Pyne poisons EY

Via the AFR:

Senior EY officers held secret talks over the weekend about the controversy around the hiring of former defence minister Christopher Pyne, while on Monday Labor and key crossbench senators moved to offer support for a parliamentary inquiry into the role.

The Australian Financial Review has been told that the big four consulting firm’s senior figures, who are all shocked by the backlash the hire has generated, discussed a range of options on Sunday including withdrawing the offer.

The firm remains split over the best way to resolve the matter with a select number of partners now canvassing further views.

The ABC and Michael West are gunning for Pyne, quite rightly:

And so is the parliament, also at AFR:

Pressure is building on former defence minister Christopher Pyne over his appointment with global consulting firm EY, as Labor and key crossbench senators offer support for a parliamentary inquiry into the job.

Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has backed Centre Alliance powerbroker Rex Patrick’s calls for an inquiry into the job, first revealed in The Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.

The inquiry would examine whether the appointment breaches ministerial code of conduct provisions requiring cabinet members to wait for 18 months after leaving office before lobbying the government or its agencies on “any matters on which they have had official dealings”.

Let’s not forget that this ridiculous ex-minister cost Australia countless billions and our national security when the Turnbull Government elected to build $200bn of subs in Pyne’s electorate to save him from a Xenophon Team push.

Recall from defense expert Brian Toohey three years ago:

…The government’s refusal to go with an off-the-shelf design will cost more billions, because the first of new submarines won’t be operational until after 2030 and the last until almost 2060.

This means the decrepit Collins class submarines will have to be kept going for more than 20 years beyond their planned 2025 retirement date – necessitating new capital spending and very high maintenance and operating costs that will soon pass $1 billion a year.

…Where were Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann when this decision was taken? The government’s estimates of the added costs of local construction shows it will take more than $20 billion more simply to try to win a couple of Coalition seats in Adelaide.

$20bn extra for Chris Pyne’s seat? Phewy. Try $175bn, later at the AFR:

The Turnbull government’s hopes of getting Senate backing for a fresh wave of company tax cuts continue to sink, with a key crossbencher warning they are becoming unaffordable because of the ballooning cost to build and operate 12 new submarines.

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick – one of the key swing votes the government is wooing – told The Australian Financial Review it was “impossible” for him to agree to the plan to slash the corporate tax rate for businesses with a turnover of more than $50 million a year while the final price tag for the submarines remained unknown.

Seizing on official figures obtained through the Senate committee process as well as independent analysis, Senator Patrick, a former submariner, said the cost of building and sustaining the 12 French-designed submarines may ultimately reach $200 billion over their life.

And you wonder why there’s outrage.

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