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Category Archives: Economy
Leading economist professor Ross Garnaut says the clean energy target recommended by the Finkel Review could be useless in meeting current emission reduction targets, because technology change and coal retirements will get us there in any case.
Without bipartisan support for the key planks of energy policy, we will continue to have electricity shortages, higher than necessary prices and investment decisions being made by governments based on populism. Workers shouldn’t be used as a pawn in a … Continue reading
While all Western democracies accept the need for social safety nets, conservative governments point to moral hazard to justify less generous public provisions, while progressive parties prioritize more assistance to the needy over additional minor inconvenience to the better off
It wasn’t quite Karl Marx, but, for a central bank boss, it was heady stuff: The Reserve Bank governor, no less, exhorting workers to demand higher pay rises.
Consumers are understandably annoyed about recent electricity price rises. But that does not mean they would necessarily react negatively to a price rise associated with adoption of the Finkel Report recommendations. People are more likely to accept a price rise … Continue reading
On 16 June 2017 Bishop Vincent Long spoke at the Sydney launch of Race Mathews’ book Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966. This is a transcript of his speech, in which he suggests Whitlam would have been appalled … Continue reading
Despite claims to the contrary by the defence industry minister Christopher Pyne, this sector is not driving growth in the economy or jobs. A defence economics specialist Mark Thompson has debunked these claims in a careful analysis just released by … Continue reading
In the series “Fairness, Opportunity and Security” last year I drew attention to the pervasive loss of trust in institutions . Essential Research revealed that the six least trusted institutions were: the news media, state parliaments, trade unions, business groups, … Continue reading
This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 15 February 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on the Finkel Report. Let’s be clear, the Coalition and particularly the Liberal Party and Malcolm … Continue reading
The OECD, in a recent report, has recognised that globalisation has many dimensions. Its enthusiasm for globalisation is undiminished, but it does acknowledge that the costs of globalisation “have been larger, more localised and more durable than previously thought, and … Continue reading
MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Finkel Report and Malcolm Turnbull – compromising at the expense of the planet.
It has little if anything to do with the real issues around climate change: it is all about satisfying Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen and Eric Abetz.
The Finkel Report on the future of the national electricity market falls short of its opportunity to redefine energy markets. It has been focused on trying to find a pathway through the toxic energy politics in Australia, and accommodating the … Continue reading
The people who will suffer most from economic meltdown likely to follow from the UK election will be the country’s poorest and most vulnerable as funds dry up for public services, jobs disappear as firms move to the EU and … Continue reading
Rather than capricious and populist measures such as the government’s levy on the big five banks, we need a thorough and far-ranging consideration of the role of the finance sector in our economy. This sector, which should have benefited from … Continue reading
BERNARD KEANE. Low emissions target: a win for both Turnbull and climate denialists, a loss for everyone.
The beauty of a Low Emissions Target as a climate action policy is that, as a kind of lowest common denominator, it means everyone wins — and for that matter loses.
There was a recent flurry of media excitement about a supposed “secret hospital funding plan”, which turned out to be no more than an option under consideration by a think-tank. But the real (and overlooked) issue in health funding is … Continue reading
There is much discussion about the benefits of reducing tax so that Australia can be competitive with other countries in the world. This is only of consequence to multinational companies considering where to establish their headquarters. All small companies and medium-sized … Continue reading
“The rich are different from you and me” the saying goes. “They have more money“. But that’s not the only way they are different. In the updated Financial Review Rich List released on Friday, 45 of the richest 50 Australians are men. And they are … Continue reading
The Prime Minister’s recent decision to back coal rests on the assumption that it can somehow be made “clean”, or more precisely, that carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technologies can be made to work for coal plants. The problem is … Continue reading
In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading
Rarely have politicians demonstrated their ignorance of the real risks and opportunities confronting Australia than with the recent utterances of Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and other ministers promoting development of Adani and Galilee Basin coal generally, along with their petulant … Continue reading
The policy debate needs fresh ideas to fill the gap left by the lack of popular and political support for the neo-liberal economic agenda. Paul Keating, who championed that agenda, recently said neo-liberal economics “has run into a dead end … Continue reading
JOHN DWYER. Policy mayhem is stifling efforts to have more Australian doctors “in the bush” – part two
In this two part article, I am reviewing the basis for the serious problem we have in providing adequate health care for Australians who live in rural, and particularly, remote areas. Good intentions are, as ever, intertwined with political machinations … Continue reading
There is nothing novel about Treasurer Morrison’s discovery that government debt is all OK provided it’s applied to funding useful assets. But it may be an indication that the government is disillusioned with monetary policy as a means of stabilising … Continue reading
The Commonwealth’s budget has a Keynesian boost for a sluggish economy, and is based on an optimistic, or even heroic, assumption that economic growth will deliver a fiscal surplus within a few years. We have heard similar claims from treasurers, … Continue reading
This Budget represents a welcome change in direction. Forget the politics, it deserves to be supported. This latest Coalition Budget finally reflects a realistic appraisal of Australia’s fiscal needs.
Budget repair was never going to be easy. That is one reason why it has taken so long with quite a few false starts. While some of the individual decisions in this Budget are debateable, overall the quality of the … Continue reading
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
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
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