Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?)

So the Future Fund named itself the  ”Board of Guardians”.  This Fund was the brain child of former Liberal Party Treasurer Peter Costello and was set up to stop any future Labor Government from “squandering” the once only windfall gain from the sale of Telstra.  The Future Fund was intended to cover unfunded superannuation liabilities, for which no provision had been made by a succession of previous governments.

There have been reports that the Future Fund has lost significant amounts of money on high risk investments including Greek sovereign debt.  Posted returns from the Fund have averaged 4.2 per cent until May 2006 but have steadily declined since that time and in calendar 2011 the return was down to just 1.6 per cent. In the final six months of the year it was minus 3.1 per cent.

Peter Costello has been reported as being “miffed” at missing out on being promoted to the job of Chairman.  Based on performance, the whole board including Peter Costello should be replaced.  The Future Fund is not some private company where share holders have to put up with out of control company directors “squandering” money.

What we have here is another example of failed Liberal Party financial management.

133 comments on “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?)

  1. Miglo that should read “Self annointed” world’s greatest treasurer as opposed to Swan who received his gong from international recognition.

  2. Future funds only make sense if the economy runs a current account surplus (like one of the big oil exporting countries). We have historically run deficits.

    Otherwise the money taken out of the economy (“saved”) is a drain on aggregate demand.

    The Future Fund is anything but a future fund. It is a Going Backwards fund.

    The money should’ve been spent on badly needed infrastructure, and education. Things that really do future-proof an economy.

    The truth is, the Howard government found itself “overweight” in dud Telstra shares and short of just shredding them, invented the Future Fund as a way of burying their problem.

    Us mugs, who don’t know the difference between a household budget and the government’s, all clapped and cheered. Somewhere, a small boy…

    The F/F doesn’t have many Telstra shares left these days, having dribbled them into the market as the price has slowly recovered. But the Fund doesn’t seem to have been able to identify any worthwhile investments. It would’ve been better under David Murray’s bed.

    The other “truth” is that a government that is sovereign in its own currency doesn’t have to put money away into a fund to pay its public servant’s so-called “unfunded” pensions. It’s a nonsense to tell it otherwise (Miglo will be relieved to hear).

  3. MJ

    Isn’t murray married to ros kelly. i wonder if they wrote their investment strategy on a whiteboard.
    or just kept the running declining tally of telstra shares.

    what was the real initial worth of the fund, were shares valued at $6.15 when deposited in the ff?

  4. lunalava

    i have an interesting theme to be investigated. what are the future fund investment returns prior to the costello appointment and during his tenure?

  5. Costello was the world’s greatest ego. I was being sarcastic.

    He wasn’t even a treasurer’s asshole. So he had money in the bank. Big deal. He didn’t have any food in the kitchen.

    I think that’s what Mangrove was trying to say. 😉

  6. MJ my limited understanding of the “unfunded” part came about when the Government changed it’s account method from “Cash” to “Accrual” Accounting.
    Nick-named a cruel accounting by the Public Service at the time. I recall this was supposed to quantify government expenditure and link it to performance and “outcomes”. Under “Cash” accounting, it was about service delivery.

  7. From today’s Australian (I don’t have a link a sit’s from a paper copy):

    TONY Abbott has savaged industry super funds worth $250 billion for creating a “gravy train” for union officials who sit on their boards, as the Coalition prepares to shake up the way millions of workers put aside cash for their retirement.

    The Opposition Leader took aim yesterday at the “venality” of the links between unions and super funds in his strongest sign that he wants to overhaul the sector and turn super into a major election issue.

    The attack drew a furious response from the government last night in a growing policy fight over whether the private sector or non-profit union funds should manage a cash hoard that is expected to swell to $3 trillion over the coming decade.

    Behind the attack is the Coalition’s fear that industry super funds are turning into cash cows for officials and helping to fund a union movement that will campaign strongly against Mr Abbott at the next election.

  8. Migs,

    And the Private Sector Super Funds won’t see a business case in funding a campaign strongly against the Government at the next election?

    Union based super funds have some very clever advertising (which is basically true – there generally is less fees in “Industry Based” super funds) backed by better returns to their customers. Abbott’s biggest problem with them is that the big end of town misses out on the commissions and the influence that $3trillion will bring.

  9. I have experience in both private and “industry” super funds.
    The Private investment fund managed to lose money from a “fixed interest” investment and charged me $7000 for doing so. I just can not afford this type of “quality” private investment advice.

    Go ahead Liberal voters put your money with these charlatans.

  10. And Remember Howard’s Big attack on the Industry Super Funds…….CHOICE,…..

    that sure worked a treat workers. rushed out of the private super funds where companies got kick backs for investing the workers money in the private funds.

    Never forget Super is part of Salary/Wages and as such belongs to the individual.

    Go On Abbott just Dare to Take that right away from Workers.

    forget work choices campaigns that will seem a side issue compared to an attack on industry super funds.

  11. ahhh you little communists from the Cafe …..you guys live in a tea cup.
    Get out into the real world of competition, wealth generation, innovation. It would be refreshing for you all.
    Lunalava. You must be just plain dumb.

  12. Here is my definition of dumb:

    – the “wealth generators” who swear blind that the share market will NEVER fall;

    – promoting the idea that borrowing money to invest in the share market is nothing like borrowing money to fund lifestyle (Storm Financial et al);

    – “expert wealth generators” promoting the idea that super MUST be invested in High Growth or you won’t have enough to fund your retirement.

    – selling assets and buying shares when the ASX was 6000 plus, just to get a minor tax concession (thanks again to Peter Costello for this one)

    Here is my definition of “smart”;

    – moving all your equity investments into cash when the ASX hit 6500

    – not listening to dickheads who think it clever to call someone a communist.

  13. MJ, agree completely. I have said similar thing, earlier today.

    You are wrong in one thing I believe. Too many compare the nations budget with their own.

    What I do not understand, why they then go onto to denounce debt.

    There would be few households that do not carry some debt.

  14. “Behind the attack is the Coalition’s fear that industry super funds are turning into cash cows for officials and helping to fund a union movement that will campaign strongly against Mr Abbott at the next election.’

    Same fear that they had back in the days when Keating first bought in super.

    It would be a shame if the worker had access to money and power.

    The truth is that the sky in did not fall in then, and will not now.,

    Please explain to me why it is OK for the boss to have control of workers super, and not the union, which represents workers.

    I will stick to union funds any day.

  15. Must be Geoff’s lunch hour again. I do hope he has private super.

    I remember when I worked for the NSW government and many took the money with super. Those who left their money in and continue on the pension scheme were quickly better off.

