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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Friday, 23 February

00:52

A misconceived attack on libertarianism "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have produced a Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity. There is much to agree with in it but at least one part is thoroughly misconceived, which is the attack on libertarianism.

Such an attack is a strange thing to read in such a manifesto, for if any ideology seems a product of modernity it is libertarianism, an intense form of liberalism. The heroes of libertarianism are very much modern figures, with the earliest thinker being regularly invoked being C17th philosopher John Locke. Some of the more historically minded might cite the Salamanca School, but for their economic reasoning, and perhaps some of their natural law reasoning, not their Catholicism.

Indeed, the most potentially fruitful lines of attack on libertarianism would be to accuse it of being a particularly autistic manifestation of modernity. Dissident right blogger Zman lets loose with a blast along those lines here.

Yet Pluckrose and Lindsay line up the libertarians (or at least a significant strain of such thought) with the premodern right:

Premodernism valorizes simplicity and purity that it imagines in terms of Natural roles, Laws, and Rights. It feels these have been subverted by the growth of institutions and complex social structures. It also deeply distrusts expertise for a wide variety of complicated reasons, including a certain self-assured and yet self-pitying resentment of sociocultural betterment, the undermining of Natural roles, the questioning and challenging of traditional values, and engineering in the social, cultural, and political spheres.

In the case of libertarians, particularly, a major influence is the political theory of Friedrich Hayek, who saw the increasing centralized regulation by government in the more recent Modern period as a gradual return to serfdom which threatens to bring about totalitarianism. In The Road to Serfdom, he argues, mirroring the postmodernists, that knowledge and truth...

00:21

The One Australia Policy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Two letters to The Oz yesterday responding to a column from the day before. There is nowhere in the world like Australia, but we will ruin ourselves if we do not understand that a One Australia Policy is the only policy that will keep us whole. Heres the first letter.

Maurice Newman (Assimilation must be part of the deal for new citizens, 21/2) blames multiculturalism for division, growing intolerance and diminished national pride.

He is not entirely right. As an activist in the Chinese community since 1984, my conclusion is that the commodification of the ethnic vote is the real culprit. I have lost count the number of times I cringed when I heard politicians at Chinese New Year functions telling the assembled how they respected our culture and how we had every right to preserve our culture, with one saying that she had been a practising Confucian without knowing it.

Worse, they confer grants for cultural festivals under the guise of multiculturalism, but in reality for no other purpose than harvesting votes and political donations. Then there are the multicultural awards, paid directorships on government owned corporations, and sinecures in state upper houses, all to lock in votes. This commodification of ethnic votes has bred a whole class of ethnic leaders who stridently call for ethnic rights to buttress their personal support in their ethnic group, at the cost of sabotaging the natural gravitation of migrants towards assimilation to gain economic and social progress.

Such ethnic leaders do not seem to question why few of their Aussie-acclimatised children care to be part of their glorious make-believe fiefdoms.

Chek Ling, Corinda, Qld

And then this is the second.

Maurice Newmans timely article reminded me of a very perceptive comment made in John Howards autobiography in the closing chapter: Multiculturalism is not our national cement. Rather, it is the Australian achievement, which has many components. One of them has been, successfully, to absorb millions of people from numerous lands into the mainstream of our nation. It is no surprise that those on the left who are quick to criticise any suggestion regarding curbing immigration themselves tend to dwell in the trendy inner-city suburbs, where social diversity manifests itself primarily in a decision between eating Thai or Vietn...

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Thursday, 22 February

22:30

Think tank uses fake figures to calculate mining sector tax "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

We received a disgruntled phone call followed by two grumpy emails (one of which is at the bottom of this story) from a Mr Roderick Campbell of Manuka, ACT, after exposing TAIs fake claim that the mining industry paid just 15 per cent corporate tax on a $498 billion profit the last ten years.

As I pointed out in my column for The Australian on Tuesday, when you stop making up the figures and look at actual profits and actual tax paid, it shows the mining industry actually paid a little less 30 per cent in company tax.

And the Institute claimed the mining industry had made a $498 billion profit in the last ten years. The real figure is $353 billion. But whats the odd $145 billion between friends?

Campbell, the TAIs research director, doesnt dispute the 30 per cent figure (29.3 percent, to be precise) even though it is twice the figure claimed by his colleague David Richardson in this letter to the Australian Financial Review in January:

AFRLetter

Error One: TAI took a wild guess at how much corporate tax the mining industry had paid. They took the total mining tax take, included royalties for the last 11 years $185 billion and made the brave assumption that only 41 per cent of that or $76 billion was corporate tax.

Error Two: The fanciful figure of $76 billion was based on data for 11 years, not ten. TAI seemed to think that didnt matter and called it a ten-year figure anyway.

Error Three: They used the wrong ABS table to identify mining profits from 2006 2016. TAI took the profit for the entire resource sector oil, gas, exploration and support services included to arrive at a ten year pr...

22:30

No solid theoretical basis or research to support cutting company tax rate "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

No solid theoretical basis or research to support cutting company tax rateThe empirical and theoretical basis for cutting company taxes is weak, writes Griffith University Professor Fabrizio Carmignani. read now...

20:40

In which TGIF comes early thanks to a special limited Oreo treat ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

 

The Joyce matter enters its nth week, and the reptiles and the pond are up to the task, and the hastie Pastie has spoken,  and so it's time to get on with

Cue sound of gramophone needle scratching across an LP, in a way designed to delight fluff-gathering hipsters

Hang on, hang on, what's this guv'nor?



An Oreo on a Friday?!

It must be a delicious treat, of a limited kind


...

20:00

The Pacific Labour Scheme: no families allowed? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) was announced in September 2017. Its a welcome initiative to allow greater access for Pacific Island workers to the Australian labour market. While currently capped at 2,000 (and its not clear if that is per year or in total), it has huge potential. As the PLS fact sheet says, it will enable citizens of Pacific island countries to take up low and semi-skilled work opportunities in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.

