LIBERAL INACTION COSTING CHARITIES $7.5 MILLION AND COUNTING
Months of inaction from Scott Morrison and his Liberal colleagues have cost charities millions of dollars that could have instead helped Australians in need.
Six months ago today, the Senate Select Committee tabled its report into Charitable Fundraising in the 21st Century, calling on parliament to fix Australia’s fundraising laws within the next two years. The report found that under the current fundraising laws, charities face a paperwork burden each year of around $15 million.
Fixing fundraising shouldn’t be a partisan issue. That’s why the inquiry, chaired by Labor Senator Catryna Bilyk, delivered a unanimous report. Its recommendations were supported by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, Liberal Senators Eric Abetz and Amanda Stoker, former Labor Senator David Smith, and former UAP Senator Brian Burston.Read more
TUESDAY, 6 AUGUST 2019
SUBJECTS: Gun control and mass shootings in the United States.
HOST: The co-founders of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control - Dr Andrew Leigh, the Member for Fenner, and John Alexander, the Member for Bennelong - are urging lawmakers in the United States to take urgent action to prevent further senseless death. Dr Andrew Leigh joins me on the line now. Dr Leigh, the most recent appalling massacres in the United States. When will the Americans do something about this?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Well, I hope sooner rather than later, Tim. I see the mood is shifting in the United States, but at a glacial pace. In Australia it was extraordinary how the Port Arthur massacre galvanized action among politicians from all sides of the political spectrum. We saw within a fortnight of that massacre, police ministers meeting, standardising laws in order to make sure that we toughened up licensing and registration, got the buyback into place. We still have a sporting shooting culture in Australia, as we should. I can take a run in the morning and it will take me past the pistol club and the rifle range, but we don't have the guns tucked into the back of the teenager’s jeans when they go out on Saturday night.Read more
Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh and Member for Bennelong John Alexander
Co-founders of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control
The co-founders of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control, Andrew Leigh and John Alexander, are urging lawmakers in the United States to take urgent action to prevent further senseless deaths.
Dr Leigh and Mr Alexander – who established the group last year, during the previous term of Parliament - have called on US policymakers to learn from Australia’s historic firearms reforms, in the wake of multiple deadly shootings across the US.
Australia experienced its deadliest mass shooting in 1996.Read more
AUSTRALIA'S UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS
Crikey, 2 August 2019
In 1932, at the peak of the Great Depression, Australia’s unemployment rate hit 20 percent. Today, that’s about the unemployment rate in Fairfield, where around one in five people who want a job can’t find one.
When we hear about unemployment, the picture too often focuses on the national rate, currently 5.2 per cent. This hasn’t changed much over recent years, so it’s easy to miss the fact that other countries are doing much better. When she visited Australia, Jacinda Ardern was polite enough not to mention that New Zealand’s country’s unemployment rate is around 4 per cent. That’s also the rate in Britain and the United States. Countries that underperformed Australia during the Global Financial Crisis are now outperforming us – and by a significant margin.
But when we look across regions, it becomes clear that averages can conceal as much as they reveal. Fairfield’s unemployment rate may be the worst in NSW, but it isn’t the worst in Australia. In Victoria, unemployment in the Geelong suburb of Norlane is 22 per cent. In Queensland’s Logan Central and the Hobart suburb of Gagebrook, unemployment is 28 per cent. In South Australia’s Elizabeth and Western Australia’s Halls Creek, it’s 34 per cent. On Palm Island and the Torres Strait Islands, unemployment is 46 per cent.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS
THURSDAY, 1 AUGUST 2019
Subjects: HILDA, the Liberals’ record of stagnant wages and struggling productivity, the wage gap, Made in Australia.
ROSS GREENWOOD: One person I love to talk to about these types of things is Dr Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and also very prominent inside the economic thinking of the Labor Party as well. He’s on the line. Andrew, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY: Always a pleasure, Ross.
GREENWOOD: So off the back of some of these reports, you've done two things this week. You've written an op ed and basically looked at Australia's productivity crisis. We’ll come to that shortly, but you also gave a speech in the House of Representatives which was yesterday and that was in regards to the HILDA report, and what you see as being a widening gap between the haves and the have nots in Australia. Is it really as significant a crisis as you paint it as?Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1 AUGUST 2019
Twenty years ago, David Dunning and Justin Kruger published a seminal study showing that incompetent people are peculiarly unaware of their own incompetence. They drew on the example of McArthur Wheeler who, starting from the premise that lemon juice can be used as invisible ink, covered his face with lemon juice and went in to rob his local bank, thinking it would make him invisible.
The Dunning-Kruger effect could have been designed for this frontbench. We have a Minister for Health who gives an MRI licence to the vice-president of the South Australian Liberal Party and says no to 443 other applications. We have a Minister for Families who pats herself on the back for the ‘generous amount of money’ that pensioners get. We have an Assistant Minister for Homelessness who wants to put a ‘positive spin’ on homelessness, rather than doing anything about the problem. We have an Assistant Treasurer who knows nothing about tax havens, yet persists with the mistruth that we on this side of the House voted against the multinational anti-avoidance law. We have a Minister for Energy who won't admit that emissions are up.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 JULY 2019
The problem of multinational profit-shifting is a massive one. Globally, around $600 billion of profits are estimated to be shifted to tax havens. That's almost 40 per cent of multinational profits.
We see in Australia significant multinational profit-shifting affecting our tax base. You can see this in a variety of different statistics. One curious figure is a new dataset released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last year which shows the operating profits and taxable profits of multinational firms operating in Australia and in different jurisdictions. You can ask the question: what's the gap between operating profits and taxable profits for firms from different countries? If you're a typical Australian firm, the gap between operating profits and taxable profits is about 30 per cent. That's true, too, for firms in the United States, at 28 per cent, in the United Kingdom, at 27 per cent, and in Japan, at 29 per cent.
But then you get to the curious ones. Bermuda owned multinationals operating in Australia have a gap between operating profits and taxable profits of 88 per cent. Those located in the British Virgin Islands have a gap of 92 per cent. In other words, if you start with $10 of operating profit, Australian firms will report $7 of taxable profit and the same with American firms, British firms and Japanese firms. In those cases, $10 of operating profits means $7 of taxable profits. But if you're a firm located in Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands then $10 of operating profits produces just $1 of taxable profits. That could have something to do with the fact that Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands effectively have a zero corporate income tax rate, no personal income tax rate and no capital gains tax rate.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 JULY 2019
Yesterday a report came out from the Melbourne Institute: the annual HILDA Statistical Report. It ought to be a wake-up call for the Morrison government, which has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to tackling Australia's serious economic challenges. It showed that when the Liberals came to office under Tony Abbott in 2013, median household annual disposable income in Australia was $80,573. In the most recent year available in the report, 2017, median household income was $80,095. In other words, in the time that the Liberals have been in office, the median household has gotten poorer.
So when Australians ask themselves: 'am I better off or worse off under this government?' The answer is, after inflation, they're worse off.
We've seen significant falls in median household incomes, adjusting for household size, in Adelaide, in Perth, in regional Western Australia, in regional New South Wales and right here in the ACT. In the ACT, the drop in median equivalised household disposable incomes has been the largest of any region in Australia—11 per cent—a direct consequence of the decimation of the public service and the cuts in real wages for many Canberra public servants.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 JULY 2019
Thirty-year-old Cameron Van-Lane and his three housemates in Dickson have taken to putting bubble wrap on their windows in order to keep the house warm. As Mr Van-Lane told the RiotACT:
… it is an expensive heating system to run and as soon as you turn it off, the house quickly loses its heat and gets cold again.
According to a report called Baby it's cold inside: energy efficient ratings in the ACT, over two out of five rental properties have an energy efficiency rating of zero. As Joel Dignam, the executive director of Better Renting, said, seeing how poorly insulated some Canberra homes are is ‘confronting’.
The challenges of living in a city like Canberra come particularly in the middle of winter.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 JULY 2019
A zettabyte is a billion terabytes. A decade ago, global annual data generation was less than one zettabyte. When the coalition came to office in 2013, it was a few zettabytes. Now it is around 25 zettabytes and projected next year to go to 40 zettabytes. We currently produce the same amount of digital data every two days as we did in a year in 2002. The rise of the Internet of Things and wearables technologies and falling storage costs have meant that data is ubiquitous and has the potential to greatly improve the quality of social services and business productivity.
In areas such as health data, energy and social services, it is possible to get significant advantages to the benefit of all Australians, and yet Australia currently lags behind other countries when it comes to access to data. As a report from the Australian Data Archive in 2016 noted:
Australia is well behind the UK, US and most of Europe on open data. This is impacting Australia's ability to be competitive [in research] and its standing [in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences] discipline.Read more