    I believe the truth is in the eating. If I want a union scheme, that should be my choice. It only evens things up.

    This is an outdated debate.

    Why are all Mr. Abbott’s concerns based in arguments that occurred twenty or thirty years ago.

    Is he going to dismantle all that Labour has achieved in the last four decades.

  16. Funny, the communist seem to be making a better go of it today than the capitalist. At least their economies are not in danger of collapsed.

    Where would we be without communist China.

  17. Maybe it is the no experience that make them smart. Does no one see anything wrong with the Coalition, both in the states and federally wanting to destroy the only power base they have, that is the unions.

    I am sure there will be plenty of big business men willing to back his election campaign. I do not see many lining up to support the workers.

    M

    r Abbott told his Coalition colleagues yesterday that there were problems with the way union officials were appointed to boards and collected fees for their work even when they had no background in managing huge amounts of money. “Too often, industry super funds are gravy trains for union officials with no corporate governance experience,” he said, according to a Coalition spokesman.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/abbott-blasts-gravy-train-of-industry-super-funds/story-fn59nsif-1226298637261

  18. Soo, what do we have here.

    Mr Gonski, 58, will run the Australian Future Fund as well as the country’s Nation-building funds that invest in infrastructure, overseeing almost $90 billion, Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a statement today.

    Mr Gonksi, who replaces David Murray, will step down as head of Australia’s main stock index by June 30.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/gonski-appointed-as-future-fund-head-20120314-1uz53.html#ixzz1p4oWON13

    Gonski is of course also this fella whose recent report cause a brief flurry and accusations from the opposition of being the politics of envy.

    To my mind a good summary is:

    The challenge for the Gonski Review is to use funding as a tool to promote equity. Rather than shifting inadequate funding from one school system to another, let’s identify that which we see as outstanding educational outcomes for our young people. Then pay to make those outcomes a reality for all.

    http://theconversation.edu.au/gonski-review-full-coverage-5437

    Followed by sour grapes from Costello..but that’s unsurprising as one thing that Peter Costello has always excelled at, and this has been sour grapes.

    Appointing David Gonski to lead the Future Fund at the expense of Peter Costello would be “petty politics” – but opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey would still welcome the businessman.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Bypassing-Costello-would-be-petty-Hockey-S7UQ9?OpenDocument&src=rab

  19. CU at 12.15pm

    Just catching up on my reading…your comment about sovereign wealth funds in your productivity post at 10.44am today was spot on.

    If I’d read that first I wouldn’t have bothered posting my comment (and being late to start work)

    You are wrong in one thing I believe. Too many compare the nations budget with their own.

    Actually, I think we’re in furious agreement here CU.

    If I haven’t misunderstood you, that’s precisely my point.

    You’ve said it yourself: a national budget is not the same as a household or business budget.

    I know you read Bill Mitchell, so we both know the difference between currency users (households) and currency issuers (sovereign governments)

    Perhaps you were pointing out the inconsistency in how people (households) happily saddle themselves with a mortgage that is 5 or 6 times their annual income but freak out when they’re told that the country has a “debt” that is maybe 10% of GDP (“debt” in pejorative quotes because it’s a debt to ourselves).

    I enjoyed Geoff’s inane intrusion, reaffirming that pithy observation of John Stuart Mill’s that conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative.

    I think Geoff’s schoolyard name-calling is borne out of frustration. I’m reluctant to put the boot in, but I think Geoff realises he can’t mix it here in the ebb and flow of ideas, and it troubles him.

  20. Thanks MJ.

    Another thing that annoys me, is people of my age and circumstances and the hate they hold for the PM and maybe Labor.

    They do not realise how much worse off they would be if Mr. Howard was still in power.

    I am looking forwarded to my increase next week.

    Maybe the ones I am thinking of, whom I overheard on the bus, will thank Mr. Abbott. One never knows.

  21. MJ @ 8.45am, I always thought the future fund was a crock, but didn’t know enough to articulate why that was so. Thanks for this comment; you’ve confirmed my gut feeling was on the money and told me why.

    Is he going to dismantle all that Labour has achieved in the last four decades.

    If he possibly can, CU.

    They do not realise how much worse off they would be if Mr. Howard was still in power.

    I think they do, CU, but are too dishonest and ungrateful to admit it.

  22. Oh dear, Costello really is having a hissy fit.

    anyway, stephen conroy had the best reply about gonskiv costello and the chair of the ff.
    “if i had a choice between who woukd be managing my superannuation money i would chose gonski.’

    well stephen you do and you did.

  23. “Newly-appointed Future Fund chairman David Gonski has revealed that the Future Fund board wanted former Treasurer Peter Costello to be named chairman of the $73 billion fund, but the government ignored the board’s wishes in the hopes an outsider would avoid deepening rifts amongst board members, according to media reports. ”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Gonski-had-touted-Costello-for-Future-Fund-chair-pd20120314-SDMFC?opendocument&src=rss

    Now read this, but note the comment is from march 2011, when murray was reappointed for a 1 year term

    “It seems that the politics around the Future Fund have less to do with Canberra and more to do with the ambitions of those on the board.
    Canberra needs to lay this to rest. The sooner the better.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/canberra-must-settle-future-fund-stoush-20110317-1bz3j.html#ixzz1p7rJscFq

  24. That article from march 2011 is quite a good read

    “The Future Fund’s position on Telstra has certainly been controversial. Rather than a rapid sell down, it forced a complete change of governance within Telstra.
    Murray and his board took the bold step of forcing a new guard to be appointed at Telstra, one that could overcome the legacy issues of the previous regime.
    This step enabled the company to reach a mutually acceptable deal on the creation of a new wholesale broadband network.”

    and this

    “As a major shareholder, the Future Fund has continued to exercise its right to influence the revamped Telstra board. It voted against the most recent remuneration package and against the appointment of a board member at the annual general meeting last year.

    Right or wrong, it has been a breath of fresh air in shareholder democracy. Murray has been a public supporter of institutional shareholders exercising their rights to influence”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/canberra-must-settle-future-fund-stoush-20110317-1bz3j.html#ixzz1p7ta0lY8

  25. Catching up
    “Must be Geoff’s lunch hour again. I do hope he has private super.”
    Correct Catching Up. But primarily Cash, Realestate and Trusts are my investments of choice….. and my favourite but least productive investment is my Beneteau 50.

  26. So geoff is not short of a quid “my Beneteau 50”
    (not knowing what a B50 was but a google search did show)

    thanks geoff

  27. Not so Rolls Royce. She is ex charter. Sailed her from Europe to Oz solo. Sort of a mid life crisis thing.

  28. and geoff is opening up
    goes to europe to purchase ex charter b50, sails solo home to oz, mid life crisis thing

    what, not the usual sports car purchase? but then the usual would be a bit cheap

  29. Thanks for that link Sue.

    This caught my eye:

    This is a sovereign fund managing $71 billion of federal public servants’ money and whose investment skills will determine whether there is a shortfall in their super entitlements when they retire.

    The writer seems to be suggesting that the Future Fund is made up of public servant’s contributions.

    I was under the impression that Fed super was an unfunded defined benefits
    scheme. Maybe Miglo could clear this up.

    I recall that NSW teachers would offered an opt-out of their defined benefits scheme so they could also join the rush for market-based “growth” products and wallow in the largesse, ha ha. I haven’t heard similar for the Feds.

  30. More on Stephen Conroy summing up Costello and the FF chair.

    Just like in the days with howard, Costello will leak a few things to the press, howard would say, not now peter and costello would go back to just doing the job.

  31. Geoff,

    The fact that you bother to come here and apropos of nothing skite about your stuff tells us a lot about you.

    Two can play that game.

  32. MJ

    and this from geoff, tells even more
    “and my favourite but least productive investment is my Beneteau 50.”

    sounds like trip to europe, sail back, current moorings and running costs are all part of the continuing investment for business as opposed to an outright private purchase.

    or tax deductible rather than after tax buy.

    thanks geoff, as MJ says “your stuff tells us a lot about you’

  33. It seems to be a very odd situation. Gonski has been appointed end of story. If Costello had wanted the job, then he should have been lobbying before rather than having a whinge when the job didn’t come his way.

    Here is Gonksi’s attitude..my vote would have been with him as well.

    “As a person who is looking to give back to Australia, I see it as something I can do for Australia,” he said. “I can’t play football and I can’t act or sing, so maybe I can use the experiences I’ve had.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/i-told-labor-future-fund-board-wants-peter-costello-but-they-chose-me-david-gonski/story-fn59niix-1226299820763

  34. Any coincidence?

    Investment banking titan Goldman Sachs has become a “toxic and destructive” firm focused on milking clients for everything it can, a resigning executive has claimed in the New York Times.

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/world-business/departing-goldman-banker-slams-ripoff-culture-20120315-1v42s.html#ixzz1p8TW81x6

    He (Costello) is also a managing partner of BKK Partners, a boutique corporate advisory run by former Goldman Sachs JBWere managers..

    *from Wiki.

  35. Geoff, be aware, I know some who believed they knew better. They ended up with nothing within two years.

  36. Tony wedged, that could not be true. Could it?

    Tony Abbott is awkwardly wedged over the company tax cut, caught between his natural constituency and his desperate need to convince voters he is responsible with money.
    The pressure from politics and business is to back the company tax cut, which is one of the benefits coming from the mining tax revenue. But Abbott is committed to repealing the mining tax. The government is taking skin off the opposition for saying it will vote against the company tax cut but if Abbott had supported it, Labor would be crying: ”How would you pay for it, with no mining tax?”
    Much of Abbott’s current attention is on trying to improve his economic credentials: he has pledged to become more parsimonious with promises and plans an audit commission

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbott-feels-pain-of-responsibility-20120314-1v3lu.html#ixzz1p9ES1tHB

  37. So todays MSSO in QT

    Why didn’t Costello get the chair of the FF?

    Proved to me that Peter Costello didn’t have the TICKER to lead the coalition during howard’s time, he still doesn’t have the TICKER to get a promotion in the FF.

    Today the parliament of Australia had to be stopped because Peter Costello thought because some guardians of the FF thought he could be the chair (yes lets keep the job in house) he would automaticalyy be promoted. When this didn’t happen a story was given to the OO that the guardians wanted him.
    Before the OO could run the story Hockey and Robb supported the appointment of Gonski to the chair of the FF.

    So what happens, a few phone calls and the Abbott mugs who are getting bad press over not supporting business, say OK to Pete and cut QT short to have on record a whinge of disappointment of Costello.

    As Roxon said the only job that is important to the opposition is a job for a Liberal.

    Communities still in flood, but what can stop the parliament, A Sook of a Liberal .

    A sook with no TICKER. Well if you don’t like the job resign and get another, oh that’s right he tried that and failed.

  38. It appears that a lot oif work went into choosing Mr. Gonski.

    In addition to reporting the board’s preference for an internal appointment, Mr Gonski reported that, somewhat reluctantly, the board had proffered the names of some external candidates. This list included Reserve Bank board member Jillian Broadbent, Stephen Harker, former AMP chief executive Andrew Mohl, National Australia Bank chairman Michael Chaney, and Mr Gonski.

    In late January and early February, Senator Wong and Treasurer Wayne Swan sat down to consider the question of who to appoint, armed with the reports from the executive search firm, the Department of Finance, and Mr Gonski, and discussed the possibility of appointing an external candidate. The two ministers’ minds turned to Mr Gonski.

    “His name was one of the ones that had been identified by board members and I asked him if he would be interested,” Senator Wong said.

    Asked whether Mr Gonski’s name had come up earlier as a possible candidate, she said: “To be frank with you, at the time we asked him to do [the consultation with the board], I would never have thought he would step down from the ASX. That’s a more senior position. The chair of the stock exchange is a serious appointment.”

    http://afr.com/p/national/future_fund_wanted_costello_Jq28JYqlpVOodSC8wumjZJ

  39. CU

    what i find intriguing from you link

    “Cabinet ignored the Future Fund board’s advice that former treasurer Peter Costello should be its next chairman because it believed long and bitter board divisions could only be resolved by an “untouchable” heavyweight business outsider such as David Gonski.”

    Long and bitter board divisions? has this been reported by the msm?

    ““We thought it was in the best interests of the fund to appoint an external candidate with the capacity to provide the leadership and gravitas that the institution demands.”

    Behind her diplomatic language lies a clear assessment that the campaigning going on in the media led to one conclusion: there was no one currently on the board who would be able to bring it together. Beyond questions of personality clashes, it was not in the national interest for the sovereign investment fund to be so conspicuously dysfunctional.”

    A dysfunctional board? who? why?

    “The in-fighting within the board has been on show for a number of years. There was undermining of outgoing chairman David Murray and advocacy of three or four board members by their supporters on why they should replace Mr Murray, who was originally due to finish up with the fund 12 months ago.”

    Undermining of the chairman David Murray? Now from one of my posts yesterday, i read that Murray was responsible for getting the Telstra board changed, which in turn led to the new Telstra board working towards structural change. This all has been going on with the NBN negotiations. Now I ask who would benefit by Telstra not co-operating?

    so there is alot about the Laura Tingle article then just costello wanting a job.

    a lot of dots to line up i think CU

  40. Sue, I heard tonight on ABC24 that one needs to remember that Mr. Costello would have appointer many that are now allegedly supporting him.

    Regardless of that, it is the government responsible for appointing the chairman. his they have done.

    As the PM said, he was appointed to the board for the skills he has. It does not follow that he has the necessary skills or ability to chair.

    Mr. Rudd made a wonderful FM. He had great skills as an Opposition leader and campaigning. He lacks the necessary skills to be a great PM. This does not distract from the good he did.

    Mr. Costello in my opinion did not earn the job. If he is so great, why was he not snapped up by business when he retired.

    Mr. Gonski’s present post I believe much higher than this one.

    It is said that the government did not believe he would take the post for that reason.

    Why did Mr. Robb and Mr. Hockey say yesterday, they support the appointment. Today they come out violently against it. What changed overnight.

    Because of the nature of the board and the part that Mr. Costello has played in creating it, it was prudent to send an outsider in to assess what they really thought. It appears that they all supported Mr. Costello. Mr. Gonski said it was not his job to make recommendations. He said if he was asked to suggest anyone, especially an outsider, he would not have taken the task on.

    I have not heard Mr. Gonski say he recommended Mr. Costello. I have seen it reported that he did not.

    Once again much ado about nothing.

    Mr. Abbott desperately needs diversions at this time. His actions of the last couple of days is fascinating, in that this is the worse he can get on the PM.

    He stood at an interview today, lying through his teeth. Not once was he challenged.

  41. Sue, and while this rubbish is going on, the bills are still going through at a rapid rate.

    Some that warrant debate from the Opposition.

  42. GREENS GRILL FUTURE FUND ON TOBACCO AND NUCLEAR WEAPON

    http://greens.org.au/content/greens-grill-future-fund-tobacco-and-nuclear-weapon-investments

    19th October 2011 7:23 am

    Greens’ spokesperson for health, Senator Richard Di Natale, grilled the Future Fund today during Senate Estimates hearings on its tobacco and nuclear weapons investments.

    “The Future Fund today confirmed to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee that they had $147 million invested in the tobacco industry and $179 million invested in nuclear weapons stocks,” said Senator Di Natale.

    and

    “If tobacco and nukes can still make the grade, the bar on ethical investment is obviously set way too low,” said Senator Di Natale afterwards. “By investing in tobacco the fund is undermining the government’s own plain packaging reforms.”

    Way to go Smirky!

  43. according to the oo nick minchin does not support costello.according to minchin, costello should be disqualified because of his political connections.

    gee whiz, some things don’t change, nick still hates costello.

  44. Lateline transcript

    Costello slams Gonski’s Future Fund appointment
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3454639.htm

    Former federal treasurer Peter Costello has attacked the appointment of businessman David Gonski as chairman of the Future Fund.

    EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Former Treasurer Peter Costello’s injected himself into the political brawl over the chairmanship of the Government’s $73 billion Future Fund. He’s attacked businessman David Gonski for accepting the job and accused the Government of politicising the running of the fund.

    Meanwhile the Government’s accusing the Coalition of cronyism after Tony Abbott backed Clive Palmer’s High Court challenge to the carbon tax.

    Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Canberra.

    TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Peter Costello wants to be chairman of the Future Fund and he’s not taking no for an answer.

    PETER COSTELLO, FORMER TREASURER: The Future Fund was something that I conceived, I legislated it and I put every dollar of capital into it – every dollar.

    Poor ol’ Pete needs a therapist….it’s not his money.!

  45. Golly gosh won’t the next meeting of the GUARDIANS be fun. i wonder if they have special seating around the table.

  46. Sue@March 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Ros Kelly is married to Dr David Morgan, formerly CEO of Westpac and before that a senior Treasury officer. Kelly’s first marriage was to journalist Paul Kelly.

    Mr David Martin was the inaugural Chair of the Future Fund and previously had been CEO of the Commonwealth Bank.

    So, you got the David bit right!

  47. Casablanca, do you mean Paul Kelly, Editor at Large from The Australian, who, along with Dennis Shanahan wrote this article, and seems to have forgotten all about it since?

    Julia Gillard’s carbon price promise
    by: Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan From: The Australian August 20, 2010

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillards-carbon-price-promise/story-fn59niix-1225907522983

    JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term.
    It will be part of a bold series of reforms that include school funding, education and health.

    In an election-eve interview with The Australian, the Prime Minister revealed she would view victory tomorrow as a mandate for a carbon price, provided the community was ready for this step.

    “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”

    This is the strongest message Ms Gillard has sent about action on carbon pricing.

    While any carbon price would not be triggered until after the 2013 election, Ms Gillard would have two potential legislative partners next term – the Coalition or the Greens. She would legislate the carbon price next term if sufficient consensus existed.

  48. The story has now changed, It has gone from all the board supporting Mr. Costello, to a majority.

    That is a little different.

    It is time for Senator Wong to do an Albanese and released the report. (in the Qantas dispute)

  49. Costello came across as the lightweight he is.

    It was a little queer seeing Mr. Howard supporting a man, he liked so much, he never invited to dinner over twelve years.

  50. Stephen Kirchner on ABC radio 1 (Center of Independent Studies) has just blown the whole issue out of the water:
    In an article co-authored over a month ago he made the following points:

    1. real rate of return over the period is 2% not 4.2% as put about;
    2. a better return would have been achieved if left with RBA (most governments do this);
    3. Hall of Justice Board of Guardians is not “well respected” due to issues such as lack of transparency;
    4. In world rankings, it wallows in 14 th place (even New Zealand is streets ahead);
    5. Money for superannuation funds should have been given to the current super fund managers, thus reducing managerial costs.
    6. Board prefers to play the hedge fund market over infrastructure investment.
    7.Leaks have been coming from within the Board and not Government as Costello claims.

    Costello is behaving like an out of control currency speculator with a gambling addiction. He believes the fund is his money.

    Time to resign the board Peter and try your luck in a competitive job market (if you dare).

  51. Another article on why Costello is a about as useful as a chocolate teapot:

    There is a list as long as your arm to show why any sensible person would never consider Peter Costello as a candidate to head up the Future Fund.

    One important item on that list is his judgment.

    The head of the Future Fund takes responsibility for investment decisions and the asset allocation of the $73 billion portfolio.

    Based on Mr Costello’s recent comments, he would no doubt convert his words to actions and sell a large proportion of the fund’s current holdings of Australian assets.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3891938.html

  52. I think Howard still content to rate Costello as not quite good enough to lead, as his praise or recommendation for costello as ff chair was faint.

    first read gillard’s statement, then howard’s

    “”Peter Costello was appointed by this government to the Future Fund but he was not the best person for the job … David Gonski was,” she told Parliamen

    The former prime minister John Howard said Mr Costello was the best treasurer Australia ever had and was ”eminently qualified” to be chairman.

    ”Clearly his political background would have worked against him, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. ”But if you are choosing people on merit he was obviously qualified.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/future-fund-job-search-a-shemozzle-says-snubbed-costello-20120315-1v8aj.html#ixzz1pDkwD11W

    As you can see Howard DOES NOT say Costello is the “best person” only that he was “obviously qualified” for the job

  53. Leaks have been coming from within the Board and not Government as Costello claims.

    Some allege that Mr. Rudd are to blame for the alleged leaks.

    The leak alleges Mr. Gonski recommended Mr. Costello. Mr. Gonski denied this, saying he was asked to assess the views of the board, not make an recommendation.

    This fits in with what senator Wong statement that views were sought from different places.

    I do not believe Mr. Costello when he said he was unaware of being recommended by the board. It is more likely he push pressure on the board members approached.

    It is time for us to be told how many on the board supported Mr. Costello.

    There does not appear to be anything wrong with the process.

    The PM is once again being blamed for the media and Opposition stirring up opposable to her actions. This is not fair. The PM is not responsible for the actions of others.

    The only thing that matters is that the man appointed is the best for the job. It appears he has made sacrifices to take on the role.

  54. Senator Cash must have been too close to Mr. Albanese. She hardly has a voice, bit it is making her more shrill than normal.

    Still sounds as nasty as usual. (Senate Mining Bills)

    Why does she keeps on yelling. One can hear her if she talks normally. There are microphones.

  55. How is asking the board for their opinion getting confidence of the same board.

    It would be a unusual board that said they want an outsider bought in.

    It would be more likely they would push for one of their own.

    What is amazing is that the government felt they could not approach and ask the board themselves. Maybe this is because of the antics of the board itself.

    What would be more amazing that all would nominate Mr. Costello.

    “Having got the confidence of the board don’t you think he should have ruled himself out as a candidate?” Mr Costello said

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/howard-liberals-join-to-back-costello-for-future-fund-job/story-e6frfm1i-1226300852483#ixzz1pEGt91ox

  56. But Prime Minister Julia Gillard maintains Mr Gonski is the best person for the job.
    She pointed out Coalition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey and Finance spokesman Andrew Robb had issued statements welcoming Mr Gonski’s appointment earlier this week.
    “If the Liberal party wants to repudiate the press releases that the Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Finance Minister issued and go on a ‘Jobs for Liberals’ campaign, then so be it,” she told Parliament during question time.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/howard-liberals-join-to-back-costello-for-future-fund-job/story-e6frfm1i-1226300852483#ixzz1pEIJ34Te

    Can Mr. Robb and Mr. Hockey explain why in less than twelve hours changed their minds. I think I heard that Mr. Minchin did not agree that Mr. Coastello was the best man for the job.

  57. Here is what Minchin had to say..

    The fund must be and be seen to be independent, professional, completely above politics and entirely apolitical. Appointing a former politician — even one of the stature of Costello — as chairman, would therefore be most unwise, something Costello himself would understand better than anyone.

    While the government stumbled and bumbled its way to a final decision, David Gonski is a good choice.

    Nick Minchin, Tusmore, SA

    Stumbled and bumbled? They appointed Gonski..end of story..it has been Costello doing all the whining.

  58. When a government seeks advice, surely that is all it is. In this case the government prudently sought advice from more that one source.

    How is that a bad thing.

    The process has surprised those close to the fund because the government hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, as well as seeking Mr Gonski’s help, without claiming to receive a recommendation from either.

    The Australian can reveal Commonwealth Bank board member Andrew Mohl was approached earlier last year, before Mr Gonski was called in, about being chairman but decided not to pursue it. The political row in parliament yesterday centred on Senator Wong’s argument that Mr Gonski’s advice, which proposed Mr Costello as the board’s strong choice as chairman, did not constitute a recommendation. She asked Mr Gonski to talk to fund board members late last year to seek their views on who should be chairman, leading him to tell the government in November the board strongly endorsed Mr Costello for the position. The government shunned the advice, delaying a decision for several months before appointing Mr Gonski just before chairman David Murray is to due to leave on April 3.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/peter-costello-slams-future-fund-debacle-as-penny-wong-refuses-to-release-leaked-david-gonski-advice/story-fn59nsif-1226300983934

  59. The ABC has said that Mr. Swan has hit back at Mr. Costello. What it did not say, how Mr. Swan hit back. They did not say what Mr. Swan said. Am I missing something. I record, and went back to ensure I miss what Mr. Swan said. NO, it was not reported.

  60. Stumbled and bumbled?

    Apparently due consideration is now ‘stumbled and bumbled’ Min.

    Well, it appears that way, when the opposition constantly say that, and the media regurgitate it without a thought for the accuracy.

  61. Once again Tip shows why he shouldn’t get the top job. Whining, stamping his feet and running to mummy when he doesn’t get his own way all point to his unfitness for the job.

    I saw a bit of QT late last night when the PM was laying into the Liars Party, pointing out their hypocrisy wrt their opposition to tax cuts for small business.

  62. Plus even Minchin has stated that Costello due to his political affiliations would be unsuitable..let’s hear that one from Minchin again:

    Appointing a former politician — even one of the stature of Costello — as chairman, would therefore be most unwise, something Costello himself would understand better than anyone.

  63. lol

  64. Min, Mr. Costello’s problem is that no one has asked him.

    There is also the buzz word of fumbled.

    MRRT is not a con.

    It is a mechanism to move some of the mining windfall across the economy to lessen the damage been done by super mining profits.

    It is not raising a new tax to lower am old one.

    It is to help industry to survive the high dollar caused by the mining boom.

    Please let’s have a little truth.

    It is important for the Nation’s well-being that this happens.

  65. The government has done what it is entitled to do, appoint a chairman to the FF board.

    Mr. Costello, in spite of what he believes is not entitled to this position.

    I believe it was a mistake to appoint him to the board in the first place. He has little to offer.

  66. lunalava @ 7.08am,

    Time to resign the board Peter and try your luck in a competitive job market (if you dare).

    Now you’re just being silly luna 😆

  67. Interesting read.

    Future Funds or Future Eaters?
    The Case Against a Sovereign
    Wealth Fund for Australia

    and

    It is not difficult
    to imagine the
    Future Fund’s
    legislation
    being changed
    in the future to
    become a vehicle
    for directed
    investment,
    including the
    nationalisation of
    failed Australian
    businesses

    Click to access pm-126.pdf

  68. Tom R @10.52am, yes indeedy. If he’s so crash hot, how come the Liars Party’s great mates Gina, Clive and Twiggy haven’t given him a cushy job?

    Say it isn’t so, Rinty! He’s, he’s *sob* just not f*cken good enough!!!!

    Please let’s have a little truth.

    CU, we’re dealing with the Liars Party and their barrackers in the msm, here. There’s precious little truth in that lot.

    And as you say @11.38am, the government is entitled to appoint whoever they damn well please to the position, provided the appointee meets the requirements of the position!

    They’ve obviously found the right appointee, so suck it up Liars!

  69. Mr. Costello said he was appointed to the board to make sure it works. Maybe one of those so called journalist out there can ask why Mr. Rudd appointed him.

    Mr. Costello, no one has added to the fund, because unlike you, they believe the money is better placed building infrastructure for the future.

    The treasure since has been too occupied rebuilding the amenities that you allowed to run down.

    The Treasure also had to deal with a GFC which the world is still feeling the effects of today.

    Many feel that building up education, health and other essential public facilities takes preference over an unnecessary sovereign fund.

    Mr. Costello, it is simply a matter of priorities.

  70. When are they going to call an end to the MRRT debate. All is occurring is one after another speaker, saying the same thing over and over.

  71. These returns are poor compensation for the opportunity cost of not using these
    funds for other purposes. For example, the accumulated funds could have been used
    for well-chosen, productivity-enhancing infrastructure projects. While some of the
    Future Fund’s assets are invested domestically in tangible rather than financial assets,
    this is less than one-third of the fund’s overall strategic asset allocation (see below).
    The funds could also be used to partially or fully finance the abolition of inefficient
    taxes, particularly those that raise relatively little revenue. This would yield
    economy-wide dynamic benefits, increasing the growth rate and size of the
    economy, expanding the future tax base, and providing greater resources for future
    governments to meet future obligations such as those arising from an ageing
    population. While tax smoothing has much the same objective, abolishing or reducing
    inefficient taxes today does not suffer from the dynamic inconsistency problem
    that could lead to higher current and future taxes.

    http://www.cis.org.au/images/stories/policy-monographs/pm-126.pdf

  72. its famous top of the page crusades – the NBN, climate change anyone – and put the cruelly hard done by Peter Costello front and centre posing alongside a flock of books, as a way of avoiding any mention of a smirking Cheshire cat deprived of its milk?
    No need to mention the bleeding obvious in this sort of crusading context.
    So long as Costello week in, week out, scribbles ideological insults for the Fairfax press, he was unlikely to get the gig. Indeed, it took a minor miracle of benevolent stupidity to get him on the board in the first place.
    Does smirking all the time render you politically dumb? Always second, eh smirker? Of course the obvious question was why Costello didn’t at once resign from the board as a matter of outraged principle. The equally obvious answer was to note how he accepted years of abuse by John Howard. Of course he was going to hang tough on his board appointment …

    http://www.blogotariat.com/node/295207

  73. The real sebate should be whether the fund should be dumped.

    Meanwhile, the CIS has issued a report calling for the Future Fund to be axed and its assets transferred to existing public sector superannuation to end the duplication of fat cat jobs for the superannuated. (and you can find a link to that report here).
    Oh no, not Petey boy’s dream of a cushy seat at the big end of town … oh how cruel you are CIS types …
    The pond enjoyed the spin provided by Tony Wright in No future in getting behind affront on Costello’s ambition, and John Howard shedding crocodile tears at the fate of his former deputy:

    http://www.blogotariat.com/node/295207

  74. Good grief..give it a break! According to the Liberals, the reputation of the Futures Fund has been damaged..why?

    This is getting to stage of ridiculous, where even the most straightforward thing is twisted around..and for days..by the media in order to drain the last bit of political mileage out of the issue, on behalf of their masters…

  75. According David Speers, nobody is complaining about the appointment of Gomski..so what exactly are they complaining about.

  76. CU
    saw an interview with Swan, he said

    Costello’s always had tickets on himself

    Bob Brown saw Costello on 7.30

    Was amazed at the hubris of Costello

    Press conference with Brown was good, if you get to see it. Green’s pointed out the FF has invested $150mil of tax payers money in british tobacco. here is the govt leading the way agst big tobacco and the ff invests in it. Also emphasied many australians die from tobacco related illness’. FF also invests in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons. greens hope new chair to ff will change direction.

  77. Min at 12.51 actually the message being peddled by the Liberal spin team (successfully according to the polls) is that the Gillard government can’t organize anything.

    The media (including the ABC) laps it up. The fact that this narrative is a complete nonsense doesn’t matter.

    The same message will keep reappearing until the next election. Labor just does not seem concerned (or perhaps even aware) of the approach. They don’t seem to be taking any action to set the record straight.

    They could at least take on the ABC for this bias, commercial stations have their own agenda.

  78. Lunalava, and in the meanwhile the ridiculousness of Tony Abbott’s statements about turning the boats around gets swept neatly under the carpet.

    Even David Speers had to choke a little on his words describing it as how Abbott had to stick with this policy, but that Abbott might have “problems”. You couldn’t be more understated…

  79. As posted last night

    GREENS GRILL FUTURE FUND ON TOBACCO AND NUCLEAR WEAPON

    http://greens.org.au/content/greens-grill-future-fund-tobacco-and-nuclear-weapon-investments

    19th October 2011 7:23 am

    Greens’ spokesperson for health, Senator Richard Di Natale, grilled the Future Fund today during Senate Estimates hearings on its tobacco and nuclear weapons investments.

    “The Future Fund today confirmed to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee that they had $147 million invested in the tobacco industry and $179 million invested in nuclear weapons stocks,” said Senator Di Natale.

    and

    “If tobacco and nukes can still make the grade, the bar on ethical investment is obviously set way too low,” said Senator Di Natale afterwards. “By investing in tobacco the fund is undermining the government’s own plain packaging reforms.”

    Way to go Smirky!

  80. So far we’ve had a dozen politicians commenting on the David Gomski appointment, what a waste of breath, as if the government is going to change its mind just because Costello wants it to. However, that;s the Liberals standard and Abbott has been advised that his constant negativity is working against him. I can’t see any changes there either.

  81. Sue, good one..Andrew Elder touches on a number of issues, and his closing comment is of interest. Why only now should the opposition come under any scrutiny – if the government is going to be criticised, then we the public need to know what this criticism is based upon, and especially how the opposition would do it better.

    There is a case to be made that the Government, not the Opposition, deserve the scrutiny here – but if you’re reading this then it’s highly unlikely this article is the only news media you’ll consume. The Government is so unpopular that it’s only fair that we seek out and evaluate the alternative.

  82. Time for Peter Costello and his cronies to s-h-u-t u-p.

    Murray wades into Future Fund fight over Costello
    Jessica Wright and Clancy Yeates
    March 16, 2012 – 3:03PM.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/murray-wades-into-future-fund-fight-over-costello-20120316-1v93d.html

    The Future Fund’s outgoing chairman. David Murray, says a secret report based on conversations between new chairman and board members’ did not recommend a candidate.

    Mr Murray today said he had received a copy of Mr Gonski’s memorandum from November last year, but it should not be made public.

    My advice to the government is that it is not appropriate for a memorandum of this nature to be publicly released, as it contains material provided in confidence, notwithstanding references already in the public domain,” Mr Murray said in a statement.

    ”However, in light of recent comments, I think it is important to confirm that the memorandum contained no recommendations. It summarised the views of individual members of the Board but did not recommend a particular candidate based on these views.”

  83. Pip, maybe Senator Wong should do what Albanese did at the time of the Qantas dispute. It shut them up then.

    It would be nice to know what the board members actually said.

    I am sure they will thank Mr. Abbott for his effort.

    It appears that more than the government have a copy. Any leak would be hard to prove.

    At least Mr. Gonski knows where they are coming from.

    I assume Mr. Costello, as a board member would be asked for his opinion.

  84. Cu and Sue, that’s an interesting question. the other ‘guardians’ could have been seen by Smirky as slightly lesser beings given that he put the money in an’ all!

    That reminds me of an old saying… you puts your money in and takes your chances…Now be seated Peter and be quiet!

  85. Sue, I refuse to use that word. It is pretentious, just like the creator of ff.

    They are board members.

  86. CU I like the term “guardians” it reminds me of the comic book superheroes I used to read. Yes, it is pretentious, but what better term describes Costello? Of course Peter would respond in a righteous tone:

    “Pretentious – moi?

  87. I’m back. This is what I mean about you guys living in a teacup. You guys have been rabbiting on about this issue now for three days. You guys really need to get a life.
    The guts of the topic is that the Gillard government displayed woeful Corporate Governance in selecting a new Chairman of the FF. Nothing new there.
    The other observation I have of the whisperers is that you see conspiracies everywhere. “… infamy infamy they all have it in fa me.”
    I make the off the cuff comment that yachts are not good investments but are a lot of fun. Sue turns this into some sort of tax dodge conspiracy. Sue accounting 101. You need an income before you can have tax deductions. Sue. That is just the way the friendly lads at the ATO operate.
    This time next Saturday I will be warming the telly and cooling the Crownies.
    Bye Bye Labor in Queensland. I am punting Anna will lose somewhere between 30 and 35 seats.
    http://www.abc.net.au/elections/qld/2012/calculator/

  88. So, it is all about corporate governance, not a hammock dweller spitting the dummy about being passed over…again, and his lib party mates complaining about not enough ‘jobs for the boys’

    right 😉

  89. “The other observation I have of the whisperers is that you see conspiracies everywhere. “… infamy infamy they all have it in fa me.”

    Geoff where are all the conspiracies that upset you so. I suggest you need to go to sites, such as Bolts to find conspiracies. They abound there. According to them, nothing any minister does in this government does not involve a conspiracy or ulterior motive. Nothing can be taken at face value.

    Yes, we have been talking about Mr. Costello and Mr. Abbott. We are raking everything they say at face value.

    Yes, Mr. Abbott has a proven history of conspiracies, but except for the hint he might be behind Mr. Palmer’s action, we are not at this time wasting time accusing him of doing so.

    Look again, we have been talking about many topics.

    Yea, rafter 23 years, Labor might lose government. That is no great surprise.

    As Australians are apt to do this in cycles, enjoy putting your feet up while you can.

    NSW and Victoria do not appear to have improved since the change.

    Yep, one does need to earn before paying tax. That is a obvious observation. I have also observed, that the more one earns, the less tax one pays comparatively. There are not many deductions or option for the wage earner to avoid paying tax. That luxury belongs to the wealthy.

    Geoff, maybe you need to get a life. I say this, because you appear to like inflicting pain on yourself by coming here. I can only assume you do not have anything better to do.

    Geoff you come here, making allegations that have no basis and then argue that we are idiots. (my word).

    I think that maybe described as building straw arguments to knock them down. That is a skill that Mr. Costello was good at. Mr.Abbott and his cohorts also have skill in this area also.

  90. How far can Mr. Abbott go in making the government smaller.

    But Ian McAuley, a lecturer in public finance at the University of Canberra, questions our uncritical support for the smaller government ideal in an extended essay published today by the Australian Collaboration, The Australian Economy: Will our prosperity be short-lived?
    Contrary to some perceptions, he writes, Australia already has a small public sector and a low level of public debt. ”Successive governments have kept taxes and deficits down by keeping expenditures down. As a result Australia has one of the smallest public sectors of all developed countries.”
    Over the seven years to 2008, taxes paid in Australia to all levels of government averaged 29 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with a developed-country average of 35 per cent. Only Japan and the United States pay less than us – 27 per cent – and that’s because they run perpetual budget deficits.

    Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/politics/dont-judge-government-by-its-size-20120313-1uyd8.html#ixzz1pKQxSQTO

  91. C.U. at 11.46
    I’m always intrigued by the notion that there’s limitless amounts of “fat” that can be cut from public expenditure. Public service & expenditure’s always a convenient whipping post for political parties to make mileage from. But I think there’s food for a bit of thought in Abbott’s decree that 12,000 jobs will go. Touting saving the cost of their employment & hoping like hell nobody notices the costs of them not being there. It tends to sum up his overall style.

    I see Abbott finally being held to account in some areas, though obviously not the Murdochracy or ABC. I suppose the issue is whether the electorate will ever get around to holding him to account. If they do, he’s gone on the instant.

  92. The guts of the topic is that the Gillard government displayed woeful Corporate Governance in selecting a new Chairman of the FF.

    Care to elaborate on that, Geoff? As usual, you’ve just made a bald statement with no substance. How did the government display woeful Corporate Governance by appointing a chairman who is extremely well qualified for the job?

    Or are you just having a hissy fit because Tip didn’t get the job handed to him on a silver platter? If you think he should have been appointed, gives us your reasons?

    He certainly doesn’t seem to have any experience which would make him the obvious choice, does he? Whereas Gonski is vastly more experienced and qualified for the position of Chairman.

    You should bear in mind also that the FF is under performing substantially.

    Or perhaps you think that if Tip were Chairman, it would be the answer to the Liars Party’s dreams. It would certainly be a windfall and fill that pesky $70bn black hole they’re having so much trouble with, wouldn’t it?

    In any event, the government appointee is free of political ties, unlike Tip and that’s got to be a positive.

    Yeah! Yeah! We all know what tax deductions are and how interested the ATO becomes when someone with little visible means of support buys himself an ocean going yacht, even an old one. Have a read of Bill Mitchell’s blog, you might learn not to open your mouth quite as wide.

    Touting saving the cost of their employment & hoping like hell nobody notices the costs of them not being there.

    And not paying tax or spending to support business. And collecting the dole.

    Clowns like Liealot and the knuckle draggers in the Liars Party and their barrackers, never seem to have the wit to understand the negative effect on the economy of chucking large numbers of people out of work.

    By ripping the guts out of the Public Service, there will be a knock on effect. 12,000 people suddenly changing their spending habits downwards, means that people in private enterprise will lose their jobs.Just a few at first, but as the brakes are applied to spending by the newly unemployed, more jobs a re shed, leading to business closures.

    And of course, that means a lot more pressure on government to provide unemployment benefits to all the people they’ve put out of work.

    Yeah, that’s a plan. The trouble is that it’s suicidal in terms of a reduced revenue base, the economy grinding to a halt and the human misery that goes with unemployment.

    The Liars Party, economic and intellectual cretins.

  93. Jane, if 12,000 public servants lose their jobs (which is usually as a result of services being cut) then it is expected that the flow-on will see 24,000 private sector jobs lost.

  94. Migs @6.23pm, I’d suggest that the number of private sector jobs lost would ripple out even further and affect more people.

    You could only hope that those losing their jobs would be Liars voters getting their just reward for putting their faith in a mob that can barely count to 2. 😉

  95. jane
    The guts of the topic is that the Gillard government displayed woeful Corporate Governance in selecting a new Chairman of the FF.
    The government by law has the right to appoint who ever they like as Chairman of the FF. The government asked Gonski to canvass the wishes of the current Board Members. No governance problems so far.
    Two points of Corporate governance.
    Gonski should have excluded himself from the role and the government should have excluded him because of a conflict of interest. The two roles should have been mutually exclusive.
    Secondly the government should have told Gonski to canvass the Board members but let them know Costello is not on the governments short list.
    A simple and concise handling of Corporate Governance would have occurred..
    … and we see how it ended up, another Gillard cockup.
    I must apologise to all the whisperer for my inaccurate forecasts. I said that Labor in Queensland would likely lose between 30 and 35 seats in tomorrows election.

  96. Geoff, keeping to the facts would not be bad.

    Mr Gonski was only asked to gauge the views of the board. He was nor asked and did not make any recommendations.

    First. The whole board did not support Mr. Costello. Secondly, most seem to believe a politician should not fill the post.

    Thirdly, the post was filled following the procedure that was set out in Mr. Costello bill that set up the fund.

    Finally, the best mad was given the job.

  97. Catching Up.
    I have no issue with the appointment. It was the process that was the cockup.
    Google Corporate Governance. Its not just a slogan.
    What is your punt on the swing tomorrow?

  98. Geoff you contradict yourself.

    You say you are not in disagreement with the appointment.

    You also say he should he should have been excluded.

    What cockup.

    The government sought the views of the board.

    The government employed someone to investigate who was available.

    The government then made a decision from the names put forwarded.

    The act that underlines the FF says that it is up to the government to appoint the chairperson. In this case, it is not the prerogative of the board.

    It appear the outcome of their process was the best available man available was appointed.

  99. Maybe there are flaws in the way the fund is set up.

    Whatever the case, Mr. Minchin, a co-author was admanant that Mr. Costello should not be appointed.

    The Future Fund is a strange beast. A magic pudding really – a fund for all purposes. In fact it was set up to finance the unfunded superannuation liabilities of the Commonwealth Government. For that reason it is hard to get too excited about the fund’s existence. After all if the Commonwealth had been a responsible employer it would have made provision for superannuation and some sort of fund would exist anyway.

    If fact, over time we should expect the Future Fund to self-liquidate as public servants retire and the fund pays out. It should have no life beyond that. So why there is any unique need for a high-profile chairman is difficult to understand. In fact the beneficiaries of the fund, not the government, should select their own chairman.

    And this is how the new policy works. The money from the mining tax is to compensate for revenue the government will lose when the rate is lifted. It enables the government to support this rise. Complicated but makes sense to me.

    As Bill Shorten has now explained, superannuation is really a salary sacrifice. People pay for their own super. It is not a gift from the government, or employers, or a consequence of so-called windfall gains to the miners.

    An increase in the superannuation rate will lead to a decline in income tax revenue to the government. Not a big decline – but a decline nonetheless. What happens is as follows. Super is taken from your salary before tax. Super contributions are taxed at 15 per cent and salary at, say, 30 per cent. Imagine now that a higher proportion is taken in super. A reduced salary is taxed at 30 per cent and the slightly higher contribution is taxed at 15 per cent. The money flowing into Treasury will have declined.

    The mining tax is meant to compensate the government for the decline in tax revenue. Individuals will not get any money from the mining tax; rather they will have more of their own money tied up in super until retirement. This isn’t necessarily a ‘bad thing’, but I’m not convinced it is good policy either.

    What is a ‘bad thing’ is that nobody has made a link between giving more money to super funds to manage and the governance of those funds. There was a huge run-around over the Future Fund chairman job, but how many people thought about the management of their own super funds? Probably not too many.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3907120.html

  100. Who are you to give orders.

    This body was set up for the government to choose the chairman.

    If you have problems with that, take Mr. Costello on.

    It was his legislation.

    Is it a Corporation?

    I am a little too old to do as instructed by strangers, thank you.

    If you do not like my comment, that is OK. You do not have to agree.

    You do not have the right to order me around.

    .

  101. Min, as I thought. The Corporation Act would not apply.

    Not if that matters. The story was a beat up that went nowhere.

    There was even disagreement among the Liberals themselves. Not that they appear to agree on much lately.

    It is funny that Geoff still takes the matter so seriously.

  102. Geoff, I do not know about Min, but I really do not care.

    Time seems to be the one thing you are not short of.

    Sorry I do not see the issue as important as you obviously do.

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