What does British American Tobacco say about sales volumes in Australia?

Thu, 19 Jun 2014  |  

The Australian's campaign to torture and misrepresent the data on the volume of tobacco consumed in Australia seems to have had a final nail in the coffin with news from British American Tobacco, no less, that sales volumes in Australia are falling.

In their annual report which covers the period up to 31 December 2013, the BAT report notes:

Profit was up strongly as a result of higher pricing and cost saving initiatives, partially offset by lower volume."

What was that?

BAT saying "lower volumes"?

Oh I see. The volume of tobacco sold by BAT was lower in 2013, a picture that dovtails perfectly with the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Who would have thought that?

Certainly not The Australian writers Christian Kerr, Adam Creighton, Henry Ergas, Judith Sloan, Sinclair Davidson, Chris Merritt, The Editorial writer or the person who puts together the cheeky Cut and Paste column.

See BAT annual report, page 32:  



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Punitive approach to restraining welfare costs lazy and short-sighted

Fri, 20 Nov 2015

This article first appeared at The Guardian at this link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/16/punitive-approach-to-restraining-welfare-costs-lazy-and-short-sighted 


Punitive approach to restraining welfare costs lazy and short-sighted

The discussion being driven by the Turnbull government that there are ‘too many people on welfare’ has as its driver a framework to make it harder for people to get such payments. It is about eligibility for the payments that is dominating the government’s plans for who will be on welfare in the years ahead.

According to Christian Porter, social services minister, annual government expenditure on welfare is estimated to rise from $157bn to $277bn in a decade. The vast bulk of these payments will go to aged pensioners, the unemployed and the disabled. When looking at this increase, Porter says there is a serious issue of how we pay for it and how we make the welfare system sustainable.

Porter’s approach is squarely on making it harder for people to get “generous” welfare payments. In his sights is a tightening of the tests for the unemployed to receive the Newstart allowance and for those unable to work to receive the disability support pension.

Let’s be honest here. This is lazy policy and looks at using punitive measures rather than limiting the supply of people who will need welfare support in the years ahead. Rather than tackling the welfare “time bomb” this way, it is possible to lower spending on welfare by encouraging economic growth, productivity and decency. What about reducing unemployment, encouraging more self-funded retirement and helping those with a disability through a mix of employment opportunities and preventative health care?

What is missing from our economic commentary?

Thu, 19 Nov 2015

This article first appeared on Yahoo7 Finance at this link: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/what-is-missing-from-our-economic-commentary--000624071.html 


What is missing from our economic commentary?

If you listen too much to the financial news at the moment you would be very worried about Australia’s economic future. This is because so much of the focus is on the collapse in commodity prices.

The price of iron ore, coal, copper, gold and most other commodities are at or near six, seven or eight year lows. What is missing in much of the commentary on the economy, and something that is almost always overlooked, is the simple fact that commodity prices are still well above the levels prevailing from 1992 to 2004, a time of strong economic expansion.

In many cases, today’s low commodity prices are still double, triple or even quadruple late 1990s levels. The 12 year stretch of a strong economic growth up to 2004 was clearly supported by factors other than stratospheric commodity prices and a mining investment frenzy.

Looking back at that period of economic history saw consumer spending, generally buoyant construction activity and the early stages of a surge in services – finance, education, health and tourism – support the economy. Fast forward to today and despite lower commodity prices, it is clear that the economy is still growing, a reasonable amount of jobs are being created and those factors are occurring with low inflation and very low interest rates.