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What else happened yesterday?

While we were all mesmerised by the tragic and horrific events unfolding in yesterday’s siege at the Lindt Cafe, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann quietly slipped in to deliver the midyear budget update.

It was also horrific, but in a different sense. Horrific in that 16,500 people will lose their jobs due to the government’s savage cuts (in their vain attempt to deliver a surplus that they never will), and for the raft of essential services that will be scrapped.

The cuts announced by Hockey and Cormann have received minimal coverage in the mainstream media. I found the list on a Facebook page called Where’s My Ostrich, and whilst they may or may not be the original compilers, I feel obliged to credit them for this extensive (and it seems secretive) list.

  • Cuts the Australian Government Solicitor
  • Cuts the Telework Advisory Panel
  • Cuts the Protection Zone Committees
  • Cuts the Forces Entertainment Board
  • Cuts the Antarctic Research Assessment Committee
  • Cuts the Australian Antarctic Names and Medals Committee
  • Cuts the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee
  • Cuts the Climate Adaptation Outlook Independent Expert Group
  • Cuts the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Advisory Board
  • Cuts the Health and Hospitals Fund Advisory Board
  • Cuts the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
  • Cuts the Inspector of Transport Security
  • Cuts the Reconstruction Inspectorate
  • Cuts the Development Allowance Authority
  • Abolishes the Artbank Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the Australian and New Zealand Standard Diagnostic Procedures Working Group
  • Abolishes the Benchmarks Working Group which monitors acute hospital performance
  • Abolishes the Department of Agriculture – Live Animal Export Division – Industry
  • Government Implementation Group
  • Abolishes the Forestry and Forest Products Committee
  • Abolishes the National Surveillance and Diagnostics Working Group
  • Abolishes the Laboratories for Emergency Animal Disease Diagnosis and Response Working Group
  • Abolishes the National Strategies Working Group
  • Abolishes the New Test Evaluation Working Group
  • Abolishes the Rabies Preparedness Working Group
  • Abolishes the Subcommittee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards
  • Abolishes the Australian Defence Force Financial Services Consumer Council
  • Abolishes the Department of Defence Diversity Advisory Group
  • Abolishes the Committee which was overseeing reform to the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s ships
  • Abolishes the Department of Defence CEO’s round table
  • Abolishes the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood Joint Working Group to Provide Advice on Students with Disability
  • Abolishes the Fair Work Building and Construction Independent Assessor
  • Abolishes the National Precincts Board
  • Abolishes the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group
  • Abolishes the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics Advisory Board
  • Abolishes the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group
  • Abolishes the Local Government Ministers’ Forum
  • Abolishes the National Disaster Recovery Taskforce
  • Abolishes the Urban Policy Forum
  • Abolishes the Australian Council of Local Government
  • Abolishes the Official Establishments Trust
  • Abolishes the ANZAC Centenary Public Fund Board
  • Abolishes the Australian National Memorial New Zealand Advisory Panel
  • Abolishes the Community Nursing Clinical Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the eHealth Technical Advisory Group
  • Abolishes the Gulf War Study Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Practitioner Reference Group
  • Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Veterans Reference Group
  • Abolishes the Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services Writing Group
  • Abolishes the Peacekeepers Study Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the research working group
  • Dismantles the Vietnam Veterans Education Centre
  • Abolishes the Strategic Cross-sectoral Data Committee for Early Childhood, Education and Training
  • Dismantles the Australian Qualifications Framework Council
  • Wipes out the Education Investment Fund Advisory Board
  • Cancels the COAG Select Council on Workplace Relations
  • Abolishes the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the Bureau of Meteorology Water Accounting Standards Board
  • Abolishes the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water
  • Disbands the Commonwealth Environmental Water Stakeholder Reference Panel
  • Abolishes the Emissions Intensive – Trade Exposed Expert Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee
  • Disbands the Iconic Sites Taskforce
  • Gets rid of the Indigenous Water Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the National Landscapes Reference Committee
  • Disbands the National Marine Mammal Advisory Committee
  • Abolishes the National Marine Mammal Scientific Committee
  • Disbands the Australia Awards Board
  • Abolishes the Tourism Quality Council of Australia
  • Disbands the Anti-Doping Research Panel
  • Disbands the Department of Human Services Council on Strategy and Innovation
  • Abolishes the Gas Market – Industry Reference Group
  • Abolishes the Technical Advisory Committee for the Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package
  • Annuls the Infrastructure Coordinator
  • Silences the Northern Australia Indigenous Experts Forum on sustainable Economic Development
  • Terminates the Expert Advisory Panel on Northern Australia
  • Abolishes the Marine Council
  • Dismantles the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum
  • Annuls the Regional Australia Standing Council
  • Cancels the Australia in the Asian Century Advisory Board
  • Abolishes the First Peoples Education Advisory Group
  • Cancels the Indigenous Development effectiveness Initiative Steering Committee
  • Abolishes the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd
  • Cancels the Aged Care Planning Advisory Committee
  • Annuls the Aged Care Reform Implementation Council
  • Cancels the Healthy Life Better Ageing Committee
  • Silences the Minister’s Dementia Advisory Group
  • Abolishes the National Children and Family Roundtable
  • Silences the National Injury Insurance Scheme Advisory Group
  • Abolishes the Australian Financial Centre Taskforce
  • Abolishes the Current and Former Members of the ADF Emerging Issues Forum
  • Cancels the National Health, Aged and Community Care Forum
  • Abolishes the Operational Working Party which advises government on the needs of the ex-service community
  • Cuts funding for the National Trade Cadetships programme
  • Ceases payments to apprentices under Support for Adult Australian Apprenticeships program
  • Abolishes the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

Horrific, don’t you think?


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  1. Sir ScotchMistery

    Horrific certainly. Surprising? Most definitely not.

    No cuts at all to any INDUSTRY group relating to employers.

    Cuts specifically those organisations which cost almost nothing and do the most work with employees and the disadvantaged.

    LNP – putting the N back into CUTS.

  2. my say

    OUR only hope is for the senate to block most of this crap

  3. Peter Ball

    a Government run by a pack of Hyenas , who hate the Australian people , Australia needs to remember this hateful , ideological driven Government and vote them out lock stock and barrel

  4. la_lasciata

    I like that VERY much, Sir ScotchMistery: I think it will become my new signature file.
    It’s definitely how I think of them.

  5. John Kelly

    The actual money saved dispensing with these agencies is a drop in the bucket in terms of savings. It will not even register on the economic radar.

  6. Michael Taylor

    I think there’s more than what registers on the economic radar, John. I am particular perturbed at the cuts to Indigenous services. Having spent some years in Aboriginal communities I am aware of how crucial they are. Or should I say, were?

  7. DanDark

  8. Sir ScotchMistery

    The one big hope I have, is that based on the level of political engagement, that the behaviour of this bunch of pretenders, will keep them out of power for the next 20+ years.

    Fingers and toes crossed. And remember, every time you meet someone who admits to voting liarberal, out them.

  9. JohnB

    Amazing how many people can’t do basic maths. We are in a $400 billion hole that is getting deeper by roughly $50 billion per year. In 2016 the NDIS cuts in for a cost of $11 billion per year. The bottom line is that we are spending far more than we get in revenue and as things currently stand we will be forced to cancel the program or borrow the money or raise taxes.

    The people here obviously don’t want cuts to spending and I’m sure they’d scream blue murder if the NDIS was cancelled, so it’s time to step up instead of whining; Which taxes shall we increase and by how much? We are going backwards at a great rate and the clock is ticking.

  10. Andrew

    I think this is all abut making sure they only hear advise that they:
    1 want to hear
    2 advice that follows their own thoughts
    3 things that allow them to forward their own ideology

    There is nothing that will aid our society as a whole or the disadvantages specifically, but, will allow the rich and powerful make more money and become more powerful. This at the same time as increasing the deficit, and will mean more spending by a different government on the future to get us back to where we were before this mob came to power.

