Monopoly and the Banker: More Than a Board Game
Australian Conference of Economists, Brisbane
Wednesday, 12 July 2023
Since our panel has been asked to riff off Governor Lowe’s remarks in his lunchtime talk, I thought it would be helpful for me to focus on the ways in which developments in my portfolio of competition have affected monetary policy.
The job of the Reserve Bank is never easy, but it is especially challenging at times when inflation is outside the target band. Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine and major problems with vital supply chains are undoubtably key drivers of Australia's inflation problem.
Nonetheless, two new pieces of research suggesting that a lack of competition may impede the transmission of monetary policy – effectively making life harder for central bankers. Both were published in May in the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings.Read more
CHARITY SECTOR TOWN HALL MEETINGS
This week, I will hold a series of town hall meetings across Australia to meet with charity sector representatives.
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. We know how vital Australian charities are in building stronger, fairer communities.Read more
IMPROVING INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE CHARITY SECTOR
The Albanese Government takes the integrity of the charity sector seriously and is acting to provide the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) with additional powers and resources.
Presently, secrecy provisions prevent the ACNC from disclosing whether it is investigating alleged misconduct by a charity, the outcomes of investigations, and/or the reasons for revoking the registration of a charity. This limits the ability of the public and charities to learn from ACNC regulatory activities.Read more
Cut non-compete clauses and clear a creative path
The Daily Telegraph, 10 July 2023
In 1956, William Shockley shared the Nobel prize for silicon semiconductors. A brilliant scientist, he was also a bad boss. At his US company, he spied on employees and was both racist and paranoid.
So eight of his top engineers left, founding Fairchild Semiconductor. Shockley called them “the traitorous eight”, but couldn't stop them.
A decade later, two of them left to create Intel. Then another departed to create AMD. One reason why Silicon Valley came to dominate technology was that workers could walk out to create new firms.
Yet millions of Australian workers today don't have that freedom. New research from economist Dan Andrews at the thinktank e61 finds that 22 per cent of employees are bound by non-compete clauses.
Their contracts mean they can't take a better job if the company competes too closely with their current employer.
The Australian Government values the expertise and the contributions of the charity sector highly. We know how vital Australian charities are in building stronger, fairer communities that are better places to live.
We hosted town hall meetings with the charity sector last year to share ideas on how we can rebuild community trust and engagement, and to reinforce our commitment to partner with the sector.
One year in, we are seeking to build on the Government’s partnership with Australian charities and maintain ongoing engagement through our town hall forums.Read more
STREAMLINING THE DEDUCTIBLE GIFT RECIPIENT REGISTERS
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status has been streamlined for organisations applying under four unique DGR registers. This is part of the Government’s commitment to boosting philanthropy and supporting a vibrant charitable sector.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) currently administers 48 of the 52 categories under which an organisation may be eligible for endorsement as a deductible gift recipient. The four deductible gift recipient categories presently administered by Ministers through departmental registers - environmental organisations, harm prevention charities, cultural organisations, and overseas aid organisations - will now benefit from the reforms to transfer administration of these DGR registers to the ATO.
ABC SYDNEY DRIVE WITH JAMES VALENTINE
MONDAY, 26 JUNE 2023
SUBJECTS: Simon Crean; Unfair trading practices
JAMES VALENTINE (HOST): We were talking on Friday about the problems of unsubscribing. And so it's one thing where you might voluntarily subscribe to a streaming service or some kind of delivery service or whatever it might be, and it's going to charge you $10 a month and you decide to unsubscribe. And it's messy, it's awkward, it's all over the place. It's hard to do. It's a whole other thing, and this is what's happening in the US, where Amazon is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, who are saying, you're signing up people to Prime who haven't even said that they want it. You go and buy something on Amazon and you suddenly find you're subscribed to Prime - subscribed to Prime, their television streaming service. We found people here who'd had this situation, they were subscribed to the US service, which is like $24 a month, and they can't even access it, let alone they didn't want it to start with. So, what can be done about this? And one of the things we discovered was that our laws are not particularly helpful here. Dr Andrew Leigh is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and joins us this morning to explore this. Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, James. Great to be with you.Read more
TREASURY LAWS AMENDMENT (MAKING MULTINATIONALS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE—INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY) BILL 2023
The Albanese Government is progressing work on its Multinational Tax Integrity package to improve the integrity, transparency, and fairness of the tax system.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 was introduced this week.
The Bill amends Australia’s thin capitalisation rules to limit the amount of interest expenses that entities can deduct for tax purposes from 1 July 2023. This tax integrity measure is estimated to result in a gain to receipts of $720 million over the 4 years from 2022-23.Read more
Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 - Speech
Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023
Second Reading Speech
House of Representatives, 22 June 2023
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 gives effect to the government's election commitments. These election commitments were announced in April 2022, with specific details announced in the October 2022 budget.
These policies are grounded in the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on base erosion and profit shifting, which began in 2013. Working together within this inclusive framework, over 135 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating on the implementation of measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.Read more
Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 2) Bill 2023
Consideration of Senate Message
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023
These amendments relate to the tax deductibility status for entities in the upcoming referendum debate. It is something of a coincidence that we are speaking on this matter just as that item has passed the parliament. Providing tax-deductible status to organisations participating in public campaigning on the referendum allows the community to support public conversations for and against the Voice to Parliament. As the government has announced, we will not be providing public funding for either the 'yes' or the 'no' case; however, this amendment provides tax-deductible gift recipient status to a 'no' case entity.
For the benefit of the House I'll provide a little background on that. In the May budget, the government made a decision to provide tax-deductible gift recipient status for an organisation campaigning against the Voice to Parliament. There hadn't been any proposals for 'no' case organisations until March 2022, so the budget included the Voice No Case Committee. However, one day before the budget was published, the Voice No Case Committee informed Treasury that it was no longer seeking deductible gift recipient status. It then announced, through media statements, that it had merged with the newly formed entity Australians for Unity and would be the main vehicle campaigning against the Voice. That entity didn't exist until mid-April and only had its charitable status approved last Thursday. Last Friday, the Senate approved amendments which would provide Australians for Unity, the principal vehicle for campaigning for a 'no' case, with tax-deductible gift recipient status that would be backdated to 13 April.Read more