Loneliness - A Hidden Suffering of the Modern…

Media ReleaseOver recent times we have built cities that lead to isolation,…

The Ease of Accusation: The Skripal Affair

The policy of responding to assassinations on British soil is a near…

Day to Day Politics: Nationals are dying a…

Wednesday March 21 20181 The junior partner in the Coalition, the National…

Birmingham Compares Catholic Education To Judas; By Implication…

Now, as someone who's taught in public schools, I was all set…

Just WHO controls the conversation (of left-wing politics)?

There was a moment, it is written, when Julius Caesar stood on…

The triple-pincers: showing their true colours

There is a line in the brilliant Anat Shenker-Osorio’s book Don’t Buy…


I must admit, Australia is entering a very volatile time in terms…

Will Pauline be bullied into changing her mind?

The government is going to try to push through its company tax…


Higher wages and lower cost-of-living do not follow from increasing company profits

The New Daily reported that Emma Alberici has succeeded in getting the ABC to repost her ‘analysis’ of the Turnbull government’s tax cut plans with the help of lawyers.  Essentially, the ABC has had to concede that Ms Alberici’s article was factually correct and that, by removing it, they have impugned her reputation.

The latest Alberici analysis more forcefully questions the claims made by Mr Morrison that by lowering the Australian corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent there would be a direct flow-on to wage growth.

The evidence to support Emma’s analysis is overwhelming.

In November last year, the NAB announced a full year profit of $6.64b at the same time that it announced it will cut 6,000 jobs over the next three years,

Today, Qantas reported a record $976 million profit for the December half.  So are their staff getting a pay rise?  No, unless you are the CEO.  Alan Joyce received almost $25 million, a 90% jump in remuneration from his 2016 take home pay of $12.9m as a reward for increasing the airline’s share price.

Shareholders will benefit from an interim dividend of 7¢ a share and the company will conduct an on-market share buyback.

Qantas will not, as usual, be paying any tax on its profits due to our very generous deductions rules.

It’s not only wage growth that has fallen behind.  Costs continue to soar.

We hear a great deal about how energy prices are contributing to cost of living pressures, but the cost keeps going up despite record profits.

AGL made massive half-year profits of more than $622 million, up 91 per cent on the previous year, but policy uncertainty means new investment in energy is on hold, so this privatised market is getting away with charging consumers more and more.

Origin Energy, whilst making a statutory loss which was “significantly impacted by non-cash impairment charges”, whatever that means, announced they had delivered a $1 billion reduction in debt.

Official statistics released a couple of weeks ago show the pre-tax profits of private health insurers increased by 7.3 per cent in the 12 months to 2017 – raking in $1.86 billion before tax.  At the same time, out-of-pocket costs continue to rise and Australians are being forced to dump their cover.

Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison and our fourth-in-line reserve PM, Matthias Corman, can continue to say that company tax cuts will make us all better off, but all the evidence is against them.

I know they don’t like facts, as shown by the ridiculous complaints about the Alberici article, but this policy is a lemon that even the naivest rusted-on government apologist cannot make a case for.

Perhaps if companies had some integrity, perhaps if they remembered the value of investing in the society that makes them their profits, perhaps if they admitted that it is demand which drives jobs growth rather than corporate profit, perhaps if they shared the largesse with the workers without whom they would produce nothing, it might be reasonable to say let’s help them make more so they share the wealth.

But that ain’t the way it works.

Businesses fight to reduce wages so their CEOs and shareholders (usually foreign) can make more money.

If they continue in this way, the system will face inevitable collapse.  We either pay workers a fair share of production profits, or we go back to slavery….or the people revolt.

Now is the time when every worker should be remembering the collective power of organised labour and every voter should be taking seriously their responsibility to inform themselves and to hold our politicians to account.


  1. townsvilleblog

    Abbott’s idea of cutting immigration may not be such a bad idea, because according to Roy Morgan Research Corporation we currently have 2.59 million people either unemployed or underemployed so as much as I hate to agree with him, it just may be a sensible option at the moment.

