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The Reject Shop in crisis – stores set to close in weeks

<p>With The Reject Shop predicting a loss of $2 million this financial year, the company is set to close the doors of seven of its Australian retail outlets within the next month.</p> <p>This follows the shock announcement of the CEO quitting.</p> <p>There have been rumours circulating since late last year that the discount chain store was struggling, but the news of the stores closing comes as a surprise.</p> <p>Some of the reasons that were given for the outlets closing are falling profits as well as increases to operational costs.</p> <p>With the iconic retailer starting out as a single shop in Melbourne back in 1980, it quickly expanded to 350 franchises across the country in 2017.</p> <p>In an attempt to revive its loss in sales, the company made in-roads into the designer homewares market that has usually been dominated by Kmart and Target.</p> <p>Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey had teamed up with The Reject Shop to create a collection of affordable and on-trend homeware items to meet customer demands.</p> <p>The ‘Home Collection’ included $25 quilt covers, $15 throws, $12 bath towels and $5 hand towels.</p> <p>“The reduced earnings guidance reflects a tough trading environment in the retail sector which has continued to be impacted by low consumer confidence, flat wages, increases in the cost of living and a rapidly falling housing sector,” the company said in a statement.</p> <p>“Gross margins have fallen as the expected benefits from sales and merchandise related initiatives have not landed with consumers during the half.”</p> <p>It is not yet known which stores will be closing their doors. </p>

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Get it while you can! ALDI brings back sold out $6 item

<p>All over Australia, ALDI fans can once again rejoice as their beloved item is finally back on the shelves.</p> <p>ALDI customers have spotted the German grocery store’s <em>Le Pave</em><em> </em>cheese back on the shelves after they were discontinued last year.</p> <p>The dairy item was so popular with customers, it caused a surge in popularity that led to the product being sold out nationwide.</p> <p>However, the creamy and delicious cheese is back on sale again, hopefully for good.  </p> <p>One Instagram page, <em>ALDI Lovers Australia </em>took to social media to share the exciting news that the highly sought after cheese had been spotted “back on shelves” in a store in Cockburn Gateways, WA.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxlwqH7FUWt/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxlwqH7FUWt/" target="_blank">A post shared by Tammy - Aldi Lovers Australia (@aldiloversau)</a> on May 17, 2019 at 9:11pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“STOP THE PRESS. Stalk the cheese fridge. Because look what’s coming back on the shelves,” the caption read.</p> <p>Fans all over rejoiced over the return, one writing: ““Bought five on Thursday. Best day ever.”</p> <p>“OMG!!! SHUT THE SHOP! This is IT!!! THE cheese we want is BACK BABY!!! Woo Hoo! I’ll buy some ASAP,” another delighted fan commented.</p> <p>In July 2018, the French cheese caused such a frenzy, the item was sold out across the country.</p> <p>An ALDI spokesperson told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/aldis-sellout-6-cheese-is-back/news-story/cd439f22b2f91ec95f0b1f7455191ca9" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em> the beloved dairy product was brought back after huge demand.</p> <p>“Due to fantastic customer feedback and high demand, we’re pleased to confirm that our Le Pave cheese is back on shelves and is now available at your local ALDI store, nationwide,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“Crafted in the heart of France, Le Pave cheese ($5.99) is the perfect addition to any cheese board or paired with one of our award-winning wines.”</p>

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Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain collapses leaving 1,000 people jobless

<p>Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been “deeply saddened” after his British restaurant chain collapsed into administration, leaving more than 1,000 people out of work.</p> <p>The Jamie’s Italian Limited firm – which includes 23 Jamie’s Italian restaurants and 15 Barbecoa outlets – confirmed that it had gone into administration and appointed financial firm KPMG to oversee the process.</p> <p>“I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade,” the 43-year-old said in a statement.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver</p> — Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) <a href="https://twitter.com/jamieoliver/status/1130796738292408320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.</p> <p>“I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.”</p> <p>Oliver opened his first Jamie’s Italian in 2008, and expanded the business across the UK in the following years.</p> <p>“We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best in class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”</p> <p>His restaurant chain had been in trouble for <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-22/jamie-oliver-restaurant-chain-collapses-uk/11136594">at least two years</a>, despite the celebrity chef’s fame with his cookbooks, TV shows and public health initiatives. Last year, it closed 12 of its 37 branches in Britain, while five of its Australian arms were sold off and another put into administration.</p> <p>Oliver said he had spent <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/aug/30/jamie-oliver-spent-13m-to-save-italian-chain-hours-before-bankruptcy">£13 million of his own money</a> to save the business from bankruptcy. </p> <p>“We had simply run out of cash,” he said in an interview with the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ft.com/jamieoliver" target="_blank"><em>Financial Times</em></a> in October.</p> <p>“I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm: rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage. There was a lot going on.”</p>

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The $20 Kmart dress flying off the racks

<p>Kmart has sent shoppers into a spin once again, and this time it’s over a $20 dress.</p> <p>The Long Sleeve Tier Hem Dress has taken social media by storm, as women model the stylish outfit in different ways.</p> <p>“Just bought it online, [it’s the] best $20 leopard dress I have ever seen,” said one woman.</p> <p>“Wowzers Kmart keeps bringing it!” said another.</p> <p>A third said: “Shut up and take my money.”</p> <p>Kmart labels the “stylish tier hem dress” as a perfect option for a “casual day out.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxo9pUig_Jw/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxo9pUig_Jw/" target="_blank">This amazing @kmartaus dress has been all over Instagram all week but do you think I can find it in store 🤔 .. that would be a NO! 🙈 You will be mine 😂 Long Sleeve Tier Hem Dress in Animal $20 ♥️ Kitten Heel Boots $25 Timeless Tote $25 Bar Drop Earrings $4</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/thestylemama/" target="_blank"> Erin Ygarza</a> (@thestylemama) on May 19, 2019 at 3:02am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The dress is made out of polyester and elastane, features a crew neck, long sleeves and a fabric tie around the waist.</p> <p>Fashion enthusiasts have proven that the dress goes well with flats, boots or heels, making it versatile and a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe.</p> <p>Despite the item only just hitting stores, many customers revealed that they struggled to get their hands on one.</p> <p>“[You’re] lucky to have gotten one!” one person commented.</p> <p>The dress comes in two additional styles – yellow floral print and navy with colourful cranes.</p>

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For most, energy still remains affordable