For all its potential, there are some odd aspects to the PLS. One is the hands-on role of DFAT, which will have primary responsibility for screening prospective employers for participation in the program. Thats the Department of Foreign Affairs. Pre-approval for the Seasonal Worker Programme (or SWP, which allows Pacific Islanders to come to Australia to work on farms typically for up to six months) is the responsibility of the Department of Jobs and Small Business. It is widely perceived not to have sufficiently promoted the SWP, and to have taken a very risk-averse approach. Perhaps DFAT will do a better job.

Another oddity is the initial focus on Nauru, Tuvalu and Kiribati. These are certainly three remote and relatively isolated countries. But Nauru is at full employment due to its processing centre. Tuvalu, like Nauru, is tiny and has some access to the New Zealand labour market. That leaves Kiribati, perhaps the most remote, but also a relatively small and one of the least healthy of all the Pacific island countries. At least one of the Melanesian countries such as Vanuatu or Solomon Islands should be added as pilot source countries.

An odd and worrying aspect of the scheme is the restriction that workers will not be able to bring their families with them. This isnt mentioned in the fact sheet, but was made clear when the scheme was explained at the recent Brisbane Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting.

This is odd because the closest counterpart to this new scheme is what used to be called the 457, now the Temporary Skill Shortage visa. That visa now provides work rights for a two- or three-year period. Under it, workers are allowed to bring their families.

The PLS ban on family entry is worrying because surely it cant be a good thing to separate families for three years. More so because presumably workers will be allowed to return for a second or third stint. So the separation might be not for three years but....

20:00

Day to Day Politics: Its a matter of trust. But would you? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Friday 23 February 2018 There was a time in Australian politics when ministerial conduct was important. So significant was trust that Ministers could lose their portfolio for the simplest misdemeanour. In John Howards first term as Prime Minister he lost 7 Ministers after introducing a Ministerial Code of Conduct. The code required members to divest

The post Day to Day Politics: Its a matter of trust. But would you? appeared first on The AIM Network.

18:37

The vocational education disaster "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Update: On the same day this article appeared, Labor has come out with a call for a major inquiry encompassing both unis and TAFEs. Whether or not my past advocacy had anything to do with this, its a welcome outcome.

16:26

Forget Putin, we need to fear Russias weaknesses "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Today in The Australian
Like Casablancas Captain Renault, who was shocked, shocked to discover gambling was taking place at Ricks nightclub, the Democrats on the US House of Representatives intelligence committee have barely been able to contain their outrage at evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

14:16

There's something worse than a cashless welfare card out there in the darkness "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


What could possibly be worse than the Turnbull Government's Cashless Debit Card which will eventually cover all government cash transfers to individuals except Age and Veterans' Affairs pensions?

The answer is - welfare payments being converted into 50 per cent Cashless Debit Card and 50 per cent a generic low grade, nutritionally suspect, weekly or fortnightly processed, tinned & dry goods food parcel.

Such as this proposed program......


Vibe, 13 February 2018:
In Donald Trump's budget proposal, America's poor is hit the hardest, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. The plan proposes a $17.2 billion-cut to the program by 2019 and will replace monthly cash benefits with a food box delivery program, according to reports.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney compared the program to Blue Apron, an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service. The Chicago Tribune notes SNAP provides roughly $125 per month to 42.2 million Americans, and the Agriculture Department would use part of those benefits to buy and deliver boxes of "homegrown" food. It's called "America's Harvest Box."
The Harvest Box would contain things like shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ce......

14:15

NATS Spill? Monday 26 February 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



According to Junkee on 22 February 2018:

Nationals MP Andrew Broad has publicly called on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to resign from the leadership of the National Party, firing the starting gun on a leadership challenge.

In an interview on ABC radio this afternoon Broad said his local Nationals branch had called on Joyce to resign and that he would represent that view to the Nationals party room meeting in Canberra next Monday. He called on Joyce to resign as party leader and go to the back bench.

Are we about to see......


13:29

Higher wages and lower cost-of-living do not follow from increasing company profits "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The New Daily reported that Emma Alberici has succeeded in getting the ABC to repost her analysis of the Turnbull governments tax cut plans with the help of lawyers.  Essentially, the ABC has had to concede that Ms Albericis article was factually correct and that, by removing it, they have impugned her reputation. The latest Alberici

The post Higher wages and lower cost-of-living do not follow from increasing company profits appeared first on The AIM Network.

12:27

CSIRO Blockchain slides "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Earlier today I gave a talk to a CSIRO conference. My powerpoint slides are here.

09:54

Barnaby Outdone By Selfish American Students Putting Their Own Lives Ahead Of Peoples Right To Slaughter. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Ok, while many of you see Barnaby Joyce as an example of idiocy triumphing over competence and thats just in the battle of his own thoughts in the race to his mouth Oh, now Ive lost my train of thought maybe I, too, could be one of the leaders of the free world Anyway, Barnaby

The post Barnaby Outdone By Selfish American Students Putting Their Own Lives Ahead Of Peoples Right To Slaughter. appeared first on The AIM Network.

09:01

Midnight Meme Of The Day! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


by Noah

I've often said in my posts that FOX "News" is a modern day equivalent of Tokyo Rose. For those younger readers that may not know who Tokyo Rose was (due to cuts in education and censored textbooks no doubt), Tokyo Rose was a "radio personality" who broadcast out of Tokyo during World War II. Her role, was to essentially sweet talk American and Australian military personnel into believing that, not only were the allies losing the war but they would be rewarded if they laid down their weapons and surrendered. Even swearing allegiance to Emperor Hirohito was, at times, suggested. Tokyo Rose offered an extremely twisted reinterpretation of things occurring in both naval and land battles, even events leading up to the war. If you believed Tokyo Rose, you would wonder why you were fighting. You might have even thought that it was us who had attacked Japan's navy on December 7th 1941. The whole Tokyo Rose thing was aimed at lowering the morale of the troops and weakening the war effort against Japan. It was propaganda put out even in hopes of influencing our political leaders to stop fighting Japan.

