Amusingly empty, at the AFR:
Scott Morrison says the government’s income tax cuts could pass both houses of Parliament by as early as Thursday but it will be just the start of what is “a chocked program” of legislation between now and the end of the year.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan ahead of the start of the new Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Morrison rejected assertions his agenda was little more than the tax cuts, for which the government is close to a deal with the Senate crossbench.
Conscious of the need to lift productivity, the Prime Minister cited as part of his broader agenda the new push on industrial relations and deregulation which he flagged last week, the introduction of open banking legislation which needs to be passed by the end of July, a real-time settlement system for the ASX, and the economy-wide adoption of digital payments.
Amusing stuff. The industrial relations agenda is attacking John Setka and stuffing Australia with cheap foreign labour. The rest of it is so marginal to productivity that it is hard to know where to look.
But why would the AFR or anybody else be surprised? We all know what Australia’s productivity reform agenda needs to be:
- removal of tax concessions that are promoting unproductive investment;
- cutting immigration to take pressure off infrastructure, land prices and the currency;
- reforming horizontal fiscal imbalances;
- greater competition and R&D stimulus.
ScoMo was explicitly elected to NOT do any of it. And he ain’t going to.
The really weird part of it is not ScoMo, it is the AFR, which did everything in its power to prevent Labor’s reform agenda.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.