FRANKING CREDITS: HOW GOOD IS FREE MONEY!

LABOR’s policy was not to impact pensioners, part pensioners or self-managed Super funds … because it is the wealthiest who benefit the most!

NOW the AFR has found there were $16 BILLION in Franking Credits generated in the recent earnings season on the ASX!

RELATED ARTICLE:  Howard’s Junket …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/howards-junket/

DESPITE the Facts … Tim Wilson continued to misinform again on Q & A last Monday evening 27 May 2019 that Labor was after Pensioners …. with its reform of Franking Credits … 

THIS Disinformation Campaign has really done some damage to Our Nation!  That is such a shame!  Middle Class Welfare at its Worse!  If you spread a policy matter that is plainly untrue should you not be subject to the Trade Practices Act and treated accordingly?

 

Franking Credits: how good is free money!

Franking Credits: how good is free money!
Tim Wilson (Image courtesy http://featurettes9.rssing.com)

 

 

The cat is out of the bag. Bank shares have shot up since the surprise election result as new investors pile onto the great franking credits bandwagon. Sandi Keane reports.

“Hey, you got any of these franking credits,” older bloke asks mate. It’s two days post-election. I’m on my regular break from my home desk with my dog, Mackie, in Kew’s affogato central.

Leafy Kew was at the heart of Kooyong’s electoral battleground. The two men are at an adjoining table at the cafe. They’re talking about the “franking credits” campaign — the pitched battle to win the retiree vote. “No,” is the reply, “but I’m gonna look into them.”

That night, I’m on my way to Hamer Hall to an ACO concert with old pal, Rex. “I’ve transferred all my money into bank shares,” he announces, awaiting my reaction.

Then to press home the point, he jabs me in the ribs “I not only get all that free money but the share price has gone up!” He laughs. And he voted Greens!

Fast forward to the end of the week and I’m back in Kew cafe-land with the four-legged one, getting my coffee fix again. It’s a different cafe. We’re seated outside. A couple of elders go past. My ears prick up….they’re talking about “franking credits”. But they’re not congratulating themselves for keeping Bill Shorten’s hands off their “free money”. No, they’re wondering how they can get their hands on some! Jeez…

Seriously, how good is Tim Wilson and cousin Kevin, or is it Geoff?

Few of us silly old duffers had a bloody clue about “franking credits” until Tim and cousin Geoff started jumping up and down championing the unique advantage of owning shares with “franking credits”. And how good is Australia … the only country in the world to offer a cash reward!

Tim took care of the Parliamentary Inquiry and the town hall meetings focussing on the high retiree states of Tassie and Queensland.

Geoff harnessed his travelling roadshow, Wilson Asset Management, and headed up north to spread the word. Between them, they sparked ire in the hearts of Queenslanders and Tasmanians. Not only would they lose all that free money, but the world as they knew it would end. Worked a charm.

Post-election, Geoff was itching to congratulate himself for alerting the voters about franking credits. And avoiding Armageddon. Claimed his campaign helped deliver a fatal blow to Labor’s hopes of election. But he’s too modest by half. Thanks to the Wilson boys, not one of the nearly four million over 65s would be now be unaware of the “free money”gig when they retire. What a legacy, boys!

So, now we oldies have been enlightened, have we shown our gratitude, especially to Tim?  Such a formidable force for good should surely have been promoted to cabinet! 

What’s wrong with ScoMo? This reporter still remembers saluting Tim for duking it out (single-handedly, mind) against the Labor Government’s “plain packaging” proposals for ciggie packets.

Wilson the Younger stormed the airwaves on behalf of Big Tobacco, clocking up 13 radio interviews in one day, a robust opinion piece in The Australian, and managed to pop up, fresh as a daisy, on prime time 7.30 Report that night. Be afraid, he warned. Be very afraid. This outrageous plan would cost the public $3 billion in compensation!

If our government took away a company’s logo, it could be seen as stealing! Good to see Tim working with the government and on our side now!

So, on 22 May, I put out a Tweet to gauge the level of gratitude to Tim. It’s had over 10,000 impressions as of today:

 

and again the next day, over 10,000 for the first Tweet then jumping to over 20,000 for the 2nd:

 

 

I was inundated with responses. Was a spot worried I’d be seen as a self-serving, greedy oldie, you know, one of those “solipsistic slackers” that journos like Bernard Keane like to target. There was the expected bit of unfriendly fire —  but, by and large, I could tell the Tweeps were genuinely grateful to Tim.

Does anyone in Australia now NOT KNOW they can get #FreeMoney for investing in things like banks if they’ve retired and want to set up their own fund?

And the more of you who buy shares, the more the shares will go up! Double whammy! Win, Win! Whoohoo! As I said, “how good is Tim Wilson?” Get into it, guys. Follow me!

If you still want the nitty gritty on those franking credits, check out our Kitchen Table series by the redoubtable Westy who has translated complicated financial bafflegab into simple words that even I can understand (I call it “Franking Credits for Dummies”). Start with the one below:

The Kitchen Table: a Franking Credits Revelation

Editor’s Note: Treasury found up to 230,000 pensioners would have been affected by Labor’s original policy.

“The value of franking credits refunded has increased from $1.9 billion in 2005-06 to $5.9  billion in 2014-15,” Treasury found.

