WHY UNIONS ARE VITAL TO ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR
2 OCTOBER 2018
I acknowledge that we meet on the land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their elders past and present. Special thanks to Emma Dawson for organising this Per Capita event, and Josh Bornstein and Ben Hubbard for the hospitality of Maurice Blackburn. Among the many hardworking unionists in the room, I want to make special note of the presence of Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus and president Michele O'Neil.
The Engels Pause
In the late-1700s, one of the most dramatic transformations in world economic history took place. Starting in Britain, the Industrial Revolution saw production move from hand work to mechanisation. Steam-powered factories massively increased the output of textiles. In previous centuries, economic growth had puttered along so slowly that shops would sometimes carve their prices in stone on the wall. With the industrial revolution, output per worker began to surge. Alongside the domestication of plants and animals, the Industrial Revolution marks one of the major turning points for the world economy.Read more
3AW DRIVE WITH TOM ELLIOTT
TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2018
SUBJECTS: CEO pay transparency, housing.
TOM ELLIOTT, HOST: As I mentioned just a few minutes ago, the Labor Party's got a number of plans if and when they were elected to be the next government of Australia - and by the way I think they will be elected the next government so you get used to the idea that Bill Shorten will be our next prime minister. One of these plans is to require listed companies with more than 250 employees to disclose the ratio of their chief executive’s pay to that of a median employee. So the median is the middle employee in the list of employees from the lowest paid and the highest paid. They want to have a ratio of that person's salary to that of the CEO. Now, I’m just not sure what question this going to answer. However, the man who came up with the idea joins us right now. He’s the federal Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon, Tom. Great to be with you.
ELLIOTT: Well, thank you for joining us. Tell us, what is to be gained by calculating this ratio between the CEO's salary and that of the median employee's salary?
LEIGH: It gives you a sense firm-by-firm as to how that company is paying people. It gives you a sense as to whether the ratio of pay for people on the factory floor to the corner offer has gotten out of whack. This idea has a pretty long lineage. It goes back to people like Peter Drucker, the father of modern management theory, who says that in his view 20 to 1 was about what you needed in order to not have things get out of kilter. What we’ve announced does no more than to follow what United States and the United Kingdom have already put in place.Read more
TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2018
SUBJECTS: CEO pay transparency, foreign currency exchange.
GARETH PARKER, HOST: The Assistant Shadow Treasurer is Andrew Leigh. He joins me on the line. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning Gareth. Great to be with you.
PARKER: I appreciate your time. Why should the government force companies to reveal what the boss earns?
LEIGH: We already have pay reported on the CEO and what we want to do is go one step further and to also say each firm needs to also say how much the typical worker earns. So then firms can be assessed in terms of the pay ratio – what’s the gap between the factory floor and the corner office? We know that experts like Peter Drucker have said that when that ratio gets too far out of whack then that can be bad for morale in the firm. He says a ratio of 20 to one is pretty reasonable.Read more
LABOR WILL REQUIRE FIRMS TO REPORT THE RATIO OF CEO PAY TO MEDIAN WORKER PAY
A Shorten Labor Government would promote fairness and tackle inequality in the workplace by requiring all listed firms with more than 250 employees to report the ratio of their CEO pay to the pay of the median employee.
The call for CEO pay transparency follows a report which found that the average total pay of ASX100 CEOs rose by 9 per cent last year - four times the speed of average wage growth. The median ASX100 CEO earned more than $4 million.
The best-paid Australian CEOs, Domino’s Don Meij, made $37 million last year. This was after a year in which the Fair Work Ombudsman publicly complained that Domino’s had failed to comply with requests to provide information into claims that Domino’s franchisees were paying workers as little as $10 an hour. Mr Meij made $10 every eight seconds.Read more
SATURDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission interim report, the crisis in aged care, troop deployment, free trade.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for being here today. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. It was in April 2016 that Labor first called for a Banking Royal Commission. Scott Morrison opposed it, voted against it 26 times in the parliament, called it a populist whinge. And it took until November 2017 before the Government finally announced the Banking Royal Commission. If the government had followed Labor's lead, we wouldn't now be discussing the Interim Report of the Banking Royal Commission – we would be implementing the final report of the Banking Royal Commission. I want to commend the many victims who have come forward and told their stories to the banking Royal Commission. But because the Liberals delayed a Banking Royal Commission for more than 600 days, many of these victims were hurt who wouldn't have been hurt otherwise. If the government had acted when Labor called for a Banking Royal Commission, some of the egregious wrongdoing that we've seen wouldn't have occurred.
Now, this Banking Royal Commission is important to air the wrongdoing that's been occurring in the banking sector. The Royal Commissioner has said the problem lies in greed. We're never going to see greed in the banking sector tackled by a prime minister whose role model is Gordon Gekko. If you take a 'greed is good' philosophy to government, as the Liberals do, you're never going to be able to implement the reforms that are needed to tackle the wrongdoing in banking.
This royal commission is an important economic reform. The Royal Commissioner has gone to some of the fundamental issues within the sector, issues around vertical integration and conflicted remuneration. Labor's hope is that out of this will emerge a stronger banking sector. Finance is, after all, the lifeblood of the economy. We're committed to a royal commission implementation taskforce within Treasury under a Shorten Labor Government. We've said that if elected, Chris Bowen would report regularly to Parliament on the progress of implementing the royal commission's recommendations.
A Banking Royal Commission is not only about exposing wrongdoing - it's about strengthening the economic fundamentals of Australia. Again, Labor got the big economic call right and the Liberals got it wrong. Just as we saw during the global financial crisis, when the Liberals got the economic call wrong by voting against the second tranche of fiscal stimulus that helped save 200,000 jobs and tens of thousands of small businesses. Just as we saw in the past, when the Liberals opposed capital gains taxation and Medicare and universal superannuation. Labor has gotten the big economic calls right and Scott Morrison has gotten them wrong. It’s time Scott Morrison didn't just call on banks to apologize but apologized himself. Scott Morrison needs to apologize to the Australian people for standing in the way of this Banking Royal Commission, for delaying it in a way in which we've seen more victims hurt and a significant delay in the implementation of these important reforms.Read more
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CHISHOLM
LABOR TAKES THE WHEEL FOR MECHANICS IN MELBOURNERead more
COALITION DRAGGED TO ACTION ON DODGY PHOENIX ACTIVITY
More than a year after promising action, the Government has been dragged kicking and screaming to provide a timeline for legislation to tackle dodgy phoenix activity.Read more
TIME TO ACT ON MUTUALS REFORM
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Labor intervening in Australian mortgage market and minimising impact of Global Financial Crisis.
Labor has a strong history of making the rights calls for the economy and it’s with this in mind that we renew our push for increased competition in the banking sector.
This chaotic Coalition won’t give the banks real competition, but Labor will take action.Read more
HOW THE TAX SYSTEM CAN NARROW (OR WIDEN) THE GENDER GAP
Ten Daily, 26 September 2018
There are significant gender differences in Australia today. More large companies are run by men named John than by women. Women comprise fewer than one-third of judges and federal parliamentarians. Among full-time workers, women earn 85 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is like women working without pay for the first seven weeks of the year. Because mothers are more likely to take a career break to look after the kids, the lifetime earnings gap is larger still: a difference reflected in the fact that men have nearly twice as much in their superannuation accounts.
Yet when it was suggested a few months ago that we should consider the gender impact of tax changes, Scott Morrison called the idea ‘nonsense’. If you think that Australia has more work to do on the path towards gender equality, then it seems strange to rule out the possibility that the tax system could have any role to play on that journey.
The fact is, the tax system already exacerbates gender inequality in a number of important respects.Read more
THE POSTCODE PARADOX: WHY IS AUSTRALIAN INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY SO LOW, AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO INCREASE IT?
EVATT FOUNDATION NSW PARLIAMENT LECTURE
TUESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2018
I acknowledge that we meet on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay respect to their Elders past and present. I’m grateful we’re joined by current parliamentarians John Graham, Julia Finn, Mick Veitch, Adam Searle, and Penny Sharpe, and former parliamentarians Jeannette McHugh and Bruce Childs. Special thanks to Clara Edwards and Chris Sheil of the Evatt Foundation for the honour of speaking with you today. And what better respondent could I have than Labor’s candidate for Balmain, 94 years after Evatt first won that seat for our party? Elly Howse will be a great member for Balmain, and I hope you will support her in that goal.
To speak in honour of Herbert Vere Evatt is to be reminded of one’s own inadequacies. State parliamentarian at age 31. High Court judge at 36. Attorney General under Curtin. President of the United Nations General Assembly. Leader of the Federal Opposition. Chief Justice of NSW. Author of seminal books on the Rum Rebellion, the royal prerogative, and Labor’s conscription split.Read more