Labor will support Canberrans in financial hardship - Media Release

LABOR WILL SUPPORT AUSTRALIANS IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIP IN THE ACT

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $40 million over four years to emergency relief organisations across the country.

The funding will reverse Liberal cuts to emergency relief organisations and provide a much needed funding top up to the sector.

Over the next four years Labor will provide further funding to the emergency relief organisations that work in the Australian Capital Territory including:

  • $30,000 to Communities@Work to deliver services across the ACT.
  • $26,000 to the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT to deliver services across the ACT.
  • $18,000 to the Young Women's Christian Association of Canberra to deliver services across the ACT.
  • $35,000 to the Companion House Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma to deliver services across the ACT.
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Another day, another budget botch up from Frydenberg - Media Release

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER BUDGET BOTCH UP FROM FRYDENBERG

After bungling the Energy Assistance Payment, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has now bungled his promised tax offset.

As soon as the budget was handed down last week, Labor said that we would support immediate tax relief for low and middle-income Australians - it was Labor policy, after all.

With two sittings days following the budget, the government could have easily passed these changes into law. 

Yet instead, the Liberals chose to sit on their hands, with Scott Morrison claiming “if the Labor Party says they support our tax cuts, then the Tax Office can administer it on that basis.”

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A fairer deal for Tassie hotels - Media Release

A FAIRER DEAL FOR TASSIE HOTELS

 Today, Andrew Leigh joined Member for Bass Ross Hart in Launceston to talk about how Australian hotels benefit from Labor’s plans to outlaw ‘price parity’ clauses.

Price parity clauses prevent Australian hotels from advertising that travellers can get a better deal by booking directly. This has the effect of channelling bookings through the two major online booking platforms, which have a combined market share of 84 percent, and take up to 30 percent of the total hotel bill.

Price parity clauses would be banned under a Shorten Labor Government, giving local accommodation providers greater control of their own businesses and reducing the price of a weekend away.

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Giving Aussie hotels owners greater control of their business - Transcript, ABC Tasmania Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC TASMANIA MORNINGS

MONDAY, 8 APRIL 2019

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to give Aussie hotels owners greater control of their business, Budget 2019.

CATHERINE ZENGERER: Tourism might be booming right across Tasmania, but if you are an accommodation provider and you are listed with one of the major online booking companies such as Expedia and Booking.com, then you may have had to sign a contract to say that you can't actually offer a discount for your own accommodation that undercuts what by the listing is on their pages. It's a contract known as a price parity clause and it's something that Labor is saying that they will get rid of if they're elected. We're certainly seeing a lot of politicians coming to Tasmania as we head towards a possible election. Andrew Leigh is one of them. He is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer for Labor and he's in our Launceston studio. Good morning. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER:Good morning Catherine. Great to be with you. 

ZENGERER: So what's prompted this policy review by Labor?

LEIGH: It's the situation you described in which many Australians are now booking through one of these multinational online platforms, such as Kayak or Priceline,Booking.com or Expedia. They go by a host of names, but there's two of them that control 85 per cent of the market and they're taking a whopping share of the accommodation bill. So if you use one of these platforms, then when you stay at a hotel, up to a third of the total bill can go to amultinational. One of the ways in which they managed to get such a large share of revenues is by telling hotels that they can't offer a better deal on their own websites. These so-called price parity clauses are banned in a host of European countries and we think that it's appropriate to ban them in Australia. It tilts the playing field too far away from our local tourism providers and too much in favour of the big multinational duopoly. It's fine to charge something for putting a booking in place, but 30 per cent - really? That's just over the top.

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Bigger, better and fairer tax cuts under Labor - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA MORNINGS
FRIDAY, 5 APRIL 2019

SUBJECT: The Budget.

LEON BYNER: The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Leon.

BYNER: I want to, I want to start with a pretty obvious question and that is that you guys, if you get elected, are going to continue with the budget repair levy. Correct?

LEIGH: Indeed. We think certainly at a time when the Liberals have doubled the debt it’s important for us to have the same top tax rate that Tony Abbott had back in 2014 – when debt was half of what it is now.

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Labor’s investment plan for Canberra’s hospitals - Media Release

BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS & ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
 
ANDREW LEIGH
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
MEMBER FOR FENNER

SENATOR DAVID SMITH
SENATOR FOR THE ACT


ALICIA PAYNE
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CANBERRA

LABOR’S INVESTMENT PLAN FOR CANBERRA’S HOSPITALS

A Shorten Labor Government will boost health services in the ACT by building a new dedicated outpatient clinic, establishing a new palliative care in-patient unit and upgrading support services for new mums.

Federal Labor will invest an additional $20 million in these new services for the people of Canberra, while also honouring all existing Commonwealth commitments such as the upgrade to Canberra Hospital ICU.

