Category: LNP Economic Management

In a world first, Australia plans to force Facebook and Google to pay for news (but ABC and SBS miss out)

The LNP Government pays the ABC less that’s why they don’t need more, But Murdoch gets the $40 mill bonus prize.Seems to me if the ABC isn’t included big tech will just publish the ABC won’t they? (ODT)

via In a world first, Australia plans to force Facebook and Google to pay for news (but ABC and SBS miss out)

Pandemic ‘a smokescreen’ to ram through controversial mining projects like Santos gas in Narrabri – Michael West

Fracking, CSG

The independent hearings into one of the most controversial projects in NSW history, Santos’ coal seam gas dream for Narrabri, are wrapping up. Meanwhile, new NSW guidelines to fast-track developments look set to turn into a nightmare for community groups, writes Callum Foote.

via Pandemic ‘a smokescreen’ to ram through controversial mining projects like Santos gas in Narrabri – Michael West

Australia the big winner from Trump’s disastrous trade wars

If Australia is leading the world in export growth, then where is all this wealth ending up? As shown in multiple publications, the large foreign mining companies and other big exporters seldom pay anywhere near the tax they should. There are no other mechanisms for retaining the vast wealth in Australia. So most of the wealth gets shunted straight offshore into tax havens or to make mega-rich foreigners richer still.

via Australia the big winner from Trump’s disastrous trade wars

Nationalism really isn’t easy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Frydenberg comes with hat in hand (ODT)

It seems that nationalism has a price. It also seems we aren’t necessarily ready to accept the price. To demonstrate the point, consider this

This week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called on industry and retail superannuation funds to invest more in Australian businesses, saying he “would like to see them both put to work on domestic infrastructure assets more than they have been”.

With most super funds carrying about 20 to 25 per cent of their investments in Australian companies, the Future Fund’s latest report on March 31 has it looking decidedly lean with only 6.1 per cent, or $9.87 billion, held in Australian shares.

One senior investment analyst — who asked not to be named — told The New Daily Mr Frydenberg should be asking Mr Costello “when is the Future Fund going to join Team Australia?”

The Future Fund holds more than $44 billion in global and emerging markets, while holding a cash balance of $15.59 billion or 9.6 per cent, and a similar amount in easily converted debt securities.

Its assets are designed to provide long-term investment in infrastructure, education, disability services, medical research and Indigenous services.

The Future Fund is Australia’s sovereign investment fund. Former Coalition Treasurer Peter Costello is the current Chairperson.

via Nationalism really isn’t easy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs or “More Miracles For Morrison!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

While some people are mocking this focus on jobs, it’s worth remembering that the government promised that they’d be all about jobs and growth when they first came to power back in 2013… I know that it’s confusing because we have had three Prime Ministers, three Deputy PMs, three Treasurers and the occasional Science minister jumbled in with another portfolio such as Trade or the Arts, but it is all the same government. And yes, it does seem reminiscent of people who keeps changing their name in the hope that the lawsuits won’t catch up with them, but let’s give credit where credit is due… Of course, demand cash upfront from those shops who keep putting up the “Under New Management” sign every few weeks.

What’s the difference between JobMaker and JobTrainer, you ask? Is this another example of the government re-announcing something and acting like it’s new when there’s no substantial difference and no extra funding?

via Jobs, Jobs, Jobs or “More Miracles For Morrison!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Auditor-General ‘watergate’ report finds buyback scheme didn’t ensure value

Narran Lakes in May 2020, which has had the biggest inflow since 2013.

Dumb but legal clears Taylor but blames Joyce (ODT)

The most controversial buybacks were in 2017, in the so-called “watergate” deals worth $80 million with Eastern Australia Agriculture, in Queensland’s Condamine Balonne Catchment.

The buybacks were executed under then-water minister Barnaby Joyce, who faced criticism because the parent company Eastern Australia Irrigation was domiciled in the Cayman Islands, a known tax haven, and recorded a $52 million profit from the sale.

The watergate scandal featured during last year’s federal election campaign, with speculation over Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s role in the deal with Eastern Australia, where he was co-director until 2013 when he was elected to Parliament.

via Auditor-General ‘watergate’ report finds buyback scheme didn’t ensure value

Vulgar Militarism: Expanding the Australian War Memorial – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Following in the steps of Tony Abbott a Billion will have been spent on the mythologising ou boys own wars. Add to that the subs and othey toys deemed essential and the cuts to welfare who is this LNP government working for?

Stokes may have a point. War, packed with its uniforms and lethal toys, is vulgar. This project, should it be envisaged in the form Nelson intended it, promises to be the most vulgar of all. Commemorative solemnity has its role, but Australia’s ruling classes have little intention to pause and reflect about the losses the country has either endured or inflicted over the short existence of the Commonwealth. With money being poured into a delusionary defence budget to fight fictional enemies, the distasteful cinematic joke of healing veterans by reminding them of their weapons of death and destruction seems aptly grotesque.

via Vulgar Militarism: Expanding the Australian War Memorial – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A Savage Call: energy tsar calls time on Australia’s gas cartel – Michael West

Clare Savage, AER

The Government and its Covid Commission are pushing a $6 billion gas pipeline while new energy regulator, Clare Savage, calls into question the future of the gas networks. Meanwhile Australians still pay more for gas than customers overseas pay for Australian gas. Michael West reports on the momentous upheaval in energy.

It is one short sentence but a sentence with remarkable implications for the nation:

“If not, the economic life of the assets could be limited.”

The new chair of the Australian Energy Regulator, Clare Savage, is saying that if the gas transmission networks do not convert to hydrogen, these assets may be stranded; that’s many billions of dollars in gas pipelines stranded.

“She is calling time on a multi-billion dollar industry,” says energy analyst Bruce Robertson.

The candid assessment from Clare Savage is even more remarkable considering the Government, with the connivance of its Covid-19 Commission, is pushing plans to build a $6 billion gas pipeline from Western Australia to the East Coast.

via A Savage Call: energy tsar calls time on Australia’s gas cartel – Michael West

Australia could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by accelerating shift to zero emissions – report | Environment | The Guardian

A report by Beyond Zero Emissions has found hastening the shift to zero greenhouse gas emissions could help Australia recover from the recession.

It can’t do the same with fossil fuels or for the betterment of the nation (ODT)

via Australia could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by accelerating shift to zero emissions – report | Environment | The Guardian

SEC Regulators: Private Equity Is on a Crime Spree

LNP has plans to offer superfund management totally to Private Equity firms despite the fact Trade Unions have provided their members with the best outcomes and lowest fees. (ODT)

via SEC Regulators: Private Equity Is on a Crime Spree

The secret behind the booming stock market in the face of the coronavirus crisis – ABC News

Australian currency is seen next to a wages graph

American Economy is in Intensive Care (ODT)

But with rates now at zero, money printing — or quantitative easing as it is called in polite circles — is all they have left.

It’s cash that’s being created out of thin air.

And a huge portion of it is being poured straight into stock markets regardless of what is happening out there in the real world.

The graph above tells the story. In the past few months, America’s central bank has bought more than $US3 trillion ($4.37 trillion) worth of “assets”.

These include US government debt, mortgage debt and other debt securities, using cash it has generated out of thin air, simultaneously driving interest rates down and flooding the economy with cash.

It has spent more than double the amount outlaid at the height of the global financial crisis. And, it appears, we’ve only just begun.

The biggest side effect, however, is that wealth becomes more concentrated among the already wealthy.

If you own a house or stocks or bonds, you’ve become rich without even trying.

 

via The secret behind the booming stock market in the face of the coronavirus crisis – ABC News

Trump and Morrison: A love affair imperiling Australia’s future

On the other hand, as China increasingly looks to be more self-sufficient in food and raw materials, Australia will be first in line to disappear from China’s supply chain.

Australia is a country which has little interest in being an independent nation and therefore is in a paralysed state of infantile dependence, incapable of looking after itself. 

