LABOR CLAIMS MONSTER SURPLUS
Labor will today release its long-awaited budget costings, projecting a 2022 surplus double the size of the Coalition’s. If correct, it will be the largest in Australian budget history, The Sydney Morning Herald notes.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen is pledging a surplus of 1% of GDP, or $22 billion, the largest in dollar terms on record and surpassing 2007-08’s $19.8 billion. Labor will argue that its proposed tax changes — to negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions, dividend imputation, and multinational tax avoidance — will allow it to fund its spending promises, bring the budget to surplus and start offering “prudent” tax relief from 2023-24.
Meanwhile, Labor is expected to announce another tax crackdown today, targeting tax havens to raise $430 million over the next decade.
In other Labor budget news, the party is today pledging $1 billion to start buying up land for a high-speed east coast rail link, connecting Melbourne to Brisbane via Canberra and Sydney. The Brisbane Times reports that infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese will also commit to creation of a high-speed rail authority to manage the project, which will require the help of state and territory governments.
Labor’s pledge marks the first major commitment to the project, which is expected to cost up to $114 billion — more if the government doesn’t start buying up land soon. Preserving the rail corridor was listed as a “high priority” by Infrastructure Australia in February, The Guardian notes, with developers currently eyeing the required land.
$2.3 BILLION FLUB
Dozens of international outlets were having a laugh at Australia’s expense overnight, after it was reported yesterday that Australia’s “new and improved” $50 note features a typo in the micro-text.
The error appears in the printing of a speech by Edith Cowan, Australia’s first female member of parliament: “It is a great responsibilty [sic] to be the only woman here…” The Guardian reports that 46 million notes have so far been printed, making this a $2.3 billion spelling error.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I think older Australians in particular are waiting with baseball bats for Mr. Shorten.
The embattled Home Affairs minister, fighting to hang on to his electorate, thinks that older Australians are coming out to bat for him.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Instead, it undermines all mainstream media in an election campaign that has seen an elevation of abuse of journalists for failing to adhere to the partisan expectations of social media participants. By lowering a mainstream media outlet to the level of shit-posting, the Telegraph editors — the Courier-Mail also ran the story, while the Herald Sun had the good sense to know it would do the Liberals no favours in Victoria — continue to blur the distinction between an industry that insists on its own credibility and importance in the polity, and the fringe dwellers and raging idiots of social media.”
“However, when you consider that two-thirds of Australian adults get their news from social media, and over 50% expect this news to be inaccurate, it leads you to wonder whether people want trustworthy media, or whether they simply want to mistrust the media. There will always be media that is corrupt and there will always be “fake news” for as long as there are social media sites like Facebook to host it, but these should not define “the media”. There are countless media organisations and journalists who are risking their lives every day to uncover corruption, offer fresh perspectives and bring us more accurate information.”
“Current trends in Australian land use couldn’t be further from the respect for and application of Indigenous knowledge demanded by the report. These practices are of course not going unchallenged — Australia’s traditional custodians are fighting last-ditch rearguard actions country-wide — but the legal framework remains heavily stacked against their claims.”
For 30 years I worked for News Corp papers. Now all I see is shameful bias – Tony Koch (The Guardian): “Gone is the requirement for balance. One has only to look at the story selection and headlines on the front pages of the papers each day to see that an anti-Labor angle has been taken, however contorted had been the literary gymnastics required to finally arrive at that particular bit of stupidity.”
It’s Time to Break Up Facebook – Chris Hughes (The New York Times): “Mark is a good, kind person. But I’m angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks. I’m disappointed in myself and the early Facebook team for not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders. And I’m worried that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that reinforces his beliefs instead of challenging them.”
Mediocre candidates have sucked the life from major parties – David Penberthy (The Daily Telegraph): “In order, which of the following people are the least pleasant — the inner-city Labor groover who makes rape jokes and paedophile gags, the Tasmanian Liberal lady whose Facebook site said Muslim women should be sold as slaves, the One Nation guy who thinks the Jews are descended from lizards, or the Greens candidate who describes his indigenous opponent as a “coconut” for being brown on the outside but holding views in support of the white status quo? Is it worse to solicit millions of dollars from a nefarious offshore political organisation to dismantle the Port Arthur gun laws, or to sneak off while full of ink to a Washington strip joint and stuff dollar bills in an exotic dancer’s undies?”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
WA Premier Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt will speak at post-budget breakfast, with an audience Q&A facilitated by CCIWA chief economist Rick Newnham.
Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus will launch the book, Refugee Stories, In Their Own Words by Laurie Nowell, looking at the economic contribution of migration in Australia.
Enrolment will opens for the electoral roll to vote in the Victorian Treaty First Peoples’ Assembly. People as young as 16 can enroll, as well as traditional owners who live interstate but can prove ties to Aboriginal Victorians.
Primary and secondary school teachers in Melbourne will protest against the NAPLAN tests and MySchool website.
The winners of the 2019 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes will be announced.
A case management hearing will be held to determine further compensation for economic losses suffered by Geoffry Rush.