Shorten vows to restore a fair go

Original article by Troy Bramston
The Australian – Page: 6 : 14-Dec-18

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has outlined some of the key policy areas that will be part of its 2019 election campaign. Amongst other things, Labor will legislate to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rate cuts and introduce a new regulatory regime for labour hire firms. Labor also intends to increase the highest marginal income tax rate by two per cent, abolish the Medicare rebate freeze and restore funding for schools and public hospital to the levels before the Coalition took office in 2013.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

US giants castigate anti-encryption laws

Original article by John Durie, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 13-Dec-18

Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are among a coalition of global technology companies that have criticised the federal government’s encryption laws. The Reform Government Surveillance coalition has described the new laws as "deeply flawed" and urged the government to make amendments when parliament resumes. The encryption bill was passed after Labor backed down on its proposed amendments, although the government has signalled that it may open to some of Labor’s changes.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, APPLE INCORPORATED, MICROSOFT CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, DROPBOX INCORPORATED, SNAP, EVERNOTE, OATH, YAHOO! INCORPORATED, UNITED STATES. NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Labor looks at sector-wide right to strike

Original article by Phillip Coorey, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 13-Dec-18

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor has advised that industry-wide enterprise bargaining for low-paid workers will be part of its election platform. He has also told the National Press Club that Labor will consider reforms that would permit workers to engage in sector-wide industrial action during enterprise bargaining negotiations. O’Connor argues that evidence from other OECD countries that allow pattern bargaining suggests that there would a low risk of sector-wide industrial action. Key employer groups oppose the reintroduction of pattern bargaining.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Labor’s spending plans could hit a wall

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 13-Dec-18

Labor plans to increase tax revenue by about $30bn over four years if it wins the 2019 federal election, and by nearly $280bn over a decade. However, the majority of Senate crossbenchers oppose Labor’s key tax policy initiatives, including its negative gearing reforms and the abolition of cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. Analysis suggests that Labor’s tax revenue would be up to $19bn lower than forecast if the Senate were to reject its key tax measures.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATIVES, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Unions test Labor with airline fight

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor will seek support for industry-wide enterprise bargaining for low-paid workers at its upcoming national conference. However, the Transport Workers’ Union will push for the policy on industry-wide bargaining to be broadened to include the aviation sector. Leaders of rival unions do not believe that there is much support within Labor’s senior ranks for such a move, while Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently warned of the impact that doing so would have on both the airline’s supply chain and the broader economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TRANSPORT WORKERS’ UNION, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Labor’s tax grab faces Senate block

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor may not have sufficient support in the Senate for its proposal to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits if it wins the 2019 federal election. Labor would require the support of the Greens and four crossbenchers to pass the reforms before the current Senate is dissolved on 30 June. However, nine of the 10 crossbenchers oppose the policy, with Fraser Anning describing it as a "socialist retiree tax". In addition, none of the current senators support Labor’s proposal to restrict negative gearing to new homes, although some favour capping the number of properties that can be negatively geared.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Labor trade-off over pattern bargaining

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 11-Dec-18

Industrial relations is likely to be a key issue on the agenda at Labor’s upcoming national conference. Labor sources have indicated that the party is set to reinstate pattern bargaining as part of its industrial relations platform. However, Labor is expected to restrict pattern bargaining to workers in sectors that have low wages, such as childcare and cleaning. The ACTU is leading a union push for pattern bargaining to be allowed across all industries. Labor’s policies on free trade and asylum seekers are also expected to attract debate at the national conference.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)

Shorten allows encryption laws to pass

Original article by Primrose Riordan, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Dec-18

The federal government’s encryption laws were passed by the Senate on 6 December, after Labor withdrew proposed amendments to the bill. The legislation will provide security agencies with improved access to encrypted data messages, thereby boosting their attempts to combat terrorism attacks while making it easier to pursue organised crime gangs and paedophiles. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor hopes to get the government to agree to adopt its proposed amendments in the 2019 parliamentary year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION

One-year delay likely for negative gearing changes

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 6-Dec-18

It is unlikely that Labor would be able to legislate its proposed negative gearing reforms in time for the start of the 2019-20 financial year if it wins the next federal election. The poll is tipped to be held on 11 or 18 May 2019, which would give a Labor government just six weeks to enact its reforms for them to take effect on 1 July. This means the reforms would most likely take effect in July 2020, although a Labor source has raised the possibility that the legislation could be backdated if it is passed after 1 July.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY

House prices to dive 10pc more: Ellerston

Original article by Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 5-Dec-18

Brett Gillespie of Ellerston Capital is bearish about the outlook for Australia’s residential property market, forecasting that house prices will eventually fall by an additional 10 per cent. He adds that this could occur much more rapidly if Labor wins the 2019 federal election and implements its proposed changes to the negative gearing regime. Gillespie says a 4-5 per cent fall in house prices would be necessary to 4 to 5 per cent to offset the impact of the negative gearing reforms.

CORPORATES
ELLERSTON CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD