Anthony Albanese’s Labor goes full Coalition-lite

Labor last year announced that it will not make changes to the stage three income tax cuts if it wins the upcoming federal election. It also abandoned the negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms taken to the past two federal elections.

Both changes followed in the wake of Labor formally dumping its franking credits policy, which would have abolished franking credit refunds for people who paid no tax.

To add insult to injury, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers also spoke out against lifting JobSeeker from its pitifully low level of $44 a day.

Now leader Anthony Albanese has abandoned his longtime support for the ­Buffett rule, which would increase taxes for very high income earners by $2.5 billion a year:

The Opposition Leader has ruled out implementing a minimum rate of tax for the highest-income earners if he becomes prime minister, despite leading the charge for the reform within Labor under Bill Shorten’s leadership…

Consideration of the Buffett rule was also supported in the last term of parliament by ALP president Wayne Swan and former left-wing union leader Tim Ayres, who is now a Labor senator and close ally of Mr Albanese.

At the ALP’s 2015 national conference, Mr Albanese sponsored an amendment urging the next Labor government to consider implementing the policy, which he said he supported.

“This proposal is the creation of a minimum tax rate levied on the total income of high-income earners,” Mr Albanese said at the national conference…

“The National Centre for ­Social and Economic Modelling has research that showed that just for the top 1 per cent of income earners, this could produce $2.5bn revenue each and every year”…

The modelling Mr Albanese referenced applied a minimum 35 per cent tax rate to people who earn more than $300,000 a year, limiting their ability to apply for deductions including from negatively geared properties and charity donations…

He referenced “unacceptable” Australian Taxation Office data showing 75 millionaires paid a total of $82 tax on a combined ­income of $195m.

“The nurses, the teachers, the miners, the construction workers -they shouldn’t be paying all the tax while the millionaires simply are able to minimise theirs,” he said.

What is the point of Labor if it is merely a Coalition-lite party that endorses pretty much the same neoliberal policies?

Australia’s two-party system means voters essentially face a devil’s choice between the corrupt and useless Morrison Government or China-groveling Labor. Pick your poison.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

  1. If we’re not going to vote for them when they put up meaningful reform (as they did last election), we’re not going to get meaningful reform. At least an open reform agenda anyway. What you see now is pretty much the product of the last election, political pragmatism and the power of the pro-LNP press.

    • They shouldn’t change policies that are good for the country because of a lack of votes. They should keep these policies and go harder on education for why they are necessary and keep doing this until enough people wake up. They have instead sold out.

      • Too many of us are just rewarding the wrong things come election time because of the structural power imbalances (between capital and labour) and poor information. Labor is running a small target policy platform to get in so they don’t run into the same News limited/mining magnate fear campaigns that always dash their hopes when they run with a reform agenda.
        Edit: I understand where you are coming from but, too few of us think like you if history is a guide – pragmatism.

        • Yeah, though I doubt this will work, there will always be something they can run scare stories on, especially since many of the ones the Murdocistan press ran last time were lies & they can just play on existing preconceptions & their previous lies, let alone genuine grey areas

        • So avoid the media. I’ve never had a political party volunteer knock on my door ever. A phone call would even be nice. How about doing interviews on youtube. There are alternatives to the dying media.

        • “rewarding the wrong things” would be exactly what voting Labor would do.
          A worker party in favour of “Big” Australia deserves no votes from the workers they would screw over with such a policy.

          • “Big Australia!” I realise this single issue burns hot here but, there are other important reforms needed. If we wanted to incentivise Labor to tackle “tough issues”, we need to demonstrate as a country that we are prepared to vote for tough reforms. That’s the point I’m making.

      • I think you are dramatically overestimating the intelligence and ethics of the average Australian voter.

  2. MerkwürdigliebeMEMBER

    The ALP are pathetic squibs

    But this government has to go, and it is the very worst of Australian history

    THE WORST GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY IS THE ONE WE HAVE NOW HEADED BY SCOTT MORRISON

    The only option Australians thinking about Australians and wanting to deliver a better future for those Australians is to recognise

    THE WORST ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY IS THE ONE WE HAVE NOW HEADED BY ANTHONY ALBANESE and the AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

    The only answer is to

    1.. take your time on voting day,
    2. put the LNP and ALP Last,
    3. find an independent (any independent but make sure they really are independent)
    4. number every last square (in House of Reps and in the Senate)

    • “find an independent (any independent but make sure they really are independent)”
      How does one “make sure” they are independent?

      • Best then to vote for truly independent party like Sustainable Australia or Flux (not some extreme left or right party)

      • Precisely. The only way to make sure the Scum is out is by voting for the ALP, whether you like them or not.
        Only four months to Albo “22 .

        • bolstroodMEMBER

          It is my hope that Albo is executing a cunning plan, and will when elected find reason to change direction on 3rd. tier tax cuts and reinstate labor’s policy on Capital gains, the Buffet rule and many other iniquitous LNP policies.

          • Which is exactly why many people won’t vote Labor this time around.

            I voted for Shorten, mainly because I wanted to see house prices return to a sane level. Now I’m more concerned about the likelihood Albo removes the stage 3 tax cuts. That, combined with Labor’s CCP problem, renders them unthinkable as an Australian government.

  3. happy valleyMEMBER

    Labor is well on the road again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Thanks for condemning us to more years of the most morally bankrupt gubmint this country has ever known.

  4. I know Totes is criticized a lot here, but he is right labor have sold their souls to the devil. Doesn’t mean that LNP are not to blame for so much of our misery, but it does mean that labor is never going to help. Vote independents and minor parties first, preference labor and LNP last.

    • Minor parties like PHON and UAP? Yeah, right. And there aren’t any true “independents” (at least not once they get elected).
      But your advice would make sure we’re stuck with the Scum for 3 more years. No, thanks!

    • MB readerMEMBER

      Put United Australia Party or One Nation before Labor or Liberal? Don’t think so! UAP would really create a cesspit!

    • Labor gave people a choice last time and self interest and Murdoch won out

      That’s not labor’s fault

      Totes completely ignores the Murdoch variable

      • Agreed. Both Totes and Rusty Penny ignore the fact that the majority of people believe what the media tells them, and the media tells them at election time that Labor is bad.

        The 2019 was the biggest example of media manipulation with many examples of factually incorrect reporting on ALP policies while repeating Liberal lies (Retiree Tax) as facts.

        Sure Labor kicked a few own goals, and they need to get better at explaining WHY we need to implement a policy but our concentrated media needs reform

        • Worth pointing out they don’t so much ignore it, as explicitly state it’s not a factor – ie: people aren’t formulating their opinions based on what’s in the media.

  5. I mean, why would they do anything else other than copy LNP policies?

    If you want to win, you need to keep interest rates down for all the horny property lords. Oh no, an indepeendant Central Bank!? What do?

    Easy:

    1) make the Central Bank’s mandate include wage growth as a driver for interest rate decisions;
    2) import 4 billion ‘skilled’ migrants a year to ensure wages stay down (or better yet, they go down, not up);
    3)…
    4) profit (from extraordinarily high asset price inflation – just not the kind you put in your CPI basket).

    See? Watch the stocks and property portfolio soar! And that Central Bank is truly independent, just waiting for cheap money to spur on wage growth. Patiently waiting…

  6. Arthur Schopenhauer

    You can always vote Labor in the lower house and put the majors last in the senate. There’s a lot of choice in the Senate.

    It really comes down to voting for independents in blue chip liberal seats.

    • Or you can vote the LNP in the lower house, with a number 3 at best on your lower house ticket, and the minors in the senate….

        • Because as bad as the LNP are, the ALP are worse.

          Parliament has two functions….

          The Lower house is who comes up with the ideas… the ALP only seek to harm Australia, so as I said, they are worse than what we have now.

          The upper house is to green light/red light. If all they do is red light, then the lower house inflicts a least damage as possible.

          • MB readerMEMBER

            Whereas the LNP don’t seek to harm Australia? When I look around, all l see are problems that the LNP doesn’t want to address and is indifferent to exacerbating.

          • Whereas the LNP don’t seek to harm Australia?

            No.

            What they do, being as stupid and corrupt as they are, is want to build an environment to pander to their work shy mates.

            LNP ideology is shaped by the trauma of young kids, seeing their father’s go away to see their mistress on a Saturday morning, while lying about their absence saying “when I have to pay loadings on a weekend, i can’t spend time with you son”.

            Even since then, every single LNP parliamentarian reflects about the ‘injustice’… masturbating on the toilet, tears streaming down their eyes crying “don’t worry daddy, I’ll get rid of time and a half for you”.

            That’s it…..

            Workchoices, is an extension of this masturbatory session.
            Eliminating bulk billing, Medicare, is an extension of this masturbatory session.
            Andrew Robb’s Port of Darwin Deals, this is an extension of this masturbatory session..

            Is doesn’t matter, all of it stems from unloved sons.

            But as long as this excess is curbed, and government can’t actually intervene, then the rest of us have the means to look after ourselves.

            But the ALP, oh boy.. ever since they stopped looking after the worker, which was the principle of people are capable of looking after themselves… have gone full on nasty.

            They want to interfere, dictate, meddle,

            The prop of welfare is the greatest tool… when you need government welfare to survive, of course you vote ALP.

            They no longer want you to earn enough from proper working rights… the ALP want you to come to them with a begging bowl.

            They hate your autonomy, they hate you if you deviate from their narrative.

            Deadset, Dan Andrews has been the greatest exponent FOR federalism in this history of this country.

            A person like Dan Andrews can be PM…

            Anyone who doesn’t want to live like that, has the option of another another jurisdiction under federalism…

            When I look around, all l see are problems that the LNP doesn’t want to address and is indifferent to exacerbating.

            The funny thing is to ALP boosters, who seem unaware…the electorate knows this

            “Like the God-grifters statement below….

            Hehe, if we get that god-grifter statement out there, we got them. There’s no come back from this

            The punter knows the LNP is happy to let certain things drift….to let it exacerbate… what they also know is what areas will be destroyed if the ALP get into government….

          • Anders Andersen

            “Because as bad as the LNP are, the ALP are worse.”

            Bullish!t, the ALP isn’t but I’ll be damned if I reward them with my vote for being LNPlite. 2nd last, just above the absolute @rseholes.

          • “Because as bad as the LNP are, the ALP are worse.”

            Bullish!t, the ALP isn’t ….

            OK, then the ALP doesn’t need to change a thing…

          • Anders Andersen

            I can see why you’re a FP and not a lawyer, didn’t say they didn’t need to change which is why they’re 2nd last on my vote card. I just said they’re not as bad as the LNP, but they’ll need to do a lot better than be just a little less sh!t than them to get my vote.

          • I just said they’re not as bad as the LNP

            I know what you said. You’re saying the LNP are the worst option, by default making the ALP a better option.

            If they’re better than the LNP, then there’s no need for them to to change.

            They’re a shoe in, they can continue to ignore those telling them why they’re the inferior option.

          • Anders Andersen

            “If they’re better than the LNP, then there’s no need for them to to change.

            They’re a shoe in, they can continue to ignore those telling them why they’re the inferior option.”

            I don’t agree that being less sh!te than the LNP makes them a shoe in, cause enough disruption via independents etc and eventually they will see the light. Biggest issue are ignorant voters on both sides. People voting LNP that don’t get liberal gov and the same with those voting Labor.

          • Biggest issue are ignorant voters on both sides.

            Yes of course it is…

            or sometimes the biggest problem is the Murdoch media…

            Or the Tampa…. or John Kerr… or something else…

            The biggest problem IS NEVER the Labor party itself….

            Imagine working to really fixing a problem, what type of information you’d need….

            People voting LNP that don’t get liberal gov and the same with those voting Labor.

            It’s won by the swinging middle, those whose vote will shift.

            The swinging middle has voted, 7 out of the last 9 elections by clear majority votes… to the point where the ALP primary vote was 33.34% last election… for someone else other than the ALP.

            No one is enthusiastic for the LNP, they swerve one purposes.. be the mob that keeps the ALP vote… but of course, that’s “voter ignorance”…..

          • This stance by Labor is good news. This helps to ensure they lose and Totes getting his wish. Good news i say.

  7. “What is the point of Labor if it is merely a Coalition-lite party that endorses pretty much the same neoliberal policies?”

    One thing we can say, the point of Labor is NOT to be pathetic, fringe lunatics.

    The title of this post is even tinged with a perverse bias, demonstrating part of the problem in wider Australia..

    Labor last year announced that it will not make changes to the stage three income tax cuts

    And?

    Having people maintain more of their own remuneration is not one inch removed from Palestinian genocide,

    We don’t need to seek a ‘cure’ to this travesty of humanity, to prove ones centrist credentials, by taxing tax more.

    Protip: People in this country pay enough income tax.

    If anything, the low wage earners pay too little. I will add I don’t say this is their fault.

    In this country, the Gini coefficient is too high and wage share is too low for them to pay what would be considered their “fair share”.

    Not that is correcting this is what ALP is truly after… if after-tax wages are too low, then everyone is dependent on the party which gives them more welfare to supplement their income.

    The LNP are in power for one reason, the ALP have built the perception that they themselves are even LESS capable.

    No one wants a Morrison government… but they do want to someone to prevent the ALP to govern, and the unfortunate byproduct of this is we’re stuck with Morrison.

    • Jumping jack flash

      “If anything, the low wage earners pay too little. I will add I don’t say this is their fault.”

      Are you accounting for GST?

  8. Step 1 – the churchy grifters have to go.
    Step 2 – dealing with the ALP with help from the cross bench.

    • Step 1 – the churchy grifters have to go.

      The alternative at the moment is feminist grifters, immigrant grifters and tranny grifters….

      The electorate know this…. they know they are being sold “replace X with Y”….

      They hate Y even more than X

          • Churches of all types have a 2000+ year track record of displaying the least Christian like behaviour

          • Churches of all types have a 2000+ year track record of displaying the least Christian like behaviour

            They’ve also had a 2000+ year track record of displaying the most Christian-like behaviour too.

