Bill Kelty horrified by coward Jim Chalmers


Ah, the good old days. When political operatives were intellects and patriots first. Party hacks second.

I give you Bill Kelty at The Saturday Paper destroying Treasury unreformer Jim “Chicken” Chamlers.

Many people have paid a high price for some very bad policy decisions: when governments stopped building homes for the poor in the numbers required; when the eligibility for the age pension was pushed back without increasing superannuation; when governments froze payments to doctors under Medicare for six years, fatally white-anting bulk-billing; when the permanency of the teaching profession was destroyed and collective bargaining was made more difficult; and when governments wasted bucketloads of money on multiple infrastructure projects.

The truth is some governments were more interested in hurting union organisations than in developing productive workplaces.

Some governments put tunnels before teachers and hospitals. Investment houses were subsidised rather than building homes for the poor. Workers were brought in on temporary visas rather than training our own people. Tax reform of substance was eschewed and the great crisis events of the global financial crisis and Covid-19 redistributed resources to capital.


The consequences are clear. There is a shortage of nurses, teachers, tradespeople and public housing. Productivity growth rates have declined. Our society is increasingly fragmented and fractured.

It is a reasonable political proposition for Labor to say it is repairing the fabric, but it may not be enough unless the government has a clear strategy beyond that.

It must make enterprise bargaining work by developing modern agreements between employers and unions. It must also reform the taxation system so it is fair as to the load between younger people and older Australians.


The Labor tax changes are an improvement, but it is outrageous that many young income earners face a combined marginal tax rate of almost 50 per cent on their income and expenditure. It is silly we have such high marginal tax rates.

The government must also improve productivity and economic adjustment by developing institutions that can actually build public housing and run childcare with greater efficiency.

There should be increases in training and education to provide for higher levels of skills through lifelong learning. There should also be improvements to capital productivity by increasing the utilisation of the investible capacity of superannuation in infrastructure and corporate debt.


The government must reinvigorate microeconomic reform, sector by sector, building on the reform under way to the National Disability Insurance Scheme but applying it to defence, health, pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance services. It must also provide the fiscal capacity to increase frontline workers’ pay and conditions

The unions are having a crack too


Treasurer Jim Chalmers will face a union campaign to pull the Labor Party to the left on economic policy, including calls to impose a super profits tax, curtail property investor tax breaks, overrule the Reserve Bank and introduce price controls to curtail high inflation.

Zach Smith, who took over as CFMEU national construction division secretary last year, said he would push Labor directly and through the broader union movement to overhaul economic policy.

“I want to pull the Labor Party to the left on economics,” Mr Smith said in a wide-ranging lunch interview with AFR Weekend. “I don’t think economics works for working people. I think we need to have a massive rethink.”


Treasurer Jim “Chicken” Chalmers is far too cowardly and politicised to attempt ANY of the above suggestions. 

He is a party hack par excellence to a hollow man leader who would sell his mother for power.

They will instead crush wages and inflate houses with mass immigration as the iMSM cheers them on like any good LNP government.

Bill Kelty is in the wrong political party.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. 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.