Members' Forum

12Jan2017

Politicians on both sides continue to rack up questionable travel expenses at a time when many people are having to make do with less.

In 2015 Bronwyn Bishop resigned as Speaker after chartering a helicopter to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Last year, Labor senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign from the frontbench after having an education company with links to the Chinese government foot the bill for a travel charge he “didn’t want to pay” after exceeding his parliamentary travel budget.

This...

15Dec2016

The year 2016 has been a big one in anyone’s language.

At home, Australians endured a 55 day election campaign ahead of a 2 July poll, with the government scraping home with a one seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was disappointed Malcolm Turnbull did not back him for the job of United Nations Secretary-General while Pauline Hanson staged another comeback.

Overseas, the battle for the White House captured the world’s attention with Donald Trump becoming President-elect, despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote....

08Dec2016

Australia’s economic growth declined 0.5 per cent in the last three months, the worst result since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the figures as ‘a bump in the road’ but Treasurer Scott Morrison said the negative growth was ‘a wake-up call’ for Australia to take action and repair the budget deficit.

Are you confident that Australia’s economy will get back on track next year?

24Nov2016

Think tank The Grattan Institute has identified three measures it calls ‘unfair aged-based tax breaks’ for older Australians.

Grattan Institute chief executive John Daly said that seniors pay less tax than do younger workers on the same income as a result of the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) and a higher Medicare levy income threshold. Seniors also receive a higher rebate on their private health insurance.

The report Age of entitlement: age-based tax breaks recommends winding back SAPTO and the Medicare levy to save about $700 million a year. Reducing the private...

10Nov2016

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has sent shockwaves around the world.

His ‘promises’ include building a wall on America’s border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the US, cutting taxes and tearing up trade treaties.

It remains to be seen just how his policies will affect Australia or if he has been indulging in empty rhetoric to win votes.

With Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, it appears Trump may have an easier job passing legislation than Democrat President...