The Coalition government’s signature employment policy for young people JobMaker has created just 609 jobs. And thanks to the flawed design of JobKeeper, which shut out many young people from key financial support, superannuation accounts were emptied, for which the young will pay a heavy price down the track. Kathryn Daley, Belinda Johnson and Patrick O’Keefe report.
The $90b JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme has ended, with a million workers still relying on it JobKeeper may have been propping up businesses that won’t survive Insolvencies are set to rise as the support ends
Once the government releases the final draft of the legislation, it will be easier to make a judgment on what it has in mind, but Mr Robert’s approach to developing the new legislation so far seems too secretive and confrontational.
AUSTRAC has held Australia’s largest companies to account while other regulators with vastly more resources cowered and eyed the “revolving door” of private sector jobs. In the past three years, AUSTRAC has delivered taxpayers more than $2 billion in penalties for anti-money laundering breaches. One would expect the regulator to be riding a wave of political support. Not so, writes Nathan Lynch. The power of the lawyers’, accountants’ and real estate lobbies continue to have it hobbled.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Party now acknowledge that migration is crucial to economic growth and prosperity, writes Dr Abul Rizvi. AFTER TELLING temporary entrants to “go home” just 12 months ago and cutting the Migration Program ceiling by 30,000 per annum to “bust congestion” as part of his 2019 pre-election Population Plan, Scott Morrison now says we must overhaul temporary migration in the post-COVID era to fill rapidly emerging skill shortages.
Since the Coalition won government in 2013, everything remaining that was good and worthwhile in this country has been trashed by the idiots who are theoretically in charge of running the country. All they are actually achieving is running us and our standards down to the level of the convicts and their keepers who first invaded this land. I am no Labor supporter, either, but I do want a government which shows a capacity to understand and cater for people’s needs. And, most importantly, recognises that equality of opportunity is a universal right! Instead we have a national government which has dragged a country, which once had enormous potential, into a ramshackle mess.
A federal Labor MP has accused the Coalition of only taking national security threats seriously when it’s “politically convenient”, after the Australian spy agency, Asio, changed the language used to describe the rising threat of rightwing extremism. Ed Husic, who became the first federal MP to be sworn in on the Qur’an in 2010, said he and other Muslims had previously faced repeated calls from conservatives to condemn Islamist extremism “louder, stronger, and more regularly”. But Husic noted that some politicians in government ranks had taken exception to the term rightwing extremism now they were “being asked to confront an errant, ugly streak within conservatism”.
The workplace abuses of the 18th and 19th centuries have returned under the guise of the gig economy. The Morrison government has now proposed sweeping changes to labour laws that will cut wages, entrench precarious work, cripple unions and hand absolute power to bosses. But the assault on casual workers is just the beginning. If the IR bill becomes law, permanent workers will also be affected. Alison Pennington reports.
The US will spend, if we want to be purists, $716 billion on the military. It’s actually a lot more because the National Security Agency is part of the military, and the CIA to all intents and purposes is military in nature and between them their secret budgets top more than the $50 billion that was leaked in a Congressional hearing eight years ago, and could be double that now since so much more US military activity is now handled by Special Forces acting under the direction of the CIA, but for sake of argument let’s just leave it at $716 billion. Russia’s military budget is $65 billion, and even if you tripled that to account for how much more expensive everything is in the US from soldiers’ pay to weapons systems would represent less than a third of what the US spends. China’s military budget $183 billion, and again, you could double that if you like to account for different costs and it would be less than half of the US military budget.
Scott Morrison might have been a moderately successful salesman – he has certainly bamboozled his political peers into buying into his pseudo policies – but his realistic concern for people’s needs is absolutely non-existent and every policy he announces is doing more and more damage to our future.
Australia’s biggest private and corporatised charities in aged care are threatening the government with a political campaign if they don’t get more money, on top of the $21 billion in government funding they get already. Throwing money at large providers has not worked, write Elizabeth Minter and Dr Sarah Russell, in a call for greater transparency and significant reform for the sector.
Nobody in the coalition government is prepared to concede they are failing the unemployed. The party of “Jobs and Growth” has in reality been expanding “Unemployment and Recession” for years and no policy the government has implemented in Morrison’s $9B Social Security Safety Net seems capable of changing that path.
The Morrison Government’s eye-watering stimulus package has little to show in the way of long-term benefit for the majority of Australians. Tarric Brooker reports. AS THE BULK of the Morrison Government’s coronavirus stimulus package draws to a close, one can’t help but be reminded of a quote from wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
The Government touts gas as being a key plank of JobMaker, its Covid-19 recession recovery plan. To help “support jobs” the government has given the gas industry $300 million of taxpayers’ money in subsidies. In return, the industry has cut about 3000 workers, more than 10% of it workforce, in a boom production year. Mark Ogge and Elizabeth Minter report.
Shipping group Qube Holdings will give back $17m in JobKeeper subsidies but pockets $13.5m and some fancy executive bonuses despite its revenue rising strongly. How did it pull this off? Callum Foote investigates how the Liberal Party-linked Qube gamed the Tax Office.
Climate denial from Rupert Murdoch’s toxic Sky News, Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Junkee. This sort of “news” will be on display on Google News Showcase as a result of the government’s regressive new media laws. It is a travesty for journalism and dangerous to climate and energy transition, writes Giles Parkinson, founder of independent media site Renew Economy.
The “corporatisation” of Australian farming continues apace. Almost 14% of agricultural land is now owned by foreign investors who, according to a ruling by the ATO, do not have to pay capital gains tax on water rights. Callum Foote reports.
As a high-income-earning mortgage holder, my windfall has been twofold. First, last year’s tax cuts have delivered a boost to my take-home pay of about $93 a fortnight, or $6.66 a day. Meanwhile, the interest rate payable on my $700,000 (ish) mortgage has fallen from 2.69 per cent to about 2.13 per cent (thanks also to some savvy shopping around). This boosts my bottom line by about $150 a fortnight, or $10.74 a day.
Journalist: A second woman has been raped. Prime Minister: I don’t need to know who that is. Imagine for one moment the tremendous privilege Mr Morrison enjoys that allows him to choose not to know. By any measure this is a bizarre reaction to such news, and one wonders why the Prime Minister felt compelled to let everyone know that he doesn’t know the name of the second victim, and, even more oddly, that he does not need to know.
THERE WAS NO question which the world’s most admired country in 2011. Australia’s achievements included: The world’s highest median wealth, according to Credit Suisse; The greatest economic freedom in the OECD, according to the Heritage Foundation; 20 years of continuous GDP growth, alone in the developed world; Triple A credit ratings with all three global agencies for the first time in history; A jobless rate down to 4.92% in June, among the lowest five in the OECD and a level not achieved since; The Australian dollar hit a 30-year high of 1.095 U.S. dollars; The world’s best Treasurer, according to other global finance ministers; Australia’s first carbon pricing scheme was enacted, thereby joining the world on climate action; Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech to the U.S. Congress was interrupted six times for standing ovations, ten times for seated applause and received a record three-minute standing ovation at the end; and Australia was nominated at the 2011 G20 leaders’ summit to chair the G20. That’s the top ten. There were plenty more. ANU astrophysicist Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics; Samantha Stosur won the U.S. Open; and Sally Pearson was named IAAF world athlete of the year. It was a great year for global recognition. It’s a pity that so few successes were reported in Australia. Fast forward one decade and Australia is now condemned globally for its abject failures on more than ten substantial issues.
Google good, Facebook bad. That sums up mainstream media coverage of the Coalition government’s bizarre new media code. That’s because Google paid up, Facebook decided it was extortion and called Josh Frydenberg’s bluff, banning Australian news. Kim Wingerei and Michael West report on the corruption of mainstream media. As if Rupert Murdoch and the Coalition had not already flubbed Australia’s credibility around the world for their failure on climate change, now we look like we don’t know how the internet works.
Google was prepared to pay these “premiums” to make sure that its business model would still survive. It is the company’s advertising business model that it was keen to protect and for that reason, it was prepared to pay off the news companies. So nothing fundamental has been solved by the Australian Government through its media code. It is now simply waiting for the next battle and the regulator (ACCC) has also already foreshadowed that it will concentrate on that advertising business model. This will be a much tougher battle that Australia will not be able to win on its own. Google will use its full legal power with gigantic financial resources to defend their business.
Tony Abbott closed Radio Australia down and let the Chinese in to take that space. Now the Morrison Government is preventing Australian News reaching the Pacific again giving that space to the Chinese while they slash the ABC’s budget instead 0f expanding it to to compete with Facebook. The LNP is supporting Murdoch and Costello’s private interests in exchange for political influence and ensuring fake news is concentrated in their hands. LNP are certainly the Pillocks of the Pacific( ODT)
Facebook’s move has also drawn an angry response from Pacific community groups in Australia. Nai Tuuut from the Pacific Community Council of Far North Queensland said her organisation relied on Facebook to share community news, as well as vital public health information in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Without us being able to share Australian news or even the Queensland Health is unable to post on Facebook, that just makes it extremely hard to keep our community up to date and just aware of what’s going on,” she told the ABC.
Fair enough, but the increases in compulsory super contributions will come out of the same bucket as wages – so-called on-costs which employers use to pay wage cheques, workers compensation, payroll tax, employees pay-as-you-go tax, and employees super contributions, which is also known as the “super guarantee”.
The latest global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rankings places Australia at 11 out of 180 countries.
For almost 20 years, Australia ranked in the top ten (least corrupt) countries. In 2012, Australia ranked seventh with a score of 85. By 2018, it had fallen to 13th with a score of 77. In the latest 2020 rankings, it has also scored 77.
Being ranked 11th out of 180 is relatively good. But falling by eight points is not good. It is a wake-up call and raises serious questions about the ethical underpinnings of politics in this country.
The Government’s fetish for deregulation plays right into the hands of predatory multinationals Uber and Deliveroo which exploit both Australia’s tax and labour laws to siphon profits overseas. Michael West and Callum Foote report on Uber’s exploitation and the prospective tsunami of lawsuits rolling its way.
“The Morrison government’s plans to cut income support and introduce industrial relations legislation which cuts workers’ pay and conditions will worsen unemployment, increase insecure work and further drive down wage growth,” O’Neil warned.
This loosely is how the Google/Australian media controversy has gone. If I use Google to look up Scott Morrison to see whether he’s announced that he’s taking another break and I’m directed to an article by newspaper that doesn’t have a paywall, then they’ll be relying on advertising from the traffic that goes to their site in order to make money. Why they’d argue that Google should be forced to pay, I can’t work out. It would be different if Google was plagiarising the articles or breaching their copyright, but if the media companies aren’t happy with this arrangement, then they can put all their articles behind a paywall.
The overall population projection Treasury is now making is that once international borders fully re-open and things go back to “normal”, the population will grow at around 350,000 per annum for the second half of the 2020s. So, can we believe this latest population projection? Is Treasury really now being transparent?
But with major pharmaceutical companies rolling out vaccines and millions of doses being bought by the United States, Britain, the European Union and Australia, developing countries argue such attempts to give them purchasing power in the market will only go so far. In October, India and South Africa asked the World Trade Organisation to temporarily waive intellectual property (IP) protections so that vaccines and other equipment for fighting COVID-19 could be made more cheaply at greater scale. Australia joined Britain, the US and the EU in opposing the move, arguing that existing rules on licensing would be sufficient to meet demand.
Charging exorbitant prices for travellers stranded overseas while raking in record government subsidies. Qantas and Virgin are the quintessential cases of “privatise the profits, socialise the losses”. Tasha May.looks at the airlines’ fine balancing act in corporate socialism during the pandemic.
All foreign investment bids for Australian assets must be screened by the Foreign Investment Review Board
From December 31, foreign buyers will face even more scrutiny when bidding for sensitive assets
Experts say restrictions are being used to screen out bids by Chinese companies and are counterproductive to trade relations