Category: LNP Economic Management

ATO’s debt book grows to more than $53 billion as boss Chris Jordan faces Senate Estimates – ABC News

generic picture of Australian bank notes

The ATO’s debt book has hit another record and pressure is building on the agency to claw back this debt The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in net tax collections dipping over the past financial year, but tax refunds have risen As with prior years, the ATO has opted to settle with some large companies that disputed tax bills, rather than fight it out in court

ATO’s debt book grows to more than $53 billion as boss Chris Jordan faces Senate Estimates – ABC News

NBN battle between the ACCC and the Government

In my opinion, what this means is that the Government would like the ACCC to facilitate NBN Co to increase their prices. I will come back to this in a bit more detail. But in essence, the Government would like to create a better financial position for the NBN to put it up for sale. The alternative I have advocated now for many years is to write down some of the NBN costs.

NBN battle between the ACCC and the Government

The Australian Right Is Trying To Import Trump-Style Reactionary Populism

Victoria’s lockdown has provoked a self-styled rebellion that postures as defending freedom against the state premier, “Dictator” Dan Andrews. But once you scratch the plebian surface, the “movement” is led by right-wing activists and funded by Liberal Party money.

The Australian Right Is Trying To Import Trump-Style Reactionary Populism

BossKeeper: how JobKeeper lined the pockets of top ASX directors, executives and shareholders – Michael West

JobKeeper rorting by business

New Zealand and the US compile public registers to ensure their Jobkeeper-type subisidies are not rorted by businesses. But no such transparency for Australians. As the Government singles out bureaucrats such as Australia Post chief Christine Holgate for corporate excesses, Tasha May shines the torch on pandemic rorting at the top end of town. JobKeeper is the single largest piece of government spending in the country’s history. Yet despite taxpayer funding this hundred billion dollar wage subsidy, there is no public database to see whether JobKeeper is being used appropriately. From the limited information that has come to light, it seems clear that it is not. A report from governance advisory service Ownership Matters reveals four kinds of appalling activity by business.

BossKeeper: how JobKeeper lined the pockets of top ASX directors, executives and shareholders – Michael West

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal – Michael West

submarines weapons systems

The arms company at the centre of a deadly criminal saga and numerous global corruption scandals, Naval Group, was selected by the Australian government to build our new fleet of submarines – a deal heralded as ‘one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts‘. How did this happen? In this special investigation Michelle Fahy discovers significant gaps in anti-bribery and corruption measures on this massive procurement project. The message communicated far and wide is that our standards are lax; grey areas are tolerated; and we’ll bend the rules and look the other way.

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal – Michael West

Government wants military response to climate change breakdown – Michael West

climate change disaster

The hypocrisy is extraordinary. On the one hand the Coalition Government reluctantly concedes that climate change exists at all and does little of substance to try to counteract it . Yet on the other hand it is dedicating substantial resources to establish a wide-ranging and powerful authority to tackle what it sees as the perceived threats of disaster from climate change. A bill being rushed through parliament – the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020 – is raising concerns that the Government is preparing for a militarised response to climate breakdown. Freedom of Information requests show that Defence is already planning towards extreme climate change impacts. References are made in the document of the need to “prepare for significantly more disaster support operations and potentially operations involving support to the civil power such as policing the population under exaggerated stresses such as food and water security”.

Government wants military response to climate change breakdown – Michael West

New Zealanders arrive in Adelaide despite South Australia not being in coronavirus bubble – ABC News

A Qantas aeroplane takes off in the air
Morrison’s determined cock up
Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Why didn't Border Force share Ruby Princess passenger information to airline operators fearful of covid19 infection spread? DUNNO! I'M NOT A BOAT CAPTAIN Why can't Border Force provide details of the New Zealand travellers who illegally entered Victoria? DUNNO! I'M NOT A PASSPORT INSPECTOR! Jich'

Five travellers from New Zealand have been forced into hotel quarantine in Adelaide after arriving unexpectedly on a flight from Sydney.

New Zealanders arrive in Adelaide despite South Australia not being in coronavirus bubble – ABC News

Aged care residents neglected once again

According to Melbourne-based newspaper The Age, the aged care crisis which peaked during the second wave of our recent global health pandemics was years in the making. The implications of COVID-19 for 180,000 elderly Australians in aged care facilities have been such that, well over five hundred succumbed to death while in residential care in Victoria alone. According to The Guardian, up to 40 per cent of those residents came from just ten residential settings.

