Aid & Trade and global poverty

The Australian government has released a White Paper on its overseas aid program. There is a balanced assessment of its pros and cons over at Ben’s blog. From my quick scanning of it, as well as reading Ben’s assessment and some media reports, it seems to take a few steps forward, but still falls a…

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Tax Reform VI

While a lot of the front page political coverage has been about weasel words on wheat or woes with the workplace laws, the tax reform issue has still been ticking away underneath. It’s now less than a month until the federal budget

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Tax Reform V

One thing the minimal Ministerial changes mean is that the same key players will be determining how the government responds to the continuing tax reform debate. The public debate has continued over the last couple of weeks, although I expect Ministers will start pulling their heads in a bit more once the Parliament resumes.

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The Last Seven Days

Only 7 sitting days of the Senate left before the Howard Government takes full control of the Parliament. I arrived back home around 11.00 pm last night. Today I went to a funeral and then into my office to sign a huge pile of forms and letters that had been sitting there awaiting my pen…

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Taxing Times Coming Up in the Senate

The draft legislation program has been released for the final fortnight of Senate sittings before the Government takes control on July 1st. The list for the first week can be found here . As is usual at the end of a session, the full list contains a ludicrously high number of Bills – 68 of…

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A Few Short Updates on previous topics

A Bit More Budget Reaction – Following on from its declaration of Peter Costello as a “working class hero”, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph has found something to criticise the Treasurer for – its front page story notes “his terrific budget for the hard-working people of NSW” but complains that he “has spurned his Sydney Rugby League…

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Workers vs Shirkers

I wrote here about the “shirker” usurping the old role of the “bludger” as the star player in the Government’s lexicon of the undeserving. Today’s Daily Telegraph couldn’t make it any clearer. Its headline “Workers 1 Shirkers 0” pits ‘them’ against ‘us’ in the most basic possible way. Amazingly this story says that Treasurer Peter…

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A Few Budget Views

There’s more commentary and analysis on the Budget around than anyone could possibly read, so I won’t add a lot here. If you want to read all the detail for yourself, you can click here. The activity in Parliament House on Budget Day and night is a unique experience, which I will write more on…

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Interest rate rise was avoidable

The economic news of the past day shows how laughable the assertion is that either of the two major parties can somehow be seen as good economic managers. The totally avoidable interest rate rise will significantly hurt huge numbers of Australian families because of the enormous levels of private debt. Some will say that this…

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