Showing posts with label rightwing economics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rightwing economics. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

More reports showing that 'trickle up' economics is at work in Australia


Here is just a little of what Liberal & National party members - and their governments - refuse to understand as they support a far-right economic platform which is built on a reduction in corporate tax rates, high business profits and large management salaries in conjunction with employee wage supression, erosion of workers' rights, an increase in employment insecurity based on casual, part-time and/or employees as sham contractors and, further restrictions on eligibility for a number of basic welfare payments.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2018:

Last year, as the government prepared another round of welfare crackdowns, Minister Michaelia Cash said she expects “that those who can work should work and our welfare system should be there as a genuine safety net, not as something that people can choose to fund their lifestyle.”

The subtext was clear – those who need help are a drain on the rest of us.
This rhetoric is familiar, but it is wrong. It is the wealthiest Australians who enjoy the most support.

Research commissioned by Anglicare Australia shows that each year, a staggering $68 billion is spent keeping the wealthiest households wealthy. That is greater than the cost of Newstart, disability support, the age pension, or any other single welfare group.

The Cost of Privilege report, prepared by Per Capita, models four household types to show how these concessions and tax breaks work. One of the couples we modelled, Tim and Michelle, own their own home. They have two children in private schools, top health insurance, and two investment properties. Michelle doesn’t work, and Tim runs a small business. Each year, Tim and Michelle get $99,708 in concessions from the taxpayer, or $1917 per week. That is well over twice as much as a couple with two children on Newstart, and nearly three times as much as a family with one parent on the Disability Support Pension. Tim and Michelle do this by getting concessions on their superannuation, negatively gearing their investment properties to minimise their taxable income, and getting tax breaks for private schools and private health insurance. They also get generous Capital Gains Tax exemptions.

Each year, thousands of Australia's wealthiest households profit from these loopholes and subsidies. Our report finds that tax exemptions on private healthcare and education for the wealthiest 20 per cent cost more than $3 billion a year. 

Superannuation concessions to them cost over $20 billion a year, and their Capital Gains Tax exemptions cost an astonishing $40 billion a year. Compare that to the annual cost of Newstart, which comes in at just under $11 billion a year.

Importantly, nothing that Tim and Michelle are doing is wrong or illegal. This is not a broken system. It is a system working exactly the way it was designed to work, supporting the wealthiest at the expense of the rest of us.

These numbers tell us that something has gone badly wrong. The eighties were the decade of trickle-down economics, where taxes were cut for the richest with the promise that everyone else would soon feel the benefits. But now it’s worse – we’re in an era of trickle-up economics where subsidies, tax breaks and concessions for the richest are paid for by everyone else.....

Anglicare Australia, 26 March 2018:

Cost of Privilege - households (.pdf)

ABC News, 15 April 2018:

One in every five Australian children has gone hungry in the past 12 months according to a new report, with some even resorting to chewing paper to try to feel full.

The survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by Foodbank shows 22 per cent of Australian children under the age of 15 live in a household that has ran out of food at some stage over the past year.

One in five kids affected go to school without eating breakfast at least once a week, while one in 10 go a whole day at least once a week without eating anything at all.
"I think that's a very sad indictment on us as a society," said Foodbank Victoria chief executive Dave McNamara…..

"Some kids were eating paper. Their parents had told them 'There's not enough food, if you get hungry you'll need to chew paper.'"

"This isn't made up. This is a story we heard setting up one of our school breakfast programs down in Lakes Entrance, which is a beautiful part of the country."

"No-one's spared. It's not people on the street; it's people in your street. It's in every community across Australia."

Foodbank Victoria graphic below based on its Rumbling Tummies Report, April 2018:


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

FAIR GO 101: It's Time To Change The Rules



Friday, 23 February 2018

There's something worse than a cashless welfare card out there in the darkness


What could possibly be worse than the Turnbull Government's Cashless Debit Card which will eventually cover all government cash transfers to individuals except Age and Veterans' Affairs pensions?

The answer is - welfare payments being converted into 50 per cent Cashless Debit Card and 50 per cent a generic low grade, nutritionally suspect, weekly or fortnightly processed, tinned & dry goods food parcel.

Such as this proposed program......


Vibe, 13 February 2018:
In Donald Trump's budget proposal, America's poor is hit the hardest, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. The plan proposes a $17.2 billion-cut to the program by 2019 and will replace monthly cash benefits with a food box delivery program, according to reports.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney compared the program to Blue Apron, an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service. The Chicago Tribune notes SNAP provides roughly $125 per month to 42.2 million Americans, and the Agriculture Department would use part of those benefits to buy and deliver boxes of "homegrown" food. It's called "America's Harvest Box."
The Harvest Box would contain things like shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables. Since the boxes are valued at half of SNAP recipients monthly benefit, the remainder of their benefits would be put on electronic benefit cards, CNN Money reports.
The existing US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers about 46 million low-income Americans an allowance to buy from grocery stores and farmers markets a wide range of breads, cereals, rice, pasta, dairy products, fresh fruits & vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, as well as seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat. Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items. Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items.
Trump intends to change this program as a government cost-cutting measure saving up to a reported US$127 billion over ten years and, have the private sector under contract give out shelf-stable food bought in bulk. No choice of food parcel content appears to be allowed - it will be one-size-fits-all.
What could possibly go wrong? So many things if private contractors of the type the Trump Regime will pick were to attempt regular food delivery to est. 46 million people.
Given the love affair that those right-wing warriors in the Liberal and National parties have with the political extremes of US Republican politics, it won't be long before the likes of Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan and Minister for Social Services DanTehan start suggesting similar food parcels as a component of the bulk Centrelink welfare payments here in Australia.  

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Effect of proposed company tax cuts according to Australian Prime Minister Malcom Bligh Turnbull - "All boats will rise"



As households across the country began the count down to the holiday season, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull smugly informed an ABC interviewer that as a result of a proposed cut in the company tax rate* everyone’s income will increase – “All boats will rise”.

This is another way of referring to that now legendary faux economic theory popular with right-wing politicians – the Trickle Down Effect.

This assertion is tested in an Australian Treasury working paper ANALYSIS OF THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF A COMPANY TAX CUT (May 2016) which modelled a tax cut reducing company tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent – presumably implemented over the 10 years to 2026-27 proposed by government.

Yes, this working paper estimates that for “a static representative household” “calibrated to match the expenditure, income patterns, and taxes faced by aggregate Australian households” real wages will rise if all other factors in the economy remain unchanged.

So it seems that Turnbull's claim is genuine - or is it?

What Turnbull fails to say is that this “real” wage rise will probably be a paltry est. 1.0-1.1% in total, will take at least 20 years to achieve and will only come about if the average individual also works longer hours.

Based on ABS May 2017 All Employees Average Weekly Total Earnings and an optimistically estimated average annual wages growth of 1.9 per cent; at the end of those 20 years an average worker will have received a total wage increase of est. $851 to $929. Spread out over those 20 years that works out to between 81-89 cents a week extra in his/her pay packet as a direct result of the Turnbull Government’s company tax cut.

Because in real life these company tax cuts are staged and, each stage would have a lag time, no-one is going to see 81-89 cents in their pay packets anytime soon. Indeed a great many people will probably never see this meagre increase at all as the real wages of many low-skilled workers haven't increased alongside higher-skilled workers for the last seven years and there is no indication as to if or when this trend will end.

Over this same twenty-year time period any increase in company income as a result of a 5 per cent cut in the company tax rate would result in millions to one billion plus being added to the bottom lines of a significant number of medium to large corporations. With such savings being just as likely to be diverted into bonuses paid to senior management or paid as dividends to shareholders as they are to being reinvested in a business.

Once more proving that tax cuts for industry, business and those individuals wealthy enough to incorporate their landholdings/investments, have what is essentially a neutral outcome for rest of the population.

Company tax cuts will hardly stir the water beneath those metaphorical boats belonging to ordinary workers.

Therefore this classic illustrative meme still stands under the Turnbull Coalition Government:


Something to remember when it comes time to vote in the next federal election.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

A clear example of political prostitution - with Malcolm Turnbull acting as 'the john' and One Nation playing 'the tom'


 The Courier Mail, 19 October 2017:

BARNABY Joyce has warned Malcolm Turnbull to stop gifting Pauline Hanson cash to make Government announcements.

The warning came during a face-to-face meeting sparked by ropeable Queensland Coalition backbenchers.

The frank discussion, held on Monday at 8am in the Prime Minister’s office during a scheduled meeting, was in part dominated by the decision to give the One Nation leader $15 million for projects Coalition MPs wanted to announce themselves.

Mr Joyce, who has a good relationship with the PM, laid bare his fury after he was bombarded with complaints from the Queensland backbench.

It is also understood Mr Turnbull’s office received complaints but the PM did not know intimate details of the deals with Senator Hanson.

Highly-placed sources said Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls and the state LNP had been thrown under the bus so the Turnbull Government could curry favour with Senator Hanson to get votes through the Senate.

Outraged state and federal Coalition MPs and Senators — plus the organisational wing of the LNP — said it looked like the Turnbull Government was bankrolling One Nation election announcements, which sparked the warning by Mr Joyce.

Some protagonists have threatened to go rogue in federal Parliament if it continued….

Queensland MPs are threatening to cause the Government trouble — and work as a separate bloc — if the sweetheart deals continue.

“Queenslanders in the House and the Senate will make sure Queensland’s interests are coming first,” one source said.

With the Government’s tenuous hold on both the House and Senate, Queensland Federal MPs hold significant power if pushed to use it.

Another warned “voters punished the Liberal party for dealing with One Nation in WA” and feared the same would happen in Queensland.

They also warn that allowing Senator Hanson “to stand with big cheques with the Australian Government crest” undermines arguments that voters should not vote for One Nation because they are not in power and cannot get anything done.

In the past month, Senator Hanson has announced a $8.9 million convention and evacuation centre in Ipswich and $5 million for a Driver Education and Motorsport Facility.

* Image from Dreamstime.com

Monday, 2 October 2017

Centrelink sent out 19,980 incorrect debt notices in just eight months


Australian Parliament, PARLWORK, Question Details:

Question asked of the Minister for Human Services and Liberal MP for Aston Alan Tudge on 31 May 2017:

How many Centrelink clients who were notified of a debt or the likelihood of a debt with Centrelink through its Online Compliance Intervention system, have subsequently had their debt (a) reduced, and (b) cancelled completely.
Could he provide a breakdown of parts (1)(a) and (b) by (a) state and territory, and (b) postcode.

One hundred and three days later the Minister deigned to reply:

THE HON ALAN TUDGE MP - The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
1(a), 1(b) and 2(a) The number of debts reduced to zero and reduced but not to zero in total, by State and Territories as at 31 March 2017:
State
Debt Reduced to Zero1
Debt Reduced but not Zero1, 2
ACT
                                100
                  169
NSW
                            2,234
              3,644
NT
                                  40
                    79
QLD
                            1,665
              2,718
SA
                                630
              1,142
TAS
                                247
                  397
VIC
                            1,894
              3,306
WA
                                646
              1,069
Total
                            7,456
            12,524
¹The month the change is reported is the month the reassessment or review of the debt was completed which may be different to the month the debt was raised.
2Debts can be reassessed multiple times. This is recorded each time as a reassessment in the appropriate month.

2(b) The breakdown by postcode is at Attachment A. To protect individuals’ privacy, cell sizes of less than five are represented as “<5”.

What it has taken the Turnbull Government so long to admit is that 37.31 per cent of the 19,980 incorrect debt notices sent out between 1 July 2016 and 31 March 2017 were manifestly false debts.

In the same period a further 62.68 per cent of the 19,980 incorrect debt notices had amounts owed reduced – sometimes to under $20.

What these figures do not reveal is the total number of people who received a debt notice over these eight months and the number who paid the original amount listed on the debt notice because they were afraid to challenge Centrelink even though they personally doubted that any money was owed.

Nor is there any indication of how many Centrelink clients were referred to aggressive private debt collectors by the department.

What is known was that 1,569,911 people were sent debt notices in the 2016 calendar year alone [Commonwealth Ombudsman—Department of Human Services: Centrelink’s automated debt raising and recovery system].

Of these 20 per cent were admitted by the Dept. of Social Services to be false debts and 80 per cent were recoded as debts against a Centrelink client resulting in $300 million repaid by welfare recipients over a six month period [Minister for Social Security and Liberal MP for Christian Porter, transcript, 4 January 2017].

A total of 216,000 debt notices were generated in the three months leading up to Christmas 2016 and 133,078 alleged debts were recovered.

The Turnbull Government expects to claw back a total of $4 billion from welfare recipients by 2021.

The number of suicides as a result of a Centrelink debt notice is also unknown to date, although at least one recorded death had Centrelink debt as a contributing factor.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

This isn't the first time Coalition MPs have lied about costings


“FEDERAL Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's populist "tax grabs" would cost Australians an eye-watering $150 billion over 10 years, the Federal Government will reveal today……Independent modelling by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and Treasury shows that under a Shorten government small business, mum and dad investors, older Australians and higher-income earners would be slapped with higher taxes.” [The Northern Star, 14 August 2017]

The Parliamentary Budget Office exposes the lie………


This is not the first time a Coalition MP has uttered political lies about costings. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb became rather famous for it.

ABC News, 11 October 2010:

The Federal Government says the Coalition did not tell the truth before the last election when it claimed to have had its costings audited.
The Opposition did not submit its costings to Treasury before the election, but said they had been audited by a big accountancy firm.
Fairfax newspapers quote letters between the Liberal Party and the accountants saying the work would not constitute an audit in accordance with Australian standards.

And conservative politicians wonder why the general public perceives such a yawning credibility gap.