ABC is now modelling Sky News (ODT)
Since when did negotiation to make something better become a weakness?
And why on earth does a tax cut that will not come into force until after the next election (or two) have to be legislated now?
Why is it considered irresponsible to wait and see how the economy is doing?
Where is the modelling about the economic outcomes of the three stages of the tax cuts?
Where are the questions about what cuts will be made to compensate for the loss of $158 billion in revenue?
The Grattan Institute released analysis during the election which outlined the government would be forced into making $40bn in spending cuts to meet its forecast surplus and tax cut promises, which the government immediately rejected yet failed to come up with any evidence to counter the institute’s research.
Whilst commentators like Probyn may revel in the intrigue of the Game of Wedge and thrive on any perceived party disunity, what he serves up is more like a gossip column than journalism.
The Australian people are sold short by the dishing up of such tripe. But as we saw with Emma Alberici, factual analysis is no longer welcome at the ABC.
Did it ever occur to you Andrew, that by refusing to split the tax bill, it is actually the Coalition who is blocking tax cuts?
It is clear that Angus Taylor is a man on a mission. What’s less clear is whose best interests are driving him.
Richard Taylor also made a submission to the department’s review of how environment laws affect the agriculture sector. His submission called for changes to make the laws more simple and compatible with broadscale agriculture and best-practice weed control.
It’s handy when your family has such a prominent platform on which to express their views and such insight into investment opportunities. Even handier when they get to make and change the rules that directly affect them.
“Whether it’s drugs and alcohol, whether it’s the work in relation to diet, whether it’s other elements, we are developing, with you, a long-term national preventive health strategy,” he told a conference on Wednesday.
He doesn’t have a plan as such, just an intention to develop one.
Which goes against everything they have done over the last decade.
In opposition, Tony Abbott fought against plain-packaging for tobacco. Franking credits crusader (aka Freedom boy) Tim Wilson wrote about it at length during his time at the IPA.
Peter Dutton, when opposition health spokesman, opposed the increase in taxation on alcopops calling the bill nothing more than a “tax grab”.
Fiona Nash, as assistant health minister, controversially chose to shut down a Health Star Rating site for foods. It was later reinstated.
In the 2014-15 Budget, the government abolished the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) which, coupled with its decision to cease the National Partnership Agreement for Preventative Health, showed a blatant disregard for the importance of this sector.
He said the government’s fixation on jobs and growth had had some positive outcomes – higher company profits combined with tax concessions mean investors have done well, and jobs growth has resulted in more people being employed – but the glaring hole is the forgotten middle who have not seen commensurate wage rises. This is placing a drag on the economy and financial stress on wage-earning households.
A few days ago, this supposedly apolitical head of the Department of Home Affairs took the extraordinary step of ringing Senator Rex Patrick to tell him to watch his words after the Senator issued a press release criticising the media raids.
“The overall trend has been clear for some time with the Government clearly working up a suppression trifecta: routinely obstruction and delaying freedom of Information applications; persecuting whistleblowers such as Witness K and Richard Boyle, and now using the police to intimidate journalists.”
Apparently Mike took exception to the following as he felt his character was being attacked:
“There is no doubt that Coalition Ministers and senior bureaucrats have no love of media scrutiny.”
Gee, now why would anyone think that.
His boss, Peter Dutton, infamously said “Some of the crazy lefties at the ABC, and on The Guardian, Huffington Post, can express concern and draw mean cartoons about me and all the rest of it. They don’t realise how completely dead they are to me.”
How dare they criticise him for wanting to fast-track refuge for persecuted “white” South Africans.
But he’s not alone in trying to avoid criticism and scrutiny.
In the past five years the population has grown by just 8%, but government spending has risen by an incredible 21%. By sheer luck the mining boom has increased revenues by 27% but windfall gains like these are not sustainable.
The Daggy Dad “please like me” tour, backed up by his affable side-kick doing slide shows of endless cherry-picked graphs, is nothing more than an advertising campaign. Their claims of strong economic management are based on unrealistic assumptions about future wage growth and consumer spending and completely ignore Australia’s spiralling household debt.
