ABC PERTH BREAKFAST
THURSDAY, 12 APRIL 2018
SUBJECT: National Disability Insurance Scheme; Income Taxes
PETER BELL: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer with the Labor Party. Good morning, Dr Leigh.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Peter. How are you?
BELL: Well, thank you. Why don’t you support an increase to the Medicare levy across all income brackets?
LEIGH: Peter, we think there’s a fairer way of ensuring that the national Disability Insurance Scheme is properly funded and that’s to constrain the increase in the Medicare levy to those earning more than $87,000 and then to put back that budget repair levy on the top income earners, people earning over $180,000. You take that approach and 7 million Australians, including most of your listeners, don’t get an income tax increase. We’re able to fund the scheme – we actually raise more revenue over the course of the decade – and it’s a good deal fairer.
PAULA KRUGER: So are you confident that with your budget repair levy and hitting people over $87,000 - is that enough to address the funding gap?
LEIGH: Absolutely. Both our approach and the Government’s approach raise $8 billion over four years. Our approach raises significantly more over the course of the decade. I also think we need to be careful, Paula, about his notion that there’s been a massive cost blow out. The Productivity Commission last October brought out a report on NDIS costs that confirmed the initial funding projections are correct and the scheme is being delivered on budget.Read more
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER OWN GOAL FROM THE TURNBULL GOVERNMENT
Reports today identify a “strange anomaly” in tax law stemming from the Turnbull Government’s $65 billion big business handout that may cause “fairly serious errors” because of how the changes interact with GST law.
The Tax Institute’s Bob Deutsch has identified a potential oversight stemming from the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Act 2017, which has already passed parliament.
If true, this would not be the first time the government had botched its company tax changes. Last year, the Turnbull Government was forced to go back to parliament with amendments to ensure that passive investment companies would not get the benefit of the tax cut for small and medium sized firms. That exercise ended in farce when the government had to amend its own amendments.Read more
INVESTIGATION INTO THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE
This morning, Bill Shorten called for an investigation into the Australian Tax Office, following matters raised by a joint Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation.
This afternoon, the Turnbull Government has heeded our call, announcing that the Turnbull Government will launch an investigation into the Australian Tax Office.
Genuine concerns have been raised and Labor will ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted.
While an investigation into the tax office must be conducted, Labor also recognises that tax office staff have been left struggling as a result of staffing cuts by the Coalition.Read more
SENATOR DON FARRELL, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
ANDREW GILES, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCHOOLS
LABOR STANDING UP FOR CHARITIES WHILE CLEANING UP DEMOCRACY
Labor welcomes the bipartisan support from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for changes to protect charities and minimize the impact of the Turnbull Government’s lacklustre legislation.
The Committee’s recommendation to provide greater clarity for the sector and minimise regulatory and compliance burdens are a fitting result after months of Labor going into bat for our charities.Read more
LAUNCH OF THE CHINA STORY YEARBOOK
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
MONDAY, 9 APRIL 2018
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today, and thank ANU’s Centre on China in the World for inviting me to speak here today. I also thank our hosts, Professor Brian Schmidt, Dr Jane Golley and Linda Jaivin, and their colleagues Dr Natalie Kohle, Dr Graeme Smith and Ms Wen Meizhen.
In the very early years of this century, the literary critic James Woods was trying to give a name to a new fiction genre that he recognised in the minutely observed, sprawling surveys of contemporary society. He called it hysterical realism because it had an edge of paranoia - seeing connections where there were only incidents, plotting causes and intention in fascinatingly random human activity.
These doorstop novels would take diverse threads of history, politics and popular culture and weave them together into intricate patterns. ‘Hysterical’ because these patterns emerge as the vision of a single organising intelligence – one mind, overfull.
But take away the angst and the overburdened pessimism of that single viewpoint and you get a different sort of tapestry.Read more
SKY NEWS AM AGENDA
MONDAY, 9 APRIL 2018
SUBJECT: Turnbull Turns Thirty
KIERAN GILBERT: Andrew Leigh, thanks very much for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure Kieran. Good to be with you.
GILBERT: You’ve been a critic of polls in the past. This loss of 30 Newspolls has been coming for some time. An awkward moment for the Prime Minister, no doubt?
