The Left’s Smear Campaign on Business Revenue is Nothing but a Dishonest Lie

Kerrod GreamKerrod Gream takes on the perception that companies should be taxed on revenue that the left have been pushing since the ATO’s Corporate Tax Transparency Report for the 2013-14 Financial Year.

Following the release of the ATO’s Corporate Tax Transparency Report for the 2013-14 Financial Year there has been a spewing of memes, and distaste from those of the left about how businesses aren’t paying their fair share. These go along the line of “This company made x amount of revenue in 2013/14 but paid almost 0% tax” ignoring that revenue does not equal profit. Their 0% tax figures comes from comparing total revenue to the tax paid, rather than comparing taxable income(aka profit) to tax paid.

The CFMEU's dishonest attack on Boral, who paid their fair share of tax on taxable income.

The CFMEU’s dishonest attack on Boral, who paid their fair share of tax on taxable income.

The unions, all of which they themselves pay no tax, have been some of the worst on the smear campaign on business. Australian Unions are calling for Spotless to pay tax on their $2.2billion of revenue despite the fact that they made an operating loss in the previous financial year and are perfectly entitled to deduct that from their total tax paid. The CFMEU has quite possibly been the worst of the spread of misinformation, providing the image above but also attacking News Corp  and Brickworks(the offending image as of writing this article has been removed) over revenue and not profit. The left wing lobby group GetUp also continued to spread the misconception. Ignoring that 0.2% of companies pay 58.2% of company tax, as reported by Commonwealth Treasury Papers.

The top 0.2% of companies pay 58.2% of company tax.

The top 0.2% of companies pay 58.2% of company tax.

This adds in to various media sources playing into this game of taxing revenue with the ABC attacking companies claiming they paid effectively zero tax on their income. The Guardian creating a calculator to determine which companies you paid more tax than despite having taxable income viewable hoping the reader will conflate revenue and profit. To add to this Buzzfeed jumped on the bandwagon of business ignorance with an outline of companies’ revenue and tax paid, with no reference to actual profit. This intellectual dishonesty either screams of an intentional smear campaign on the productive sector; that is businesses that provide jobs and investment in Australia, or just an abysmal understanding of how businesses operate.  To add into this the Twittersphere has been attacking these companies all over, and openly advocating that revenue is the important figure, and arguing that the only reason they minimise their taxes is because of offshore funnelling of profits.

Michael West

And then Ben Eltham; a reporter for the leftist rag, New Matilda; openly admits that he doesn’t understand how a business operates by not realising that income coming in doesn’t take into account the actual costs of running a business. This includes investment, staff costs, financial costs, and the day to day costs of running a business. Revenue is only useful for looking at turnover compares to previous years, and not in looking at how much money a company actually made, as different sectors have different methods of markups.

Ben Eltham

These people and organisations keep conflating revenue and profit, not seeming to understand that they are two separate things. With revenue being total amount of incomings prior to any expenses being paid. Profits however are what taxes are placed on, because had Boral in the example above paid the 20% that the CFMEU are calling for them to pay on revenue that $855million in tax would turn a $173.3million profit into a $681.7 million loss. These people have no idea how to run a business, and would send every single business bankrupt if they got their way. The best part of the irony in all this is tax exempt organisations calling for organisations that pay far more than they do in tax to be taxed more.

All these organisations and people are the same people that are opposed to a broad based consumption tax in the form of the GST. They don’t get the mental gymnastics to oppose a revenue tax(the GST) while calling for revenue to be taxed. It seems that they don’t understand that costs get passed onto the consumer, and taxing revenue after the fact is just going to destroy business. Any attempt to attack the big end of town will inevitably hit smaller businesses harder, as they don’t have the structural base to bring about easy compliance with new tax and regulation.