They are reliant on precarious revenue from resources and seem clueless about the importance of diversifying our economy and building new industries to take up the slack caused by technological disruption and the inevitable demise of the fossil fuel industry.
Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie made an amazing admission in an interview on Sky but nobody (except The Australia Institute) seemed to notice.
“[Adani will] be employing 1500 through the construction phase and around about 100 ongoing.”
Just to emphasise, that’s 100 ongoing jobs – not 10,000, not 1500 – ONE HUNDRED.
Labor’s short-lived carbon price raised $15.4 billion in revenue from polluters which was passed on to the public via a large increase in the tax-free threshold and additional payments to welfare recipients and families with school-aged children. Trade-exposed industries also received assistance to transition and had incentive to invest in more sustainable practice.
Conversely, the Coalition have spent billions of public money on their Direct Action strategy only to see emissions rise again.
When more people voted for Labor and the Greens, to claim a mandate for the Coalition’s inaction on climate change is beyond despicable.
You can’t have a mandate for a lie.
Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne described Jackson as ‘decent, brave and revolutionary’.
I can think of better descriptions.
When Tony Abbott rolled Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2009, he immediately threw out the constructive negotiations towards an emissions reduction scheme.
“Oppositions are not there to get legislation through,” Abbott intoned, heralding his approach for the next 4 years.
There would be no discussion, no amendments, no working together to improve legislation. It would just be NO to everything.
So used to this approach did the Coalition become that, when they did finally become the government, they had nothing to offer. They have spent six years still opposing Labor’s ideas.
Our overly generous property tax concessions are a prime example.
We have seen three leaders’ debates now (well a couple of us have), and the overarching takeout is that this election is all about Bill Shorten and Labor policies.
After six years in government, Scott Morrison has nothing to say about why we should vote for his party other than we will get him as PM as opposed to Bill Shorten.
Even the journalists are over it. Patricia Karvelas said she feels like Bart Simpson writing lines over and over – “if you vote for Labor, you get Bill Shorten, if you vote Coalition, you get me.”
In a world that puts profit first, the idea of a social licence to operate seems to be disappearing.Shareholders are removed from the reputational damage that once kept business owners more accountable for acting responsibly. It’s all about the cheque.Worker exploitation, environmental vandalism, tax avoidance and market manipulation are goals rather than anathema.
For some reason, the very inept Amanda Vanstone is still appearing in the media. Perhaps she is offered up for comedy value because she sure as hell is no sort of objective political observer or analyst.
Her latest blatant propaganda piece in the SMH where she asks Will the real Bill Shorten please stand up? is just silly.
“Labor endlessly seeks to create the impression Liberals care more about business than they do people.”
Actually, it’s the Liberals that promote that as their strategy Amanda. They pretend that, if businesses make more profit (helped by paying their employees less and no tax), they will employ more people (as casuals with no entitlements or tenure).
We watched the banks make hay under the LNP who said “we don’t need a Royal Commission,” We saw the Panama Papers and “we don’t need to charge anyone” Water buy backs and the Murray/Darling “don’t worry about it”. (ODT)
Whilst everyone is talking about water and demanding more inquiries, they could just read the news and save us all a lot of time and money. It’s not like we don’t know what has happened and who allowed it to happen as this article from Blogotariat in 2017 shows.
Rather than defending us from the exploitation of unscrupulous merchants and employers, the government has decided it is best to leave us at the mercy of the free market – unless a donor needs a boost like underwriting their new coal-fired power station because no-one else will.
Whilst the Coalition asks who do you trust on national security, it seems clear that our greatest need for protection is from other institutions and from the abuses of government itself, particularly its collusion with these other institutions.
Why is it that when we talk about reform it is nearly always about how much something costs rather than what it is worth?
I remember the joy of the Whitlam years. It was invigorating. The changes he made – not promises for the distant future but real achievements – could truly be labelled reform.
Ended conscription and got us out of Vietnam
Opened relationships with China
Introduced the supporting mother’s benefit and welfare payment for homeless people.
Equal pay for women and extended adult minimum wage to include women workers
Abolished the death penalty
Federal funding for state schools
Free university education
25% cut in tariffs across the board
Reduced voting age to 18
An Order of Australia replaced the British Honours system
Racial discrimination act
Land rights to Indigenous people
Replaced God Save the Queen with Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem.
