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Jeor

Aussies: NSW Politicians, keeping ICAC in business

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This is an interesting moment for the Australian economy. Obviously we have households and businesses (particularly in regional Australia) dealing with the fallout of the fires, but at the same time there are the direct (education, tourism) and indirect (falling commodity prices) effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Say goodbye to your surplus Josh!

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45 minutes ago, Paxter said:

Say goodbye to your surplus Josh!

In some ways it's a blessing in disguise for the Coalition. They can now do whatever they want and blame the lack of surplus on external factors like coronavirus, and to a lesser extent (as some may blame them for the severity of them) the bushfire season. Essentially they're off the hook.

Edited by Jeor

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39 minutes ago, Jeor said:

In some ways it's a blessing in disguise for the Coalition. They can now do whatever they want and blame the lack of surplus on external factors like coronavirus, and to a lesser extent (as some may blame them for the severity of them) the bushfire season. Essentially they're off the hook.

That argument didn't work too well for Labor when they came to power in the late 2000s. Abbott's "debt crisis" was a factor in his strong performance in 2010 and the big win in 2013 (alongside "stop the boats"). But maybe the Coalition is immune from attacks re: budget management because they are naturally trusted on that issue. 

Where do people see things heading on the ALP leadership front? Personally I see Shorten 2.0 or a centrist/QLDer dark horse as more likely challengers than Albo in 2022.

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1 hour ago, Paxter said:

That argument didn't work too well for Labor when they came to power in the late 2000s. Abbott's "debt crisis" was a factor in his strong performance in 2010 and the big win in 2013 (alongside "stop the boats"). But maybe the Coalition is immune from attacks re: budget management because they are naturally trusted on that issue. 

Where do people see things heading on the ALP leadership front? Personally I see Shorten 2.0 or a centrist/QLDer dark horse as more likely challengers than Albo in 2022.

On the first point - that line of attack only works for a right wing party. It's been pretty consistent across countries that they can do whatever they want with the deficit and it only matters as a stick to beat the left with.

On the second point I have no idea - changing leaders between elections is quite hard now, but as someone in Albos electorate I'd be voting for his disembodied spine over him.

I know I'm biased here due to working at a Uni, but I think damage to our higher education sector could be a bit of a sleeper hit to our economy from coronavirus. Education is one of our biggest exports and our Universities are entirely dependent on revenue from international students. My Uni is taking the impact on particularly Chinese students very seriously (our edict yesterday from the very top was to find an improvement to online class delivery to students in China within 24h), and part of that is extending enrollment/start of classes but also waiving deferral checks and fees for pulling out. If a significant amount of Chinese students wind up needing to withdraw our budget would suffer along with all the businesses surrounding the campus that survive on those students business.

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Kind of funny watching the Nats in turmoil after so many years of drudgery under the likes of Fischer and Truss. 

To the Sydney-siders: what's the story with the Eastern Burbs light rail? Cost overruns and delays aside, it looks like an absolute disaster with long commute times and poor service. But it's hard to judge from afar. I have higher hopes for Sydney Metro. 

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Pretty interesting (if largely symbolic) decision by the High Court this week in Love v C'th. A 4-3 majority found that Aboriginal people cannot be "aliens" under the Constitution and therefore cannot be the subject of deportation laws. It's no Mabo, but another stepping stone on the path. 

There are a couple of interesting sub-plots to here too: 

  1. This potentially impedes the push for Con reform in respect of Aboriginal recognition, because conservatives will argue that the Constitution and High Court are already protecting/giving enhanced rights to Aboriginal people. 
  2. Bell and Nettle JJ (both in the majority) are close to retirement...will the Morrison Government be tempted to take a leaf from Trump's book and look to replace them with ideologically friendly candidates?
Edited by Paxter

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Three posts in a row! But had to say...RIP Holden. 

And if there's one thing on which I will always side with right-leaning politicians: Governments should not be picking industrial winners. 

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4 hours ago, Paxter said:

Three posts in a row! But had to say...RIP Holden. 

And if there's one thing on which I will always side with right-leaning politicians: Governments should not be picking industrial winners. 

In Australia's own 100(ish) years war t'was GM what dealt the final death blow, to itself. Reading an article, GM is getting entirely out of the right hand drive market stopping manufacture of all makes / models of RHD market specific models. It's going to import LHD cars and have them converted at former Holden factories. So at least some jobs will be preserved.

It's not that right-leaning politicians say govts should not pick winners, it's that they don't actually live by that mantra when they are in power. But like with deficits, the right somehow gets away with beating up the left about it and yet their track record is the same at best, possibly worse.

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56 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

It's not that right-leaning politicians say govts should not pick winners, it's that they don't actually live by that mantra when they are in power. But like with deficits, the right somehow gets away with beating up the left about it and yet their track record is the same at best, possibly worse.

Fair call. I agree with the rhetoric then, if not the execution. That is rare for me where conservative politics are concerned!

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Sad that Holden goes - or more correctly, sad for the jobs that go along with it. But if it was only getting by on government subsidies, no point in drawing it out to a long death.

I see Ken Henry and the NSW Treasurer are having a bit of a go at the federal politicians for the lack of tax reform. There has been a distinct lack of appetite for reform in any area in the last 20 years (carbon tax the exception) - a far cry from the Hawke, Keating and Howard days where some bold economic moves were made.

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To be fair to the pollies on that one, I don’t sense much voter appetite for large-scale tax reforms. Clearly there was no mandate for the Coalition’s company tax cuts, nor for Rudd’s resource supertax or Shorten’s negative gearing and super tax reforms. And I personally will never be supportive of a GST increase.

So beyond middle class income tax cuts...I’m not really sure what could be done that wouldn’t sink the Government. I guess stamp duty is an obvious one, but which State would ever agree to that?

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The failure of the Shorten campaign to sell the tax cuts will have scared politicians away from doing anything either.

But I think we need to future-proof the government revenue streams. There are a bunch of things that are eating into the tax base from an ageing demographic and if we do the fix now, it will avoid pain later. Income tax is becoming a larger share of the government revenue base, which is dangerous for an ageing population where there will be fewer workers. Compulsory superannuation is still too low to effectively self-fund people's retirements, which will be another strain on the budget for an ageing population. The Shorten cuts to the franking credit cash splurge is probably also something that actually would have been beneficial, as would widening the base of the GST (not increasing it, but there are a lot of things that are GST exempt).

Of course, all of those (apart from maybe increasing compulsory super, which should have been done in conjunction with a company tax cut) are politically unpopular but as a mid-30s Australian, I have no confidence that in 30 years' time the budget is going to be in good shape.

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Selling off a lot of the services run by the government, which were also revenue positive for the government, did not help balance the budget long term. Sure it gave a splash of cash in the short term, and we did actually use at least some of that in the national interest during the GFC, but I'd still much rather central infrastructure which doesn't fit well into a free market anyway had just been retained as government run.

I'd also love some reform on private health insurance. I'm sure I've ranted about it before, but the fact that I have major medical expenses which are almost entirely not covered by even the best PHI but I'm still coerced into buying PHI by the tax code is really quite fucked.

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I've been living & working in Sydney for a year now, so I suppose I should start paying attention to where my tax dollars are being vested, which unfortunaltely means paying mind to local and national politics. I have effortlessly paid no mind to local or national politics to this date. I barely acknowledge that the sitting PM is a boofhead Scott Morrison.  

Anyone care to give me a heads up on the lay of the political land downunder? I can get the legislative framework from wikipedia no problem. Just need a pointer to who the key figures to pay attention to are in government & opposition. And what of policies? 

If it helps, I can relate to Aussie sports teams and notable players (Cricket, Rugby League/Union).   
So who are your Steve Smiths, David Warners, Mitchell Starcs, Caitlin Bassetts? Are there any Israel Folaus in the cabinet?.. silly question, of course there are, most nations have at least one.  

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Ithanos welcome back!

 

 

All others, I'm happy to see you are all going well, considering the challenges we've all had this year.

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13 hours ago, Jeor said:

(apart from maybe increasing compulsory super, which should have been done in conjunction with a company tax cut)

This was already legislated by the ALP in 2012, though of course it could be repealed. Unless you're thinking it should go beyond 12%.

Personally I think one way to extract more efficiencies would be to abolish the private super system. The CPP seems to work pretty well here in Canada. Oh and while they're at it...do the same for private health!

Edited by Paxter

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9 hours ago, Paxter said:

This was already legislated by the ALP in 2012, though of course it could be repealed. Unless you're thinking it should go beyond 12%.

I had a feeling the increase was frozen by the Coalition at some point? I could be wrong, though.

Increasing compulsory superannuation is a no-brainer. It costs the government nothing (and in the future takes a lot of costs off their hands) so the only thing they have to worry about is businesses pushing back. Which, in this day and age, is unfortunately a thing given both parties (though more Coalition) are beholden to big business.

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