  2. Matters Not

    Gee the ABC must be a great place to work these days. Perhaps Emma Alberici should get a licence to carry?

    Or am I missing the meta picture? The one that sees the ABC lose its credibility, be defunded and its assets be sold off.

  3. Zathras

    I think Abbott’s assertion that immigration creates a drain on the economy is as simplistic as most of his other ones.

    For a start, every single immigrant will be a consumer, creating added profits for business and thereby (according to the Government) also creating more jobs – or have they now reconsidered that claim?

    Not all immigrants will remain permanently unemployed and (as always) it’s up to current residents to compete for the available jobs as they do now.
    Historically, many immigrants start businesses of their own, creating more jobs in turn.

    Stopping immigration won’t automatically empty the dole queues.. The economy relies on about 5% unemployment to keep wage demand pressure down.

    Nor do they increase property prices by creating extra demand. There is a lot of empty residential space still available in the cities and property demand is significantly driven by low interest rates and investment taxation advantages like negative gearing.

    When immigrants find jobs they pay taxes which go to providing ongoing services for the public.

    The approaching problem is the ageing population and the subsequent increased numbers of pensioners to be supported. With an effectively shrinking workforce, the burden of supporting more and more aged pensioners will fall much harder on the existing taxpayers.

    It’s always been a sort of Ponzi scheme and the economy depends on an ever-increasing number of taxpayers to feed it.
    Costello was talking about that population demand years ago with “one for dad, one for mum and one for the economy”.

    A couple of elections ago. a Liberal candidate was claiming that immigrants caused traffic congestion.

    This is just another extension of that claim and more likely a way for Abbott to get himself back into the news – as he does every time Turnbull leaves the country.

  4. Joseph Carli

    I tell you something that is worrying…read below!

    Down the Aisles….
    Your shopping correspondent.

    Was greeted as I came through the shopping mall doors by a shopping trolley with comparable prices sign advertising that the same trolley-full of products at THIS centre would cost the shopper approx. $40.00 less!…”Check this out shoppers!”…There was a lady at the information desk nearby where the security chain from the trolley ended and I asked if the cost difference included the shoplifting fine?….. she laughed and laughed…

    But it’s true..shoplifting is a grave concern..and so many funny things get stolen, I was told..but the lady wouldn’t go into idetails..I remarked that I suppose the usual slithy toves and wippowills are the things most baffling..she said that she was not familiar with THOSE products..

    One thing that I did discuss with the woman at the desk that was of concern to me, and OUGHT to be to the management was ..: “The Displacer”…you know..that mysterious person or persons who take..oh, say..a snack-bar from that section and will slip in with the plastic containers in another section…displacing it.

    I have my suspicions about these people..and I shared them with the wide eyed information officer..woke her up to a conspiracy, I shouldn’t wonder..We can expect to hear more on this subject from the management.
    What happens with these displacers, in my opinion, is that it is NOT a haphazard operation by either older forgetful shoppers or harassed parents snatching unwanted items from light-fingered kids and replacing them back on a shelf…No..this is an organised affair by a sophisticated group of people..a club..if you like.

    Here’s how it works..:

    A member is selected to “compete” in a weekly or monthly event, where they are judged on the number, quality and deviousness of their displacement..They wander innocently up and down the aisles while they “do their business”..an “approved” judge follows unobtrusively behind, marking points for or against the displacer according to the aforementioned criteria..for instance..10 points (the max’) could be awarded for displacing a tub of yoghurt amongst the frozen fish products..(a daring performance!) whereas only 3 points for the muesli bar being dumped among the bread-rack..(a limp-wristed attempt!)…some points, I suspect, would be deducted if a “competitor” fumbles, is noticed or drops the displacing article in the course of the action..And the person with the most points at the end of the test period gets to wear the official fluro-vest and is saluted with free libations at the clubroom happy-hour drinks night…I should imagine.

    Having told this theory in great detail to the lady at the information desk, I was assured that there could soon be someone wishing to speak to me about my “interesting theories”…So I am now awaiting for a couple of tallish blokes in white coats that should be here any minute..ah! there they are..!

    “Yoo hoo!..chaps over here! ..I’m the bloke you’ll be wanting to talk to…I say..this’ll be jolly!…have I got something of interest to tell you!”

  5. helvityni

    So pleased for Emma, how will Mal and his mates , Morrison and Fifield react to this turn of affairs… What did they say about Nero when Rome was burning…?

  6. Phil

    Good solid arguments from the ever astute Kaye Lee, once again. The Turnbull fiasco government is highly sensitive to criticism as we well know. I for one am sick of the fiscal lies and social policy violence meted out to everyday Australians by this abusive government.

    I think the government’s corporate tax cuts policy and the subsequent reporting by credible mainstream media and our independents, on the fantasy the government is trying to sell us about trickle down economics, shows the extent to which the Liberal/Nationals Coalition is a wholly owned entity of the corporate elite. But selling a shit sandwich covered in pretty ‘hundreds and thousands’ is still a shit sandwich and the people aren’t buying it.

  7. Jon Chesterson

    ABC forced to back down from misinforming the public with government lies and propaganda, evidence that the government is coercing and threatening the ABC, its funding and legitimate operations and trust as a national broadcaster. Perhaps Emma Alberici and her lawyers should be suing Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison, the Liberal Party or the federal government for manufacturing scurrilous lies and propaganda debasing the reputations of respectable Australian citizens who critique their policies and lies; and perhaps the public should be punishing the Liberals at every bi-election and general election hereon for smashing up our ABC and its social contract to provide balanced news and critique amidst the catalogue of corruption. Time for a well placed class action against Malcolm Turnbull, the LNP and federal government!

    I’m right behind you Zathras on Abbott’s ridiculous dogma that cutting immigration will lead to fuller employment, perhaps Abbott should be sued for his unfounded obsessions and vexatious remarks too. Thoroughly irresponsible and corrupt government and two thoroughly irresponsible and corrupt PM’s in a row; No honest Governor General in sight.

  8. Jon Chesterson


    “Ms Alberici writes that in the US, Mr Turnbull would find a country with close to full employment and rising wages. But this had been achieved ahead of President Trump’s tax cut, “showing there is a lot more to jobs and growth than the corporate tax rate”.

    Of course this may be just an opinion but we dare you both to look at the facts.

  9. Ricardo29

    Looking forward to resumption of Parly and Q-time, what an embarrassment of riches for Labor and the Greens. I really hope they serve it up to a Fifield who shamefully sqibbed his Ministerial responsibilities by pressuring the ABC over the, now reinstated virtually unchanged, Alberici article. Questions might also be asked about the ABC management’s own craven performance. Oh to see the Guthrie Trojan horse before the Senate inquisitors.

  10. Glenn Barry

    I for one am thrilled that Emma is clearly still fighting, I have glanced at the revised article and can see that business advocates now have their input which is not what I would characterise as a contribution.

    The business advocates have definitely won a pyrrhic victory – brightly highlighting their lack of both cogent argument and complete lack of supporting evidence in the process.

    In fact I just endured a press conference with Alan Joyce (Qantas), Cormann and Morrison where they once again trotted out the trite propaganda of higher profits eventuates in higher wages and more jobs.

    It may just be my perception, but at this stage they’re just making it worse obliterating all of their credibility in the process

  11. Kaye Lee

    Pretty much all commentators, other than people like Kate Carnell and Judith Sloane, have said higher company profits result in increased bonuses for CEOs, higher dividends for shareholders, share buybacks, and paying down of debt. There is plenty of evidence to back this up. There is little to no evidence to show that increased profits result in increased employment or higher wages. The whole thing is a con. If, however, consumers had more disposable income, this would increase demand and stimulate the economy which might result in more jobs but higher wages are doubtful, particularly when they can import labour to exploit. The government’s war on penalty rates shows they couldn’t give a toss about higher wages.

