2GB AUSTRALIA OVERNIGHTS WITH CLINTON MAYNARD
SUNDAY, 23 APRIL 2023
SUBJECTS: Reserve Bank of Australia Review, Monetary policy, Reducing government debt, GST, multinational tax reform.
CLINTON MAYNARD (HOST): The review into the Reserve Bank and the review has been scathing. It makes more than 50 recommendations for change that the new Federal Government, I shouldn't say new, they’ve been in power since May, but they are accepting. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities but critically, Treasury. He joins us on the program. Andrew, thank you for your time.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure.
MAYNARD: Thanks for your time, this is a very complex issue. It's the most comprehensive review of the RBA in decades and about time. But just to, I guess, almost dumb it down for our audience to simplify it, how is this and the changes that your government is going to adopt, how is it going to make it better for people who have a mortgage or loans and are subject to interest rates?
LEIGH: Well, the first thing is to note that the review has been conducted at a time at which the Reserve Bank is under intense pressure. There's been a lot of attention paid to their decisions made around interest rates, not only in the current period where they'd forecast that interest rates wouldn't be rising until 2024, but then needed to raise interest rates; but also in the period 2016 to 2019. So, the review goes into some detail over the question as to whether rates could indeed have been lower over that period, 2016 to 2019, and whether you might have gotten better employment outcomes of that period. And really where it lands, Clinton is in saying that the decisions of the Governor weren't really challenged by the board and that by having an expert board, people who understand monetary policy, understand the macroeconomic models that are being brought to bear on the problem, then you might get a more contestation of the decision. And I think that's true anytime you're making a complicated decision. If you're running a trucking company, you'd want a board with trucking experts around the room who are able to really test the decisions being made by management. That's the model that exists for a lot of other central banks around the world, but we haven't tended to have that. We've tended to have this model of a board for the Reserve Bank that's talented generalists rather than monetary policy specialists. And the review says it's time that changed.Read more
AMP Foundation 30th Anniversary
Art Gallery of NSW
Thursday, 13 April 2023
Thank you for that generous introduction. I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, pay my respects to their elders and commit myself as a member of the Albanese government to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement From the Heart.
I also acknowledge Alexis George, the CEO of AMP, Nicola Stokes, the general manager of the AMP Foundation, Professor Peter Shergold the chair of the AMP Foundation, and all of you for being here tonight.
It’s a pleasure to be here in the Art Gallery of NSW’s new Sydney Modern Project building. Down below our feet is an artwork by Adrian Villa Rojas called "End of Imagination". It's a remarkable room, largely dark, lit only by search lights. And the central idea of the artwork is a series of monuments to the future, which have been aged on future worlds for thousands of years. If you haven't been down, I encourage you to check it out. It is an extraordinary art work. My three boys, aged 10, 13 and 16 all enjoyed different facets of it when we visited last. But it does remind us that all of us will be gone at some points. And what lives on beyond us is the big question. "End of Imagination" reminds us of the importance of legacy. And the work the AMP Foundation does is about legacy, is about the sort of nation we can hand on to the next generations.Read more
6PR 882 AM WITH KARALEE KATSAMBANIS
WEDNESDAY, 12 APRIL 2023
SUBJECTS: SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES, COST OF LVING, COMPETITION LAWS, ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, MULTINATIONAL TAX AVOIDANCE
KARALEE KATSAMBANIS: I am delighted to welcome my next guest – Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, the Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh. Good evening.
ANDREW LEIGH: Good evening, Karalee. Great to be with you and your listeners.
KARALEE KATSAMBANIS: It is lovely to have you on board. Now, look, Dr Leigh, the reason why I’ve got you on this evening is you’ve recently been calling for business to get a fair go and fair competition. You recently spoke at the COSBOA National Small Business Summit, and you’ve called for the shifted narrative on, you know, unfair contract terms and trading practices in a bid to spark what we could call market stimulation and greater productivity. How is this going to have a good impact, especially here in Western Australia?
ANDREW LEIGH: Well, Karalee, any sports fan knows that fair competition is really fundamental to the game. You don’t get a good football game unless you’ve got a fair set of rules. One of the things we’ve been worried about recently as a federal government is that the economy isn’t dynamic enough because there’s not enough fair competition taking place.
There’s too many sectors where there’s just one or two big firms completely dominating things. And the small guy just doesn’t get a look in. What we want to do is ensure that there’s more start-ups and that there’s more market dynamism, more people switching jobs to get those useful pay rises and more productivity growth, which ultimately is the foundation for living standards.Read more
Unfair Practices Hurt Consumers, Businesses, Profits
The Daily Telegraph, 11 April 2023
In the economy, just as in sport, there are winners and losers. Sometimes you just play better on the day. But the rules of sport are set up to ensure fair play, and that's how the economy should function too.
When the Albanese government came to office, unfair contract terms were legal. That meant multinationals could put terms in their contracts that provided for automatic renewal, excessive exit fees and unilateral price increases.
Unfair contract terms let multinationals exploit the power balance between them and local businesses. We changed that last year by banning unfair contract terms.
Now we're turning our attention to unfair trading practices. For example, unsubscribing from a digital streaming service often involves confusing menus, skewed wording and urges to stay a bit longer.
2CC 1206 AM WITH BRIAN CARLTON
THURSDAY, 6 APRIL 2023
SUBJECTS: MULTINATIONAL TAX AVOIDANCE CRACKDOWN; NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT; INLAND RAIL FIASCO; ACT UNEMPLOYMENT; ENERGY BILL RELIEF.
BRIAN CARLTON (HOST): The thing we're about to talk about is a position, Government position that came out of the last budget, and it's one of those ones that probably didn't get a lot of attention at the time, but it's a worthy issue. The issue is the large corporates, largely multinational corporates, who offset a bunch of their accounts to what you might call low‑tax jurisdictions, and they're claiming a whole bunch of things called "intangibles", and we'll find out what they are in a minute, intangibles, to reduce their overall tax bill here.
Now, the Federal Government to its credit is having a bit of a crackdown on this and has produced some draft legislation that they want some feedback on. To have a bit of a chat about exactly what that legislation contains, let me bring in here, if I can, Andrew Leigh, who is the Federal Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. Minister, good afternoon, how are you?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Brian. Great to be with you and your listeners.
CARLTON: I appreciate your time today. This is one that probably didn't get a lot of attention on budget day or in the reviews of budget, so to speak. The issue is largely as I've described, isn't it, they're sort of shifting their business operations around so that they can claim a whole bunch of deductions here in Australia based on activities overseas, in a nutshell?Read more
Fair Play, Fair Competition and Economic Dynamism
COSBOA’S National Small Business Summit, Melbourne
Wednesday, 5 April 2023
I acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nations, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather today.
I pay my respects to their Elders, extend that respect to other First Nations people present today, and commit myself, as a member of the Albanese Government, to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
I would also like to acknowledge COSBOA for inviting me to speak today.
I also recognise the work of today’s panellists: Bruce Billson, Stuart Clues, Will Day, Dominique Lamb and Mick Keogh.
Before we begin the panel discussion, ‘Thriving in a competitive economy’, we need to talk about printers.Read more
MONDAY, 3 APRIL 2023
SUBJECTS: MULTINATIONAL TAX AVOIDANCE; PETROLEUM RESOURCE RENT TAX; OECD TWO-PILLAR SOLUTION; PASSING OF YUNUPINGU
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Thanks everyone for coming along today. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition and Charities and Treasury. I'll make a few remarks and I'll hand over to the OECDs Deputy Director of Tax David Bradbury.
I want to begin by acknowledging today the passing of Yunupingu, one of the most extraordinary Indigenous leaders in this country. As a Yolngu elder he was instrumental in crafting the Yirrkala Bark petitions and somebody whose influence has ranged across the nation. It is a reminder of the power of work that came to form the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which the government strongly hopes will translate into a successful vote at the referendum later this year for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
This morning, we've held a very successful roundtable on multinational taxation, with a range of entities representing corporate Australia, the union movement and the community sector. We've done this because we understand that multinational tax avoidance is a first order issue for many Australians.Read more
Matter of Public Importance Debate
House of Representatives, 30 March 2023
A year ago, the coalition lost nine seats in South Australia and lost government. Ten months ago, they lost 17 seats federally and lost government. Last weekend, they lost at least a dozen seats in New South Wales and lost government. The coalition now holds no mainland state or territory. The most senior Liberal governing leaders in Australia today are Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff.
You'd think that the loss of 40 seats and three elections would provoke some soul-searching, but the main lesson that the coalition seems to be taking from this is that they're too woke and they need to move to the right. The fact is that the coalition hasn't woken up. The Australian people aren't buying what you're selling. This is no better epitomised than by the shadow Treasurer, a man who brought us the current energy crisis—a man who is best known for hiding energy price increases from the Australian people, for his Cayman Islands company, for the Jam Land scandal and for making things up about Clover Moore and Naomi Wolf. As he might have put it, 'Well done, Angus.' He thinks he's the second coming of the Messiah, but most Australians think he's more like Mr Burns from The Simpsons—just with a slightly greater tendency to look straight down the barrel of the camera.Read more
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
Social Enterprise Round Table
Parliament House, Canberra
Monday, 27 March 2023
Thanks Jess [Moore] and Tara [Anderson] for the introduction. It’s delightful to have so many generous altruists here in Parliament today. I acknowledge that we're meeting on the lands of the Ngunnawal people, and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. I also acknowledge parliamentary colleagues Daniel Mulino, Andrew Giles and Helen Haines.
What you do has support from across the parliament. For those on the business side, you're celebrating businesses. And for those who got into politics to help the most disadvantaged, you're doing just that. The work of social enterprises spans the Australian economy, I only need to walk a few steps from my electorate office in Gungahlin to see Krofne Donuts, which was set up to provide employment for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities .
Here in Canberra, Alicia Payne, David Smith and I recently visited mattress recycler Soft Landing with Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, learning about the environmental work they do, but also about the work that they provide for people who are formerly jobless. You’ll hear from the extraordinary Bec Scott shortly, somebody who Nick Terrell and I wrote about in Reconnected because we were inspired not just about what she does at Streat, but how she looks to seed new social enterprises, right across the community.Read more