Aged care residents neglected once again

Religious profit: Expanding the cashless welfare card ties in with Morrison’s beliefs – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The philosophy of the cashless welfare card is the perfect marriage of neoliberal ideology and evangelical Christianity, both of which pathologise, criminalise and individualise poverty as a lifestyle choice.

Religious profit: Expanding the cashless welfare card ties in with Morrison’s beliefs – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Josh Frydenberg’s Budget Takes From the Poor to Give to the Rich

Instead of providing sorely needed stimulus, the 2020 budget from Australia’s Coalition government transfers wealth toward millionaires and big business and away from the poor, the unemployed, women, and the government’s ideological enemies.

Josh Frydenberg’s Budget Takes From the Poor to Give to the Rich

Budget 2020 takes Australia towards a trillion-dollar debt, but most experts say it isn’t a problem. Here’s why – ABC News

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (left) and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey discuss the Coalition's budget reply speech.

We’ve gone from ‘debt and deficit disaster’ to a trillion-dollar debt with no worries. How does that work?

How is the Australian Government funding its deficit spending?

Budget 2020 takes Australia towards a trillion-dollar debt, but most experts say it isn’t a problem. Here’s why – ABC News

The arts sector is already suffering. This year’s budget just pours salt on the wound | Leya Reid | Culture | The Guardian

A ghost light burns at the Arts Centre Melbourne’s closed Playhouse theatre during the coronavirus pandemic

The Coalition has demonstrated its lack of interest in helping a job-rich industry hit hard by Covid-19

The arts sector is already suffering. This year’s budget just pours salt on the wound | Leya Reid | Culture | The Guardian

Budget 2020: Morrison government cuts thousands of refugee places

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge  says the change to the humanitarian intake is needed.
The Covid Cover Excuse

The Morrison government has slashed the maximum humanitarian intake by thousands on the basis it is too difficult to bring refugees into Australia in the same numbers as before the coronavirus pandemic. The humanitarian intake was reduced from 18,750 places to 13,750 over the next four years in Tuesday’s budget.

Budget 2020: Morrison government cuts thousands of refugee places

‘To those who have, more will be given’: Largesse to private schools continues

Private school funding

As families at public schools scrimp and save to provide the bare necessities, the federal government funnels ever more money into private schools without taking into account parents’ true capacity to pay. Trevor Cobbold reports.

‘To those who have, more will be given’: Largesse to private schools continues

Tax break for weapons exports to Mid-East countries accused of war crimes

Zero transparency in Australian weapons exports

Australian weapons manufacturer Electro Optic Systems, with financial support from the federal and ACT governments, is capitalising on the ‘growth market’ of the Middle East, one of the world’s most volatile regions. Michelle Fahy reports.

Tax break for weapons exports to Mid-East countries accused of war crimes

Frydenberg Starts Budget Speech With Reminder That All Figures Are Correct To Closest $60 Billion | The Shovel

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last night delivered his second budget as Treasurer, beginning his speech by noting that the figures had been checked and were correct, give or take $60 billion.

Frydenberg Starts Budget Speech With Reminder That All Figures Are Correct To Closest $60 Billion | The Shovel

Trust me, I’m a Deregulated Banker – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We’re not ‘all in this together’ — Morrison and his government are back to their ideological worst. And we had a chance to create a new and better normal. What do you think?

Trust me, I’m a Deregulated Banker – » The Australian Independent Media Network

No strings attached: aged care providers have the Coalition wrapped around their little fingers – Michael West

More money for aged care providers

Locking out visitors has made it difficult for staff to meet the daily care needs of residents. What an indictment on aged care providers. They receive billions a year in funding, yet rely on the unpaid work of family/friends and volunteers. Surely it is time for complete accountability for their government funding, writes Dr Sarah Russell.

No strings attached: aged care providers have the Coalition wrapped around their little fingers – Michael West

Top economists back boosts to JobSeeker and social housing over tax cuts in pre-budget poll

Overwhelmingly, Australia’s leading economists want the budget to boost social housing and the JobSeeker unemployment benefit rather than bring forward personal income tax cuts.

