The problem is, the economy seems to be running out of puff because it’s caught in a vicious circle: private consumption and business investment can’t grow strongly because there’s no growth in real wages, but real wages will stay weak until stronger growth in consumption and investment gets them moving.
Policy has to break this cycle. But, as Lowe now warns in every speech he gives, monetary policy (lower interest rates) isn’t still powerful enough to break it unaided. Rates are too close to zero, households are too heavily indebted, and it’s already clear that the cost of borrowing can’t be the reason business investment is a lot weaker than it should be.
That leaves the budget as the only other instrument available. The first stage of the tax cuts will help, but won’t be nearly enough. “Structural reform” is always a nice idea, but fixing a problem of deficient demand from the supply side would take far too long to be of practical help.
Investors haven’t been this pessimistic since the global financial crisis of 2008.
The 180 degree turn around by the Media is as remarkable because we had just as much to worry about when Abbott delivered his first budget. Yet the media in the main were puffing up Frydenberg and Morrison as the primo money managers of our economy. Interest cuts won’t have the retired spending their savings and that’s the cash they are after Superannuation because the middle class and working class workers are in debt and it’s growing (ODT)
Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?
So don’t moan if the Coalition continues to stuff things up. They have been doing so for six years. You gave them another three. That’s not my fault.
My thought for the day
The right to vote in an election is the gift that democracy gives. Therefore, it is incumbent on the voter to at least have a rudimentary understanding of politics and to take an interest in the political landscape.
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.
“But really it’s no surprise considering Angus Taylor has continually argued against climate action and is part of a government that has continually lied about what their emissions data actually shows, which is that emissions are rising and we’re not on track to meet our international climate commitments.”
Apparently this government has a mandate to operate in secret and will continue to do so. (ODT
Christensen spent 25 per cent of the year in the Philippines making woopee with his girlfriend at the taxpayer’s expense.
Turning to Craig Kelly, he:
” … has been described as a climate sceptic. He was appointed chair of the backbench Environment and Energy Committee, giving advice to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. He has previously written that convict arrivals to Australia in the 18th century found the weather warmer than in recent years and has invited climate sceptics from the Institute of Public Affairs to present to the government prior to the Paris Agreement. Kelly has criticised renewable energy, saying that it causes higher electricity bills. He has furthermore stated that this could kill people who are afraid to turn on their heaters.”
“… stated on his Facebook page that he would vote with his electorate in the marriage survey. In the conscience votes which sought to amend the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Kelly voted for all the amendments, none of which passed.”
“In February 2019, after Cardinal George Pell‘s conviction for child sexual abuse, Kelly posted a series of Facebook posts labelling the trial a “grave miscarriage of justice”, and the media a “lynch mob”.”
FAKE NEWS THE LNP HAVE IMPROVED THE ECONOMY. $80 Mill MEDIA CON (ODT)
That points to an exceptionally weak economy, susceptible to a growing list of potential international shocks; a message starkly at odds with that presented at the budget and the election.
Just two months ago, we were promised a decade of federal budget surpluses based upon a strong and recovering economy.
When a housing slump collides with rising unemployment
That’s the problem with booms. They tend to unwind, occasionally in spectacular fashion, especially when they’ve been supercharged with debt.
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.
LNP’s MOthers Day Launch Screw The Lunch Mum (ODT)
Rolling out John Howard in marginal electorates may not be the best tactic since he represents the “golden era” before this unsettled Coalition Government.
JOHN HOWARD has been exhumed as the great grey hope and is being paraded among the marginal electorates to enthuse the faithful and woo the undecided — assuming, that is, that they know who he is, or at least was.
Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have been brought into to cameo roles in the Labor campaign, but those two can be counted in living memory. Little Johnny’s reign ended some 12 years ago when a great many younger voters – who have enrolled in record numbers – were not even in their teens and will see him, if they notice him at all, as a relic from a bygone era.
His legacy, divisive at the time, is now little more than a footnote in history: gun law reform (good), the GST (reluctantly accepted), the 2001 dog whistling and deceit at the Tampa election (bad) and the loss of his Government and his own seat in 2007 (depends where you stand).
So fucking much for women (ODT)
I’m not making it up.
Six days before the election, you launch your campaign. And on Mothers’ Day!
Still, I listened to Scott Morrison on 7:30. He didn’t answer the question about whether he’d have three ex-PMs at his launch preferring to tell Leigh Sales that he was more concerned with talking to the people… I’d take that as a no, personally.
Perhaps, Scott should have replied by suggesting that they couldn’t make it because it was Mother’s Day… although that may prompt someone to suggest so those mothers had to celebrate their special day elsewhere!
But is there a hidden motive behind the Murdoch media’s pro-Coalition frenzy? According to the Friends of the ABC, the secret agenda of News Corp and the Liberals is the post-election privatisation of the ABC.
Given the Coalition’s historical dislike of the national broadcaster, privatisation may well be the fate of the AB
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.
Politicising the Public Service
The AFP’s ties to the Coalition have almost turned our nation into a police state, using terrorism and immigration as political tools, writes Bruce Haigh.
AS THE HOWARD REGIME progressed, through time it perfected the art of smoke and mirrors, reaching the art of the ridiculous under Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Abbott and Turnbull made notable contributions.
Over this twenty-three year period, the politicisation of the public service and associated institutions has aided and abetted the show business of the LNP and, to a lesser extent, the Labor Party. We have seen the trashing of truth for political ends. As an example, sustained pressure from Howard saw the Bureau of Statistics decide that one hour of work a week constituted employment. By what flight of common sense did that become accepted? It is nonsense intended at the time to boost the LNP’s political fortunes.
But the communications bureaucrat Richard Bean and the former chief executive of News Corp and Foxtel Peter Tonagh concluded the ABC needed expensive new infrastructure to keep up with rapid changes in technology, and long-term funding certainty was preferable to the current triennial funding.
The ABC has lost $393m over five years under the Coalition government.
Handed to the government in December, the secret $1m report has languished in Mitch Fifield’s office for months and may never be released if Labor wins the election.
Cash and ScomosMona Lisa Smirk (ODT)
The idea that Morrison will run a “truth campaign” is laughable. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the word.
My thought for the day
The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.
What a tangled web they weave (ODT)
Anyway, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with Greg Hunt where he tells us that went on the record as saying that he never heard Scott Morrison express anti-Muslim views at a Cabinet meeting and the revelation that he wasn’t at the meeting only proves that he couldn’t possibly have heard anything that ScoMo said, before telling everyone that he’ll be available for speaking engagements in a couple of months… Or, if you like, he can twist balloons into whatever shape you want and entertain the kids because he’ll have a lot of time on his hands come post-election.
Is it any wonder the LNP do what ever Newscorp asks they just might print the facts (ODT)
Annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the December quarter was a dismal 2.34%. The quarterly rise was just 0.18%. The latter ranks an appalling 32nd out of the 36 OECD members. It ranks 77th out of the 92 countries worldwide which record growth quarterly. Lowest ranking ever, by far.
With an election looming these numbers should remove any lingering doubt regarding the Coalition’s incompetence in economic management.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hailed this week’s growth data with the mix of half-truths and blatant falsehoods we now expect from this Government:
‘With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in seven years … our economic foundations are in good shape’
Again, quite false. Australia’s jobless rate is at 5.02% is the same as it was back in 2011, when the whole world was in the worst global financial crisis in eighty years. Australia’s jobless rate then ranked sixth in the OECD. Now, after five years of strong global recovery, Australia ranks 17th.
It also ignores Labor’s proposed income tax cuts which would see everyone who earns less than $125,000 a year – that is, most Australians – hundreds of dollars a year better off compared to what the Coalition is offering.
Coalition policies got the budget in trouble in the first place. They facilitate tax avoidance by those who can most afford to contribute at the expense of government services and payments to those who can least afford to pay.
If you call that success, then you patently care more about the wealth of the few than the well-being of the many.
Morrison seems to be on a different page to the experts. In 6 years the managed to double our debt that took almost a Century to build. (ODT)
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.
This Government’s performance over its time in office has been like a daily shower of offensiveness raining down on society. Surely management or indeed, lack of it must mean something.
All of this just goes to prove how out of touch the LNP Government is when it comes to the mood and expectations of the people they serve. However, it is also most unusual to have gathered together in the one place at the one time such an astonishingly well-educated group who has not a clue on how to govern. All in all it stinks with the stench of privilege.
Tony Abbott was ready to go to war with Russia to protect these neo-Nazis. He was busting his chops to help these guys. (ODT)
Barack Obama once described it as “either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world”. That was in 2009. The building was Ugland House in George Town on the Caribbean island of Gran Cayman.
Ugland House was then home to 18,857 corporations. And Ugland House is soon to be home to another one, along with the profits of 43 Australian hospitals, unless Treasurer Josh Frydenberg blocks the deal on grounds of national interest.
No sooner had the Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney been built at a cost of $2 billion to taxpayers, its operator Healthscope opted to sell it, along with another 42 Australian hospitals also subsidised by taxpayers, to a shadowy group which has a large presence in tax havens.
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?
Contrary to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton the advice given to the ALP and the Government wasn’t that indicated by either of them or by the Murdoch Press. They in fact twisted the truth a polite way of saying the GOVRENMENT LIED. and intentionally SKEWED and MANIPULATED THE POLLS (ODT)
The political significance of his interventions are twofold — the first is that it makes clear the security establishment does not believe the legislative changes, of themselves, will spark a wave of new boat arrivals.
The second is that, just as Mr Lewis and Mr Pezzullo were sending a clear message to the Government to stop using their advice for political purposes, they are sending a message to Labor — as the alternative new government — that as long as they maintain a tough rhetorical and policy line on border protection, there is no reason to believe that Labor in government is a risk to border policy.
They all downgraded Australia badly during the two years Tony Abbott led the Coalition Government starting in late 2013. That will be no shock to those who have followed Abbott’s dismal 25-year parliamentary career. What may surprise is that nothing much improved under his immediate successor Malcolm Turnbull. Nor under the latest Coalition work experience prime minister Scott Morrison.
Neither Murdoch Media nor the Government made any effort to correct the misrepresentation put out. Fake News Sure was (ODT)
Australia, what happened to you? How did we become so cruel and hardhearted?
Earlier in the show, when McNeil and Qunun are holed up in Qunun’s barricaded Bangkok airport hotel room – after Thai officials have cancelled her visa to force her home to what she claims is certain death from her family – she finds that her Australian Immigration profile account is strangely shut down.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister David Coleman and Border Force have very serious allegations to answer in relation to this. Unsurprisingly, they did not respond to requests for answers.
But they need to.
Things have become so downright psychopathic in Australia’s border protection regime that we are now in extremis in breaking the basic rules of civilised democracy willy-nilly. All for some profoundly misconceived idea that our electorate will be ruled by fear, fright and division.
In 2016 the realease of the Panama Papers resulted in the shining of a light on the participants in the very secret tax evasion and money laundering schemes of the world’s 1%. The Trump name appeared over 4000 times. What happened in Australia and it’s list of names. Moreover the LNP hasn’t increased regulation but continued it’s ambition to decrease it. In fact coupled with this measure this government intends to make tax evasion and money laundering easier.(ODT)
The Australian Taxation Office has said it is investigating about 800 Australians in relation to the Panama Papers. However, in 2014 the ATO also gave amnesty to a number of wealthy individuals with offshore income and assets.
http://List of people named in the Panama Papers
Australia’s top companies and richlisters
Unions have demanded the government come clean on which businesses lobbied it to drop plans to introduce a register to help stamp out multinational tax avoidance.
The government has previously made clear its commitment to introduce a beneficial ownership register, a simple and effective transparency measure that curbs profit-shifting and tax avoidance by showing the public who is really behind often-complex corporate structures.
The former assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer and current assistant treasurer, Stuart Robert, both pledged to introduce a register.
Coalition abandons plan for register to help beat tax avoidance
But Treasury is now saying no such commitment was made.
For the Coalition, it is all about winning, not governing, just winning. Christopher Pyne has said as much. “Politics is trapped in a self-obsessed and panic-prone spiral that is damaging Parliament’s ability to work for the good of voters.” That is code for not being able to get anything of substance done.
He also explained (finally), some of the thinking inside the party room meeting that saw Malcolm Turnbull sacked.
David Wroe in Sunday’s Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “Opening up on last year’s leadership turmoil, Mr Pyne also said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was “electorally unpopular” outside his home state of Queensland and would have damaged the Liberal Party’s chances of winning the federal election had he been installed as leader.”
One suspects that’s all the Liberal party thinks about….It’s all about winning. Not governing, just winning. Let government take care of itself. Any idiot can govern, but better us idiots than some other idiots.
But here’s the kicker. Never underestimate the ability of the electorate to fall for their rhetoric and vote against its own best interests. For a party devoid of policies and effective leadership, a negative campaign by the Coalition is all they have and for them, as lazy as they are, it’s the path of least resistance, one in which they have form. Remember the ‘debt and deficit’ farce?
But, the results can be devastating for an Opposition. Take note! The election is not won, until it’s won.
“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.
All the old political players are still in power. Donald Trump is President of the United States. And in Australia, we have our own wannabe Trumps and populists of the Right — people like Pauline Hanson, and Liberals like Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and even Scott Morrison.
The big story in Australia last year was the Liberal Party dumping Malcolm Turnbull as its leader and Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister. Morrison is now the PM because he is not Dutton. That is hardly a recipe for success.
It’s a remarkable thing to see a populist political stance transform into a liability in front of your eyes. So it is with the federal Coalition’s adventures in climate denialism.
Consider the story arc commencing with Tony Abbott’s leadership: what was once perhaps the most potent stick an opposition leader has wielded – leaving both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in its wreckage – this week disintegrated to the point that even the Coalition’s own colleagues in the NSW government have now abandoned them.
When pressed to give examples of religious discrimination today, Scott floundered until Christian helpfully stepped in recounting how a person who had expressed opposition to marriage equality on Facebook got sacked and had to sue for unfair dismissal. Which was kind of ironic as he was announcing the government’s support for religious schools to sack teachers if they express support for marriage equality.
Scott then remembered that someone had been blocked from entering a meeting somewhere because of their religion…then remembered they want to enshrine the right of religious groups to stop people from entering their premises so kind of mumbled something about exemptions.
Julia Banks announced her decision to quit the Australian Liberal Party yesterday. While unfortunate, it is hardly surprising. It’s the result of what happens when parliament and politicians fail to represent the people they serve and cling to the myth of meritocracy. Banks is not buying it anymore and neither should the Australian people.
More than 4,300 federal public servants believe they witnessed corrupt behaviour in one year, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces mounting pressure to establish an integrity commission.
It’s the mighty scare campaign. Modern campaigners, in the ongoing Orwellisation of the English language, prefer to call it a “strong truth” campaign. The scare campaign is unoriginal, it’s ugly, but, when it’s done well, effective. Even an unpopular leader at the head of a tired government can win with a good scare campaign.
Economic truth the LNP don’t want you to know and Trump hides wit the help of Murdoch. Our current economic reality and comparitive standing in the world today. Just over 5years ago Wayne Swann and Julia Gillard had us place 2nd today the the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government has us 20th telling us how ‘grear‘ that is and all Australians have benefited from their boom time.(ODT)