Australian Politics


Abbott moves to kill negative gearing reform and Turnbull

Will the real prime minister stand up please, from The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull is leaving room to retreat on a controversial change to negative gearing in the face of backbench fears and a warning shot from Tony Abbott about the government’s economic direction. …The Australian understands the Prime Minister has been considering the move over


Abbottalypse 2.0 stirs party room

Bring it on, from the AFR: Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has raised the temperature inside the Coalition over tax reform by calling on Malcolm Turnbull to make tough decisions to cut spending if he wanted to fund tax cuts. Mr Abbott, who as prime minister opposed tinkering with superannuation, negative gearing and the GST, told Tuesday’s weekly Coalition


Maurice spearheads Abbottalypse 2.0

If you have any doubts about what’s tearing Malcolm Turnbott in twain then put those to rest. We have a backbench revolt of loon ponders actively pursuing private policy objectives, Tony Abbott himself blathering constantly about the wars he wants fought and now this from card-carrying Abbott loyalist Maurice Newman at The Australian: When Malcolm


Will negative gearing reform “smash” house prices, economy?

Will negative gearing reform smash house prices and the economy as Prime Minister Turnbott says it will? Let’s look to the evidence. In the mid-1980s negative gearing was repealed for two years from June ’85 to Sep ’87, I’ve marked this period on the chart: Prices did fall, yes, but you could hardly call it a


Is Turnbott sinking in the loon pond?

Just how much pressure is the Turnbott under from his sudden policy mentor Tony Abbott? Judging by this, a lot: One of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s biggest supporters will be named chair of Parliament’s powerful security and intelligence committee by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Tasmanian MP Andrew Nikolic, an arch conservative MP with hawkish


Gittins destroys Turnbott

Oh yeh, Turnbott has lost control of the agenda alright, from Ross Gittins: …When Turnbull displaced Tony Abbott five months ago I, like many others, dared to hope his ascension represented a new beginning for Australian politics…The eternal emphasis on attaining and retaining power, rather than on using that power to make Australia a better


Turnbott betrays social liberalism as well

Cripes, the compass has gone completely out the window, from the Canberra Times: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered a review into a controversial school education program aimed at promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) students. The Safe Schools teaching manual, introduced by the previous Labor government, has been attacked in recent


Kouk backs Labor’s negative gearing policy

Not that that will surprise anyone but here it is: Labor’s negative gearing reform proposal is economically responsible and fair Labor’s reform proposal for negative gearing is well founded in fairness and economics. But like most reforms, particularly ones which remove a well-entrenched and significant market distortion, there are likely to be some consequences for


Turnbott still mulling CGT changes

You idiots: A spokesman for the Prime Minister then told The Australian Financial Review that Mr Turnbull was still open to tightening the tax deduction for losses on negatively geared investment, and reducing the capital gains tax discount for investors, but not by as much as Labor. Pressed what the government’s position was on Tuesday morning,


Bring back Abbott!

The Coalition has the yips, from The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull’s authority on delivering promised economic leadership and Scott Morrison’s ability to introduce tax reforms are under extreme pressure from Coalition backbenchers emboldened by the retreat from raising the GST. Fuelled by polling figures MPs say show the opposition’s negative gearing policy is hurting Labor, Coalition


Tony Barnbull spawns

Tony Turnbull has torn free of its monstrous chrysalis in a spray of fetid ooze as it scuttles towards your face for an early election: JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, can I ask you about negative gearing? Is the government open to any potential changes similar to what Labor are suggesting? PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, well thank you. The Labor Party’s negative gearing


Coalition polls hammered

From The Australian: Based on preference flows from the last election, the Coal­ition and Labor are tied in two-party terms at 50 per cent each. …The poll of 1807 voters taken from Thursday to Sunday found 47 per cent in favour of Labor’s negative-gearing plan, with 31 per cent opposed and 22 per cent undecided.


Snap election looms

From Domainfax: Malcolm Turnbull’s ascendant Coalition government is moving closer to calling an early election, even as strategists warn of a backlash from voters that could cost it 10 or more seats. The negative voter reaction is considered “containable” and is being factored in to considerations, with private polling suggesting voters will stick with Mr


Steve Ciobo the new “yes man” on TPP

By Leith van Onselen New Trade Minister, Steve Ciobo, has attacked US Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, for opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, accusing Ms Clinton of running a union-backed misinformation campaign against the pact. From The AFR: “I’m not surprised that the trade union movement and, of course, the political arm of the


Tingle: ALP winning negative gearing debate

From Laura Tingle at the AFR: …If the government really wants us to be a clever country, enjoying an ideas boom and investing in innovation, you would think it would be interested in measures which normalise the investment choice between housing and other investments which remains one of the last great distortions left in our economy. …Labor’s


Colonel Cormann: Ain’t no reform ‘ere

From the AFR: The federal government has downplayed the significance of bracket creep as it continues to hose down expectations of meaningful tax cuts ahead of the May 10 federal budget. After months of portraying bracket creep as a menace that threatened economic growth, Finance Minster Mathias Cormann now says there is no urgency to redress the issue because of low wages


Morrison slurps RBA/Treasury poison

Yesterday Treasurer Morrison gave a speech at the Press Club that did a good job of framing his Government’s Budget: We know that Australians are out there, every single day, transforming and transitioning our economy. They’re out there, as I have said, working hard, earning, paying taxes on what they’re earning. They’re saving for their


McKibbin, Morgan, Broadbent endorse NG reform

The AFR lines up executives for and against negative gearing reform today: Prominent investor Peter Morgan has labelled negative gearing a “Ponzi scheme” and said it posed a risk to the financial system… “At some stage negative gearing has got to go, not necessarily for the tax reasons, but for the leverage it’s putting into the property market, which


RBA and Treasury have become rent seekers

According to Wikipaedia, rent seeking is: When a company, organization or individual uses their resources to obtain an economic gain from others without reciprocating any benefits back to society through wealth creation. The Reserve Bank of Australia and Treasury now epitomise this definition. How? They are advising Prime Minister Turnbull to hose down all reform


MS: Tax election to hit growth

From Morgan Stanley comes the RBA and Treasury’s nightmare: The Federal Opposition’s proposal of a broad overhaul of the housing and investment tax regime challenges the incumbent Government to deliver on promised broad-based tax reform. Change is coming and the impact on macro and markets could be meaningful. Tax reform to dominate election debate: We


Morrison: Negative gearing your “one chance to build wealth”

From the Treasurer of the Property Council via the ABC: Mr Morrison has been leaving clues about the changes he wants to make to tax breaks for Australians who invest in property. He has attacked Labor’s policy — under which only new properties would be able to be negatively geared after a proposed 2017 introduction


Malcolm should defect to Labor

The path of true politics never did run smooth! Australia suddenly finds itself in the strangest of circumstances. Consider our developing political economy: an historic mining boom turned bust and deepening global shock that requires major structural reform to improve competitiveness and productivity to avoid the worst outcomes; blocked by a paralysed RBA and Treasury that


Property Council a wedge between Turnbull/Morrison?

From Domainfax: Little-known tensions between Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison prompted the Prime Minister to push previously secret Treasury modelling into the public on Friday – earlier than originally planned. Sources say relations between Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison have become tense over the extent of tax reform policy, with the Treasurer keen to


Cormann blockades Senate negative gearing debate

By Leith van Onselen If you want a prime example of how dysfunctional Australia’s political system is, look no further than the above footage of yesterday’s Senate estimates questions to Australian Treasury head, John Fraser. In the video, The Greens’ Scott Ludlam and Labor’s Penny Wong ask a bunch of legitimate questions about the role,