“Constructive discussions” with Trump is a moronic concept, if not oxymoronic

via Trump and Morrison: A love affair imperiling Australia’s future

Pandemic reveals Australia vulnerable from narrow, fragile manufacturing base

In the technology sector, sleep apnea company ResMed and hearing implant maker Cochlear dominate their global niches, while tna Solutions is a global success story in the manufacture of food machinery.

But to make more of the enormous potential of Australian manufacturing, our policy settings need a complete reset.

We can no longer rely on our natural comparative advantaged in raw materials for prosperity, or even for survival. We must build national competitive advantages.

And that means we have to learn to make things again.

via Pandemic reveals Australia vulnerable from narrow, fragile manufacturing base

Government to repay 470,000 unlawful robodebts in what might be Australia’s biggest-ever financial backdown

Biggest ever has been accomplished by this LNP, Biggest budget error. Biggest turnaround, what next? (ODT)

via Government to repay 470,000 unlawful robodebts in what might be Australia’s biggest-ever financial backdown

‘Green light to hide information’: Australia’s recovery at risk from company disclosure changes | Business | The Guardian

A silhouette of a man in a suit outside a building

In a seven-paragraph press release issued late on Monday afternoon, Frydenberg said the change would protect companies from “opportunistic class actions” during the coronavirus crisis and allow them to raise much-needed capital. But experts say there is no evidence any such problem exists.

Labor also slammed the move for undermining confidence in the markets.

The change, which followed heavy lobbying by industry groups, is supposed to last for six months, but there are already calls for it to be made permanent.

It drew immediate fire from class-action lawyers, who described it as “cronyism” and a “green light for company directors to hide information from the people who actually own a company”.

 ‘Green light to hide information’: Australia’s recovery at risk from company disclosure changes | Business | The Guardian

Taylor stares down objections to carbon capture schemes in $2 billion fund

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will fast track changes to regulations to allow funding of carbon capture and storage projects.

 

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will fast-track changes to a $2 billion climate fund as he rejects furious criticism of a new plan to spend its cash on carbon capture and storage projects.

Mr Taylor called on the government’s critics to give up their “ideology” in opposing the controversial projects and said he would consider putting changes to the Parliament to overcome their objections.

via Taylor stares down objections to carbon capture schemes in $2 billion fund

Morrison government dangles new carrots for industry but fails to fix bigger climate policy problem

Abolishing Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism in 2014 was a consequential failure of politics. The fine-tuning of the patchwork of policies that followed does not make up for it.

via Morrison government dangles new carrots for industry but fails to fix bigger climate policy problem

Igglepiggle’s Scoop: Virus War Costs Australia $4 Billion a Week! – Michael West

Screenshot_2020-05-06 Igglepiggle's Scoop Virus War Costs Australia $4 Billion a Week - Michael West(1).png

 

Australian Joint Stock Companies. Multinational Corporations and companies have been working in opposition for years telling us they are serving our common interest a better life through the achievement of shared profit. However growth and profit not for any common good but only in the interests of their shareholders and CEOs. Like the British East India Company the model on which they were built it can only eventually leads to Fascism bankruptcy or revolution. Since their main function is assett stripping  material and human resources of a nation which will eventually come to a dead end. Oil, Gas and Mining are perfect examples and will even have nations go to war to further these short term interests. Today more than at any other time in history do we see the Aus government operating as a mercenary protecting the wealth of these major corporations and their shareholders at the expense of the common good of the general population. The pandemic and climate change has brought their less than altruistic activities to the fore.  (ODT)

However, the neo-liberal prescriptions for growth and economic management have allowed Australia to fall behind its peers, indeed be overtaken by many countries which are not even its peers. There are many reasons for this, and just as many things to do to fix it. But the solution is not business tax cuts and “IR reform”.

Business taxes have been coming down for years, from as high as 70 per cent, and those corporations hit by the virus won’t pay tax for years anyway. Tax losses. Dozens of the world’s largest companies don’t pay tax here anyway.

On IR reform, we already have the gig economy. Topping that, the JobKeeper scheme has allowed businesses to shed workers without entitlements or pay-outs, and taxpayers picking up the tab. It has saved them billions and given them the option of rehiring or not.

Igglepiggle’s Scoop: Virus War Costs Australia $4 Billion a Week! – Michael West

A Member’s Interests: Angus Taylor’s other Cayman Islands company is wound up – Michael West

Angus Taylor

Parliamentary disclosure is a joke. The Register of Members’ Interests is routinely gamed and ignored by politicians. This is where MPs are supposed to declare their financial interests. Yet even when they do so, in accordance with the rules, key financial conflicts can be concealed. For instance, where an MP puts his lawyer as director of a company which is trustee for a trust and his niece as the beneficiary of that trust, does he or she even have to disclose the existence of a trust at all? In the case of controversial minister Angus Taylor, there have been blatant breaches. Taylor is by no means alone. Jommy Tee reports on Taylor’s other Cayman Islands company, AML

via A Member’s Interests: Angus Taylor’s other Cayman Islands company is wound up – Michael West

Zali Steggall calls for investigation of Coalition plan to underwrite gas, hydro and coal power | Environment | The Guardian

Independent MP Zali Steggall

“There’s just no transparency or accountability around this,” Steggall told Guardian Australia. “We’ve seen what happened with sport rorts. We’re talking about commonwealth money at a time when we know the economy has taken a hit due to coronavirus, and I think it should be properly investigated.”
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The Australia Institute analysis is based in part on a legal opinion by barristers Fiona McLeod SC and Lindy Barrett, which said Taylor does not have constitutional authority over electricity or legislative authority to fund projects as proposed under the Ungi scheme.

via Zali Steggall calls for investigation of Coalition plan to underwrite gas, hydro and coal power | Environment | The Guardian

JobReaper: flaws in JobKeeper Scheme leave businesses and workers high and dry – Michael West

Bankster Bailout: will the trickle-down package trickle beyond the banks and big business?

The Morrison Government’s emergency measures to protect the economy are another massive subsidy from embattled taxpayers to Australia’s largest corporations. They are a failure of government to govern.

The Morrison Government’s JobKeeper scheme is in trouble. By privatising the administration of JobKeeper to businesses and privatising its funding to the banks, millions of workers are in limbo. Millennial industrials relations lawyer Daniel Anstey reports.

JobReaper: flaws in JobKeeper Scheme leave businesses and workers high and dry – Michael West

State Liberals may apply for JobKeeper as virus leaves party finances ailing

"Exploring all options" Liberal Party state director Sam McQuestin

The Victorian Liberal Party is considering asking for federal government JobKeeper payments to keep its staff employed after donations to the party “fell off a cliff” during the coronavirus crisis.

The Liberals, who say they are considering their options, may lodge the claim for economic hardship despite selling their former headquarters for $37 million less than two years ago.

via State Liberals may apply for JobKeeper as virus leaves party finances ailing

Global agencies mark Morrison Government FAIL on economy

IN CONTRAST to the last severe worldwide economic recession, Australia is poorly placed to deal with the looming downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the conclusion of two reviews which assess the Coalition’s economic credentials negatively.

Global agencies mark Morrison Government FAIL on economy

Australia’s Morrison Wants Pensions to Fund Company Bailouts – Bloomberg

Scott Morrison

These funds already invest some money in the corporations Morrison is bailing out like Virgin. Now Morrison has turned into a dodgy financial advisor. It sounds as if he’s demanding to invest, no give money to businesses that were already on the brink before COVID-19. Virgin for one.

Virgin wasn’t asking for a loan as much as a buyout. saying if they don’t repay in two years the government can have them. Morrison seems to be handballing companies like Virgin to the pension funds for an apparent commission of making the LNP look good but it simply makes him look dodgy by calling them weak.(ODT)

Australia’s Morrison Wants Pensions to Fund Company Bailouts – Bloomberg