Wow - both parties we are told are getting themselves into a lather on what to do about the decline of manufacturing.
Tony Abbott's flirtation with protectionism has senior Libs threatening leadership change.
Meanwhile the PM faces a revolt over her refusal to hold an inquiry into manufacturing.
The incredibly wise Ross Gittins rightly points out that we should think of the future not the past and propping up manufacturing is a bad move. One could add that we should be more concerned about the off-shoring of call centres and software jobs. These are "knowledge" jobs. A lot of that off-shoring is driven by labour force availability not simply wage differentials. (One could add that the NBN could significantly change some of the economics of these jobs as they are possible to do by "telework" from home).
Lenore Taylor writing under the headline "Talk's cheap but manufacturers want solutions" wrote;
POLITICIANS talk big about helping crisis-stricken manufacturers, but they can do relatively little, unless they are prepared to either contravene Australia's international trade obligations or spend a shed load of money.
This is the point at which I say enough is enough.
A simple solution that doesn't breach trade agreements or cost money would be to tax the super-profits of the mining industry more, and to use the proceeds to reduce the corporate tax rate on all businesses.
This benefits not just manufacturers, but also other distressed sectors like retail and tourism.
The Government doesn’t need to wait to consider this though – it is already their plan.
What kind of ineptitude doesn’t use the meeting held on Monday yesterday as a rallying point for what is already good and effective policy?
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est