<p>Electricity prices have doubled in the past ten years, climbing 117%, which is 76% more than inflation. Gas prices climbed 89%, <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6401.0">53% more than inflation</a>.</p> <p>In a report to be released on Friday by the Australian Council of Social Service and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, we examine what these climbing prices have actually cost different types of households, after taking full account of energy use and government concessions and rebates, including solar energy rebates.</p> <p>Our modelling is based on the Bureau of Statistics <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6530.0">Household Expenditure Survey</a>. We use the changes between the 2003-04, 2009-10 and 2015-16 surveys to develop estimates for the changes between 2008 and 2018.</p> <p><strong>For most, it’s as affordable as it was ten years ago</strong></p> <p>A perhaps surprising finding is that, despite those strong price rises, there has been <a href="http://library.bsl.org.au/jspui/bitstream/1/10896/1/ACOSS_BSL_Energy_stressed_in_Australia_Oct2018.pdf">relatively little change in the amount households spend on gas and electricity as a proportion of their incomes</a>.</p> <p>The average proportion of household income spent on electricity and gas has climbed just 0.1% over the decade, from 2.3% to 2.4%.</p> <p>Prices have climbed more sharply than spending, but some households have responded to higher prices by using less energy in order to keep costs in check. This has been achieved partly by taking advantage of improvements in the efficiency of devices such as air conditioners, and also by being more frugal.</p> <p><strong>But not for renters, or the unemployed</strong></p> <p>Low-income households, in particular households whose main source of income is a government payment such as Newstart, are spending much more of their (already small) budgets on energy.</p> <p>In 2008 energy costs took up 5.9% of low-income households’ disposable income. By 2018 they took up 6.4%.</p> <p>In contrast, the highest-earning households spend just 1.5% of their income on energy, up from 1.4%.</p> <p>One in four low-income households spend at least 9% or more of their income on energy.</p> <p>Renters pay a higher proportion of their income than home owners, and have also suffered much bigger increases in costs, perhaps because they have less scope to make the sorts of changes to their homes needed to get costs down.</p> <p>By region, costs are the highest in Adelaide (on average about 3.4% of disposable income) and the lowest in Sydney and Brisbane (about 2%).</p> <p><strong>If you’re wealthy, you can go solar</strong></p> <p>Another perhaps surprising finding is that the take-up of solar panels is fairly evenly distributed across the income spectrum. Among the bottom four in ten households the take-up is 15%. Among the top four in ten, it is 17%.</p> <p>But high wealth households are far more likely than low wealth households to take up solar. For the most wealthy the take-up is 23.5%, for the least wealthy it is 4%.</p> <p>Typical savings are about A$500 a year. High wealth households saved much more than low wealth households.</p> <p><strong>It’s the high payers that are paying more</strong></p> <p>For most, energy remains as affordable as it was ten years ago. That’s because, for most, <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/6523.0~2015-16~Main%20Features~Changes%20in%20Income%20Over%20Time~9">incomes have been climbing</a> – although not to the same extent as energy prices. Even pensioners received <a href="https://formerministers.dss.gov.au/14265/pensions-to-increase-on-20-march/">quite big increases in 2009</a>.</p> <p>It’s also because many households have been able to <a href="http://www.tai.org.au/sites/default/files/NEEA%20Electricity%20Update%20Aug%20%5BWEB%5D.pdf">cut back their use of externally supplied energy</a>, especially high wealth households that can afford solar panels, and those who own the home they live and have the right to modify it.</p> <p>For others, especially households who rent, and those headed by people on non-pension benefits, energy costs are climbing sharply. Already paying much more of their income than others, they’re trapped into spending even more.</p> <p><em>Written by Ben Phillips. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/newsflash-for-most-energy-remains-affordable-104541">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Bill Shorten's "shopper's hack" for affordable booze

<p>Bill Shorten has shared his top money-saving tip ahead of Saturday’s federal election.</p> <p>The Labor leader revealed his personal trick to score affordable alcohol in an interview with KIIS FM Melbourne on Thursday morning.</p> <p>Asked whether he had been to Dan Murphy’s to stock up on booze for the election night parties, Shorten said he plays the discount liquor chain off against rival retailer First Choice.</p> <p>“This is a little, if you like, a shopper’s hack and potentially a very useful thing,” he said.</p> <p>He said he capitalises on the stores’ price-matching policies as they pay dividends.</p> <p>First Choice’s Price Beat policy and Dan Murphy’s Lower Liquor Price Guarantee both offer to match advertised competitor instore pricing within a 10 kilometre radius of a given store, provided that the advertisement is current and that the items are identical and in stock.</p> <p>“See, I’m not just another pretty face am I?”</p> <p>Later on, the same day, Shorten made his final major speech of the five-week election campaign at the site of Gough Whitlam's 1972 “It’s Time” address in Blacktown. He declared that climate change action and wages would be high on his government’s agenda.</p> <p>“I promise, we will send a message to the world, when it comes to climate change, Australia is back in the fight,” he said.</p> <p>“We will take this emergency seriously and we will not just leave it to other countries or to the next generation.”</p>

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“Highly insulting”: Fans slam The Project over welfare segment

<p> A segment on<span> </span><em>The Project</em><span> </span>about a Newstart recipient welfare program has divided viewers and been labelled as “offensive” after the lighthearted nature of it turned sinister.</p> <p>On Wednesday night’s episode, the Channel 10 show featured comedian Sam Taunton appearing in what was supposed to be a humorous package, in which he spent a whole day living on $40 per day as a Newstart recipient.</p> <p>In the five-minute segment, Taunton bought a bag of chips from the service station for breakfast, spent $4.40 on a coffee in a café ,while searching for job on his laptop and buying a $16 avocado toast for brunch.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">This week leaders of both the Libs and Labor acknowledged that living on the Newstart allowance would be difficult. Labour are vowing to review the payment if elected. How difficult it is to live off just $40 dollars a day? We challenged comedian <a href="https://twitter.com/samtaunton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@samtaunton</a> to find out! <a href="https://t.co/Wh9gJap1Iw">pic.twitter.com/Wh9gJap1Iw</a></p> — The Project (@theprojecttv) <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1128583208407371777?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Taunton ended the day by purchasing a bottle of wine for $9 with his leftover $10 before remembering he was yet to buy toiletries and dinner with the remainder of his money.</p> <p>The comedian opts for a $1 cup of noodles for dinner with his remaining money but then also realises he hadn’t factored in rent money for the day.</p> <p>While the segment was supposed to be a humorous way of highlighting the struggle for those reliant on Newstart, some viewers felt it missed the mark big time.</p> <p>“This really didn't make The Project look good. How many people on Newstart watched this, and switched off? Shameful, and nasty,” one viewer said in regard to the Newstart segment.</p> <p>Another added: “And he wasted that money on a packet of chips, a takeaway coffee, avocado on toast, and alcohol. If he was trying to prove a point, he failed.</p> <p>“As someone who struggles to live on NewStart, this segment was highly insulting.”</p> <p>“As a daughter of a single mother, who was on Newstart, I HAVE lived off noodles regularly in the past. Thanks for making a mockery of those who are struggling to live. Disgusting,” another comment read.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">This whole segment about Newstart on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> is offensive and ridiculous. Making out like all young people on Newstart are irresponsible and can't afford things because they waste money on $16 avocado on toast and wine in place of dinner is not funny, and not helping.</p> — apex20 (@apex201) <a href="https://twitter.com/apex201/status/1128583887624343557?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">That segment on living of $40 a day, was pointless. It’s didn’t achieve anything, not even funny. I’m thinking that a person living on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Newstart?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Newstart</a> would love to be able to enjoy avo on toast <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@theprojecttv</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a></p> — Lauren K (@lolly375) <a href="https://twitter.com/lolly375/status/1128583776794103808?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Others viewers were shocked Newstart recipients were expected to live on $40 a day.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I would be homeless if I lost my job. Centrelink would destroy me, my paltry savings would be gone in weeks. Maybe I could cash in some of my superannuation due to extreme povo circumstances. <br />WHAT THE F <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> <br />(ps Fantastic noodles cost more than $1 champ)</p> — A Succulent Chinese Meal (@Juluuxx) <a href="https://twitter.com/Juluuxx/status/1128582349405298688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Raising the Newstart allowance has been a hot topic in this election, with Labor leader Bill Shorten promising a review of the benefit if he is elected in this weekend's federal election.</p> <p>“I think common sense says that a review is going to conclude that amount is too low,” he told ABC’s <em>Q&amp;A</em>.</p> <p>“I won’t pre-empt it, but I’m not having a review to cut it.”</p> <p>However, the coalition has stood by Newstart’s current allowance, which is $550.70 per fortnight for singles with no children.</p> <p>Treasurer Josh Frydenberg argued a pay increase was not necessary as those on Newstart were only using the service for a short period of time or were able to claim other benefits at the same time.</p> <p>“Ninety nine per cent of people on Newstart are actually on another type of benefit — it might be a parental allowance or another form of support,” he said earlier this month, as reported by the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-13/federal-election-newstart-allowance-you-ask-we-answer/11091150" target="_blank">ABC.</a></p> <p>“The other thing about Newstart is two-thirds of the people come off within 12 months and go into a job.”</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also said he supports the current Newstart payment, describing it as “one of the best safety nets” in the world.</p>