Established the National Gallery of Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Heritage Commission, FM and community radio.
The film industry flourished
Talk about tax cuts, national security, and surpluses doesn’t have the same inspirational ring to it somehow.
The government has decided to quote modelling by Brian Fisher, who is already well known for his very dodgy modelling in favour of the coal mining industry, to say that Labor’s policy will cost workers $9,000 per year. This is, of course, complete rubbish and totally at odds with modelling by Frontier Economics and research by the ANU.
The question is not how much Labor’s policy will cost. The cost of not taking action is far too great to contemplate.
The damage from the cyclone coupled with a fire at a port facility in January will lead to a loss of about 14 million tonnes of production in 2019, the miner said in a statement.At today’s iron ore price, that equates to over $1.7 billion dollars lost revenue for one company from one cyclone.
In February, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state budget is estimated to take a hit of at least $1.5 billion after catastrophic bushfires and floods ravaged Queensland over the summer.
The winner-take-all result where the party or Coalition with the majority of seats has all the power just does not work. Politicians are focused on beating their opponents rather than working collaboratively to do what is in the best interests of the nation. And increasingly, it is attracting those who are in it for themselves.
We must break the influence of vested interests and lobbyists who, by donating to a political party, can buy a whole bloc of votes.
We must invest in a public service capable of giving frank and fearless advice based on real evidence and who have the resources to oversee and assess the results from the expenditure of public money.
But first and foremost, we must elect people whose focus is on facilitating all Australians to make the best contribution they can to our society and supporting them to lead happy fulfilling lives in a healthy environment.
Ther was amajor Qatari investment partnership with Rupert Murdoch is Ashby pointin fingers at him too? oh Dear!! How almighty crumble. (ODT)
Firstly, we are supposed to believe that the Qatari government have launched a three-year sting operation employing spies to influence the elections in Australia and, in order to exert influence over our government, they sought out James Ashby.
Sorry James, but that’s narcissism on steroids. As if the Qatari government has ever heard of you and as if One Nation will ever have any actual influence over government in this country. You can’t keep a Senator long enough for them to even get letterhead printed at the exorbitant rates you charge for your monopoly on One Nation printing business.
Where is the collective culpability for encouraging an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust where raids on suspects’ houses are televised before they have even been charged with anything?
Where is the admission that collectively blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few has promoted fear and hatred?
Where is the acceptance that conflating asylum seekers with criminals is dogwhistling?
Wasn’t me, says Scott. They love me. I even went on a walk with some Muslim boys once.
Scott says he has led by example and that he has set the tone.
The tragedy is that he is right about that – and look at what has happened.
Perhaps in preparation for threatened defamation action against Waleed Aly for reminding us of the reports of Scott Morrison suggesting the Liberal Party should capitalise on community concerns about the inability of Muslims to integrate, Peter Dutton and Greg Hunt have lined up to deny it ever happened.
Dutton and Hunt had in their mind that they would be PM and Deputy leader last August. Both have been censured for their disrespect for the legal system. They have no loyalty, no honesty, no integrity – just naked ambition.
If they are the best you can come up with to provide alibis/cover/character reference, then you are stuffed.
Our founder, Senator Cory Bernardi, has been a regular critic of Islam, including here calling on Muslims to ‘reject, refute and reform’ Islam, and here where he called out the error of Britain’s migration program accepting Islamic migrants.
One question states that “some have attributed the migration of people of Islamic belief to terror attacks in Australia and abroad” and asks people for their view. In an obvious attempt to solicit negative responses, other questions included, “What is your view on the practice of sharia law in Australia?” and, “What is your view on the Islamic practice of allowing men to marry girls who are under the legal age of sexual consent?”
Bernardi defended the timing of the survey saying “We’re not politicising anything, we’re trying to decide what the Australian people want.”
Far from an innocent information gathering exercise, the very format was intended to offend.
“The party is now characterised by disunity and disloyalty, by tribalism, not by principle or policy but by personal interests – not even party interests and certainly not the national interest.