Top economists back boosts to JobSeeker and social housing over tax cuts in pre-budget poll

Budget warning: more rent-seeking won’t create ‘jobs and growth’

Josh Frydenberg has a mammoth task delivering October's budget. How he manages the desires of big business will be a huge test.

I have no doubt there are plenty of anachronistic, pettifogging, cumbersome provisions of industrial relations law that both sides could readily agree to remove. But I doubt that’s what the employers are seeking. They want their quid without any quo. Equally, I don’t doubt that much could be done to minimise the time-wasting involved in the regulation of business, without compromising other public policy goals. But too often removing “green tape” is code for sacrificing long-term protection of our environmental assets in favour of letting a few developers temporarily create a few hundred jobs while they build some highly automated mining project.

Budget warning: more rent-seeking won’t create ‘jobs and growth’

Cuts to JobSeeker, Jobkeeper: out of the frying pan and into the fire – Michael West

Tax cuts, cuts to spending leads to austerity

Hefty cuts to income support mean that Australia now faces a potentially more deadly epidemic than Covid-19. But it is largely avoidable, writes Michael Tanner.

Cuts to JobSeeker, Jobkeeper: out of the frying pan and into the fire – Michael West

Jobs plan must be a way forward, says ACTU – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Moreover, O’Neil cites that the Morrison government has its priorities misplaced, cutting subsidies for people who need it most rather than focusing on a jobs-based plan that can bolster the economy. “Despite not having a plan for how to get people back into jobs, the Morrison Government is now cutting support for the people in our community who have been hit hardest by this pandemic,” said O’Neil.

Jobs plan must be a way forward, says ACTU – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Federal Government fast-tracks grants to Foxtel

According to an ABC report, government funds were fast-tracked to Foxtel during the coronavirus pandemic. This news will raise eyebrows, as the media — like so many industries — tries to survive the pain and disruption brought by COVID-19. Why are some outlets missing out when others have their requests prioritised?

Federal Government fast-tracks grants to Foxtel

The announcement artist | The Monthly

Doing the TRUMP

He switched to an announcement-based approach to leadership, and it made complete sense. In the current environment, there are no disincentives for doing so. Press conferences are held at short notice with details postponed until later, and inconvenient questions are easily batted away, well after headlines have established an underlying narrative. Outlets rush to break the news first, follow-ups are negligible, corrections are buried, and the media as a whole paints the picture you would expect from an ecosystem increasingly dominated by supporters of Morrison and his government (most notably in the News Corp stable). It’s all working for the prime minister – he’s a ­self-styled practical dad, an optimist taking care of business. If there are objections or uncomfortable revelations, he doesn’t accept the premise of your question. Next, please. And tomorrow he’ll have another announcement.

The announcement artist | The Monthly

Coalition to announce $3.5bn NBN upgrade to roll out fibre ‘deeper and closer to homes’ | Technology | The Guardian

File photo of contractors working on the rollout of the NBN network in 2017
Abbott’s Legacy Australia

“This has meant Australian taxpayers have paid more for a network that does less, and more money is now required to play catch up,” she said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “What on earth was the point of spending $51bn of taxpayers’ dollars on the Liberals’ second-rate copper network to begin with?” In 2018, the outgoing chief executive of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, admitted that the reliance on copper had led to a higher fault rate and slower internet speeds but helped deliver the network faster and more cheaply.

Coalition to announce $3.5bn NBN upgrade to roll out fibre ‘deeper and closer to homes’ | Technology | The Guardian

Stop the lies, Morrison. Your gas-led recovery is a toxic sham. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In any other universe, recovering from one public health crisis by worsening another would spark immediate backlash. An “asbestos led recovery” would be career-ending; as would a “tobacco led recovery” or a “AK-47 led recovery”. But fossil fuels have locked their harm so deeply into our lives that we have become desensitised to this incredible, radical significance of proposing to hurt humans as a pathway to helping them. What is happening here is simultaneously deadly and ludicrous. (Ketan Joshi Renew Economy).