It is now projected to increase to $8 billion a year although the AFR found there were $16 billion in franking credits generated in the recent earnings season on the ASX.

——————

Sandi Keane is MW editor-in-chief and was formerly editor and environment editor at Independent Australia.

She has also conducted corporate investigations, principally into the energy and media sectors. Her investigation into the anti-wind lobby and Waubra Foundation was used to support Labor’s Clean Energy Bill, thus, making it into Hansard.

Sandi holds a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Melbourne.

Describing herself as a “Twitter tragic”, Sandi has tweeted for ABC’s Lateline as well as the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. You can follow her on Twitter @jarrapin.

She has a quantity of franking credits in her SMSF and, until recently, never knew how they got there.

Is Howard’s Kyoto con trick about to be played out again?

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/franking-credits-how-good-is-free-money/?fbclid=IwAR1rAgm0tY5MJ55m2De3tDttriUAmcfaljKNyr2399SuK1NgLOiCozEue34

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CITYRAIL GROWTH ‘BLOCKED’ BY METRO: 2009!

ON one side were the Olympic Planners proposing to improve CityRail to deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney …

AND on the other side the self-described ‘Guerilla Group’ of senior bureaucrats who at 2009 were working for the ‘Metro Authority’ and wanted to build Metros worth more than $20B … to create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce …

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CAAN Photo:  Metro line outside Rouse Hill to Tallawong

Image may contain: sky, tree, plant, cloud, night and outdoor

CityRail growth ‘blocked’ by metro

 

A report by the consultants Connell Wagner, dated November 2007 but never published by the Government, recommended preserving the Pitt Street corridor so CityRail could build a CBD relief line connecting Redfern and Chatswood by way of a second harbour crossing.

This would ease congestion at the dangerously overcrowded Town Hall station.

Full transport coverage New metro lines under the city could be built without blocking this vital route, but the Government – unknowingly, say rail planners – has allowed the Sydney Metro Authority to claim the Pitt Street corridor for itself, in a move they fear will forever prevent CityRail growing to meet demand from Sydney’s western suburbs.

The report, obtained by the Herald, identifies the Sussex Street corridor as the ”preferred north-south alignment” for a metro, with stations at north Barangaroo, Wynyard, Sussex Street and Haymarket/Central.

It says a metro along the Pitt Street corridor would be ”feasible” but does not recommend it as a solution to CityRail’s congestion crisis.

The decision to ignore the recommendations highlights a three-year struggle between rail factions within the bureaucracy.

On one side are the ”Olympic planners”, who successfully planned rail transport for the Olympics. They proposed improving the CityRail system by completing the ”rail clearways program”.

They also recommended extending the CityRail network with the 2005 Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program, or MREP, by building south-west and north-west rail links, and – later – a “capacity-enabling line” through the CBD to the North Shore and the Chatswood-Epping line. This ”enabling line” would deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney.

*On the other side is the self-described ”guerilla group”, a team of senior bureaucrats formerly from the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and the Ministry of Transport, some of whom now work for the Metro Authority.

*The ”guerillas” want to build metros worth more than $20 billion – including the $5.3 billion, seven-kilometre CBD Metroto create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce.

A spokesman for the Metro Authority said the Connell Wagner report ”predates detailed planning for a metro network”.

He said forcing the metro to use the western CBD corridor would prevent the construction of a metro line to north-western Sydney. He added: ”The Pitt Street rail corridor is considered the best option for the development of a future metro network.”

He insisted that both the Pitt Street and western corridors could provide relief at Town Hall.

*But top rail planners, examining the metro’s environment assessment for the Herald, believe the CBD Metro will not ”deliver vital capacity relief for Town Hall station by easing the pressure on the north shore-bound services”, as its website claims.

*Under the MREP, commuters from the Campbelltown and Eastern Suburbs lines could change trains for the job-rich north shore and Macquarie Park areas using new platforms at Central or at an expanded Martin Place interchangebut only if the Pitt Street corridor was linked to the Epping-Chatswood line.

*If the CBD Metro forces CityRail into the western CBD corridor, a key rail planner warned: “These interchanging passengers would be unable to change onto the new line and Town Hall congestion will worsen, which is likely to breach safety standards.”

If the metro occupied the western CBD corridor, as the Connell Wagner report recommended, it could serve the growth area of Barangaroo and allow CityRail to both expand and relieve congestion.

It would also allow a much-needed east-west metro, with interchanges at congestion-free CityRail stations, to cross the city – another option also blocked by the metro plan.

 

2009:  To make a submission to the inquiry write to: Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, GPO Box 249, Sydney 2001, or email submissions@transportpublicinquiry.com.au, by 6pm on Thursday.

 

 

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CAAN Photo:  Outside Rouse Hill Station May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

IVANHOE ESTATE REDEVELOPMENT $1.8B: MASTERPLAN UPDATE

PLANS for the Ivanhoe Estate will see it developed into an integrated community of around 3000 to 3500 homes of which 950 social  housing units and 128 affordable rental units are included over the next 10 to 12 years …

AS a result of community feedback, and Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale calling for a significant revision of the concept design for a reduction in the development’s size, scale and density the latest masterplan has increased the open space, revised building setbacks, made changes to building heights, and expanded the bushland setting along Epping Road and Shipton’s Creek …

 

 

Masterplan Update: $1.8bn Ivanhoe Estate Redevelopment

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The updated masterplan for the $1.8 billion Ivanhoe Estate, referred to as Australia’s largest social housing project, is on public exhibition.