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Another bill enacting Labor policy - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 4 APRIL 2019

I rise to speak on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Mutual Reforms) Bill 2019. The idea of mutualism is vital to communities. Mutuals build trust and reciprocity. They are an essential part of an inclusive society helping to foster empathy for our fellow human beings. Cooperatives and mutuals, as member-owned enterprises, exist and operate in the same market as investor owned enterprises. They are voluntary associations of people, democratically run for their members, for the pursuit of a common social, cultural or economic goal. Eight out of 10 Australian adults are members of at least one cooperative or mutual. They account for some seven or eight per cent of GDP and 54,000 direct jobs. Mutuals such as HCF, Capricorn Society, ME Bank, Australian Unity, Sun Super and roadside organisations including the NRMA, the RACQ and the RACV are cooperatives and mutuals that are essential to Australian society.

Mutualism is also well placed to play a role in the digital economy. Internationally we have driver owned apps competing with Uber and Lyft. Coopify is an app connecting a childcare cooperative with clients in New York. Stocksy sells stock photographs supplied by its members online. In my own electorate of Fenner I have seen firsthand the benefits of the cooperative sector, with the National Health Co-op now expanding from its original location in Charnwood to set up more than half a dozen locations across Canberra and rural New South Wales.

Labor supports this bill. And why wouldn't we? This is a Labor idea. This is a bill enacting Labor policy and we are delighted to see it finally coming to the House.

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Tale of two: compare the figures - Op Ed, Daily Examiner

TALE OF TWO: COMPARE THE FIGURES

Daily Examiner, 4 April 2019

Susan is a primary school teacher, earning $67,000 a year. She pays $13,000 in tax. Susan would like to buy a home one day, but she’s struggled to break in to the property market. She doesn’t receive any government benefits, which she doesn’t complain about, given that she’s got a full-time job. Her main possession is a used car.

And then there’s John, a retired shareholder. When he was employed, he worked hard and saved frugally. He bought his home in the 1970s, when the average home cost about twice the average household income (today, homes cost about five times average income). John has all his investments in his share portfolio, which returns him $67,000 a year in income. On top of this, the Australian Government sends him a cheque for almost $29,000.

Is this fair? John’s cheque is a cash refund for excess franking credits, representing tax paid by the companies whose shares he owns. Because he doesn’t receive a government pension or allowance, Labor proposes to end this payment.

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There is no delivered surplus - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 3 APRIL 2019
 
SUBJECTS: The Budget.

ANNA VIDOT: With me now from Parliament House is Andrew Leigh, Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer and of course Member for Fenner. Andrew Leigh, welcome.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day, Anna. Great to be with you.

VIDOT: The Coalition has now matched and it says slightly bettered Labor's low and middle income tax offsets and it says it will deliver a $7 billion surplus next year while also phasing in tax cuts over a decade. That's a pretty attractive proposition for the electorate, isn't it?

LEIGH: Let's go first to the surplus. This is a projected surplus, not a delivered surplus, from a government which promised that the budget would be in surplus in their first year and every year after that. They promised never to use the national credit card and then after six years of doubling net debt, they want a pat on the back for having put the national credit card back in the wallet. The fact is that net debt per person in Australia is now almost $15,000. That is twice as much as when the Coalition came to office. On income tax cuts, we welcome the fact that they backflipped. Last year they voted against similar tax cuts to the ones they are now apparently supporting. These tax cuts don't extend to people earning below $40,000. If we are elected in May, we will have to fix that up. We will certainly always support income tax relief for low and middle income earners. What we won't do is to back the Coalition's strategy of expanding tax loopholes for the top end of town. They’ve never seen a tax loophole for the rich that they won’t defend.

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Australia deserves better than this budget - Speech, Canberra

AUSTRALIA DESERVES A BETTER, FAIRER BUDGET

INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS BUDGET BREAKFAST

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, 3 APRIL 2019

Thank you for inviting me along to what is now my sixth of these post-budget breakfasts. I acknowledge the traditional owners, the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past and present. I thank host Leigh Sales and my counterpart Zed Seselja, the Institute of Public Accountants and Canberra Business Chamber. I started speaking at these breakfasts in 2014. Since that time, we've had three prime ministers, three treasurers. My opposing number today is the sixth person against whom I’ve squared off. 

At the outset, I want to say something about where the overall economy is going, because we can get too focused on the fiscal situation and not think enough about the global and national economic context.

If you take global bond yields as a reasonable economic forecasting tool, you'd be pretty worried. They're negative in Germany, they're massively down in the US, the UK and Canada. The OECD last month downgraded its growth forecasts. In the US, fiscal stimulus is now fading. Just to listen to today's news, you've got the collapse of the Brexit talks again and suggestions that the US might pull out of NATO. China raises a range of challenges, including debt and political stability.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au