The Liberals sent Robodebt after people who didn't owe anything, but let JobKeeper rorters hold onto millions
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 5 MAY 2021
SUBJECT: JobKeeper rorts.
LEON BYNER, HOST: There are some very smart cookies in the parliament. I know there are some that you'd probably think less of, but this bloke is not one of them. He's the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh, and he's got some very valuable information about JobKeeper payments, remember, which are designed to keep companies employing and in touch with their employees, and tax avoidance. Dr Leigh is on the line. Andrew, it's good to talk to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Great to be back with you, Leon.
BYNER: What have you got for us?
LEIGH: We now know that one dollar in five of JobKeeper went to firms whose profits increased in 2020 over 2019. Now that's pretty extraordinary. This is a scheme that was meant to help out firms whose revenues were cratering, and in fact a fifth of it, some $15-20 billion, was snaffled up by firms with growing profits. That means hundreds of dollars for each and every one of your listeners was wasted on firms that just didn't need it.
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 4 MAY 2021
SUBJECTS: Housing affordability; Morrison Government’s failure to seek JobKeeper repayments; Multinational tax avoidance; Australians stranded in India; Morrison Government’s quarantine failures; Port of Darwin
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: 40 years ago the average house cost around twice the annual average income. Now, it is seven times and growing. We’ve got to stop blaming young Australians. They aren’t lazy, and they’re not eating too many smashed avocados. Homes are just way more expensive than a generation ago. If we don’t address this many young Australians will be permanently locked out of housing market.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: If only getting a real house was this easy. Sadly, this may be as close as some Australians ever get.
Australia’s home ownership rate is now at a 60-year low, and that’s no surprise when you look at how much it costs to get on to the property ladder. In 1980, average house prices were twice average incomes. Now, houses cost more than seven times average income.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS WITH BROOKE CORTE
MONDAY, 3 MAY 2021
SUBJECTS: Multinational tax avoidance; Government’s failure to seek JobKeeper repayments.
BROOKE CORTE, HOST: Andrew Leigh's the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. He joins us on Money News this evening. Andrew Leigh, welcome to the show again.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Brooke. Great to be with you.
CORTE: The multinational anti avoidance legislation actually came into effect five years ago. Has it done anything?
LEIGH: Well, it's done less than the Coalition promised. They were planning that that would be the be-all and end-all to multinational tax avoidance, but you can see the debate moving on well beyond what the Government's done in the conversations at the OECD and the G20. There's a key steering group there. Australia used to be a part of it, but we no longer are. We're not part of those big conversations about how laws need to update to stay in pace with the tech giants. As production's become more and more weightless, it's become easier to move it around different countries.
Netflix booking its Australian revenue through the Netherlands looks pretty dodgy to me. A billion dollars in revenue, $550,000 in company tax - that doesn't seem fair.
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
MONDAY, 3 MAY 2021
SUBJECTS: Government’s failure to seek JobKeeper repayments; Australians stranded in India.
LEON DELANEY, HOST: On 2CC, federal Greens leader Adam Bandt has called for companies that made a profit while receiving JobKeeper to pay the money back. In fact, he says he's going to attempt to amend the federal budget next week to force companies to do exactly that. But if this sounds like a familiar story, I can tell you that there's a reason for that - our local member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, has been banging this drum for quite some time, and he's 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. You have been banging this drum for a while now. Do you think you're getting more allies, or is Adam Bandt trying to steal your thunder?
LEIGH: Well, it's beaut to have the Greens getting on board with this. I think it's an important campaign, and since last September I've been calling on many of these firms to pay the money back. We've had more than $200 million so far committed in repayments, but given that one estimate is that there is $15-$20 billion which went to firms whose profits rose last year, we're still yet to see the lion's share of the money.
Events in India are devastating to watch, and my heart goes out to everyone in the Indian community in Canberra and around the country.
As I have been talking with community representatives over the past weeks, I have been struck by their determination to do what they could to improve the situation, and their determination that Australia should do the same.
AMERICA AS AN INSPIRATION AND A WARNING SIGN
ADDRESS TO THE AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION (ACT)
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 27 APRIL 2021
When I told my three sons that I was about to give this talk, my eldest said, 'Dad, aren't you the least qualified person in this household to speak to the Australian American Association? Mum's a dual citizen, we're all dual citizens, but you're not? What do the Australian American Association want you speaking for?' The only answer I could give him is that if I was a dual citizen like him, Section 44 would’ve seen me out of the parliament.
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 27 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Funding for Brisbane Games; IOC ban on racial protests; anniversary of Port Arthur massacre.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: The International Olympic Committee are punishing racial protests at the Olympics this time round. Let's talk about it. Andrew Leigh MP, Member for Fenner - hello, Andrew. How are you, mate?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: Yeah, you too. Just before we get into this issue, the Prime Minister announced late last night that the Federal Government will be supporting the Palaszczuk Government in Queensland's bid for the 2032 games. Is this the right move? I mean, the IOC need to ensure that financially we can afford to pay for the Games, so the Prime Minister has jumped on board, saying 'yes, the Federal Government will ensure the money is there.' Is this the right move?
LEIGH: Absolutely. As I understand it's a 50/50 split of costs there, and I think it's the right thing to do for what will be a great celebration for all Australians. The idea that Australia gets to have the Olympics twice in a lifetime - three times in a lifetime for those who were alive for the Melbourne Games - just speaks to Australia's prowess as a sporting nation and our ability to host a big event like this. It's a huge tribute to Anastasia Palaszczuk for bringing home the Games, and Scott Morrison stepping up to 50/50 funding is terrific.
America, learn from Australia’s agony: how one country reacted to its worst-ever gun massacre 25 years ago
A quarter of a century ago, on April 28-29, 1996, a lone gunman murdered 35 Australians at the historic site of Port Arthur in Tasmania. At the time, Australia’s population was 18 million, so as a share of the population, the death toll was the equivalent of a shooting spree in the United States today costing more than 600 lives.Read more
A quarter of a century ago this Wednesday, a man shot Zoe Hall in Port Arthur, Tasmania. She’d been assigned as my mentor at the law firm where we worked. Zoe was a talented lawyer and a generous soul. She would be 53 today, and I imagine her with a loving family and admiring colleagues.Read more
Reply to Laura Tingle, ‘The High Road: What Australia Can Learn from New Zealand’
Quarterly Essay, April 2021
Visiting Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum in Wellington, our family stopped in front of a dramatic exhibition on the Treaty of Waitangi. “Where can we see Australia’s treaty?” one of my young sons innocently asked.Read more