    John B, you are right lets raise some taxes on those that can afford it, high income earners, while we are at it lets cut some of their benefits and loopholes, like the concessions on superannuation, mine have been cut as a low income earner, and although I am disappointed, I think some fairness is required. Whats good for the Goose is equally good for the Gander.

  11. Rossleigh

    JohnB – I suspect that most of “the people here” could give you a list of taxes to increase.

    Personally, I’d increase the Carbon “tax” – or “price signal”, as I prefer to call it – and maybe even the mining tax.
    What? They’d all pack up and move their operations overseas? They’d mine in the middle of the Cayman and take the nickel out form there?

    Silly me.

    Actually, getting a few more people back to work would lead to an increase in tax revenue. But hey, what would I know, I actually support an increase in the GST. 😀

  12. Annie B

    Yes Rossleigh …….. a simple – small – rise in the GST would cover so very very much.

    That’s not this Government’s agenda. It’s waaay too simple.

    They want to destroy – and then march off with the profits that remain, after they’ve rid themselves of the ‘unwanted’ of us.

    Well – stuff them. …… must find a way to oust the bastards. ….

    A citizen initiated referenda still sounds good to me.

  13. Sir ScotchMistery

    Dear JohnB,

    Whining? Goodness me where is the whining? All we did was point out that NOT ONE SINGLE CHOP was against “business” not one. None. Zero.

    Here are a few taxes we could actually work with:

    Ask Gina Rinehart to pay more than 8%.
    Ask Twiggy Forrest the same.
    Ask multinationals to pay their taxes in Australia, or ask them to leave. (You seem somewhat soft, otherwise I would have said “tell them to f*ck off”).
    Ask businesses with over 100 employees to be a little more honest in their taxes.
    Stop 457 visas for people who can be employed here, because they are repatriating their money and our unemployment is rising.
    In fact, stop 457 visa completely.
    Fine any company with over 100 employees who doesn’t carry at least 4% trainees and apprentices. Use the money to fund TAFE and government supported training institutions.
    Stop banks foreclosing on farmers then selling the farms in a fire sale to the Chinese.
    Bring back a price on carbon, and tell the whiners to f*ck off, since they are all businesses screwing our environment.
    Reduce the tax sheltering in investment properties for anyone with 3 or more investment properties.

    Publicly ridicule anyone who feels a Debt to GDP ratio of under 15% is “unsustainable” since they are beyond help. In fact, send those dumb twats to the USA to peddle their neocon bullshit over there where people are too stupid to understand anyway.

    Then, tell us to whom the “interest” bill is paid on our sovereign borrowings if you have any clue at all.

    When finished, head off back to the IPA.

  14. Kaye Lee

    I could give examples similar to the following for nearly every one of those cuts…

    “Silences the Minister’s Dementia Advisory Group”

    In his campaign launch speech on August 25, 2013, Tony Abbott promised a Coalition government would give $200 million to dementia research.

    But we don’t need no stinkin’ advice.

    What I would suggest is that all stakeholders in these areas, which is every single person in this country, now contact the PM’s office direct with your queries, complaints, suggestions….Peta wants to advise about everything so let’s keep her busy.

    “The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP, leads an accountable and open government that welcomes your views and feedback. You can ask the Prime Minister a question, give advice and pass on well-wishes using the form below.”

  15. Kaye Lee

    In fact I would encourage everyone who is concerned about climate change, social justice, asylum seekers… in fact anything at all….people from around the world should contact Peta at the above address.

  16. silkworm

    Do not raise the GST. GST is a flat tax that hurts the poor the most. If anything the GST should be lowered.

    Big business is pushing for increased GST as a diversion from what is really needed – raising corporate taxes.

  17. Ricardo29

    These cuts must rank as one of the greatest political examples of self-inflicted harm in living memory. I recognise that most of these advisory bodies touch those who would probably be Labor/Greens voters (after all that’s the obvious point). But a lot of them must affect conservatives and they must, surely number in their tens of thousands. Own goal anyone?

  18. Kaye Lee

    This is a prime minister who in December declared an end to corporate welfare.

    But he said “we don’t want to see corporate welfare … we don’t believe in corporate welfare”.

    “This government will be very loathe to consider requests for subsidies, we will be very loathe to do for businesses in trouble the sorts of things they should be doing for themselves,” he warned.

    Fossil fuels subsidies are the most pernicious and distorting of subsidies. The biggest in Australia is the fuel tax credit scheme, which is worth $2 billion per year to mining companies, the equivalent of each taxpayer in Australia handing over $182 to the mining companies.

    The national president of the Mining Union, Tony Maher called out this squandering of public funds in an article for The Drum:

    “I’m pro-mining to my core. But a mining sector that grows too fast causes social and economic problems that will cause damage for decades to come, if we let it. …

    Down the track, it would also make sense to look again at tax and whether we are getting a fair return from mining company profits.

    Ditto, subsidies. Does it really make sense for taxpayers to be funding a rebate on diesel fuel for the mining industry at a cost of $2 billion a year?”

    G20 governments of the world first commited to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in September 2009, recognising that “fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption, distrort markets, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with climate change”.

    Governments across the G20 are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels.

    The evidence points to a publicly financed bailout for carbon-intensive companies, and support for uneconomic investments that could drive the planet far beyond the internationally agreed target of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2ºC.

    The G20 countries are creating a ‘triple-lose’ scenario. They are directing large volumes of finance into high-carbon assets that cannot be exploited without catastrophic climate effects. They are diverting investment from economic low-carbon alternatives such as solar, wind and hydro-power. And they are undermining the prospects for an ambitious climate deal in 2015.

  19. JohnB

    To that other “JohnB”; whose ideologically based views have not changed from our last encounter a year or so ago – despite countering ‘hard’ evidence that indicates we have a budget revenue problem:-

    From United Voice Submission to Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the Abbott Government’s Budget Cuts16 September 2014:

    “…It is perplexing that given the focus on the budget deficit, there has been scant attention
    given to the revenue side of the equation.
    United Voice members pay their fair share in taxes and they want to know that others,
    including big businesses and the very wealthy, are paying their fair share too.
    Our current taxation system provides overly generous tax concessions for businesses while
    many corporations routinely engage in tax avoidance.

    Many mining companies which actively led opposition to the mining tax pay no corporate tax
    at all. Andrew Forrest’s FMG is a notable example having paid no corporate income tax
    whatsoever for the sixteen years up to 2010.[1]
    Google paid just $74,000 in Australian tax in 2011-12, despite revenues above $900 million [2]
    while a Uniting Church report released in 2013 found that 61 of Australia’s 100 biggest
    corporations have subsidiaries in tax havens.[3]

    In addition to corporate tax concessions and avoidance, the Australia Institute estimates that
    the extensive individual income tax cuts carried out under both the Liberal and Labor
    governments between 2005-06 and 2011-12 have reduced the amount of revenue that the
    government collects from income tax by a quarter.

    These tax cuts have mostly benefited the
    top income earners, with 42% or $71 billion going to the top 10%. The top 10 per cent got
    more in tax cuts than the bottom 80 per cent. The government would have collected an
    additional $169 billion over seven years had these cuts not taken place, avoiding a structural
    deficit…. [4] ”
    See (.pdf) Here:

    And if one wishes look at where/when the problem started, look back no further than John Howard’s “esteemed” economic mismanagement, when unsustainable (electioneering) effective tax cuts for the top threshold halved tax revenues from Australian tax payers.

    Excellent Guardian article (extract) here:
    “…10 years ago 15% of taxpayers were in the top tax bracket, and they raised 51% of the tax; the latest figures show only 3% pay the top tax rate and now they raise 26.2% of total tax…”
    See Here:

    And to finish… you may like to listen to this Ted talk from Nick Hanauer who explains that we live within a society, not within a business entity.

    “Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming”:

    Not that I expect any of this supplied evidence will change your opinions.

  20. John Fraser


    Super loopholes & negative gearing.

    Low paid people have no need of those.

    Gee …. I wonder why they remain untouched ?

