Friday, December 2, 2005 The Australian Federal Opposition has hounded the Treasurer, Peter Costello, over the appointment of Robert Gerard to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board. Mr Gerard announced on Friday 2nd that he will resign from the Board, citing the events of this week as the reason.

On Tuesday, November 29, Wayne Swan, the Shadow Treasurer asked of Costello in the first question of Question Time about an apparent statement that Costello made to Gerard, namely, “I know there’s an issue with the Tax Office but I don’t have a problem with you on the board”. Costello responded that he had no problem with Gerard, noting that “he brings a great understanding of Australian manufacturing industry to the board”, and that the obligatory declaration of interest was “indeed was signed by Mr Gerard”.

Later it was said by Swan in the House of Representatives that Gerard’s company was using “tax havens as tax avoidance schemes to the value of $150 million” and that the declaration of interest mentioned was only in regard to his personal affairs and on asking the Treasurer when he knew this, claimed that him actually knowing the information “would breach the secrecy act”. Later Swan revealed that Gerard “and his corporate vehicles” have been “susbtantial donors” to the Liberal Party. Costello maintained that the Government “[does] not think that supporting the Liberal Party is a disqualification from holding ministerial office, prime ministerial office, Treasury office or other offices in Australia”

Swan moved a censure motion to “provide this House with a full and proper explanation of…his communications with Mr Robert Gerard…and his knowledge of Mr Robert Gerard’s dispute with the Australian Taxation Office…”, which failed in the Government’s favour with votes 83 to 59 in division.

On Wednesday, November 30, Swan opened the House in a movement to suspend standing orders again to get information from the Treasurer, stating that “The Treasurer is in real strife” before the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer moved the gag. In Question Time, the Opposition continued to ask every question in regard to the appointment of Gerard. The Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley revealed in his question to the Treasurer that “some of his cabinet colleagues have privately said that they did not consider Mr Gerard was ‘a good choice’ in the first place for the Reserve Bank board”. The Treasurer responded that Gerard’s “appointment was supported by all members of the cabinet”

In the subsequent Matters of Public Importance debate, the matter selected was that proposed by Wayne Swan, namely, “The need for the Treasurer to uphold the highest standards of probity in the selection of candidates for the Reserve Bank Board.”

On Thursday, December 1, the Opposition again reserved a number of its questions for inquiring about Gerard’s appointment. Swan revealed in a question to the Treasurer that Gerard Corporation had “acquired an investment company in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands eight months after the Treasurer recommended his appointment to the Reserve Bank board”. Costello responded to Swan referring him to “a statement about that allegation in the Australian Financial Review today…in which he makes it clear that no income has been derived.”

Later, the Leader of the Opposition tried to move a censure motion on the treasurer, but leave of the House was not granted, so he had to resort to moving a motion to suspend standing orders to move the same motion, to censure the Treasurer for his appointment. The motion failed due to Government numbers, but the Matters for Public Importance (which follows Question Time) which was selected as “The need for the Government to govern for all Australians not just a privileged few.” in order to draw a comparison with the unequal treatment of the Treasurer in supporting Gerard and the new industrial relations legislation, dubbed WorkChoices, and said how the Treasurer and the Prime Minister were “laughing up their sleeves”, that the Treasurer was “not fit to lead”, and Gerard “is the worst attendee on the Reserve Bank board.”

The Minister for Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, however focused elsewhere on the MPI, and drew the attention of the Australian Labor Party‘s ties to the unions, had described the Opposition as a “policy free zone”, said that “there is one group that represents privilege in this place and that is the Australian Labor Party”, and stressed the benefits of WorkChoices.

Craig Emerson noted that the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party participated in “deliberate tax evasion”, and that Mr Gerard “paid penalty tax in circumstances of deliberate tax evasion”. Emerson later said that the Liberal Party was “soft on tax cheats”, “soft on tax cheating Liberal Party donors…and members”.

The adjournment debate also brought up criticism of Gerard’s appointment in the adjournment debate. Christopher Bowen noted the “disquiet” in the media, and noted the previous Board member Bernie Fraser also calling for his dismissal. Bernard Ripoll called for a “full inquiry” into the Government’s “self serving public policy”.

Swan has said that Gerard had done the “honourable thing”, but that he will not let up on pressing the Treasurer for a full disclosal of the facts.

The House of Representatives as of this date sits next on December 5, 2005.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Free & Equal Debate
  • 3 Final pleas
  • 4 Predictions
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
Aug
16

UK general election, 2005

Uncategorized

Thursday, May 5, 2005

The United Kingdom General Election
Results:

Labour Conservative Lib Dems
355 197 62
DUP SNP Sinn Féin
7 6 5
Plaid Cymru SDLP UUP
3 3 1
RESPECT IKHH Ind.  
1 1 1  

Wikinews will have coverage of the election results at:

  • Results of 2005 United Kingdom General Election
Background:
Wikipedia, Wikinews’ sibling project, has in-depth background articles on:

The 2005 UK general election was held on Thursday 5th May. The election resulted in a third term for Tony Blair’s Labour Party.

Below are the latest Wikinews stories on the campaigning parties and candidates.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Leader of the Federal Opposition in Australia Tony Abbott has made claims Thursday during Question Time in parliament that a ‘people’s revolt’ is looming based on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s proposal for a 2012 carbon tax.

In what Mr. Abbott describes as a “betrayal of the Australian people”, Ms. Gillard announced Thursday that a price for carbon will be put back on the national agenda, for several years, to be followed by the formation of an emissions trading scheme. In the lead up to the 2010 Federal Australian Election, Ms. Gillard claimed that while she might implement a green house gas reduction scheme, “[she would] rule out a carbon tax”.

The price on carbon will be applied to industrial and transport emissions but will not, however, affect Australia’s agriculture.

The Prime Minister’s announcement resulted in a large portion of Question Time being devoted to the issue with a Member of the Opposition being expelled from the House for disorderly conduct. Mr. Abbot then moved to censure the Prime Minister and conclude Question Time claiming “Nothing is more fake than making a promise to the Australian people before the election and breaking it after the election … I don’t believe it’s going to happen because I think there will be a people’s revolt. They will see this as an assault on their standard of living, which is exactly what it is”.

To which the Prime Minister responded “Increasingly Australians understand that the Liberal Party, under the Leader of the Opposition, is a party of the past with no real policies or plans for the nation’s future … You get judged ultimately in this Parliament by what you decide to do and what you deliver, and on this side of the Parliament we are determined that from July 1 (2012) we will price carbon.”

The Opposition claims that the proposed carbon tax will cause petrol prices to rise by A$0.065 per litre while energy bills may increase by $300 per year.

Monday, February 28, 2005

[[w:Bucharest, Romania|Bucharest, Romania]] — The Romanian Finance Minister Ionu? Popescu has responded to public fears of a rise in value added tax (VAT) by saying that Romania’s VAT will remain at 19% and will not increase. He rejected rumours that the value added tax, which is applied to most goods and services, will increase due to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and a need to boost government revenue.

After introducing a low flat tax rate of 16% on January 1, 2005, which applies to both personal income and corporate profits, the government has had to fund the tax cuts through alternative means, including increases in other types of taxation, to avoid running a high budget deficit. For example, from April 1, the government will increase excises as well as a range of other taxes. Despite the increase, Romania continues to have one of the lowest fiscal burdens in Europe due to the new 16% flat tax rate.

Aug
16

News briefs:July 14, 2010

Uncategorized
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
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Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Peter Costello’s budget announcement has led to rejoicing for small businesses, but the lack of joy for those pushing for radical corporate taxation reform has led to many businesses asking “what about us?”

Personal taxation and small business have been the big winners after this year’s federal budget. Although dampened by the twin economic threats of rising interest rates and petrol prices, there should be a reasonable amount of real income savings for both low and high income earners, with those receiving Medicare, or a superannuation benefit, privy to an even lower level of taxation (0% for those on super benefits).

Small business also has benefited from the Howard government’s 11th annual budget, with them receiving a higher level of reducing depreciation, leading to a higher level of deductions in the years following the uptake of new technology or other capital. They are also privy to a AU$435 million dollar tax cut to compensate for their changing accounting requirements under the government’s new AIFRS reporting standards, as well as increasing the uptake of both the small business tax relief scheme and CGT (Capital Gains tax) Concessions.

The budget was not a complete loss for big business however, as superannuation laws have been tweaked to streamline contribution and payment rules previously impeding those with multitudes of staff.

But this is not enough, says Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. In their newly published paper “Taxation of Investment in Australia: the need for ongoing reform”. In it they lead the charge for a greater streamlining and organization of the corporate tax system in Australia, submitting that it will lead to reductions in “disincentives to work save and invest in Australia [as well as improving] the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.” This follows from a recent report brought out by Mr. Costello himself about the need for tax reform in Australia.

A budget night Mr. Costello was notably coy about any future reform of corporate tax in Australia. He alluded to the report by his ministers but kept from outlining the government’s plan precisely.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Retired West Virginia engineer Lowell Jackson “Jack” Fellure won the presidential nomination of the Prohibition Party yesterday at the party’s National Convention in Cullman, Alabama. He won on the second ballot, defeating Thompson Township tax accessor James Hedges of Pennsylvania, who initially ran unopposed. Party Chairman Toby Davis of Mississippi received the vice presidential nomination.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. As its name suggests, the party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). The party has declined since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

Fellure, 79, has run for president in every election since 1988, though usually as a Republican. This run marks his first as a member of the Prohibition Party. On his campaign website, he cites the Authorized 1611 King James Bible as his presidential platform, and calls for the teaching of the Bible in public schools, criminalization of homosexuality, and the elimination of abortion, the liquor industry and pornography. On economics, he supports reducing taxes and balancing the federal budget.

While Jim [Hedges] has contributed valuable resources to this Party…his positions regarding Environmentalism and passivity toward war forced me to vote for Jack Fellure.

Hedges, the first Prohibition Party member elected to public office since 1959, announced his campaign in February 2010, and was the only candidate until last month. According to Vice Chairman June Griffin: “While Jim has contributed valuable resources to this Party…his positions regarding Environmentalism and passivity toward war forced me to vote for Jack Fellure. As well, his insistence on a moratorium on the building of nuclear plants caused much unrest among the membership. Yet he prevailed to install this plank.”

The ten voting Prohibition Party convention delegates and a few guests met for the National Convention, which began on Monday at the Holiday Inn Express in Cullman. Tuesday featured a short greeting from Cullman Mayor Max Townson, followed by addresses from Libertarian consultant Stephen P. Gordon, Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger, and Eunie Smith of the Eagle Forum.

Gordon, who previously worked as the e-Campaign manager for the 2008 Bob Barr presidential campaign, jokingly commented that his speech “stunk”. He opened his address with the joke that “the way to pick out the libertarian at a Prohibition Party function is that I’m the one wearing the Jerry Garcia tie.” He discussed how third party candidates could utilize new media to their advantage, but avoided any ideological topics.

Winger, an expert on election law, discussed ballot access and the history of the Prohibition Party. He notably explained how the party had cost the Republicans presidential victories in the elections of 1884 and 1916, which forestalled the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment by Republicans, who wanted to do away with the alcohol issue. Gordon later commented that Winger’s speech was well-received by the audience.

After Winger’s speech, the convention broke for lunch. Afterwards, Smith, the widow of former Congressman Albert L. Smith, Jr., focused on immigration and education in her address. When asked about the Eagle Forum’s participation in the fight against alcohol, she commented that the group was focused on more pressing issues such as gambling.

After the nomination, some party members traveled to the grave of Sidney Catts in Florida. Catts, who died in 1936, was the first and only state governor elected from the Prohibition Party.

The party will now begin ballot access drives in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, New Jersey, Utah, Colorado, Tennessee and Arkansas. In 2008, the late Gene Amondson appeared on the ballot in Colorado, Florida and Louisiana and picked up a total of 653 votes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

With the election campaign just beginning, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has promised AU$34 billion in personal income tax cuts over the next three years. That is on top of $31.5 billion announced in May, and $36.7 billion announced in 2006.

The new tax cuts are based on new projections for growth in the Australian economy. The Treasury estimates that the economy will expand by 4.25% in the 12 months to June 2008, up from growth of 3.75% predicted in May.

The Government has challenged the Labor opposition to announce their tax policy immediately.

“The biggest, boldest tax plan that we’ve seen in a long time is presented yesterday, it deals with participation, competitiveness, building capacity in the Australian economy, and what does Kevin Rudd say? Nothing,” treasurer Peter Costello said. “He better have an answer today.”

Costello described the government tax policy as “very responsible” and said Rudd was a “Nothing Man” because he has not revealed Labor’s tax policy.

The Shadow Treasurer, Wayne Swan, replied “The only responsible course of action here is to study the detail. We’ve said we’ll put out all our policies well before the election and we’ll do that”.

“But in terms of what the Government’s put forward, we will take our time to study the detail. That’s the only responsible and reasonable thing to do.”

Economists from Access Economics, the ANZ Bank, HSBC and Macquarie Bank noted that the tax cuts will boost demand at a time when the Reserve Bank is trying to slow the economy. The Reserve Bank has been raising interest rates to keep the inflation rate within its target range. Households with substantial mortgages could end up worse off.

Rudd has said the Opposition will reveal its tax policy in its own time – mimicking John Howard’s approach when he was Opposition Leader in 1996.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate Jim Hedges of Thompson Township, Pennsylvania took some time to answer a few questions about the Prohibition Party and his 2012 presidential campaign.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. The party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). It was repealed in 1933. The party has declined since this period, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

In 2003, the party split into two factions. Preacher Gene Amondson and perennial candidate Earl Dodge were nominated for the presidency by their respective factions. After Dodge’s death in 2007, the party reunified and named Amondson as its sole presidential nominee for 2008. During the election, Amondson was interviewed by Wikinews. He died in 2009, leaving an opening in the party for 2012.

Jim Hedges is a longtime Prohibition activist, who holds the distinction of the first individual of the 21st century (and the first since 1959) to be elected to a political office under the Prohibition Party banner. In 2001, he was elected as the Thompson Township tax assessor, and was re-elected to the post in 2005. He served until his term expired in 2010. Hedges declared his intent to run for the Prohibition Party presidential nomination on February 18, 2010. This marks his first run for the presidency.