Almost $200 million in JobKeeper went to ACT businesses who increased their turnover during the pandemic

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY

TUESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2021

 

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper

 

LEON DELANEY, HOST: The Parliamentary Budget Office has revealed Australian businesses that actually increased turnover claimed almost $20 billion all together across the nation, and here in the ACT the figure was almost $200 million. Andrew Barr yesterday described it as one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money in history, and I think that view is shared by the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities and the local member for Fenner, Dr Andrew Leigh. Would I be correct?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Absolutely, Leon. Good to be with you and your listeners, and yes, it's $20 billion nationally, $197 million here in the ACT, going to firms whose revenues were going up during the pandemic rather than down.

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The Government gave so much JobKeeper to firms that didn't need there wasn't enough left for small businesses that did

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RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER

THURSDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2021

 

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper

 

LEON BYNER, HOST: Andrew it's good to talk to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Great to talk to you again, Leon.

BYNER: I want to talk about some new data that suggests that almost $1 billion in JobKeeper payments were handed out to SA businesses that actually posted an increase in revenue. How did that happen?

LEIGH: We all wanted JobKeeper to succeed, and it did save jobs. Many firms needed it, but firms got it that didn't need it, and that includes this $964 million that went to South Australian businesses whose revenues were increasing rather than decreasing. That's your taxes at work. That's money that will need to be paid back through higher income taxes for Australians for years to come. It didn't need to happen. The Treasurer was warned at the time, but he didn't do anything to stop the rot.

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Choosing Openness

Choosing Openness

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CANBERRA

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

Debates over trade have a long history in this place. At the time of federation, New South Wales Premier George Reid, who ran the one free-trading state, said that, for his state, going into a federation with the question of tariffs to be decided later was like a reformed alcoholic setting up house with five drunkards and leaving the question of beverages to be decided by majority vote. In the early years of the federation, my side of parliament allowed members a free vote on questions of tariffs, but, by 1905, we had decided to join with Alfred Deakin's Protectionists, and Labor supported tariffs—as, indeed, did the conservatives.  

Tariffs nearly doubled during the 1920s, the era of Smoot-Hawley, and by the late 1960s the Australian economy was, according to one analysis, 'the most protected economy in the advanced world'—what Black Jack McEwen called 'protection all-round'. Meaning that, if you wanted to sell a product in Australia, you either had to get an import licence or pay a tariff, which could often double the price of the product.

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How did Canberra become the most vaccinated city in the world?

How did Canberra become the most vaccinated city in the world?

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CANBERRA

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

 

Over recent months, Canberrans have rolled up our sleeves and got vaccinated. Today Canberra became the first state or territory in Australia to have more than 80 per cent of the over-12 population vaccinated. Ninety-nine per cent of Canberra's adults have had a first dose. Under the leadership of Andrew Barr, Rachel Stephen-Smith and Kerryn Coleman, we are on track to become the most vaccinated city in the world.

Why has Canberra done so well? It's true that Canberra is the most progressive jurisdiction in Australia: socially inclusive and internationally engaged. We're quick to take up new technologies and are enthusiastic about education. When I've spoken in this place about refugees, international development, marriage equality or climate change, I know I've been speaking for my electors

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Canberrans should have the right to die with dignity

Canberrans should have the right to die with dignity

The RiotACT
Wednesday, 20 October 2021

What do 87 percent of Australians agree about? Not which party to vote for, and certainly not which football code to barrack for. You wouldn’t find 87 percent agreeing about tax or whether cats make better pets than dogs.

Yet when it comes to voluntary assisted dying, the ABC’s VoteCompass survey in 2019 found that 87 percent agreed with the statement ‘Terminally ill patients should be able to end their own lives with medical assistance’. That included 79 percent of Coalition voters, 77 percent of Catholics and 76 percent of Protestants.

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The Government gave $2,000 for every Australian household to businesses who were already increasing their revenue

The Government gave $2,000 for every Australian household to businesses who were already increasing their revenue

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CANBERRA

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

Judith Sloan, Janet Albrechtsen and Niki Savva are hardly Labor true believers, but they've been among the fiercest critics of the government's JobKeeper mismanagement, calling the overpayments 'irresponsible', 'inept' and 'inexcusable'.

JobKeeper saved jobs, but so much money was given to firms with rising revenues that the cost of saving each full-year job was up to $200,000. The Parliamentary Budget Office first estimated that $13 billion went to firms with rising revenues in the first six months of the scheme. Then the government said that figure was $14 billion. Now the Parliamentary Budget Office has looked at the full 12-month scheme, and they estimate that $20 billion went to firms with rising revenue. That's $2,000 for every Australian household going to companies that didn't need support—companies whose sales were higher in the pandemic than the year before. Among those who benefited from JobKeeper were offshore billionaires, such as Louis Vuitton's Bernard Arnault and Luxottica's Leonardo Del Vecchio.

