Monday 28th of May 2018

comparing labor and liberal (CONservative) policies of red tape and cash transfers...


cash and red tape

The Abbott Government says it is the arch-enemy of red tape, however two costly new measures look set to create lots of it, says the ANU's Allan Asher via The Conversation.

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT'S target of A$1 billion of red-tape savings for the year is now in sight, with $700 million up to March 2014 and a claimed $300 million from the carbon tax repeal, as well as the Future of Financial Advicerepeal. But just three months before the next repeal day – slated for October 29 – the government has announced two new regulatory measures which will squander much of the savings and defy the very process established to prevent red tape.

Deregulation, or red-tape reduction has been a “thing” for all governments. Regulatory Impact Statements, which are supposed to weed out poor proposals, have been around for 20 years. In March the Government mandated impact statements for all proposals with regulatory implications.

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at that price it's a steal...

You know that things are pretty desperate in the Coalition bunker when even their corporate sponsors come down from their ivory towers to soil their silky smooth hands spruiking unpopular measures.

But so it came to pass last night, when the grey, owlish features of softly spoken banker Michael Chaneyappeared on ABC Lateline to, ostensibly, discuss Treasurer Joe Hockey's latest whine that big business should be doing more to sell his unfair and unloved Budget.

Chaney doesn't need to speak loud to be heard, of course — as chair of the National Australia Bank and Woodside Petroleum, he simply has the quiet, condescending air of a man used to being instantly deferred to by all. And he was not to be disappointed in this regard by interviewer Emma Alberici — who handled Chaney with the kid gloves she seems to reserve for VIPs and plutocrats.

Chaney duly sold Hockey's budget using the typical conservative approach or distortion, deflection, oversight, and egregious errors of fact.  

As she did in her interview with Fairfax chair and Reserve Bank board member Roger Corbett days before the September election, Alberici neglected to ask Chaney to declare his relevant affiliations. Corbett then mercilessly attacked the previous Labor Government during his interview, only to be photographed the following night at a $500 a head Liberal Party fundraiser hosted by Tony Abbott — his close personal friend and, as it turned out, fellow Liberal Party member.

Is Chaney a Liberal Party member? Well, apparently not, according his personal assistant at the NAB. However, it's quite clear that blue flows through Chaney's veins. Chaney's father was Menzies minister Sir Fred Chaney and his brother is former Liberal Party deputy leader, minister, MP and senator, Fred Chaney Jr

In any case, Chaney not being Liberal Party member is probably only because he doesn't see the need — given he holds a mortgage over in the party anyway.

Woodside is one of the Liberal Party's biggest donors, with NAB not far behind. Both companies often appear to be almost corporate arms of the tories, such as when former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was slipped into a cushy job with Woodside just months after getting ASIS to bug East Timor during sensitive gas field negotiations.

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Meanwhile, keeping inflation at bay:

Commonwealth Bank has announced record profits of $8.68bn boosted by Australia’s booming housing and construction markets.

Australia’s largest bank lifted its cash profit 12% for the year to the end of June and increased its fully-franked final dividend 18c to $2.18, taking its full year dividend payout to $4.01.

Despite the strong performance, shares fell slightly on Thursday morning to $81.01 as investors calculated that the results suggested that the bank foresaw less scope for future gains in earnings.

The Commonwealth lifted its net interest margin, the profit it makes on its loans, by one basis point to 2.14% during the year despite strong competition among the big four banks for loans.

Customer deposits were up $34bn to $439bn and now represent 64% of the group’s total funding.

The bulk of profits came from its retail banking division which was up 12% to $3.47bn, while its business and private banking business was up 4% at $1.53bn.

Vested business interests win the class warfare...


Vested business interests helped destroy the former Labor government and are now trying to run the country, according to the former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan.

Quotes from Swan’s book, The Good Fight, have been published in the Australian Financial Review, ahead of its release next week.

The paper quoted Swan as saying a small but growing group of “oligarchs” were trying to run the country, and that this was clear from some of the policies in the Coalition’s budget.

“Vested interests, backed by the current government, have prevailed, much to the detriment of our people and our nation’s future,” he said.

“In their world, a high-quality universal education and health services are a drain on the budget, not a platform for a fairer and more prosperous ­economy.”

“At the time of writing, the very people I have discussed … are now running the Abbott government. You can see their influence in the Business Council of Australia/Institute of Public Affairs control of the audit commission, and inevitably you will see it also in changes to industrial relations and universal health and education.”

He claims Labor’s election in 2007 on a platform of abolishing the Howard government’s WorkChoices industrial relations policy motivated the anti-Labor stance of some in the business community.

The anti-Labor campaign was run by “a set of bloody-minded vested interests more akin to what you find in countries such as Russia or on the right wing of the US Republican party”, he said.

“It had its origins in the unwillingness of parts of the business community to recognise the democratic mandate the people had given us to repeal WorkChoices,” he said.

“This unwillingness to surrender WorkChoices left toxins in the veins of many corporates that would never be cleansed, but most especially in the mining sector, which was emboldened by its anger to take a stance against carbon pricing and the minerals resources rent tax.”

Swan concedes Labor’s internal leadership tension and destabilisation contributed to its woes.

“Worst of all, and what made me sick in the stomach, was that our party’s disunity emboldened, encouraged and in part legitimised these attacks,” he said.

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Gus: The equation is :

Vested business interests = corruption + neo-fascist capitalim + sociopathy - generous charity balls




Australia, after all, has the highest median wealth in the world.

There is money out there. Lots of people have it.

To borrow and refine an idea from American author Bill Bryson, think of it this way.

If you were locked in a vault with unlimited $5 notes and were told you could keep all those you initialled - and you managed to initial one every second - then you would become a millionaire in three days and a billionaire in six years. After 40 years, you would be as wealthy as James Packer and after 110 years, as wealthy as Gina Rinehart.

Now that's fanning class warfare of course. In the minds of some, any plea for fairness across the board is dismissed in that way.

Australia, you see, doesn't have a Warren Buffett. The American investor, one of the wealthiest people in the world, once told CNBC, "There's been class warfare going on for the last 20 years ... and my class has won.

"We're the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically."

In the book Not Your Average Joe, we are told of a phone call that Attorney General George Brandis made to Hockey on New Year's Eve. Brandis said, "At the end of next year, we will be an unpopular government. And we can be unpopular for all the right reasons, or the wrong reasons."