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation.
The Turnbull Government heeded our call, announcing an urgent investigation.
Labor calls on the Government to provide an update on that investigation, including the release of the report conducted by Treasury.Read more
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, MR MORRISON
Scott Morrison is again refusing to stand by his own Budget figures, this time hiding behind the Treasury as he dodges calls to release year-by-year costings of his income tax measures beyond the forward estimates.
Scott Morrison told ABC’s Insiders yesterday that:
Barrie Cassidy: So you are saying to the Parliament that it’s unreasonable to ask for year-on-year costings?
Scott Morrison: No, the Treasury in fact say that the within year estimates beyond the Forward Estimates are not reliable.
But if the figures are unreliable, why is the Budget website spruiking a tax relief calculator providing estimates to people beyond that four year period?
The website says someone earning $1 million a year will get an ongoing benefit of $7225 a year from 2024-25. Why don’t we get to know how much it will cost the budget per year?Read more
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER & SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SUNDAY, 13 MAY 2018
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan for a fairer car mechanics industry; Jane Prentice and the lack of women in the Coalition; Turnbull’s unfair Budget for the big end of town.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well thanks everyone for coming along to JAX Tyres today. Can I thank Angelo for hosting us here, acknowledge Stuart and Lesley from the AAAA, and wish a happy birthday for yesterday to Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten.
Conventional wisdom in Australian politics is that the Prime Minister is in the driver's seat and the Opposition are the backseat drivers but under Labor, in recent years we've seen that position reverse. From the Royal Commission to tax reform, it has been Labor that has been taking the wheel. And with today's announcement, Labor again takes the wheel on a critical issue for small business and Australian consumers.Read more
BILL SHORTEN, OPPOSITION LEADER
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
LABOR TAKES THE WHEEL FOR AUSSIE CAR OWNERS AND MECHANICS
Labor is driving a better deal to put more money back into the pockets of car owners and give 23,000 independent repairers a boost – with a plan to make car manufacturers share their technical information so that vehicles can be serviced by any mechanic.
New cars are computers on wheels. Real-time access to digital files and codes, which vary from car to car, is needed to complete many aspects of a repair or service. Car manufacturers generally own and control this technical information and in many cases are the only sources.Read more
FRIDAY, 11 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Labor’s Budget Reply.
SABRA LANE: We’re joined by the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh in our Canberra studio. Good morning and welcome.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning Sabra.
LANE: Labor is promising to double the cash hand out to middle and low income families, but not higher income families. Does Labor loathe aspirational working Australians?
LEIGH: Not in the least, Sabra. We’re just prioritising middle Australia, people who have seen sluggish wages growth over the course of the last decade. We’ve seen wages rising much more rapidly at the top than at the bottom and we’ve got a time now when inequality in Australia is at 75 year high. The fair go is under threat and Labor is prioritising looking after middle Australia with a tax cut that as you say is better, bigger and fairer.
LANE: But there’s nothing for those on $120,000, earning that kind of money a year. Why are they missing out?
LEIGH: There are more opportunities for their kids to go to university. There are more opportunities for them to get lifesaving MRI scans. Under Labor, we’ll invest in the roads that they use and ensure they’ve got a high quality national broadband network. Australia will be a fairer country under Labor, but we’ll also be a more productive nation. I know as somebody’s who is in the top couple of per cent of the income distribution, the benefits for all Australians flow right through. I’m very fortunate where I am in the Australian population. I believe I can afford to pay a little more tax in order to get those services we need, in order to make sure we get great teachers in every school.Read more
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 11 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Labor’s Budget Reply
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He joins us now from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, Good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Michael.
ROWLAND: We heard the challenge to the Government’s challenge there to submit the costings for those big tax cuts. Will the Opposition do that?
LEIGH: Michael. We’ve done exactly as the Treasurer did on Budget Night. The normal procedure on both sides is to release those headline costings but not the underlying documentation. You didn't see it in the Treasurer's budget on Tuesday.
ROWLAND; How can the Opposition afford to almost double that short-term tax handout to low to middle-income earners?
LEIGH: It's a great question with a simple answer. We don't give $80 billion to big companies to send off to their overseas shareholders. $17 billion of that company tax cut goes to the big banks. Bill Shorten isn't prioritising the offshore shareholders of the big banks, he's prioritizing their customers. That's why 10 million Australians will benefit from Labor's bigger, better and fairer tax cut.
ROWLAND: So, that $80 billion, that's a cost saving. You're counting that as a cost saving because you're not handing out those company tax cuts?
LEIGH: We're not and we don't believe it's appropriate to be putting in place a tax cut which, on the Government's own figures, adds 0. 1 per cent to household income in the 2030s.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECTS: Budget 2018-19; Section 44.
JO LAVERTY: The man who is across all the issues is Andrew Leigh, he's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. Hello, Andrew and thank you for joining us this afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G'day Jo, great to be with you.
LAVERTY: Nice to have you along. Let's start with the budget. We all acknowledge that the cost of living pressure is crippling a lot of Australians, so the idea that those in the middle to low income are going to get a tax break, that's a good thing, right?
LEIGH: Absolutely and we'll support it. What we are concerned about though, Jo, is that the cost of this income tax cut is dwarfed by the $80 billion that the Government would give to multinational corporations. So they're looking to take $17 billion out of our schools and give $17 billion to the big banks. Most of that money is going to flow into the pockets of shareholders rather than the pockets of workers. So, that'll be one of the key battlegrounds in the coming election. Of course we'll support those low and middle income earner tax cuts.
LAVERTY: So that is going to be supported, we've been hearing in the news today that you're going to have a good hard think about it before you offer your support to those tax cuts?
LEIGH: There's a second tranche which is contingent on Malcolm Turnbull being re-elected twice and those tax cuts we don't even know the cost of yet, so it would be irresponsible to make a clear decision on those. The ones that are meant to take effect on the 1st of July this year which are targeted at middle income Australians who have seen wages stagnate over recent years. They're tax cuts I'm sure people will welcome. They won't make up for stagnant wages. Wage growth is well down on what will be compensated for by this, particularly if you were on penalty rates.Read more
TICKY, SKY BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.
TICKY FULLERTON, HOST: Let’s get some reaction to the Budget from the other side of politics now. Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, good to see you there.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Likewise, Ticky.
FULLERTON: Now, we’ve got these by-elections happening. Bill Shorten says he’s looking forward to the opportunity for labour to make its case, but what the government did last night in a political budget was bring it right back to these income tax breaks.
LEIGH: Ticky, there’s two parts to the income tax changes. One is a set of tax changes to apply from the first of July this year that targets low and middle income earners, maxing out at $530 a year. Labor has said we’ll support that tranche of income tax changes. And then there’s another tranche which don’t apply until you’ve re-elected Malcolm Turnbull for two terms apparently, which we don’t even know the full cost of.
FULLERTON: No, exactly, But you’re banking on the government chopping these two policies in half, are you?
LEIGH: Well, it’s the only sensible thing to do. One set of them has bipartisan support. The other the government is yet to put figures on and don’t apply for two more elections. So let’s get the bit done that we all agree on and then let’s have a discussion about the other section.Read more