Hockey Talks Of Economic Reform In Speech To London Institute

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has addressed the Institute of Economic Affairs in London on the future of the Australian economy.

HockeyIn his speech, Hockey discussed the importance of economic change. “Economies, and their enterprises, that are slow to adapt will be left behind,” he said.

Hockey compared Ford and Google: “The Ford Motor Company, which revolutionised manufacturing and the auto industry in the 20th century, currently has a market capitalisation of $53 billion after 110 years of operation. Google is more than 7 times larger in just 15 years.”

Structural reform will “lay the foundation for a more promising and secure future,” Hockey said. “Over the next decade, the traditional macroeconomic levers of monetary and fiscal policy will not deliver enduring growth… With fiscal policy constrained and monetary policy limited, the only alternative to facilitate growth is to undertake further structural reform in response to global change. Structural reform is indeed the key plank of Australia’s economic strategy under the Abbott Government.” [Read more…]


Gillard And Swan Look To The Election

In statements published today, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan have sought to frame the political debate in this election year.

GillardAs Gillard overtakes Kevin Rudd’s 935 days as prime minister, she has written a piece for the Sunday Telegraph in which she talks about her family’s background in a Welsh mining village and her consequent attitude to education, jobs and fairness. Gillard portrays herself as a prime minister “getting the big things done” to create opportunity.

Gillard depicts her government as one “with security as our foundation stone”. She presents the National Disability Insurance Scheme as the modern complement to Medicare, and the National Broadband Network as essential to Australia’s future economic growth. Most of all, she stresses the importance of education: “We have to be smarter.”

The statement says “we’ll never again see a world without global warming”, but makes no mention of the carbon tax or the eventual emissions trading scheme.

Like Gillard, Swan talks of the nation’s spirit of optimism and of “reforms to secure our future”. In his weekly Economic Note, the Treasurer stresses that Australia is in “the box seat” to take advantage of the global economy as it tilts toward Asia.

Swan talks up “hard fought reforms like pricing carbon, building the NBN, or huge reforms in health, aged care, mental health, taking a million taxpayers out of the system by tripling the tax-free threshold, paid parental leave, the Schoolkids Bonus or the biggest boost to the pension this country has ever seen.”

Text of statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as published in The Sunday Telegraph.

The 28th of December would have been my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary.

No matter what else is happening, you can never fill the gap left by the loss of a loved one.

So I was in a reflective mood this Christmas and I took that feeling with me to Sydney as I welcomed the New Year. There were fireworks and bubbly all around me but I was concentrating on memories of the past and plans for the future.

Whether you remember the past as an easier, happier time or a harder, lonelier time depends on your own circumstances and journey through life.

But however you remember it, there is no going back there. You can’t change it or relive it. But you can plan for and shape the future.

What’s true for individuals, is true for our nation and our world. [Read more…]


IR Changes to Improve Work-Family Balance: Howard’s New Year Message

Economic reform “must, and will, continue in 2006”, according to the Prime Minister, John Howard, in his New Year’s Message.

HowardHoward said that “stable and happy family life is crucial to Australia’s future”. He said that “more flexibility under the new workplace arrangements will enable Australians an even greater capacity to balance work and family life”.

In a further sign of his determination to remain Prime Minister through to the next election, Howard reiterated his government’s record in economic management, claiming that the “reform process was maintained to the full in 2005”. [Read more…]


Howard Touts Australian Reforms To German Business Leaders

Economic reforms in five key areas have been the key to the success of the Australian economy, according to the Prime Minister, John Howard, in an address to German business leaders in Frankfurt, Germany.

John HowardOn the first day of his two-week European trip, Howard cited the deregulation of the financial system and the floating of the Australian dollar as key reforms of the past twenty years. Both of these reforms were implemented by the Hawke Government in 1983, following the defeat of the Fraser coalition government in which Howard had been Treasurer for five years.

Tariff reductions in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also implemented by the Labor government, were significant reforms, as were the changes to the labour market, described by Howard as “the single biggest enduring reform under my Government”. Converting a large Budget deficit into a Budget surplus was also important, resulting in a government debt to GDP ratio of 4.6%, compared to an OECD average of 35-40%. [Read more…]


John Howard’s Speech to the NSW State Convention of the Liberal Party

This is the text of Prime Minister John Howard’s speech to the NSW Convention of the Liberal Party.

Text of John Howard’s speech to the NSW Convention of the Liberal Party.

John HowardThank you very much Michael for those very warm words of introduction. To Shane Stone the Federal President, Kerry Chikarovski, the Leader of the New South Wales Opposition, to my many ministerial and parliamentary colleagues and most importantly of all my fellow members of the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party.

Not surprisingly I would like to share with you this morning some thoughts on the past year and also some ideas about the year ahead at a national political level. But I would like to start my remarks this morning by addressing an issue that is very important to the future strength and survival of the New South Wales Division.

I want to congratulate the Executive of the party here in New South Wales for the decision it took last night to establish a committee of management to run the affairs of this party in the months ahead. [Read more…]


Keating Worries The Government Isn’t Getting Credit For Its Economic Reform Record

In 1989, Treasurer Paul Keating worried that the government wasn’t getting enough credit for its record of economic reform.

In this address to a business gathering, Keating lists some of the Hawke Labor government’s reforms, including floating the dollar, financial regulation and superannuation changes.

I’m not sure of the precise date of this clip but it is most likely late May 1989. [Read more…]