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Political games

As journalists do their best to try to get Josh Frydenberg to say ‘sorry’ about the government’s opposition to a banking Royal Commission, they should not be surprised to be met with a stupid grin accompanied by a whole heap of “it’s Labor’s fault”.  That’s the way these guys roll.

Josh wants to tell us that Labor did nothing about the financial sector when they were in power but that would require us forgetting that Labor introduced the Future of Financial Advice legislation and that the Coalition tried awfully hard to repeal it in their purge on ‘red tape’.

He reminds us that it was the Coalition that called the Royal Commission but back in August 2016, Scott Morrison was saying that Bill Shorten’s push for a banking royal commission was a “populist whinge” that threatened to undermine a key pillar of the Australian economy, urging Mr Shorten to stop playing “reckless political games”.

Likewise, when Tony Burke warned Barnaby Joyce about the danger of his changes to the Murray-Darling water agreement – telling SA that 450 GL of environmental flow would not be delivered because of the social and economic impacts upstream, and then further reducing the allocation by another 70 GL – Joyce accused him of “playing politics with water”.

“MDBA modelling shows that under their recommended changes, SA is likely to receive increased flows in drier periods,” said a spokesman for Mr Joyce who is hopefully feeling embarrassed right now.

The National Irrigators Council said according to the MDBA calculations it was “clear” that changing the target from 390GL to 320GL had no measurable impact on water available for SA and the Southern Basin – as they would.

NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair wanted the reduction in water recovery to go further.  “The sole focus on water recovery is obviously detrimental to Basin communities,” his spokesperson said.  No wonder he raced past the locals in a speedboat.

When the Human Rights Commission produced a report into the detention of children on Nauru, it was similarly dismissed with Tony Abbott saying they should be ashamed of themselves for what was a “blatantly partisan” exercise.

Asked if he felt any guilt about the remaining 200 kids still in detention at the time, Mr Abbott was blunt: “None whatsoever.”

Now we have ProMo describing Independent MP Kerryn Phelps’ refugee medical evacuation bill as ‘stupid’, saying that he is ‘appalled’ the Labor party is playing politics on border security.

The same dismissive, out of touch attitude was displayed by Abbott when he described same sex marriage as a “fashion of the moment” and remote Indigenous communities as “a lifestyle choice”.

The only people “playing politics” here are the Coalition as admitted by ProMo on two occasions with Leigh Sales – first when asked did we really have a debt and deficit emergency and then again when asked, if the country is doing so well, why Malcolm Turnbull was removed.

“That’s just politics, Leigh.”

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47 comments

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  1. pierre wilkinson

    well hopefully it will be just politics when we vote these delusional incompetents out of office

  2. New England Cocky

    “[W]hen Tony Burke warned Barnaby Joyce about the danger of his changes to the Murray-Darling water agreement – telling SA that 450 GL of environmental flow would not be delivered because of the social and economic impacts upstream, and then further reducing the allocation by another 70 GL – Joyce accused him of “playing politics with water”.”

    “The National Irrigators Council said according to the MDBA calculations it was “clear” that changing the target from 390GL to 320GL had no measurable impact on water available for SA and the Southern Basin.”

    “NSW Regional Water Minister Niall Blair wanted the reduction in water recovery to go further. “The sole focus on water recovery is obviously detrimental to Basin communities,” his spokesperson said. No wonder he raced past the locals in a speedboat.”

    The most lucrative game in SW Qld and NW NSW part of the MDB is stealing environmental flows from downstream agricultural enterprises and communities. Stop the water theft with satellite metering devices that give real time information about pumping activity by every pump in the MDB, then penalise the thieves out of the MDB.

    VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$ & SAVE MDB COMMUNITIES

  3. Patricia creswick

    Talk about political games!
    Morrison said “Four hundred people will come. Single males from Manus and Nauru will come within weeks, which will overwhelm our detention centres. We will have to reopen Christmas Island.

    “But it gets worse. There’s nothing to stop someone who is a paedophile, who is a rapist, who has committed murders, any of these other crimes, can be moved on the say-so of a doctor on Skype.

    “This is a stupid bill. It’s written by people who don’t have the faintest idea how this works. We do. And I am so appalled that the Labor Party would even play this sort of political game to get a cheap vote in the House next week.”

    Dr Phelps has stated that this bill will only be relevant to people who have had refugee status granted, does Morrison have such little faith in the government’s “rigorous ” processes for determining refugee status that he thinks people with criminal records slip through? If he also thinks 400 people are so ill that two doctors will recommend treatment in Australia is necessary, this is an incredible admission that medical services in the camps are totally inadequate?