LEIGH: Kieran, as you say, I’ve been a strong poll critic but this is Malcolm Turnbull’s own benchmark. He’s like a dog that’s spent its lifetime trying to chase a car. He’s finally managed to catch it and discovered he’s got to drive it. That’s not much good for the rest of the country, since we’re now sitting in the backseat of a car being driven by a dog. Malcolm Turnbull has said himself that this is the standard upon which Prime Minister should step aside. On that basis, this is the moment for him to step aside.
GILBERT: That’s a big call though, to suggest that he is someone that shouldn’t be there, given that he won the last election. The real election of 2016. This is just a survey and one of many surveys that you have been very critical of over recent years?
LEIGH: You don’t need a poll to tell you that Malcolm Turnbull is out of touch. This is a deeply problematic government. It’s lost eight ministers over its time. It’s seen its electoral majority wiped out. It’s a government which in the face of profits growing eight times faster than wages wants to cut penalty rates and give a big tax handout to big business. It’s a government which is taking money out of schools and hospitals-Read more
RADIO NEW ZEALAND
SUNDAY, 8 APRIL 2018
WALLACE CHAPMAN: Dr Andrew Leigh is a former economics professor at the Australian National University, a former London lawyer and has a PhD from Harvard. These days he's an Australian politician, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and while his political ideology flirted for a while with Tony Blair's third wave, he prefers these days to talk about a special duty to look after the most disadvantaged. He's in New Zealand this week as part of the Presbyterian Support Northern Speaker Series on improving child wellbeing. He's an author and his latest book is 'Randomistas', looking at how randomised tests are carried out every day to find out what works, what doesn't. The tests are done by supermarkets, search engines, online dating sites and also by political parties who use randomised trials to try to win elections. His book tells the stories of researchers who fight to have the findings from their research implemented. Dr Andrew Leigh has taken time from his packed schedule. Welcome.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks Wallace, great to be with you.
CHAPMAN: Tell me, how did your interest in randomised trials actually start?
LEIGH: Well, it came originally when I was doing my PhD at Harvard University and working with a range of people who were just as passionate as I was about addressing social disadvantage, but had far fewer prejudices about which programs worked and which didn't. And it made me reflect on my own philosophy on social policy. I think I’d been very attracted to solutions and much less scientific and critical than for example a medical researcher who was trying to cure cancer. I didn’t realise that actually no matter how idealistic you are, lots of things that sound good turn out not to work so well in practice. One great example is Scared Straight, a program that puts troubled youths in jail for a day in order to scare them onto the straight and narrow, but actually turned out in rigorous randomised trials to increase offending rates.Read more
IT'S ABOUT TIME THE ABS STARTED COUNTING HOW WE SPEND OUR DAYS ONCE MORE
Business Insider, 7 April 2018
Today is “No Housework Day”, a moment when we are supposed to stop washing dishes, refrain from doing laundry, and let the carpets gather dust.
If we all observed No Housework Day, who would benefit most? My guess is that it’d be women, who according to the 2006 Time Use Survey did most of the housework in Australia
Time use is a feminist issue. Women do the majority of unpaid caring for children and for older people. Women are more likely to volunteer, and do the majority of the housework.
Yet the Australian Bureau of Statistics hasn’t run a time use survey since 2006. As Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek puts it, we haven’t had a time use survey since the iPhone was invented.Read more
HOW THE RANDOMISTAS CAN HELP FIGHT INEQUALITY
PRESBYTERIAN SUPPORT NORTHERN SEMINAR SERIES ON CHILD WELLBEING
FRIDAY, 6 APRIL 2018
I acknowledge the Māori people, the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet, and thank our hosts, Presbyterian Support Northern, for inviting me to deliver these lectures.
New Zealand has turned out to be a pretty good predictor of what’s likely to happen next in Australia.
New Zealand women won the right to vote nine years earlier than Australian women.
Your country enacted same sex marriage four years before we did.
You even gave Barnaby Joyce citizenship before we did.Read more
ANDREW LEIGH MP, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
TIM HAMMOND MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
FLIGHT CENTRE RULING SHOWS NEED FOR HIGHER PENALTIES
Federal Labor has welcomed the decision by the Full Federal Court to order Flight Centre to pay $12.5 million in penalties for attempting to enter into price fixing arrangements with airlines between 2005-2009, but has called on the Turnbull Government to increase maximum penalties for anti-competitive conduct.
The court found that Flight Centre asked a number of airlines not to publish ticket prices on their website that were less than Flight Centre’s prices.Read more