Tag: spending

Albanese proposes government spending to aid recovery in budget reply speech

In his budget reply speech, Anthony Albanese has flicked the switch from “we’ll have policies before the next election” to “here, have three policies”.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


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Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP



a man wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Anthony Albanese says Labor will lift the childcare subsidy, map a plan to encourage more trains and modernise the grid, lowering energy prices and creating jobs.


© Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Anthony Albanese says Labor will lift the childcare subsidy, map a plan to encourage more trains and modernise the grid, lowering energy prices and creating jobs.

So what were the big ideas the Labor leader unveiled on Thursday night?

Rewiring the nation

Labor will invest $20bn (off budget) to establish a government-owned entity, Rewiring the Nation Corporation, to rebuild and modernise the electricity grid.

Think of it as the NBN Co of the electricity grid, a government body to make investments in infrastructure we all use that delivers an economic benefit but may not be built quickly (or at all) by the private sector.

Related: The arts sector is already suffering. This year’s budget just pours salt on the wound | Leya Reid

The corporation will make investments and partner with industry to deliver the Australian Energy Market Operator’s integrated system plan – a blueprint promising to transform the grid from one designed to deliver coal-fired electricity from centralised power plants to one that integrates a higher mix of renewables.

The system plan, released in July, identified projects such as the Marinus Link interconnector to Tasmania, the HumeLink transmission line and the Central-West Orana renewable energy zone transmission link as priorities.

It suggested that renewable energy may at times provide nearly 90% of electricity by 2035; and that 26 gigawatts of new large solar and wind farms and six and 19 gigawatts of dispatchable power will be needed to replace 15 gigawatts of coal-fired generation that is scheduled to shut.

According to Labor, fixing transmission is technology neutral but the grid will deliver “renewables as the cheapest new energy source” – lowering costs for electricity consumers.

Albanese said by “using the commonwealth’s ability to borrow at lower interest rates, it will be done at the lowest possible cost”. The corporation will have a mandate to recover its real costs, not to deliver a commercial return or profit to government.

Albanese said the policy will deliver a boost to the economy of “up to $40bn and create thousands of new jobs”.

According to AEMO, that $40bn benefit will be realised under the fastest-paced “step-change scenario” in which “consumer-led and technology-led transitions occur in the midst of aggressive global decarbonisation and strong infrastructure commitment”.

Childcare subsidy boost

Albanese said the childcare system “penalises the families it’s meant to help” because “for millions of working women, it’s simply not worth working more than three days a week”. That’s because the combination of tax and the cap on childcare subsidies can mean an extra day’s care costs more an extra day’s earnings.

Labor will:

  • Scrap the $10,560 annual childcare subsidy cap.

  • Lift the maximum childcare subsidy rate to 90%.

  • Increase childcare subsidy rates and taper them for every family earning less than $530,000.

Under Labor’s plan, families earning

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Bank of France Governor Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become more efficient as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, is accelerating “even more quickly” than before the virus crisis, the Bank of France governor said in an interview on France Inter radio on Saturday.

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When the government locked down France’s economy in the spring in an effort to contain the virus spread, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to support firms and workers “whatever the cost.”

Sticking to that promise has meant a surge in spending at the same time as the economy collapsed. According to the government’s latest projections, public debt will jump to more than 117% of economic output this year from 98% in 2019.

“As things improve, ‘whatever it costs’ should turn into when it’s worth it, if it’s worth it,” Villeroy said during today’s interview. The government has to become more selective on spending. “There’s still progress to make on this front.”

How to deliver a boost to the French economy without adding to the country’s debt burden has been a central problem for Macron since his election in May 2017. The 42-year-old president never managed to reduce France’s public borrowing before the Covid-19 crisis, leaving him at a disadvantage compared with Germany and other countries in northern Europe.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

“It’s crucial to maintain the confidence in our ability to pay back debt,” Villeroy said on France Inter Saturday. If investors were to lose such confidence, it would mean higher interest rates, he added.

Dangerous Debt

“I say very clearly, we are not there on controlling spending,” Villeroy said. “We can’t offer ourselves everything all the time.”

“There’s debt that’s justified, and this is Covid-19 debt,

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Bank of France Governor Villeroy Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become “more efficient” as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, has been accelerating too quickly, the Bank of France governor said in an interview on France Inter radio on Saturday.

When the French government locked down the country’s economy in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the spring, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to support firms and workers “whatever the cost.”

Sticking to that promise has meant a surge in spending at the same time as the economy has collapsed. According to the government’s latest projections, public debt will jump to more than 117% of economic output this year from 98% in 2019.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

“As things improve, ‘whatever it costs’ should turn to when it’s worth it,” Villeroy said during today’s interview.

Speaking earlier this week on France Inter, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government priority is employment, investment and economic recovery.

“All the debt linked to this crisis is investment. It will have to be repaid, I’ve always said that. But this reimbursement will come when we have got growth back,” Le Maire said.

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Trump signs stopgap spending bill to avert government shutdown

Washington — President Trump signed a stopgap government spending bill just after midnight Thursday that funds the government into December, averting a partial government shutdown.

The measure was passed with bipartisan support by the Senate on Wednesday and approved by the House last week. It was sent to the White House on Wednesday evening and signed by Mr. Trump after he returned to Washington, D.C., from a campaign swing through Minnesota, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

The bill, known as a continuing resolution, keeps the government funded through December 11 and delays further congressional debate on routine government spending until after the presidential election. Negotiations over a new relief bill to address the coronavirus crisis are continuing.

While funding officially lapsed at midnight and Mr. Trump signed the bill after the deadline, federal operations were unaffected.

The spending bill is the result of a bipartisan deal between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It includes an additional $8 billion for nutrition assistance programs and renews provisions of public health and transportation programs.

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Donald Trump signs spending bill to keep the government open until Dec. 11

President Trump signed a stopgap spending bill early Thursday morning to keep the government funded through early December.

The president signed the measure after returning to the White House from a campaign rally in Minnesota. The Senate had overwhelmingly approved the spending bill on an 84-10 vote earlier Wednesday.

Funding was set to lapse at midnight with the start of the new fiscal year, but agencies were not expected to be affected by the timing.

The bill delays partisan disputes over spending until after the presidential election.

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Trump Signs Stopgap Spending Bill to Keep Government Funded

WASHINGTON — President Trump signed a stopgap spending bill early Thursday to keep the government funded through early December, after the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to punt a series of thorny debates about federal funding once the general election was over.

The funding was set to lapse at midnight, with the official start of the new fiscal year, and Mr. Trump signed the measure nearly an hour afterward as he returned from a campaign rally in Minnesota, a White House spokesman said. The Senate passed the measure 84 to 10 on Wednesday, but the bill, which the House approved last week, reached his desk after he left Washington.

The delayed signature had little effect on the function of the federal government. The Office of Management and Budget had instructed federal agencies on Wednesday to continue normal operations and “to not engage in orderly shutdown activities,” a senior administration official said, given “a high level of confidence” that the president would sign the stopgap bill on Oct. 1.

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, told reporters earlier in the day that the measure should have passed long ago. “There’s overwhelming support — you need to bring certainty to the government,” he said.

In giving final approval to the measure, lawmakers completed the last of the essential legislative tasks that were keeping them in Washington before the election on Nov. 3, clearing the way for Congress to begin a recess and for members to scatter around the country to campaign for re-election.

It remained unclear, however, when lawmakers would depart, as top House Democrats and Trump administration officials made a final push for an elusive bipartisan deal on an economic recovery plan that both sides have said is desperately needed to address to continuing toll of the pandemic. Senators were also bracing for the possibility that a partisan feud over Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could bleed into next week, keeping that chamber in session.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin huddled in Ms. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office on Wednesday afternoon, toiling to hammer out a stimulus deal that could be acceptable to Mr. Trump and to Democrats. The meeting ended without a deal, and Ms. Pelosi announced that Democrats would soon vote on Democrats’ latest, $2.2 trillion proposal, which Republicans are all but certain to reject.

But the two said they had made progress in their talks and agreed to continue negotiations.

“We have more work to do, and we’re going to see where we end up,” Mr. Mnuchin said as he left the Capitol.

Ms. Pelosi, under pressure from moderates to redouble efforts to find a compromise before the elections, was determined to give Democrats one final opportunity to vote in favor of a recovery plan — this one about $1.2 trillion less costly than the stimulus plan the House passed in May. The vote, she said in a statement, would serve to “formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to

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Trump signs spending bill to keep government open until December 11

President Donald Trump early Thursday morning signed a spending bill to keep the government open until December 11, according to a tweet from White House spokesman Judd Deere.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Trump is set to announce the government will send millions of rapid-result Covid-19 tests to states, and urge that they be used in schools. Photographer: Ken Cedeno/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Ken Cedeno/Sipa/Bloomberg/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Trump is set to announce the government will send millions of rapid-result Covid-19 tests to states, and urge that they be used in schools. Photographer: Ken Cedeno/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The President signed the bill upon returning to the White House from campaign stops in Minnesota. Trump did not sign the bill before the midnight deadline to keep the government open, but no federal operations were expected to be affected by the shutdown that lasted less than an hour.

The bill breezed through the Senate on Wednesday after having been approved by the House last week and had been sent for Trump’s signature just after 6 p.m. The President had left the White House for campaign stops about three-and-a-half hours before that vote.

By funding the government only until mid-December, the legislation still sets up the possibility of a funding fight and potential shutdown after the election and just before the start of a new Congress.

Video: Smerconish: Is this what law & order looks like? (CNN)

The continuing resolution, while far short of bipartisan full-year funding bills, is the product of bipartisan negotiation and an agreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — one that had initially appeared to fall apart just a few weeks before the deadline.

The deal to avert a shutdown has so far proved to be a rare spot of bipartisan agreement at a time when partisan tensions are running especially high amid a high-stakes battle in the

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