Category Archives: Economy

The economic outlook and taxation. Part 2

Yesterday Part 1 of this article argued that bringing forward the second and third stages of the Government’s legislated tax cuts would achieve very little economic stimulus and would damage the longer-term fiscal position. Part 2 today considers the future … Continue reading

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Industrial policy makes a comeback (EAF 16 August, 2020)

It used to be said that governments are terrible at picking winners but losers are good at picking governments. Is that still true?

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The economic outlook and taxation Part 1

The Covid-induced recession has turned out to be worse than we initially hoped writes Michael Keating. Part 1 of this article discusses the additional fiscal stimulus that will be necessary and why it should not include bringing forward the Government’s … Continue reading

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Senate committee extends deadline on banking inquiry

‘Parliament should endorse the Banking Amendment (Deposits) Bill 2020 to explicitly rule out the possibility of bail-in where authorities would allow banks to convert your deposits to shares in a banking crisis — should be a no-brainer for any government.”(John … Continue reading

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Do we need state-owned enterprises?

Per Capita’s recently released paper on Auspost becoming a bank begs the question of state-owned enterprises helping economic growth and create jobs? The Simandou mining project in West Africa may offer an answer.

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Silver Bullet: an elegant cure for Government spending excess (Michael West Media August 5, 2020)

If it’s good enough for tennis stars and entertainers, it’s good enough for multinational tax avoiders and consultants. Michael West addresses the Senate Inquiry into Finance and Public Administration today.

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Foreign Affairs and Trade are strange bedfellows in Australia today.

Paul Barratt’s recent article, favouring a freestanding Trade Department should be supported. As our nation stumbles through the fog of the Corona virus, it is time to navigate a path toward economic recovery in our relations with China.

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Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

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The Reagan and Thatcher legacies: sorting truth from fantasy.

Neo-Conservatives want to believe that Reagan and Thatcher achieved smaller government, lower taxes, and a booming economy. The reality, however, is very different.

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One of the biggest open secrets in Australian public policy-privatisation has failed (Canberra Times, 27 July 2020)

Australians hate privatisation. It is politically toxic and has brought down governments on both the political left and right.

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Manufacturing Could Lead Australia’s Post-COVID Recovery

There is a myth that we are heading toward a ‘post-industrial’ economy, in which manufacturing doesn’t matter anymore. In reality, we use more manufactured goods every year – and they are vital to all other jobs, too (including in resources … Continue reading

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Been there, done that – Thatcherism and Reaganomics revisited

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has announced the government recovery strategy – emulate Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The problem is that Australia has been there and done that with the same very mixed results Reagan and Thatcher achieved.

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Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

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The elephant in the room – age and inter-generational equity

It is high time for a new inter-generational deal including a shift of decision-making powers as well as policy benefits towards the younger generations.

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Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg invoked the name of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to support his plan to rescue Australia’s economy in the era of pandemic. My first reaction was furious anger. On reflection, Frydenburg has done us a great … Continue reading

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Out of sight, out of mind. What’s happened to Trade?

Trade does not get the attention  it requires as all external issues are viewed through the prism of the defence/intelligence agencies, subordinating the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade itself. This has become worse since trade was integrated into that … Continue reading

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Frydenberg, the hollow man: Thatcher and Reagan’s political grandson.

It has never been clear what ethical principles guide Josh Frydenberg’s politics. He appears to be a hollow man, especially with his recent declaration that he will look to the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan for inspiration … Continue reading

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Please, not an austerity government again!

If there was ever a time for a government to take the bit between its teeth and achieve great things, this is the time. The coronavirus has essentially picked up the chessboard, and thrown all the pieces up in the … Continue reading

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Josh Frydenberg is dressing up class politics as responsible economics

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the current economic situation requires ‘supply-side’ reforms like those undertaken by the Thatcher and Reagan governments in the 1980s. The relevant lessons from those years are really rather different, as are the current needs of Australian … Continue reading

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Liberals throw out their Doctrines and Dogma

The Prime Minister, the head of Treasury and the present or former Chief Medical Officer may each be experts within their fields, but none of their guesses about when Coronavirus will loosen its grip on the nation’s economic throat are … Continue reading

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Do We Need Reaganomics Now?

The Treasurer has suggested that we should look to the supply side of the economy as we climb out of the COVID recession. He has raised increasing workplace flexibility, reducing green tape and bringing forward tax cuts as fruitful strategies. … Continue reading

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The path out of recession: knowns and unknowns

Recovery from the recession will be slow and painful because of uncertainties: the coronavirus is just one of them.

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Millionaires who pay no tax and Australia’s richest and poorest postcodes revealed (ABC 18.7.20)

Seventy-three millionaires paid no tax in 2017-18, while Australia’s richest people live in Sydney’s Double Bay, on average earning more than 13 times the nation’s poorest, who live in central-west Queensland.

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Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

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The Government’s economic response to Covid-19.

The Government’s long-awaited update of the fiscal and economic outlook contains no real surprises. But what we still need to know is what the Government intends to do next when the present economic support measures run out.

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We can have our GST cake and eat it too! (part 2 of 2)

An “extreme GST” model of 15% tax on 100% of goods and services has been mooted for Australia. Can changing the marginal rates in the top tax brackets achieve the same net revenue result as any change to the GST?

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We now know gas is far from the clean fuel it’s claimed to be (SMH 16.7.20)

Australia’s recovery will be driven by gas says the prime minister. A task force headed by Andrew Liveris- a business figure with career doused in carbon- recommends subsidies to ramp up the industry.

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We can have our GST cake. And eat it too! (part 1 of 2)

As the Australian government foreshadows imminent tax changes, some politicians, commentators and think-tanks are again proposing increasing and broadening the GST. However, the practicalities of compensating those who can’t afford the price increases might rule out even minor change.

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Tax is a dirty word

Tax is such a dirty word. And indeed, the way Australia’s tax system is structured supports our very dirty and unsustainable energy system. 

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Australia firms in China say bilateral tensions now a bigger risk than weak economy: survey(South China Morning Post 17.7.2020)

For Australian businesses with close China ties, tensions between the two countries pose a more worrisome threat than a slowdown in the Chinese economy, a new survey has found.

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