Sound familiar? Substitute Russia for Japan and the likes of Sean Hannity for Tokyo Rose and you pretty much have it. Throw in Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and fellow traveling accomplices like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of their party for good measure, but FOX "News" is their epicenter. It is their oracle, their oracle of bullshit, treasonous bullshit. Whether it's crackpot Nunes memos, Seth Rich conspiracies, birtherism, Hillary's emails, or, more pertinent to this post, Robert A. Mueller's investigation of Russian influence in our elections, chances are damn close to 100% that the talking points of any Republican politician, Republican voter, or Putin apologist stem from there. If you factor any Russian internet bot "sources" into the conversation, it just becomes a "which came first, the chicken or the e...

07:03

SA Pest Energy Policy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Now Spartacus is not an energy policy expert.  Perhaps Alan Moran will deconstruct the details better in the coming days.  But it appears that the SA Pest Party and their Dear Leader, Mr Nick Xenophon have announced their energy policy.

The arrogance of the man and his party drip like the fat off a roasting chicken.

Get this (as reported in the Australian).  Mr X-Phon does not want to be part of the executive government, yet he has proposed a half cooked policy which he expects whomever forms government to implement.  And if, whomever is supposed to implement this policy fails to achieve a 20% reduction reduction is prices, they should resign.  How do you like them apples?

Apparently Mr X-Phon also said:

There is nothing like focusing the mind of a government if they think they are going to lose office by not delivering on a core promise

Oy Nick.  Listen up.  The 20%/2 year promise is not theirs.  Its yours!

How about this as an alternative.  Whoever wins sufficient seats to form a government implements their policies (for better or for worse) and you, Mr X-Phon, resign.

What a joke.  As part of his policy, Mr X-Phon has proposed :

the creation of a member-based, not-for-profit electricity retailer to be named the Community Electricity Trust of SA that would provide power to households with an annual below $75,000 and small businesses with power bills under $20,000.

Ok.  Lets just assume for a moment that this retailer can properly run as a not for profit (BIG assumption).  What are you going to do about the cost of generation and the cost of distribution (the poles and wires)?

The cost of generation has gone through the roof thanks to the renewable energy target that you support and advocate for.

Perhaps there should be a 4th party for South Australia, the SA Mortein Party.  That would be a perfect counter to the...

06:00

The parlous history of NABs Clydesdale Bank (Part 1): Long under the radar "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The parlous history of NABs Clydesdale Bank (Part 1): Long under the radarLittle reported in Australian media, the NAB has come in for serious criticism in the British Parliament as a bank that engages in unethical practices. read now...

03:59

Breaking: Australian Labor Party Sent Operatives to Work Against Trump During 2016 Campaign When Will They Be Indicted? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

It is well documented that the Australian Labor Party sent staffers to work against Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign.

The story was well documented and raised a bit of a stink in Australia because the operatives were funded by Aussie taxpayers.

When will Dirty Cop Robert Mueller indict these foreign nationals?
This makes the Russian influence pale in significance.

In February 2016 Project Veritas released video of Australian Labor Party activists assisting Democrats in the US. The activists are seen assisting the Bernie Sanders campaign.
This is a clear violation of FEC laws.

Will Robert Mueller indict this foreign interference with US elections?

The Australian Labor Party was fined $14,500 over their US election interference in January 2018.

The post Breaking: Australian Labor Party Sent Operatives to Work Against Trump During 2016 Campaign When Will They Be Indicted? appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

03:58

Civil Rights in a Straight Jacket "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Jon Chesterson Open Letter: Opposition to The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 Dear Susan Templeman and the ALP, As a constituent in your electorate and an Australian citizen I wish to draw your attention and the whole of the Australian Labor Party, Australian Greens and Independents to vote against

The post Civil Rights in a Straight Jacket appeared first on The AIM Network.

03:34

But why would we want to do that? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Queenstown Lakes District Council wants luxury houses exempted from the Overseas Investment Act's foreign-buyer ban:

The Queenstown Lakes District Council wants luxury homes to be exempt from the government's foreign buyers ban.

Some expensive homes owned by the exeptionally wealthy may not sell if they are only available to New Zealanders, it said in its submission on the bill.

[...]

The council said the district had benefited "significantly" from people who have purchased in the luxury home market.

"Not only have we seen traditional investment in local business, but we have seen the launch of ground breaking social enterprises and incredible impact investment," the submission said.

That part of the housing market attracted high net worth people to the country who help the economy by bringing expertise, connections, investment and philanthropy, it said.


Yeah - people like anti-democratic vampire capitalist Peter Thiel and his silicon-valley doomsday prepper friends. Or the various foreign millionaires who have restricted access to public land. Or foreign criminals stashing and laundering money. Why would we want people like that?

The proposed law doesn't apply to anyone who actually lives here, so what QLDC is saying is that non-resident foreigners should be allowed to own parts of New Zealand for use as emergency boltholes for when they've fucked up the world, or as a commodity, effectively a house-shaped gold bar. And I just don't see why we should accept that, especially when said house-shaped gold bars are fucking things up for the rest of us. While QLDC is correct that the luxury property market is effectively a foreign market, utterly out of reach of almost all kiwis, those empty luxury houses are still taking up land which could be used for real homes for real people - something Queenstown is desperately short of. If they are devalued by the law, then maybe that land will be used for other purposes. The only losers in that will be the foreign speculators and the parasitic developers and real-estate agents who service them. But I guess the latter are exactly the sorts of people who get elected to local authorities and use them as a platform to promote their own economic interests.

03:00

In which the bromancer goes around again ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


With the savvy Savva MIA in reptile action - perhaps she's in the Malware entourage off to the States - it was left to the onion muncher to celebrate the chief and by golly the reptiles showed off the bromancer in style ..



Yes, in later editions, the reptiles put the bromancer at the top of the digital page, and blessed him with a Lobbecke, and cultists know that it doesn't get much better than that a singular honour




The pond was in urgent need of a win-win situation and a celebration thereof

Listening to the mutton Dutton blather on the other day about the need to revive some kind of oath of allegiance, the pond was reminded what had dangerously radicalised it, and turned it deeply subversive, now so deep in the mire that it spends a few precious minutes a day mocking the reptiles, flag-waving as they do while serving at the whim of a foreign overlord

It was being marched out in serried ranks of Protestant spawn to stand before the flag and swear loyalty to god, queen and country. 

...

02:06

Disappointed "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Last year, the Palmerston North City Council voted to ensure Mori representation with Mori wards. Now, thanks to a visting band of out-of-town racists whipping up hate, we're going to be forced to have a referendum on it:

Petitioners opposing a decision to guarantee Mori seats on the Palmerston North City Council have succeeded in forcing a city-wide poll on the matter.

Organiser Don Esslemont, whose campaign has been supported by Hobson's Pledge, presented nearly 4000 signatures to the city council on Wednesday afternoon.

Only 2727 signatures needed to be verified as those of registered voters to require a referendum.

Council officials confirmed about 7.20pm on Wednesday the threshold has been reached and the poll would be held on Saturday, May 19, by postal vote and using the first-past-the-post system. The result will be binding.


So, we're going to have vote where the majority will vote on the democratic rights of a minority. Hopefully it'll go the right way, but no matter what the outcome, the situation is not acceptable. The decision of how they want to be represented is really one for Mori, and its not really the place of Pakeha to try and veto that. Such polls should be restricted to those on the Mori roll, and I'd love to see a Member's Bill to require that.

02:00

I said I was sorry! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I said I was sorry!Rocky Dabscheck remembers the many Australian politicians who have said sorry, for many different reasons and in more ways than one. read now...

00:49

Unwinding the politically induced crisis in Australian energy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

More grist! From an article of mine in The Australian on the politically induced crisis in Australian energy, its causes and its solutions

The catastrophic outcome of government energy market interventions is palpably clear. As the latest new regulatory body, the Energy Security Board, diplomatically puts it: Fifteen years of climate policy instability (have) left our energy system vulnerable to escalating prices while being both less reliable and secure.

Australia has seen electricity prices double since 2015 and the once reliable supply is now suspect. From enjoying the worlds lowest cost electricity a decade ago, Australia now has among the most expensive.

The main cause has been subsidies and regulatory favours to renewable energy chiefly wind that have forced the closure of reliable coal-fired generators, particularly Northern in South Australia and Hazelwood in Victoria. Without these subsidies, costing about $5 billion a year, there would be no wind or solar. Not only are customers and taxpayers slugged with the subsidy costs but the outcome also has been to raise prices and reduce reliability.

The ESB has been tasked with creating an electricity market blueprint that marries lower carbon dioxide emissions with lower costs and greater reliability. This is an impossible task and would require massive new regulatory interventions.

The ESBs proposals would add new dimensions of complexity to electricity supply, bringing a further proliferation of administrative resources within the bureaucracy and the industry.

We can restore our latent competitiveness in cheap energy only by abandoning all the intrusions and distortions that are in place. Donald Trump has achieved success from such an approach and we may have to await full recognition of this before our politicians adopt similar deregulatory policies.

In the same issue, Rupert Darwall has a very fine piece today in Quadrant.

 

00:48

National vandalised our health system "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Surprise, surprise! The health system in Auckland is collapsing due to underfunding:

Auckland health bosses have revealed a picture of a health system at breaking point from underfunding and population growth.

Reporting to MPs at Parliament yesterday, they spoke of a wave of unprecedented demand for acute services and staff who were extremely stressed at having to cope with more and sicker people.

"Our staff were working unexpectedly long hours and became increasingly stressed about not just how hard they were having to work but about the numbers of extremely unwell people they were having to look after," the head of Manukau Counties District Health Board, Gloria Johnson, told the health select committee.

"The problem we have at the moment, particularly over the last 18 months, [is] we've become overwhelmed by demand."


Its so bad that the former chair of the three Auckland DHBs believes they no longer have the resources to deal with a pandemic.

This isn't surprising: National deliberately underfunded health for its term of office in an effort to pay for its tax cuts for the rich. While they played up large nominal increases, these were always less than that required to counter inflation, let alone population growth and demographic change. Instead, like the rest of the public service, the health system was expected to "do more with less". The results of that policy can be seen above. What's changed is that with a new government, DHB chairs feel they can openly say it, rather than risking dismissal and revenge funding cuts under National.

It is going to take the best part of a decade to undo this damage. And no doubt, National will spend that time complaining about "overspending" and "inefficiency" and promising more vandalism if re-elected. Just like they did during the Clark government after Jenny Shipley and Bill English vandalised the health system in the 90's.

00:33

Pope Francis and the Caring Society "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Pope Francis has sparked uproar with inflammatory comments on capitalism and markets based on his passion to help the poor and his experience of crony capitalism in Argentina. He has called for a dialogue on building a compassionate society and the Independent Institute has responded with a high powered collection of papers led by the late and great Michael Novak who wrote the Foreword not long before he died in February last year. The book is Pope Francis and the Caring Society.

Many of the contributors are Christian believers of various kinds and they have bent over backwards to embrace the dialogue (an awkward posture) on the assumption that Pope Francis is genuine in his humanitarian concerns and in the hope that he might be prepared to learn some economics like the great Polish Pope John Paul. Economic issues are thoroughly treated, especially the power of markets to liberate the poor if only there is a framework of law and property rights and a vibrant civil society. Several contributors pay attention to the Popes wayward and scientifically illiterate views on the environment and ecological issues.

Highlights of the book. To buy the book.

00:16

Cycling into the sunset "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Spartacus suspects that he will be slammed for expressing the following view, and so be it. But the time has come for Tony Abbott to ride off into the sunset. Mr Abbott. You had a chance to be the leader you wanted to be and should have been, yet you blew it. You failed to convince, you failed to explain. And rather than dealing with stuff that mattered, you instead deployed Knights and Dames.

This is not a commentary on Mr Abbotts policy views, many of which Spartacus strongly agrees with. But if Mr Abbott wants to be a pundit, he needs to get out of the Parliament. And in as much as he may respect and admire Howard, Menzies and Churchill, he is not Howard, Menzies or Churchill.  Sorry Mr Abbott, there wont be a second act for you.

Earlier this week, Mr Abbott spoke at the Sydney Institute and among other things, suggested that there be a reduction in immigration in Australia. He suggested that the levels of immigration were putting pressures on house prices, public infrastructure and wages.  These are all fair observations.

Now dont get me wrong, Spartacus believes that such matters of public policy should be discussed. Absolutely positively. For one, when it comes to immigration, Spartacus does not have a view on quantity, but does have a view on quality; in that Australia accepts too many low skilled and older migrants who will likely be a net drain on the community. The subject of immigration should be discussed, as should any matter of public policy.  No matter of public policy should be quarantined from debate.

However, the way Mr Abbott goes on about this matter and other matters, including renewable energy, you would think that he was a humble back bencher hungry for a chance to get into the executive. For heavens sake Mr Abbott. You were the Prime Minister for 2 years. And to suggest now, as he did on Andrew Bolts show earlier in the week, that he was constrained by a difference of opinions in Cabinet is just disingenuous. He had no problem making a Captains picks on his economically insane paid parental leave scheme, but to touch the equally economically insane renewable energy scheme apparently required cabinet consensus. Please.

Mr Abbott. You are crowding out other younger, hungrier conservative back benchers. And for what purpose? No matter the virtue in what you propose, it will always be seen from the prism of a Turnbull-Abbott dispute meaning that no matter how bright or brilliant an idea you propose, it will unlikely be implemented for political reasons. Much as for the same reason that the Prime Minister probably did not support the Warringah Motion because it came from your Warringah bran...

00:14

Drawn "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

A ballot for four Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn:

  • Election Access Fund Bill (Chle Swarbrick)
  • Oranga Tamariki (Parents and Guardians Responsibility) Amendment Bill (Barbara Kuriger)
  • Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill (Denise Lee)
  • Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill (Harete Hipango)
Despite the hopeful title, Denise Lee's bill is National's pre-election bill designed to overturn caselaw and make pay equity and equal pay claims more difficult. It was widely criticised, and allowed to lapse by National when Parliament was dissolved for the election, which tells you a) how little support there was for a pro-employer framework; and b) how little National really cared about it anyway. I'm sure we can expect a lot of tub-thumping from them about how the government is opposing pay equity by voting it down, and it should put the pressure on them to introduce their own legislation ASAP.

There were 68 bills in the ballot today, so its back to running near capacity again.

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Wednesday, 21 February

22:30

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: ABC rolls over and Media Watch does the vampire squid "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: ABC rolls over and Media Watch does the vampire squidFor the second week in a row, ABC Media Watch has misled the Australian public this time whitewashing Turnbull Government interference in the editorial policies of the public broadcaster. read now...

20:23

In which Barners babbles to Fairfax, while the reptiles savage a scuttling rat ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

  


Good old Barners remains top of the news cycle in the Terror and the lizard Oz in big and small 45 min ways, but the rustic one has committed a great crime and perhaps also a mortal sin, by talking to Fairfax

 

But credit where credit is due, this was all thanks to the Northern Daily Bleeder

20:15

Farewell Billy Graham. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I just heard the news that Billy Graham died. Perhaps the greatest evangelist of history, I was one of millions who were profoundly influenced by his ministry. My mother was on the organising committee for the 1979 Billy Graham Crusade, held at Randwick racecourse. This meant that our household was swept up in the fervour of those crusades. I was 14 years old. I cant remember whether I attended every night of the crusade or not, but I can recall the surging emotions; the energy of a large crowd; the tension rising within me as Billy Graham led us to a sense of moment in which we perceived we stood face to face with the God who created the Universe at a point of decision that would reverberate into eternity; the delirious joy and sense of holy moment as thousands of people responded to the invitation to signal their embrace of Christ by leaving their seat and walking to the stage.

My faith has changed much since those crusades,  but today is not the day to critique but to remember that they were part of an era that imparted to me the breathtaking news that the God who called the universe into being is filled with a love for creation, and for me as part of that creation, that is wider, deeper and stronger than I can imagine.

And I remain inspired by the humble integrity of Billy Graham. As one might expect, everybody wanted a piece of Billy Graham. The expectations of the Christian world were laid upon his shoulders. There were some who thought he should have aligned himself more intentionally with the great civil movements for justice that marked the last half of the twentieth century; there were some who thought his embrace of groups outside the confines of conservative evangelicalism were unacceptably compromised. Yet whatever one might make of these things, Billy Graham spent half a century as a high profile world Christian leader without scandal. He did not take advantage of his position to amass obscene amounts of wealth; to solicit sexual favours; or to play power politics. He dies at 99 a man who is widely respected as a decent human being of deep personal faith and exemplary character.

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant.

 

...

20:00

Why do farmers hire seasonal workers? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has published a report comparing the performance of workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) with Working Holiday Makers (or backpackers).

Commissioned by the World Bank, the report extends a previous small-scale ABARES study carried out in 2013. Its findings are based on data collected from horticultural employers using seasonal workers and/or backpackers over three years.

The report asks two questions: what difference does labour choice (backpackers v seasonal workers) make to productivity; and what difference to profitability? Unfortunately, it only provides a satisfactory answer to the first.

The main finding of the report is that seasonal workers are considerably more productive than backpackers: by 20 percent on average.

Even first-time seasonal workers are more productive than backpackers, but returning seasonal workers are more productive still, on average by 15 percent. The second time around, the unproductive workers are weeded out, and/or the returning workers are more experienced.

It is important to note that productivity here is measured simply as wages per hour. All employers on which productivity calculations were based used piece rates. The more productive workers filled more bins, and therefore earned more dollars per hour.

It is also important to note that the samples for these conclusions are very small. Only three employers provided wage spreadsheets which allowed comparisons of backpackers and seasonal workers. Nevertheless, the finding confirms the earlier 2013 ABARES study, which found that seasonal workers were 22 percent more productive than backpackers. It also confirms anecdotal evidence from farmers who use the scheme.

So much for productivity. What about profitability? Should higher productivity push employers to hire seasonal workers? Here, things are not so simple.

The report finds that non-wage labour costs are significantly higher for seasonal workers than for backpackers: $1,620 v $134 per worker. For example, employers have to help with seasonal worker transport costs, whereas backpackers just turn up. Recruitment and administration costs per worker are also much higher under the SWP. However, the average seasonal worker works for almost six times as long on a farm as the average backpacker, so the cost....

20:00

Day to Day Politics: Saving Barnaby. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Thursday 22 February 2018 On Wednesday 2 August 2017 I wrote what follows as a result of Barnaby Joyces inappropriate drunken outburst in a Shepparton hotel. It is but one of many examples of why he should not be the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia In a beery-voice filled with the local liquid amber, in

The post Day to Day Politics: Saving Barnaby. appeared first on The AIM Network.

14:15

So Prime Minister Turnbull has been bitiching again about the ABC's reporting "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



On 14 February 2018 ABC News economic journalist Emma Alberici wrote:

It's also disingenuous to talk about a 30 per cent rate when so few companies pay anything like that thanks to tax legislation that allows them to avoid paying corporate tax. Exclusive analysis released by ABC today reveals one in five of Australia's top companies has paid zero tax for the past three years.

On that same day the ...

10:36

Indonesian Mangoes set to be imported into Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Indonesia looks set to begin exporting mangoes to Australia for the first time, after a trade deal was advanced between the two nations in Melbourne last week.

According to Indonesian media, the first trays of Indonesian mangoes are due to arrive in October, putting them in direct competition with the Australian harvest.

While plenty of growers have told the ABC they are angry about the deal, Australian Mango Industry Association chief executive Robert Gray remains calm.

I dont think its a major concern for Australian growers, because Australian mangoes have secured a very strong position in the marketplace and the Australian-grown product is the consumers mango of choice, he said.

Indian mangoes, Pakistani and Vietnamese mangoes have all been given access to Australia in recent years, and experience has shown they have all struggled to capture any foothold in our marketplace, because our industry has been very good at delivering great mangoes to the market.

Mr Gray said Indonesia had been pushing to get mangoes into Australia for about 25 years, with negotiations beginning in November 2015 to work on a protocol for the fruit.

The federal Department of Agriculture confirmed in a statement that Indonesia was seeking market access for mangoes through the irradiation treatment pathway, and an approach had been agreed to during an Australia-Indonesia meeting in Melbourne last week.

It is expected the systems and procedures for this treatment pathway will be in place in time for the upcoming mango export season expected to commence in September, the department said.

Government silent on imports

If trade is a two-way street, then the Federal Government seems determined to only talk about one lane.

Following last weeks trade forum in Melbourne, federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud happily announced that seed potato farmers across South Australia and Victoria will be celebrating after todays breakthrough in securing new market access to Indonesia.

According to the Minister, more than 300 seed potato farmers could now export their product to Indonesia but at what cost to Australias mango and dragon fruit industries, which will now face competition from imports?

Mr Littleproud flew to the Northern Territory on Friday and visited a mango plantation near Darwin where, according to local mango growers, he did not mention the Indonesian deal that had been signed the day before.

He kept saying he was there to help us and didnt mention anything that would destroy us, one ma...

08:50

Chinese developers billion-dollar proposal would move Sydney motorway "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

A wealthy Chinese developer is pushing the New South Wales Government to overhaul its plans for billions of dollars in infrastructure around Badgerys Creek Airport to make way for a bold development proposal.

The 344 hectare parcel of prime land north of Elizabeth Drive at Badgerys Creek is owned by accused murderer Ron Medich and his brother Roy.

The site is the subject of a confidential commercial arrangement with property development company Boyuan Holdings Limited (BHL).

BHL lodged a submission in December to the Greater Sydney Commissions Western Sydney District Plan, Greater Sydney Region Plan 2056 and Future Transport Plan 2056.

A Chinese developer is pushing for a billion-dollar infrastructure overhaul near Badgerys Creek airport.

The proposal is for a Bold Vision for the site where the developer wants the government to realign the $3.6 billion dollar planned M12 motorway which will link the new airport to the M7 at Cecil Hills. BHL also suggested making the proposed North-South rail line from Rouse Hill to Narellan an underground metro with a station on their land.

The developer also proposes flexible zoning which would allow for 88 hectares of homes for 22,250 residents....

08:00

Kate Sills: The Promise of Smart Contracts "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

                     STAN
Jerry, were not just going to
give you seven hundred and fifty
thousand dollars.

WADE
What the heck were you thinkin?
Heck, if Im only gettin bank
interest, Id look for complete
security. Heck, FDIC. I dont
see nothin like that here.

JERRY
Yah, but I okay, I would, Id
guarantee ya your money back.

WADE
Im not talkin about your damn
word, Jerry.

Fargo (1996)

Fargo is primarily a movie about promises, implicit and explicit. It asks whether we will keep our promises to others, even against our own self-interest. What makes the movie fascinating is that many of the promises arent backed by the court system, for very good reason the deals are illegal. Fargo asks if we can trust each other even if there is no government force making us comply. In other words, can we make contracts in the state of nature? In 1651, Hobbes argued that we couldnt:

If a covenant be made wherein neither of the parties perform presently, but trust one another, in the condition of mere nature (which is a condition of war of every man against every man) upon any reasonable suspicion, it is void: but if there be a common power set over them both, with right and force sufficient to compel performance, it is not void. For he that performeth first has no assurance the other will perform after, because the bonds of words are too weak to bridle mens ambition, avarice, anger, and other passions, without the fear of some coercive power

In other words, we need some external mechanism to enforce our promises, to make it so that other people can depend on our commitment. Making credible commitments is the foundation of business and society in general. Like Hobbes, we tend to assume that the governments coercive power is the only way to create contracts. Nobel Prize-winning economist Oliver Williamson called this view legal centralism, the assumption that the legal system enforces promises in a knowledgeable, sophisticated, and low-cost way (Williamson, 1996, 121).

Williamson and other Nobel laureates, such as Elinor Ostrom, built their careers on proving this assumption wrong. In many instances, the court system is costly and time-consuming, and sometimes corrupt. Moreover, people are often surprisingly able to enforce promises and maintain order in their own communities without government.

Promises, Promises

Reputation is extremely useful in small communities with repeated transactions....

07:00

In which a late Moorice is better late than never ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



And now the pond is truly, deeply mortified.

How has it come to this?

How has Moorice, one of the world's greatest climate scientists, been marked down, and narrowly squeaked in as the third reptile voice for the day, turning up in the pond's extra special late edition, though this means appearing in the twilight hours when only a few church mice will gain the benefit of his infinite wisdom

It's simple enough. While Moorice's advice is sage and deep, and wogs and other imports will benefit, it can be summarised succinctly.

If you want to live here, become like Moorice. Think like Moorice, be Moorice. Take Moorice as your exemplar, hero and avatar.

If you must, you can be like the onion muncher, but be aware there's a cut-off point for heroes. Perhaps you could be like Cory, or the hasty Pastie, or at a pinch, Kev the libertine demanding the right to have affairs with staff ...and for the ladies, the Sydney Anglicans are always on the look out for complimentary women, guaranteeing a spot amongst the deeply pious

And that's about it. If you can't manage to turn yourself into an angry old white man shouting at clouds, you're in deep trouble and you probably won't ever fit in

The pond has thought of instituting a ban on all that foreign food and all those foreign clothes and all those foreign cultural tradit...

07:00

Wayne Swan on retirement, Abbott, Turnbull and right-wing radicalisation "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Wayne Swan on retirement, Abbott, Turnbull and right-wing radicalisationSenior editor Michelle Pini interviews Wayne Swan to discuss his retirement, political motivations and thoughts on neoliberalism. read now...

06:32

The Cabal of Complicity "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

It has been remarked upon recently that how is it that the member for New England, after all his bad-judgement, all his family, spouse, community standards betrayals and not even mentioning the many reported rorts and deceptions he has played out on the State, he still is supported by many in both his party and

The post The Cabal of Complicity appeared first on The AIM Network.

05:50

05:38

Commonwealth Budget Committee meeting "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

A picture tells a direction-ally plausible projected number of words.

05:01

The Fall of the Ottomans "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, by Eugene Rogan

In this book, Eugene Rogan tells the story of the Great War in the Middle East not from the side of the Great Powers, but from the side of the Ottomans.

He begins with the story of his great-uncle, Lance Corporal John McDonald.  His great-uncle was born in a small Scottish village.  Along with his friend, Charles Beveridge, McDonald enlisted with the 8th Scottish Rifles (the Cameronians) when war broke out.

They said farewell to friends and family on 17 May 1915, headed to the eastern Mediterranean.  They arrived at the Greek island of Lemnos, the staging post for British and Allied forces, on 29 May one month after the fighting on Gallipoli had broken out.  By mid-June they sailed onward to the peninsula.

Passing some who had returned from the fighting, the fresh-faced recruits would shout out: Are we downhearted?  No!  In reply, some Australian wag shouted back, Well you damned soon will be.

On 14 June, the battalion was safely ashore, and four days later they were headed up Gully Ravine to the fighting.  On 28 June, following two hours of bombardment from the sea, the 8th Scottish Rifles came out of their trenches and attacked.  Within five minutes, they were wiped out.  McDonald died in the camp hospital; the body of his friend Beveridge was never found, assumed to be in the unidentifiable conglomeration of remains buried in a mass grave only after the war.

The author, Rogan, went to Gallipoli in 2005 to see firsthand this place of infamy and the site of his great-uncles death.  He was accompanied by his mother and his son, the first family visitors in nine decades.  While trying to find the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, they took a wrong turn and ended up at the Nuri Yamut Monument a memorial to the Turkish war dead of the same battle in which his great-uncle died.

While my great-uncles unit suffered 1,400 casualties half its total strength and British losses overall reached 3,800, as many as 14,000 Ottomans fell dead and wounded at Gully Ravine.All the books I had read on the Cameronians treated the terrible waste of British life on the day my great-uncle died.  None of the English sources had mentioned the thousands of Turkish war dead.

It was this Ottoman front...

Armageddon Ash Cloud "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

A volcanic eruption on the island of Sumatra has thrown a colossal ash cloud into the sky above western Indonesia.

A plume of volcanic debris measuring more than four miles (7km) in length sprang from the mouth of Mount Sinabung on the northern part of the island on Monday afternoon, sparking widespread travel disruption amid an aviation red notice and airport closures. The alert prohibits airlines from flying over parts of the country with significant amounts of ash in the atmosphere. No casualties have yet been reported.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorologys Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC) has issued maps showing the ash cloud moving out in three separate directions from Sinabung to the north, northwest and south-southeast. Sinabung is around 47 miles south-west of Kualanamu International Airport in Medan.

Speaking to Reuters, a spokesman for Indonesias National Disaster Mitigation Agency said a four-mile exclusion zone had been set up around the crater, and that the public are being asked to watch out for weather warnings.

Mount Sinabungs most destructive eruption occurred in 2014, killing more than a dozen people and displacing thousands of others. The volcano had been thought to be dormant, having last erupted around four hundred years ago.

Mount Agung, on the island of Bali to the south, has also been active for a number of months. Indonesia sits on the Ring of Fire, a 40,000km horseshoe-shaped area covering the circumference of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Reprinted from RT News.

The post Armageddon Ash Cloud appeared first on LewRockwell.

03:00

In which Dame Slap also goes off the deep end ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


The pond makes no apology for making Dame Slap follow nattering "Ned" on the day's progress

As a traditional conservative of the first water, the pond has long held that (or put it another way Onna was sanpo sagatte), or perhaps more simply, a woman should walk three steps behind her man

This is the only proper and decent way to avoid what is apparently known as the Nikushoku-kei joshi (/ carnivorous women)


And now, having waited her right and proper discreet turn, it's time to unleash the Dame ...



Now for some reason, the reptiles have favoured Dame Slap by giving her the Lobbecke of the day, which will send his many fans into a cult frenzy

Is that Barners doing some kind of reverse riff Handmaid's Tale?
...

02:39

Weathervanes "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I have a piece in Crikey (possibly paywalled) looking at the gyrations of our political leaders on climate policy in general and Adani in particular. I suppose what matters is that you end up facing the right way: on this test, Shorten does reasonably, Turnbull fails miserably and Abbott is laughable.

02:36

Local government fails the transparency test "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

That's the view of Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier:

The chief ombudsman says local democracy is being undermined as councils fail to meet obligations to release public information.

Peter Boshier said councils are not meeting their responsibilities under the Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act and that some councils seem to resent having to be held accountable.

"The performance of many councils is disappointing. Local government is absolutely fundamental to democracy, and in that respect the need for accountability and supply of information is just as strong as it is with central government, and yet many local councils don't see it that way.

"We will commence a better process of publicising our data on complaints, giving better guidance and encouraging an earlier dispute resolution process so ratepayers who often have legitimate complaints can get to the end of the journey earlier than before."


This matches my experience. Local government agencies tend to be less familiar with the requirements of the LGOIMA, and generally less forthcoming with information. And if you look at the sorts of responses they give on FYI, its the same picture. As for what to do about it, for central government agencies, we address this sort of problem with training and performance statistics. Extending that regime to local government would seem to be a good first step.

02:07

No freedom of speech in Spain "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Oh look - Spain still has an archaic lese majeste law:

Spain's Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday rapper Jose Miguel Arenas, known as Valtonyc, will serve three and half years in prison for insulting, slandering Spain's monarchs and "exalting terrorism." Arenas was found guilty by a national tribunal on Feb. 7.

Valtonyc had argued he was exercising his right to free speech and artistic creation, but the court dismissed his defense saying the songs he wrote and published via internet include support of terrorist groups and attacks against the king and his family.


Spain is supposed to be a democratic country which respects freedom of expression, as required by the European Convention on Human Rights. But as we've seen from the state use of violence to suppress Catalonia's democratic desire for independence, it has abandoned those values. Civilised states don't have special criminal libel laws protecting the monarch, and civilised states allow people to criticize corrupt aristocrats and comment on politics without going to jail. But I guess Spain isn't really civilised any more.

02:00

University republic clubs begin to mend the nations heart "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

University republic clubs begin to mend the nations heartThe level of youth interest in university republic clubs refutes claims young Australians are uninterested in an Australian Republic. read now...

01:43

Who are you going to blame? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

This is what Tony Abbott reckons is currently wrong with Australia:

My issue is not immigration; its the rate of immigration at a time of stagnant wages, clogged infrastructure, soaring housing prices and, in Melbourne at least, ethnic gangs that are testing the resolve of police.

Okay.  I think sensible individuals can agree that this particular list of complaints is a fair summary of what (some) people are talking about.

It seems to me, however, that everything on that list is due to government. Government is to blame for stagnant wages. Government is to blame for clogged infrastructure. Government is to blame for soaring housing prices. Government it blame for ethnic gangs testing the resolve of police.

The solutions to those problems include:

  • cutting spending, cutting taxation, cutting red tape, and cutting green tape.
  • better coordination, prioritising, and tighter budgeting for infrastructure spending.
  • releasing more land for housing, cutting red tape, and cutting green tape.
  • tougher sentencing for violent criminal behaviour, and truth in sentencing.

To be fair to Tony Abbott, a lot of that involves both the commonwealth and state governments getting off their bums and actually doing stuff.  But quite frankly, until he starts talking about actual solutions to real problems, all this anti-immigration talk is just a waste of everybodys time.

00:03

Socialists at heart "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Coming from the area of the social sciences that had made its name on its one key insight, that individual private-sector decision-making is the key to wealth, growth, employment and prosperity, but now to find that virtually the entire profession believes that wealth, growth, employment and prosperity are driven by demand, and particularly government spending, none of this comes as a surprise: According to a survey of members of the American Political Science Association, Donald Trump is the worst president in American history. Meanwhile his predecessor a man of no known accomplishments (or at least good ones) is ranked eighth. Its a clowns world out there.

This is discussed at Powerline: Is Trump the worst president ever? The final words:

Academia has pretty much abandoned America, and vice versa. There simply is no credibility left in soft fields like political science.

As for the economists of the world, I imagine you would get the same ranking in an American Economics Association survey, although they might make Herbert Hoover even lower since he was also a Republican. FDR would, however, rank first even though he prolonged the Great Depression in the US by around eight years. Everyone else was in recovery by 1932-33. In the US it took until around 1940-41. They are all socialists at heart, which is where the social sciences now largely are.

Tuesday, 20 February

23:48

Muppets "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

That's the only way to describe Ministerial Services, who are apparently incapable of paying MPs and Ministers the correct amount of money:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters were both mistakenly paid over $21,000 for accommodation they didn't need.

The pair put out a press release on Tuesday afternoon explaining the overpayment, which resulted from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) continuing to pay them an accommodation allowance despite each moving into an official residence.

Ardern received $12,082.19 while Peters received $9123. They have both repaid the amount in full and received an apology for the error.

"As soon as we were advised of the error, we both immediately took steps to reimburse the money. That has now happened," the pair said.

"The error occurred when the DIA's Ministerial Services continued to pay each of us a Member of Parliament's Wellington accommodation allowance after they had moved us into official accommodation, at which point payments should have stopped."


This wasn't a case like Bill English's of MP's trying to rort the system - instead it was a pure fuckup from Ministerial Services. They've accepted complete responsibility for the error, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and it invites the question of how many other times they've fucked up, and whether they've even noticed. As for Ardern and Peters, their salaries had just doubled or tripled. Unless they're getting a detailed payslip every month setting out which of the multiple allowances they are and aren't receiving, I can't blame them for not noticing this.

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