Business fed up with Labor

The Labor government's burst of policy announcements and reforms has only worsened Prime Minister Julia Gillard's relationship with the business community, with business leaders accusing Labor of imposing heavy-handed restrictions on business without consultations, according to The Australian Financial Review.

In the past two weeks, Labor has introduced new regulations on media, coal seam gas and industrial relations while also threatening a crackdown on temporary foreign workers.

Business Council of Australia (BCA) president Tony Shepherd warned that Labor is not following the proper process because it has not adequately studied the economic impact of the reforms.

“The proposals we have seen in recent weeks, and the manner of their introduction, are unfitting of a dynamic modern economy equipped to attract investment and compete and thrive in an increasingly challenging world,” he wrote in the AFR.

Meanwhile, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd, Transurban Ltd chairman and BHP Billiton Ltd director Lindsay Maxsted has accused Labor of lacking business acumen.

“It is not a government which is user-friendly for business or a government that goes out of its way to understand business,” he said to a business forum according to the The Australian.

“It doesn't work on a basis of understanding that to drive the economy and to do some of the 'pet projects' which are very good pet projects, [like] the disability scheme, you actually need to work with business to get the right policy settings.”

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More sweeping statements from the Murdoch camp methinks. If there is one thing that Business Spectator could not be accused of in its more independent days it was "losing the plot" in favour of a wish to enforce a particular worldview. Let's get back on track What Gillard seems to have finally identified is that the Right is deliberately causing a polarisation of society. Suddenly the real election issues are emerging and Labor is returning to its real power base, to the people it was founded to represent I think Businesses need to individually ask themselves if they really want this polarisation - for it threatens the end of co-operation and restraint, the shelving of ideas of consensus and common purpose. Are they so sure that authority can force industrial repression on a non compliant workforce? Are they sure that even our easy going democracy can survive a return to a society that effectively has two class based cultures and a chasm between them? Ultimately money is only paper or digits on a screen. Those who have a lot of it would be well advised to think twice about how much actual power it grants them against a majority who do not have enough to respect its imagined power, or the supposed greater rights it grants. Suddenly the election is getting "interesting"
Acutally - I think the article is correct. Think about all the stuff that's happened over the past 5 years. Mining Tax, Carbon Tax, Fair Work, Media control, distributions to lower incomes - carbon tax handouts, cash handouts to lower income bands during the recession. Not one bit of it is pro-business. How about understanding this point when arguing whether we are overweight to the right. Any society should have a balance of wealth creation/wealth distribution. This govt has shown that it has no focus on wealth creation. The article is completely spot on.
I tend to agree Phil. I see the usually hacks are out in force too and almost every single one of them has accused you and the government of being communists. Yawn. Apparently that's the tag for anyone that doesn't spit abuse at the incumbent government. A successful modern capitalist democracy requires a healthy balance between competition and cooperation. Taxes, regulations, law an order, service and infrastructure provision, protection, investment in education are complex with limited resources and competing interests and priorities, but completely necessary for a wealthy stable democracy. The unquestioning followers of economic liberalism will not have it, governments, workers and protection of our soil, air and water resources are just hurdles to making more money apparently and every criticism of their fundamentally flawed economic theories can be addressed by name calling and labelling everyone else as lefty, communist, socialist, greenie, class envious naive thought police. Spokespersons for business advocate groups might like to beat their chests and complain about progressive governments policies, but governments have a much bigger charter than simply maximising returns for shareholders. It is not sensible for Australian society to try an accommodate the lowest common denominator in terms of small government and low taxes, there are enough disastrous examples around the world, if you want to pack up your business and try your luck there, by all means please do.
You point out having a balance but you cannot source any particular examples of this govt has assisted business in any way. That is not balanced. A good government would consider growth as well as distribution. And now some are getting stuck into the media for pointing out this obvious point. Continual pursuit of over-left policies over a time horizon of 5-10 years leaves states in a bad way. Just ask leftist Tasmania with 7.5 percent employment vs the rest of Aus, the UK with their 50 percent govt state who are now perpetually printing money, socialist France who have been trying to introduce a 75 percent tax rate. Over time non of these economies will be healthy. Gone are the days when Hawke/Keating actually had some constructive social policies such as super and safety nets and replaced with it are inefficient attempts to take from the elite (who you can never take from and ends up being middle class) and giving to the less well off AND growing the size of the public sector. It has never worked and never will because capital is mobile. Large govt sectors don't actually produce much when you need to pay your bills. Irrespective of your points - We have existing actual examples of 10 year socialist economies to source from - they are not healthy.
Thanks for you comments Adam. TBH I was speaking more generally about the role of government and suggesting it is not their role to give businesses a direct leg up, but rather to look after the macro settings and longer term investments that foster a strong economy. In propping up consumer demand and construction during and after the GFC the current government performed well, and the NBN is an excellent investment in future capacity. With respect to tax reform they have largely failed, not because of the MRRT or Carbon tax, but because their focus was too narrow. I hope a government one day has the guts to overhaul out tax system to make it much simpler. Lifting of the tax free threshold was a start, a reduction in company tax would also have been welcome, but I can't see too many future governments tackling this one, because it expends to much political capital. I support the carbon tax/trading scheme btw, it is the most cost-efficient way to address the externality costs of greenhouse emmisions. The MRRT is good in theory. I don't support government giving direct support to industry and there are examples of this government having done that. However one could argue that there are broader social and strategic implications of preserving steel and auto industries. I'm not supporting the Labor government with my comments and I'm not advocating the Coalition either. I'm simply highlighting that most of the contributions from posters border on hysterical and delusional name calling not based on any analysis of socio-economics but rather just partisan rants. This appears to be to be partly fed by an absence of critical thinking and a definite bias against the incumbent government in the media (which I suspect might be related to the NBN rollout threatening traditional media/entertainment). I don't support media control btw, and I don't think that is what the proposed legislation is seeking. I do however object to vested interests pushing an ideology and dressing it up as news.
Policy on the run; disjointed. Buying votes! My view about this is; and I will stick my neck out. Again. Labor are a bunch of Communists. Now spot the difference (the point of difference from a voters point of view) between both sides of politics. So by inference. What does that make the Conservative side of politics? The same issues remain on High Street as they were 15 and 20 years ago since my arrival here from Southern Africa in SME sector. After inquiry upon inquiry upon inquiry. The ACCC remains as toothless about consumer issues and SME issues as ever! What has changed? Very bloody little. What incentive is there to reinvest in ourselves; we do not want money? We want opportunity/ies. We remain a basic feudal society: building stuff (and flogging it on); pulling stuff out of the ground either as owners of capital or a labourers for some overseas organisation who owns us; we have great innovation that gets hammered down by the Small Poppies. And never capitalise on same and or get to mass market. Message to both sides of the House. What are you going to do to make a difference? What are you going to do, that is going to start changing the landscape of the wealth creating job creating side of this great nation. Other than talk talk talk. And I won’t way what! Then you might get my vote.
The Right is polarising society? Who rants against mining billionaires, who rants against media "barons" ? Who rants against "wealthy" self managed retirees? Who rants against "greedy" bosses in SME's? Do the names Gillard and Swan ring a bell Phil? And I am very sure they could'nt be accused of being "Right", never mind being right about very much at all.
This is a desperate Government being hounded out of office for being liars and incompetent. However, when supported by the socialist Greens and two rogue independents from NSW they will do everything in the remaining few months to destroy the economy and the social fabric of this country. Gillard is a very dangerous person and her front bench being mostly ex unionists aid and abet this destruction. As I have commented before Phil Clarke should go and live in Communist China he would fir in well with the culture. Labor has gone a long way to polarising this country with its class divide. Remember Marx?