    I am disgusted by this obvious fear mongering? He needs to be called out!!

  4. Diannaart

    The Labor blame game goes on and on and on, played like a broken record, by over privileged numbnuts who do not get that an unregulated financial sector is not good economic management, it is placing wolves in charge of chickens.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Patricia,

    He also seems to have little faith that our “ring of steel” can intercept a few fishing boats which doesn’t auger well for if we actually were in some sort of danger of being invaded.

    “Military sources have confirmed to the ABC that six Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class ships are already deployed to the north, and will soon be joined by a major fleet support unit, which could be either an ANZAC-class warship or a guided missile frigate.

    The Royal Australian Air Force is also contributing to the huge operation with surveillance assets such as P3-Orions.

    As well as the substantial military involvement, the ABF is sending up to half a dozen of its Cape Class patrol boats which will be supported by an offshore patrol vessel.

    One source familiar with the operation has confirmed other government agencies, including the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, are involved in the effort.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-14/dozen-naval,-abf-ships-sent-off-to-block-people-smugglers/8023636

    The Turnbull government will spend nearly $7 billion on massive, long-range surveillance drones. While they will be used to some extent for border protection, counter-piracy and to target illegal fishing, they are designed for scouring open seas at high altitudes and over long ranges.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-to-spend-nearly-7-billion-buying-unmanned-military-planes-from-america-20180625-p4znmc.html

    Morrison is sounding more like Trump every day

  6. Paul Davis

    Re Kaye Lee 11.20am

    Gosh, it was only six weeks ago that we had no money to spend on patrol boats, fuel, KFC, cross bows, condoms, and all the other essential gear our Border Force warriors needed to maintain our Ring of Steel.

    Must be an election coming up.

  7. Shaun Newman

    The absurdity of all of this is that tax payers money is being misused and the tax payers, working Australians are doing it tough, and still year after year a third of corporations operating in Australia, making billions of dollars in income and paying no income tax due to taxable deductions, and other government deals, which I believe is immoral and disgusting.

  8. Michael Taylor

    I’ve never seen so much hypocrisy, arrogance and stupidity from an Australian government than I’ve seen this year.

    And I’ve never heard so much bullshit.

    They have reached peak uselessness.

    Yet the mainstream media keep trying to scare us about Labor!

    Give me strength.

  9. Kaye Lee

    If we stopped giving Warren Mundine money we would have a lot more to play with.

    The coalition government gave Warren Mundine’s company more than $220,000 last year to subsidise a pay-TV show on Sky News Australia through a “closed non-competitive” selection process.

    Buzzfeed News reports that a second grant worth $330,000 was also given to Mr Mundine’s company in 2017 to provide advice to the government about its Indigenous business strategy and develop a TV show celebrating success in the sector.

    Grant records show Real Futures – a vocational training company of which Mr Mundine is the chairman and part-owner – initially received a $4.5 million Commonwealth grant in February 2018 after a non-competitive selection process. The grant increased to $5 million on August 27, just days after Scott Morrison became Prime Minister.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/warren-mundine-to-divest-shares-in-company-that-received-5-million-government-grant-20190202-p50v9a.html

    https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2019/01/25/warren-mundine-denies-wrongdoing-over-550000-government-grants

  10. Kronomex

    ABF – Australia’s Being Fu…well, you can guess the rest. 🙂

    Photo at top: Friedeggburger gets the shits and has to point out the true size of his brain. The object next to him gives zombies a bad name.

  11. Graeme Henchel

    There is in fact a plethora of policy stuff ups that the coalition has persued because they were so intent on undoing good work of labor. Labor’s FOFA legislation was in fact developed by Bill Shorten himself as the then minister for Fianacial services and superannuation. Why labor is not reminding people of this after Fraudenbergs revisionism is beyond me.

    Added to the list of disastrous reversals or undermining of labor policy initiatives is.
    The NBN, Gonski, the carbon tax, the NDIS, the mining tax.

    Imagine how different our country would have been if it wasn’t for this disastrous coalition government. These have not merely been wasted years they have been years of regression.

  12. Kaye Lee

    They have done incredible damage to this country and to our international reputation. They cannot be allowed to continue.

  13. Terence

    OMFG – every day I think Australia has reached peak stupidity and then I read another article from a MSM about the Banking RC and think “Nope, still not there yet.”