 

The first stage of the project would comprise 740 total dwellings, including 259 social homes, and a childcare centre on the corner of Herring Road and Epping Road in Macquarie Park.

NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) has been working with the Aspire Consortium — developers Frasers Property Australia and Mission Australia Housing — on transforming the 8.2-hectare site.

Artist impression of Ivanhoe Estate

▲The site has a gross floor area of around 283,000sq m which could allow for a range of 3000 – 3500 units including 950 social housing units and 128 affordable rental homes being built over the next 10-12 years.
Plans for the Ivanhoe Estate will see it developed into an integrated community of around 3000 to 3500 homes.

Ivanhoe Estate, the first major project proposed under the Future Directions policy and Communities Plus program, will also include 950 social housing units and 128 affordable rental units across the next 10 to 12 years, along with delivering new support services and public facilities.

As a result of community feedback received last year, the latest masterplan has increased the amount of open space, revised building setbacks, made changes to building heights and expanded the bushland setting along Epping Road and Shipton’s Creek.

RelatedMore Than 1,000 Homes Announced Under NSW $1.1bn Rollout

The City of Ryde voiced its opposition to the concept design for Ivanhoe Estate earlier this year.

▲The City of Ryde voiced its opposition to the concept design for Ivanhoe Estate earlier this year.
The updated masterplan also includes the retention of 119 additional trees after being called an “ecological disaster” by Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale earlier this year.

Laxale called for a significant revision of the concept design in February, asking for a reduction in the development’s size, scale and density.

“The Ivanhoe Estate is a prime example of the State Government’s overdevelopment agenda.

“This is state-owned land that this government wants to overdevelop with 3500 units,” Laxale said.

The department’s executive director of key sites & industry assessments Anthea Sargeant says the department is seeking community’s views on both the Response to Submissions for the concept proposal and the EIS for stage one construction.

“Community input is essential to help us make a thorough and rigorous assessment,” Sargeant said.

Redevelopment plans along with stage one development applications are on public exhibition until 19 June.

The Department of Planning and Environment is calling for community feedback on plans to redevelop the Ivanhoe Estate, corner of Herring Road and Epping Road, in Macquarie Park.

▲The Department of Planning and Environment is calling for community feedback on plans to redevelop the Ivanhoe Estate, corner of Herring Road and Epping Road, in Macquarie Park.

Canberra building site shut down for beginning construction work without development approvals  

 

IT would appear that the management team at TP Dynamics was well qualified to ensure that the company complied with procedures in seeking building approvals …

Managing Director Tony Pan came to Canberra in 2005 to study management and marketing at the Australian National University.  He identified a gap in the market for high-quality homes at affordable prices, Tony established TP Dynamics in 2011.

Renee  Huang, Financial Manager arrived in Canberra in 2006 to study and made Canberra her home.  After graduating from the ANU with a degree in accounting and law, Renee focused her energy on building TP Dynamics, overseeing the company’s finances and administration, and engaging with a growing list of ‘international investors’ …

Perhaps that had some bearing on the haste?

Further … as for the Master Builders … don’t talk about what you have done wrong … talk about ‘the process’ …

IS this another example of corporate arrogance?  Of our Standards being eroded?  Of what we are more and more likely to see?  A trial for where they want to go?

 

To find out more about TP Dyamics view:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tp+dynamics&oq=tp+dynamics&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2620j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

Canberra building site shut down for beginning construction work without development approvals

28 MAY 2019

A large building site in Canberra’s north has been shut down after authorities discovered work had begun without development or building approvals.

Canberra’s building regulator issued a stop work notice on TP Dynamics’s work site in Bruce, describing the situation as “unusual” and “troubling”.

According to Access Canberra, construction had already begun on the multi-unit site.

The breach comes after 17 building sites in Gungahlin were issued stop work notices three months ago because of non-compliance with building standards.

ACT constructions occupations registrar Ben Green said the case was abnormal.

“It is an unusual thing to see, given the people involved are generally well informed about the processes,” he said.

Mr Green also said development approvals could be arranged retrospectively.

“But that will be a matter that would need to be investigated by the owners of that particular property,” he said.

“At this stage, our focus is on investigating how this occurred and ensuring it is remedied as quickly as possible.”

Mr Green said there were no safety concerns at the site and ACT Worksafe had not been asked to investigate.

Union slams ‘ludicrous’ circumstances

 

CFMEU ACT secretary Jason O’Mara said there were “cowboys” in the construction industry, and that he was surprised a project could get so far underway without approval.

“To go out and have tower cranes set up and [be] halfway through a job without having development and building applications in place is ludicrous,” he said.

“This shows the disrespect that some of the builders and developers hold for some of the regulatory authorities in Canberra.”

Mr O’Mara said workers would be left out of pocket by the sudden decision to close the site.

“They’re not going to be able to start here because the developer and the builder haven’t done what they should have done,” he said.

“It certainly wasn’t this builder’s first rodeo, they’ve built a number of projects around Canberra, they certainly know the process.”

