Is there a more depressing demonstration of economic and budgetary incompetence than Julia Gillard’s speech yesterday attempting to justify why her government is going to produce a bigger than expected deficit yet again.
The background to the story is all too familiar.
One of the curiosities of the Australian economy is that, while we have a vigorous share market with many companies big and small listed on it, we have only a fairly thin corporate bond market, particularly at the retail level. By contrast, in markets like the US, lots of companies issue bonds to retail investors.
On Friday 5 April, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten made an announcement which supposedly provided certainty about Labor’s planned tax increases for superannuation. In fact it did no such thing.
For several months there have been rumours surfacing in the media that additional tax was to be levied on superannuation. The stories evidently emanated from government, ‘road testing’ various ideas to see which would cause the least political grief.
With the death of Margaret Thatcher this week, it is timely to reflect on her influence on Australia’s economic performance.
When I joined the Liberal Party in the early eighties, it was the end of the Fraser years.
Today the ACCC issued a draft decision to reject the ‘special access undertaking’ lodged with it by NBN Co.
Why should Australians care? What exactly is a special access undertaking? And what does the refusal mean?
When Julia Gillard announced in September 2010 that she had formed a minority government with the support of several independent MPs and the Greens, she promised a new era of openness and transparency in government.
“So let’s draw back the curtains and let the sun shine in, let our Parliament be more open than it was before,” she said.
Last year Broadband and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy set an extremely high reserve price for the forthcoming auction of key radio frequency spectrum.
The UK has just completed an auction of similar spectrum – and the result there suggests that the auction in Australia will fall a long way short of Conroy’s expectations.
Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy has made a strident attack on Vodafone Australia and its chief executive Bill Morrow – in a prepared speech he gave at a mobile phone industry function at Parliament House. Here is how the Australian Financial Review reported it last Friday:
In May 2012 a parliamentary committee issued a report about the collapse of funds manager Trio – in which over 6000 Australian superannuation and other investors were defrauded of $176 million.
Disturbingly, eight months later, there has still been no response from the government.
I use the North Shore line trains fairly regularly to travel from my electorate office in Lindfield into the city, and back.