Despite what they claim, few who stand as Liberals come with a genuine policy agenda or commitment. Their end game is simply to be a politician, or a minister, or even prime minister. Not necessarily to achieve anything in particular – just to be there, and to enjoy the trappings of the position.
The fact that the Liberal Party consider John Howard some sort of elder statesman with great knowledge to impart, the fact that they wheel him out every election like he has some relevance to the contemporary electorate, shows just how bereft of ideas they are.
The blame for pretty much every problem we have can be sheeted squarely at the feet of the Howard era, exacerbated by his disciple, Tony Abbott.
Biggest Problem is if you don’t vote for Morrison your voting to make Tony Abbott opposition leader. It’s our responsibility and the only argument we have to struggle with (ODT)
Tony Abbott came to power offering a paid parental leave plan designed to encourage “women of calibre” to breed and then return to the workforce. Not only was that abandoned, those women of calibre were now “double dippers” rorting the system and their existing entitlements were reduced.
After a tortuous process, marriage discrimination was ended – praise be. But then we have an inquiry to work out how churches can ignore the law and continue to discriminate against gays.
The community and the majority of the parliament decide we have an obligation to provide medical care for seriously ill refugees under our care (I still can’t believe that is something they had to actually debate). So people who are traumatised by being incarcerated with no hope on an island gulag will be shifted to another island gulag with no hope of any future and the promise of being sent back should they get well.
It seems the government’s only clear purpose at the moment is to use its few remaining months to reward as many fellow political travellers as they can with high-paying appointments and to secure employment for themselves post-politics.
Nothing underlines white privilege more than the government’s reaction to child sex abuse.
When allegations of paedophilia rings and child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory were made, the government sent in the army, stripped people of their rights, and made draconian rules affecting whole communities.
When allegations of child sex abuse were made about children in offshore detention, the government attacked those making the allegations.
When rampant child sex abuse in the Catholic Church was exposed, former Prime Ministers lined up to provide character references for the offenders.
Minister for down down prices are down, Angus Taylor, proudly boasted on The Project (kinda, cause I’m guessing he knows what a con this is) that emissions per capita are at their lowest level in 28 years. That is true. Not because emissions have come down but because the population has increased by over 2 million between September 2013 and now.
According to just about every journalist, commentator, and Liberal/National politician, the Coalition are better economic managers.
Pretty much every problem we have can be laid squarely at their feet.
From the second the Coalition formed government, they have been using their position to shower largesse on themselves, their friends and donors.
The tone was set when George Brandis gifted a patently unqualified Tim Wilson a job at the Australian Human Rights Commission, a position Wilson gleefully accepted despite having called for the body to be abolished. The job wasn’t advertised because there was no vacancy. The disability sector lost an outstanding advocate in Graeme Innes to make way for freedom boy so he could increase his profile while he waited for Andrew Robb to retire from the plum Liberal seat of Goldstein.
When it was revealed last year that taxpayers had shelled out more than $825 million on lawyers in 2016-17, Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was “taking a particular interest in the expenditure of funds on legal services, applying very close scrutiny to each and every application that comes before me for approval.”
That being the case, one wonders how he can justify approving over $288,000 in legal costs (so far) for Michaelia Cash when all she has done is provide the police with a copy of Hansard and then turn up for one day in court to say “refer to what I said in Hansard”.
Cash is not facing any charges, she was merely a witness who had nothing to say. So why does she need a defence team?
If politicians had the strength to do what is right, we could make this world a far better place. Instead, we are subjected to lying, mealy mouthed excuses. endless arguments about ridiculous trivialities, and empty egotistical posturing.
We are led by politicians who are more scared of losing an election than of wrongly sending us to war or of the consequences of ignoring climate change.
You aren’t a “strong leader” Scott. You are an empty blowhard on the make who doesn’t have the ability or the courage to solve anything.
Kaye Lee accurately describes what happened to my feelings as an Australian the day Tony Abbott took over the leadership of the Liberal Party and became PM in 2013. It wasn’t that IT”S TIME feeling was it. (ODT)
There have always been incidents of nepotism, rorting, broken promises, moral failures, poor decisions, and even straight out lies, in politics. So why does it feel so bad now?