    Howards war in the Middle East (Part 2) $1 billion a year ….. mind you some of that could have gone to paying the ADF a decent wage.

    Cancel the F35 (flying dud) …. up to $40 billion saving right there.

    Buy German subs with construction in S.A. …. a good sub and work for S.A.

    Dump Hockey to the back bench … a saving there that could see 2 more 20 year olds employed in Canberra.

  21. Rhonda

    Yes, Joe was ably assisted in sneaking his MYEFO through, by the ABC – who chose to run all day with the Sydney drama, on both ABC and ABC 24 – conveniently avoiding all mention of the MYEFO, which was fortuitous for Joe. In fact I had to go searching online to find out if it had been postponed (as NSW did), but an article in the Wall Street Journal confirmed it went ahead! What’s going on?

    While this tragedy of yesterday will affect some for a long time to come, the tragedy of being inflicted with this government we are now saddled with, will have repercussions for a great many more people – also for a long time to come.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Remember when Tony was flush with the glow of recent victory and the nation was full of hope back in February before Hockey’s budget….

    “The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was only elected in September 2013, but already has a rapidly growing list of broken promises and inconsistent decisions regarding public funding support for private industry and non-profit organisations.

    This includes the Australian car manufacturing industry (Ford and Holden), scrapping the Home Energy Saver Scheme, axing $2.5 million in funding for community radio stations, stopped support for Caterpillar in Tasmania which has cost over 1000 jobs, and last Thursday rejected an aid package for Victorian-based food processing company SPC-Ardmona (despite supporting a similar aid package for Cadbury).

    Meanwhile, Tony Abbott has intervened into Toyota’s workplace affairs by supporting cuts to employee wages, has privatised the Australian Valuation Office, is in the process of winding back Tasmania’s forest World Heritage listing, defunded all international environmental programs (including those run by Oxfam, Save the Children and Caritas) and cut $4.5 billion from international aid programs, has started to dismantle Australia’s marine park protection system, repealed poker machine reform designed to protect victims of gambling addiction, and approved coal-baron Clive Palmer’s coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

    Support for renewable energy, assistance for disadvantaged people, foreign aid, or industry packages for Holden, Ford and Australian manufacturing should be opposed because it is the role of government to punish immorality, and lack of money is proof of that immorality.

    Tony Maher made a good call when he said “Let’s stop being fooled that the interests of a small club of mining billionaires are the same as the interests of the broader Australian economy. They’re not.”

    And then there was the budget and MYEFO….and they think they just have to sell the message better? You may be able to sell your bullshit to mushrooms who like to live in the dark but you are getting the attention of a hell of a lot of pissed off people now. I know you’re not a numbers man but the 1% don’t have many votes Tony, and those who have been manipulated by lies get very angry.

  23. stephentardrew

    One word: Ideology

    This bunch are not interested in logic, rationality or legitimate hardship and need however when it comes to greed they are first class advocates of inequality.

    These Randian simpletons are immune to criticism because the great Gombo in the sky absolves them from any responsibility.

    The IAP nuts bridle with glee at the chance to get at those bludging swill who rob from the rich to give to the poor.

    Cruelty and punishment, for those welfare vampires, will build character and resilience even if it leads to unwarranted hardship and suffering brought about through no fault of their own.

    Just watch the bastards deflect from criticism by banging on about irrational excuses that don’t have a wit of sense or ethical content while journalists look on in stupefied silence at such unbridled nonsense.

    Can’t anyone demonstrate the logical fallacy of their arguments and the implicit immorality of deliberately harming your fellow citizens.

    Who trains these journalists in critical thinking and where do they learn such a poor grasp on morality?

    Things can only get to this state of affairs when the fourth estate is remiss in their responsibility.

    A good slice of the media is responsible for straight out cruelty, brutality and immorality.

    Work it out you fawning idiots these people are despicable.

  24. John Fraser


    Ahhhhhh ! …. the good old days.

    Sadly (ha ha ha) replaced with this :

    "The Australian 5 December 2014:

    THERE is a moment in the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives when a smart, successful TV producer, played by Nicole Kidman, learns the truth about how her town’s evil mastermind, played by Christopher Walken, turns women into obedient housewives. “We help you. We perfect you,” says Walken. Kidman is aghast. “By turning us into robots?”
    You can see why this movie came to mind when Coalition MPs gathered to hear from Tony Abbott on Tuesday. The Prime Minister’s message was that the year had been “rich in performance” and full of achievement. Nobody spoke to break the spell.
    “Nobody wants to say what they’re thinking,” says one MP. “Everybody just had to sit there and clap.” The government’s achievements are real but its failures loom so large they overshadow all else. Abbott’s great political successes, like the repeal of the carbon tax, seem long ago.
    The fumbling of major policies recently has been astonishing for a government that had such control earlier this year. The change has dismayed Coalition MPs, who have the hard task of explaining away their leaders’ clumsiness.
    Abbott and his ministers are slow to confront the challenge they face. The Prime Minister talks of “achievement” at every opportunity even though it has become the trigger word for Labor MPs to respond with canned laughter.
    Joe Hockey offers a tentative response to a dangerous slowdown in growth and a descent into bigger budget deficits.
    The budget update the week after next will be the government’s opportunity to face up to its maladies. The $48.5 billion deficit last financial year — that is the final outcome, not a tricky forecast — will be followed by a deficit of about $40bn this year….."

    Completely fcuked when the American owned "The Australia" is criticizing you.

  25. zerograv1

    To some extent I agree with closing down Government agencies that no longer have a reason to exist. I think this list goes further than that though. The ideological commitment to a surplus is somewhat short sighted but my main concern is that Hockey AGAIN hasnt addressed both sides of the ledger. It seems outlay reduction is his only shot in the locker, Revenue is clearly the problem but this is completely ignored and pretty much puts paid to any economic credentials this government might claim, Its really really simple mathematics but seems beyond this lot to comprehend! Whether we get to a surplus or not, it becomes moot if the surplus isn’t used to pay down borrowings and thus reduce interest, and once achieved work towards national wealth accumulation as Northern European countries have done. Last time Howard had this opportunity it was squandered on electioneering pork barrelling however with enough luck they even get to fully fund pensions from dividends and other investment gains in the longer term…..still as I said that’s far beyond the comprehension of this lot….the deficit/surplus thing is a bit of a furphy anyway since the Federal Government has no control over commodity prices and little input to the valuation of the dollar on the exchanges both of which are key inputs to the final result.

  26. Neil

    Nice to see a another totally one eyed piece of journalism *cough. I wonder what solution you might have Michael to massive government debt and an almost out of control deficit? Obviously nothing, you offer no alternative, just have a crack at a government doing everything it can to pay back a debt which has been left by a Labor party who spent like thieves.

    As another poster mentioned you obviously struggle with a basic balance sheet, $400 billion deficit rising by $50 billion a year equals cuts & tax increases. Or maybe you would prefer massive inflation & going to the grocery store with a wheelbarrow full of cash to pay for a few groceries?

    Hopefully you enjoyed the “magical Labor” years, $900 hand outs, roofing insulation & $500,000 school halls…it’s called debt & unfortunately you have to pay it back. You know like when you pay things on your credit card & have to pay it back eventually!

    But thank you for hijacking the #sydneysiege to tell us that our Federal Government is doing its job.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Neil, I take it you’re happy to see negative gearing un-touched.

  28. Olivia Manor

    this really adds fuel to the conspiracy theory re the siege. They have a nutter. They know what he is capable of. Tip him over the edge a day or so before Hockey makes his announcement and bingo, you got what you want. Terrorism is back on the front page, Abbott and ASIO can continue with their road to dictatorship, and the sad victims are just collateral damage. There. I said it and am perturbed that I would even consider such a scenario. But this government is evil personified!

  29. John Fraser


    ha ha ha Neil earned a million bucks and put three quarters of it into his Super taxed @ 15%.

    cough cough.

    Neil is like a cicada ….. only he rubs the bones in his head to make a noise.

  30. John Fraser


    Here you go Neil :

    Murdochs Limited News has over 140 subsidiary companies in tax havens.

