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Oz Election Thread #4 - Gillard's Labor

 
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 08:28 pm
@msolga,
Well Clive Palmer has already told us the CIA funds our green groups - so can I expect ASIO to close down our American bases and squash the Cocos Island proposal?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 09:39 pm
@hingehead,
Let me get my head around that for a minute, hinge ....

Wouldn't that mean that ASIO was also investigating the CIA, while investigating & compiling files for the government on green protesters?
By jingo, it gets more & more complicated by the minute!
But I'll go along with anything that keeps those drone bases off the Cocos Islands!


But speaking of the chunky "magnate" & funding, or rather taxes, in this case ...

A bit obscene, I reckon! Neutral

The photograph, too! Wink :

Quote:
Magnate's company paid no tax
April 12, 2012/the AGE

http://images.theage.com.au/2012/03/15/3136490/clive-palmer-200x0.jpg
Mining magnate Clive Palmer. Photo: Rob Homer

A VOCAL critic of the federal government's mining tax, billionaire Clive Palmer, did not have to pay tax in his main private company last year, according to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator.

The company accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported losses for the past three financial years. The profit-and-loss statement shows no tax was payable in 2010-11. .....


...... Australia's BRW, published by Fairfax Media, lists his wealth at $5.05 billion, but America's Forbes magazine rates it at $US795 million.

Mineralogy owns rights to huge magnetite iron ore deposits in the Pilbara and thermal coal deposits in Queensland's Galilee Basin, but its mines are not yet in production and generating income.

The accounts show Mineralogy and its subsidiaries reported net losses of $58.5 million in 2008-09, $29 million in 2009-10 and $11.4 million in 2010-11.

It received a tax benefit of $874,599 in 2010-11, against revenues of $5.6 million, and paid $136,799 in tax the year before..... <cont>


http://www.theage.com.au/business/magnates-company-paid-no-tax-20120411-1wsl2.html
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2012 03:56 am
Great piece on Crikey about News Ltd pathetic attempted killing off of the Greens
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2012/04/13/bob-brown-retires-christine-milne-new-leader-of-the-greens/

You know when Bolt tries to boot in you're doing well.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2012 02:07 am
Firstdogonthemoon has released his budget t-shirt!

http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.11774944.0147/fc,550x550,black.jpg
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Apr, 2012 02:29 am
@hingehead,
I don't know whether to laugh or to sigh deeply(about the "surplus" fixation)...
It's hard to do both at the same time!
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Apr, 2012 10:36 pm
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3480665.htm

Joe Hockey yet again appears to have lost the plot. Bagging the age of entitlement (but refusing to bag the Howard middle class welfare, fuel subsidies).

He does seem all over the place - saying we need to personally take care of our pensions (um, pretty sure we're all contributing substantially to super), churning out the small govt mantra of the current repbulicans.

This guy doesn't understand Australia at all. We value the safety net. And we are ahead of the game - let's not look back to what has already failed overseas, we skipped the worst of thatcherism and reaganomics, let's keep doing that. My god, put Joyce back in treasury portfolio.

This should be worth a couple of points in primary votes when it seeps through to boomers.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 06:56 am
@hingehead,
Just what I was thinking today.

He's an odd duck, Hockey. Shouldn't be truthful about what you believe in politics.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 07:36 am
@dlowan,
I confess he impressed me a couple of times by simply saying 'Yes' to a couple of Tony Jones questions.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 06:57 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
Joe Hockey yet again appears to have lost the plot. Bagging the age of entitlement (but refusing to bag the Howard middle class welfare, fuel subsidies).

He does seem all over the place .....

I believe it's one of his pet subjects.
But perhaps his timing was all wrong? Ha.

But you know, if he was talking about some of those blatant "bribe" "entitlements", say for people with incomes of $150 k & over, I could actually go along with him. There is absolutely no good reason why taxpayers should subsidize expensive private schools when public schools are in such dire strife, or private health insurance (which many taxpayers cannot afford), or contemplate paying higher subsidies to parents who earn far more than the lower paid to stay at home & look after their kids .... etc, etc, etc ...

If I thought he was genuinely talking about some sort of fair go, yes, I could go along with him!
I personally have no problem at all with the concept of means testing for say, the age pension, to ensure that those who really need financial support receive what's required to live half decent lives. It is not acceptable that some elderly people cannot afford to live half-decent lives, can't afford to have their teeth fixed, or eat properly, or receive proper care ....
But of course, that's not what he's on about.
If he was, he'd also be addressing taxation reform, to ensure that the very wealthy pay their fair share of tax.
He can't argue for the abolition of the mining tax, letting the obscenely wealthy off the hook, while at the same time claim that there are insufficient funds for the government to supply essential services. But he does.
Either the man's confused, or else he's not too clever.

But this was the real clanger, which undid whatever credibility his other arguments might have had. He seems to be arguing that it is the responsibility of families to look after their own in times of adversity, unemployment, old age, whatever ... just like in Asia!
Too bad if your family is not exactly flush, or you have no family, or the rest of your family isn't too generous, or working under the equivalent of WorkChoices (stick around!), or might soon be struggling as the result of Abbott's planned culling of public sector jobs, etc, etc ... Neutral

Quote:
...he talked up the superiority of the situation in parts of Asia, Hockey was in highly controversial territory. Praising Hong Kong in particular, but also the wider region, he said: ''The concept of filial piety, from the Confucian classic Xiao Jing, is thriving today right across Asia. It is also the very best and most enduring guide for community and social infrastructure … The sense of government entitlement in these countries is low. You get what you work for. Your tax payments are not excessive … By Western standards this highly constrained public safety net may, at times, seem brutal. But it works and it is financially sustainable.''


A strange sense of entitlement:
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/a-strange-sense-of-entitlement-20120419-1x9yz.html

The scary thing is that Joe Hockey might become our next treasurer.
Or maybe not.
These comments make Wayne Swan look like a genius!

But at the very least, we are finally getting some small insight into what the Libs policies might actually look like, their priorities ... so let's hear more from them! About time.

hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 07:24 pm
@msolga,
He was sort of at pains to stress this was advice to 'failed western economies' of Europe - but the subtext wasn't very sub. I agree with you on means testing. It amazes me how many people think we are doing it tough.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 07:49 pm
@hingehead,
Of course you know this already, hinge, but ...
If not for the mining/mineral sales boom, we'd be just as "failed" as quite a few other countries' economies.
There but for the grace, and all that ....
I'm really heartened by a lot more recent attention from economists to the "two tier economy".
If it means that those who have been suffering genuine hardship, unacknowledged, almost invisibly during all the crowing about how successful our economy has been compared to the rest, then it's got to be a very positive thing.
Assuming, of course, that the plight of the strugglers is actually addressed by government policies.
I am so sick, tired & disgusted at the amount of $$$$ wasted in electoral bribes at the expense of those who actually sorely need government support.

hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 08:13 pm
@msolga,
Actually, Olgs, post-reading Megalogenis' 'The Australian Moment' it's not just about mining, we've inadvertently (to a greater or lesser extent) done some really smart things in terms of financial and economic management and regulation at both the micro and macro levels, over four decades. For example while the US powered into the housing boom that led the sub prime loans meltdown they also overextended personal debt through easy credit (and inflated perceptions of home equity) Australian households were putting their money into their mortgages at increasing rates, as if we expected something bad to happen. The timing of the stimulus was perfect.

Although mining generates a lot of profit it is not as big a contributor to employment as you might think, and employment is where individuals derive their sense of their own economic wellbeing.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 08:51 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
Although mining generates a lot of profit it is not as big a contributor to employment as you might think

I don't think we have any disagreement here, hinge.
Maybe I expressed myself poorly, but my concern was more about neglect of genuine "strugglers" (the unemployed, pensioners, the under-employed, the "down-sized", etc) while the government was taking credit for running our economy better than most ... at the height of the mining boom.
Somehow they (the strugglers) were completely lost & neglected in all the talk about the benefits of the boom & superior government management, as if the benefits applied across the board .... which they obviously didn't. That's what I was referring to in my "two tier economy" comment.

I agree that the stimulus measures were perfectly timed .... though I really wish that more long-term benefits (like to schools, who'll probably never see the likes of such funding again, or any time soon. Especially in government schools, who had minimal say in how their allocation was spent. ) could have been taken into more consideration. But the stimulus measures certainly did generat much needed $$$ into the economy, by creating a demand for workers.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 09:29 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
Especially in government schools, who had minimal say in how their allocation was spent


That's an interesting observation, I know you work in schools, whereas I have contacts in beauracracy. I wasn't aware that gov schools had little say, only that poor proposals were rejected, and that a number of schools didn't take the govt at it's word that there would be BER money and didn't offer proposals at all.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 09:48 pm
@hingehead,
Ah!
I have heard of so many accounts of government (not private) schools having to work within the apparently rushed timeline.
And having no option but to agree to pre-set models for the proposed works. Like knocking down one building to build another.

Which ended up not exactly meeting the schools' needs for desired improvements. Something to do with state governments' involvement, most likely. It was a pretty big issue at the time. For some reason (?) private schools had far more choice about their desired building requirements.

However, in the school I was working in at the time, the stimulus funding was responsible for a much-used & valued lecture theatre.
And a much-too-small dance area ... which they weren't given the opportunity to change to what was actually required. Wink
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 10:26 pm
@msolga,
I think (this is secondhand) that private schools, by their very nature, always have a little file of building proposals, as they are much more likely to receive windfalls, like bequests. Whereas govt schools don't even have moderately detailed plans, because they expect to always be resource starved.

My recollection, again possibly flawed, is that when the govt first floated the idea few school administrators took it seriously, or weren't in a position to act on it - and only started to think about it when it was clear the govt was going to deliver, thus having much reduced timelines and delivering poorer proposals.

I do remember Mrs Hinge dealing with a school that wanted a covered play area for kindy kids that Canberra bureaucrats wanted as a joint use facility, and she (as the local federal bureaucrat) pushed the school's point that it was not appropriate for kindy kids to be sharing a facility with unemployed youth. Pretty sure she and they won.

I think she would say that schools that didn't get exactly what they wanted probably let themselves down to a certain extent by not committing to the process early enough, and not advocating hard enough. But she'd also say that's pretty hard to do if you don't know how things work and the bureaucrats you're dealing with have their ears painted on.

The speed of the process was what was good and bad about it.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 11:25 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
I think (this is secondhand) that private schools, by their very nature, always have a little file of building proposals, as they are much more likely to receive windfalls, like bequests. Whereas govt schools don't even have moderately detailed plans, because they expect to always be resource starved.
I can't argue with public schools not expecting any windfalls! Wink
And I have no desire to be critical of Mrs H's judgment, but ..... science teachers in government schools know best what's needed in their department, art teachers & the others, too.
If they have not ever been asked before(because the $$$ were never available), then how could such plans possibly exist for easy & quick access?
I just wish they'd been given the time they needed.
(I also wish they were not dictated to on other important issues, like curriculum. As if their input was irrelevant. But that's a whole other issue.)

But, private schools (excluding the very wealthy) might not have had too many building proposals up their sleeves, either.
And just proceeded to build as many extra rooms/facilities that they could, with the funding available.
I see lots lots of Catholic schools like that ... with next to no playground space left. But lots of extra classrooms.
But then, public schools had been run down for so long, maybe they were anticipating new enrollments? And might have had planned for expansion to accommodate them. Who knows?

As for the rest .....
I can't be sure.

BUT, I do know there was a helluva lot of complaint from the principals of government schools at the time.

In response to the: "this is what we can offer you. Take it or leave it" type.
As I said, this may well have been the result of state government influence, not federal.

Quote:
The speed of the process was what was good and bad about it.

I would never argue for speed when good decisions need to be made.
But then, I'm an advocate of proper consulting, always have been, which takes time.
And is also far more likely likely to produce a better long-term outcome.

However, I can't argue that the stimulus package generated a very positive impact on the economy.



hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 12:27 am
@msolga,
Yeah that what I meant about the good part of speed - the stimulus, not what the schools got in many cases. Careful planning would have meant the BER funding would be rolling out now - prices would be out of control because of competition for supply, so less value for money. And of course it would much less effective as stimulus, it would be a resuscitation more like.

All very messy, but I think we can say not many schools are worse off. And the economy is better for it.

Again, I'm on the other side of this from you, but it was stressed to me that many principals were slow off the mark, there wasn't a lot of time, and dawdling and not taking it seriously reduced that time (and no doubt so did juggling multiple responsibilities with too few resources) but the bureaucrats felt some school administrations had never really thought at all what the next thing they would do would be way before the GFC - no long term capital planning, which, in governance terms, from their perspective, was a failure of school administration.
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 12:29 am
Wrong, wrong, wrong: Gillard, Hockey, Robb
http://www.petermartin.com.au/2012/04/wrong-wrong-wrong-gillard-hockey-robb.html

Succinct piece on three failures of economic vision for the week....
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 12:31 am
@hingehead,
PS where the hell did I learn to spell 'bureaucracy'?
 

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