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Saturday, 19 December

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Friday, 18 December

16:30

Tax, big business avoidance and other bruises Independent Australia

Tax, big business avoidance and other bruisesThe ATO's recent 'Corporate Tax Transparency Report' is reason to be "screaming from the rooftops for the companies in this list to explain how they have been exploiting us for years", according to former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation, John Passant. read now...

14:25

The aim is not to scare you, however . . . Catallaxy Files

This is from The Public Knowledge Blog which has the this chart among many other insights that are not normally found in public discussion. It really does make a difference to see these things in front of you this way.

budget summary

Here’s another that tells a more historical story, but just as depressing as the first, if not more so. The sheer damage done by public spending and deficit finance is hardly understood anywhere, and certainly seldom by those on the receiving end of the cash and payments.

debt and deficits

If you own a stock of assets already, like a house and a car, your living standards will only be slowly eroded but downwards they will come. But if you are paying as you go, you will feel your living standards slipping away and unless you have some way to protect your income, things will only get worse. The attack on super is just one form in which our falling productivity will manifest itself in lower personal incomes. Economic management is frightening when you can see what’s going on. The Turnbull-Morrison slowly-slowly approach only works for a while, and only on the political side. The economy will continue to wear away unless things are turned around and private sector activity without any form...

14:24

Roadkill Independent Australia

RoadkillOn the road, with Scott Morrison. read now...

14:21

Portable Long Service Leave Catallaxy Files

This is not among the major issues of our time, but still. I have just made a submission to the Economic, Education, Jobs & Skills Committee of the Victorian Parliament on whether or not to introduce a further extension to Long Service Leave by increasing its portability for those who find it difficult to accumulate LSL credits. There are employees who have limited access to LSL. The Committee is therefore looking at whether this represents some form of inequity, how it might be rectified and what would be the costs of change. These are the concluding points I have made in my statement to the Committee.

Conclusion: There is no particular reason to extend Long Service Leave.

There is no serious likelihood that anyone is being relatively underpaid at the present time because they do not have Long Service Leave. The labour market is a flexible market. Wage adjustments are attuned to the value of the work undertaken relative to the remuneration in full. People do tend to get paid their economic value.

Employees where Long Service Leave is not available currently receive more than they otherwise would receive if Long Service Leave were in place. Introducing Long Service Leave will lead to lower remuneration relative to what might otherwise have occurred.

It is quite possible that employees prefer to receive the relatively higher amounts of money they receive than have their incomes pared back to finance this future contingency.

The concept itself is an anachronism but an important part of our history. It should not be removed but there is no reason that it must therefore be extended.

Any change would be for populist reasons. It would raise costs in some businesses and lower employment in some industries.

The nuisance costs of managing the scheme is an added administrative burden which is just one more headache. The smaller the business, the more damage the loss of an employee for thre...

14:08

The new business plan model ... zero tax and a fundamentalist Christian crusader war continues ... loon pond

A certain observable tendency ...




Well it passes for humour in some quarters and for an on-going tragedy at the pond, but speaking of visual cliches and stereotypes, the pond commends this image from Walkabout to the attention of Mr Leak ...


But enough of good-hearted humour, because the pond's duty is to the reptiles of Oz and their immediate concerns, and as always, their concern is to fortify the rabid and the outrageous. The more the fear and the terror, the more tree...

13:24

Plain packs win in Australia No Right Turn

Four years ago, the Australian government passed a plain tobacco packaging law, requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain, vomit-coloured cartons with no distinctive branding. The tobacco industry was outraged, and tried to challenge the law, first in the Australian courts, and then - after a sham restructuring in an effort to establish jurisdiction - under a free trade deal Australia had signed with Hong Kong. And now, they've lost, with the FTA arbitration tribunal rejecting the case on jurisdictional grounds:

The federal government has won its case against tobacco giant Philip Morris Asia challenging Australia's tobacco plain-packaging laws.

It means the former Gillard government's plain-packaging laws, introduced in 2011, will remain in place.

The tribunal in the arbitration, based in Singapore, has issued a unanimous decision agreeing with Australia's position that it has no jurisdiction to hear Philip Morris's claim.


So much for that. And hopefully the Australians will demand costs from the cancer-sellers for their efforts.

Meanwhile, plain packaging has been on hold in New Zealand pending the outcome of this case. Now it's been resolved, hopefully we'll see some rapid progress.

12:00

Solidarité Independent Australia

SolidaritéAlexander Swift looks at the connection between poverty, desperation and terrorism in Western society. read now...

09:51

Climate change: How bad is NZ's climate fraud? No Right Turn

Earlier today I highlighted the New Zealand government's climate change policy of paying its Kyoto bill with dodgy (and now banned) "emissions reduction" units while banking AAU (which will then be used to pay for future targets). So how dodgy are the units we're using? We're literally claiming emissions reductions for burning coal.

As noted earlier, the credits we're turning over include 86.3 million tons of "reductions" from Ukraine - which is noted for being particularly dodgy. The raw data is here [XLS], and project details are in the Ukranian JI Registry. I've extracted this data for the top 20 projects NZ has purchased emissions "reductions" from here. Those projects account for 61.4 million tons of emissions - or roughly a year's worth. And eleven of them claim reductions for "spontaneous ignition of coal waste piles".

What does that mean? The Stockholm Environment Institute working paper referred to in that Guardian article has the details. It means:

extract[ing] coal from coal waste piles, leaving bare rock which does not ignite, and combust[ing] the extracted coal, mostly in power plants. Emission reductions are claimed for the avoidance of waste pile fires, while emissions from combustion of the extracted coal are not counted because it is assumed to substitute coal which would be...

09:46

Climate change: A policy based on fraud No Right Turn

The government released a pile of climate change reports today on its Kyoto Protocol CP1 and CP2 (to which we are not a party) obligations. And they expose the naked fraud which lies at the heart of our climate change policy.

First up, Kyoto. Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand had accepted a target of limiting its net average emissions over the to 2008 - 2012 period to gross 1990 levels. Which in practice meant a target of 309.5 million tons over five years. So how did we do? Our emissions kept increasing, and in fact increased by around 20%, but thanks to the net-gross scam, we were able to use forest reductions to cover that. So, we met our CP1 target, fairly, within the (broadly accepted) Kyoto rules. And according to those rules, the surplus can be "banked" against targets for later commitment periods.

But then the real scam begins. Because according to our CP1 "true-up" report, we paid for a huge chunk of our emissions with international units. Most of this is ERU's under Kyoto's Joint Implementation mechanism, and a staggering 86.3 million tons of that came from Ukraine - where huge amounts of credits were issued fraudulently and as part of an international criminal scam. But we're also using 16 million tons of Kyoto Certified Emissions Reductions issued under the Clean Development Mechanism. These are also hugely problematic - around 50% of CERs were issued for destr...

08:00

Lone wolves in search of a pack: home-grown terrorists in the 21st century Independent Australia

Lone wolves in search of a pack: home-grown terrorists in the 21st centuryRichard King examines the phenomenon of the lone wolf terrorist in relation to the motivation behind recent mass shootings. read now...

07:40

In which the pond gets more science from a packet of Kettle Chilli chips than from a reading of the lizard Oz ... loon pond

(Above: and more Popery here).

The memes and tweets have been running hot ever since the news was announced, though the Murdochian press has been eerily quiet on the matter.

There were oodles of richly comic routines along the lines of ...


It was only the Graudian who could afford to set that hare running ...



Of course if you clicked on ...

00:05

How many of these are there? Catallaxy Files

I looked at this and thought that there had to be something wrong. It couldn’t be this easy to defraud the government of $16 million, but it is. And these have been picked up only because they were so greedy. How many are around that only defraud the government of a million or two?

Six people have been charged in Melbourne’s western suburbs for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims for taxpayer-funded family day care payments worth nearly $16 million[!!!!!].

Australian Federal Police have also seized assets worth $1.1m that are believed to be proceeds of the alleged crime, including two Melbourne properties, a “significant amount” of funds in bank accounts and two luxury vehicles.

The AFP arrested the alleged scammers with a range of serious fraud offences after executing a number of search warrants yesterday. . . .

“It will be alleged that members of this group have repeatedly submitted false claims on behalf of family day care centres in Melbourne’s western suburbs, particularly to exploit the Grandparent Child Care Benefit scheme,” AFP Manager Criminal Assets, Fraud and Anti-Corruption Commander Peter Crozier said.

“This scheme helps grandparents with the childcare costs for grandchildren in their care. It covers the full cost of fees associated with up to 50 hours of childcare per child per week.”

So you tell me how this could happen? The supposed moral of the story is exactly the other way round.

“Perpetrators of fraud are on notice: you will be caught and there are severe consequences, including the possibility of jail time,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This tough stance is necessary to ensure our taxpayer dollars are directed to those operators doing the righ...

Thursday, 17 December

21:55

Holiday reading again Catallaxy Files

A collection of essays on Australian themes.

Reviews, commentaries, obituaries and other pieces written over the last three decades. They fall into six categories.

The first five pieces are concerned with the history of various sports, cricket, football, boxing and a review of the biography of Nick Farr-Jones, an outstanding leader in international rugby.

There are four pieces concerned with some special people and three on Australian science.

History and politics, with reviews of books on intellectual movements, a personal report of second thoughts some time after the Vietnam War and some meditations on the seismic impact of conscription for Vietnam on the political alignment of many people in the newly educated middle class.

Academic topics. Some stimulating thoughts from Professor John Anderson (1893-1962) on university reform, a survey of philosophy in Australia which concluded that John Anderson’s influence was not all to the good, and a summary of a marvellous piece of scholarship by Friedman and Miller that is just about the best rejoinder to POMO literary theory in the literature.

Finally there are three fragments of memoires; one of them by a colleague who worked in rural community health in the 1970s and another by a farmer/engineer who was my partner in technical editing in the Sydney Water Board in the 1990s.

The full list of ebooks.

21:05

The heresy of Judith Curry Catallaxy Files

A great feed from Don Aitkin to end the year.

Professor Curry is probably the most distinguished climate scientist in the USA who disputes the alarmism of the Obama administration and the scientists who support it.

There are others like her, like Professor Will Happer from Princeton, and Professor Richard Lindzen from MIT, not to mention Professors Spencer and Christy who manage the UAH satellite temperature database. But Ms Curry runs a very good website as well. It is my ‘go-to’ site.

This is what she said.

Prior to 2009, I felt that supporting the IPCC consensus on climate change was the responsible thing to do. I bought into the argument: “Don’t trust what one scientist says, trust what an international team of a thousand scientists has said, after years of careful deliberation.” That all changed for me in November 2009, following the leaked Climategate emails, that illustrated the sausage making and even bullying that went into building the consensus.

I starting speaking out, saying that scientists needed to do better at making the data and supporting information publicly available, being more transparent about how they reached conclusions, doing a better job of assessing uncertainties, and actively engaging with scientists having minority perspectives. The response of my colleagues to this is summed up by the title of a 2010 article in the Scientific American: Climate Heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues.

I came to the growing realization that I had fallen into the trap of groupthink. I had accepted the consensus based on 2nd order evidence: the assertion that a consensus existed. I began making an independent assessment of topics in climate science that had the most relevance to policy.

What have I concluded from this assessment?…….....

16:30

Healthcare: Human rights revisited (Part 2) Independent Australia

Healthcare: Human rights revisited (Part 2)Dr Leong Ng continues his review of peculiarities in the application and administration of Australian human rights law and their impact on the medical profession. read now...

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