Australian Economy

Another lost chance for change

To create a society that effectively reduces the extreme and pervasive levels of poverty, homelessness and unacceptable economic insecurity associated with capitalism as normal in Australia and elsewhere will require both a productive, transformed and high-performing economy and systemic redistribution of income, wealth and opportunity.

We await the ideas, leadership and, above all, changes required to make Australia the best it can be.

Stewart Sweeney
Adelaide, SA

Labor misses mark over productivity

It is a bit rich for shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers to cite productivity in defence of his uncosted spending plans (“Bigger debts and deficits under Labor”, May 17).

Phrases like “more bang for your buck” and “quality of spending” are hardly reassuring when it is certain that public sector employment will grow even more, as it has in Victoria and Queensland. Claims of “investing” in health and education do not guarantee productivity in these areas, however popular they may be.

It is instructive that just $200million has been promised for roads in regional areas, but $2.5billion for aged care and $5.5 billion for childcare.

Where is the productivity there? Labor continues to gloat over the growth of federal debt under the Coalition, but any attempts to rein in deficits have been derailed twice, once by the felling of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull and again by the outlays during the pandemic.
Would Labor make any attempt at all to tackle this greatest obstacle to productivity?

John Morrissey,
Hawthorn, Vic

Albanese needs to pick side over lawless union

It is interesting to note that nobody has taken the trouble to ask Anthony Albanese whether, should he win the election this week, he will bow to the CFMEU and disband the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Even with the commission in place, the union has shown absolute contempt for the law, as witnessed by the multitude of fines imposed upon it.

Disbanding the commission would be a green light for the union to continue the thuggery and intimidation that has been its hallmark. It would be good to know whether, as prime minister, Albanese would side with upholding the law or the lawless union.

Ian von Berg
Westminster, WA

Fossil fuel industry abuses its free ride

Thanks Adrian Blundell-Wignall for your call for “politicians who have the courage to take on the big issues” (“Climate change: neither big party up for the job”, May 17).

However, scientists do consider Labor’s plan is superior to LNP’s; also, Labor’s Chris Bowen has sensibly stated they’ll do more when elected.

The global climate crisis is so critical now we must “manage the Earth’s energy balance to restore a cooler climate” (James Hansen, monthly update, May 16). He stresses that the fossil fuel industry is dumping its waste gases, free of charge, into our atmosphere.

He urges governments to impose a fee on carbon and distribute dividends to all citizens. At least our new government should consider this.

Barbara Fraser
Burwood, Vic

Numbers that reveal climate laggard

No wonder Australia is considered to be a climate “laggard” among its trading partners.

The following facts unfortunately support our reputation:

The US has committed to a 50 to 52per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on 2005 levels by 2030;

The UK has promised a 78 per cent emissions reduction by 2035;

The EU has pledged to cut emissions 55 per cent by 2030 on 1990 levels; Japan has committed to a 46 per cent cut by 2030 on 2013 emissions;

The Australian Labor Party has agreed on an emissions reduction policy of 43 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and the Greens have agreed to a 75 per cent cut by 2030.

In stark contrast, the Coalition has agreed to reduce emissions to 26 to 28per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

I am sure the inadequate policy adopted by the Scott Morrison- Barnaby Joyce government will have a strong influence on the results of the election on Saturday.

Brian Measday
Myrtle Bank, SA

Singapore shows way on super for housing

Using some proportion of superannuation to assist in buying a home is not a unique idea for Australia.

I was surprised, when working across Asia, when our Singapore manager explained any citizen buying a house could use a proportion of their super.

The only stipulation was that the person’s super account must be repaid first when the home was sold. Singapore has one of the highest home ownership rates in the world.

Roger Wolfe,
Balwyn, Vic

Morrison’s chickens come home to roost

Watching the prime minister over the last week brings to mind the Woody Allen joke where a patient says to his psychiatrist, “My brother’s crazy, he thinks he’s a chicken”.

When the psychiatrist tells him to let his brother know he is not a chicken, the patient replies that he would, but he needs the eggs.

After the super housing deposit policy, I feel enough Australians are finally going to realise they do not need their eggs from this government.

Michael Fox
Toorak, Vic

Voters don’t hang on Bishop’s every word

For a former federal minister and now university chancellor, Julie Bishop is being remarkably vocal with her views on the election campaign and the performance of key party protagonists.

Why she reckons voters are interested in her views about the campaign is hard to fathom.

These folk seem to think voters hang on their every word. We don’t. We are capable of making judgments without their self-serving and repetitious assistance.

Whichever panel Bishop is on this Saturday evening, I won’t be watching.

John Simpson
Melbourne, Vic

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