Save lives or save the economy? That’s a false choice – and it’s obscene

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

For the past year Australians have heard politicians, business leaders and conservative commentators argue that we need to balance the benefits of protecting Australians from Covid-19 with the costs of those protections to “the economy”. Should we close down risky venues or keep them open? Should we worry about the elderly who might get sick

Yes, lockdowns mean lost jobs. But data shows that not locking down causes much more economic damage

by Jim Stanford in Toronto Star

With new stay-at-home orders covering many parts of the province, Ontarians are settling in for a month (at least) of daunting isolation. Restrictions are also being tightened in other provinces to slow the spread of COVID-19, until vaccines can turn the tide of the pandemic. Despite accelerating infection and overflowing hospitals, many oppose the new restrictions on

December 2020

Pandemic Exacerbated Inequality, Insecurity in Australia’s Labour Market

A year-end review of the dramatic changes in Australia’s labour market in 2020 has confirmed that the worst economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt by Australians in relatively low-paid, insecure jobs. Key Findings: Workers in casual jobs lost employment at a rate 8 times faster than those in permanent positions Part-time workers suffered

3 in 4 NSW Voters Back Victorian Style Euthanasia Laws, Including 76% of Coalition Voters

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that a significant majority of New South Wales voters support the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws, modelled on Victorian legislation that was passed last year. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,038 New South Wales residents between 10 and 16 December 2020. Key results: Seven in 10 NSW

Economy, Health, Climate Change Top Voter Issues in 2020

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that the economy, health and climate change were the top three issues of concern for Australian voters in the second half of 2020. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative samples of over 1,000 Australians each month from August about what they think is the most important national

Stop believing in fairytales: Australia’s coal industry doesn’t employ many people or pay its fair share of tax

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Just as people in the Middle Ages mistakenly believed the sun revolved around the Earth, many modern-day Australians mistakenly believe our economy revolves around the coal industry. Of course, such misunderstandings aren’t an indictment of those who have been misled, but those who did the misleading. Galileo was imprisoned for life for the “heresy” of

New Research Centre Established to Honour Union Leader Laurie Carmichael

A new research centre dedicated to the legacy of one of Australia’s greatest union leaders will be established in 2021 at the Australia Institute. The newly formed Carmichael Centre will be established at the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, in the name of legendary manufacturing unionist Laurie Carmichael, who passed away in 2018 at

$50 Million Hand-Out to Northern Territory Frackers

The Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, has today announced a $50 million taxpayer-funded subsidy to fracking companies in the Northern Territory. “Subsidising oil and gas fracking is the last thing governments should be doing from both an economic and climate perspective,” said Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute.

Gas-fired recovery a massive employment dud

by Richie Merzian and Mark Ogge in The Newcastle Herald

by Richie Merzian & Mark Ogge[Originally published in the Newcastle Herald, 18 November 2020] A gas-fired recovery from the economic damage caused by Covid-19 will not help the Hunter region.  In fact, a gas-fired recovery will struggle to employ anyone, except the gas executives that proposed the idea. The bottom line is, creating jobs in

An unprecedented year: reflecting on 2020 with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare. This week, in our final episode of the year, Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss revisit some of the Australia Institute’s predictions back in March 2020 and reflect on the way Australia’s economy and politics have changed this year in response to the pandemic. Mild

November 2020

Australian Workplaces Unprepared for Rising Heat Stress in Light of Climate Change

Last Summer’s devastating Black Summer bushfires exposed the under-preparedness of Australian workplaces to the serious health and safety risks of heat stress for many workers across Australia. Heading in to next Summer season, new research published today by the Centre for Future Work, outlines why working in extreme heat is a growing and urgent issue

JobSeeker Cut Will Push 190,000 More People Under Poverty Line—including 50,000 Children

The Morrison Government’s decision to reduce the rate of JobSeeker to $150 from January 2021 will push an additional 190,000 Australians below the poverty line—including 50,000 children—and have a devastating impact on low income families, shows new research by The Australia Institute. The Federal Government has announced it intends to cut the JobSeeker supplement again,

Unpaid Overtime Rife, Despite Shift to “Work from Home”

New research has revealed that almost three-quarters of Australians “working from home” are doing at least some of it in non-work-time. This has contributed to a substantial rise in the incidence of unpaid overtime this year, which now costs Australian workers almost $100 billion a year.  The Centre for Future Work’s 12th annual Go Home on

Gas for export 12 times larger than gas for manufacturing

Research released today by The Australia Institute shows that the Federal Government’s “gas-fired recovery” will not assist Australia’s manufacturing industry. Increasing gas production is likely to benefit gas exporters, not manufacturers.  Australian manufacturing used just 373 petajoules (PJ) of gas, while more than 4,500PJ went to exports in 2018-19. Just 56PJ, or 1% of Australian

The best way to help Australian manufacturing? Stop exporting gas

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 12 November 2020] While it might seem heretical to suggest we stop exporting gas, it’s important to remember that we only started exporting gas from Australia’s east coast in 2015. But since that fateful day, the wholesale price of gas has risen from around $3 to $4 per

SA Budget: Rush to Surplus Risks State’s Economic Recovery

Following the release of today’s State Budget, The Australia Institute has suggested that efforts to return to an early surplus will harm South Australia’s economic performance and undermine the state’s employment recovery from COVID-19. Key findings: According to the State Government, the budget will return to surplus in 2023-24. Previous recessions have shown that unemployment

Working from home, once a novelty, is now wearing thin

by Alison Pennington [Originally published in The Age, 05 November 2020] Lockdowns in Victoria have made job polarisations starker than in other states. Entire layers of workers, previously interacting in the flows of the daily commute, the morning coffee, dropping kids off at school, were suddenly pulled apart and isolated from each other. Connected only

October 2020

Opinion QLD

Austerity Would Damage Queensland’s Economic and Social Recovery

by Dan Nahum and Jim Stanford in Medium

by Dan Nahum & Jim Stanford[Originally published via Medium, 26 Oct 2020] Like governments around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession knocked a huge hole in Queensland’s state budget. Big losses in revenues from the recession, combined with extra costs of fighting the pandemic, turned a planned $234 million operating surplus for this

Facts Matter: Fake News Harms Our Democracy

A full-page advertisement will be published in The Courier-Mail on Monday 26 October 2020 featuring Australia Institute research exposing the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) false jobs claims. The QRC has a long history of using questionable economic modelling, known as input-output modelling, to exaggerate the number of jobs its members create. In fact, the Australian

The Most Secretive Budget Ever

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this episode we explain what ‘not for publication’ (or ‘nfp’) means and why it appears so often in the Budget papers, with Australia Institute research director Rod Campbell.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Rod Campbell // @R_o_d_CProducer: Jennifer MaceyTheme music is by Jonathan McFeat from Pulse and Thrum

Coalition’s Tax Cuts Favour Men Over Women

New analysis from The Australia Institute has found that the Government’s income tax changes announced in the Budget will disproportionately advantage men over women, both now and into the future. Men will receive three in every five dollars of tax benefit in this financial year and then seven in every 10 dollars of the benefit

This Morrison government decision could set women back generations

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett [Originally published in the Canberra Times, 03 October 2020] Pioneering feminist Susan Ryan sadly passed away this week, not long after United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. While Ruth Bader Ginsburg pursued American women’s equality and freedom through the courts, Susan Ryan pursued it through the parliament, running on a

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