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Responding to an age of economic uncertainty

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On Friday ‘The Trump’ becomes US President leading to, who knows? Meanwhile, Putin outmanoeuvres everyone as the master puppeteer of the Syrian ‘solution’. Ultimately it’s about oil? Chinese President Xi Jinping is the star attraction at the Davos capitalist soiree. That’s unsurprising! Based on purchasing power comparisons, China is now the world’s largest economy. The British pound is travelling south due to Brexit. Several pending elections in European countries could well see further disintegration of the EU.

From these snapshots the only thing we can say about economic certainty is that we live in a period of economic uncertainty! So do global forces make us powerless? No! More...


Union/Big business flim-flammery (again)

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Yesterday, The Australian carried an article reporting that the AMWU wants to ‘represent’ independent contractors. The article quoted Ken Phillips (our Executive Director) who said: More...


The double standards within Australian superannuation

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The co-writer of the brilliant Yes Minister series, Anthony Jay, passed away this month, aged 86. No doubt he would have loved to have written a script based on the current Australian superannuation ‘reform’ debate.  

First, watch this short clip about how bureaucrats control their ministers. Hilarious!  More...


Keeping an eye on the ATO

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You may remember the ATO was calling to have scrutiny of its behaviour curtailed and a Parliamentary Inquiry was conducting hearings. We put in a submission saying “no way! The ATO can’t be a law unto itself. It needs to be scrutinized, particularly for small business people.”

Fortunately, good sense has prevailed. Just before the election was called the Parliamentary Committee released its report. The Committee recommended continuing ATO scrutiny. That’s absolutely essential if small business people are to receive some chance of fair treatment from the ATO.  More...


Super battle over the retirement money of ordinary Australians

Sunday, February 21, 2016

There’s a pretty dispiriting battle going on at the moment between the big superannuation funds over who gets to control the billions of dollars of ordinary workers’ superannuation money.

The Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, is trying to bring in superannuation fund disclosure laws that were actually urged by Labor’s own 2010 review into superannuation. Here’s the Treasury discussion paper on superannuation disclosure. More...


The Heydon Report: It's not simply about the unions

Friday, January 08, 2016

According to ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips, the Turnbull government is setting itself up for policy and political failure. This is because of the way the government has responded to the report by Justice Heydon into union corruption released last week.

Justice Heydon’s report details widespread corruption in unions and businesses. Yet the Turnbull government’s almost gleeful response hammers only unions. This response reflects political stupidity. It has opened itself to a campaign which suggests  that the Coalition is anti-worker and runs a political protection racket for corrupt employers. More...


It is naive to think that Australia is not a corrupt country

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Australians tend to look down on developing countries, viewing many of them as suffering from wide-scale corruption. We think of Australia as relatively clean. We have independent authorities that root out and investigate corruption. Where corruption is found, we see it as the bad behaviour of individuals and not something that’s inbuilt into our social, legal, political, governance and business systems.

However, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has recently written a series articles for Business Spectator that put a different view. He argues that there’s plenty of evidence that, in Australia, we have corruption ingrained in key institutional arrangements. Our corruption is undertaken at a highly sophisticated level and is even given ‘legal’ cover. It sits under our noses but we choose to ignore it. More...


Disclosure: It's not only FoFA that needs fixing

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ICA has expressed concern for some time about the proposed ‘stepping back’ by the Australian government over investment advice disclosure rules. In this, we drew on the criticisms voiced by Alan Kohler, one of Australia’s most respected financial commentators. Here’s what he said in Business Spectator in February and, more recently, here and hereMore...


Superannuation, Sinodinos and Disclosure

Thursday, February 27, 2014

One of the pressing public policy issues that needs more attention is superannuation. We’ve been tracking this since 2010.  We remain concerned that the new Minister for Superannuation, Senator Sinodinos, is involved in a game of double standards.  More...


The new union-big business Establishment

Friday, February 14, 2014

There’s a new ‘Establishment’ in Australia comprised of unions and big businesses. ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips explains how this operates, how it makes management weak and damages Australia. Further, he argues that the Abbott government is turning its back on the ‘Establishment’. That’s a positive for reforming Australia into a competitive economy. More...



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