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Why ultra low wage growth isn’t accidental

<p>The long debate over the causes of wage stagnation took an unexpected turn last week, when Finance Minister Matthias Cormann described (downward) flexibility in the rate of wage growth as “<a href="https://www.magic1059.com.au/news/national-news/88452-low-wage-growth-not-all-bad-minister">a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture</a>”.</p> <p>It was a position that was endorsed in a flurry of confusion <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/sixteensecond-backflip-turns-interview-into-trainwreck/news-story/fe62507c8e961d6381f510133cd68563">16 seconds after it had been rejected</a> by Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds.</p> <p>Cormann had said policies aimed at pushing wages up could cause “massive spikes in unemployment”.</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1104575741105102848">https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1104575741105102848</a></p> <p>The ease with which Reynolds was trapped into at first rejecting and then accepting what her ministerial colleague had said flowed from the fact that Cormann had broken one of the standing conventions of politics in Australia, and for that matter, the English-speaking world.</p> <p>For more than forty years, both the architecture of labour market regulation and the discretionary choices of governments have been designed with the precise objective of holding wages down.</p> <p>However, at least until recently, there has been bipartisan agreement on at least one aspect of them – that no one should mention their role in holding back wages.</p> <p>Instead, the decline in the wage share of national income has been variously blamed on</p> <ul> <li>technology</li> <li>immigration</li> <li>imports from China and, more recently,</li> <li>the end of the mining boom.</li> </ul> <p>None of these explanations stand up to scrutiny.</p> <p>The idea that technology is driving the wage share down is perhaps the most popular.</p> <p>But technological change has been continuous, if uneven, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. Most of the time, workers have shared in the resulting productivity gains.</p> <p>There have however, been a number of exceptional periods in which workers have been harmed.</p> <p>They have been times when the balance of power had favoured employers. At those unusual times, any kind of disruption, whether caused by new technology or not, has had the potential to enable employers to break working conditions and cut wages.</p> <p>Right now, for example, there is no necessary reason for the ability to do business over the Internet to harm workers. In many ways it empowers workers by reducing the information advantages of big employers.</p> <p>But in an environment where unions are weak and working conditions are vulnerable to erosion, the outcome is firms like Airtasker, where workers bid against each other to perform outsourced tasks, <a href="https://theconversation.com/all-care-and-no-responsibility-why-airtasker-cant-guarantee-a-minimum-wage-76943">often for less than the minimum wage</a>.</p> <p>There is nothing new about this kind of working arrangement.</p> <p>It could be seen outside the wharves on Sydney’s “<a href="https://theconversation.com/all-care-and-no-responsibility-why-airtasker-cant-guarantee-a-minimum-wage-76943">Hungry Mile</a>” in the 1930s, where workers went from wharf to wharf each day hoping for work, or today on street corners in the United States, where (often undocumented) construction workers gather in the mornings hoping to be picked for work.</p> <p>But if technology isn’t to blame, what is?</p> <p><strong>The overlong shadow of the overhang</strong></p> <p>The real story begins in the early 1970s, when there was an upsurge in inflation associated with the breakdown of the post-war <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system">Bretton Woods</a> system of fixed exchange rates , and soaring prices in commodity markets including that for oil. The result was a “wage-price spiral” as both wages and prices rose at unexpected annual rates of more than 10%.</p> <p>In a nation with a history of strong trade unions, decades of full employment, and the boundless faith in the future forged by the 1960s, wages grew faster than prices as both spiralled upwards.</p> <p>By the time rising unemployment began to bite, and inflation slowed down, the wage share of national income had risen to an unprecedented 62%.</p> <p>Reining in this “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/1988/pdf/rdp8806.pdf">real wage overhang</a>” became the central preoccupation of macroeconomic policy throughout the 1970s and 1980s.</p> <p>This made sense at the time. But, as in other fields, ideas formed in the 1970s and 1980s continued to dominate the thinking of policymakers long after they had either been proven to be failures or rendered obsolete by changing circumstances, as was the case with policies designed to hold back wages.</p> <p>The policies had several elements. There were a series of changes in industrial relations law, most of which have attacked unions and weakened the bargaining power of labour.</p> <p>The Fraser government introduced Sections 45D and 45E of the Trade Practices Act <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2004A02274">banning secondary boycotts</a>, that is, action in solidarity with other workers. Fraser also created the Industrial Relations Bureau, the first of a series of industrial “police forces”.</p> <p>On its election in 1996, the Howard government introduced the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2006C00104">Workplace Relations Act 1996</a> which extended scope for non-union agreements. After winning a Senate majority in 2004, Howard introduced <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorkChoices">WorkChoices</a> which limited the scope of collective bargaining, and wound back protections against dismissal.</p> <p>The Industrial Relations Bureau maintained at least a pretence of impartiality. By contrast, the organisations created by the Abbott and Turnbull governments (the Registered Organisations Commission and Australian Building and Construction Commission) have been so nakedly anti-union that they have repeatedly <a href="https://www.afr.com/news/politics/police-wanted-to-prosecute-over-awu-raids-leak-senate-estimates-hears-20190218-h1bdmu">broken the law</a> <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/abcc-nigel-hadgkiss-resigns-over-breach-labor-pressures-cash/8942558">they are supposed to uphold</a>.</p> <p>Labor governments have wound back some of the most extreme measures, but have not changed the general direction of policy.</p> <p>Even measures that appeared superficially favourable to workers turned out differently. For example, in 1993 the Keating government introduced the concept of “protected industrial action”.</p> <p>It was some time before it became apparent that the result was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2015/mar/16/industrial-action-is-at-near-record-lows-but-businesses-will-still-blame-unions">to abolish any general right to strike</a>, something that exists in almost every other democratic government.</p> <p>As Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten introduced measures that were pitched as protecting penalty rates through a review process undertaken by the Fair Work Commission. A few years later, in a highly politicised process, the Commission <a href="https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2017/02/23/fair-work-commission-review-penalty-rates">used the process to cut penalty rates</a>.</p> <p>Coalition governments have also used the power of the state directly against unions. Notable examples include the string of <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/royal-commission-trade-union-governance-and-corruption">royal commissions</a> created by the Abbott government and the use, in 1998, of ex-military strikebreakers to break the Maritime Union of Australia. Their training and deployment was facilitated by a government consultant who <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/technology/battle-on-the-waterfront-20070512-ge4vby.html">worked with the major waterfront employer, Patricks</a>.</p> <p>orchestrating the offshore training of the replacement workforce through the actions of consultant Stephen Webster and other shadowy ex-military figures.</p> <p>Finally, macroeconomic management has operated on the basis that any increase in wages is a danger signal requiring a tightening of fiscal and monetary policy. A notable example, was the warning by then Employment Minister Eric Abetz in January 2014 months after taking office that Australia faced a “<a href="https://ministers.jobs.gov.au/abetz/industrial-relations-after-thirty-years-war-address-sydney-institute">wages explosion</a>”.</p> <p>Far from “exploding”, wage growth slid and hasn’t recovered.</p> <p>More striking than his failed prediction, was Abetz’ assumption, taken for granted in policy debate, that any substantial increase in wages would be disastrous.</p> <p>It is only in the last few years that this assumption, inherited from last century, have been challenged.</p> <p>The Reserve Bank in particular has become an advocate for higher wage growth.</p> <p>Yet as Cormann’s incautious outbreak of truthtelling has shown, the view has yet to percolate through to Australia’s elites.</p> <p><em>Written by John Quiggin. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/ultra-low-wage-growth-isnt-accidental-it-is-the-intended-outcome-of-government-policies-113357"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Good news for shoppers: Coles launches supersized products to beat Costco