If you asked a family in my electorate what they'd do with a spare $2000, they might say they would get the car fixed, donate the money to a homeless shelter or pay down the mortgage. But — Zut alors! Maledetto inferno! — I'm guessing the one thing they wouldn't do is take $2,000 and pop it in the post to French and Italian billionaires.

 

ENDS

 

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra

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Goverment's JobKeeper overpayments in WA reach $1.6 billion

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

6PR MORNINGS WITH LIAM BARTLETT

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

 

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper

 

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the federal opposition Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. He's been doing a lot of the front running on this, a lot of the research work and the back of house details. Andrew, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Liam. Great to be with you.

BARTLETT: And you, too. You're in Canberra at the moment, but you've been through some of this new analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office.

LEIGH: Absolutely. JobKeeper was an important program, but very badly implemented, as you know better than most, Liam. A program that was meant to be about keeping battlers in jobs ended up delivering too much cash through to billionaire shareholders. We now know, thanks to this new analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office, that there was some $20 billion delivered to firms whose revenues went up rather than down, and in Western Australia that's $1.6 billion going to firms who had a better 2020 than 2019.

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The world's climate emergency is Australia's jobs opportunity

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

 

SUBJECTS: Climate change

 

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Can you believe Australia's best interests are being held ransom by an accountant in a cowboy hat? As Anthony Albanese confirmed on the program yesterday, the Nationals hold well less than 10 per cent of the national vote yet wield so much power. Barnaby Joyce seems to be engaged in a cunning, four-stage climate plan to do absolutely bugger all. Step one: eight years of doing nothing. Step two: congratulate yourself on doing nothing. Step three: win four more years of doing nothing. And step four: get ScoMo to blame someone else for doing nothing.

They've had eight years, and I couldn't believe my ears the other day when I heard David Littleproud tell - I think it was the ABC, whoever it was, I don't care - he basically turned around and said, 'Oh, how can you expect us to possibly come up with some sort of solution in two days?' Moron. Dead set, you've had eight years - eight years of inaction.

Andrew Leigh, federal Member for Fenner. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. What a fabulous summary.

PAUL: Thank you. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told his Liberal colleagues he will forge ahead with a cut to carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 in a crucial call on climate policy that cannot be blocked by the bloke in a cowboy hat and his other small group of opponents in the Nations partyroom, no matter how much coal they smear on their faces.

LEIGH: This is their 22nd energy policy, Marcus. If you believe they're going to land this one I've got a bridge you might like to buy. The fact is that when Scott Morrison goes off to Glasgow, Barnaby Joyce will be in charge of the country, and all the way in the lead up to Glasgow, Barnaby Joyce has been in charge of Australia's climate policies.

 

 

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All leaders should be readers

All leaders should be readers

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021

I commend the member for Moreton for bringing forward this vital motion on the value of reading. Time will not permit me to mention all of the books that have touched me during this year, but I want to use the little time I have to give a short rundown of some of them. At the outset I want to give a shout-out to some Canberra region authors: Marion Halligan—hard to ignore—a great writer; crime writer Chris Hammer; historical writer Robyn Cadwallader; the new suspense writer Peter Papathanasiou, who has written a terrific book called The Stoning; and Omar Musa, a spoken-word poet and modern novelist.

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The Government's war on charities must end

The Government's war on charities must end

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2021

 

Around Easter, Catholic church members often hold a walk in support of refugees. Yet as St Vincent de Paul head Toby O’Connor has pointed out, under the government's latest attack on charities if some of those people were blocking a public area and if they failed to move on under direction then any charity that is associated with that march could be disqualified. The most anti-charity government in Australian history is attempting to silence charitable advocacy in measures that the Reverend Tim Costello has compared to Putin's Russia and which Australian Council for International Development CEO Mark Purcell has likened to the Burmese junta.

This new measure would give charities commissioner, Gary Johns - who once compared Indigenous women to 'cash cows' - new powers to deregister charities. It's so extreme that a unanimous Senate committee report, chaired by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, has recommended that parliament disallow the proposed regulation. Opponents of this latest attack on charities include ANTaR; the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services; the Australian Institute of Company Directors; Anglicare; and UnitingCare.

Civil society, religious charities and churches should be able to speak up for their values. Community advocacy and public protests are a valuable part of a healthy democracy, and governments must protect that right — not stifle it. The war on charities must end. The coalition must withdraw this nasty attack on Australian charities.

 

ENDS

 

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra

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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.