    62 in the British Virgin Islands.

    33 in the Cayman Islands

    21 in Hong Kong

    15 in Mauritius.

    And on it goes.

    Google reroutes its Australian profits through Ireland etc

    Apple likewise.

    Billions of unpaid Australian taxes and Hockey has chickened out.

    Or perhaps he doesn't want to upset Murdoch.

  31. Aaron Hughes

    This is what happens when we change governments and a new team of men come in to swing their dicks around marking there territory, this has less to do with delivering a successful budget and more to do with establishing the size of there manhood.

    While cuts are necessary this budget dose not address all options to increase/ hold accountable our revenue streams and in a vain attempt only address cutting expenditure.

    Not a balanced budget

  32. patriciawa

    “Horrific?” you ask, Michael. A more appropriate word might be “terrifying.” Or perhaps “terrorising?”

  33. Michael Taylor

    Terrorising, Patricia? Makes them sound like terrorists. 😉

  34. JohnB2

    Firstly to the other JohnB, and I’ll call myself “JohnB2” from now on to prevent confusion. I honestly have no idea at all what delusional world you have stepped out of but I’ve never been here before. And if not here then it would be the height of insanity to even assume that another JohnB that you met a year ago on a random site on the internet was me. I can only presume that you have no need for exercise with all the jumping to conclusions that you seem to indulge in.

    To the main points that many have brought up. I have to agree about the international taxation, it’s not just Google, but Apple and a host of others. I’m not sure how much is covered by international rules and treaties but frankly, if the profit is made here it should be taxed here. This will mean a major overhaul, Apple use the “licencing fees” bit where the Oz branch has to pay exorbitant fees to Ireland and those licencing fees are tax deductible. There is nothing wrong with this per se and licencing fees and royalties are part and parcel of doing business however the exploitation as a loophole has to stop.

    Some have mentioned Super, but taxing that is not an answer, ever. The long term problem we have (and this has been known for 30 years at least) is that with an ageing population the number of pensioners compared to taxpayers is going to seriously blow out. When pensions were brought in around Federation (some States already had them) you worked, retired at 65 and were dead by 75. To pay for it we had a strongly growing population and some 5 taxpayers per pensioner. This is no longer the case and will get worse, I’ve seen projections that as soon as 2030 we will be down to 1 taxpayer per pensioner. Obviously unsustainable. Super is the way out of the trap, the more people who can fund their own retirement from Super the more money that is available for those who cannot fund themselves. Rather than a cash cow to be milked it is a tree that requires nurturing. Imagine a world where we had eliminated the need for pensions?

    And it’s easy to poke “the rich” who have lots in their Super, so long as you don;t understand the concepts involved and never do the maths. I think that most would accept that a pension of 2/3 the average weekly wage would be an acceptable level of income after retirement. (And it makes the figures easier so I’ll use it.) With the current average income at $75k per annum, 2/3 would be $50k. Assuming a 5% interest rate on your capital, how much money do you need to invest to return $50k? Easy $1 Million. So if you have $1 Million in Super you can retire on $50k per year which sounds fine until…

    Inflation eats away at your income. If inflation runs at 3% then in 24 years your $50k will only have the buying power of $25k today, which won’t be good as your medical expenses will be going up and up as you get older.So rather than $1 Million you actually need more to inflation proof your income. $50k this year, $51.5 next year etc and this is just to tread water so to speak.To add that $1500 next year means that instead of $1 Million to provide your income you actually need $1,030,000 and this figure has to increase each year as well. The requirement is that $80k per year (in initial dollars) has to be earned in interest to pay a $50k pension and inflation proof that income.Still using a 5% interest rate this means that $1.6 Million is required today to fund a retirement income today of $50. Still think that $2 Million in Super is a lot of money?

    Sorry for the length but this is important for our children and grandchildren. Unless we want to bequeath them a nation where they work all week to provide the pension money for somebody else and there is literally no money for roads, schools, education or anything else we need to act to get as many people as we possibly can to self fund their retirement. And that also means closing the hole that says you can take your Super payout, blow it on world cruises or whatever and still get your pension. Above a certain line that’s it. You’re self funded and if you blow that’s your problem. This might sound harsh, but that is why we gave Super funds tax breaks in the first place, to provide the individual retirement income.

    Similarly it’s nice to hit the miners but let’s serious. JohnB that submission performs a lie of omission by restricting itself to “Tax” and not including “Royalties” to imply that mining companies aren’t paying their fair share. But $2.8 Billion was paid in Royalties and land rents to the Qld Govt this year, WA got $6.176 Billion, a full 22% of the State income was from the mining sector, but they aren’t paying their fair share? People also need to realise that it’s not the amount of income a company earns that is important, but it’s percentage return on investment. A profit of $100 million sounds like a lot (and it is) but it’s not worth the time if it’s a return on a $5 Billion investment. Shareholders are entitled to a return on their money and if they don’t get it they will go elsewhere. If it’s easier to do business in Africa than Australia and provides better returns then they will leave. And they will take 22% of Western Australias budget with them, as well as all that lovely income tax that was paid by their now unemployed workforce. We could tell them to just “F*ck off” but that is generally known as “Biting off your own nose to spite your face”.

    There is also the point that spending $2 Billion in diesel subsidies to make sure that a sector that provides thousands of jobs and at least $8 Billion in Royalties plus other taxes is a good deal.

    ScotchMistery, do you have proof or just rumour that “businesses with over 100 employees” are not in general honest in their tax returns. Dishonesty in filling out tax documents is a Federal crime and should be reported to the ATO. Have you done so? If not, why not? If you have any evidence then it is your duty to the nation to share it with the ATO.

    I’m kinda with you on the 457s, they need serious reform to make sure they are used for the purpose stated. The Reort in September suggested changes but there is apparently some problems in the Senate and legislation is being summarily rejected by some persons.

    The idea of fining companies who don’t have “enough” trainees is being very free with other peoples money and assumes the correctness of your position. Perhaps if we simply limited the places in useless University courses and gave that money to TAFEs? We are churning out graduates without a thought as to what the market is going to be employing in the future. I remember an article some time ago about a young lady with a PhD who couldn’t get a job with her qualifications. I have idea why she couldn’t find a job, I would have thought that experts in 16th Century German Folk Dancing would be in high demand, but I guess I was wrong. In this I believe it is grossly unfair to put a student into debt, or even if free to encourage someone to waste 4 years of their lives to get a qualification that won’t help them in the workplace. We shouldn’t be creating an over supply of qualified people.

    Fully agree on the bank foreclosures. I’d go further and say we should create a new Commonwealth Bank. It should make a profit, but this should be limited, similarly fees and charges should be fully justified. Give people a chance to vote with their feet and put a brake on the runaway fees being charged by the “Big 4”.

    I disagree on the Carbon Tax. Aside from punishing those least able to afford it, on ecological grounds it is less than pointless. The only thing that places Abbotts “Direct Action Plan” ahead of Gillards “Carbon Tax” is that it will do exactly nothing for less money. 300,000 people had their power cut off in Germany last year because they couldn’t afford to pay the bills, an estimated 15% of the Irish are in “Energy Poverty” where they are forced to choose between eating and turning on the life saving heat. “Excess Winter Deaths” in England and Wales topped 31,000 in 2012/2013. Was that because old people were frolicking in the snow or because they couldn’t afford to turn on the heat? I think any action we take won’t make a spec of difference except to give people warm fuzzies, but perhaps you could share your knowledge and tell us what difference it would make to Global temperatures if we had a fully functional Carbon Tax. What would we get for shipping billions of dollars to overseas carbon markets?

    The tax sheltering and investment properties is an interesting idea, but I suspect the devil would be in the details. As I said earlier I believe in super and collecting properties is one form of that. There is also the point that in many cases those “3 investment properties” are simply 3 more mortgages.

    On debt, perhaps you meant “over 15%” rather than under? Our Sovereign Debt is financed by bonds and the majority of those are held by Australians or Australian Institutions. I say the majority because circa $161 Billion are held by foreign investors or Institutions. Who holds them and where is actually immaterial to the point, which is that they represent a loan and interest is paid on that loan. You can’t seriously believe that people are saying “Oh Australia, you’re a nice place, here’s $100 Billion. Pay us back when you can and don’t worry about paying any interest”.

    Personally I prefer to measure debt against Govt. revenue as that is what pays it off, not GDP. Nor is the level of debt per se a problem. The problem occurs when debt is combined with deficit. To hold a debt at any level is to freeze it (ignoring inflationary pressures) and this can only be done if the budget is balanced. Pick any level that you want as a target, but if you aren’t balanced when you get there you will go over. Money doesn’t magically appear out of the air. Deficits are funded by increasing the debt. You can of course keep the debt percentage stabilised while having a deficit provided the economy is growing at a fast enough rate, but hanging our economic future on our major partners not having a few bad years is not a smart course of action.

    Like many things a National Debt is a necessary evil but I simply think it smart to minimise it. At our current level we are paying some $12 Billion+ per year in interest. That’s enough to fully fund the Federal part of the NDIS. Monies paid in interest are lost to the government and people of this country (except for the shareholders of the companies that hold the Bonds) and we should get better value for our money. A government, like a person can go into huge debt if it’s for a purpose and there is a plan to pay it off but we shouldn’t be increasing debt to pay for everyday ongoing spending. While it’s true that we aren’t as bad as some nations it is also true that all those economic basket cases once stood where we are now and decided not to do anything about it. If we follow their example we will wind up in the same place.

    And to keep the McCarthyists satisfied; “I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Institute of Public Affairs or the Centre for Independent Studies” 😉

    1.30 am. ‘Night. Sleep well

  35. Will Coles

    Neoliberals are not there to serve the public, the voters or their citizens. Their primary concern is to protect & increase the profits of big business.

  36. Möbius Ecko

    Saw a brief bit in a news panel this morning stating that Hockey has broken his promise to crack down on corporate tax evasion.

    It didn’t elaborate any more than that.

  37. Möbius Ecko

    Neil @ 11:39 pm can you tell us how this government more than doubling debt is tackling the debt problem? Hockey also talking of stimulus now with handouts etc.

    So I am looking forward to you lambasting this government as well.

  38. cuppa

    The Liberals are VANDALS.

  39. David K

    But didn’t Mr Hockey urge us to spend up big for Christmas?

    Apparently Government debt is a fate worse than death, but maxing out the plastic during the silly season is to be applauded.

    Yes, I know it’s a false comparison, but they started it.

  40. John Fraser



    "Some have mentioned Super, but taxing that is not an answer, ever….."

    Congratulations on showing very, very early on, that you know three quarters of bugger all about taxation.

    "Sorry for the length but this is important for our children and grandchildren."

    Not my Grandchildren ……. I would prefer to send them to an educator who is versed in Australian tax laws.

    Here's the ATOs "Commitment to You" …. take the time to read it and come back and tell everyone why the Abbott government has been sacking ATO workers.

    Not to many mining companies falling over themselves to get into mining in Nigeria ….. perhaps Boko Haram has something to do with it.

    Perhaps you could explain why the Abbott gang gave $8 billion to the Reserve Bank ? … and is now drawing down on that "loan".

    Or maybe you could explain why Abbott spent so much on F35s while at the same time screaming "debt, debt, debt".

    Perhaps you could explain why Abbott raced to war and is spending $500 million every 6 months to participate in Howards war in the Middle East (Part 2).

    You forgot to mention if you belong to the Sydney Institute …. and if so are related to Gerrard "Uriah Heep" Henderson.

    I like to keep your 'Mccarthyist" front and centre …. whenever you post your simplistic rubbish.

  41. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee I submitted my last post before reading your one at 8:46 pm.

    The news panel on Channel 9 early news was indicating that Hockey in the MYEFO has abandoned going after corporate welfare and tax evasion. I haven’t been able to source the full story yet but if you or someone else comes across it please post.

    As someone else pointed out that in the extremely long list of departments and services that have been axed, cut or merged there’s not one that has been touched that caters to the corporate sector, and especially those Abbott has appointed cronies to on high salaries, like those from the IPA.

  42. kasch2014ay Schieren

    For what any reply will achieve – these de-funded people can probably continue much of their work pro-bono. Let the organised crime front called the government in Australia (they will not accept any recommendations anyway, unless they come from their sponsors) run its grotty course, or even better, take Tony and Co. to a coffee shop that sells chocolate. I’m 66, I’m stirring the pot on a pension – see Kay Schieren Facebook Page. You don’t need buckets of money to live. I’ve just cycled 1000km to and from the madhouse in Canberra on a solar powered electric bike to give the inmates at the gigglepalace my feedback, etc. which won’t be heeded either. Just tighten your belts and keep working. I do, with land to look after. Do stuff locally, and let Canberra and state governments rot.

  43. Kaye Lee

    “What we’ve chosen to do is to allow the revenue to take the hit but continue with our path of fixing up spending, having structural saves that over the medium term deliver a sustainable and believable surplus.”

    ME, John Fraser’s link talks about Hockey’s backflip on tax evasion.

    “Treasurer Joe Hockey has broken a pledge to impose tough new tax avoidance rules on multinational companies that shift billions of dollars in profits between Australia and their international subsidiaries.

    ….. in Monday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, a single line on page 117 revealed: “The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises, first announced in the 2013-14 MYEFO.””

  44. Terry2

    Perhaps the most puzzling statement in the MYEFO paper appears on p.117 :

    “The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises, first announced in the 2013-14 MYEFO.”

    Please explain Mr Hockey.

  45. Kay Schieren

    Hi – JohnB2 has the great illusion (money is a resource) as his central premise. Apart from that, he is a clear, honest, practical thinker. When we finally realise that most economic argument / policy is based on a false premise, all the jabbering by over-educated, pampered people will be put into perspective – but not until the damage that has already been done, and is yet to be done, has had enormous and devastsating repercussions. The only viable assett we have is our life support system (earth’s biosphere, whatever), and the only sane policy is to manage that as sustainably as possible with the best possible quality of life (not standard of living) as the balancing factor. Maybe money can be used (very carefully, and according to the best ethics and moral standards conceivable) as a motivational or administrative tool, but even that is so fraught with the pitfalls of human fear, greed and ignorance that I shiver when I mention it. Have a look at which I set up many years ago and which I should update and modernise, but haven’t found time to do.

  46. Kaye Lee

    If you visit Tony Abbott’s facebook page the last five threads are about the siege…not ONE about MYEFO.

    “It is unfortunate in the extreme that the Treasurer and Treasury have listened to a group of rent seekers being unjustly rewarded by not repealing section 25-90. But since this is a government of the 1% that is not surprising and we can conclude in fact that Hockey’s bluster about addressing tax avoidance by his rich mates is just that – complete and utter bluster,”

  47. stephentardrew

    Oh my just another lie to support the 1%.

    What more can we expect.

    My voodoo doll is not being very responsive.

    The Morgan poll is almost saying they don’t give much of a chance for reelection so let’s just go maximize damage to government while going for the biggest bag of goodies for their wealthy mates as possible.

    Big jobs lined up for the boys and rediculous pensions might just compensate.

  48. Terry2

    Another item of interest that slipped by was that Craig Thomson the former Labor Parliamentarian and Health Services Union employee, had 49 of the charges against him dropped on appeal leaving 13 instances of theft involving a total of $3,500. He will be sentenced next week after one of the most expensive and intensive politically motivated witch hunts in our recent history.

    Interestingly, in recent weeks Cheryl McMillan a former HSU Procurement Manager was ordered to repay to the HSU $3.7 million by a NSW Supreme Court in a civil action : a partner in this scam, Alf Downing, was ordered to repay to the HSU $4.3 million, both have petitioned for bankruptcy (what else !) : so far no criminal charges have been initiated.

