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John Passant

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March 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Cutting red tape or lining the pockets of the rich and powerful?

Former Assistant Treasurer, ‘he’s just resting’ Arthur Sinodinos, is in hot water for links to the famous Labor Party plutocracy, the Obeid family, through Australian Water Holdings and its machinations.

Being paid $200000 a year for 100 hours work for your political connections is also pretty nice work, if you can get it. You and I can’t get work, let alone at $2000 an hour.

In fact, the real crime for which Sinodinos should be hung out to dry is the Abbott government’s red tape offensive. Offensive it certainly is. It is a disguised attack on low paid cleaners and in the main low paid working class Australians seeking financial advice.

Much of red tape abolition is harmless enough – getting rid of rules and regulations that no-one uses or which are redundant, like those applying to left handed seafarers ensuring they are compensated at the same level as right handed seafarers. As Tony Burke said it’s a bit like vacuuming the spare room that hasn’t been used for years.  

This ‘bonfire of red tape’ gives the government the opportunity to sprout about freeing up business when in fact its real target is those regulations that protect the vulnerable and the poor, giving open slather for business.

Take the pay of government cleaners and more ‘freedom’ for financial advisers. One of the regulations the Abbott government will abolish is the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines from July 1. This Rule applies to cleaners employed on government contracts from July 1. According to Bianca Hall in The Age:

The regulations are a form of collective bargaining introduced by Labor that lift the wages of workers hired by businesses that win government cleaning contracts, by between $4.53 and $5.93 an hour above the minimum wage. This brings their weekly wage from $664 to $836 for a 38-hour week for level 1, and from $724 to $950 a week for level 3 workers.

So what would abolishing them mean? Hall again:

Some of the country’s lowest-paid workers could lose almost a quarter of their weekly wages under changes quietly introduced by the Abbott government.

Thousands of workers will be hit by the changes, which will strip between $172 and $225 a week from the pockets of full-time contract cleaners who work in government buildings.

Attacking the poorly paid? Who would have thought that is what this Abbott government is about and would do?

That’s the point. One important way to improve the profitability of business is to cut our wages. The fact the Abbott government has to try to do this on the sly shows it realises revealing its true agenda in all its blood soaked gory glory might alienate a lot of people.

That is certainly what it is doing with its financial adviser changes, justified on the same basis as the ‘red tape bonfire’ and introduced on the same day. The changes will ‘save’ about $190 a year in red tape but jeopardise billions in savings of ordinary working Australians. According to the ABC’s Emma Griffiths:

The Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws stipulate greater controls on commissions, that advisers act in the “best interests” of their clients, and that they get agreement every two years from customers to continue receiving advice and paying fees.

But the Government wants to wind back the last two regulations and other measures.

The problem with financial advice commissions and a lack of a robust duty to act in the best interests of the client is that financial advisers can, do and will put clients into investments that yield the best commissions for the adviser, not the best return for the investor.

According to Peter Martin in the Sydney Morning Herald, the government has also indicated the regulatory body responsible for ensuring advisers let their clients know this June of their commissions won’t prosecute advisers who don’t do that.

One of the main beneficiaries of these changes may well be the wealth arms of big banks; you know, those poor, cut to the bone banks making record profits.

So in the name of reducing red tape and costs on business, the Abbott government is penalising investors billions in returns over the next decade.

Attacking low paid workers. Attacking often low paid investors (in Superannuation for example) by defending financial advisers from scrutiny and not requiring them to act in the best interests of their client.

This isn’t about cutting red tape. It is about lining the pockets of the rich and powerful with even more money at the expense of the low paid. Just as Sinodinos tried to line his pockets with his $2000 an hour job, this is what he and the Abbott government are trying to do now for their mates in the one percent with their misnamed ‘bonfire of red tape’. The only people being burnt are the poorly paid and less sophisticated, working class investors.



Pingback from Cutting red tape or lining the pockets of the rich and powerful? | OzHouse
Time March 24, 2014 at 5:12 am

[…] Mar 23 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 24, 2014 at 7:59 am

I certainly agree with your comments on FOFA. The proposed changes will certainly help capitalists to move more Australian money offshore.

The government should not be making further attacks on low paid workers.

Now Paul Howes thinks he is going to get into the parliament. I have seen him on TV and it seems he is more than happy to help others to crush Australian workers.

When I spoke with my Queensland MP, he made it clear that his government wants to get rid of EBAs from our public hospitals. He blamed the union movement for everything, where government attacks on our public hospital doctors are concerned.

I have told the Together Union I will not support them in their campaigns unless they stop giving money to the ALP.

I think nearly everyone knows that both of the major parties could not care less about Australian workers and are largely responsible for extremely racist attitudes which are developing within the community.

Comment from Christopher Derrick
Time March 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Well done, my friend. Anger will spill over. To what outcome, I’m unsure, but it is out there.

This is of one of your more measured Articles. You should work on it. More scope and quality exposure awaits.

Comment from Hasbeen
Time March 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

John just let me get this clear.

I thought under socialism all were equal, but you are suggesting we should have 2 classes of cleaners.

Cleaners A work in private enterprise, clean privately owned buildings, & are paid a wage judged to be suitable for their time & skill.

Cleaners B work in the public sector, doing the same work as cleaners A, but in public sector buildings. They have the same skills & pay rate as cleaners A I presume.

From what I see you are suggesting cleaners A should pay more tax than necessary, so cleaners B can be paid more for the same work. This it appears is simply a sweetheart deal, concocted by the socialist Labour, because these cleaners work in public buildings.

Actually it is nice of you to confirm my long held belief regarding socialist principles. That every one must be equal, but some favored groups, are more equal than the rest. Those closest to government, even if only cleaning up the mess, will be favored.

You have also helped confirm another theory of mine, that those paid by government, & particularly those overly well paid, come to think the public purse is infinitely deep, with lots of money to throw at any old thing that takes their fancy.

Nice of you to confirm my suspicions for me.

Comment from John
Time March 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Sophistry of the highest order from you hasbeen. Nice of you to confirm my suspicions for me.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

In my view, the needs of the cleaning industry are best served when they are working for government rather than private contractors, since the latter take shortcuts and don’t hire enough people to do the job.

Comment from Kay
Time March 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Well, hopefully now that Sinodinos is out of action for a while, the government might think twice about their proposed FoFA legislation. Actually, the requirement for financial advisers to act in their clients’ best interest was one of the best things that Labor did. So many innocent people have had their lives ruined by self-serving financial advisers.

Unfortunately, so many people tend to forget the old axiom: “If it sounds too good to be true, then it generally is”. Except if you’re Sinodinos himself, of course – $200K for 100 hours work plus a possible $20M windfall does sound “too good to be true”, but were it not for ICAC, it may have happened! A bit different from the Storm victims!

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