Sky News Newsday with Tom Connell - Transcript
SKY NEWS NEWSDAY WITH TOM CONNELL
WEDNESDAY, 29 MARCH 2023
SUBJECTS: INTEREST RATES, INFLATION, HOUSING AUSTRALIA FUTURE FUND, DGR STATUS FOR ORGANISATIONS CAMPAIGNING ON THE REFERENDUM FOR AN INDIGENOUS VOICE TO PARLIAMENT REFERENDUM
TOM CONNELL (HOST): We have had retail spending figures out this week that show Australians are spending only the same amount they were spending in September last year. In other words, spending’s been flatlining since then. So, have Australians heeded the warnings or perhaps unable to spend anymore? Is this the end of rate rises? Joining me live now, Andrew Leigh, Competition, Charity and Treasury Assistant Minister. Thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH: Always a pleasure, Tom.
CONNELL: We’ll know the figures soon enough. I kind of just want to fast‑forward 12 minutes and have it, but retail spending we know; does it feel like the rates have basically done their work? Do you think Australians can look forward to no more rate rises maybe even from here on in?
LEIGH: We certainly hope that the worst of inflation is behind us, Tom. But it does speak to the independence of the Australian Bureau of Statistics that I’m their responsible Minister but I get no heads‑up on the figure.Read more
Australian Competition Tribunal Appointments - Media Release
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION TRIBUNAL APPOINTMENTS
Today the Albanese Government is pleased to announce seven important appointments to the Australian Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal).
- Justice Michael O’Bryan has been appointed as the part-time President of the Tribunal for a five-year period;
- Justices Sarah Derrington AM, Kylie Downes, John Halley and Mark Moshinsky have been appointed as part-time Deputy Presidents of the Tribunal, each for a five-year period;
- Daniel Andrews and Ray Steinwall have been appointed as part-time members of the Tribunal, each for a five-year period.
Justice O’Bryan was appointed to the Federal Court in 2019, and then appointed as a Deputy President of the Tribunal in the same year. In 2014, Justice O’Bryan was appointed as a member of the panel that conducted Australia’s last major competition law and policy review, the Harper Review, in 2015.Read more
Legislation to Help Charities and Small Business - Media Release
LEGISLATION TO HELP CHARITIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES
This week, the Albanese Government has introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Refining and Improving Our Tax System) Bill 2023 (the Bill) into Parliament.
The Bill transfers administration of four unique Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) categories to the Australian Taxation Office, and repeals provisions relating to maintenance of departmental registers.
The ATO currently administers 48 of the 52 categories under which an organisation may be eligible for endorsement as a deductible gift recipient. Four deductible gift recipient categories – Environmental Organisations, Harm Prevention Charities, Cultural Organisations, and Overseas Aid Organisations – are currently administered by Ministers through departmental registers.Read more
How Uncompetitive Markets Reduce Wages - Op Ed - The Australian
How Uncompetitive Markets Reduce Wages
The Australian, 23 March 2023
Folk music is replete with songs about struggling employees in company towns. In Sixteen Tons, Johnny Cash sings ‘You load 16 tons, what do you get? / Another day older and deeper in debt / St. Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go / I owe my soul to the company store’.
Company towns were the extreme example of monopsony power. While monopolies hurt consumers, monopsonies hurt suppliers.
Today, company towns are rare, but monopsony power is growing. New research from economist Jonathan Hambur uses rich de-identified tax data. To measure concentration in labour markets across the country, it splits Australia into 290 working zones and 190 industries. For example, it might look at the concentration of employers for grocery workers in Wagga Wagga.Read more
JOY Drive with Emma & Warren - Transcript
JOY DRIVE WITH EMMA & WARREN
THURSDAY, 16 MARCH 2023
SUBJECTS: Topics for the 2026 Census
WARREN ANDREW (CO-HOST): The Australian Bureau of Statistics has opened the first phase of public consultations on topics for the 2026 Census of Population and Housing. What sort of topics could be added to the census and how do we go about submitting them? Dr. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. Andrew, welcome back to the programme.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Thanks, Warren. Good to be with you both.
WARREN ANDREW: Now, how do you go about selecting topics for inclusion in the census?
LEIGH: Well, it's important that the Bureau of Statistics go through a really open consultation process. What we saw last time round was that cut short by political intervention from the former government. And we really want the Australian Bureau of Statistics to be able to do a deep dive, talk to people in the community, work out what should be added and also what needs to be taken off the Census. Obviously, you can't just keep on adding questions forever. And so in the past, the Census has had questions taken off it about what sort of material your walls are made out of or whether you've got an indoor toilet. And that makes room for some of the important questions that can be added. Last time, veteran status and long-term health condition were added.Read more
Making It Fairer For All - Op Ed - Daily Telegraph
Making It Fairer For All
The Daily Telegraph, 17 March 2023
My first music purchases were records. Mostly, I bought 45 RPM singles. But when I could afford them, I splurged on 33 RPM albums. The money from my newspaper delivery job didn’t go far, which meant that I listened to the same songs again and again. Pick a Midnight Oil song from the 1980s, and it’s a fair bet that I know every word.
A generation later, my three sons listen to music through Spotify. They have access to virtually everything ever recorded, and jump happily through artists and genres. My boys literally have access to a million times as much music as I did.
Something else has changed. When I was buying vinyl, there were plenty of indie record labels. Today, Spotify dominates the streaming market. As a result, musicians and songwriters are feeling the squeeze. Cellist Zoë Keating estimates that Spotify pays her just one-third of a cent per play. For most artists, streaming doesn’t pay the bills.Read more
ABS to commence Annual Time Use Survey in 2024 - Media Release
ABS TO COMMENCE ANNUAL TIME USE SURVEY IN 2024
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will conduct the Time Use Survey on an on-going basis from 2024.
The Time Use Survey is a detailed data collection that records the activities Australians take part in each day, including the amount of time people spend on unpaid work such as caring for children and older people, and doing housework.
Decades ago, Australia was a global pioneer in time use surveys, conducting surveys in 1992, 1997 and 2006 before a sixteen-year hiatus. The most recent survey took place in 2020-21 during the exceptional environment of the COVID pandemic.Read more
ABC Rural Country Hour with Warwick Long - Transcript
ABC RURAL COUNTRY HOUR WITH WARWICK LONG
THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 2023
SUBJECTS: Right to repair agricultural machinery.
WARWICK LONG (HOST): Let's keep talking government right now, but very much an on farm issue. The Federal Government is asking the Australian farming industry for ideas on how best to give farmers the right to repair the equipment they buy. So in January, the American Farm Bureau signed an MoU with major farm machinery dealers to allow US farmers access to machinery repair codes, diagnostics and manuals after they were initially locked out by companies protecting intellectual property rights. The same issue is facing Australian farmers and they want a similar solution. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition and he says he wants to hear from industry about some of these solutions and work out a deal for Australian farmers. I spoke to him earlier today.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Certainly we’re interested in the potential for expanding the right to repair. For many years, I've been campaigning for data sharing, for mechanics to be able to fix modern cars. Modern cars are computers on wheels, and unless independent mechanics have access to that data, they were looking at going to the wall. And the very same issue arises with agricultural machinery. The movements in the United States suggest a way in which this might be possible to achieve and certainly it would improve agricultural productivity, because you're talking about farmers being able to fix their machines quicker and at harvest time, you've got dollars going out the door if you're not harvesting quickly.Read more
Sky News Afternoon Agenda with Kieran Gilbert - Transcript
SKY NEWS AFTERNOON AGENDA WITH KIERAN GILBERT
TUESDAY, 7 MARCH 2023
SUBJECTS: Interest rates; Impact and causes of inflation; Government’s response to cost of living.
KIERAN GILBERT (HOST): Let's get back to the issue of the rate rise today, the 10th consecutive rate rise at an RBA board meeting. The Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Lee, joins me now. Is there any hope from the RBA statement that this might be the last, or at least close to it?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: I would have hoped so Kieran but if you look at the end of the RBA statement, they do say that further tightening is likely. So that's unfortunately troubling news for many households. If you look at the impact of the typical mortgage holder over the course of this rate rise cycle, which started just before the election, somebody on a typical mortgage will have seen their monthly repayments go up $658. This increase on its own pushes up repayments for that typical mortgage holder by $51 a month. So it's a significant impost on the Australian household.Read more
ABC Radio National Drive with Andy Park - Transcript
ABC RADIO NATIONAL DRIVE WITH ANDY PARK
THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2023
SUBJECTS: How Uncompetitive markets hurt workers; Non-compete clauses in employment contracts; Superannuation tax breaks worth more than the full-rate aged pension
ANDY PARK (HOST): The cost of living is rising, interest rates are going up, groceries are getting more expensive, and it's getting harder to travel with the rising price of airfares. None of this is news to you, but in recent weeks we have heard stories of people who are really struggling, which are in stark contrast to some of the eye boggling profits from some of Australia's largest companies and their reporting. So what can we do? What should we do to ease the pressure on the average Australian household? Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, he joins me now on RN Drive. Good day, Andrew
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Great to be with you.
PARK: You've spoken about market concentration allowing companies to lift profits excessively and keep wages low. Are Australian consumers and workers being rorted here?
LEIGH: We certainly know that excess monopoly power is bad for consumers. It drives up prices and drives down choice. It means that firms don't do as much research and development and you don't get the sort of innovation that you'd expect in a highly competitive economy. But what I'm increasingly concerned about now is that market concentration might also hurt workers too. The classic extreme is a company town where you've only got one choice as to who to work with. In that situation, you have the employer exerting a sort of power over the workers that a monopoly exerts over consumers. And this monopsony power, the power that employers have over workers, seems to be prevalent in a lot of parts of Australia, particularly regional Australia. That might be a reason why we haven't seen the sort of real wage growth we would have hoped over the last decade.Read more