Category Archives: Politics & Government

Saturday salon 14/7

1. A ray of light

A highlight for me this week was listening to the many segments on ABC RN themed with NAIDOC Week, where the theme was Because of her, we can. Fellahs too, including Archie Roach: a life in song. I loved his cosmology in explaining The Dreaming. We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really. Continue reading Saturday salon 14/7

The great GST fix

First up there are all kinds of figures going around. The big one – $9 billion dollars – is over 10 years. So the annual figure of less than a billion is a mere rounding error in a Commonwealth budget of around half a trillion. Nevertheless all dollars are accounted for, so Annastacia Palaszczuk is right to ask where the money is coming from. Continue reading The great GST fix

Is the ‘kill Bill’ strategy working?

Last September I charactarised the politics we were getting from the major parties as Kill Bill or any distraction vs a fair go. The scribes in the Oz commenting on the latest Newspoll see Turnbull’s star rising, and the banner headline

    Shorten pays for tax debacle

In the 5-8 April poll Turnbull’s satisfaction rating was 32-57 for a net negative -25. He’s been steadily improving and is now 42-48, a mere -6.

Shorten in early April had exactly the same figures as Turnbull. Now he is back there at 32-57, having only improved by a negligible wobble in the interim. Continue reading Is the ‘kill Bill’ strategy working?

Saturday salon 30/6

1. Bill’s bumblathon

In the Courier Mail the bold words leapt from the page:

    Balls up

    Schlamassel

    Qué desastre

It was page 2, and a full-page advertisement from Optus, apologising for its soccer coverage, not a front page treatment of Bill Shorten’s backflip on taxing small to middle companies.

Tim Colebatch at Inside Story asks Is this Bill Shorten’s worst week?

One would hope so. Colebatch asks:

    What on earth was Shorten thinking when he made this “captain’s call”? It offers no gain, and a lot of pain. It could cost him the election.

Continue reading Saturday salon 30/6

Italy: too big to fail, too big to save

The phrase “too big to fail, too big to save” in this case comes from an essay in Der Spiegel by Henrik Enderlein which says that the time to act is now, but also says that all the options available for action will fail. I take it he’s saying that Italy must take ownership for its debt, but Germans must also stand in solidarity or the speculators on the demise of the euro will have a field day.

The article by Der Spiegel staff Italy’s New Government Is Bad News for the Euro is pessimistic. Continue reading Italy: too big to fail, too big to save

Saturday salon 2/6

1. CSL and Cochlear say ‘show us the money’

Or at least show a bit of interest.

Here they have to chase government, whereas other countries, such as Singapore and Ireland:

    “actively come out and court companies like ours” with a unified package of incentives and benefits, he said. These could include a lower headline tax rate, and other financial concessions or benefits in exchange for specified investment, jobs and revenue outcomes from biotech and technology.

Continue reading Saturday salon 2/6

Will Labor’s budget dream team prevail?

Chris Bowen’s has a copy of Paul Keating’s After words in his office, signed by PJK with the words “I write with faith and hope in your public life.” That is not a trivial endorsement, according to Peter Hartcher in Bowen seizes the chance to make history.

Keating says Bowen is “first and foremost a rationalist. He is a rationalist more than he is an ideologue.” Continue reading Will Labor’s budget dream team prevail?

Bowen articulates Labor’s budget plans

In his Budget Reply Address to the National Press Club Peter Hartcher in a piece Bowen seizes chance to make history reckons Labor’s plans amount to a trifecta:

  • First, it has promised a tax cut almost twice as big as the government’s for lower and middle income earners, $928 a year against the government’s $530.
  • Second, Labor has promised to spend more on its “inclusive growth” agenda centred around education, skills training and health care.*
  • Third, it has promised to return the budget to a bigger surplus than the government’s planned $2.2 billion for 2019-20, and to press on to a surplus of at least one per cent of GDP.

Continue reading Bowen articulates Labor’s budget plans

Budget 2018 – a fair and decent society vs small government, ideology and sloganeering

The ABC election team on Budget night suggested that the purpose of the 2018 budget was to generate talking points that the government could use in the forthcoming election campaign. It has been going on for a while. Turnbull ScoMo and all reckon they offer “jobs and growth” whereas Shorten is going to hit you up for $200 billion extra in taxes, and simply can’t be trusted to run anything.

Shorten says Labor is going to “bring the fair go back into the heart of the nation.”

To me the nation is at a cross-roads. One way offers a small-government straight jacket with firmly embedded tax provisions that permanently reward success. The other seeks to provide the necessary infrastructure (human, services and physical) for everyone and the nation to become the best they can be, and to take care of those on the fringe. Continue reading Budget 2018 – a fair and decent society vs small government, ideology and sloganeering