SKY NEWS AFTERNOONS WITH KIERAN GILBERT
THURSDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Cost of living; Bulk billing rebate; Charity town halls; Clean energy investment; Blueprint for the future of the not-for-profit sector.
KIERAN GILBERT (HOST): Joining me live in the studio is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Dr. Andrew Leigh.
Thanks for your time. The Prime Minister is saying cost of living is the number one game, we do know there are lots of other issues and those international headwinds, but that's the main issue dominating most people's time and focus right now in Australia.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Well, the world's throwing a lot of price pressures at us right now, Kieran. And through oil prices, through supply chain challenges flowing out of the war in Ukraine. We know that inflation is high and we're doing all we can to work alongside the Reserve Bank in reining it in. So, you just had inflation figures coming down that showed very clearly that if it wasn't for the government's measures, childcare costs would have gone up 13 per cent. Instead they went down 6 per cent. That energy price inflation and inflation in other areas was lower than it would have been had the government not taken those responsible cost of living measures.Read more
2CC CANBERRA BREAKFAST WITH STEPHEN CENATIEMPO
THURSDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Bulk billing rebate; Charity town halls; Competition Review Taskforce.
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO (HOST): Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition Charities Treasury and the Member for Fenner. Andrew, I need a bit of common sense after that, mate.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: I'm sure you do, Stephen. Here I am.
CENATIEMPO: Thank you. Now, there's a couple of things I want to talk about this morning. The changes to the GP bulk billing rebates, just explain to us exactly what's happening here, because the headline is "tripling the bulk billing incentive", but it doesn't necessarily apply to everybody, does it?
LEIGH: So, this applies to patients who are bulk billed, which is about two-fifths of GP visits in Canberra, three-fifths nationally. And it means that for a GP who sees a bulk billed patient, the rebate they get from the government has gone up 34 per cent. That's the biggest increase in the bulk billing incentive since the inception of Medicare. It's a massive investment in Medicare and in sustaining bulk billing. That's critical for children, for pensioners, for people on those concession cards across Canberra and time of a cost of living crisis, it's absolutely critical that we put money back into people's pockets and sustaining bulk billing is one way we're doing that.Read more
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST WITH EMMA REBELLATO
THURSDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2023
SUBJECTS: IMF recommendations to reduce inflation; Government policies to respond to cost-of-living crisis; RBA decision on interest rates.
EMMA REBELLATO (HOST): Well, the International Monetary Fund has urged Australia's Reserve Bank to increase the official cash rate further citing the need to reduce inflation to the target rate of two to three per cent as soon as possible. Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh joins us now from Parliament House in Canberra.
Good morning to you.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Morning, Emma. Great to be with you.
REBELLATO: So, are the alarm bells ringing within the government now?
LEIGH: We've been very concerned about the global inflation crisis and the effect that it's having on Australians. In the last budget, we brought down a range of cost-of-living measures designed to work in tandem with the Reserve Bank in order to bring inflation back into the target band. So, for example, just in the last quarter, you saw the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that if it hadn't been for our measures, then childcare costs wouldn't have gone up seven per cent. Instead they went down 13 per cent. And similarly, in the case of rents, they reported that our changes to Commonwealth Rent Assistance had put downward pressure on inflation. Likewise for energy prices with our energy bill relief package.Read more
Senator The Hon Katy Gallagher
The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP
David Smith MP
Alicia Payne MP
Joint Media Release
MAKING MEDICARE STRONGER FOR CANBERRANS
Today, the largest investment in bulk billing in the 40-year history of Medicare takes effect thanks to the Albanese Labor Government, with the tripling of the bulk billing incentive for local GPs.
Bulk billing is the beating heart of Medicare.
After nine years of cuts and neglect by the former government, bulk billing rates have declined sharply and it’s never been harder or more expensive for Australians to see a GP.
This historic investment means in Canberra, there will be a 34% increase in the payments to a bulk billing GP.
On top of our investment in bulk billing, we are investing in an $1.5 billion indexation boost across the board to Medicare rebates, increasing the amount that doctors receive for Medicare services and reducing pressure on GPs.
The Albanese Government is committed to making it more affordable for you and your family to get the health care you need.
Quotes attributable to Senator Katy Gallagher.
“Our historic investments into bulk billing will make a big difference in Canberra.
“Doctors’ groups have called this a “game-changer” and GPs have said this will help them maintain and even shift back to bulk billing.”
Quotes attributable to the Hon Andrew Leigh MP, Member for Fenner:
"When I speak to doctors and nurses in my electorate the need for more support for Medicare to make bulk-billing sustainable is the first thing they raise.
“Labor's always backed Medicare in and these investments are very welcome after nine years of Coalition neglect."
Quotes attributable to Dave Smith MP, Member for Bean:
“Bulk billing is a significant issue in my community. It needs to be addressed.
“I welcome this initiative and look forward to seeing this make a real difference on the ground.”
Quotes attributable to Alicia Payne MP, Member for Canberra:
“Canberra has some of the lowest rates of bulk billing in the country, and Canberrans know how hard it can be to find a bulk billing doctor.”
“The Government’s historic investment in bulk billing means more children, families, pensioners and concession card holders in Canberra will have access to the universal, prompt and world class medical care they deserve.”
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
Minister for Social Services
CREATING A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTOR: HAVE YOUR
In its continued commitment to support the not-for-profit sector, the Albanese Labor Government is pleased to announce the release of an Issues Paper to start a conversation about the Not-for-Profit Sector Development Blueprint.
First announced in October 2022, the Blueprint will provide a roadmap for Government reform and sector-led initiatives to boost the sector’s capacity to support and connect Australian communities.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the release of the Issues Paper by the Blueprint Expert Advisory Group is central to hearing from everyone on how to strengthen the not‑for‑profit sector for consideration in developing the Blueprint.
“Australia’s not-for-profit sector contributes deeply to the social, civic, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of life in Australia,” Minister Rishworth said.
“We thank the Blueprint Expert Advisory Group members and advisors representing the sector who are leading the development of the Blueprint.Read more
Joint media release with
The Hon Jim Chalmers MP
APPOINTMENTS TO COMPETITION TASKFORCE ADVISORY PANEL
The Albanese Government has appointed seven experts in business, government, law and economics to advise on competition policy settings to build a more dynamic and productive economy.
Kerry Schott, John Asker, Sharon Henrick, David Gonski and John Fingleton will join Danielle Wood and Rod Sims on the expert advisory panel for the new Competition Taskforce.
The Taskforce has been established in Treasury to provide continuous advice on whether Australia’s competition policy settings are fit for purpose in the face of the big shifts underway in our economy.
Greater competition is critical for lifting dynamism, productivity and wages growth, putting downward pressure on prices and delivering more choice for Australians dealing with cost-of-living pressures.
LISTENING TO AUSTRALIA’S CHARITY SECTOR
Over the coming weeks, I will hold a series of town hall meetings to meet with charity sector representatives, and continue Australia’s largest-ever charity consultation.
The Australian Government values the expertise and the contributions of the charity and non-profit sector, which constitutes almost one-tenth of the economy, and over one-tenth of employment.
In the wake of the disconnection crisis, the pandemic and the Coalition’s war on charities, Australia’s charities and non-profits need support to continue their essential work in building stronger, fairer communities.
Shortly after the Albanese Government came to office, I conducted the largest charity consultation in Australian history, hosting town hall meetings in every state and territory capital city and online.
This year, I have held further charity sector town hall meetings in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Launceston. The purpose of these meetings is to share ideas on how we can rebuild community trust and engagement, and to reinforce the Albanese Government’s commitment to partner with the sector to build a more connected Australia.Read more
ABC MELBOURNE MORNINGS WITH RAF EPSTEIN
THURSDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Inflation; Rate of immigration to Australia; Housing Australia Future Fund; Rental inflation.
RAF EPSTEIN (HOST): Inflation is higher than people thought it would be. It's not as high as last year, according to the ABS figures yesterday, but it's high enough, high enough to have many people thinking you will get another rate rise in two weeks' time. And, of course, part of inflation is rent, and rents are going up faster than at any time in the last 14 years. Andrew Leigh is Assistant Minister for Treasury. He's part of Anthony Albanese's Government and one of the MPs in Canberra. Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Morning, Raf. Great to be with you.
EPSTEIN: Do we have too many people coming?
LEIGH: I think we've got some catch-up migration, which is flowing from the borders being closed during the pandemic. You speak to businesses around the country and they're crying out for more workers. Many of those workers Raf are then unlocking opportunities for Australians. The genius of the Australian migration system, which makes it better than the migration system in many other countries, is that we’ve brought in workers to fill gaps rather than to supplant existing workers. And in many parts of Australia, we've still got job vacancies exceeding the number of people who are unemployed. It is quite extraordinary to still have unemployment below 4 per cent. It's only happened in 19 months since the current unemployment series began in the late 1970s, and 16 of those 19 months have been under this government.Read more
SKY NEWSDAY WITH TOM CONNELL
TUESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Doubling philanthropy; superannuation bequests; the legislated purpose of superannuation; artificial intelligence.
TOM CONNELL (HOST): Welcome back. Well, Australians are known as the people that give relatively generously. The Labor Government thinks that could be more so, there is an aim to double our philanthropy by the year 2030. Joining me live is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh on that very topic. So, a meeting today around that because we have the goals and then we have how we get there. How are you going to get there? What's the aim here? Is it just give generously or is it about tax incentives? What can you do here?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Well, Tom, we're aiming to boost giving right across the spectrum, everywhere from Kids in Philanthropy to workplace giving, to boosting giving by high net worth individuals. We've got a Productivity Commission review, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to look at the philanthropy settings. What's great is to have in the Parliament today a whole range of generous foundations, donors and charities talking about how we can work together to address some of Australia's most pressing social problems. It's about building community, it's about connecting people. I spoke today about the fact that an Australia without charities would be an Australia without community sport, without the arts, without the support for the disadvantaged and the environment. Charities do so much remarkable work in the community. And the government's aim to double philanthropy by 2030 aims to give them resources to do even more.Read more
6PR MONEYNEWS WITH KARALEE KATSAMBANIS
MONDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ATO’s Multinational Tax Avoidance taskforce; benefits of competition policy in assisting small businesses and the Royal Australian Mint's recent win at the Mint Directors Conference in Canada.
KARALEE KATSAMBANIS (HOST): I'm always delighted to catch up with this gentleman, the Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh, who is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and Employment. Good evening, Dr Leigh.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Good evening, Karalee, great to be with you.
KATSAMBANIS: Well it's lovely to be with you too, and I thought we'd do a bit of a round-up this evening because there's a lot of things happening, you're in charge of a lot of portfolios and you're always very accessible here for our West Australian listeners and to tell us what's going on.
So I thought we'd sort of kick off with one of the things that is one of your babies I should say, but what's been happening with the multinational tax amendments and the things that are going on there and the various measures that are being progressed by the Government?Read more