Michael Hopkins from Master Builders ACT said he was yet to learn why the developer and builder failed to file the relevant paperwork, but that the process for approving construction in the ACT was complex.

“It certainly is unusual that development would start without the necessary approvals because there can be some serious penalties if that’s the case,” he said.

“The building and development process certainly is complex.”

The ACT Legislative Assembly is currently holding an inquiry into building quality in the territory, while last year the Government was criticised for delays in implementing a suite of building industry reforms.

Earlier today the Government pledged $8.9 million for rapid response officers, which it says will allow for up to 1,000 more inspections and site assessments per year.

TP Dynamics have been contacted for comment.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-28/canberra-building-site-shut-down-due-to-lack-of-approvals/11156592?pfmredir=sm

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JUWAI WEBSITE REACTION TO VICTORIAN STATE BUDGET’s NEW TAXES ON FOREIGN BUYERS

IT would appear that foreign interest in Australian domestic housing is again emerging not only in Victoria but also in Greater Sydney …

IS it because the Scomo Government has refused to stem the sale of Australian property and assets to foreign entities  …

AND has, it would seem, suspiciously failed to introduce the ANTI-MONEY Laundering Rules for this sector … having exempted it in October 2018 … and to address an underlying weakness in the structure of the Australian economy?

MEANWHILE the Taxes are of little note to High Net Worth …

 

 

 

 

CHINESE WEBSITE Reaction to Victorian State Budget’s new taxes on foreign buyers

 

Chinese website reaction to Victorian State Budget’s new taxes on foreign buyers

EXPERT OBSERVER

Will the higher taxes announced this week make a tremendous difference on the market?

The answer is no. They are dispiriting but not too damaging. There is an old saying to the effect that those who can’t vote, pay. 

Victoria is the number one destination for Chinese buyers in Australia, leading Sydney with a wide margin. The fact that prices and Victoria are lower than in Sydney has helped to drive Chinese purchasing.

The foreign buyers’ tax that was until now 1 per cent lower than in New South Wales also contributed to support demand.

Image may contain: one or more people

CAAN Photo:  Sunday 26 May 2019 at Rouse Hill, North-Western Sydney a Real Estate Agency set up in an arcade with properties listed for all over Sydney.  Promoting the Stamp Duty exemption for First Home Buyers.

The other big political news lately is the recent national election. The election outcome will have a positive impact on Chinese real estate investment.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoor

CAAN Photo:  Prospective clients viewing and discussing properties with RE Sales Agent in Rouse Hill Sunday 26 May 2019.

The research we conducted just before the election found that a significant share of the industry believes the Coalition victory will mean more Chinese investment, while a Labor victory would have meant Chinese investment would fall. Will Chinese buying triple overnight just because Scott Morrison is in The Lodge? No, but there will be a real impact.

Our core case for 2019 is for Chinese investment to be flat, after two years of falling far and fast from the peaks we saw at the end of 2016. Chinese buyers are still the most important foreign buyers in the market. They just are not buying with the same hyperactivity as three years ago.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor

CAAN Photo:  Rouse Hill, NorthWestern Sydney, Sunday 26 May 2019;  the trial run of the Sydney Metro was held.  View previous articles about development from CAAN on Rouse Hill

The top Australian cities in 2019 are Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and the Gold Coast, followed closely by Perth in sixth.

Melbourne and Sydney together in 2019 account for 52.3% of buying enquiries.

The cities with the fastest growing levels of Chinese buyer interest are Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra.

Hobart has the fastest rate of Chinese buyer growth, with 77% more buyer inquires in 2018 than the year before.

Brisbane has the second fastest rate of Chinese buyer growth, with 30.8% more Chinese buyer inquiries in 2018.

Canberra has the third fastest rate of Chinese buyer inquiry growth in Australia, with 24.6% more Chinese buyer inquires than the year before.

Remember that all three of these smaller cities receive significantly less buyer interest than do Sydney or Melbourne. That’s especially true of Hobart and Canberra.

Brisbane is fast becoming a real alternative for the two traditional gateway cities of Melbourne and Sydney. Hobart and Canberra, however, still account for only a small share of Chinese buyer interest.

Carrie Law is the CEO of Juwai, a Chinese website for buyers of overseas property.

SOURCE:

https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/forward-planning/advice-and-hot-topics/china/99025-chinese-reaction-to-victorian-state-budget-s-new-taxes-on-foreign-buyers.html

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THE COSTS OF AN AGEING POPULATION KEEP GROWING … BUT WHO’s GOING TO PAY?

 

More pain with the problem mounting further down the line …

But let’s not allow the truth to get in the way of a good story …

The Opposition Policy on Franking Credits would have facilitated a better outcome all round …

And would not have impacted pensioners, part pensioners, nor self managed Super Funds

Negative Gearing was to be grandfathered …

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ANALYSIS

The costs of an ageing population keep growing, but who’s going to pay?

 

27 MAY 2019

 

In the post-mortem of Labor’s election loss, calls to dump the party’s franking credits policy have risen to a clamour.

On the ABC’s Q&A program, audience member Paul Keighery not only labelled the plan to claw back taxpayers’ money from older Australians a “monumental blunder”, he asked the Opposition’s finance spokesman for an apology for having even considered it.

When Jim Chalmers refused to resile from his party’s previous position, an incredulous Tony Jones asked him “would you go back and drink that poison again?”

The politics may be tricky but future governments will have to confront the grim economic reality of the post-World War II baby boom.

Australians born after 1946 began to retire in huge numbers in 2011. Demand for the aged pension, aged care and health services have been rising commensurately.

The working age population is a net contributor to the federal budget. Older people, on the other hand, are the largest recipients of welfare, aged care and health care services.

Most people are net contributors through working life and beneficiaries in older age

Retirees are getting expensive

A report released last month by the independent, non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) warns the ageing population will exert “historically unique” pressure on the federal finances in the decade to 2028-29.

New figures in the report show that by 2028, Australians born between 1946 and 1964 will cost the Government more than Medicare does each year. Based on 2018 budget forecasts, the PBO estimates the cost of Medicare to be $32 billion in 2028-29. By then, lost revenue ($20 billion) and increased spending ($16 billion) on baby boomers will amount to $36 billion.

 

The number of working-age Australians for every person aged 65 and over has fallen from 7.4 in the mid-1970s, to 4.4 in 2015. That figure is projected to fall to just 3.2 in 2055.

Economists and policy makers need to find new taxpayers and increase workforce participation to support the hordes of older people entering retirement.

The ageing population means that by 2028-29, the PBO estimates there will be 600,000 fewer workers.

While the Australian population has been ageing, life expectancy has also improved.

As far as the government’s fiscal fortunes go, it’s a perfect storm. The pension was introduced in 1909 with 65 set as the qualifying age for men.

Since then, male life expectancy has skyrocketed from 55 to 80 but, the PBO observes, our “retirement behaviour has remained anchored to the qualifying age” which is reflected in the sharp decrease in labour force participation at that point.

The boomer vote

Baby boomers accounted for close to one in four of the 16.4 million people who cast a vote on May 18.

The swings against Labor were most significant in seats with a higher proportion of over 65s.

The ABC’s chief election analyst, Antony Green, thinks the franking credits policy was always going to upset the grey vote.

 

“Importantly for Labor’s task of selling changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax, the proposal grandfathered all properties currently negatively geared. No-one would be directly worse off due to past investment decisions,” he said.

*”The problem with the franking credits change was that it was not grandfathered. Retirees could be worse off due to investment decisions made under the existing rules.*

CAAN:  * NO!  Not really … as revealed in this Academic Report!

‘IT’s hard to find out who Labor’s dividend imputation policy will hit, but it is possible, and it isn’t the POOR!’

LABOR’s POLICY ON FRANKING CREDITS (Dividend Imputation Credits) …

KEY POINTS … -doesn’t apply to pensioners or part pensioners, NOR self managed Super Funds set up by pensioners before Labor’s announcement, charities and not-for-profit organisations also exempt

The remaining cash refunds cost estim. $5B – to grow to $8 BILLION – p.a.;   they benefit wealthier people!

READ THIS ACADEMIC REPORT:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/howards-junket/

“It was much easier to paint the change as a tax grab and turn the issue into a scare campaign where even retirees who didn’t have franking credits thought they were to be hit by a ‘retiree tax’.”

Green notes some of the swings in seats with large retiree populations point to older voters latching onto the idea that there was to be a so-called “retiree tax”.

It would indeed be audacious to ever again propose policy that winds back current payments to seniors, but some economists think the electorate could have been swayed to support the policy had existing arrangements been protected.

CAAN:  But the scare campaign – it would seem not unlike that conducted in Europe pre 1939 … blocked the details getting out …

Paying for the rising costs of aged care

Health economist Lynne Pezzullo says the government needs to establish a three-pillar funding strategy for older Australians within the next five to 10 years. She says the government might consider quarantining 3 per cent or more of superannuation balances to put toward the rising costs of healthcare and aged care services.

She is also optimistic about the future work prospects of older Australians, as improvement in health outcomes will mean a greater capacity to keep working.

But whatever policies are adopted for future retirement, the important thing is not to disrupt a retiree’s current arrangements.

“You have to remember that policy is made in its time, and you have to grandfather things because people make decisions about their lifestyles based on policies at the time,” she said.

“You can’t change choices people have made when they’re now old, retrospectively. Anything introduced needs to begin and be a generational change that young voters understand.

“Being a mother of four children in their 20s, I don’t think many of them expect that the government is going to provide for them in their old age, so I think to try to change the expectations of baby boomers may be not the way to go.”

Superannuation hasn’t done its job

When Paul Keating introduced compulsory superannuation in 1992, the whole point was to wean older Australians off the public purse and encourage economic independence in retirement.

Following the recommendation by the Financial System Inquiry, the Coalition has enshrined in law that the goal of super is to “provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the age pension”.

When John Howard won government in 1996, the number of Australians over 65 paying income tax was 27 per cent. A once-in-a-generation mining boom provided the funds to deliver tax-free superannuation and higher pensions.

A policy designed by Mr Keating to avoid the double taxation of share dividends was expanded so retiree shareholders who pay no income tax still receive a tax refund. Australia is still the only country in the OECD to do this.

Older households have been drawing more and more on the budget over time

 

Thanks in large part to the Howard government’s generosity, the number of Australians over 65 paying income tax today has fallen to 17 per cent.

Until changes introduced by the government in 2016, superannuation had also become a lucrative tax avoidance vehicle for the wealthy.

As assistant treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer copped a lot of flak from her considerable cohort of grey voters in Higgins when she introduced laws putting a ceiling on the amount of tax-free superannuation people could accumulate before retirement.

There is now a cap on retiree superannuation accounts of $1.6 million for singles and $3.2 million for couples. Even with low investment return of 2 per cent that still provides for a $32,000 a year income for a single and $64,000 for a couple while protecting their nest egg and the family home.

Woe betide the politician that dares to suggest older Australians consume their lump sum or sell assets in retirement.

Their children, who stand to inherit all that, would also likely punish them at the ballot box.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-27/the-baby-boomer-budget-problem-election-franking-credits/11147852

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SYDNEY’s WATER RESTRICTIONS TO KICK IN FROM JUNE 1 AS BIG DRY WORSENS 

VIEW the comments via the Source link below!  A lot of intelligence there …

To make things even better HT’s mates plan another 200,000 dwellings for Sydney …

.not for incumbents

Dam levels 53.3% capacity …

 

 

Sydney’s water restrictions to kick in from June 1 as big dry worsens

Sydneysiders will have their first water restrictions imposed in almost a decade to help stem a rapid decline in the city’s reservoirs amid the state’s ongoing drought.

The Berejiklian government decided to bring forward the level 1 curbs to June 1, or about two months earlier than would be triggered under the Metropolitan Water Plan.

The formal trigger for such restrictions is when dam levels hit 50 per cent. On Tuesday, they were at 53.5 per cent – and losing 0.5 percentage points per week – down almost half in two years, according to WaterNSW.

Cordeaux Reservoir was at 40 per cent full as of May 28, compared with an average of 53.5 per cent capacity across Sydney's dams.
Cordeaux Reservoir was at 40 per cent full as of May 28, compared with an average of 53.5 per cent capacity across Sydney’s dams.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

 

*Sydney Water have said the city’s dams have fallen faster over the past two years than during the Millennium Drought, with inflows at levels not seen since the 1940s.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey said it was “vital we take early and decisive action”.

Water restrictions are an important drought response because they target the outdoor water use of all households,” Ms Pavey said in a statement.

“Regional NSW has been experiencing a record drought. Water restrictions in Sydney mean that households across NSW are doing their bit to conserve water.”

Fines for breaches will be $220 for individuals and $550 for companies – with a three-month grace period to allow people to adjust. Details of the restrictions are on Sydney Water’s website.

About 75 per cent of Sydney Water’s output goes to residential users, and of that share about a quarter is used outdoors.

The first stage of water curbs will seek to mandate the so-called Water Wise Rules that have been voluntary to this point, according to the Metropolitan Water Plan. These include requiring all garden hoses to have a trigger nozzle or other attachment that permits an instant on-off use.

Lawns and gardens should also not be watered between 10am and 4pm to limit evaporation losses.

Sprinklers and watering systems will also not be permitted, except for drip-irrigation systems or automated watering systems with controllers that automatically limit usage based on soil moisture and weather conditions.

Residents will also not be allowed to hose hard surfaces like paths and driveways, except for health and safety reasons or in an emergency.

 

Residents can only wash vehicles, boats and buildings with a bucket, a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high-pressure cleaning equipment, and those seeking to fill a new or renovated pool will need a permit if it contains more than 10,000 litres of water.

Exemptions

Exclusions for level 1 restrictions include bore water use and where there is “no practical alternative”.

Other exclusions include households laying fresh turf with watering permitted for a week after installation. Professional gardeners – who often work through the day – will be able to apply for exemption permits.

The restrictions are coming into force even as the Sydney Desalination Plant ramps up towards full capacity.

It was restarted last year after repairs following a tornado strike in 2015, and is producing about 850 million litres a week. a spokesman said on Saturday.

At full capacity, the plant will supply 250 million litres of drinking water daily, or about 15 per cent of Sydney’s needs.

Justin Field, an independent upper house MP, said NSW was “a water crisis and Sydney is now feeling the impact of poor planning and a failure to take water efficiency and recycling seriously”.

Mr Field said that to avoid deeper water restrictions in the future Water Minister Melinda Pavey “should invest the $2.5 billion of dividends the Government will receive from Sydney Water over the next three years into water efficiency, recycling, stormwater capture and reducing leaks”.

He noted Sydney Water’s conservation report from last year showed the network was losing the equivalent of 52 Olympic pools from water leaks each day. The time taken to fix high-priority bursts also doubled in the past year.

Driest since 1888

While not a direct proxy for the city’s catchments, Sydney has been particularly dry for the past two months.

Observatory Hill has had no rain in its gauge since May 6 and may not get any until Saturday.

Rainfall since the start of April has been just 25.8mm, trailing only 1888 as the driest spell for those two months in Sydney in records going back to 1858, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The bureau’s winter outlook is for conditions that favour below-average rainfall across most eastern Australia, including in the region around Sydney.

Separately, the bureau on Tuesday updated its climate outlooks, noting that all six of the international models it uses point to a so-called positive Indian Ocean Dipole lasting through the spring.

Such conditions – where evaporation off north-western WA is less than usual – often result in below-average winter and spring rainfall over southern and central Australia, the bureau said.

