Category Archives: Economy

LUKE FRASER. Freight: fresh disappointment for our Prime Minister

Pity Prime Minister Turnbull – an intelligent man, trying to secure productive reform of this sector, yet met with fresh disappointment at each turn.    Turnbull has made a number of moves in the transport space to suggest he has seen … Continue reading

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DAVID JAMES. Japan could lead the way in forgiving debt

As the world economy groans under soaring levels of debt, the place to look is Japan, whose current government debt-to-GDP ratio is an eye watering 253 per cent. It is Japan, which led the developed world into its current mess, … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. The impact of the 2018 Budget on women. It is most notable for its omissions.

The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) each year prepares an analysis of the impacts of the federal budget on women. Since the Coalition government abandoned the practice of including a Women’s Budget Statement in the official Budget documents, a … Continue reading

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STUART KENNEDY. Gloves are off: R&D tax debate

Australia’s science and innovation community has been dudded by the Coalition’s 2018 budget reform of the R&D Tax Incentive scheme, with much less direct, targeted funding going back in than was pulled out of the tax incentive.

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TIM WOODRUFF. A budget for inequality, worsening health outcomes and decreased productivity.

As a financially comfortable part-time medical specialist, I will be in the group receiving the highest tax cut immediately, whilst my daughters working full time at much lower income will receive about one third of that. It’s of even more … Continue reading

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MICHAEL WEST. Good timing: Australia Post in talks to become a bank

The banks will fight it tooth and nail. Australia Post is considering becoming a bank, a move which could deliver significant competition to the country’s banking oligopoly through lower fees and lower-cost mortgages.

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TIM COSTELLO. The Budget and aid.

The Coalition Government’s fifth budget last week was carefully calibrated to offer just enough to a discontented electorate to restart the political contest ahead of the poll expected early next year.  Yet again Australia’s battered aid program took a hit, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. Share the Blame.

It is not just the bankers who have lost status under the spotlight of our Royal Commission. Australia’s governing classes in their entirety are diminished. Our politicians on both sides of the House, our regulatory bureaucracies, the media, our Professors … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Progress taxation or a flat tax

Scott Morrison’s budget has been greeted as underwhelming, which is probably the way he likes it.  The goodies are unnecessarily complex  — the tax cuts aren’t really tax cuts, they are built in to your 2018-19 return as an offset, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. 2018 Budget comment; Part 3: The Turnbull Government’s Priorities as revealed in the Budget

In this final Part 3 of my comments on the 2018 Budget I discuss what this Budget reveals about the Government’s values and priorities, and its performance compared to those targets.

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LINDA SIMON. TAFE upfront in Shorten’s Budget speech in reply.

Whilst the Government’s 2018 Federal Budget failed to recognise the importance of TAFE and skills development to Australia’s economy, TAFE and funding were upfront in the Labor Opposition’s speech in reply. Labor has put TAFE back as the centrepiece of national … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. How and why corporate regulators have failed us.

The failure of corporate regulation and regulators is in plain sight for all to see. And it is not just in banking. Political ideology and corporate conceit has enabled the powerful to tilt the ‘market’ in their favour at the … Continue reading

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PETER SMALL. Defending the indefensible.

Yet again Australian farmers and their organisation are caught on the back foot defending the indefensible, -the live sheep trade to the Middle East.

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MICHAEL KEATING. Budget commentary, Part 2: Sustainable tax cuts for low-income households

Part 1 of this series of Budget comments criticised the credibility of the Government’s projected return to a budget surplus and argued that the proposed tax cuts were therefore not in fact sustainable. In this second part I will argue … Continue reading

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PHILLIP BAKER, MARK LAWRENCE. Sweet power: the politics of sugar, sugary drinks and poor nutrition in Australia.

Unhealthy diets and poor nutrition are leading contributors to Australia’s burden of disease and burgeoning health-care costs. In 1980, just 10% of Australian adults were obese, today that figure is 28% – among the highest in the world. And yet, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | 1 Comment

JOHN FALZON. Budget 2018: Noodle Nation?

Budgets should be a time when governments outline a practical vision of the future in which we share our commonwealth for a just, prosperous and equitable future. In a wealthy country such as ours, it should be a time of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. 2018 Budget Comment (Part 1)

This year’s comment on the Government 2018 Budget is in three parts. Today, I comment on the proposed tax cuts, which are the signature feature of this year’s Budget. I conclude that there are real doubts about whether those tax … Continue reading

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HENRY SHERRELL. A snapshot of temporary migrants in Australia

A budding public conversation is underway about Australia’s population. Perhaps to help inform this conversation, the Department of Home Affairs has released a new data product documenting the number of migrants in Australia who hold a temporary visa.

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MICHAEL KEATING AND JON STANFORD. Australia’s strategic risks and future defence policy; Part 2: Future defence strategy, capability and submarines

In this second article we discuss the need to develop a defence strategy that involves shifting from a force structure designed for coalition warfare to one optimised for the independent defence of Australia. We focus on the requirement for new … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Human Rights | 2 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. Budget 2018: The ‘Middle Australia’ tax cuts are a con

No, Scott Morrison is not promising average Australians significant tax cuts. To use a technical term, the proposed cuts are ‘bugger all’. The Treasurer is promising a radical flattening of the tax scale to primarily benefit the top tier of income … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. Budget 2018: This budget is too good to be true

This budget is too good to be true. If you believe Malcolm Turnbull’s luck can turn on a sixpence, this is the budget for you. From now on, everything’s coming good.

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Ian McAuley: Morrison’s budget: 23.9 is the new 42

Treasurer Morrison has brought down a pre-election budget. While it has little in the way of handouts, it is carefully designed to wedge Shorten between higher taxes and higher deficits, all based on the absurd idea that there is some … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. APRA gone mad?

What on earth were APRA thinking when they let off the CBA with a stern reprimand ? What were AMP thinking appointing David Murray to chair their Board? It looks like telling the fox that next time you’ll shoot him, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING and JON STANFORD. Australia’s strategic risks and future defence policy (Part 1 of 2)

Part 1: Australia’s strategic environment and the US alliance Two years ago the government selected the French company Naval Group to design Australia’s future submarine (FSM). We were highly critical of the decision at the time for a number of … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

SHERENE SMITH. Company boards are stacked with friends of friends so how can we expect change?

Social connections drive board appointments and more than two-thirds of directors in the 200 largest public companies are on the board of multiple companies. So whoever replaces ex-AMP chairwoman Catherine Brenner will likely be drawn from a small pool of … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. The Business Council of Australia, a new political body appealing to the small business constituency?

The Business Council of Australia has hit the electronic and print media in the past few days, but for all the wrong reasons. It has been accused of setting itself up to run political campaigns along the lines of the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. The BCA needs to study Argentinian history, and some basic economics.

The Business Council of Australia is running a hysterical campaign against trade unions, Getup! and the Labor Party, as if corporate Australia is facing an existential threat. That’s partisan rubbish.  

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Newstart needs a new start,

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hearing a lot about company and personal income tax cuts. The Turnbull government holds the view that tax relief for companies and middle-income earners is necessary to improve the economic prosperity of … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. Cause and effect.

Royal Commissions are often diverted into by-ways that are interesting and entertaining but have little relevance to the terms of reference and do nothing to solve the problem that required the inquiry to be established in the first place. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. The boot is on the other foot and big business is on the nose

The misbehaviour by banks and other big financial players revealed by the royal commission is so extensive and so shocking it’s likely to do lasting damage to the public credibility and political influence of the whole of big business and … Continue reading

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