Those on the left calling for taxing of revenue obviously haven’t read what was contained in the ATO report. The ATO even admits that low tax in relation to taxable income and revenue doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is dodging tax in that year, and there may be deductions from previous year’s losses that haven’t been accounted for and a range of other factors not outlined in the report. Had they actually read it, they’d understand why they’re just making themselves look incredibly uneducated. The transparency list is quite possibly going to be a mistake that the left use to prey on the ignorance of the masses.

These people wanting to tax revenue instead of profit clearly have no experience running a business, and even if they do understand want to see nothing but destruction of our industries, and jobs in Australia. The only saving grace of this is all the top comments on the memes being put out are correcting the difference between profit and revenue.

 

Kerrod Gream is Chairperson of Australia and New Zealand Students for Liberty, Deputy Director for NSW of The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, President of the University of Sydney Economics Society, and a branch Vice President in the Liberal Party.

The Nazis are back—sieg heil!

EXCLUSIVE:

by William Weintraube 

Yes, there is an insidious Nazi influence at the very
highest levels of the Coalition and, praise be to God, we can thank the
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) for this timely
disclosure in their newsletter.

Woe betide anybody who questions a newsletter with the title
of “Hardhat Express”- obviously it
tells it the way it is. 

The Union’s latest newsletter has reminded the world that
Liberal Senator leader Eric Abetz had a great uncle Otto Abetz who was a
leading Nazi – Hitler’s Ambassador to France no less.

Connecting the dots in an thoughtful, insightful and calmly
measured article, the Union’s attack on the alleged horrors of the Coalition’s
industrial relations policy, members have been reminded that, “He (Hitler) wanted to smash the unions too.”

Well, yes Otto was Eric’s great uncle – something that has
never been denied by Eric.  Senator
Abetz has claimed that he never ever met Otto. For the record, Senator Abetz
made no response to the Union’s revelation; probably shamed into silence I
don’t doubt.

However, we only have the Senator’s word that he never met
his infamous relative. Otto Abetz died in a car crash on 5 May, 1958 in
Germany; Eric was born in Germany on 25 January, 1958. Perhaps, just perhaps,
Otto cradled baby Eric in his arms and whispered, “Go to Australia mein liebes kind and smash the unions.”

The CFMEU newsletter didn’t just reveal Senator Abetz’
sinister inspiration, it also let the world know that Coalition industry
spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella had a past relationship WITH AN OLDER MAN! Oh, the
shame, the disgrace! It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Ms Mirrabella’s former
gentleman companion was himself a Nazi. The CFMEU should do some serious
investigative reporting into this potential bombshell. And, while in such investigative mood, examine and expose the
pedigrees and benefits to mankind of their members, past and present – John Maitland as a starting point.

The US lawyer and writer Mike Godwin back in 1990 announced
his “Law of Nazi Analogies” and it
has since made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Basically, Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate,
inordinate or hyperbolic comparisons to situations or opponents as Nazis – in
other words, playing the Hitler card.

Godwin showed via many examples that the longer and more
acrimonious a debate becomes or when somebody is reduced to trying to belittle
opponents, the so-called killer argument is just to compare them to Hitler, one
of his gang, or the whole Nazi Party for good measure.

Anti-Catholic zealots had a fine old time when German
prelate Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XV1 in 2005 “revealing” his
disgraceful Nazi past.

You see, young Joseph was drafted into the Hitler Youth in
1941 on his 14th birthday – not his idea; it was the law. Later he
served in an anti-aircraft battery. And despite the fact that his family
loathed the Nazis and that a cousin his age with Down Syndrome was taken away
and murdered by the Nazis because of his disability, we had a Nazi Pope!

If you think that the CFMEU can’t be beaten on accusing
people of being a Nazi or under the influence, then you should think again.

The religious right in the USA beats them hands down.

There is a wonderful website called “nowtheendbegins” which, among other dire predictions and Bible-based
revelations blows the lid on why President Obama and Hitler are so
frighteningly similar.

There is a long list of chilling comparisons. The first four
in order – both held outdoor rallies, both had ghost-written autobiographies
prior to coming to office, both had original last names changed (from Schicklgruber  in Hitler’s case and Soetoro in Obama’s
case) and – my personal favourite – both concealed their real identities as
Hitler was Jewish and Obama is Muslim.

The list goes on and each comparison reveals more and more
of The Truth!

Commenting on the Union’s Abetz outburst, the
Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council sadly noted that this sort of
nonsense trivialised the events of World War 11 and debased politics. They
considered the Union’s comments as “false,
inappropriate and offensive.”

If the CFMEU wants to put the Jewish lobby in its place,
they could do no better than appropriate the riposte by the English tart Mandy
Rice-Davies at the centre of the Profumo scandal in the early 1960s.

It was put to her by counsel for Lord Astor that he, the
noble Lord, had claimed he hadn’t even met her let alone had intimate
relations. She replied, “He would say
that, wouldn’t he.”

Shorten – Australia’s Maxwell Smart?

Included in a stack of released WikiLeaks cables was an account of Bill Shorten's meeting with US Consul-General Thurston. This report was made public in August 2011 in various publications including the Australian Financial Review.

It is to be wondered if Shorten's union mates know of that meeting and what was said? It looks like Bill's ambition for greatness is again being played out in his so far commitment to support Gillard. "Sorry Julia, they made me dump you." GC.Ed.@L.

Mr Shorten met with the US Consul-General in Melbourne Michael Thurston in June 2009.


In a confidential cable back to Washington, Mr Thurston notes the
“ambitious” but “rumpled in appearance” Mr Shorten had been touted as a
future prime minister.

“Shorten makes no bones about his ambitions in federal politics,” Mr Thurston wrote.

“During a June 11 meeting, Shorten told Consul-General that `he did not take this job to stand still’.”

Mr Shorten – now Assistant Treasurer – told Mr Thurston he was deeply
influenced by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and quoted from
several of his speeches during the meeting.

Mr Thurston described Mr Shorten as a “nimble conversationalist” and “considered and thoughtful”.

“Shorten struck us as highly ambitious but willing to wait – at least for a while – for his moment in the sun.”

The AWU Scandal – Piece by piece the protection of lies is dissolving

The questions are now being pressed by Fairfax. How long can the PM avoid what seems inevitable?

We've been told so many times, by so many people, with so much evidence.

The message is this – Julia Gillard is [telling porkies], today, about the AWU-WRA.

Mark Baker has this story today in The Age and other Fairfax newspapers.

Gillard's account of union slush fund rejected

A good read: www.michaelsmithnews.com

Why Jessica Irvine is wrong about unions

DSCF2068Justin Campbell discusses the role of unions in our economy:

In a recent blog post Jessica Irvine (Economics writer for the Sydney Morning Herald) wrote the following:

"In a perfectly competitive market, there'd would be no point in unions because employers wouldn't underpay workers. They couldn't. Competition would drive them to pay workers a wage representing the value of their marginal product. If a company failed to, there would be no shortage of other firms willing to pay more. Wages would equilibrate.

In such a model, companies are price-takers, not price-makers. But, unfortunately, this is far from the reality in which many industries are dominated by one or a handful of sellers. And because workers take time to train, many are, in the short term at least, limited to a particular industry, or set of industries, to which they can sell their labour.

The result is that it is possible for certain companies to underpay their workers – that is, pay them less than the value they have created, plus compensation for inflation."

While this is certainly the public imagine the unions like to foster using examples such as, "workers that empty bedpans." The reality is organised labour is far more likely to be skilled workers who are in a position to seek economic rents for their labour by withholding it. The union member is far more likely to be a public servant, teacher, skilled tradesman or a member of a professional association such as doctors.

