YEAR OF BIG CHANGES
In the Chinese zodiac this is the year of change. HILLMAN LAWYERS commences on 1 July 2013 at the new address of level 29, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square Sydney NSW 2000.
NEW LAWYER – MORE EXPERTISE
We welcome Ghislaine Giraud as a new lawyer. Ghislaine is a French lawyer with post graduate qualifications, having studied in 4 universities - in France and the UK, and has now completed studies with the University of Sydney to qualify as an Australian lawyer. As well as her qualifications in both French and Common Law systems, she brings with her over 13 years experience in Commercial and Contract Law.
EUROPE – LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
Cyprus, long a banking and tax haven, has joined the bail out queue in Brussels with draconian obligations. Slovenia seems to be the next bottle on the wall. Outside the euro zone but in the EU, the British economy continues to contract, income in real terms has diminished by over 4% since 2007 (the comfort for Australia is that over the same period it has increase by almost 7%).
In 1980 Europe's share of world GDP was 26%, by 2015 it will be 17%, and anticipated to drop to10% by 2040.
USA – LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO MORNING
The economy is wheezing back but with employment not really recovering, although pay is low. Obama is proposing to increase the minimum wage from $5 per hour to $7 – In Australia the minimum wage is just over $18 per hour.
The US is looking to trade and export growth. China is already the largest holder of US debt. By 2025 the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 10th economies in the world will be respectively China, India, Japan and Indonesia. Economics and consequent potential power have pushed US policy into the "pivot" into Asia.
This pivot makes the new Chinese leadership anxious because it may be interpreted as an American directed containment of China by China's neighbours, stretching from Japan to India, and including Australia.
CHINA – IT'S NO LONGER A QUESTION OF HU AND WEN?
The end of the 10 year leadership of President Hu and Prime Minister Wen and replacement by Xi Jinping as President and Li Keqiang as Prime Minister is taken to signal the likelihood of change from concentration on economic growth to awareness of issues of corruption, pollution and increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, leading to social unrest that could destabilise the government. The net worth of the 70 richest members of the National People's Congress (effectively the Parliament) rose to $90 billion in 2011.
In order to divert popular attention while addressing issues of corruption and unequal distribution of wealth, and a consequent slow down in exponential economic growth experienced until now, may well involve China in a more aggressive nationalist stance against neighbours.
Given that China now takes 1/3 of Australian exports, a slow down in growth sends shivers down the spines of many, but particularly commodity exporters.
AUSTRALIA – ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE!
Any slow down in commodity exports could impact the Australian dollar making exports cheaper, and benefit the sale of tourist and education services. Australia is taking no chances. The Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Minister for Trade, and a swag of advisers have descended on Beijing to look for more trade, investment and 3 way military exercises involving the US, presumably to convince the Chinese to look on the bright side of US marines being stationed in Darwin..
457 VISA – MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?
Claims of foreigners taking Australian jobs join the dog whistle racism peddled on asylum seekers, bringing a bipartisan approach to fear and loathing. The facts are that pull and push factors for skilled foreign workers remain strong. The solid Australian economy, in contrast to the weakened economies of other developed countries, needs qualified and experienced people not readily available here, and these people are attracted by the opportunities no longer available in their home countries.
These temporary residence visas are an important source for migrants for permanent residence, favoured by both those seeking permanent residence and the Australian government. After 2 years on 457 visa, the employee, on condition of continued sponsorship by the employer, can obtain permanent residence. Having a job is what it is all about!
PLANS FOR SURVIVAL IN CASE YOU DON'T SURVIVE
People plan for career growth, income growth, family growth and many other forms of expansion. In the end we are all dead but, hopefully, it may take some time getting there.
Clients need to think of a survival kit for this voyage and beyond. Fundamental tools are:
a will - to ensure that provision and reward are made for those you think deserving;
an enduring power of attorney – to allow for the person you trust to make decisions and act for you when you no longer can yourself;
an enduring guardianship – to allow those you trust to make decisions on health care, medical intervention, life support, and ultimately to turn out the lights when you no longer can.
These are basic documents that you can establish, review and update when you need to.
Talk to a lawyer (preferably us) about this survival kit