Speaking


Audio Recordings

For audio recordings of my speeches and conversations at events across the country, please see this podcast below. It's also available on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.




Written Speeches

Below you will find transcripts of doorstops, speeches and media interviews.

JobKeeper was good idea, but Morrison bungled it - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2021

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper

LEON BYNER, HOST: I want to talk about JobKeeper and multinationals, because the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, was warned that last July 1,000 JobKeeper applicants with more than $250 million in turnover had booked revenue significantly divergent from forecasts of a downturn. In other words, they were doing much better. We should be helping people that need help, not helping people to make their profits greater. Let's talk with Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thank you, Leon.

BYNER: You've talked about this for a while. We still don't seem to have changed our way we do business in this space have we?

LEIGH: No, the Government's way too soft on multinationals, Leon, just as they're way too hard on social security recipients. At the very same time they're allowing some of these huge multinationals to get away with receiving JobKeeper the payments they didn't need, they're going after South Australian families for childcare debt. It's the double standard you see from this Government. JobKeeper was a good idea. It was important to save jobs. But it was badly bungled by the Morrison Government, that allowed some $13 billion to go to firms whose revenues went up last year rather than down.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Scott Morrison doesn't want national anti-corruption commission - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 5 OCTOBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Political leadership; Federal anti-corruption commission; ministerial standards; Gladys Berejiklian; Glasgow summit; Pandora Papers.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Good morning to you, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus.

PAUL: All right, well, Mick reckons Kristina Keneally might oust Albo. I can't see it happening. I can see him perhaps becoming the next prime minister, with Kristina Keneally on the front bench, perhaps.

LEIGH: Absolutely. Anthony Albanese is somebody of great integrity with the full support of the party. We know the next election is going to be a tight-fought one, as they always are, but I'm really confident that our positive policies are going to stand in stark contrast to the chaos, the dysfunction and the rorts that we've seen from the Morrison Government over recent years.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Frydenberg let too much taxpayer money flow through to overseas billionaires - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
ALAN JONES - SKY NEWS LIVE
WEDNESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper.

ALAN JONES, HOST: We're back with Andrew Leigh, who was formerly a professor of economics at ANU. He has a PhD in public policy from Harvard. He graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in arts and law. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the Young Economist Award, a prize given every two years by the Economic Society of Australia to the best economist under 40. Andrew Leigh is currently 49. He's married, with three sons. He's a prolific author, and I've spoken to him before because he's a keen marathon runner and we talked about honouring Peter Norman, the great Australian athlete who won the silver medal for the 200 metres in Mexico City in 1968, but because he supported the two black Americans, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were protesting the injustice to black Americans, Peter Norman was never selected for Australia again. Well, that's by the way, I think, of interesting background.

Andrew Leigh has applied a very clinical mind to these JobKeeper payments. You will recall they were, rightly, made to businesses who would otherwise have to lay off staff due to the economic impact of Coronavirus. The total cost, he estimates, around $90 billion - 90 thousand million dollars. To receive the payment, businesses and not-for-profit organizations had to demonstrate or forecast a particular shortfall in revenue. So if you were a business with a turnover over $1 billion, you qualified if the revenue shortfall was 50 per cent, under $1 million 30 per cent, and not-for-profits 15 per cent. That is, if there was a shortfall in revenue as a response to the government response to Coronavirus. Now, as you know, I've always described that response as disproportionate, but Andrew Leigh is now arguing that $13 billion - 13 thousand million dollars - according to an analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office went to firms which increase their revenue, firms which increased their turnover, and that the Government also gave money to profitable overseas-owned companies leading, he argues, to tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars going to offshore owners. Ludwig von Mises asks 'are we to be an agent of reform, or the chronicler of decline?'

Andrew Leigh joins me. Andrew, thank you for your time, and congratulations on an extraordinary career to date of remarkable scholarship. What reform is needed here? I mean, you're not opposed to wealthy people, but you're saying that the Government poured tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of some of Australia's wealthiest people.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: JobKeeper was a necessary scheme and it saved jobs, but the problem, Alan, as you've so articulately pointed out there, is that too much of it went to firms with rising revenues. It was a good idea but badly implemented, and that $13 billion amounts to $1,300 for every household in Australia. I expect most Australian households could think of better things to do with $1,300.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Porter's behaviour doesn't pass comedy club test - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Victorian construction industry; Christian Porter

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh - good morning to you, Andrew. How are you, mate?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus - the better to be with you.

PAUL: Nice to talk to you. What's going on in Victoria, because yesterday the CFMEU, you would have seen all of the vision there. This isn't the Australia that I know. I mean, I'm seeing now people are sending me videos of some of these mugs, these morons, kicking dogs, for goodness sake.

LEIGH: Some of that behaviour has just been appalling, and the idea that you'd get together in a large group without masks at a time like this just baffles me. Now, we ought to all be working together to kick this virus and to get Australia back to normal. We don't do that by having large mass gatherings or by opposing vaccination.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Government wants pensioners to pay back their JobKeeper overpayments, but billionaires can keep them - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY

TUESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: $13 billion in JobKeeper overpayments

LEON DELANEY, HOST: The federal member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, Andrew Leigh, has been criticised - by The Australian newspaper, no less. He's been accused of being a hypocrite. Apparently, according to The Australian, Andrew Leigh is a hypocrite because he's been heavily pursuing the issue of companies that claimed government payments from the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme and yet went on to make record profits anyway and paid out big bonuses to their executives and big dividends to their shareholders. Obviously, there is a question to be asked there, but according to The Australian, Andrew Leigh is hypocritical because, they say, he was singing a different song last year. Andrew Leigh is on the phone now. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon, great to be with you.

DELANEY: Thanks for joining us. Are you a hypocrite?

LEIGH: Of course not. This idea that you've either got to be all in favour of JobKeeper or all against JobKeeper is schoolyard stuff. Any sophisticated observer knows that we needed a wage subsidy scheme in place, as many other advanced countries had. We didn't need a wage subsidy scheme that gave $13 billion to firms with rising revenue, and has less transparency than the schemes in place in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. It's not too much to ask that the federal government can run the run the place properly, but just as with vaccines and quarantine, JobKeeper was a good idea badly botched by the Morrison Government.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Government's $13 billion in JobKeeper overpayments - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Kristina Keneally; Joel Fitzgibbon; $13 billion of JobKeeper overpayments

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Let's speak to somebody from Labor about this: Andrew Leigh, our #JobKeeperWarrior. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Always great to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you, mate. Look, Kristina Keneally, there's an offensive being mounted by the federal government and Labor detractors, critics, that Kristina Keneally being parachuted into Fowler is not a good thing.

LEIGH: Kristina is one of our strongest performers, somebody who's a former premier of New South Wales, and has a strong policy mind, who's able to take the fight up to the opposition, but who also, I think, will be a terrific advocate for the people for the people of Fowler.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Government won't learn from its JobKeeper mistakes - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s JobKeeper secrecy and waste; National Women’s Safety Summit; Prime Minister’s travel on Fathers Day

[CLIP OF JOSH FRYDENBERG ON 7.30 REPORT PLAYS]

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is our #JobKeeperWarrior. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. We've been talking about this for a long time. It seems like everyone else is just catching up this last week, doesn't it?

Read more
1 reaction Share

Government isn't doing a thing to get back $13 billion taxpayer dollars wasted on big business mates - Transcript, 6PR Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

RADIO 6PR MORNINGS WITH LIAM BARTLETT

MONDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s JobKeeper waste and secrecy

[CLIP OF PARLIAMENTARY SPEECH PLAYS]

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: That's Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities and he joins us this morning. Andrew, how are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Very well, Liam. Congratulations on your 60 Minutes work yesterday, an incredibly important forensic analysis of the biggest waste in Australian history.

BARTLETT: Well, you've been covering, as we just heard on the radio, you've been covering it on the floor of the House for weeks now, trying to make a dent in some of these huge, huge figures. But Andrew, as I just mentioned, I think it's really important that we, you know, it's one thing to reel off all those millions from the public side of things, but 97 per cent of it is private. We may never know.

LEIGH: That's exactly right, Liam. Now, what we've got from the private companies is absolute secrecy. We only have the public company transparency, as you pointed out in 60 Minutes, because ASIC, the corporate watchdog, required listed companies to disclose JobKeeper receipt to the share market. But there's a bunch of large private firms out there, which may or may not have gotten JobKeeper and may or may not have had rising revenue. At a time when people are being asked to tighten their belts, when real wages are forecast to fall for the typical Australian, it's only right to be putting a bit of a spotlight on who got JobKeeper and then saw their revenues rise.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Has Australia ever had a more secretive government than the Morrison Government? - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 2 SEPTEMBER 2021

Has Australia ever had a more secretive government than the Morrison government? This is the government that set up a one-man cabinet committee in order to keep deliberations secret, that has presided over the secret trial of Witness K and that has refused Australians access to the spreadsheet that shows how the car park rort was perpetrated. This is a government that has maintained secrecy over the so-called national cabinet, despite the fact that it is nothing of that name, and now over the largest waste of taxpayer money in Australian history, the $13 billion of JobKeeper that went to firms with rising earnings, they want more and more secrecy.

Read more
2 reactions Share

Australia’s most incompetent, thin-skinned, secretive, and cowardly government - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 AUGUST 2021

Australia has had bad Government's before, but have we ever had a more mendacious, incompetent, thin-skinned, secretive, cowardly Government than this one?

Australians are furious that the Morrison Government gave $13 billion of JobKeeper to firms with rising revenues.

In Britain, Canada, the United States and New Zealand, the public knew every firm that got wage subsidies. In Australia, the only reason we know anything about JobKeeper recipients is because ASIC required listed firms to disclose to the stock market. But only 3 per cent of JobKeeper went to listed companies.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Search



Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.