    In the meantime Kathy Jackson former HSU Secretary and sometime “whistle blower” is battling an HSU civil action to repay $1.4 million of misappropriated funds : no criminal charges against her either, yet.

  49. Kaye Lee

    OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has described the controversial national secretary of the Health Services Union, Kathy Jackson, as ”heroic” for her whistleblowing.

    As Prime Minister Julia Gillard again declined to be drawn on the affair involving her MP Craig Thomson, who allegedly misused union funds, Mr Abbott attacked unionists who he said were trying to blacken Ms Jackson’s name.

    Mr Abbott renewed his attacks on the HSU and Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday, describing Ms Jackson as a “credible whistleblower”.

    “I think it’s to the enormous discredit of some people in the Labor movement that they are now trying to blacken her name,” Mr Abbott said during a visit to western Sydney.

    “What she has done has been heroic … and what she says today needs to be taken very, very seriously.”

  50. stephentardrew

    Complicit in crime.

    Who would have thought.

    Any devious lie to discredit those nation destroying unions.

    Abbott is going beyond reasonable bounds of dispute into realms dystopian Orwellian misspeak.

    The guy is a complete idiot.

  51. Möbius Ecko

    So everything Hockey said at the G20 Summit and the bravado speeches he made, including the trip overseas for pre-Summit meetings, was all one big lie as second only to his aggrandisement on global growth was cracking down on corporate tax avoidance.

    Whilst this does not surprise me, and the fact it makes Gillard’s supposed single lie that wasn’t minuscule in comparison, what does surprise me are the right wingers who continue to blindly support this terrible government of the 1% who are screwing lower and middle class Australia, which includes most of them.

  52. JohnB2

    John Fraser, I would have replied to your points if you had actually made any.

    While simply saying “You’re wrong” might have appeal and work in a playground or groupthink echo chamber, real debate is about the conflict of ideas and the exchange of views, facts and reasoning.

    Aside from that you provide nothing more than a Gish Gallop, some of which I may bother answering should you bring more than childish attitudes and logical fallacies to the party.

    I fully accept that my stance may be wrong however it takes reasoned arguments to sway me, you Sir, haven’t even come close.

  53. Kaye Lee

    People power …..

    “California pension plans would divest all assets related to the coal industry under a measure the leader of the state senate said he will propose to reduce support for an industry that critics blame for contributing to climate change.

    Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said on Monday he would introduce a bill that would require state pension plans to divest from coal assets. He had just returned from United Nations talks in Lima, Peru, on international efforts to fight climate change.

    At the NextGen Climate Leadership Forum in Oakland, de León said divesting state pension funds from coal would “provide another example of how California leads and defines the future economy.”

    The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the two largest US pension funds, together hold almost a half trillion dollars worth of assets.

    “Any efforts to undermine our climate change policies are undermining our global leadership and the future of our economy. The world is watching and we can’t stop now,” de León said in a prepared statement. ”

    Since the start of spring, shareholders in companies such as Origin Energy and Santos have lost between one-third and one-half of the value of their investment, while corporate giants such as Woolworths, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have sunk more than 20 per cent since earlier this year. Billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals and oil and gas group Santos, which both ranked among Australia’s biggest 20 companies until recently, have led the slide — falling 60 per cent and 52 per cent respectively from this year’s highs.…/story-fn9evb64-1227155045956

    Let’s punish the leaners and reward the lifters – invest in renewable energy

  54. Kaye Lee


    People who can afford to put $2 million into superannuation were never going to qualify for the age pension anyway. They invest in superannuation not because they sit there doing simplistic sums about whether they will be able to afford a retirement holiday but because it gets them the best return for their money. If you are paying the top marginal rate in taxation of 47% (incl Medicare levy) but only have to pay 15% if you invest it in super then you are saving 32% in taxation.

    Those who ARE likely to need the age pension….the ones earning between $18,200-$37,000…pay 19% so if they scrape together something to put into super they will only save 4% in taxation. For those earning less than $18,200 they will be paying 15% more to make this investment.

    This is not about what’s good for the country’s future at all. It is a tax rort benefitting the wealthy that must be addressed because it will start costing the country more than the age pension in the very near future. Wealthy people will invest in what benefits them, not us.

    In 2007, to buy votes, Howard allowed people to put $1 million into super in one year. That year private contributions outstripped employer contributions.

  55. Matters Not

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has broken a pledge to impose tough new tax avoidance rules on multinational companies that shift billions of dollars in profits between Australia and their international subsidiaries.

    The practice of global corporations loading up subsidiaries with debt and then claiming relief from the Australian tax man on the interest paid gives an “unfair competitive advantage” over local rivals, Treasury said in 2013.

    The current loophole favours the largest Australian companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, currently under pressure from diving commodity prices.

    Instead, Mr Hockey – who has trumpeted a global tax crackdown on multinationals through the G20 process – and Mr Sinodinos pledged in November to “introduce a targeted anti‑avoidance provision after detailed consultation with stakeholders”.

    But in Monday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, a single line on page 117 revealed: “The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises, first announced in the 2013-14 MYEFO.”

  56. Kaye Lee

    As for the contribution of mining companies…

    Mining may account for 10 per cent of our total production, but it accounts for only about 2 per cent of total employment. Building new mines is labour intensive, but running them isn’t.

    Mining is about 80 per cent foreign-owned. Even BHP Billiton is, essentially, a foreign company. And most of the extensive capital equipment mining uses is imported.

    In return for the US government loan, Hancock Prospecting will purchase American mining and rail equipment from Caterpillar, General Electric and Atlas Copco. The Export-Import Bank says their involvement will “support” 3400 US jobs.

    Is Gina a ‘crony capitalist’?

    Not only does the federal government give them a rebate on the excise on their diesel fuel, the state governments give them assistance by building the roads, railways and ports they need to ship their minerals abroad.

    The states gave the mining industry $3.2 billion in concessions in the financial year just ending. Queensland gave assistance worth almost $1.5 billion, mainly by providing railway infrastructure and freight discounts.

    Western Australia spent almost $1.4 billion, mainly on roads and port infrastructure. Other states’ subsidies are much smaller – $140 million in NSW, $40 million in Victoria – but so too are their receipts from mining royalties.

    It turns out the Queenslanders’ subsidies to mining are equivalent to almost 60 per cent of the royalties they receive. In WA it’s about a quarter, and in NSW it’s less than 10 per cent. In Victoria, however, it’s three-quarters.

    As Ian McAuley, of the University of Canberra, has pointed out, we’re slashing our planned spending on foreign aid because we can no longer afford such generosity, but by abolishing the mining tax we’re being very generous to big foreign mining companies. This makes sense?

    Over $6 billion of the blowout in the deficit is due to removing the revenue stream from the MRRT. I do understand that this was a projected figure – as is everything in forward estimates.

  57. Kaye Lee

    And as for investors leaving due to the MRRT….

    In Norway, oil resource rent taxes can hit 90% of “gross profit” and yet companies keep investing because the remaining 10 per cent is still a good return on their investment. During Australia’s boom our miners have been making a return of sometimes up to 40 per cent, hence the term superprofits.

    But unlike in Norway, our mining companies have turned tax-minimisation into an art form. Following their A$22 million scaremongering TV ad campaign, the revamped Mining Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) only applied to 22.5 per cent of the mining magnates’ profits, after a questionable “extraction allowance”. And that 22.5 per cent applied only on coal and iron ore and only on companies that make over $50m in profit.

    So just how much have they made? The total revenue in 2012 for BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum, Newcrest and Xstrata was A$167.23 billion. The total Federal Government budget was around A$330 billion. So in effect these 5 companies made enough money to fund half our national budget. Add to that the revenues of the self-defined “small” miners. Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting alone made a $1.2 billion net profit in 2012. It is projected that in the next decade they will make at least another $600 billion. And yet the mere mention of any kind of tax results in threats that if they are made to pay more they will simply pack up and leave.

    Not only are companies not paying their fair share of tax, they are not doing enough to ensure that the wealth they create trickles down to the people who helped create it. FIFO work arrangements, meant for special circumstances such as geographical isolation, are now increasingly becoming the order of the day.

    Gone are the days when companies invested in social infrastructure such as housing, schools and hospitals to make mining towns liveable. These days more than 100,000 workers spend up to 5 weeks at a time away from their families. FIFO workers report high levels of stress and there is a high level of turnover; one out of three FIFO workers will not last more than a year on the job. And for those who do find themselves living in mining towns, the pressure on local transport, housing and hospitals is creating significant social problems.

  58. Kaye Lee

    84 per cent of Australia’s top 200 stockmarket-listed companies pay less than the 30 per cent company tax rate.

    Almost a third of Australia’s largest companies are paying less than 10¢ in the dollar in corporate tax

    In the last ten years we have foregone about $80 billion in company tax due to their tax avoidance schemes.

    And reporting them to the ATO (if anyone is still employed there) doesn’t go so well for us. On July 25 the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the Tax Office to allow News Corp to claim a $2 billion deduction from a series of paper shuffles between subsidiaries.

    The galling feature for the Tax Office is that the original deals that cost taxpayers $882 million cost News nothing.

    In a 1989 meeting, four News Corp Australia executives exchanged cheques and share transfers between local and overseas subsidiaries that moved through several currencies.

    They were paper transactions; no funds actually moved. In 2000 and 2001 the loans were unwound. With the Australian dollar riding high, News Corp’s Australian subsidiaries recorded a $2 billion loss, while other subsidiaries in tax havens recorded a $2 billion gain.

    By last July that paper “loss”, booked against News Corp’s Australian newspaper operations, had become an $882 million cash payout of our tax dollars.

  59. mars08

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has done a backflip on his promise to impose tough tax avoidance rules on multinational companies that shift profits between Australian and subsidiaries overseas.

    Australia-based global companies are accused of minimising tax by stacking debt into the subsidiaries and then claiming deductions from the Australian Taxation Office on the interest paid.

    For such companies, dividends from international subsidiaries are also tax exempt.

    A Treasury issues paper from last year said this practice gives the companies and “unfair competitive advantage” over local rivals and means the tax burden “eventually falls more heavily on other taxpayers,” Fairfax Media reports.

    Mr Hockey pledged in November to “introduce a targeted anti‑avoidance provision after detailed consultation with stakeholders”.

    But yesterday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook revealed on a single line on page 117: “The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises.”

  60. Matters Not

    Today’s article on MMT in The Conversation. And it’s very easy reading. Take a look.

    Hockey and Abbott are very fond of using household analogies when discussing government finances – Hockey again compared Australia’s economy to a household budget in his Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. However, a government that is sovereign with respect to its own fiat currency bears no resemblance at all to a household. Such a government creates the money we all use, either physically on a printing press or, more importantly, electronically in the accounts of financial institutions …

    The real calculation faced by government should not be about how much money the government has – it has an infinite amount. The calculation should be about the capacity of the economy to absorb government spending without driving inflation.


  61. Terry2

    Craig Thomson has been fined $25,000 for stealing $3,500 from his employer, the HSU: the judge noted that a custodial sentence was outside of her range of sentences due to the relatively small amount of money involved.

    This does not auger well for those other HSU related folk who have yet to be charged for misappropriating substantially greater sums of money, including of course the ‘heroic’ Kathy Jackson – or do whistle blowers get a free pass ?

  62. John Fraser



    You're a twat.

    And you know sweet FA about Australian taxation, but you rabbit on and on.

    And then expect your opposition to educate you.

  63. stephentardrew


    Once again thanks for the fantastic effort you certainly put the pieces together brilliantly. Gives us great ammunition.

  64. Kaye Lee

    The cost to taxpayers of the Fair Work Commission investigation into the Health Services Union and Craig Thomson will exceed $4 million.

    Bernadette O’Neill, the commission’s general manager, told a Senate estimates hearing in October that the cost of the investigation and subsequent litigation was $3.815m at June 30. Remaining costs were estimated at between $150,000 and $300,000.

    Last week, the NSW Supreme Court ordered former union procurement manager Cheryl McMillan to pay the HSU $3.7 million. Access Focus owner Alf Downing has also been ordered to repay the union $4.3 million. Downing and McMillan have both filed petitions seeking to be declared bankrupt, the HSU said.

    McMillan is Michael Williamson’s mistress. Williamson was jailed in March for five years for defrauding millions of dollars from the HSU. A judgment of $5 million was made against him in October last year but he reportedly declared bankruptcy.

    Williamson is also understood to have cut a deal for his estranged wife, Julieanne, to not be pursued in exchange for relinquishing her claim on about $1.1m of his superannuation entitlements.

    Ms Williamson, whose business alias was used to divert $338,000 of union funds, will be protected from a recovery lawsuit in exchange for relinquishing any claim on the super, and after the union decided it would be too expensive to pursue her.

    Mr Downing and Ms McMillan are not expected to face criminal charges because they co-operated with NSW police in Williamson’s prosecution.

    “Heroic” whistleblower, Kathy Jackson, despite being referred to the Victorian police and facing a $1.4 million civil suit, also has not, to date, been charged with criminal offences.

  65. JohnB

    @ John Fraser. No, I expect my opposition to refrain from ad hom arguments and actually bring some reasoned arguments to the table, something you are apparently incapable of doing. Don’t worry, if you hang around you might yet learn how to have an adult conversation.

    @Kaye Lee. Thank you very much for the detailed reply. I hope that you won’t mind if I check some figures and give your points the consideration they deserve before replying. However I can immediately say that this swapping cheques method of avoiding tax, whether by NewsCorp, Apple or whoever must be ended. It’s been going on for far too long and our politicians from both sides need to grow a pair and tackle the problem head on.

  66. John Fraser



    You are a complete idiot.

    You have formulated a comment that is your own "opinion" with absolutely no fact to back up your crackpot ideas..

    You say …. "Firstly to the other JohnB, and I’ll call myself “JohnB2″ from now on to prevent confusion."

    Now where did you get that little gem from ?

    Apparently you have only just arrived at this site.

    And then you go on to abuse the entire site with this … "And to keep the McCarthyists satisfied; “I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Institute of Public Affairs or the Centre for Independent Studies”

    Where did that come from if you are new to this site ?

    You are a phoney "JohnB2". ….. sprouting motherhood statements like this .."Like many things a National Debt is a necessary evil but I simply think it smart to minimise it" ….. throughout your motherhood comment.

    A year 12 student could have written a better comment on the fiscal problems facing Australia.

  67. Damo451

    I was listening to some halfwit from the OECD this morning saying Australia should increase the GST ( yes the tax designed to crush the poor and low paid ) to between 14-17 % and cut the company tax rate.
    WTF !!!!!
    Is it just me or is it true ,that every grossly overpaid prick on the planet with their snout in the trough ,thinks they have a god given right to attack the poor and grind them into the ground.
    Who do these intellectual midgets think will provide their goods and sevices…Santa Claus ??
    We have a think tank ( gotta love the oxy-moron there ) called the I .P. A or Inbred Pricks and Arseholes here , we dont need any more cretins giving Abbott and his cronies more nasty advice.

  68. Pingback: The Siege in Sydney | Akhet Productions

  69. Anomander

    Clearly this government doesn’t need the advice of experts, not when they can use anecdotes or outright lies.

  70. cuppa

    So Sloppy was lying about going after the transnational tax dodgers.

    He’d rather target the old, the sick and the poor instead, the hero.

  71. Matters Not

    Damo451 opined:

    we dont (sic) need any more cretins giving Abbott and his cronies more nasty advice

    Damo, I find that comment somewhat ‘naive’, because followers of ‘current affairs’ have long known about what was coming. (And has now arrived).

    Abbott et al aren’t in the business of taking advice. Rather they are in the business, of implementing a well thought out political/economic/social agenda.

    Personally, I suspect that Abbott has very little understanding as to the philosophical basis of this ‘direction’ and more’s the pity, he couldn’t care less.

  72. John Fraser


    Scientific advice is anathema to the Abbott gang.