Last weekend, Labor water spokesman Chris Minns said it was time the government reassessed the likely inflows into the city’s dams to account for climate change.

While targeting outdoor water use, the government is also planning to encourage the public to save water where possible.

Those seeking to be excluded from the water restrictions can phone Sydney Water on 13 20 92 or email exemptions@sydneywater.com.au.

 

Peter Hannam writes on environment issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-s-water-restrictions-to-kick-in-from-june-1-as-big-dry-worsens-20190528-p51rwr.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1ne6hpbf5tOtADoc2emkcBzciDNC9aToyclIec3cqM4KsObkMmEH7wuFE#Echobox=1559009529

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Tax cuts: ‘The Trojan horse to take Australia’s social security down the path of the US’

 

FROM THE COMMENTS ….

They are like the witch in the fairy tale, using the gingerbread of tax cuts to lure naive voters to their doom.

Welcome to the new liberal plan for securing the fair go ???

So obvious that huge tax cuts coupled with a decline in revenue will be met by cuts to health, education and social protection …

WHAT do the future years for the unemployed and pensioners look like?

 

 

 

Tax cuts: ‘The Trojan horse to take Australia’s social security down the path of the US’

 

 

Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are a Trojan horse.

 

 

Australia’s social security safety net faces a radical undermining in the new Parliament’s looming tax cuts battle.

*The re-elected Morrison government is using promised tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners in the near term as a Trojan horse to move Australia’s century-old commitment to look after more vulnerable citizens closer to the American model.

Boosting the government’s confidence it can push the Parliament hard to pass its seven-year tax cuts package are the election results where poorer “aspirational voters” deserted Labor for the Liberals.

Economist Richard Denniss points to some big swings to Labor in  Liberal seats and the reverse in Labor seats.

Dr Denniss says “Labor lost the class warfare in an unexpected way. Shorten won the wealthy and lost the poor”.

Just as in the United States, hard work and success entitles you to all the tax concessions the system bestows on the wealthy. If you haven’t achieved it, you don’t deserve it.

Australia’s social service providers are alarmed at the April budget’s projections of shrinking government outlays on a per capita basis in the forward estimates.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has already received analysis from one of the biggest agencies: Catholic Social Services Australia. He says he is well aware of the magnitude of the shift proposed and has asked for briefings from Treasury and the Reserve Bank.

The fully implemented Coalition plan would reduce government revenue by $95 billion over five years from 2024-25.

At the same time the budget projections for their affordability have been questioned by a number of economists.

For example, the projected real growth of the health budget from 2019-20 to 2022-23 is only 1.8 per cent.

Yet the average cost of private health insurance premiums has risen on average 5.07 per cent per year since 2013, while inflation as measured in the cost price index has remained under 2 per cent.

The return to surplus next year is the holy grail for the Liberals.

*There is no reason to believe the promised continuing surpluses, though thin, will be protected not by trimming tax concessionsthe Labor waybut by cutting services and support to lower-income Australians.*

Anthony Albanese is the new federal Labor leader, replacing Bill Shorten. Photo: AAP

Labor’s next leader

Anthony Albanese is maintaining his predecessor’s policy of opposing the second and third stages of the income tax cuts.

Albanese says “It’s a triumph of hope over experience and reality” that the government knows what the economic circumstances will be in 2025 or 2023. But he says Labor will give it due consideration.

If Labor insists the package should be split, the government looks like needing both Centre Alliance’s votes for the entire plan to pass.

Of course if the economy does succumb to the “headwinds” the prime minister talks about that could be a problem after the next election if the Liberals win it. But for now Morrison’s more interested in wedging Labor.

Morrison says Albanese is just Bill Shorten “in another shirt”.

“I mean he (Albanese) did not get the message from Australians that they want a government that backs aspiration,” Mr Morrison said.

The cuts to family benefits in the 2014 Budget are still in place.

Tony Abbott paid the price not for introducing them, but for doing what he said he wouldn’t in health, education and funding for the ABC and SBS.

Abbott was punished for doing what he said he wouldn’t.

Morrison is counting on delivering what he said he would.

But before then the senate is being urged by the welfare sector to ensure the delivery of adequate income and services to the poor and vulnerable before it forgoes $158 billion in revenue.

This is a significant reform that will have an enduring effect dismantling much of the safety net that makes Australia a more compassionate society than the US.

Paul Bongiorno AM is a veteran of the Canberra Press Gallery, with 40 years’ experience covering Australian politics

 

 

 

 

CityRail growth ‘blocked’ by metro

THE State Government’s decision to push ahead with a metro under the centre of Sydney ignores the recommendations of top engineers, who urged that a corridor beneath the city be reserved for CityRail expansion.

A report by the consultants Connell Wagner, dated November 2007 but never published by the Government, recommended preserving the Pitt Street corridor so CityRail could build a CBD relief line connecting Redfern and Chatswood by way of a second harbour crossing. This would ease congestion at the dangerously overcrowded Town Hall station. Full transport coverage New metro lines under the city could be built without blocking this vital route, but the Government – unknowingly, say rail planners – has allowed the Sydney Metro Authority to claim the Pitt Street corridor for itself, in a move they fear will forever prevent CityRail growing to meet demand from Sydney’s western suburbs.

