If you’ve been holidaying in Greece and missed the recent fiasco surrounding Emma Alberici, the chief economics correspondent at the ABC, then here’s a quick re-cap by Auntie’s very own, Media Watch. (Actually, if you’ve just come back from a holiday in Europe then you’ll have a pretty good idea as to where financial confusion such this can ultimately lead).
This is just one example of what Joe Ashton, from the Financial Review, referred to as Alberici’s “innumeracy”. As Ashton explained:
Freely available data produced by the Australian Taxation Office show that 32 of Australia’s 50 largest companies paid $19.33 billion in company tax in FY16 (FY17 figures are not yet available). The other 18 paid nothing. Why? They lost money, or were carrying over previous losses.
Company tax is paid on profits, so when companies make losses instead of profits, they don’t pay it. Amazing, huh? And since 1989, the tax system has allowed losses in previous years to be carried forward – thus companies pay tax on the rolling average of their profits and losses. This is stuff you learn in high school. Except, obviously, if your dream by then was to join the socialist collective at Ultimo, to be a superstar in the cafes of Haberfield.
Paul Barry, on Media Watch, referred to the piece by Alberici as, the latest ABC stuff-up”. Aaron Patrick, from The Australian Financial Review, summed up the problem with Alberici’s argument as follows:
Alberici, a woman of considerable self-belief, argued (perhaps without realising it) that mainstream economics has misunderstood the effect of lowering business taxes, and that corporate tax evasion by large Australian companies is rampant.
Both assertions are remarkably daring, and arguably beyond the competence of Lateline‘s last host, who has a BA majoring in Italian from Melbourne University.
Mitch Fifield, the Communications Minister, was even more scathing:
This coverage contains multiple factual errors and misrepresentations in breach of the ABC’s editorial standards. It is neither fair, balanced, accurate nor impartial. It fails to present a balance of views on the corporate tax policy…
[The stories] “display a lack of understanding about the tax system, and … failed to accurately present the facts or range of views on this issue with appropriate balance.
Rather than analyse the legion of inaccuracies and mistakes in Alberici’s piece, it’s worth reading the comments following an article, published by The Australian. It shows that the Australian public are no mugs. And they know political advocacy when they see it:
I watched 7.30 last night where Ms Sales interviewed Blanche, Mrs Hawke….Yes, it appears some kind of book is coming. They both started to tear up as they spoke of Bob and Blanche’s love for him Here was Leigh Sales tearing up over a well-known womaniser. The hypocrisy is breath-taking
@john it was just sickening. So, Barnaby gets hammered but Bobs okay as he is from the left.
The ABC, where it takes 2 people to do one person’s job, and a third to make excuses for them.
If she did this anywhere else she would have been sacked. But at their ABC the response is …. a committee.
Alberici’s failure was not one of compliance with policy but with a failure of fact and understanding of economics. Installing a more senior checker does little to ensure that analysis is factual.
The ABC should be shut down. It is a mouthpiece for the left, there is very little journalistic integrity and the comedy is crass. Appointing one person here and there will make no difference, the toxic marxist culture absorbs them overnight. Lets spend the one thousand three hundred million dollars per annum on more infrastructure, hospitals, schools.
Perhaps they could hire competent reporters in the first place instead of spending more taxpayer dollars on expanding the bureaucracy
Many people distrust the ABC and see at as nothing better than a collective of public funded left wing political activists. Happy to lie and do whatever it takes to push their political objectives. An organisation which is fundamentally corrupt, in its conduct, and its objectives.
I cannot see where the steps being mooted by the ABC will have any effect on the bias as to which news items are covered – or simply ignored, if they are critical of the left.
Brilliant, so the ABC’s chief economic correspondent needs more resources to understand the difference between Revenue and Profit. Does that mean Mr Squiggle is being reassigned to help?
What a pity there has not been the same scrutiny of the ABC on a daily basis. Shows what happens when the Prime Minister lodges a complaint.
The ABC has quality control? Well I’ll be!
What this all demonstrates is that the overwhelming perception that the general public it that is has clearly taken sides politically. As Nick Cater rightly argues in The Australian:
The ABC has shuffled further from “the middle of our national life” where post war chairman Dick Boyer said it should stand, “solid and serene … running no campaign, seeking to persuade no opinion, but presenting the issues freely and fearlessly for the calm judgment of our people”.
Sadly, no longer can the majority of Australians refer to our national broadcaster as our ABC.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
Illustration: ABC Television/YouTube.
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