    It is past time that Labor pointed out that our headline rate of 30% is misleading. Our effective rate of corporate tax is a very competitive 10.4%.

  12. Frank Smith

    And this from “Our” ABC this morning:

    “Woolworths first-half profit surges 38pc to $969m”

    Yippie, all those check-out chicks and shelf stackers will immediately get a large pay rise!


    I was glad to see Emma Alberici’s story posted back on the ABC site yesterday afternoon, but was nauseated by the grovelling apology that accompanied it:

    “Editor’s note: This analysis has been revised and updated by our chief economics correspondent. Passages that could be interpreted as opinion have been removed. Our editorial processes have also been reviewed. Emma Alberici is the ABC’s chief economics correspondent and is a respected and senior Australian journalist.”

    Of course Emma’s analysis is spot on and she has every right to be offended by the intervention of Turnbull and his Ministers and by the manner in which ABC Management capitulated to such intervention.


  13. Divergent Aussie

    As Emma Dawson said on thedrum yesterday our tax rates cannot be directly compared to the US because the US has significant state taxes. The US doesn’t have imputed dividends either. Australia’s effective company tax rate is around 11% which is one of the lowest in the world. Kaye you hit the nail on the head when you said tax cuts benefit foreign investors. This is exactly what it is about. So, is the government being run by foreign interests? Imputed dividends may be of little benefit to overseas investors so the only way they can get a hold on more of the booty is to lower the overall tax rate. Is this pressure coming from chinese investors? The ones that own our power stations for instance and thumbed their noses at the ATO.

  14. Frank Smith

    Our unemployment and underemployment rates are considerably boosted by the Government’s temporary overseas visa scheme. As Sally McManus pointed out on RN this morning, the scheme is badly abused by many employers who do not test for potential local employees before bringing in overseas workers on these temporary visas. This situation will get a lot worse as a result of the terms of the TPP we are signing up to.

  15. jimhaz

    [I’m right behind you Zathras on Abbott’s ridiculous dogma that cutting immigration will lead to fuller employment]

    But it will, It just comes with some initial reorganizational pain.

    Zathras didn’t hit any nails on the head – other than when he acknowledged it as a Ponzi scheme.

    It would force us to GROW internally and it would do the most for the most disadvantaged.

    Business would be forced to return to the provision of training. TAFE would need to be refunded.

    For me I see the high levels of immigration we have had this century as being like eating MacDonalds for the rest of our lives and living in boxes – it is the fast easy answer that is making us fat and apathetic with increasing numbers of bogans. Like the refugees these people need to see a brighter future.

    It does nothing to even up the wages for low income jobs with a high percentage of women.

    Nor will it solve the furphy of the aging population. People from India and China are the majority of current immigrants. The western diet long term is worse for people from poor countries. A lot of these immigrants will develop health problems relating to diet and be a burden on the taxpayer.

    The problem with high immigration is far, far more than economic ones though.

    80% of new immigrants will end up in flats. This will create social problems and devalue the average standard of living quite dramatically.
    For most of the people here, they probably own their own home already or close enough. People like Kaye Lee and Matters Not and Carli and Helvinki are likely to be sitting quite comfortably. It is so easy for them to be unafraid of the costs of their worldview. They do not listen to the fact that more and more people are being forced to move away from their “traditional lands” as housing costs are way too high, or suburbs become filled with people not like them and one’s identity becomes threatened.

    The human race actually needs to rid itself of the economic growth meme and everyone that supports immigration is a traitor to the world.

  16. Glenn Barry

    I haven’t yet delved into all of the intricacies of the whole argument on reducing immigration, however immediately evident is that the increase in demand caused by the immigration contribution to population growth has been a significant driver of economic growth.

