Author Archives: Andrew Podger
The Retirement Income Review (Callaghan) Report concluded that the Australian retirement income system is effective, sound and its costs are broadly sustainable.
Australian conservatives seem to have lost some of their traditional commitment to institutions and the liberalism they protect.
Academic engagement with China is not a security risk: it is an investment in a shared more liberal world
The Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 currently before the Parliament would require State and Territory entities to seek the approval of the Minister for Foreign Affairs for any proposed ‘arrangement’ with a ‘core foreign entity’; existing ‘arrangements’ … Continue reading
In calling for a review of Australia Post in light of its decision to reward some executives with Cartier watches, the PM stated that ‘there wouldn’t be a board member of a government agency or a CEO of a government … Continue reading
In Parts 1 and 2, I used three desirable attributes (equity, efficiency and simplicity) of a coherent tax and transfer system to assess the 2020-21 personal income tax changes and the lack of a rate increase for JobSeeker recipients. In … Continue reading
In Part 1, I used three desirable attributes (equity, efficiency and simplicity) of a coherent tax and transfer system to assess the 2020-21 personal income tax changes. In Part 2, I examine JobSeeker payments.
More sensible than the Government’s Stage 3 tax cuts would be the approach put forward by the Henry Tax Review of an explicit and high tax threshold and no means-tested ‘tax offsets’.
Public debate on superannuation is currently focused primarily on the level of the guarantee. This is a legitimate debate, but the guarantee is not the most important issue for ensuring Australians have adequate and secure retirement incomes.
As some politicians and commentators call for containment of China, it is time to put forward the case for engagement instead. It can only assist with our understanding of China’s huge challenges, and maybe help encourages continuing reform.
A Royal Commission into Robodebt could shed light on future policy and administration issues, some going beyond social security writes Whiteford, Podger and Stanton from ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy.
Australia has so far been successful in its response to the COVID 19 pandemic, a major reason being the constructive role of the ‘National Cabinet’. But there is good reason to be highly sceptical about the ongoing role for the … Continue reading
Book Review: “Hidden Hand” – Exposing how the Chinese communist party is reshaping the world (The Conversation 10.7.20)
In Hidden Hand, China scholars Clive Hamilton and Marieke Ohlberg examine the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in Europe and North America in a similar way to how Hamilton dissected the CCP’s influence in Australia in his 2018 book, Silent Invasion.
A desirable new normal in economic and social policy will require a new normal in Australian politics. For a decade or more we have suffered from hyper-partisanship and the constant campaign. Good policy is no longer recognised as good politics. … Continue reading
As governments transition out of the current restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help the economy towards recovery, it is worth exploring what the future might or should look like.
The convid-19 epidemic has shown how much Australia relies on an effective public service, free from politics. This, however, is in spite of the over-politicisation and under-resourcing of the service over recent years.
I cannot let Laurie Patton’s opinion piece go unchallenged. It is a recipe of despair in its dismissal of fundamental principles of responsible government.
ANDREW PODGER.The ‘sports rorts’ affair shows the government misunderstands the role of the public service.(The Conversation 30.1.2020)
The government’s defence of Bridget McKenzie and the prime minister’s call for advice from the head of his department reveal a remarkable misunderstanding (or, less surprisingly, a remarkable misrepresentation) of the respective roles of ministers and administrators.
ANDREW PODGER.-Trying to make sense of the Thodey Report and Morrison’s Response:(The Conversation 19.12.2019)
The final report of the Independent Review of the APS is much more substantial than its Interim Report. That is hardly a high hurdle, but its 18 page bibliography suggests considerable reflection beyond the (mostly disappointing) submissions and commissioned papers.
In their first ‘Saving Private Insurance’ report in August, Stephen Duckett and Kristina Nemet from the Grattan Institute presented a most helpful framework for assessing the future role of private health insurance in Australia in the context of our universal … Continue reading
ANDREW PODGER. Politics and Administration under the Second Morrison Government: Making the Partnership Work.
The relationship between politics and administration has been likened to the Chinese Yin and Yang: a dichotomy of almost opposites but simultaneously a complementary partnership in which neither can survive without the other. That is the challenge the new Morrison … Continue reading
ANDREW PODGER. More Carefully Designed, a Stage Three Tax Measure Could Be a Responsible and Genuine Reform
At the time of last year’s budget, I wrote a  revealing how neither the Government’s nor the Labor Party’s then proposed tax changes would simplify the personal income tax system or offer genuine long-term reform. This was largely because … Continue reading
Policy Series While it is important to consider our tax and transfer arrangements as a single integrated system, there are various (overlapping) parts to it: retirement incomes (including superannuation tax arrangements and the age pension), the core welfare system (pensions … Continue reading
Policy Series Inequality is a complex issue. It is affected by many factors, so that it can increase as a result of beneficial changes as well as socially undesirable ones, and can decrease because of changes that reduce overall social … Continue reading
Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue. In his introduction to this series, Ken Henry said he could not recall a poorer quality debate, on almost any issue, than what we have had in … Continue reading
Just as the Abbott government sorely needs a coherent health policy, welfare policy and family assistance policy, it should also put time and effort in 2015 into investing in a coherent approach to retirement incomes instead of focusing narrowly on … Continue reading
The recent suggestion of a modest user charge on patients of bulk-billing doctors, and the immediate reaction in the media, suggests the need for a more careful study of the appropriate role of co-payments in our health insurance system, and … Continue reading