Economy

“NSW not for sale!” was one of the chants at a Fix NSW rally on March 3, 20 days out from the state election. It expressed a common element in NSW government projects that have sparked resistance from numerous communities and trade unions.

In 2013, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a “war on red tape and green tape”, which he claimed was “suffocating” Australian businesses. The Coalition government even announced a special cutting of red tape day.

No doubt Abbott was able to point to some idiotic and bureaucratic regulations to win public support for cutting so-called red tape that was actually protecting the public or the environment, to allow the corporate rich to pillage and plunder.

The South Brisbane Greens held a forum on "Communal Luxury: how to create a future for all of us" on February 28.

Speakers included Greens' Griffith candidate Max Chandler-Mather, Natalie Osborne from Griffith University and Gabba ward Councillor Jonathan Sri.

According to Muffin Break general manager Natalie Brennan, “entitled Millennials” are not prepared to work without pay to gain experience.

Her comments rightly sparked a backlash from trade unions and on social media, where the company was subject to ridicule.

Unfortunately, this is barely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to employers trying to rip off young workers.

John Passant takes a look at franking credits and explains what all the fuss is about.

As some of the rich and powerful gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum last month, Oxfam International issued a report revealing that the combined fortunes of the world’s billionaires rose by 12% last year as the poorest half of humanity saw their wealth decline by 11%.

This is an eyewitness account of the UN Climate Conference COP24, held in Katowice, Poland, in December last year from the perspective of one of the 30,000 participants. All attempts will be taken to avoid acronyms of climate terms, or at least explain them, and I will outline the ‘insider information’ that I got from my first COP.

The inability of the Liberal Party to find candidates for Hunter seats for the March New South Wales state election suggests that even its party faithful recognise that Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government is headed for electoral defeat and, probably, a total wipe-out in the Hunter.

In the banking royal commission’s final report, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne made 76 recommendations for reforms to the sector, but stopped short of calling for charges to be laid against bank executives and board members, or any radical shake-up of the industry.

This has led some, such as financial commentator Michael Pascoe writing in the February 5 New Daily, to proclaim: “And the winner is ... the big banks!” His words were promptly reinforced by the fact that bank shares skyrocketed the day after the report was released.

After Commissioner Kenneth Hayne released the banking royal commission’s interim report in September, many of the headlines and takeaway quotes focused on its claim that banks “put profits before people”.

 “Why did it happen?” the report asked. “Too often the answer seems to be greed — the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty. How else is charging continuing advice fees to the dead to be explained?...

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