Stop the lies, Morrison. Your gas-led recovery is a toxic sham. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia could potentially waste another industrial boom

 

Australia could potentially waste another industrial boom
Industries such as steel and aluminium manufacturing would greatly benefit from a switch to renewable energy

Australia’s renewable energy endowment means that there is likely to be a boom similar to that of the mining industry in the early 2000s, writes Tim Cornwall. THE MINING BOOM of the early 2000s was horribly wasted by the Howard Government. Over the next few decades, to the chagrin of the current Australian Government, the economics of renewable energy will render the fossil fuel industry obsolete. As detailed by Ross Garnaut among many others, Australia stands to gain the most from this transition and stands to lose the most from delaying it. As the transition inevitably occurs, however quickly or slowly, we should learn the lessons from our last industry boom. Will we allow the profits to be siphoned to tax havens or take advantage to build a better Australia?

Australia could potentially waste another industrial boom

We need truth and facts – not lies and spin – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Despite the slagging off at Labor by the Coalition, simply because of debts accrued to maintain the economy through an unexpected crisis – namely the GFC – the Coalition now finds itself in the same situation through COVID-19, and has to go down a similar path. Have they done as well as Labor did? NO! Why not?

We need truth and facts – not lies and spin – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Inequality is already rising in Australia. Tax cuts would entrench it for no economic benefit | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

People walking from Martin Place Station, Sydney, Sunday, December 31, 2017.

In the midst of a deep recession this government is seeking to lock in an inequitable income tax system under the guise of recovery. Two recent reports, however, highlight that moves to bring forward the legislated tax cuts will fail to provide adequate stimulus to the economy and will only exacerbate inequality that was already increasing prior to the pandemic.

Inequality is already rising in Australia. Tax cuts would entrench it for no economic benefit | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Recession: With recovery comes hidden risk

AUSTRALIA IS entering treacherous waters. After more than a quarter-century of economic growth, the country has now gone into recession. And not just any recession — the deepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The recession brings many self-evident problems, from high rates of unemployment to widespread business failures. But there is a less obvious danger that we overlook at our peril — the role of vested interests in the economic recovery.

Recession: With recovery comes hidden risk

Coalition plans on track — corporate slice of the nation’s pie hits all-time high

The process of shifting wealth and income from the poor and middle to the rich continues apace. Alan Austin examines the latest national accounts. FOR THE FIRST TIME since 1959, when Australia first published detailed national accounts, the share of all income going to corporations has risen above 30%. Simultaneously, the share for employees has fallen below 50% for the first time ever.

Coalition plans on track — corporate slice of the nation’s pie hits all-time high

Old Dog Thoughts- Scapegoating Dan Andrews on Aged-Care and China. Remember CHAFTA

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in a suit in front of a TV screen

Fighting Fake News with REAL 4/9/20;How Big Money Corrupts Our Politics (And How to Fix It) | Robert Reich; Josh Frydenberg the Harvard dropkick Treasurer;

Parliament lets Scott Morrison know who his tribe is – and it isn’t the premiers and chief ministers | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison

 

Frydenberg has stepped in front and center to try to deflect all the blame onto Victoria after all if The Commonwealth is found to be responsible for the outbreak of Covid in aged-care due to poorly regulated providers then they too are to blame for the crippling of the economy and not as Frydenberg would prefer it to be Andrews work. It seems Andrews doesn’t even need to buy into what’s patently obvious. (ODT)

Morrison has accepted some accountability for what’s happened, but he’s also kept Andrews squarely in the frame as I mentioned a moment ago. I’ve said before it is reasonable to point out that states have a role in managing outbreaks during the pandemic, and there are some overlapping responsibilities in aged care – but this offensive should also be called for what it is: a patent prime ministerial effort to sidestep blame. The prime ministerial sidestep is obviously effective, though, if our Guardian Essential poll is a reliable guide. When asked in the latest survey to identify who was to blame for the outbreaks in aged care during the pandemic, slightly more respondents identified the state government (30%) than the federal government (28%) – but more people blamed the providers (42%).

Parliament lets Scott Morrison know who his tribe is – and it isn’t the premiers and chief ministers | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian

Coalition adds more debt in nine months than Labor did in under six years

THE MOST PROFOUND challenge arising from Australia becoming the worst developed country for government debt is not the economic hardship this will impose on those having to pay the interest and repay the principal. A more serious issue is that most citizens haven’t a clue what is actually happening.

Coalition adds more debt in nine months than Labor did in under six years

Morrison’s China decree reeks of rash decision-making

Illustration: Jim Pavlidis

Morrison’s efforts to impress Trump is causing our chaos and his confusion and a lack of direction. He’s always tended to be a follower rather than a decisive leader a boat without a rudder and he seems to believe Trump is the answer. Canberra is now increasingly revealing itself to be what it has always been a Government in opposition. Working for themselves and not Australia. Frydenberg’s already “blaming” his economic failures on Victoria. The deaths encountered however have and will continue to be from the Commonwealth’s aged-care sector (ODT)

Ever got into a car and found a little way into the journey that the driver isn’t sure of the destination? Scott Morrison predictably won plaudits for his latest assault on China via new legislation that will empower him to cancel or veto agreements between state entities and foreign government organisations. China might be our biggest trading partner, but it is thoroughly on the nose in much of Canberra.

Morrison’s China decree reeks of rash decision-making

Before Covid inflicted carnage, the Australian economy was struggling | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

construction in Sydney

When everything is going downhill at speed it’s easy to pretend that beforehand everything was fine

Before Covid inflicted carnage, the Australian economy was struggling | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

ABC has for too long been unwilling to push back against interference – at its journalists’ expense

Our Democracy hinged on the ABC and it’s been eroded from outside and in and little is done about it, This alone is a reason to vote the LNP out. (ODT)

For those who watch the affairs of the ABC through the eyes of a critical friend, the removal of Emma Alberici, made public on August 21, is deeply disturbing. It is the climax to a destructive series of events that began more than two years ago and once again draws attention to two serious weaknesses in the ABC’s management arrangements.

ABC has for too long been unwilling to push back against interference – at its journalists’ expense

No Sukkar for Labor over Liberal branch stacking revelations

Remember when branch stacking was the biggest scandal in Australian politics? Sure, at the time there were other, far greater, unresolved issues that the Federal Government should have been made to address, but, well, the Victorian Labor Party was involved in branch stacking! The PM said at the time: “Albanese has been totally burnt by this scandal … We’re fighting for jobs, they’re fighting each other.” The Labor Party was, he said, “absolutely at war” — and he did not stop there, adding for good measure, at his unctuous best:

No Sukkar for Labor over Liberal branch stacking revelations

Barnaby Joyce signed off $80m for Angus Taylor’s old company after zero was paid for same sort of water nearby – Michael West

Watergate Angus Taylor

Same water, same valuer, $80m and nought. The same type of water licences for irrigation properties near those for which the Coalition government paid $80 million in 2017 were valued at zero between 2008 and 2010, writes investigative reporter Kerry Brewster in this exclusive report.

Barnaby Joyce signed off $80m for Angus Taylor’s old company after zero was paid for same sort of water nearby – Michael West

You want a strong economy? Start by raising corporate taxes

Collect the taxes they haven’t paid. Remember Abbott shrunk the Taxation Dept of 3500 of it’s most experienced tax investigators. Well, now they have jumped the gutter and are working for the tax minimisation industry.(ODT)

via You want a strong economy? Start by raising corporate taxes

‘Riddled with errors’: Paul Fletcher slams ABC fact check

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

When a Minister gets that flustered you know a nerve has been hit. (ODT)

The RMIT ABC Fact Check unit, funded jointly between the RMIT University and the ABC, describes itself as an “agenda-free zone” that does not allow staff of the unit to be members of political parties or activist groups.

via ‘Riddled with errors’: Paul Fletcher slams ABC fact check

Morrison’s COVID-19 Commission: Industry policy in reverse

 

We might best understand our current predicament via recourse to what the institutional economist James Galbraith terms a “predator state”. In such circumstances, one group feasts on what is on offer in a decaying system that once served broader interests. The predatory class may be opposed by others who also possess wealth, power and influence. However, a carefully constructed network built on political donations, ideological affinity and personal relationships produces an influence over the government that results in the interests of the predatory class prevailing.

via Morrison’s COVID-19 Commission: Industry policy in reverse

Australia’s ‘Titanic’ economy is sinking

Creating the framework for monopolisation in a predator State(ODT)

Ultimately, a long term plan for sustainable economic growth and broader prosperity for the Australian public is required. Not a continued push for the Coalition to fulfil its ideological wish list as the economy continues to sink beneath the icy waves.

via Australia’s ‘Titanic’ economy is sinking

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)