<p>Coles has decided to super-size its products in order to rival bulk-buying giant Costco.</p> <p>Costco allows customers who hold a membership to the store to buy items in bulk at massively discounted rates.</p> <p>Coles, in response, has decided to offer bulk-sized products as well.</p> <p>The new offerings will allow customers to save up to 60 per cent on some products, including Panko breadcrumbs.</p> <p>More than 25 popular Coles products will be offered in value-sized packs from baking products and special treats to a 5kg bag of Barilla pasta, which will cost you $14.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Bulk buying is a good way to save money on groceries, but up until now it's been a niche market. Not anymore.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9ACA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9ACA</a> | FULL STORY: <a href="https://t.co/FwnMegaDUf">https://t.co/FwnMegaDUf</a> <a href="https://t.co/9x5vBVemwO">pic.twitter.com/9x5vBVemwO</a></p> — A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) <a href="https://twitter.com/ACurrentAffair9/status/1128236766878584832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 May 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The larger product range will be in stores nationwide from today, but Coles CEO Greg Davis has a warning for customers.</p> <p>Stocks may vary from store to store, so customers should shop early to avoid disappointment.</p> <p>“We know our customers look for value when stocking up on pantry staples and offering some of our popular products in bulk is one way we are helping our customers save time and manage the family budget,” Mr Davis said to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/coles-is-now-offering-bulk-purchases-of-its-goods-rivalling-bulk-retailer-costco/news-story/9678432794d2e33ee8714921c8550446" target="_blank">news.com.au.</a></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7826884/nutrigrain.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/485c9a1829b740d28215fffa8632718d" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>A regular sized Nutri-Grain next to the bulk serving offered by Coles</em></p> <p>“A great example is the Barilla 5kg bag of spaghetti, which is enough to make 40 main course-sized bowls of pasta and last the average family for a couple of months, or even feed the whole extended family at a celebration.”</p> <p>Coles senior communications manager Martine Alpins said customers would see savings of more than 60 per cent if they bought bulk items in some cases on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/a-current-affair-coles-bulk-buying-super-size-items-trial-launch-latest-news-australia/13b7ca56-61c5-4b6d-8f59-7c12fdde84bb" target="_blank">A Current Affair</a>.</p> <p>"Over winter our customers love to stock up on staples," she said.</p> <p>"Things that you don't want to have to keep buying at the supermarket. You can buy once and have it there ready to go for your family.”</p> <p>Some of the bulk offerings include:</p> <ul> <li>Barilla pasta, usually $1.95 for 500g, available in a 5kg bag for $14 (savings 28 per cent)</li> <li>Panko Breadcrumbs, usually $2.70 for 200g, available in a 1kg box for $5 (saving 63 per cent)</li> <li>San Remo Cous Cous, usually $2.80 for 500g, available in a 2kg pack for $6 (saving 46 per cent)</li> <li>Kewpie Mayonnaise, usually $4.90 for 300g, available in a 1kg bottle for $9 (saving 49 per cent)   </li> </ul>

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Are corporate mergers hurting customers? It's time to check

<p>Compared with the grand cause of climate change or the pointed self-interest of income tax, competition policy is a decidedly unsexy election issue. So it’s hardly surprising that no party is running hot on the issue – not even the Labor Party, although it has put <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/accc-to-review-mergers-under-alp-plan-to-aid-competition-20190224-p50zus.html">some notable reforms</a> on the election slate.</p> <p>But competition policy matters to all of us.</p> <p>It’s what stands between being able to pick and choose goods and services with a range of prices and quality on the one hand, and on the other being dictated to by one or a handful of sellers charging as much and offering as little possible.</p> <p>Keeping markets competitive necessitates a debate about economics, law and regulation. It may be technical but we pay dearly if we don’t have it.</p> <p>Existing policies to protect competition in Australia are not in bad shape. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is regarded as <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-global-competition-agency-of-the-year">one of the world’s best</a> competition regulators. But there is always more that can be done.</p> <p>Most of all, the commission needs more empirical evidence to know if it is doing enough to prevent competitive markets being distorted by a few dominant companies.</p> <p><strong>Highly concentrated</strong></p> <p>Many Australian markets <a href="https://adamtriggs.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/aere12185.pdf">are concentrated</a> – dominated by a few big players. Think of banks, energy retailers, telecommunications, supermarkets and petrol sellers.</p> <p>Each year the ACCC considers hundreds of mergers or acquisitions that add to concentration.</p> <p>The competition watchdog has the power to begin formal proceedings to block a merger if it is judged to give the merged entity too much market power. In reality, however, the regulator opposes very few acquisitions.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/ACCC-%26-AER-Annual-Report-2017-18_0.pdf">2017-18</a>, for example, the ACCC examined 281 mergers. It “pre-assessed” 252 as not requiring a review. Of the 29 reviewed, 17 (61%) were cleared unconditionally. This means just 4% of all examined mergers were opposed. The previous year <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/accc-aer-annual-report/accc-aer-annual-report-2016-17/accc-aer-annual-report-2016-17/part-3-program-11-accc/strategy-1-maintain-and-promote-competition/analysis-of-performance-assessing-mergers">it was also just 4%</a>.</p> <p>Whether Australia’s high concentration levels are due to lax merger control standards is open for debate. So too is whether concentration necessarily harms competition.</p> <p>The Grattan Institute has <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/competition-in-the-australian-economy/">pointed the finger at other factors</a>: too much regulation in some sectors, creating barriers to entry (such as zoning laws for grocery retailers), and too little regulation in others (such as access conditions for ports).</p> <p>It is generally accepted that a higher degree of industrial consolidation may be justified to enable efficiencies of scale in an economy that is relatively small and geographically dispersed. Enhanced efficiency should mean lower prices for consumers.</p> <p>At least, that’s what the economic theory tells us. But is that what has been happening in practice?</p> <p><strong>Merger retrospectives</strong></p> <p>In other countries, economists and policy makers have the benefit of empirical studies that measure what effect mergers or acquisitions have had on prices and other aspects of market performance. The studies look at merger deals not blocked by competition authorities. They examine whether acquisitions live up to the claims made by the merging parties at the time of the deal.</p> <p>These “merger retrospectives” have shown that mergers, in reducing the number of competitors, do indeed raise prices. A <a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/mergers-merger-control-and-remedies">comprehensive review of merger retrospectives </a> in the US found prices rose by 4.3% in nearly 95% of cases where mergers led to six or fewer significant competitors in a market. This finding is not unique to the US. A <a href="https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/7c4f0300-f7cc-11e5-b1f9-01aa75ed71a1/language-en">2016 study in Europe</a> had similar results.</p> <p>Retrospective analyses are regularly done by agencies overseas, including in Canada and Britain. But not in Australia.</p> <p>Doing so would tell us if the ACCC’s system for making merger assessments is working. Depending on their scope, merger retrospectives might also provide valuable data for other important policy debates, such as whether concentration levels suppress investment, innovation and wage growth, or <a href="https://www.oecd.org/competition/inequality-a-hidden-cost-of-market-power.htm">increase inequality</a>.</p> <p><strong>Labor proposals</strong></p> <p>In 2013 the Abbott government initiated a <a href="http://competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/">major independent review</a> of Australia’s competition policy framework and laws. Known as the Harper review, it was completed in 2015. Several significant amendments were made as a result. The most prominent was introducing an “effects test” – to determine if unilateral conduct has the purpose or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.</p> <p>Now federal Labor is supporting further reforms, including <a href="http://www.andrewleigh.com/labor_will_make_merger_analysis_smarter_media_release">retrospective analysis</a> of mergers.</p> <p>These reviews may be complex and expensive, but Labor is also proposing an increase in the ACCC budget.</p> <p>It is also proposing higher fines for companies breaking competition laws. This is based on Australia being an <a href="http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/pecuniary-penalties-competition-law-infringements-australia-2018.htm">outlier on the international stage</a> in terms of the <a href="https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/why-are-corporate-penalties-for-cartels-so-low-in-australia">relatively low fines</a> it imposes to punish and deter breaches of competition laws.</p> <p>The proposal is to increase the maximum penalty for a breach of consumer and competition laws from A$10 million to A$50 million, or 30% of the annual sales of the product or service relating to the breach, multiplied by the duration of the infringement. This emulates the European approach to calculating fines. It would mean the starting point for the fine imposed in the notorious Visy price-fixing case would have been more than <a href="https://theconversation.com/cartels-caught-ripping-off-australian-consumers-should-be-hit-with-bigger-fines-78750">A$200 million</a>, instead of A$36 million.</p> <p>The ACCC supports increasing corporate fines, so this proposal should be taken seriously.</p> <p>But reforms should not just be concerned with anti-competitive conduct after it happens. That won’t undo the damage to businesses, workers and consumers.</p> <p>What matters as much, if not more, is having a legal framework to ensure markets do not become overly concentrated, affording undue power to just a handful of firms, in the first place.</p> <p><em>Written by Caron Beaton-Wells. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-too-many-corporate-mergers-harming-consumers-we-wont-know-if-we-dont-check-115378">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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The major change coming to Woolworths’ self-serve checkouts

<p>Woolworths is bringing back the weight scales on self-service checkouts to cut down on the number of items being stolen by thieves.</p> <p>The weighing in the bagging area along with the robotic command “unexpected item in the bagging area” was turned off a few years ago.</p> <p>However, the supermarket giant is following in the footsteps of their rival Coles and turning the system back on to crack down on thieves and “scanning” mistakes.</p> <p>Woolworths said the change will be happening in all stores and will help customers with incorrect scanning so they will not be overcharged.</p> <p>“Self-serve check-outs are popular and the vast majority of customers have no trouble scanning the right items,” a spokesperson told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/woolworths-have-begun-weighing-items-in-the-bagging-area-again-at-selfservice-checkouts/news-story/6586309715eed2778dafdb86be027a46" target="_blank">news.com.au.</a></p> <p>“From time to time, we see customers scan the wrong items, so we’ve turned on weigh scales to help shoppers validate the right items are going through.</p> <p>“We know customers like self-serve for its speed and ease and have extra team members on deck to help keep our customers moving as we implement this new measure.”</p> <p>The extra measure comes just after it was revealed both Woolworths and Coles would be trialling a new system – the use of camera technology at self-serve checkouts.</p> <p>The Australian Retailers Association estimated shoplifting in the retail sector cost businesses $7.5 billion in 2014. </p> <p>With the new security measure being rolled out, many shoppers are not happy.</p> <p>“If you insist on forcing people to use self-serve and self-serve with weight checks, staff them accordingly and have software that can handle the item weight checks,” one customer wrote on the Woolworths Facebook page.</p> <p>“You recently added weight checking to self-serve checkout bagging areas. Please get rid of it — it’s inaccurate and drives people nuts,” another user wrote.</p> <p>While the return of the weighing feature has left many customers annoyed, others have accepted the system.</p> <p>“The theft on self-serve checkouts is shocking. People scanning pink lady apples through as lettuce etc...” one shopper wrote on a social media post.</p> <p>“I’ve heard plenty of stories from my local Woolies. Unfortunately, they have to bring these new security measures in now because of the dishonesty of a few.”</p>

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Labor wants to restore penalty rates within 100 days. But what about the independent umpire?

<p>Labor has promised to restore the penalty rates cut by the Fair Work Commission in its first 100 days.</p> <p>From its point of view, as part of a broader attack on the Coalition’s record on industrial relations, wage stagnation, widespread wage theft and the growth of insecure work, it makes sense.</p> <p>But it betrays a broader principle Labor holds dear - independence of the tribunal.</p> <p>The Coalition is saying little about it – still spooked by the electoral poison wrought by its <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorkChoices">WorkChoices</a> legislation more than a decade ago.</p> <p>Throughout the campaign it’s been happy to fall back on claims about economic growth and tax cuts creating favourable conditions to lift wages generally.</p> <p>So what did the Fair Work Commission decide about penalty rates back in 2017, and what has occurred since?</p> <p><strong>The commission’s decision was limited</strong></p> <p>The cuts to penalty rates are often discussed as if they applied across the board. They didn’t. The commission’s decision affected penalty rates in the federal awards applying to only six sectors: fast food, retail, hospitality, pharmacies, clubs and restaurants.</p> <p>It determined that the penalty rates for working on public holidays in those awards would be reduced from July 1, 2017; and that the penalty rates for Sunday work in four of the awards would be phased down over four years. For example, full-time workers on the retail award had their Sunday rates cut from 200% of the normal rate to 195% in July 2017, then to 180% in July 2018, and were to have the cut to 165% in July this year, followed by a cut to 150% in July 2020.</p> <p>Extra payments for working irregular or unsocial hours are a longstanding feature of Australia’s industrial relations system. Traditionally, penalty rates have been included in awards with two objectives in mind: to compensate workers for having to work overtime or on weekends and public holidays, and to deter employers from requiring employees to work at these times.</p> <p>However, in reaching its decision, the commission found that the deterrence objective was no longer relevant for public holiday or Sunday penalty rates.</p> <p><strong>Sundays have become less sacred</strong></p> <p>The finding followed a report of the the Productivity Commission that found that working on Sundays was far more common than it had been in industries such as hospitality, restaurants and retail. This reflected a broader shift to a “24/7 economy”.</p> <p>In the Fair Work Commission’s word, the “disutility” endured by workers employed on Sundays was less than it was.</p> <p>Labor and the union movement have strongly criticised the commission’s decision in the two years since it was handed down. Labor very quickly introduced a bill to override it and restore the penalty rates of the 700,000 affected workers. The government opposed it and a similar bill introduced by The Greens, enabling Labor and the unions to hammer the prime minister in the election campaign for “<a href="https://www.penaltyratesrecord.com/cook">voting eight times</a>” to cut penalty rates.</p> <p>Labor has argued that over the recent ten-day Easter and Anzac Day break, the penalty rate cuts resulted in a loss of between <a href="https://www.billshorten.com.au/morrison_s_penalty_rate_cuts_leave_australian_workers_up_to_370_worse_off_over_easter_saturday_20_april_2019">$218 for a fast food worker and $369 for a pharmacy employee</a>.</p> <p>The union/Labor-aligned McKell Institute says workers will be $2.87 billion worse off by the end of the scheduled reduction in penalty rate cuts <a href="https://mckellinstitute.org.au/app/uploads/McKell-Fork-in-the-Road-April-26-2019-.pdf">if the Coalition is re-elected</a>.</p> <p><strong>But cutting penalty rates has created few jobs</strong></p> <p>Business groups have long claimed that cutting penalty rates will boost employment levels, a position endorsed by both the Productivity Commission and Fair Work Commission. However, research published by the Australia Institute last year finds that the retail and hospitality industries were among <a href="http://www.tai.org.au/content/penalty-rates-and-employment-one-year-later">the lowest industries for job growth in the year after rates were cut</a>.</p> <p>The Council of Small Business Organisations conceded two weeks ago that the cuts <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/penalty-rate-cut-failed-to-create-one-new-job/news-story/4946a1915162c197a896063ae4009bb7">failed to create one new job</a>. Its chief executive, Peter Strong, said the impact had been minimal because it had coincided with above average increases in the minimum wage.</p> <p>“There’s no extra jobs on a Sunday,” he was reported as saying. “There’s been no extra hours. Certainly, I don’t know anyone (who gave workers extra hours). It’s been just a waste of time.”</p> <p>However, the Fair Work Commission is set up to be independent.</p> <p><strong>Labor’s approach carries longer term risks</strong></p> <p>A campaign spokesperson for the Liberal Party was quoted in the <a href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/election-2019/2019/04/22/penalty-rates-labor-liberal/">New Daily</a> last month saying: “‘Bill Shorten knows it is the independent Fair Work Commission that sets penalty rates, not the government. In fact, it was Bill Shorten … who set up the review into penalty rates. He even appointed the umpire.’”</p> <p>The Coalition is gilding the lily. It has been no great defender of the industrial tribunal’s independence in the past. Under WorkChoices it sidelined the commission completely. Lately it has stacked the commission with employer representatives.</p> <p>But it’s not a great idea to start overruling Fair Work Commission decisions that are unpopular. Yes, the penalty rate cuts are arbitrary, reducing the take-home pay of low-paid workers. But Australians have trusted the tribunal to make those judgment calls for more than 100 years.</p> <p>If Labor wants to influence Fair Work Commission decisions, it should change the criteria used by the commission to review awards – it plans to do so as part of its promise to turn the minimum wage into a “living wage”.</p> <p>Overturning decisions it doesn’t like will leave the Fair Work Commission wondering why it is bothering, and allow others to refuse to accept decisions they don’t like. And if Labor is elected and perseveres, it will also allow a less worker-friendly successor to overturn decisions it doesn’t like.</p> <p><em>Written by Anthony Forsyth. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/labor-wants-to-restore-penalty-rates-within-100-days-but-what-about-the-independent-umpire-116154"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Royal babies don’t come cheap: The crazy cost of Harry and Meghan's newborn Archie

<p>He is less than a week old, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seemed to have already spent quite a bit in preparation for their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.  </p> <p>This large tab is estimated to  be a staggering $1.7 million, as reported by <a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/2019/05/09/14/06/cost-of-prince-harry-meghan-markle-baby" target="_blank">9Honey.</a></p> <p>It may not come as a surprise to any of us who have been parents that welcoming a tiny tot into the world can come at a ridiculously hefty fee, and the world’s favourite new royal parents seem to know all about that as well.</p> <p>Here is a quick breakdown of all the costs of baby Archie so far.</p> <p><strong>Meghan’s designer maternity wardrobe</strong></p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex has had a very busy year-and-a-half as a full-time royal member. In that time, she has amassed a large collection of designer items to match a princess-like lifestyle – or duchess in Meghan’s case.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.lovethesales.com/editorial/meghan-markle-maternity-style" target="_blank">Love the Sales,</a> the glowing new mother’s maternity wardrobe had an estimated price tag of AUD$717,000.</p> <p>It’s not hard to believe though, considering we see the 37-year-old royal member donning the most expensive brands including Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Dior and Victoria Beckham.</p> <p>The Duchess has shown she’s not just into designer items though, as she is often seen in budget-friendly items from fast fashion chain H&amp;M when attending public events.</p> <p><strong>Extravagant baby shower</strong></p> <p>The former actress and Hollywood starlet has not forgotten where she came from even though she’s jumped across the pond to live with her prince. Duchess Meghan had a celebrity-clad baby shower in New York City in March. The tradition cost a staggering AUD$573,000, as reported by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/02/inside-meghan-markles-manhattan-baby-shower?verso=true" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a>.</p> <p>The guest list did match the hefty price tag though, with A-listers like Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and a number of other celebs gracing the event with their presence.</p> <p><strong>Luxury babymoon</strong></p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8795175/meghan-markle-prince-harry-babymoon/" target="_blank">The Sun’s</a> royal reporter Emily Andrews, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a few romantic nights away from the hustle and bustle of royal life and jumped on the “babymoon” bandwagon before they welcomed baby Archie into the world.</p> <p>Reports confirmed the couple chose a luxurious countryside-looking palace at Heckfield Place – a five-star hotel in Hampshire, UK.</p> <p>The intimate holiday filled with romantic walks, cosy fire-lit dinners and luxury pampering doesn’t come cheap though, as a three-night stay costs roughly AUD$60,000.</p> <p><strong>Baby nursery renovation</strong></p> <p>At the end of 2018, the royal family announced Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan would be moving from their comfortable apartment in Kensington Palace in London to Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of the Windsor Estate.</p> <p>Royal insiders confirmed the couple spent a whopping $93,000 on renovating just the nursery for baby Archie.</p> <p>Whatever the cost though, it all seems to be worth it to the glowing first-time royal parents who have said their newest arrival is “to die for.”</p> <p>“It’s magic. It’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world, so I’m really happy,” Meghan said about her tiny tot.</p> <p>“He has the sweetest temperament,” she went on to say. “He’s really calm.”</p> <p>Harry then cheekily added: “I don’t know where he gets that from!”</p> <p>Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was welcomed to the world on May 6th, 2019.</p>

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ALDI’s $20 cult favourite item has shoppers furious

<p>ALDI just released a beauty dupe for a $575 item and already in many stores it is sold out.</p> <p>The cult beauty favourite, the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/aldi-brings-back-cult-20-beauty-product" target="_blank">highly anticipated Lacura Caviar range</a>, went on sale Wednesday morning as part of a Special Buys release and has caused chaos in stores.</p> <p>However, one ALDI fan page has taken to social media to vent their frustrations after finding the cheap product being sold for over five times its original purchase price.</p> <p>The page shared a screenshot of the moisturiser listed on eBay, asking prices ranging from $80 to $140.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="/media/7826730/aldilacura.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d0b9dd6a306c425480900c69a11d3a7f" /></p> <p>“This makes me so angry! Please don’t support this and purchase on eBay for these ridiculous prices!” the caption read with the images of the Lacura products with hefty price tags.</p> <p>Tammy from the ALDI Lovers Australia Instagram page told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/face-body/aldis-20-dupe-of-luxury-beauty-product-sold-for-five-times-price-on-ebay/news-story/6650b1d3f64d92f3793e3fb616089d89/" target="_blank">news.com.au</a> those looking to make a quick profit from the items were “crazy and just plain greedy.”</p> <p>“We all know stock is limited, so to do that and take advantage of the situation is just selfish.”</p> <p>Another fan of the product wrote online: “People are selling them for at least 3 times the price on eBay!!! Makes me so mad!”</p> <p>“If there was a limit maybe some of us would get our hands on these creams!!!” another comment read.</p> <p>“Take a look on eBay and see they’re selling for up to 3 times the price!! Come on Aldi let’s make it fair for everyone.”</p> <p>The Caviar Illumination Day Cream and Caviar Night cream retails for $19.99 has proven to be a popular item for beauty and skincare lovers, not just for the price but the award-winning formula that compares to the La Prairie’s version – which is a whole $555 more.</p> <p>The item has sold fast and many have taken to social media to share their purchases.</p> <p>“Honestly the best face cream I have ever used in my life”, one excited customer wrote adding the product at her store was “selling like hotcakes.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxMal_ggsLL/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxMal_ggsLL/" target="_blank">A post shared by Kylie H (@_miss_ky_)</a> on May 8, 2019 at 12:57am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>An ALDI spokeswoman told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/face-body/aldis-20-dupe-of-luxury-beauty-product-sold-for-five-times-price-on-ebay/news-story/6650b1d3f64d92f3793e3fb616089d89/" target="_blank">news.com.au</a> the chain experienced “a higher than anticipated sell-through” when the Lacura range went to stores on Wednesday.</p> <p>“It is never our intention to cause disappointment to our customers, or miss out on sales, and we will always strive to allocate optimal supplies for our stores to meet forecast demand,” the statement said.</p> <p>“We are not in the practice of restricting the volume of items sold to our customers and our focus will remain on correctly balancing customer demand with stock availability.”</p>

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"As good as a Dyson”: $8 Kmart find sends fans into a spin

<p>A NSW mum has immediately shared her new find at Kmart – and it’s not going to break the bank and does a fantastic job at cleaning the floors.</p> <p>Shirley Towan, from Bombala in regional NSW, spoke to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/interiors/the-8-kmart-find-mum-thinks-is-as-good-as-a-dyson/news-story/aea84ee4816575a19be564f68724efe6" target="_blank">news.com.au</a> about her latest Kmart find, which is an $8 broom from Kmart that cleans carpets. It can be found in the cleaning section of the discount department store.</p> <p>“I instantly knew I had to have one so I asked my friend to pick one up for me on Sunday,” Shirley said.</p> <p>She was looking for a fix to clean a hallway through her home that “no amount of vacuuming has ever cleaned properly,” when she found the broom at Kmart.</p> <p>However, Shirley had already invested more than $700 in a Dyson vacuum, but was unhappy with the results as it didn’t clean her carpet the way she wanted it to.</p> <p>Putting the broom to the test on Monday, Shirley was shocked with the results.</p> <p>“When I first used the broom I was in absolute disbelief that there was so much debris left behind after constant vacuuming,” she said.</p> <p>“I was actually slightly embarrassed that all that stuff came out of my carpet!”</p> <p><img style="width: 480px; height: 480px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7826655/42727521-3-f.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/09263c8d3990449b912defc35b8165ca" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: Kmart Australia</em></p> <p>Shirley has also made a bold claim, saying that her new purchase is “just as good as a Dyson”.</p> <p>She shared her success with a popular Kmart Facebook group, saying she’s been in “total shock”.</p> <p>“I wanted to share it with other mums to let them know that an $8 broom can be amazing for carpet,” she said.</p> <p>With 2.2K people liking her tip and almost 500 comments, Shirley has been “gobsmacked” by the reaction to her post.</p> <p>“I just wanted to show a few mums how good it was and now the whole country has got on board,” she said.</p> <p>“Now I’m famous for sharing a pile of fluff!”</p>

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"Completely put me off": Woman finds sharp object in popular yoghurt sold at Woolies

<p>A Melbourne woman has reported finding a sharp foreign object in a yoghurt she had bought at Woolworths.</p> <p>Sheridan Tomkinson was enjoying her breakfast this morning when she felt something strange in her mouthful of yoghurt.</p> <p>“As I started eating this at my desk at work, I felt something unusual in my mouth and it’s a f***ing piece of metal,” she wrote on the supermarket’s Facebook page alongside a picture of the strange object.</p> <p>“Suffering a major toothache at the moment with my wisdom teeth, and chewing on this thing made it feel worse.</p> <p>“Good one Woolworths and Chobani, I was really enjoying my yoghurt until this completely put me off.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdailytelegraph%2Fposts%2F10156108004486105&amp;width=500" width="500" height="487" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Other social media users expressed their disgust and encouraged Tomkinson to lodge a complaint. </p> <p>“Make sure you put a big complaint in that’s terrible imagine [if] it was a little child,” one wrote.</p> <p>“Not buying [C]hobanis anymore,” another added.</p> <p>Woolworths responded to the post, commenting: “We’re very concerned to see this. Thank you for letting us know your details. Our team will be in contact with you today.”</p> <p>The supermarket giant told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/research-reveals-blatant-gender-tax-added-to-aussie-staples/news-story/8bd48e80c32b2df80cdc72fdd068ba09"><em>news.com.au</em></a> that it had communicated the issue to Chobani. </p> <p>“The details have been reported to the supplier who makes the product, and we stand ready to assist them as they investigate the matter,” the Woolworths spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We’re not aware of any other reports of a similar nature about this product at this time.”</p> <p>Chobani has not commented on the matter.</p>

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Controversial ticket reseller Viagogo claims it’s just “misunderstood”

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ticket reseller Viagogo has been found guilty of making false or misleading representations and engaging in conduct liable to mislead the public in the Federal Court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, despite misleading Australian consumers and having competitors saying that it aids ticket scalping on “an industrial scale”, the managing director of Viagogo claims it’s misunderstood.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If it wasn’t for us, most fans wouldn’t have a chance to go to high-demand events because the odds are stacked against them. We give them that one last chance to make it to the event,” Viagogo managing director Cris Miller told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/controversial-ticket-reseller-viagogo-says-its-just-misunderstood/news-story/9d035181a6cece8d083b1a93f04c10ac"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and NSW Fair Trading has warned customers against buying tickets from Viagogo due to the site creating a “false sense of urgency” and giving the appearance that it’s an “official” seller.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Miller explained the changes that are already underway by Viagogo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The ruling does not reflect our current ticketing platform and the many changes we have made. We are disappointed that the Chair of the Commission does not support the greater competition that Viagogo and other ticket resellers bring to the market which provides greater choice for Australians consumers,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many Australian celebrities, such as comedian Kitty Flanagan and band Peking Duk have called out Viagogo and urged punters to use other sites.</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FKittyFlanagan%2Fposts%2F10155571430873230&amp;width=500" width="500" height="563" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Flanagan took issue with the prices advertised on Viagogo, saying that “the tix have often been fraudulently obtained, are always STUPIDLY priced and will not be honoured by the venues I’m playing.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Miller admits that this kind of criticism has hurt the brand of Viagogo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Of course we would love to have a better reputation. We’re misunderstood, and we need to do a better job of educating our customers and dispel myths about what it is we do.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, competitors such as Ticketek would prefer that the platform not exist at all. Chief Operating Officer of Ticketek owner TEG, Cameron Hoy, said that Viagogo is a “scourge on the live entertainment industry”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Viagogo is under scrutiny because fans and authorities have had enough of the rip-offs,” Mr Hoy said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Viagogo facilitates resale scalping of tickets at an industrial scale, a practice that is rife with fraud, price gouging and leaves many fans heartbroken and out of pocket.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many consumers have issues with the fees that Viagogo inform you about halfway through the transaction. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">News.com.au</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> conducted a test for Fleetwood Mac tickets in Sydney this August on Ticketek and Viagogo to discover the difference in fees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They found that despite the ticket prices being similar between the two brands, the fees are what made the difference. Ticketek added fees that were $6.90. Viagogo added GST and fees of around $80.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Miller claims that despite the fees being added, prices will continue to go up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We didn’t create the market; it was always there. We just put order to the market.”</span></p>

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"A dubious proposition even for him": Bob Hawke and Paul Keating reunite to slam PM Scott Morrison

<p>Former Labor prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating have reunited to endorse Bill Shorten’s economic credentials and slam Prime Minister Scott Morrison for “the fallacious claim that Labor can’t manage the economy”.</p> <p>Ahead of the May 18 election, the two former Labor leaders made their first joint statement in 28 years to take credit for Labor’s role in driving Australia’s economic growth and reform.</p> <p>The last time Hawke and Keating shared a platform was in 1991, when Keating resigned as a Treasurer to challenge Hawke’s prime ministership.</p> <p>“It is a blatant denial of history for Scott Morrison to allege that the Labor Party cannot manage the economy when he knows the design and structure of the modern Australian economy was put in place exclusively by the Labor Party,” the two wrote in a piece published by the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/scott-morrison-is-flying-in-the-face-of-history-with-his-fallacious-claim-20190507-p51kts.html" target="_blank"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em><span> </span>and<span> </span><em>The Ag</em>e</a> today.</p> <p>Citing the wage growths and structural reforms in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s under their terms, Hawke and Keating wrote Morrison was arguing that “Labor can’t manage its own creation – a dubious proposition even for him.”</p> <p>This is the latest display of unity from Labor. In the party’s campaign launch on Sunday in Brisbane, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were also spotted side-by-side as they set aside their personal feud to show support for Labor’s run along with Keating.</p> <p>Hawke sent a statement of support from Sydney in lieu of attending the event as he was too “frail” for air travel at the age of 89, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/bob-hawke-and-paul-keating-reunite-for-the-first-time-in-28-years-to-endorse-labor-s-economic-plan-20190507-p51kv2.html" target="_blank"><em>The Sydney Morning Herald</em></a> reported.</p> <p>During <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/he-deserves-a-lot-worse-scott-morrison-egged-at-election-campaign-by-protester/">a visit to Albury</a> on Tuesday, Morrison told the same publications that a vote for Labor would put unions in control of industrial laws. </p> <p>“I don’t want to see the Labor Party get to office where they tie businesses up with all sorts of union red tape and all sorts of the Greens’ green tape, which would just cost people jobs,” the PM said.</p> <p>Morrison also defended his government’s decision to cut or restrict pension to some Australians in his term. </p> <p>“The changes we made were progressive, the changes that we made were about fairness,” said Morrison.</p> <p>“The changes Bill Shorten wants to make are about neither of those things – they’re not reforms, they’re just tax grabs.”</p>

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It’s the luxuries that give it away: To fight corruption, follow the goods

<p>There is disquiet about the French owners of the luxury brands Luis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Gucci giving a whopping €300 million to the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral. Such largesse, critics say, could be better used for humanitarian causes.</p> <p>This is more than a rhetorical point. It is almost certain that some of the profits made by all sellers of luxury goods come from criminals who have siphoned off government funds. Rather than being spent on health, education and other social welfare programs, the money has been spent on luxury goods.</p> <p>Luxury goods are used to facilitate corrupt transactions and launder dirty money. Using data for 32 high-income and emerging economies, we have found a strong correlation between luxury item expenditure and societal corruption.</p> <p>Our findings confirm previous research, such as luxury car sales being substantially higher in OECD countries with higher perceived corruption levels.</p> <p>We are not saying that luxury brands are doing anything criminal. Nonetheless they could make a great gift to the world by pitching in to build the institutional architecture needed to combat corruption.</p> <p><strong>Corrupt figures</strong></p> <p>Anecdotal evidence of the connection between corruption and luxury items is easy to find.</p> <p>Right now, Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, is on trial over the looting of billions of dollars from government accounts. Police raided his multiple homes and collected 280 boxes of luxury items estimated to be worth more than US$270 million. This included 12,000 pieces of jewellery worth up to US$220 million, 423 watches worth US$19.3 million and 567 handbags worth more than US$10 million.</p> <p>Last year, Brazilian customs officials found luxury watches worth an estimated US$15 million in the bags of the entourage of Teodorin Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea. The son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president since 1979, he was convicted of corruption by a French court in 2017.</p> <p>Swiss authorities seized his fleet of luxury cars, including a Koenigsegg One:1 (one of just seven built, worth US$2 million) in 2016. The same year Dutch authorities seized his US$120 million super-yacht at the request of a Swiss court.</p> <p>Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, ranks 141 out of 189 nations on the UN’s Human Development Index.</p> <p>The list goes on and on. When the Viktor Yanukovych was deposed as Ukrainian president in 2014, for example, his palatial home revealed wealth far in excess of his official income. So too did the home of his attorney-general, Viktor Pshonka, which included a nest of Fabergé eggs.</p> <p><strong>Calculating the correlation</strong></p> <p>Our analysis covers all countries for which annual data on luxury spending per capita are obtainable, from 2004 to 2014. The sample includes the major emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) and major high-income countries (US, Japan and Germany). Collectively the 32 sample countries represent about 85% of the world’s GDP.</p> <p>We have cross-referenced these data with two corruption measures: the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.</p> <p>Our calculations make allowances for variables such as relative wealth and spending by tourists. Greater spending on luxury goods is to be expected in richer nations and in international travel hubs such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. We have also controlled for factors such as inequality, with demand for luxury goods increasing as the income gap widens.</p> <p>Our results suggest stronger anti-corruption controls reduce luxury spending. More press freedom and information transparency help too, presumably because this increases the chance of corruption being exposed.</p> <p><strong>Conspicuous consumption</strong></p> <p>In countries where paying bribes to government officials to secure government contracts or operating licences is common practice, luxury goods are often used instead of direct monetary payments. Such “gifts” do not leave a transaction trail so are less likely to result in legal action against corrupt officials.</p> <p>Another explanation for the link between corruption and luxury spending is that corrupt individuals send signals about their “services” by demonstrating a lavish lifestyle beyond their official source of income. It is a form of conspicuous consumption – buying something not for its intrinsic utility but as a signal to others.</p> <p>Transparency International notes in its 2017 report Tainted Treasures: Money Laundering Risks in Luxury Markets: “For individuals engaged in corruption schemes, the luxury sector is significantly attractive as a vehicle to launder illicit funds. Luxury goods, super yachts and stately homes located at upmarket addresses can also bestow credibility on the corrupt, providing a sheen of legitimacy to people who benefit from stolen wealth.”</p> <p><strong>Cleaning up the luxury market</strong></p> <p>We agree with Transparency International that laws, policies and practices to combat this connection are underdeveloped.</p> <p>Anti-corruption policies need to include monitoring luxury markets and developing regulations that increase transparency in luxury gifting.</p> <p>The merits of doing so are demonstrated by anti-corruption efforts in China. In 2012 the Chinese government initiated plans to track corruption by looking at luxury goods ownership. As a result, consumption of luxury goods fell from US$93.48 billion in 2011 to US$73.1 billion in 2014.</p> <p>There needs to be established global policies. The countries that host the largest luxury markets – China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and Britain – must also do more to ensure sellers of luxury goods follow due diligence and reporting requirements.</p> <p>In Britain, for example, Transparency International reports that auction houses (such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s) filed just 15 of the total 381,882 suspicious transaction reports made to law enforcement authorities in one year.</p> <p>In Antwerp, the largest diamond exchange in the world, suspicious transaction reports by precious stones dealers were totally lacking.</p> <p>Luxury goods dealers have too little motivation to ensure those buying their trinkets and toys are not using money gained corruptly.</p> <p>If the contribution of France’s luxury empires to rebuild one of Christendom’s most famous churches sparks a conversation about the problems of the luxury goods market and what can be done to to fight corruption, that will be a positive.</p> <p>More than one French icon is on the line.</p> <p><em>Written by Reza Tajaddini and Hassan F. Gholipour. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-the-luxuries-that-give-it-away-to-fight-corruption-follow-the-goods-113553">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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