    Fairly certain the economy would have been flushed down the toilet, not just floating in the bowl as it is now, if immigration had been reduced. That is reinforced by the shrill response from Morrision.

    The entire TAFE system would have to be reassembled to provide vocational training, which is a good thing, but is anathema to the LNP mindset – right in the middle of a quagmire we find ourselves.

    Now in the same vein, only a fool would argue for perpetual growth within a finite system, but no-one in a leadership position is even acknowledging that issue – the greens at least use the term sustainable, however unfortunately their policies are from about a decade in the future.

    Now if the term leadership no longer appears in the same sentence as Turnbull we’re making progress, because at the moment we are completely directionless

  17. Clean livin

    Treasurer, show us the evidence.

    Should be easy to find considering the reported rising company profits.

    Show us the evidence now, with regards Woolies, NAB and QANTAS, and how many extra employees they have been able to afford, orintemd to hire with these profits.

    And if you can’t show us the evidence, don’t bother telling me a tax cut will assist employment, or the subsequent wage growth.

  18. Glenn Barry

    Clean Livin, precisely and the platitude the Cormann keep dribbling as sure as night follows day is not a cogent argument, at best it could be considered in linguistic terms as a conjunction.

    However the NAB plan to cut 6000 jobs over the next three years, in the midst of rising profits, can only be described in physics terms as an experimental anomaly.

  19. Bloggs

    [However the NAB plan to cut 6000 jobs over the next three years, in the midst of rising profits, can only be described in physics terms as an experimental anomaly]

    My government workplace is becoming involved in “administrative robotics” NAB would be doing the same. Part of me does not mind, as I see the ultra-patheticness of highly centralised work, but long term it will be an issue – unless business is forced to share the profits to make up for the job losses via higher taxation.

    But alas what do we have, but a world trend to lower taxation

  20. jimhaz

    Take down the editors comment!

    “Gaven Morris, the ABC’s recently appointed director of news, has some sage words for anyone expecting the broadcaster to drop all that lefty “bias” of which it has been accused now he’s overseeing things.

    “I think the point where politicians or corporations or the powerful stop calling the ABC biased is the point where we’re not probably doing our job,” he says. “They call it bias but I call it independence. It’s the job we were put here to do.”


  21. diannaart

    Profit? False Economy?

    If an employer does not reinvest into its employees, then it cannot claim to be making a profit!

    Why isn’t the above used to reduce the so-called “imposition of tax”?

    Of course, the above probably reveals I don’t know diddly about corporate taxes. However, I find increasing remuneration for CEO’s and Maw ‘n Paw investors, while ignoring employees for years and years, as unsustainable.

    There is nothing to prove, all this sturm und drang over Emma Alberici’s common sense article … what does she have to prove? For years corporations have been rolling in the dollars and employees have not received any remuneration, in many cases, staff have been reduced.

    Ergo, employers do not pass on monetary gains to employees! So why reduce taxes?

    Not effing rocket surgery!

  22. Andreas Bimba

    Also a tax cut for business means a net transfer of the federal taxation burden onto PAYE taxpayers and consumers (via the GST) assuming government spending and the deficit remains about the same. In other words it is predominately a transfer of money from the less well off to the extremely wealthy. Isn’t that what the Liberals and Nationals have always done?

    Organised greed is running rings around disorganised democracy.

  23. diannaart


    The thing about “organised greed” is the players don’t need to spend much time on strategies, unlike “organised democracy” or altruism – requires thoughtful planning – something the greedy do not have. Explains why many “successful/wealthy” people are as dumb as dead dung beetles.

  24. Andreas Bimba

    Loud mouthed, self obsessed, greedy, domineering, amoral, corrupt, dishonest, servile, ambitious – all prerequisites for office in the Liberal and National Party dung pile. An image of a particularly well nourished beetle – George Christensen comes to mind.

Leave a Reply

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: