The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Monday, September 5, 2011

High-powered Jamie Briggs' speech tonight: Workplace laws are "protecting people out of jobs"

Young Liberal MP, Jamie Briggs, who was John Howard's workplace relations advisor during the former PM's term, is giving a controversial speech tonight on economic reform, which insiders are tipping will further amp-up the pressure on Tony Abbott to return the Opposition to its economic rationalist roots (in a purest, Hewsonian sense). Young Briggs, who is a genuinely good bloke that will probably end up holding high office one day (he must be a leadership candidate in 10-20 years time), kindly sent me a copy of the speech. Here are some excerpts:

"Evidence of this was Federal Labor’s promise to remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation when they came to government; In reality the ratio of removal has been for every regulation removed, 220 have been put in place! And this is prior to the new carbon tax! While strong economic conditions have allowed this regulatory creep to occur without significant economic consequence, the environment has changed"

 "On the one hand, many small businesses and home owners shake their head at the idea that already high interest rates could rise with consumer confidence at record lows, a record high Australian dollar, international economic chaos and domestic political uncertainty; On the other hand, the Reserve Bank is considering economic data that shows relatively low unemployment, inflation at the high end of the target band and a significant business investment pipeline increasing the likelihood of a rate rise."

"Quite clearly, the Labor Party’s re-regulation of the workplace is contributing enormously to making retail sector uncompetitive; The reduction in flexibly in the so-called ‘fair work act’ is an anvil around the neck of the small businesses; As former Prime Minister John Howard said just last week this is ‘blindingly obvious’; The laws are protecting people out of jobs"

"While the Labor Party will desperately claim that any discussion about these issues automatically indicates a desire of the Liberal Party to return to old policy approaches, we should not be deterred, this is a debate that must be addressed"

"The Liberal Party policy must be based on our traditional principles of allowing people to enjoy the freedom to make their own choices in their workplace; It must be a policy that is driven by a commitment to productivity improvement; It can achieve this aim by granting greater freedom for small business to operate and by removing employment disincentives for small business; Our policy should once again trust people to come to arrangements that best suit their needs; Productivity will improve, if small business entrepreneurs are confident that they can invest their capital to create employment and prosperity without government regulation stalking their every move; Small business has the most to gain from good and decent workplace policy"