In the past, despite the shortcomings of the government of the day and the failings of individuals in parliament, there was an overall feeling that progress was being made. Not in all areas at once and certainly not equally across society, but we were generally moving forward.
Until Tony Abbott fell into the leadership of the Liberal party.
From then on in, it has been a constant onslaught of combative negativity, destructive and misleading messaging, and a focus on tearing things down rather than building a better future.
It seems astonishing that, in a country where one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”, the Coalition’s election focus is on tax concessions and tax cuts for the wealthy – and they seem to be getting away with it.
In 2004-05, the top income tax rate kicked in at a taxable income of $70,000. Four years later, that had risen to $180,000. Meanwhile, the tax free threshold remained at $6000 from 2000-01 until Julia Gillard increased it to $18,200 to compensate for the introduction of carbon pricing in 2012-13.
When Tony Abbott got rid of the mining tax, he also repealed many payments to low income earners, including income support benefits to children of soldiers killed or seriously injured in service.
Broadly speaking, the coming federal election seems to be coalescing around three main issues.
Young people particularly see climate change as the defining issue. They are being joined by angry grandparents concerned about the world we are leaving to our descendants, as well as many of the business and farming community who are realising the economic threat posed by inaction.
It has come to the point where Liberals are openly admitting that certain elements in the party room will not allow any policy progress in this area and apparently the leadership is too weak to override this noisy minority. They are basically telling us that we have to vote the deniers out if we want to protect the environment.
As journalists do their best to try to get Josh Frydenberg to say ‘sorry’ about the government’s opposition to a banking Royal Commission, they should not be surprised to be met with a stupid grin accompanied by a whole heap of “it’s Labor’s fault”. That’s the way these guys roll.
When David Speers asked federal member for Fadden, Stuart Robert, about Scott Morrison’s jobs promise, Robert replied they would be full-time jobs just like the million that Tony created.
This, of course, is rubbish.
When pressed about it, he dithered around finally saying “We’ll see what the economy throws up”.
Exactly. Unless the government starts re-employing some of the multitude of people they have sacked, it will not be them creating jobs.
Perhaps Robert’s slip could be forgiven, except it adds to a very long list which begs the question of why this guy is still in parliament let alone being recently promoted to the position of Assistant Treasurer in the latest iteration of the ATM government.
In October last year, when forced to repay $38,000 he’d billed to taxpayers for home internet charges – $2000 a month, 20 times more than the average claimed by other MPs – Robert told a local radio station that “I probably just wasn’t paying enough attention” as the bills went through.
Didn’t Morrison tell us the banks didn’t need a Royal Commission? It showed just how much they were ripping off retirees and who was supporting them. (ODT)
The same old dog-eared Liberal Party playbook has been dragged out again with Liberal Party federal director Andrew Hirst warning voters about Labor’s “great big new tax on retirement savings”.
ProMo has embraced the talking points, accusing Labor of wanting to “take to hardworking retirees who’ve done nothing more than do the right thing and save for their retirement and try to get ahead”.
Wasn’t it Scott Morrison’s 2016 budget that caused over 330,000 Age Pensioners to have their entitlements cut with at least 100,000 of those losing all pension entitlements?
And didn’t the then Treasurer for Graphs also try to retrospectively introduce a lifetime cap on non-concessional superannuation contributions (NCC) of $500,000?
“The economy” may have been growing for 28 years but, as far too many people are painfully aware, that growth has not been shared. Is Scott unaware that one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”? They endure daily the cruel lessons of an economy which favours the wealthy.
Every move made by the Coalition is designed to reward investors, clinging to the belief that that will somehow magically translate into bounty for all. But as we have seen, investors get very narky if asked to share any of their gains.
And nowhere is it more true than in a country that would sacrifice the Great Barrier Reef for profits for foreign coal companies. A country that would endanger its water resources for the profits of foreign agribusinesses and mining companies. A country that would hold traumatised children hostage to deter others from asking for our help. A country that ignores a Statement from the Heart of its Indigenous people inviting us to move forward together towards a life of dignity for all. A country whose elderly languish in inadequately staffed nursing homes.
We must do better.