Full transport coverage

The report, obtained by the Herald, identifies the Sussex Street corridor as the ”preferred north-south alignment” for a metro, with stations at north Barangaroo, Wynyard, Sussex Street and Haymarket/Central.

It says a metro along the Pitt Street corridor would be ”feasible” but does not recommend it as a solution to CityRail’s congestion crisis.

The decision to ignore the recommendations highlights a three-year struggle between rail factions within the bureaucracy.

On one side are the ”Olympic planners”, who successfully planned rail transport for the Olympics. They proposed improving the CityRail system by completing the ”rail clearways program”.

They also recommended extending the CityRail network with the 2005 Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program, or MREP, by building south-west and north-west rail links, and – later – a “capacity-enabling line” through the CBD to the North Shore and the Chatswood-Epping line. This ”enabling line” would deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney.

On the other side is the self-described ”guerilla group”, a team of senior bureaucrats formerly from the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and the Ministry of Transport, some of whom now work for the Metro Authority.

The ”guerillas” want to build metros worth more than $20 billion – including the $5.3 billion, seven-kilometre CBD Metro – to create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce.

A spokesman for the Metro Authority said the Connell Wagner report ”predates detailed planning for a metro network”.

He said forcing the metro to use the western CBD corridor would prevent the construction of a metro line to north-western Sydney. He added: ”The Pitt Street rail corridor is considered the best option for the development of a future metro network.”

He insisted that both the Pitt Street and western corridors could provide relief at Town Hall.

But top rail planners, examining the metro’s environment assessment for the Herald, believe the CBD Metro will not ”deliver vital capacity relief for Town Hall station by easing the pressure on the north shore-bound services”, as its website claims.

Under the MREP, commuters from the Campbelltown and Eastern Suburbs lines could change trains for the job-rich north shore and Macquarie Park areas using new platforms at Central or at an expanded Martin Place interchange – but only if the Pitt Street corridor was linked to the Epping-Chatswood line.

If the CBD Metro forces CityRail into the western CBD corridor, a key rail planner warned: “These interchanging passengers would be unable to change onto the new line and Town Hall congestion will worsen, which is likely to breach safety standards.”

If the metro occupied the western CBD corridor, as the Connell Wagner report recommended, it could serve the growth area of Barangaroo and allow CityRail to both expand and relieve congestion. It would also allow a much-needed east-west metro, with interchanges at congestion-free CityRail stations, to cross the city – another option also blocked by the metro plan.

 

2009:  To make a submission to the inquiry write to: Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, GPO Box 249, Sydney 2001, or email submissions@transportpublicinquiry.com.au, by 6pm on Thursday.

EXISTING RAIL SYSTEM SHOULDN’T BE FORGOTTEN IN RUSH TO SHINY NEW TRAIN LINES

 

 

WITH Sydney’s suburban rail network which will continue to carry the bulk of the city’s rail commuters for decades to come … and under acute pressure from surging patronage … it’s success is as important, if not more, for much of the travelling public than new metro lines … it is imperative that the metro lines are integrated into the existing rail network … that results in improved services overall …

 

 

 

  • ANALYSIS

Existing Rail system shouldn’t be forgotten in rush to shiny new train lines

 

If the first two days are any guide, Sydney’s travelling public has spoken – they want more frequent and reliable train services.

A staggering 140,000 people travelled on a new 36-kilometre metro line between Chatswood and Rouse Hill in the city’s north west on the opening day on Sunday, forcing the *private operator* to quickly put on more trains to clear crowds.

A day later, 21,000 commuters chose to hop on driverless trains on the $7.3 billion Metro Northwest line in the first five hours, significantly higher than the 15,000 to 17,000 forecast.

Passengers on a metro train on Monday morning.
Passengers on a metro train on Monday morning.CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

It left wide smiles on the faces of Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her closest transport advisers such as Rodd Staples, the NSW Transport Secretary and architect of the metro project.

The new line finally offers an option to many people in the north west who have long relied on their cars or buses to get around.

*But it does not alleviate many of the increasing stresses on the existing heavy rail network, nor parts of the city starved of public transport options.

With a fast-growing population, the public’s response to the new line will embolden the Premier to accelerate ambitious plans for a mostly underground metro train line between the central city and Parramatta known as Sydney Metro West.

Sydney's existing heavy rail network is under pressure from strong growth in patronage.
Sydney’s existing heavy rail network is under pressure from strong growth in patronage. CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

Yet it is important that the existing heavy rail system is not forgotten in the rush for shiny new train lines. Sydney Trains’ suburban rail network, some of which is about 160 years old, will carry the bulk of the city’s rail commuters for decades to come.

It is under acute pressure from surging patronage, and will need all the care – and funding – it can get.

And its success is as important, if not more, for much of the travelling public than new metro lines.

With the city’s next metro line due to open by 2024, it is imperative that it and those that follow are integrated into the existing rail network in a way that results in improved services overall.

Commuters want a quick and reliable public transport system. Favouring one form of rail service over another will not achieve that outcome.

 

Image may contain: screen, sky and outdoor

CAAN Photo:  Rouse Hill Metro Station platform Sunday 26 May 2019

 

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/existing-rail-system-shouldn-t-be-forgotten-in-rush-to-shiny-new-train-lines-20190527-p51rhs.html

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