Labor has no business accumen because the are all ex unionists or should i forget the EX bit?. I think the only ex? unionist to have any idea at all was Hawkie?. I have delt with union reps etc, and if they can't get their own way they use standover tactics and threaten, and one might say they are less than genuin in their dealings, as are the labor party Vern
Phil, do you have a job or are you simply pissed off that you can't get one. If you don't, it could have something to do with your attitude. If you do you may lose it as this government continues to dismantle those you accuse of polarising society. I think most of us refer to them as the ones who create jobs. I read your gibberish and get the impression you want to live in a socialist/communist society, whereby the government has the right to dictate what we all do and say, is that true! Well I don't Phil, so please feel free to migrate to North Korea anytime you want. But if you want to live in a democracy and enjoy freedom of speech, you are always going to have class differences, those that create jobs and those that work in jobs. If he government make a mess of its policies, the media will have a field day, irrespectively who's in government. That's a democratic society. Our biggest employer are SME's . David called them "greedy". I am not sure how he came to that conclusion. Unlike corporate entities who operate by a board (no financial connection), SME's are owner operated. In other words financially back out of their own pocket. If an SME goes bust the owner/boss looses everything, even the business. If the business is able to be sold as a going concern, it will only realise a fraction of what he bought it for and put into the business. If not, well it's only depreciated plant and equipment. No they are not greedy. "Media barons", most of us don't like bad publicity, even though we ask for it. Fortunately most of those that get this bad publicity can deal with it, and use it as a tool to improve. This government is one of those that can't, hence to proposed legislation against freedom of speech. "Wealthy self managed retirees". These are people who retired with a plan to limit or not draw on the public purse. What's wrong with that! Should be more of it. As it is most survive on the basic living standard anyway. I can assure that their benefits are no where near that of two soon the be retied MP's. To all those lefties out there, its these business that create jobs, not ordinary workers. If workers, via unions continue to raid the profits of business, business will cease to exist in Australia, cheaper to do business in another country. That also means no jobs. You want to cut off the head, but the tail also dies. This naivety that seems to exist that the more profit you take from a company, the less wealthy they will be is unbelievable. Business have always put up the cost of their goods and services every time they had their profits raided. We ended up paying for these raids ourselves. We have reached the cross road. The internet has allowed consumers see how the rest of the world operate. That's now the battleground. Australian goods verses overseas internet sales. 457 visas give employers reliability. Retailers downsizing causing job loses, business simply closing down and others moving part or all their operation off shore. All part of Australian business fighting back, only to have Gillard confiscating their weapons. At the end of the day, we are the losers, unfortunately some can't see it. Maybe when no one does business here, no one wants to invest here and the only jobs being government jobs the penny will drop. Well maybe not, we have to last another 6 months under this incompetent government that has been accused of having no business acumen, something I said 2 years ago.
Good one Phil. Laugh.....I nearly sh*t. One of your better p*ss-takes.........god help you if it isn't.........seriously
Quite prepared to answer the question asked about my work situation. I'm retired from a plethora of different jobs that varied in location from being in a Jewish Market , to teaching, to the public service and included a news agency. I counted 29 in all but probably missed a few. I was born in damp rented rooms in bombed out London. My brother went to a public school in London and to Oxford university. My family is also part American. I lived rather differently, living and working with people in four countries, including on military bases, some of whom had been extremely close to a spectrum that ranged from Hitler to Guevara. Working class born I am married into the fringe of what I would define as middle class Australia. That is why I have a strong belief in democracy, loyalty, and the need for consensus. Having had a Catholic Mother and a Protestant father and with all the rest of the muddle I tend to recognise that present circumstance and often opinion is almost entirely based on birth and moderated mostly by deliberate subsequent engineered advantage or exclusion. Up to BS if they pass this on - Just answering a question. By the way I lived for a year in West Berlin so Stalinist Communism does not impress me. Willy Brandt however did, and I think that of all politicians he got it right and would have piloted us out of the present mess long ago. Well worth a second look at Willy