    The whole thing was a stitch up from day one. The fact that no MSM journalist hasn’t put 2+2 together and recalled the fact that the banking CEO’s after realising that the game was up (and so too, for their political mates), did the honourable thing and helped Turdball and ScumMo © out by providing them with some Terms of References that they just happen to find lying around on one of their yachts. One insider told me the ToR fell down the back of the back of the sofa with all the other $100 bills.

    And who would have thunk it?? The one industry that was a major threat to the Bank’s Crimmercial Model was those scourge on society – Mortgage Brokers, who funnily enough are the ones who the RC has recommended that they should be regulated out of business. Well spank my ass and call me Hamburglar.

    I have said on these and other pages before that our society is built on the premise “That anything is justified as long as someone is making money,” and nothing in this report will change that. I really wonder where society will end up if we don’t start treating Greed like any other addiction. We need to get over this crap that wealth is the number one measure of success.

    At least the banks and the Fiberals have impressed one person with their inquiry – Sir Humphrey.

  14. Kronomex

    It ain’t going to happen even if it is well and truly warranted –

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/06/pm-under-pressure-to-sack-tim-wilson-over-use-of-franking-credits-inquiry

    If Scummo says anything it will be the usual “complete faith” and “trust” and other the crap they go on with…oh yes, and will probably find some way of trying to blame Labor as well.

    Corruption is a gene in the LNP DNA, and it’s sequence is GREED (yes, I know that a genetic “word” is only three letters long but it’s the LNP after all).

    Good luck trying to get Krazy Kat(ter) on side. Here’s hoping though.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/06/coalition-could-be-forced-into-extra-sitting-days-to-deal-with-banking-reform

    Scummo will get probably get The Corminatorr to have a quiet word and bribe…I mean talk about the situation. Pynebox could fix it.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Kronomex,

    “The Labor Party aren’t content with arrogantly dismissing thousand and thousands, hundreds of thousands of retirees around the country who they basically want to steal money from though higher taxes, now they want to throw mud at the person who is giving those retirees a voice,” Mr Morrison said.

    Since when have senate committees investigated Opposition policy? Let alone hand out Liberal Party membership forms to those who attend the meeting.

  16. Carol Taylor

    Tim Wilson must get the current gold medal award for political game playing. Six month collusion with distant relative Geoff Wilson (investment roadshow) to use his office as Chair of inquiry into franking credits in order to discredit Labor’s policy. And BTW Tim Wilson has shares in Mr, Wilson’s company but has failed to declare a pecuniary interest at public/publicly funded forums. Then there’s ‘typical retiree’ Jon Gaul who just so happens to be a long term Canberra Lobbyist and now heads the Liberal Party in Eden/Monaro – poor Jon is going to lose $5,000.00 a year which will devastate at least two of his sons who both own resorts on the Thredbo snowfields.

  17. Kronomex

    Kaye Lee,

    I keep Phenergan nearby to take before I read any vomit (also avoid eating carrots beforehand) inducing comments from Putrid Monster Scummo, saves having to bolt for the toilet afterwards.

    “Since when have senate committees investigated Opposition policy? Let alone hand out Liberal Party membership forms to those who attend the meeting.” Would utter brown trousers desperation be a good answer?

  18. Carol Taylor

    Here’s something that scaremongers and other LNP operatives prefer to gloss over:

    “The ALP has now said that both full and part Age Pensioners will be excluded from this change. Labor has dubbed this the ‘Pensioner Guarantee”.

    That’s right folks, this franking credit scare campaign is likely to effect only those with assets (other than the family home) of well over a $1 million. There was Jean who has a non-taxable income of $160,000.00pa..that’s right, poor old Jean has to struggle by on only 3 gs a week. Jean will lose $27,000 in taxpayer handouts. Poor Jean. I personally would like the government to redirect Jean’s $27,000 to say, a disabled Pensioner. I know who would appreciate it more.

  19. Carol Taylor

    On the Banking Royal Commission, should the Libs produce enough fear and smear to take out the election, then the whole thing will be buried. The Franking Credits/Tim Wilson fiasco was of course a ‘look over there’ to take the public’s mind off the Libs support of ‘doing nothing’. Come to think of it, the Libs excel at doing nothing; also known as ‘market forces’.

  20. Egalitarian

    Lets face it Carol these people haven’t found their true vocation if money is the only thing they are focused on outside of politics.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Meanwhile, Tony Abbott has made a video standing in front of a port-a-loo, shirtless and dripping and wearing his swimming participation medal, saying he will campaign for more toilets at Manly. The twitter feed following it is hilarious as some remind him that that is a local government issue and that if he really cared about it he could have done something during the quarter century that he has been the local member.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/tony-abbott-local-member-for-25-years-furious-about-lack-of-toilets-in-his-electorate/news-story/2dfe1d5bf33277089b14fbdce12600d8

    Egalitarian,

    Mr Denmore made a pertinent tweet about Wilson.

    “Tim Wilson’s dubious actions show once again that neoliberalism is a political, not an economic project. It aspires not so much to minimising the state but capturing the state and putting its power at the service of narrow, moneyed interests.”

  22. Kronomex

    “Meanwhile, Tony Abbott has made a video standing in front of a port-a-loo, shirtless and dripping and wearing his swimming participation medal,…” Blast! And I thought you were going to say that he’d been swimming in the toilet.

  23. Matters Not

    Re:

    neoliberalism is a political, not an economic project.

    Tut, tut Mr Denmore – reread Ted Wheelwright to see that it’s both. You can’t have one without the other, that why he always (and only) taught courses in Political Economy.

    http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1868

    As for:

    both full and part Age Pensioners will be excluded from this change

    Full and part pensioners should note – move your allowable assets into the share market for the best returns which will include dividends AND also a cash return via dividend imputation. (One wonders how long this version will last. Have to wait for the final legislation I guess)

  24. Kaye Lee

    Since 20 September 2018, a single home-owner can hold up to $564,000 in assets (excluding their home), before losing their PART Age Pension entitlement, while a home-owning couple can hold up to $848,000 in assets before they lose their PART Age Pension entitlement. Anyone who has more than that surely doesn’t need to claim excess franking credit refunds????

  25. Matters Not

    RE:

    surely doesn’t need to claim excess franking credit refunds

    Perhaps. But the issue is CAN they? And what is the PRINCIPLE that’s now in play – apart from pragmatism? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

  26. Kaye Lee

    according to estimates by the Parliamentary Budget Office, some 320,000 pensioners and allowance recipients would continue to be able to claim cash refunds for excess imputation credits.

    The PBO estimated this iteration of the policy would improve the budget position by $10.7 billion over the four-year budget period — about $700 million less than its original announcement.

    Almost two-thirds of this revenue, or $6.9 billion, would come from superannuation funds, with the remainder ($3.8 billion) collected from individuals.

    The relatively small loss of revenue due to the pensioner guarantee in itself suggests most of the revenue from the policy is not coming from full or part pensioners, but wealthier retirees.

    The Parliamentary Budget Office estimated the bottom 50 per cent of households by net wealth own just 3.2 per cent of the total value of Australia’s shares, with 72 per cent of the value of all shares held by the top 10 per cent.

    The PBO also analysed the impact of the policy on self managed super funds finding that in 2014-15, 201,439 self-managed superannuation funds claimed almost $2.6 billion worth of excess franking credits.

    The bottom half by fund balance claimed just 6.4 per cent of the total value, compared to more than half claimed by the top 10 per cent of funds with balances of more than $2.4 million.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-30/fact-check-labors-dividend-imputation-policy/10626204

  27. Pingback: Political games – » The Australian Independent Media Network – PollyWeb

  28. Matters Not

    RE:

    some 320,000 pensioners and allowance recipients would continue to be able to claim cash refunds for excess imputation credits .

    So under Labor’s revised policy it’s become perfectly acceptable for more than 300 000 + citizens to get cash refunds from the tax office even though they (supposedly) didn’t pay any tax? (Indeed being pensioners they are most probably a net drain on the public purse.) Where does that leave Bowen’s espoused principle – that’s often repeated (mindlessly) by people who should know better?

    Further:

    The PBO estimated this iteration of the policy would improve the budget position by $10.7 billion over the four-year budget period

    Sounds impressive – but compared to what? The top three (foreign) companies which pay ZERO tax over a three year period have a combined income of nigh on $90 billion. One wonders what tax income that might generate if they were playing fair? What we do know is that the avoided tax IS NOT spent in Australia. Perhaps Labor could outline a plan to pursue that line of tax collection? (And yes I know – like the LNP, Labor has promised to do that. Nevertheless there is no plan on the table – except for a few more public servants with sharper pencils and perhaps a better phone manner.)

    And then there’s:

    Almost two-thirds of this revenue, or $6.9 billion, would come from superannuation funds,

    Are you sure – $6.9 billion, would come from superannuation funds ? Don’t say that – most of the punters think that super funds will get off scot free. Lol. And so it goes.

    As I argued the other day, Labor are on the right track in pulling back the entitlements enjoyed by the post war boomers (it had to happen sooner or later) but letting Bowen, Chalmers and Leigh drive the political/policy bus is a mistake. They fiddle with tax policy when a root and branch review is required – where everything is on the table. But we are unlikely to get that.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Normal superannuation funds would not be affected as they have a tax liability so can still claim the tax credits. It is self-managed super funds they are talking about and ones with a substantial balance.

    I understand your point about principle and pragmatism but it is an easy change to make to exclude pensioners and doesn’t cost that much. You have to start somewhere.

    And Labor has outlined some specific practical measures to combat tax avoidance beyond pencil sharpening.

    http://www.billshorten.com.au/labor_will_tackle_multinational_tax_dodgers_wednesday_31_october_2018

  30. Matters Not

    KL re your claim:

    Normal superannuation funds would not be affected as they have a tax liability so can still claim the tax credits.

    Yep that’s the oft repeated party line. Would you have a (specific) link – because it seems to be at odds with the link AND the citation you provided above?

    But don’t bother, until we see the legislation it’s all speculation. Methinks there’s still some water to flow under this political bridge.

    As for promises re multi-nationals and their blatant tax avoidance, it’s been going on for years and years – even in the Swan years – but now he’s seen the light apparently – according to Crikey at least.

    Me – I’m well beyond believing in political miracles. And I just wish more people would apply a critical consciousness and not just talk about it. But probably not. Most will continue to howl at the moon and then be surprised when nothing (of significance) actually changes

  31. Kaye Lee

    Super funds have low marginal tax rates. An industry fund is a single taxpayer covering members in both accumulation and pension phase and it will have income from a range of assets, and will therefore have sufficient tax liability to be able to use these tax credits to set against that tax. It is possible for large SMSFs to mirror industry funds with some members in accumulation phase, because either they are not yet retired or they are retired and have more than $1.6 million and are forced to hold the excess in accumulation phase. They too will likely have sufficient tax liability to be able to use these tax credits.

    https://cuffelinks.com.au/labors-franking-policy-outside-super-pensions/

  32. Matters Not

    KL, thanks for the link but with all due respects it doesn’t repeat your claim. From the same source (with a different emphasis) Google their other views. Lots of models on the table. As I say – we just don’t know and I suspect (strongly) that Labor doesn’t know either.

    After all their day job is politics.

  33. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    You have to start somewhere.

    Seems the LNP doesn’t want to start anywhere on anything that is long term and visionary, because they might be expected to actually DO something, well, apart from lazy arse governance for their mates and sponsors.

    And now Timmy has compromised himself, who’d a thunk it?

  34. Kaye Lee

    “it doesn’t repeat your claim”

    The “claim” is a direct quote from the article. The scenarios where member super funds could lose out seem terribly contrived. Everyone would have to be in pension phase with balances less than $1.6 million so no contribution tax payable and no accumulation accounts. That seems very unlikely.

  35. Peter F

    All I can say is that I hope we don’t get the government we deserve.

    Still, there is hope. Cathy McGowan said she might vote against Phelp’s Bill if it could bring about an early election when passed. Thankfully, Morrison has made it clear(?) that ‘It won’t happed’, so Cathy can vote for the Bill with a clear conscience.

    Mmmmmmm……

  36. paul walter

    Re Kaye Lee and Wilson, I think he is a gruesome preppie creature.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Apparently lying runs in the Wilson family. Publicly Wilson says Labor’s tax change will be devastating for retirees but privately he is telling his clients it won’t make any difference.

    At a shareholder presentation in November, Geoff Wilson said that “all you’ve got to do is change from a company structure to a trust structure” to avoid the impact of Labor’s policy.

    He mocked Labor’s claims the measure would raise billions, labelling the revenue “a mirage” and likening it to the failed mining tax.

    “Do they think we’re all stupid? Don’t they think we’re all going to change our behaviour?

    “And the people that are getting the refunds … they’ll go into offshore equities or trust structures or change their structures like we can.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/07/geoff-wilson-told-investors-labors-franking-credits-policy-easy-to-avoid

  38. Zathras

    It seems that Geoff Wilson thinks the tax proposal is meant to raise billions where it’s really intended to simply save existing money the government already has.

    Restructuring from Company to Trust arrangements? I wonder how many “typical” retirees his company represents.

    In any case in true Financial Advisor fashion he’s still going to screw them over for administration fees and the establishment of new structures should be a pretty good earner for him.

  39. totaram

    Zathras: I find it amazing that this Geoff Wilson fellow contradicts himself and has it both ways. Labor’s measures will raise no money according to him, and at the same time it will ruin the poor old retirees. How is this possible?

  40. andy56

    totarum, Tim is an IPA guy/stoog. What more do you need to know?

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