Thursday, 19th December 2013

LIBERATED

The aim of Joe Hockey's MYEFO (Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook) statement on Tuesday was to set the scene, and government statements since then have given a fair indication of how the Coalition will proceed.

Tony Abbott yesterday declared an end to "corporate welfare" and signalled his government won't likely do much to bail out unprofitable businesses.

Of the workers losing jobs, Abbott said, "Some of them will find it difficult but many will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives."

Coalition industry policy, if you could call it that, is straightforward. It is to create a general environment more conducive to business: building infrastructure, keeping power prices down and reducing regulation. Actions on the latter two will in many cases come at the expense of the physical environment.

Abbott indicated that his government is looking at winding back or scrapping the 20% renewable energy target (which would represent a broken promise by the Coalition). The Coalition blames the RET – with scant evidence – for high energy costs. Many of the government's regulatory changes relate specifically to environmental management. And, of course, there's the carbon tax.

But it's not just environment-related programs and policies being wound back. Abbott also hinted that he will consider changes to both his generous paid parental leave scheme and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

All signs indicate that what we get will be desiccated versions of what was promised.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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High Court rules against NSW Government's electoral donation laws after union challenge

Breaking: "The laws were passed in February last year, banning unions and corporations from making donations to political parties for election campaigns… In a unanimous decision, the High Court has found that the laws are invalid because they burden the implied freedom of communication on governmental and political matters, contrary to the Commonwealth constitution. "

 

GIVEAWAY: The Ballarat Beer Festival is Victoria’s original and favourite beer festival and it returns to picturesque City Oval, Ballarat on Saturday 18th January 2014. Enjoy the stellar line-up of craft beer, ciders, wines and gourmet food to sample plus nine hours of entertainment including great Australian bands, education sessions and a dedicated Kids Zone! For your chance to WIN a double-pass, email [email protected] with your postal address by 5pm this Friday 20 December.

Tony Abbott declares an end to ‘corporate welfare’

"Tony Abbott has declared an end to “corporate welfare”, saying his government is loth to give any more handouts to business and offering just $60m to boost overall investment conditions in Victoria and South Australia as they cope with Holden’s decision to close."

Also: Car parts suppliers warn 30,000 jobs hinge on keeping Toyota in Australia

Government warned not to judge NDIS too early

"Since the release of this week's bleak budget update, he and the Treasurer have been emphasising that while they remain committed to the NDIS, they want it delivered efficiently and cost-effectively. The Government has also indicated that there will not be an increase in funding for the NDIS, despite the cost overrun."

Also: Tony Abbott signals he may be open to negotiations on paid parental leave (SMH)

Renewable energy: Tony Abbott signals he could wind back or scrap targets

"Tony Abbott has signalled next year’s review of the renewable energy target could wind back, or even scrap, the scheme, saying lower power prices are the government’s primary goal and the rationale for the RET no longer exists... Abbott said: “We support sensible use of renewable energy, and as you know it was former Howard government which initially gave us the RET and at the time it was important because we made very little use of renewable energy.” But times had changed, he said."

China wary of Abbott’s ‘harder’ foreign policy

"The Chinese government is concerned about a shift in Australia’s foreign ­policy since the election of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and has warned the hardening of attitudes towards Beijing could threaten the recently signed ­strategic partnership. Foreign policy experts, security sources, economists and military ­figures have all noted the cooling of relations since the Coalition came to power in September."

Best Australian Political Writing of 2013

"It’s no simple task to whittle down a dramatic year’s politics to a selection of ten works. There will be debate about it, of course – based on political orientation and style appreciation, depending on whether one values scoops, profiles or commentary. What’s beyond doubt is the value of political writing like the following..."