Sunday 2 April 2017
1 For all his bluff and bluster, a perpetual smile, together with the occasional stunt, it seems to me that Nick Xenophon really doesn’t achieve much. Such is the case with the Government’s Tax Cuts for business. And I might add that when he does it generally favours a rightish ideology.
Ostensibly all he has negotiated is a one off ‘insult’ payment to pensions of a piddling $75 for a single person and $125 for a couple for those on the aged pension, the disability support pension or the parenting payment.
It’s supposed to cover rising energy prices.
The smiling faces of Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann gave a press conference on Friday to hail the changes as a ”great day for Australian workers and Australian businesses”.
”This is a great result for 6.5 million Australians working for businesses that will get the benefit of this tax cut,” Turnbull said.
My God, you would think they were going to walk into work on Monday to be told their would be an extra 100 bucks in their pay packets next week.
Xenophon additionally negotiated some energy measures including fast-tracking a solar-thermal plant in South Australia. It is already underway and a new National Energy Policy which the chief scientist had already been commissioned to come up with by mid-year. There was also a non-binding promise for a study into the viability of a gas pipeline connecting the state with the Northern Territory.
The Government also promised to enforce a ”Public interest” order on the big three liquefied natural gas exporters in Queensland to force them to pump more gas to the domestic market. Again this was something Turnbull had done when he met gas executives early last month.
It seems to me that Xenophon does this frequently walking away with the credit for doing little other that giving the government it way. He is a PR freak. At the end of the day all he got for tax cuts to the rich and privileged was a one off $153 payment for pensioners.
There is no evidence that these cuts are about ”Jobs and Growth,” no modelling. No statement from the ATO that they will create ”Jobs and Growth.”
As Sally McManus told the Press Club last Wednesday:
”Wage theft is a new business model for far too many employers. Inequality in our country is now at a 70-year high. And 679 of our biggest corporations pay not one cent in tax.”
So the new tax rate will reduce from 30 to 25 per cent over 10 years for companies earning up to $50 million.
With a large number of companies paying no tax at all together with numerous concessions and tax imputation most companies already only pay about 24%.
It is one of the reasons why a report from the Australian Tax Office found that Business Council of Australia members actually paid an effective tax rate of 24 per cent as a group in 2014-2015.
With the lack of evidence regarding any connection to ‘’Jobs and Growth” it is easy to see that this is just old trickledown economics of the sort that modern economists say is past its used by date.
Jacqui Lambie argued that companies – including multinationals – did not need any more help with tax cuts and said the big four banks would receive $7.4bn in revenue if the Coalition’s package went through.
At midday on Saturday while enjoying a cuppa the Prime Minister graced our television screen espousing how we are all going to enjoy the benefits of giving tax cuts to businesses with turnovers of $50 million.
Having already doubled Labor’s debt one wonders where the money is coming from to pay for this. Remember the uproar from the Coalition and the Murdoch press just a few years back.
I can only conclude that the word “lying” in political terms has been replaced with the more subtle reference of “overstatement”. Maybe bullshit would be a better word. One thing is for sure. He is no longer the calm reasoned man of thoughtful disposition we thought we were going to get when he got the job.
While I’m on the subject of energy it’s interesting that a $1 billion battery and solar farm will be built at Morgan in South Australia’s Riverland by year’s end in a project the proponents describe as “the world’s biggest.
”Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability”
2 Germany is set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train to be powered by hydrogen. It only emits steam.
3 For the time being the fight against changes to 18c has been won. I will now be able to continue writing freely as I have been doing without feeling the need to think up new ways to criticise people.
Against changing 18C – ALP, Greens political party, Nick Xenophon Team, Jacqui Lambie
For changing 18C – Government, One Nation, Derryn Hinch, David Leyonhjelm.
4 From the Labor Party email Newslette:
You’ll remember in Week Two of the election campaign there were raids on Labor in relation to the National Broadband Network. The raids happened after Labor had exposed the Turnbull Government’s incompetent handling of the NBN. This week the Senate inquiry into these raids and the materials which were seized found it was an “improper interference” with the functions of the Parliament. I’ve asked the Speaker how this will now be handled to prevent these issues coming up again in the future. He’ll be reporting back to the Reps when we return for the Budget.
6 The Australian made a complete fool of itself when it tried to discredit new ACTU leader Sally Mc Manus.
The story was promoted by the Australian’s associate editor, Caroline Overington, on Twitter before an address by McManus at the National Press Club.
Reporters will asking @sallymcmanus tough questions about her resume when she appears at Press Club today:
Gutter reporting from the Murdoch press.
The Guardian has the story.
On this day in 2016 I wrote:
A Just when we thought Donald Trump couldn’t go any lower, he does.
Trump was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to define his “pro-life” stance and assertions that abortion should be banned.
”Do you believe in punishment for abortion – yes or no – as a principle?” asked Matthews, during the taping of a town hall event.
”The answer is there has to be some form of punishment,” said Trump.
”For the woman?” Matthews said.
”Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump replied.
‘Ten cents, 10 years, what?’ Matthews asked again, pressing.
”That I don’t know,” said Trump.
B Billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey, the man who views the world through the prism of his own cash registers, reckons we need a two tier wage system where cheap labour is plentiful.
”Australia doesn’t have cheap labour. Many overseas workers would be prepared to move here for a much better life and half the money Australians earn … I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff” he said.
C Conversely, I was reading the daily Morgan Report and would you believe the Fair Work Ombudsman did a nationwide investigation into the fast-food sector and found that nearly half (47 per cent) of 565 spot-checked employers have not been paying their staff correctly, with workers being paid as low as $6 per hour compared to the statutory minimum of $17.25 per hour.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s investigation found that in nearly one-third of cases, the flat hourly rate paid by the employer to its workers was not enough to cover hours attracting penalty rates and loadings, resulting in underpayments for which an employer could be ordered to compensate the underpaid worker, and fined for breach of the applicable Industrial Award.
Royal Commission, anyone?
My thought for the day.
“We are given the gift of foresight however, we choose to be reactive rather than proactive. Why is it so?”
PS: I think the only thing I have missed is Mark Latham’s manners, but I will give it a miss.