Monday, August 19, 2013

Labor continue stimulus payments despite global financial meltdown ending long ago

A STAGGERING 6000 people - including overseas backpackers - have received Labor's $900 "stimulus" payment since January 1- even though the global financial meltdown ended four years ago.

In a major dent to Labor's economic credibility, the costly government bungle means taxpayers will fork out more than $5 million in "tax bonus" payments in 2013.

A News Corp Australia investigation can reveal hordes of backpackers on "working holiday" visas received the one-off cash bonus - even though 5 million Australian workers missed out.

Despite the Rudd Government driving the budget $30 billion into deficit, nearly $40 million worth of "stimulus" cheques remain uncashed, the Australian Taxation Office says.

The revelations come at the worst time for Kevin Rudd as he challenges Tony Abbott's election costings in a desperate bid to revive his faltering campaign.

Queensland farmer Craig Van Rooyen was staggered to learn the Government was still mailing stimulus payments to foreign backpackers who worked on his fruit farm four years ago.  "I just couldn't believe that Kevin Rudd could still be sending money to non-Australian residents," Mr Van Rooyen said.  "This guy is just a reckless spender of Australian taxpayer's money."

One English backpacker was mailed her $900 cheque on May 21- even though she left Australia in late 2009 and has been living at home for several years.  Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan told the woman she was receiving the payment "as part of the economic stimulus package" announced by the PM in 2009.  "We've enclosed a cheque for $900.00 as you're entitled to this payment based on your taxable income for the 2007/08 financial year," Mr Jordan said.

Coalition frontbencher and waste-watch spokesman Jamie Briggs said: "Labor's economic management has now gone from tragedy to farce for the Australian taxpayer.''

"Labor continues to treat taxpayer's money with complete disregard, leaving a massive debt for our children's future.''


Solar funding 'to be lost' under conservatives

CONFIDENTIAL data reveals up to $4bn in private funding for renewable energy, including solar power, would be lost under a coaltion government.

Analysis commissioned by The Climate Institute reveals about $4 billion in private funding would be lost to the industry, including for solar power.

It also says the coalition's climate change plan is $4bn short of the amount needed to meet its proposed five per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, Fairfax reported on Monday.

Instead, the private think tank's analysis suggests there would be a nine per cent increase in emissions by 2020.

Fairfax reports big business is planning for the impact should Opposition Leader Tony Abbott cut the carbon price and axe the clean energy finance system, despite the coalition rejecting the institute's analysis.

Carbon finance sector sources believe the loss of about $4.1bn of private funds away from large-scale renewable power projects will lead to the construction of cheap wind farms to meet mandatory renewable energy targets of 20 per cent clean power by 2020.

It also meant gas would be another "winner", a source told Fairfax.

"Australia's significant clean energy potential is being held back by seemingly endless rounds of review and, like the rest of the energy industry, our main need is for policy stability to drive investment in major projects," chief executive of industry group the Clean Energy Council, David Green, said.

Mr Abbott on the weekend said spending under the coalition's "direct action" climate change plan would remain capped at $3.2bn.

A survey by consultants AECOM of 180 leading companies found 65 per cent of businesses supported an emissions trading scheme, 29 per cent supported a carbon tax and just seven per cent of businesses supported the coalition's direct action policy.


Jealousy of LEGAL immigrants in West Australia

THE Irish are threatening to boycott WA over a Budget policy to impose $4000 public school fees for children of parents working here on 457 visas.

While some families look at moving interstate or overseas because they can't afford to pay up to $20,000 a year for five children, doctors warn the health system will suffer and principals fear some children simply won't go to school.

The decision to charge $4000 a child, announced in the State Budget this month, is being criticised internationally, making headlines in Dublin's The Irish Times this week.

Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said he had received worrying feedback from Britain and Ireland and the fees would be a "game changer" for many overseas-trained GPs looking to move to WA on a 457 visa.

"This is one of the most negative policy decisions that I have seen for some years and one that will have a seriously negative impact on health in WA," he said. "We know from comments already made to us that this will encourage some GPs on 457 visas to leave WA for other states, or to move to another country.

"For others looking to come to WA from overseas it will mean a complete rethink of their plans. Not many will be able to carry a $4000 fee for the education of their children, especially if they have three or four children."

