RICHEST 10PC THREE TO FIVE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND UNIVERSITY
The Australian Financial Review, 6 December 2021
Few investments have so large an economic payoff as attending university. According to the OECD, Australians with a bachelor’s degree earn 26 per cent more than workers who have only finished high school (the average wage premium for a diploma is 9 per cent).
Yet the benefits of university are not evenly spread across the population. In the United States, one study found that children whose parents are in the top 1 per cent of the income distribution are 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy League college than those whose parents are in the poorest fifth of the population.
Curious to see how this plays out in Australia, I crunched the numbers for a study that recently appeared in the Australian Economic Review.Read more
ABC NEWS RADIO
THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government continuing to attack Australia’s charities.
GLEN BARTHOLOMEW, HOST: Andrew Leigh, a Labor MP, has been very vocal in speaking out against this bill and he joins us now. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Glen. Great to be with you.
BARTHOLOMEW: To be clear, remind us why you and the Labor Party had opposed the government's original political campaigners bill and what would it mean for charities and single issue groups?
LEIGH: If Labor done nothing yesterday, then we would now have voter ID requirements at elections and the threshold for disclosing as a political campaigner would have been brought right down to $100,000-
BARTHOLOMEW: Explain to people just what this political campaigners bill involves?
LEIGH: Sure. So third party entities are required to register as political campaigners if they have electoral expenditure above a certain threshold. That's currently half a million dollars. The government wanted to bring it down to $100,000, and Labor took the view that it was better to have it brought down to $250,000 rather than just have the government’s changes go through unamended. We've been fighting strongly for charities over the last eight years, fighting against a war on charities on all fronts. We had a good win last week, defeating the government’s attempt to make it easier to deregister charities for events like simply trespassing or blocking a footpath. On this one, we would have liked to seen the government defeated with its attempt to put more paperwork burden onto charities. But when we couldn't defeat it, we took the approach of trying to at least reduce its worst aspects on charities.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison hiding from scrutiny and from doing his job; Real wages falling on Scott Morrison’s watch as petrol prices and housing skyrocket; Social media reform and Scott Morrison’s inaction on misinformation within his own party.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Every Tuesday we catch up with the Federal Member for Fenner. It is Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus.
PAUL: Nice to chat. Now it's becoming highly likely that we will have a budget before the next election, that was always going to be the case.
LEIGH: Yes, but the parliamentary sitting schedule next year is remarkably thin, Marcus. It looks like they've got a budget scheduled at the end of March and right through the first three months of the next year, they've got just ten sitting days-
PAUL: Ten for the House of Reps and five for the Senate. Am I right?
LEIGH: It's just extraordinary. Scott Morrison is paid to be the nation's number one parliamentarian, but he doesn't seem to want to turn up to do his job. He's the top parliamentarian in the country and he's constantly trashing parliament. Constantly saying, ‘this is a Canberra bubble, no one worries about what happens here’. And frankly, if he doesn't want the job, he should hand over to somebody who is keen and capable to do it. This is the government which, you know, ought to be called the ‘gonna’ government: they're gonna do this, they're gonna do that, gonna put in place a national integrity commission, gonna do something about social media. But what actually have they done? I mean, their achievements are preciously thin. That's why they don't want to sit next year because all that happens when they’ve got Parliament sitting is you've got Liberals attacking Nationals and Nationals attacking Nationals.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: Buy Now, Pay Later.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Great to be with you, Brooke.
BROOKE CORTE, HOST: Well, I mean, most of the Buy Now, Pay Later providers say they're not credit providers. Instead, they’re budgeting tools or cash flow managers, which I've always thought is kind of cute. Do you think there's truth in it or do you think it's spin?
LEIGH: They’ve attempted to stay out of the credit regulations by having limits on how much you're allowed to borrow, but I think we ought to just make sure that regulation is keeping up with technology. It's always the way - as technology advances, regulation needs to run to be there. And these new figures from the Commonwealth Bank suggest that if you want to get the whole picture, Brooke, you need to look not only at the default rates within the Buy Now, Pay Later product, but also how it might have downstream effects - how that might kick on to people being slow to pay their other bills.
CORTE: And is that what you think is happening?
LEIGH: That's certainly what the Commonwealth Bank data seems to suggest. You know, if you look at the share of customers in financial hardship: 4.9 per cent overall, 6.4 per cent among those who use Buy Now, Pay Later products. And the share who overdraw accounts and falling behind on repayments, again as you said, almost twice as large. So regulators need to be looking at the whole picture, and these data from the Commonwealth Bank are I think useful. Many people happily use Buy Now, Pay Later. It works well for them, doesn't cause any financial hardship issues. But I've certainly heard concerns among those who work with people in credit hardship, the consumer groups, that we need to make sure we're regulating carefully right across the products.Read more
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s crackdown on charities.
LEON BYNER, HOST: The head of Barnardos, very famous charity, says that misguided legislation giving the regulator new powers to investigate and deregister charities will put vulnerable children in danger. Now, one political party - One Nation - has been accused of helping the Coalition to silence Australian charities after pledging support for a plan crackdown on the sector. Now I'm going to pick the brain of someone today who I think is one of the finest economic minds in the country. He's a former professor of economics at the Australian National University. He's been a Member of Parliament for a while. His name is Dr Andrew Leigh, and he is the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Leon.
BYNER: Do we need to crack down?
LEIGH: Not at all. The chances of a charity being deregistered for illegal activity are about the chances of the typical Australian being convicted of murder this year: pretty low. The fact is that this is a solution in search of a problem. The government has been out there consistently trying to reduce the voices of charities in the public debate, because they don't like being criticised. And yet charities, as you know Leon, one of their main roles is participating in the public debate-Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Vaccine mandates and Scott Morrison losing control of his Senators; Scott Morrison’s dog whistling double speak; Scott Morrison’s latest lies about his Hawaii holiday; Labor’s push for same job, same pay laws.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh. Good morning, mate. How are you?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. And you?
PAUL: Yeah, not bad. Well, that set the scene yesterday there in LEGO land in Canberra, Jacqui Lambie’s very passionate mandatory vaccine debate. Another day of fireworks expected in Parliament today. Let's dissect a little of what went on yesterday. Now obviously One Nation put this bill forward. Jacqui jumped up as we heard and had her say, and you know much I guess to the disgust of Pauline Hanson and others, including Matt Canavan and those who are fighting against these mandatory vaccines.
LEIGH: Five coalition members crossing the floor, and now George Christensen threatening to do the same, Marcus. It’s a government in disarray. Like you, I found Jacqui Lambie’s statements very persuasive, as did my Labor Senate colleagues who voted with the bulk of the government. This is a government that's lost control of its own backbench. It's not able to get on the same page on an issue as fundamental as vaccine mandates. You've got the Prime Minister looking to walk both sides of the street. He wants to take credit for the increase in vaccination rates across the nation, that have come partly as a result of vaccine mandates, and the decrease in spread that flows from having vaccine mandates in place. And yet he wants to play footsie with extremists and therefore won't come out and take a clear position on vaccine mandates.Read more
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2021
LEON BYNER, HOST: Our next guest is one of the finest economic minds in the Australian Parliament. He’s an author, a lawyer, former professor of economics at the ANU, and his opinion on these matters is always very well researched and very easy to understand. He makes the point that publicly listed companies, SA companies received almost - listen to this - $55 million in JobKeeper payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. That supported something like 2500 jobs, but only $5.2 million has been repaid. So what can be done about this? Let's talk to the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, it’s good to talk to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific to talk to you, Leon.
BYNER: Is there nothing in legislation that can force this? Do we have to rely on goodwill?
LEIGH: No one's going to be forcing companies to pay back, Leon. But I think it is important that companies that saw their revenues rise look at their corporate social responsibility statements. So many of them have warm and fuzzy corporate social responsibility statements. They say ‘we're not just here for our shareholders, we're also out there to do good in the community’. Well, one way you can do that, if your revenues have gone up, is to voluntarily make a repayment. Some South Australian companies really needed JobKeeper. It was absolutely essential, which is why Labor called for it in the first place. But others got it despite having their revenues going up, and that wasn't why the program was designed. They might have thought they needed it at the start, but at the end of the pandemic they might now look back and think about doing the right thing by the community.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Climate change; Vaccine hesitancy; Populism; Grease: The Musical.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Every Tuesday on the program, we catch up with the federal Member for Fenner and talk a little politics. Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: You too. One thing - yesterday, Scott Morrison said he was the underdog. He said he's used to being the underdog, and that's how he believes he will operate leading into the next federal election probably inside the next four to five months. What say you?
LEIGH: Scott Morrison will say anything in order to spin his way out of the situation. And frankly, right now, he just wants to change the subject. He’s come out of a shocking experience in Glasgow, in which the government signed up to an agreement which said that they would improve their 2030 targets next year, and then came home to Australia and said ‘no, I’m doing anything of the sort’. Meanwhile, he's got his deputy prime minister saying that the Nationals didn't sign up to the COP26 agreement. Last time I checked the Nationals were part of the government. So this is a government in utter disarray, led by an ad man who is great with a slogan, but not much with the follow through.
PAUL: Should he be censoring Craig Kelly? He relies on Craig Kelly's vote. Craig Kelly has been down there in Melbourne, I think inciting some of the behaviour we’ve been seeing with these protests. I mean, does he need to pull Craig Kelly up finally?
LEIGH: I think it’s pretty clear that if this was Adam Bandt leading the protests, then Scott Morrison would be out there vociferously criticising him. But when it’s someone from his own camp, then he’s pretty reluctant. Craig Kelly’s only in Parliament because Scott Morrison stepped in to save his preselection at the last election. If not for that, Craig Kelly would not be a member of parliament. So he’s very much a creation of Scott Morrison’s and he continues to vote very strongly with the government.Read more
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
MONDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: University cuts.
LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now, the federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you.
DELANEY: Obviously the ANU has a terrific reputation. It's a hard-earned, hard-won reputation. But why is that at risk now, do you think?
LEIGH: Leon, ANU departments take decades to build up, but they can be lost in just a matter of years if funding is cut and they're forced to close. What we've seen with ANU is the government take away support, cut funding to universities at the very time of which they're losing their international student body. And so that's really thrown a whole lot of jobs out the door. We've seen the ANU literally decimated - lose one in 10 of its staff - but also real threats to the research capability of the university. We turned to universities to come up with solutions to COVID, and yet at the very same time we’re taking resources away from them.
DELANEY: I am very impressed by the fact that you actually know the literal meaning of decimated.
THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s mismanagement of JobKeeper.
LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: But this morning, I can give you more publicly available information about JobKeeper today. We promised our listeners we would stay across this, try to monitor any news that we can to follow the dribble of extraordinary public money, taxpayers money that went to companies that really did not need it. Now first, the good news this morning. Maggie Beer Holdings has announced it has repaid every single cent it received, some $820,500 in total, all of it going back to the Treasury. And just another reason I reckon to scoff a tub of Maggie Beer burnt fig ice-cream this morning. So more power to them and a great result there. On a negative note today we've learned that the plus size fashion retailer City Chic has so far held onto every cent of the $7.2 million it was paid over the 2020-2021 financial years, despite booking 135 per cent increase in net profits. Just think about that for a moment. City Chic got 7.2 million in taxpayer assistance - that's welfare - while it expanded into Europe, acquired the German based retailer Navabi back in July and expanded into the UK in December with the purchase of the Evans brand. City Chic has declined to comment. What a surprise. The other news today is that one of the country's biggest pathology companies has pocketed more than $12 million in JobKeeper payments from you, the taxpayer, even though its profits have topped $100 million since the pandemic started. Australian Clinical Labs is the company. Over the past two financial years they've had after tax profits of $11.7 million and $88.7 million respectively. Over that time JobKeeper payments accounted for after tax profits of $12.5 million. The opposition politician who refuses to give up on this is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Liam. Great to be chatting with you.
BARTLETT: This would be comical, if it was not such a disgraceful waste of public money. So here's a pathology company involved in COVID testing during a pandemic, copping all this money. It is truly ridiculous, Andrew.Read more