Corporate America is frantically distancing itself from Donald Trump in the dying days of his presidency after spending four years financing him, enjoying his tax giveaways, his attacks on workers and gutting of regulations to fatten corporate profits. Elizabeth Minter reports on the rank hypocrisy, even extending to Scott Morrison’s top adviser on Covid-19 economic recovery.
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The Northern Territory government has caved in to liquor lobby pressure and imperilled the health of First Nations People by approving a Dan Murphy’s Darwin mega-store for Woolworths and lifting the licence cap for Coles. The community will pay the price with their health, write Professor Lesley Russell and Dr Jeff McMullen. Will this be Woolworths’ Juukan Gorge moment?
A study of 45 countries shows those who have contained the virus also tend to have less severe economic impacts than those which haven’t. Saving the economy does not mean sacrificing lives, writes Michael Smithson. Containing Covid versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy.
Charging exorbitant prices for travellers stranded overseas while raking in record government subsidies. Qantas and Virgin are the quintessential cases of “privatise the profits, socialise the losses”. Tasha May.looks at the airlines’ fine balancing act in corporate socialism during the pandemic.
A maverick Liberal MP crossed the floor of a state parliament this year to vote for a Job Guarantee. Callum Foote and Michael West report on the radical political outcome in Tasmania to address rising systemic unemployment, and the economic case behind it, MMT.
The workplace abuses of the 18th and 19th centuries have returned under the guise of the gig economy. The Morrison government has now proposed sweeping changes to labour laws that will cut wages, entrench precarious work, cripple unions and hand absolute power to bosses. But the assault on casual workers is just the beginning. If the IR bill becomes law, permanent workers will also be affected. Alison Pennington reports.
Executive bonuses inflated by JobKeeper, rising property and share prices, tax cuts for the wealthy. What’s not to like about 2020 for the top end of town? Tasha May takes a closer look at how the pandemic is exacerbating wealth inequality in Australia.
When about one-third of casuals work full-time hours, almost 60% have been with their employer for more than a year, and more than half cannot choose the days they work, is the “flexibility” in a casual job really for the benefit of employees? Professor David Peetz reports.
The hysteria over the Victorian government’s MoU with China’s Belt and Road Initiative shows a disturbing lack of understanding of the project by media commentators, academics and some MPs, writes Colin Heseltine.
Assuming employers will lift wages in place of rise in superannuation levy is a triumph of hope over experience
The government sat on a report into the retirement income system for four months because it was so politically sensitive and then released it on the day the Brereton report into potential war crimes in Afghanistan was released. Harry Chemay looks at what’s at stake in the debate around the rise in superannuation guarantee levy.
It is time the Australian Bureau of Statistics changed the way it reported unemployment figures, writes Alan Austin. Australia’s real unemployment rate is closer to 13% than 7%.
The super funds run by banks and financial institutions – many of them major Coalition donors – have been fleecing the public’s super on an industrial scale for at least a decade. This is the story Westpac and News Corp Australia didn’t want you to see in mid-2018 – even in the middle of a royal commission into banking illegality. Investigative reporter Anthony Klan reports.
“You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I’ve had mine,” Kerry Packer once famously proclaimed, after selling his Nine Network to Bondy for $1 billion and buying it back three years later for $250 million. Now Brookfield has found their Bondy, the Government of Queensland
Many superannuation funds exclude investment in “controversial weapons” but astoundingly this definition does not include nuclear weapons. However, this will change once the Nuclear Disarmament Treaty becomes international law, writes Dr Margaret Beavis. With two of the largest pension funds in the world already having divested, Australian funds are on notice.
Brookfield’s make-up artists are hard at work. They’ve taken “coal” out of the title, hired every broker in town to flog the thing and, in the most telling move, are rushing to get the deal done before the end of the year. Michael West reports on the ASX float of Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, which looks set to siphon off Aussie cash to an offshore haven, with yield-hungry retirees paying the price.
Crown chair Helen Coonan is chair of a PR firm whose clients have been involved in questionable financial transactions including money-laundering and stumping for shady sharemarket promoters and mortgage brokers fighting commission bans. Her PR role is in conflict with her position as chair of financial complaints ombudsman AFCA
New Zealand and the US compile public registers to ensure their Jobkeeper-type subisidies are not rorted by businesses. But no such transparency for Australians. As the Government singles out bureaucrats such as Australia Post chief Christine Holgate for corporate excesses, Tasha May shines the torch on pandemic rorting at the top end of town.
Budget unanimity – a spending feast of least resistance, devoid of ideas and vision – and little ingenuity
A few days after the “budget to beat all budgets” was announced, what is most noticeable is not the expected magnitude of spending, deficit and debt, but the consensus among commentators, analysts and economists. “Underwhelming”, “opportunity missed” and “hope and a...
Comparing the GDP numbers of New Zealand and Australia to try to make a point is a superficial comparison, writes Alan Austin. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg should also include employment and debt levels, exports and health outcomes, for starters.
There are those who do back-flips, and triple backward somersaults with a twist. Then there is Communications Minister Paul Fletcher. The sad saga of the National Broadband Network continues as the Government this week announced a large scale upgrade to fibre, and heralds it as “an idea whose time has finally come”.
MWI is a weighted index of the most recent published economic data, daily forward-looking market data and present economic sentiment. It is a blend of indices and financial market prices which both capture where the economy has been and foreshadow where it is headed.
What Covid Plan? Paul Keating seizes on the “good news” but Australia’s economy is changing for good
Paul Keating seized on a huge jump in productivity in this week’s horrific GDP release but the effect of the pandemic will profoundly change the structure of Australia’s economy for good. Michael West reports.
A key recommendation of the Productivity Commission was for a Best in Show list of the top super funds. The sector hated the idea because it threatened their gravy train. MPs duly fell into line and instead last week passed legislation that, on its own, could worsen the problem of fund underperformance. Harry Chemay investigates.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp reckons it’s $1 billion. Google reckons it’s a piddling $10 million. News and Nine Entertainment have enlisted the Government and the ACCC in their battle to force Google to pay for their news content. Just how much money does Google Australia make from traffic to its site from news-related queries?
Astronomical profits on the back of continued exploitation of Indigenous-owned land in WA. It’s time Rio upped the royalties it pays, moved its HQ to Australia, hired Indigenous Australians in senior roles, and ditched its colonial British establishment attitude.
The Law Council has bounded to the rescue of Lendlease as the Tax Office closes in on the construction giant’s billion-dollar tax rort. The stakes are high. Michael West explores what appears to be a classic mates deal to rescue a large tax rorter at the expense of all other Australian taxpayers.