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EYE-BALL Opinion – Paul Howes joins the ‘idiot’ crowd – He sees ‘lower interest rates’ as the answer –


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– Paul Howes joins the ‘idiot’ crowd  –
– He sees ‘lower interest rates’ as the answer –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 3rd Jan 2013|
Another Neanderthal in the Union movement opened his mouth and told the world that it was ‘lower interest rates’ that was going to cure Australia’s workplace ails.   Paul Howes has adopted a low profile since the Melbourne Cup event where he outed himself as a ‘single man’ again.

This only months after a Womens Weekly makeover creating and painting his image as a family man and a likeable bloke.   Again the media have purred at the wrong dog.   This man has an ego bigger than Bill Shorten’s … his ‘lower interest rate’ proclamation tells me he has as much understanding about labour costs in the modern world as he relates to the heartbreak he is putting his family through.

Read the story below:

Business and unions united on need for interest rate cut

| Author: Sid Maher, Political correspondent| Date: Jan 3rd, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

BUSINESS and union leaders are calling on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates early this year after the manufacturing sector contracted last month for the 10th month in a row.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes told The Australian that lower interest rates were needed to assist industry to cope with the effects of a high Australian dollar. He was backed by Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, who argued that businesses were paying higher interest rates than international competitors.

Mr Willox said despite the RBA cutting interest rates by 175 basis points over the past 14 months, there was “still room to move”.

Mr Willox and Mr Howes cited the high Australian dollar as a key competitive pressure on the manufacturing sector.

Mr Willox said there was “no real case” for government intervention on the dollar and Mr Howes said the government was limited in what it could do. He said there was no “silver bullet” to fix the manufacturing industry’s woes. Both business and unions are awaiting the government’s response to its manufacturing taskforce, which is expected next month.

Mr Howes said the tougher anti-dumping regime announced by the government late last year had been a “very significant” policy that would be a “blessed relief” for affected manufacturers.

Their comments came as the Australian dollar spiked sharply after legislation passed in the US to avert a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff. At 5pm Sydney time, the currency was trading at US104.73c, up from US103.83c on Monday.

The Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index found all parts of the sector contracted in December. Selling prices for manufactured products fell in the month, inventories also fell and respondents to the survey remained cautious about the economic outlook because of softer demand, higher energy charges, stronger import competition and the strong dollar.

The survey found an easing in the contraction in activity in petroleum, coal, chemical and rubber products; metal products; and machinery areas. But the contraction intensified in food, beverage and tobacco products; wood and paper products; printing and recorded media; and non-metallic mineral products.

Mr Willox said higher costs, particularly for energy “due to the impacts of the carbon tax and, in some states, the costs associated with investment in network infrastructure, have all taken their toll on margins and activity”.

He said forward orders continued to be weak, “suggesting demand has not yet turned the corner”.

“The recent rate cuts by the Reserve Bank are yet to offset the range of factors adversely impacting the industry and further reductions are likely to be needed over the next few months.”

He said the government’s response to the manufacturing taskforce should tackle skills improvements and training, research and development, and tax reform.

Mr Howes said the government’s response should be targeted at helping manufacturers to transform their operations to enable them to be competitive in the new economic environment.

Acting Industry and Innovation Minister Chris Evans said the Gillard government was committed to manufacturing industries and appreciated their importance in a globally competitive, broad-based and sustainable Australian economy.

The government recognised manufacturing was facing “considerable challenges, due in part to the slowdown in the global economy and in part to the high value of the Australian dollar”.

Senator Evans said the government would respond to the taskforce’s report as part of an industry and innovation policy statement early this year.

It had already put in place policies that supported manufacturing, including lifting Australian industry participation in major resources projects; rewarding innovation with an R&D tax incentive; the $1.2 billion Clean Technology Programs helping manufacturers reduce energy costs; and reforming the training system, including investing with industry to improve worker skills.

All the talk about re-skilling the workforce does not make it more competitive from a cost basis … you don’t thing cheaper labour in off-shore markets can do as good a job as Australian workers … it’s not about skill levels or capacity utilisation, or volume orders – it is about the labour cost to produce a unit to sell to the rest of the world and in Australia …  if it can be produced cheaper and imported at cheaper cost than what Australia can produce goods at – then jobs will be lost and not a few thousands … hundreds of thousands over time, even millions.

If Mr Howes and Mr Wilcox were serious about turning Australia’s manufacturing Index around they should also include in the mix salary cuts to offset the rise in the value of the A$ … can you imagine the ACTU President advocating wage cuts … it would be political suicide.

The AIG  [Australian Industry Group] – are an extension of the Government and Union movement. Their media officer Mr Tony Melville was very supportive of the Governments policies and Mr Howes position in a phone conversation held today.   That conversation turned into a debate he did not want to have – he opted out early suggesting I contact Mr Howes directly.  From past experiences Mr Howes does not return phone calls – not to those who seek to challenge him and his views.

The RBA need to be made accountable for their oversite in allowing the high A$ policy to turn this Nation into an uncompetitive force on global trade markets.

Surely Mr Howes has thought that Australia’s wages are too high to compete with international labour forces … and surely he has a better answer than lower interest rates … what has the 175 basis point reduction done in a year … it has not improved Australia’s competitiveness.   The AI Group’s Mr Wilcox aligned himself with Mr Howes when he further stated:

Mr Willox said there was “no real case” for government intervention on the dollar and Mr Howes said the government was limited in what it could do. He said there was no “silver bullet” to fix the manufacturing industry’s woes. Both business and unions are awaiting the government’s response to its manufacturing taskforce, which is expected next month.

Words … Words … Words … they’re all screaming ‘it’s all to hard’.

Well that is what Leadership is all about – making tough decisions, not popularist choices … Gillard may well claim that the Carbon Tax and MRRT were tough choices … I say stupid idiocy … she had it right when she said ‘no carbon tax under a government I lead’ – and then she went to bed with the Greens to form Government.   The mining industry told the Government the MRRT won’t work and that it was an over reach … who was right in that?

The previous boss of the AI Group – Ms Ridout – is now a Board member of the RBA … with those types of ‘head-nod’ type appointments i.e. public sector bureaucrats with limited private industry senior executive experience we can all understand why the RBA sits as this great big white elephant who can’t get out of its own way.

Previous RBA Board members have spoken out in recent months about the poor performance of the RBA.   Were they shoved out or left of their own accord?

Australian’s need to wake up – this should be the Oppositions job to hold the Government and Government think-tanks to account … but they little interest in the larger macro issues either.

Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

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