Reducing the Harms from Gambling - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2019

In the 1980s, economist Gary Becker developed the theory of rational addiction. Rational addiction, which applies to any sort of addictive substance, is the notion that as an individual considers whether or not to take up an addictive substance they think rationally about the probability that they will get addicted to it and the costs and benefits of all of that—so, when a teenager takes their first smoke, they're thinking rationally about the long-term impact it will have on their lives if they become addicted; when somebody takes their first drink, they're thinking about the risk of addiction and, mathematically, quickly doing all the costs and benefits as to the lifetime impact; or, when someone gambles, there are also computing the costs and benefits and considering rationally the probability of addiction.

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Worrying trends in the Australian economy - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2019

Recently the House Economics Committee had the pleasure of hearing from Rod Sims, the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and his staff, to investigate a range of important issues surrounding competition and market dynamics within the Australian economy.

At the outset, as our report notes, there have been a number of worrying trends in the Australian economy, suggesting that it is becoming less dynamic. Sasan Bakhtiari has tracked the number of new start-up firms in Australia, going back to the beginning of the century. He finds that at the beginning of the century the Australian economy was creating new firms at a rate of about 15 per cent a year; now that's down to just nine per cent a year.

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Liberal MP labels Canberra a burden on the taxpayer - Media Release

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
 
ALICIA PAYNE MP
MEMBER FOR CANBERRA
 
ANDREW LEIGH MP
MEMBER FOR FENNER
 
DAVID SMITH MP
MEMBER FOR BEAN

LIBERAL MP LABELS CANBERRA A BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER

A Liberal MP has gone rogue and devalued the important role that the Australian Public Service (APS) plays in our democratic system of government.

While debating the Morrison Government’s plan to cut the aged pension and Newstart Allowance, Tim Wilson, Member for Goldstein responded to a speech by Member for Canberra, Alicia Payne MP, and claimed:

“After all the whole basis of the Canberra economy is, literally, government. The raiding of tax payers’ hip pockets for the benefit of the few.”

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Christmas can be hard on those down on their luck - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 2 DECEMBER 2019

The Christmas season can be hard on those who are down on their luck.

I thank organisations in Canberra who are doing their part to help the most disadvantaged in our community at this time. The Salvation Army in Scullin will be serving a Christmas lunch from 12.30, and St John's Care Reid will be serving its Christmas lunch from noon. St John's Care, UnitingCare Kippax and Canberra City Care are working together to make sure that they are helping as many people as they can during the Christmas season.

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Recognising sacrifice - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 2 DECEMBER 2019

Two and a half thousand years ago Pericles delivered a funeral oration, reading in part:

… for the Athens that I have celebrated is only what the heroism of these and their like have made her … none of these allowed either wealth with its prospect of future enjoyment to unnerve his spirit, or poverty with its hope of a day of freedom and riches to tempt him to shrink from danger … reckoning this to be the most glorious of hazards, they joyfully determined to accept the risk …

Thucydides quotes Pericles:

So died these men as became Athenians. You, their survivors, must determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field, though you may pray that it may have a happier issue.

In honouring those who have fallen in service of Australia, we follow in the footsteps of Pericles. The manner in which that is done fundamentally shapes the character of nations.

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Humanity's paths: a "Star Trek" utopia or a "Terminator" dystopia? - Op Ed, Salon

HUMANITY'S PATHS: A "STAR TREK" UTOPIA OR A "TERMINATOR" DYSTOPIA?

Salon, 2 December 2019

The United States today is more unequal than it has been in generations and more technologically advanced than ever. As the top 1 percent increases its share of the world’s wealth, advances in artificial intelligence are driving new breakthroughs in facial recognition, language translation, and abstract strategy games. While the earnings gap between highly educated workers and the unskilled widens, CRISPR technology lets scientists edit genomes. For robot designers, data analysts, and medical researchers, it can be the best of times. To paraphrase technology entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan, theirs is a future represented by "Star Trek"— a world where technology’s benefits are widely shared. For someone with few skills, few assets, and no job, it can feel like the worst of times. Theirs is a future that can seem like the dystopian one of "Terminator," after a self-aware artificial intelligence realizes that it no longer needs humanity.

Some people argue that inequality is the price we must pay for innovation. They say that we can’t all be billionaires. They assert that if we try to make society more equal by raising the top tax rate, it could deter risk taking and innovation. If we have to choose between having more stuff and distributing it fairly, they conclude that we should go for growth over equity.

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Morrison incapable of getting tough with the powerful - Transcript, AM Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS AM AGENDA
MONDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Deloitte; multinational tax avoidance; Westpac; Morrison’s union bashing bill. 

KIERAN GILBERT: Let’s return now to local politics. Joining us the Labor frontbencher, Andrew Leigh. Thanks so much for your time. Chris Richardson has done his Budget Monitor from Deloitte Access Economics, one of the most respected budget watchers in this place, in Australia. What are your thoughts on his judgments? Because some are reading it as a vindication of what the Prime Minister and the government have committed to, in terms of their fiscal restraint.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: I think that’d be a misreading of Chris Richardson's report. The Government's been claiming that the Australian economy's issues are all caused by people overseas, but indeed what Chris Richardson shows is that the iron ore price has supported the budget - iron ore numbers are better than the government anticipated in May - and also shows very clearly that wages are lacklustre and profits are going strongly. So there’s a real problem in the Australian economy with wages, that's flowing through to spending. That’s why we're seeing real problems in brick and mortar retail, why we're seeing new car sales down, why we're seeing households really doing it tough and so many retailers saying ‘this is the beginning of December, it's meant to be a big spending season, but with wages in the doldrums it may not be much good’.

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Action overdue from Morrison Government - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Westpac; Deloitte; the Morrison Government dodging scrutiny; George Christensen; Ken Wyatt.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee. Starting at 8am this morning, the House Economics Committee will be hearing from APRA, the prudential regulator.

APRA has said that it has initiated its own inquiry into the Westpac scandal, in which we saw 23 million money laundering breaches. Labor will be seeking answers from APRA as to this investigation, and how they are exploring some of the critical issues around this Westpac breach. We need to make sure this breach never happens again. In particular, we need to learn the systematic lessons out of one Australia's worst money laundering scandals. I'm concerned by the fact that there have been reports that the compliance officer who reported the breach has been moved aside, and I'll be asking questions about how APRA is investigating that aspect of the story and also how whistleblowers are handled more broadly. This comes on top of the House Economic Committee hearings last Friday, in which Citibank appeared before the committee. Citibank has acknowledged they were the bank that was responsible for the vast majority of the 23 million transactions. It was money sent by Citibank, received by Westpac. And so in the House Economics Committee, we explored Citibank’s views as to this money laundering scandal, and how they are ensuring that they improve their processes around money transfer.

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Senate sets deadline for Seselja - Media Release

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

SENATE SETS DEADLINE FOR SESELJA

The Morrison Government has less than a week to produce its overdue response to a Senate inquiry, which recommended the swift harmonisation of Australia’s outdated charity fundraising laws.

After more than nine months of waiting, Assistant Minister for Charities Senator Zed Seselja now has until Monday to front the Senate, table the Morrison Government’s response and explain the delay in responding.

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Liberals protect banks from scrutiny – again - Media Release

STEPHEN JONES MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

LIBERALS PROTECT BANKS FROM SCRUTINY – AGAIN

It appears that the Morrison Government is once again standing between banks and public scrutiny.

Reports this morning indicate that the Liberals will block Labor’s push to recall Westpac before the House of Representatives House Economics Committee after the bank reported 23 million breaches of money laundering laws - almost one breach for every Australian.

The Committee heard from Westpac just a fortnight ago, before this scandal broke. It's vital that the committee gets to the bottom of what Westpac did wrong and how the money moved. If issues around money laundering are not sufficiently addressed, it could have adverse implications for financing of organised crime and terrorism.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.