WA Primary Principals Association president Steve Breen said there was an incorrect assumption that 457 visa holders were highly skilled and therefore highly paid.

"For example, in Katanning there are a number of 457 workers in the abattoir  they will struggle to pay the $4000 per student to send their kids to school," he said. "There is a potential for these children to not come to school."

The latest report from the Immigration Department shows there are 6180 people from the UK working in WA on 457 visas, followed by 4070 from Ireland, 3130 from the Philippines and 1330 from the US.

Education Minister Peter Collier said he had received mixed feedback and the Government was working towards making more information available soon.

Irish Families in Perth president Eimear Beattie said families of up to five children were considering moving elsewhere.

"There is a lot of panic out there because a lot of people have got huge families," she said. "This will deter a lot of people from coming out here. A lot of people who want to come out here are now asking if it's even worth coming here on the 457 visa.

"A lot of the families already here are actually thinking of leaving the country altogether, or moving to another state, or going to private schools."

Mother-of-five Claire Calvey said her family, who moved to Paraburdoo last year after arriving on a 457 visa from Ireland, was considering a move to Canada. She is circulating a petition, which has almost 1000 signatures.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson said the school fee threatened to "undermine the effectiveness of the 457 visa scheme for current visa holders and their employers".

Opposition education spokeswoman Sue Ellery said a parliamentary inquiry had recommended any school fees be means-tested. "I am concerned that this is going to create a hidden class of children who are not educated," she said.

Mr Collier said the details would be finalised "as soon as possible" but he was confident "that WA will continue to be an attractive working destination for people from overseas".
The number of children of 457 visa holders attending public schools has jumped from 290 in 2005 to 8600 this year.


Kevin Rudd challenger opposes Islam and wants mosques banned

A CANDIDATE for the Prime Minister's seat of Griffith has put outlawing the Islamic faith front and centre of her election campaign, branding it a "religion from hell" and claiming that building mosques in Australia is "high treason".

Sherrilyn Church of the Rise Up Australia Party says her top policy priority in the election is to ban the building of mosques in the electorate, south of Brisbane.

Ms Church - a small-time citrus farmer from Crows Nest on the Darling Downs - said her primary concern for the electorate was "the Islamisation of the city by councils giving permission for mosques to be erected".

"Basically, I see Islam not primarily a religion but a system of law because to the Islamic mind the existence of a mosque in an area means they believe that Sharia law applies and the Islamic flag must fly - now that is high treason in a sovereign nation," she said.

"Islam is a legal system before it is a religion. We have freedom of religion but their religion is illegal.

"We are multiethnic, but we are not multicultural, because that's where the law comes into it.

"The people in the mosque can be as charming and pleasant as your best Australian but there is also those elements, as you know across the world, where young men are recruited to jihadist training camps from these mosques.

"A lot of people consider it to be fine. A lot of people also consider that having gay marriage is fine."

Ms Church, 61, said she believed the Muslim faith and democratic citizenship were fundamentally incompatible.

"This question is asked of all Australian citizens when they stand before the governor or to become citizens. They have to declare that they will come under our system of law, and our flag.

"If you're going to say; 'no, I'm going to hold to the laws of the Koran', I would say `pack your bags, get on the next plane and go home'.

"Our laws are totally and utterly contrary to the law of the Koran. There are some religions that didn't come from heaven, they come from hell."

Ms Church's platform has proven unpopular within the local Islamic community, which has two mosques in the Griffith electorate at Holland Park and West End.

The views only damage hard-fought steps to integration with the southside community according to Islamic College of Brisbane chairman Mohammed Yusuf.

"It's a very sad thing that because of ignorance and people trying to gain cheap publicity with these things they do so much damage," Mr Yusuf said.

"It really annoys us when people who through their own ignorance or for their own political gains, say things which are damaging. It's not in the best interest for anyone.

Mr Yusuf said that Christianity and Islam were fundamentally the same and the Sharia is compatible with Australia life and "does not affect anybody else".

"There's punishments and penalties for certain things -- adultery or stealing and all that -- under Sharia law that apply in Islamic states, not Australia so there's no way the Muslims are going to say I'm going to introduce that here.

"The majority of the things we talk about for Sharia law are already in existence here -- we follow what applies to us, what does not apply we refrain from and don't practice."


No comments: