Posts Tagged ‘ howard government ’

Wayne Swan still has a job to do on welfare

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The mixed result in the analysis of Australia’s tax and handout system shows how much further the Rudd Government has to go in order to achieve its stated goal of a simpler, fairer and more jobs-friendly regime. The analysis shows that 97,000 families in the top half of the income ladder lost family payments because of the budget. However, the clawback was offset by 53,000 new family payment recipients coming from the bottom half of the ladder, due to other tax changes.

New York trip an escape from the house of horrors

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Liberal leadership saga has overshadowed growing unrest within the Government over industrial relations, which the Prime Minister will again avoid this week. Some backbenchers fear Julia Gillard’s proposed industrial relations legislation is too similar to Work Choices. Last Tuesday, while Brendan Nelson was being dumped, New South Wales senator Steve Hutchins was telling a restive Labor caucus that the legislation was “Work Choices lite”.

All in the timing for Turnbull

Sep 21st, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

Kevin Rudd’s week-long visit to New York to address the UN General Assembly will mark his second visit to the US this year. Labor has been in office for about 300 days and the new Prime Minister has spent 50 of them overseas. Former prime minister John Howard spent 18 nights overseas in his first year.

State of the union

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Labor’s substitute for WorkChoices, which it calls Forward With Fairness, is no counter-revolution. In a way, it’s more an attempt to make WorkChoices more efficient, the sort of prescription that John Howard might have gone for had he not been overwhelmed by the desire to leave behind a profound ideological mark.

Visa ruling came after donation

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

There is no evidence to show that the donations to the Liberal Party influenced any decision making by then-Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone or encouraged any of the politicians to contact her about the case. But the revelations raise questions about the appropriateness of political parties accepting certain donations.

Costello recalls his golden age

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Malcolm Turnbull is largely divorced from the Howard era. Coming into parliament only at the 2004 election, Turnbull was not present for the early successes, only the later failures. The intriguing test is where Turnbull takes the party. How will he reinterpret Liberal beliefs? How will he unite the conservative and liberal traditions in the one party?

‘Rich’ farmers opt for drought relief

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The Rudd Government is concerned that taxpayer-funded relief from the Exceptional Circumstances scheme is being collected by farmers who had saved money in Farm Management Deposit accounts. The accounts, introduced by the Howard government, give farmers tax breaks if they put money aside in good times ready for later use.

Four in 10 families pay no tax

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The income-tax-free club now covers 42.2 per cent of the nation’s 9.754 million families. But middle earners just outside the tax-free zone are caught in a new personal tax pincer, with 134,000 breadwinners being pushed up the scales from 30c to 40c despite Labor claiming it would “increase the take-home pay of all taxpayers”.

Gillard’s fair go is Work Choices lite

Sep 18th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Workplace Relations Minister will not readily admit it, but a fair slab of the Howard Government’s Work Choices regime will remain: things such as restrictions on the content of union bargaining claims, no industry-wide strikes and no arbitration of union wage claims except in exceptional circumstances.

Turnbull rejects Hockey for IR post, eyes Robb

Sep 18th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The Opposition Leader has decided he cannot place Joe Hockey in the workplace relations role because he held the portfolio during the Howard years. Mr. Turnbull is also likely to dump key Brendan Nelson supporters and reward several ambitious backbenchers who backed him in this week’s leadership ballot with posts in the outer ministry.