            Are you going somewhere with this?

  9. Uncle WattleberryMEMBER

    I’m just trying to think of a government that won power from opposition by promising tax increases.

    • Brian Burke
      Gordon Nuttall
      Terry Martin
      Bill D’Arcy
      Keith Wright
      Milton Orkopoulos
      Joe Tripodi
      Eddie Obeid
      Ian MacDonald
      Robert Ray
      Craig Thomson

      Why would anyone tie their identity to the LNP?

      Because they’re not the ALP?

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        I didn’t say tying your identity to Labor was any better!

        This sort of black and white thinking got us to the parliament we have.

        😂😀🤣 That’s the whole LNP policy book, “Where not Labor”. If Labor didn’t exist, neither would the LNP!

        The country deserves better than either of them.

      • Christian porter
        Scrote
        Sukkar
        Robert

        Carry on

        It goes both ways

        This back and fwd seems silly

        • Christian porter
          Scrote
          Sukkar
          Robert

          Carry on

          It goes both ways

          This back and fwd seems silly

          No, it’s entirely the point…if you’re going to make this a contest around a purity test….such as;

          “Why would anyone tie their identity to the LNP?”

          Then you had better have a better identity to tie too…. else you’re the same floater at the bottom of the ‘S’ bend.

          Politics is about differentiation, you had better win on the differentiation stakes…

          Same as attacking Scomo for being narcissistic, dishonest and corrupt… you’re appeal had better deliver something better…
          and when it comes to the ALP… they can’t deliver better than that.

      • I didn’t say tying your identity to Labor was any better!

        This sort of black and white thinking got us to the parliament we have.

        Parliament is, unfortunately, a dichotomy of ideas. For lack of anything better, it has to be Black and White..
        Which is why the appeals to virtue (moreso a purity test) sees the ALP fail time and time again.

        While the LNP Morrison Gov’s nepotism is appalling, is doesn’t hold any weight as a voter decider when you consider .. people like Thérèse Rein.

        if on is clutch pearls like “Why would anyone tie their identity to the LNP?” …. it won’t a difference here, when the ALP is the same with this criteria, and has much more immense failings in other areas.

        😂😀🤣 That’s the whole LNP policy book, “Where not Labor”. If Labor didn’t exist, neither would the LNP!

        I’ve said as much, the LNP is the know nothing, do nothing, eternal mediocre caretaker motley crew fit for nothing more than a caretaker government.

        The ALP has introduced all the meaningful policy in the history of federation. Unfortunately for us, they’re prone to being grubs, thieves, liars and now… woke softcocks… 75% of the time…. it’s this 75% of the time the LNP has to be put into power, to do less harm than the ALP would otherwise do.

        But the LNP is never fit for government, just exist as a being less bad than the ALP at their worse.

        This is the bottom for the ALP in their entire history.

        The country deserves better than either of them.

        True, but that also deserves a convergence of views, not a divergence of views.
        Diversity is a weakness.

  10. Typical of our so called leaders, advocate good policies before and after they get into power, but complete sellouts when in power.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      The system works for that outcome. We need donation reform to fix it.

      Be Independent. Vote Independent.

  11. Meh. The 75 millionaires they bleat about are not earning $300k/yr.

    Like death taxes – which every supporter insists will be set very very high, in the 10s of millions range, despite the fact the UK death tax threshold has slipped down to ~AUD 650k equivalent – this is a slippery slope toward more taxes for those at the top end of middle income. Next stop: a “combined income” threshold.

  12. Jumping jack flash

    “What is the point of Labor if it is merely a Coalition-lite party that endorses pretty much the same neoliberal policies?”

    No point indeed!

    It is the winning formula though, and our glorious set of leaders with planet-sized brains simply can’t think of anything else to do, and any other way to be, than to side with and emulate the winners. Perhaps its a cultural thing?

    They’re still flogging policy that was dreamed up to solve problems that were occurring as far back as 2005, and have long since ceased to be problems! Arguably, our leaders were still capable of forming independent thoughts and knew a little bit about the jobs they were asked to perform back then, unlike today’s crop of so-called “leaders”.

    Absolute clowns, the whole lot of them.

  13. Can’t see the problem here

    The Scrote and his Potemkin Government can GAGF

    Labor will Give us
    A retrospective Fed ICAC
    Action on CC

    Go from there

    Can always repeal Stage 3 (of which I’d be a beneficiary but am more than happy to forego), Buffet rule, neg gearing limitations etc post winning

    Forests, trees

    You can soon or sook it up at the margins if you want but this is a great start

  14. Lets face it, you could warm up a cadaver and it would have more personality and be more electorally popular than ‘Albo’.