Where Irvine's analysis is largely wrong is that the less skilled the labour, the more competitive the labour market. Take for example workers in disability support work (an industry I use to work in), new workers regularly enter and exit the industry. After receiving their induction and shadow shifts the new worker is fully productive within a week. Of course the worker continues to learn after a week, but largely they are able to perform their duties after a week of training. If they feel they are not able to earn the income they wish or do not enjoy their work their labour is highly substitutable to other industries. The worker can switch to childcare work, retail or hospitality ect.  So regardless of whether the industry is dominated by a handful of employers, the worker has little fixed costs preventing them from retraining and enter another industry. Equally the employer is able to find other workers with no previous experience in the industry and within a week have a productive worker. It is precisely the competitive nature of the labour market in such industries that keeps the price of labour low. I would argue the monopsony market Irvine describes largely doesn't exist.

Compare this with the situation for doctors or registered nurses. Both roles take years of training, employers can only hire from a labour market of trained professionals. The barriers to entry are high to these labour markets as the worker has to undertake years of study and professional bodies keep the supply of workers artificially low by controlling who can and cannot enter the profession. For example, in both medicine and nursing the professional bodies have been successful in reducing competition from foreign trained professionals. Such bodies have also been successful in reducing the supply of substitutes for their service by lobby government to control who provides their services. For example, many medications require a doctor's prescription where a pharmacist could make this determination without requiring a doctor. These conditions make it possible for organised labour to gain economic rents which increase the cost of goods and services reducing the real income of many of the low skilled workers unions claim to represent. In this example it's the fact the labour market is uncompetitive that allows workers to earn economic rents through unionisation.

Where organised labour can help low skilled workers is through negotiating terms of work. The hiring and firing of low skilled workers tends to be more transactional and people are hired under standard terms. This is due to the high transaction costs involved. It would be very costly in time and effort for a director of nursing of an aged care home to negotiate conditions with individual workers. In most cases it would be very difficult for an individual worker to negotiate an early start time and roster days off. By organising workers can negotiate collectively with the employer lower the transaction cost of working conditions. Compare this with a doctor who could negotiate their own hours of work with the head of medical centre. So yes there are some benefits of unions for low skill workers, however those benefits could be achieved through workers councils or company unions such as exist in Germany and Japan. The reason why such arrangements tend not exist in this country is most likely because of the political situation. One side of politics is hostile to any organised labour and the other actively promotes industrial trade unions.

Justin Campbell is currently studying a Master of Economics at the University of New England and is a member of the Australian Libertarian Society. He currently works as an employment consultant and has over five years experience in the employment/recruitment industry. In 2008 Justin ran as an Independent in the Brisbane City Council election and maintains an educational blog/website www.econstudent.org.

Union progression towards White Australia

Major Karnage notes that "progressives" are taking us back

I recently had a long conversation with a Union representative who was trying to convince me that I was wrong about the Australian Union movement. As I explained, my thoughts are generally that I am theoretically in favour of an organised workforce and I have no qualms with workers coming together to demand certain rights – but this is no longer what the Union movement is (which is the reason I capitalise the “u”).

From my perspective, Australian Unions are mostly opaque, bloated, entrenched organisations that represent a very small portion of the workforce. Their institutionalisation and the extend to which they are favoured by successive Labor governments have given them hubris, to the point where they seem to care more about perpetuating their own existence than actually doing anything in the interest of Australia’s workforce and spend a lot of time playing political games instead of concentrating on their nominal mission.

What bothers me the most is the dogmatic adherence to certain anachronistic principles because these used to be good for “workers”. I see absolutely no self-reflection and no desire to reevaluate the policies of the movement in light of the world that we live in. As I have noted before, this has resulted in Australia having ridiculous penalty rates and bad teachers.

Well here’s yet another example, which follows this post:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told: migrants or the mine | The Australian.

In an increasingly bitter dispute over the management of the mining boom, ministerial splits are emerging within the Gillard government and unions have started a racist campaign to hound West Australian-based minister Gary Gray from his seat. …

Yesterday, five unions ran a full-page newspaper advertisement in Mr Gray’s seat of Brand, south of Perth, alluding to high levels of indigenous unemployment and accusing the Special Minister of State and former ALP national secretary of not standing up for “Aussie jobs”.

Joe McDonald, the assistant secretary of the West Australian branch of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, accused Mr Gray last night of betraying Australians and vowed to run a union campaign to get rid of him.

“He’s betrayed the people of his constituency,” Mr McDonald told The Weekend Australian. “He’s betrayed them. He should pack up and piss off. If the union movement puts a politician in, they shouldn’t forget where they came from and if they do then we should piss them off and put someone else in.”

Last night Mr Gray, who won his seat with a margin of just 3 per cent in 2010, said EMAs, for which projects with more than $2bn in investment and 1500 jobs are eligible, would create “many, many mining jobs for Australians”.

Note that the story calls the campaign against Gray “racist”. I don’t like when a news story editorialises like this, but in this case I don’t see a lot of other ways to describe it.

The CFMEU is notionally a “progressive” Union, yet its officials are spouting rhetoric that would not have been out of place during the days of the White Australia Policy. I am also disgusted by the way that McDonald is threatening to remove Gray from Parliament if he doesn’t “play ball”.

This is the tragedy of Australia’s major social democrat party being beholden to these groups; it is also a problem that the Union rep in the conversation that I mentioned above did not seem to understand. The current system of preselection means that we get exactly the wrong people into Parliament. A few conversations between key people within the Union movement or the ALP can be enough to get someone a safe seat for life – the process is completely opaque and prone to corruption and abuse. Once there, do/say the wrong thing and upset the wrong people and goodbye – no matter what the public may want. (Incidentally, this is not a partisan issue. Union movement aside, the same principle holds for the Liberal party.)

So now we have a situation where the Government is being pressured from inside to bow to xenophobic demands and prevent people who want to come to Australia and contribute to the country’s economy from doing so. They are also using arguments like this gem from Senator Doug Cameron:

Good jobs for Aussies is not a miner matter | thetelegraph.com.au.

Since when was it unreasonable to expect that highly profitable mining companies should provide Australian workers with the skill upgrading, training, travel support and accommodation to ensure they have genuine access to employment opportunities?

I am constantly amazed by the Union mentality that the way to achieve these demands is for the Government to force mining companies to provide them. What is preventing the Unions from doing something useful like developing their own training programs and apprenticeships, investing in the development of mining towns to allow workers’ families to move there, or forming recruitment initiatives to connect their members with the mining companies to fill employment vacancies? (Note: I’m aware that some do this already, but obviously not very well, or else there wouldn’t be an issue.)

Why do they think that playing the political system to force the mining companies to do it would be a better idea?

I am also shocked by the silence from people I know who are generally pro-immigration and usually speak-out against xenophobic rhetoric like this. Even the Greens are behind the migrant workers idea – and they think that Australia is overpopulated and the world is ending.

Clearly, there is something wrong here. I could go on, but plummeting membership figures speak for themselves.

It is paramount that we introduce stronger requirements for Union transparency and accountability and remove the disgraceful Rudd/Gillard industrial relations reforms that force workers to be represented by organisations that they have no intention of joining. Otherwise, backwards thinking may just win the day yet again.

Major Karnage is a Sydney-based blogger and can be followed onFacebook or Twitter.

An Analysis of Paul Howes’ Latest Speech

Untitled David Elson concludes that if Paul Howes articulates what the modern ALP believes, then Australians should hope they lose office and don't regain it for a very, very long time:

There’s a lot of talk that Paul Howes National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union is the new modern face of the Australian labour movement, bringing fresh ideas and an understanding of the economic realities facing Australia in the so called “Asian Century”.

Based on Paul Howes recent National Press Club Address these complimentary commentaries are unfounded.  While there was one shining moment where Paul attempted to distance the Labor from the electorally toxic Greens the majority of his speech was pure unadulterated protectionism, unionism and economically illiterate justifications for extreme market interventions on the part of the federal government.  Nothing we haven’t seen from our current Australian federal government.

Let’s take a look at some of his points and policy prescriptions:

In his introduction Paul echoes Wayne Swan’s stance attacking “billionaires and mega corporations” [as opposed to regular corporations?] who are plundering our public resources without giving anything back.  Assuming he is referring to our states’ mineral resources this is clearly a-non-too-subtle attempt to drum up support for the new mining tax.  The fact of the matter is Australian mining companies pay plenty of taxes already and that their royalty payments have been keeping our state government fiscally afloat for a number of years now.  Attacking these companies with new taxes as China’s economic growth is slowing, and as the storm clouds of a second GFC gather on the horizon is most unwise indeed.

Paul also stated that the media alone couldn’t be blamed for the labour movements [ALPs?] current woes before going on to blame the media, even equating the Sydney Morning Herald’s 1891 hyperbole with current criticisms. He offered the following quote:

“Our greatest peril comes from the intrusion of the labour struggle into the field of politics – only the most extreme and violent men will control the situation.”

In hindsight the above appears oddly prophetic.

Paul provided statistics indicating the current and ongoing importance of China’s economy for Australia’s exports, however he then went on to equate Australia’s investment in the upcoming Olympics with the economic fallacy of  big Government “picking winners” in a free market economy.  Anyone familiar with the recent loses at Ford, the large staff reductions at Holden, the failure of Tim Flannery’s much vaunted hot rocks technology and the ongoing controversies surrounding Solyndra know that it is not so easy for a government driven bureaucracy to “pick  winners” within our current globally competitive world.

Paul then continues on in a similarly economically illiterate manner, mistakenly stating that Australia has only now become a high cost country relative to our competitors (apparently due to the high Australian dollar), ignoring that our Asian neighbours and competitors have consistently had  lower labour costs then Australia for decades if not longer.  Paul then goes on to rule out “racing to the bottom” by apparently reforming our very restrictive workplace employment laws and conditions, this is where the biggest cognitive dissonance occurs in Paul’s partisan speech.  Paul praises the market interventions of our Asian neighbours’ government into their local economics, while glossing over and at times blatantly ignoring that;

  • These countries often intervene to ensure that their cost of electricity is kept low in contrast with Australia which has implemented interventions to increase the cost of electricity.
  • The cost of labour in countries within the Asian region are often much less than that of Australia, even in those nations which are not developing nations (ie South Korea, Taiwan).
  • The organisation of labour is largely absent, despite the title of the dominate nation within the region:-  The “People’s” Republic of China.
  • That unlike most western nations, the people of China, Malaysia, Singapore, and so forth do not have a welfare entitlement mentality and set aside savings to cater for themselves and their families, freeing up a lot of tax monies for investment in public expenditure which have a real return to the government and its people.  It is no surprise that these countries are characterised by financial responsible governments with relatively low debt loads.

There was a short glimmer of hope though.  A light that was as quickly extinguished as it appeared. Paul Howes criticised, with much validity the power of the big four banks within Australia’s financial system [although it should be stressed that it is this strength along with the Chinese driven resources boom that left us largely unaffected by the GFC], Paul correctly identified that it was lack of competition within the banking sector which had led to the current state of affairs.  Sadly the most effective solution to this; relaxing key restrictions to entry and allowing large foreign banks entry to Australia’s market was not proposed, instead stipulating that the government needed to  be more active in forcing these banks to follow the government line.  One can only imagine what method he would use to accomplish this.

If this is what the next generation of ALP leaders believe, then following the next election we should hope that the ALP will be entering the political wilderness for a very long time.

The full text of Paul Howes’ speech can be found at: http://australianpolitics.com/2012/05/22/paul-howes-npc-address.html

David Elson is a senior public servant who has long taken an interest in the economic impact of Federal policies particularly those pertaining to environmental or social issues and in the cultures of Australia's Asian neighbours.  He lives in Brisbane, Queensland with his Taiwanese wife and is an avid squash player.

Too Bad if You Are a Liberal Voting Member of a Union

Quote

The peak union body will consider a multi-million dollar campaign funded by a levy on its 1.8 million members to fight Tony Abbott at the next election.

The proposal has the backing of the Shop, Distributed and Allied Workers union, the largest union in the country, which is urging the ACTU to start fundraising now ahead of the next election.

SDA national secretary Joe de Bruyn told The Australian Online his union strongly backed a levy and promised unions would fight to keep Labor's industrial changes.

 Meanwhile…

Quote

The number of working days lost to industrial disputes has almost doubled in the past 12 months, with business and industry sheeting home the blame to the bargaining provisions in Labor's Fair Work laws.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of working days lost to lockouts and strikes rose from 126,600 in 2010 to 241,500 last year.

John Howard did go too far with Work Choices Act but equally Julia Gillard has also gone too far with her Fair Work Act.

If employees want to bargain with employers by themselves they should be allowed. If they want to belong to a union and let the unions bargain on their behalf that’s fine too.

However, the Industrial Relations pendulum has swung too far in favour of the unions.

 

This post was first published on Andy’s RANT!

Follow Andy on twitter

Gillard government: hates volunteers, loves unions Gillard government: hates volunteers, loves unions

Ken_phillips Ken Phillips describes the continued attack on volunteer & community groups by the GIllard Government: 

This headline – “Gillard government hates volunteers, loves unions”, is based on evidence. Last week the Gillard government killed off the Australian Building and Construction Commission. (The Abbott opposition have said that it will restore the ABCC if elected.)
 
One of the reasons the government cited for removing the ABCC was because it had strong powers to require unions and others in the construction sector to answer questions about corruption, bullying and intimidation. (We say the ABCC protected self-employed construction workers from extreme harassment and intimidation.)  The government has now saved unions from tough questioning that might expose bullying and corruption.
 
But the Gillard government has a proposal to introduce a new regulatory system for the not-for-profit and volunteer sector. The Bill sets up a commission that will have near-identical powers to question volunteers that it’s just removed from unions. The double standard is glaring.
 
The government is also introducing new tax laws for the not-for-profit sector—but exempting unions from those laws.
 
This follows the Gillard government’s introducing OHS laws that enable volunteers to be prosecuted. Here’s the evidence from the Scout Association.
 
What is it with this government? Doesn’t it understand what it takes to make a just and fair society? It favours protecting bully unions in construction and proposes the same in transport. They have a very contorted view of justice!

Ken Phillips is the Executive Director of the Independent Contractors Association.

Attacks On The Self-Employed Continue

Ken_phillips Ken Phillips on the campaign to damage self-employed people. 

It can sometimes be surprising just how persistent are those who hate self-employed people.
 
As ex-union boss, smiley Bill Shorten, was promoted to Cabinet as minister for industrial relations, we discover another union-organised attack against self-employed people. Shorten’s government has released proposed legislation that will take away the rights of self-employed truckies to be their own boss.
 
We’ve assessed the legislation and its impact and written to members of parliament saying ‘don’t be conned’. The con is that the government’s political spin talks about road safety. But the proposal, which is likely to pass, will impose price-fixing on truckies, push down their incomes, decrease productivity and not improve road safety. It’s a red-tape template bonanza that can be applied to all self-employed people.
 
Who knows what Shorten thinks of this but he’s now responsible for the legislation. Last week I had an article in The Australian assessing Shorten’s task as minister. It’s an impossible one, even if he wanted to do the right thing. His union background and the enemies he’s made create for him a political squeeze.
 
When the law and politics get together, watch out! Which is why a lawyer’s (red tape) approach to Christmas can even send us into a spin.

Ken Phillips is the Executive Director of the Independent Contractors Association.