    That was most likely why one of their first "jobs" was sacking CSIRO scientists and Hunt using Wikipedia to get his information.

    Hunt is the Antarctic walrus.

  73. Möbius Ecko

    What happened yesterday? This very quietly.

    On Radio National this morning.

    In an interview with the Undersecretary to the Minister for Trade it was revealed that the government is supposedly living up to its election promise of tightening anti-dumping regulations, a detailed policy with a raft of measures it apparently took to the election.

    All sounds very good with the only real detail he revealed being that the compliance regulation of 40 days will be reduced to 37 days, the minimum allowed by the WTO.

    As is with everything this government does there are contradictions and flip sides. The government advisory board and agency on the dumping of goods into Australia is to be scrapped. This made no sense until it was revealed the agency is made up of big business, like Rio Tinto, SME’s and Unions. Bingo, Unions are involved so of course it has to be got rid of. Then the clincher, the agency will be replaced with consultants. So some consultancy firm, no doubt with ties to the Liberals or supports of them, will replace a well established agency that was representative right across business, including workers.

    On a little research I find that the anti-dumping legislation was amended and updated twice by the previous Labor government, June 2011 and June 2013, both times the changes were welcomed by various agricultural and industry groups, so it appears that this is yet another case of getting rid of anything Labor has done and rebranding it at the time removing Unions from something workers need to be involved in.

  74. Michael Taylor

    Which team is he playing for, DanDark? Team Australia? 😉

  75. DanDark

    LOL…. Michael more like Team Tossers
    Captained by Tony The Tool leading the team of Twits into battle 🙂

  76. Win jeavons

    Joe was so right about “lifters and leaners” he just isn’t bright enough to realise he got them reversed. Tax avoiders and evaders are the leaners and they are crushing us to death. GST increases or widening are morally wrong because they hurt the lower income and pensioners unfairly compared with higher income earners. Let’s get back to more progressive taxation, with harsh treatment for evasion . And turf out foreigners who exploit our economy for no taxation benefit to the nation.

  77. JohnB2

    @ John Fraser. If you had looked you would have found a response to my first post from a “JohnB” who uses a Bee as his avatar. Due to his comment and the fact he had an avatar I presumed that it was not his frst post here and so he had prior right to use “JohnB” so I changed mine to “JohnB2” to prevent confusion. It’s a little matter of courtesy and good manners which is probably why you didn’t understand.

    Secondly there were a few responses that mentioned the IPA which reminded me of Penny Wrights very McCarthyistic question back in October. I thought it rather amusing to be told to go back to a place that I didn’t come from and have never been. I placed a thing known as a “Smilie” at the end of the sentence as this denotes with a wink and a grin that the comment is not supposed to be taken seriously. If this was too subtle an attempt at humour for you, let me know and I’ll attempt to make it simpler next time. It’s interesting that you seem more upset about someone noticing possible McCarthyist tendencies so soon than that they were noticed at all. Are you saying that those tendencies are here but you try to hide them from casual viewers?

    I have no idea what sort of “phoney” I’m supposed to be. I saw the article linked to on FB and decided to make a comment. If this simple reality is too difficult for you to understand…

    In a previous comment you attempted to insule me by using a word that is a colloqualialism for female genitalia, now you rant against a comment because it’s somehow connected to “Motherhood” in your mind. Interesting that you connect things that you object to with female reproduction and motherhood. I suggest that this is a rather disturbed and misogynistic view of life and you should take it up with your usual mental healthcare provider at your next meeting.

    Finally, if all the epithets you apply to my ideas are correct then they will also apply to yours. I’m no fan of negative gearing and frankly think it’s insane. Super loopholes I’d want to see more ideas on exactly what, where and how before agreeing or disagreeing. While IS is a very real danger I don’t see any point in joining a half arsed operation. You don’t fight to fight, you fight to win. Definitely dump the F 35s and screw the yanks. We can buy the airframes and other required parts of Gen 5 fighters from the Russians or chinese for less than half the price and put in Western avionics and weapon systems. Aside from that the silly thing has only 1 engine, at least if you have two and get trouble in 1 you can still limp home and not lose the aircraft. That’s one reason why we bought the F 18 and not the F16. And I agree with you on the subs. I just want a shakeup at the ASC first, current management and workforce are a shambles. In 2012 the third destroyer was 15 months behind and after a further 24 months work it’s 30 months behind. I wouldn’t trust them to build a canoe either as currently structured.

    @ Kaye Lee. In checking the figures I found that rather than an actual comment, they were all copy/paste from activist or news sites. As such they may be factually wrong or misleading. Contrary to what the CMFEU might say, the Norwegian tax never hits 90%, it’s pegged at 78% made up of 50% “Oil” tax and 28% “Company” tax. The oil part has no deductions, it’s a flat 50% of oil revenue goes to the government. The flip side to that is that losses can be carried forward (with interest) every year until a profit is made, depreciation write off on capital equipment is over only 5 years and some 90% of project cost over runs have been picked up by the government. Then we can add in all the roads, ports and storage facilities, Norway is the 5th largest oil exporter in the world and so the infrastructure spending is enormous.

    Similarly the argument made about the big companies has a huge hole in it. If the major mining companies made $167 Billion in 2012 then you would expect them to make 10 times as much or $1.6 Trillion over the next decade. A “projection” that shows them making $600 Billion over the next decade is actually predicting a 60% drop in revenues, hardly an argument for raising their taxes is it? They’re making less so we should tax them more doesn’t seem a good idea at all.

    Nor is there any point to discussing where the equipment comes from. If a company can do a deal to get favourable treatment in the USA because they buy US made equipment, then go for it. We don’t make that sort of heavy equipment here so it’s going to be bought from Japan, the USA or Germany. If you’re going to have to buy overseas then it’s only sense to get the best deal possible. It might “support 3400 jobs” in the USA, but there aren’t any in Australia to support so what’s the point?

    Governments might give support in the way of discounts or road, rail and port expansion/construction but they also charge the mining companies for using those services. The Norwegian Govt. does exactly the same thing. But a “subsidy” to mining of a road, train line or port is very “One off”, you don’t build a new road or port every year. If we spend $1 Billion on a new port this year, from now on it’s just running expenses but we will collect port fees for the next century. The simple fact is that to invest $1 Billion in infrastructure to collect Royalties of $1.5 Billion is a good deal.

    The report on which the SMH article was based is biased to say the least. I’m sure you would think a report from the Business Council was probably biased (and I would agree) and for the same reason a report by a Union and other groups is probably biased also. (And I find it personally a bit rich for churches who hold billions in property and other assets and income which they pay no tax on at all are complaining that others “don’t pay their fair share”.)

    The Corporate Tax Association Director says it best in the same article;
    Corporate Tax Association executive director Frank Drenth said: “Financial journalists and some civil society groups don’t have a great track record of analysing tax information from published accounts. Financial accounts were never specifically designed to facilitate a detailed analysis of a company’s tax performance.”

    In a detailed response, he listed seven reasons why a company’s effective tax rate can fall below 30 per cent, including taxed foreign income not being subject to additional Australian tax, tax offsets for expenditure on research and development, and restructures.

    “I completely understand what people mean when they say that companies (especially very large multinationals) should pay their fair share of tax. But as a practical concept that isn’t very useful because different people will have different ideas about what someone’s fair share of tax actually means,” he said.

    Personally I don’t think companies exploiting loopholes for tax minimisation is the problem. The problem is that the laws are written with loopholes that can be exploited for tax minimisation. This is the computer age of the 21st Century and we’re using a tax system developed for cutting notches on “Tally Sticks”, positively medieval.

    We need a serious rethink and a solid drive to close the holes. Cheers.

    You might find this treatise on the Norwegian and UK oil tax systems interesting, it gives a more complete picture.

  78. John Fraser



    Dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.

  79. stuffme

    Really Tones, your a useless chunt….

  80. gangey1959

    @ stuffme. You mean ‘you’re’ as in you are.
    But you got the rest correct.
    Full marks

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