Category Archives: Economy

JOHN MENADUE. A rigged gas market and market failure.

Yesterday, the government announced that it would impose an Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism on gas exports from July this year.  This will give the government authority to limit companies’ gas exports if they are emptying Australian gas reserves to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. The Liberal Party’s French Connection

The political future of Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services (presently on maternity leave) is uncertain, as Liberal Party members in her electorate move to disendorse her. On one level this conflict can be seen as the shenanigans … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

TIM COLEBATCH. Yes, there is such a thing as too much immigration

Adjusting the intake in response to shifts in employment makes long-term sense.   Between 2008 and 2016, in net terms, the Australian labour market expanded by 474,000 full-time jobs. But only 74,000 of them went to people born in Australia. That’s … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for Labor to think big about policy – a people’s bank!

Tony Abbott is not the only one anticipating a change of government at the next election. Voters across the board are increasingly fed up with the Coalition and there are even signs that some of its most devoted cheer leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

TED TRAINER. Oil wake-up call.

Almost no one has the slightest grasp of the oil crunch that will probably hit them within a decade. When it does it will literally mean the end of the world as we know it. Here is an outline of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. How has education come to this?

For a country that prides itself on the egalitarian ethos of a ‘fair go’ for all, the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are a distressing reminder that many are not getting a fair go … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Capital gains taxes: Keating got it right in 1985

Most commentators on the crisis in housing affordability correctly attribute the problem, in part, to the Howard Government’s decision in 1999 to “halve the taxation of capital gains”. But that was only one aspect of the 1999 change: the other … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. 457 visas and our temporary residence system.

In light of government announcement on 457 visas, I have reposted below an article originally posted on 18 November 2016.  See also at end, a link to an article by Joanna Howe in The Canberra Times yesterday.  John Menadue. Oversight … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Immigration, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

GILES PARKINSON. Tide turns as solar, storage costs trump ideologues and incumbents

Looking at the machinations over the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin this week, or seeing certain Coalition Senators howling at the moon over wind turbine “emissions”, or the Treasurer brandishing a lump of coal in parliament, it is … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ALLAN PATIENCE. Is it time to resurrect the Albury-Wodonga city plan?

The housing crisis, hitting young Australians in particular, is one of the cruelest consequences of economic rationalist policy making to which both our major political parties remain super-glued. Neither party has a clearly articulated, long-term solution to this ideologically generated … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

IAN VERRENDER. Distribution of debt poses new trigger to the property, housing market

The trigger has been cocked. Our attitude to property has changed. No longer is it merely a castle, a family retreat and a place in which to find shelter. It’s now a highly geared investment vehicle.  It will take enormous … Continue reading

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KEITH JOINER. Negating the Impact of the Future Submarine at Next Election

Australia’s future submarine project has already been a factor in Australia’s political pulse, in both the fever of pre-elections and in the now omnipresent prime-ministerial instability between these all-too-frequent elections. South Australia’s Xenophon factor has become powerful, and appointments like … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Can we please have a more intelligent debate about corporate taxes

The simple explanation behind the Commonwealth’s proposal to cut corporate taxes is in terms of a struggle between the interests of business and of the broader community, but it is also about the Coalition’s determination, under pressure from vested interests, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Another distraction, but what a distraction.

The starting point is putting a price on carbon – some form of emissions trading policy. But this is total anathema to the coalition party room – worse even than negative gearing. 

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RODNEY TUCKER. The Tragedy of Australia’s National Broadband Network.

A National Tragedy Australia’s National Broadband Network is heavily dependent on a soon-to-be-obsolete technology (FTTN) that most of the world has rejected. The FTTN-based network was sold to the Australian public based on an underestimate of Australia’s broadband needs (Tucker, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, NBN | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

WAYNE McMILLAN. David versus Goliath: reform and reinvention (Part 2 of 2)

What Sally McManus’s is saying is correct, I agree with her conclusions about what has happened to workers over the last 30 years and what is becoming intolerable now in 2017. Across Australia in 2017, little or no wage growth, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

WAYNE McMILLAN. David and Goliath: One step forward, two steps back. (Part 1 of 2)

Malcom Turnbull’s recent comment that he couldn’t work with Sally McManus the recently elected Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is just another excuse against strong union representation for ordinary waged workers.

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

DAVID PEETZ. How tax minimisation affects CEO pay

Firms whose executives behave ‘unethically’, as proxied by not paying any company tax, are also likely to pay their CEOs an average of around a fifth more than firms of similar size and circumstances who do pay company tax.  

Posted in Economy, Industrial relations, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Where do we go from here?

“Why do we experience such difficulty even imagining a different sort of society? Why is it beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage? Are we doomed indefinitely to lurch between a dysfunctional ‘free … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

TONY SMITH. Company tax cuts by any other name

The federal government might have called its company tax cuts bill by another almost Orwellian name, but semantic disguises should not fool anyone. Tax cuts are being delivered to Australian business.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Even in Malcolm Turnbull’s own terms, it is a fizzer.

Well it wasn’t what was hoped for, and certainly not what was required; but it was better than nothing.  

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

TOM BURTON. Data rights for all.

A proposed new legal right for consumers and businesses to control and access the data created about them is set to be one of the major reforms of this decade. Not everyone is supportive.  

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TIM COLEBATCH. Old coal, no new gas: how to generate an electricity crisis.

 We need to set a timetable to reduce emissions from electricity generation, which now contributes a third of Australia’s greenhouse gases – and, by and large, the third that will be easiest and cheapest to reduce. We need price mechanisms … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DUNCAN MacLAREN. Article 50 triggered: the farce heats up

Are you ready for another dose of Brexititis? This past week, PM May triggered Article 50, meaning negotiations can begin, after due examination by the 27 remaining states, between the exiting UK (or, at least, the parts that survive) and … Continue reading

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MAX HAYTON. Kiwibank – lessons for Australia.

It’s not unusual for big banks to be accused of greed, unfairness, poor service and corruption. The answer often proposed is to create a government owned bank. This has been suggested as a solution in Australia. New Zealand has already … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

GILES PARKINSON. How AEMO’s new boss will reform Australia’s energy vision.

Audrey Zibelman, the new chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator, has been in the job for little over a week, but is already making her mark, signalling the biggest shift in energy management philosophy in a generation.  

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

OLIVER FRANKEL. Saul Eslake’s well timed warnings help inform the housing affordability debate

Saul Eslake, one of Australia’s most highly respected independent economists, has sounded some sobering warnings about the impact of declining rates of home ownership (and rising levels of mortgage debt) on Australia’s retirement income system. He has also once again … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. Disadvantaged Students Denied Adequate Funding by Massive Tax Concessions for the Wealthy

The latest Tax Expenditures Statement shows that Australia can easily afford the Gonski funding plan to bring under-resourced public schools up to the national standard and reduce the large proportion of disadvantaged students not achieving expected benchmarks. It is simply … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BOB BIRRELL and BOB KINNAIRD. Migration policy; All about numbers

The permanent skilled migration program should be cut by nearly half, from 128,000 (primary and secondary applicants) to around 70,000. This includes migrants granted visas under the points test and those sponsored by employers.  

Posted in Economy, Immigration, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments