Which jobs and what growth?

by Richard Denniss in The Monthly

We need to talk about the economy For decades we have talked about the size of the economy, but it is time we talked about its shape. For decades we have been told that if the economy grew faster it would solve all our problems, but it’s time we talked about which parts of the

December 2020

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

Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 09 December 2020] Political pressure makes the impossible inevitable. Unfortunately, so much has been written about how democracy is broken, that it can seem churlish to point out that sometimes it works just as it is designed to: slowly, imperfectly and then suddenly. Take, for example, Scott Morrison’s

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

Digital Giants, Market Power and Media Diversity

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Australia’s news media is one of the most highly concentrated in the world. Since 2019, more than 157 newsrooms have closed in Australia and many local, community and rural newspapers have ceased printing or gone digital only. It was in this climate that in 2018 the federal government tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

November 2020

Instead of taxing electric vehicles, heavy vehicles should pay more for the damage they cause

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 25 November 2020] The purpose of the tax system isn’t just to collect revenue, it’s to shape society in ways we see fit. It’s no accident that fresh food is excluded from the GST and it’s no accident that the tax on alcohol is higher than the

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

Is Scott Morrison angry that public servants got Cartier watches – or that the public found out?

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 29 October 2020] Cartier watches, free rent and taxpayers picking up the tab for $118,000 worth of personal tax advice — Australia’s best paid public servants have been on quite the spending spree and the prime minister has made it clear that he is very, very angry.

October 2020

Opinion VIC

Thank you, Victoria – Australia as a whole is healthier and wealthier because of you

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Richard Denniss [Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 01 October 2020] Thank you, Victorians. Your determination to crush the second wave of Covid-19 has delivered me, and the rest of Australia, enormous health, social and economic benefits. Your resolve, your patience and your sacrifice, means that the rest of Australia has been able to open

September 2020

Morrison’s tax cuts are not temporary or targeted – they are ideological and inequitable

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia, 16 September 2020] At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic the Morrison government was adamant that – because the economy would “snap back” once the virus passed – their stimulus spending would be temporary and targeted. Well, you don’t hear much about “snap back” anymore and there is absolutely

Phasing out gas would benefit Australian manufacturers and households

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia, 03 September 2020] Rather than drill new fracking wells into prime farmland, the quickest, cleanest and most economically efficient way to boost the supply of gas in Australia is to stop wasting it. According to the Australian Industry (AI) Group’s budget submission, “Ramping up support for manufacturers to

August 2020

How Neoliberalism is Spreading Covid-19

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

In this episode we talk to Dr Richard Denniss about the role of neoliberalism in spreading Covid-19 and how decades of privatisations, outsourcing and cuts to government spending have left Australia vulnerable during this pandemic.The Australia Institute // @theAUSInstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Richard Dennis, chief economist at the Australia

The spread of coronavirus in Australia is not the fault of individuals but a result of neoliberalism

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardin Australia, 20 August 2020] Neoliberalism is spreading coronavirus faster than any “reckless teenager” ever could. Privatised guards at quarantine hotels, private aged care centres that put profits ahead of staffing levels, and the fact that those in charge neglected to have their health professionals appropriately evaluate the risk of the Ruby

The Australian government is putting economic storytelling ahead of evidence

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 05 August 2020] Australian economic debate relies more heavily on metaphors than it does on evidence, experience or expertise. While the prime minister, treasurer and self-appointed business leaders drone endlessly about what the economy “needs”, they simply refuse to provide any evidence that they know what they are

July 2020

Let it rip

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Some economists have renewed calls to lift restrictions and simply ‘let it rip’, that is to let Covid-19 rip through the population in order to protect the economy. But are economist the right people to ask about this? In this episode we explore the limits of economics with chief economist at the Australia Institute Richard

Unpacking the Mini-Budget: What you need to know

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff

In this episode, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff, chief and senior economists at the Australia Institute unpack what you need to know about the Mini-Budget delivered by the Treasurer and answer your questions. The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richard Denniss, chief economist at

The Australian government’s decision to cut benefits is based on feelings, not facts

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 22 July 2020] In Australia, policy is far more likely to be based on feelings than facts. While there is much talk about the importance of evidence-based policy, ironically, there is scant evidence that such an approach exists. Take the government’s decision to cut the incomes of around

Though painful to admit, conservatives know Australia’s tough Covid-19 response is better than the US

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally publishged on the Guardian Australia, 07 July 2020] Only 16 weeks ago, prime minister Scott Morrison told a bemused Australian public that he was off to the footy to see his beloved Sharks play, and only 15 weeks ago, the same prime minister berated those who went to Bondi Beach for “not

June 2020

My degree taught me to spot the flaws of the university funding overhaul

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Orinigally publsihed by the Guardian Australia, 24 June 2020] If conservatives really believed that the most important thing a young person could do was become “job-ready” then why are they so keen for Australia’s best and brightest students to study the works of Shakespeare and Thomas Aquinas, as part of a degree in

Leverage lazy public balance sheet

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 26 June 2020] The Australian Government is, by any measure, significantly under leveraged. The Commonwealth Government’s lazy balance sheet and its underspending on productivity boosting services like preventative health, childcare and environmental protection will harm Australia’s prosperity for decades to come. BHP has been in debt

The success of the Aboriginal-led health response to the pandemic

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are amongst the most vulnerable to the threat of Covid-19, but the Aboriginal-led community controlled health response has been a huge public health success. How did they do it? Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Lesley Nelson, CEO of South West Aboriginal Medical Service Professor

The Reconstruction – building back better with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

The Australia Institute’s chief economist Richard Denniss launched The Reconstruction Memorandum, to step back and look at the big picture on how Australia can put people first and create an economic reconstruction that delivers lasting benefits as we recover from the Covid-19 recession.Visit tai.org.au for our latest pandemic economic research and analysis // @theausinstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of

The Coalition dishes out jobs for the boys while women carry coronavirus’ economic burden

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally Published on Guardian Australia, 10 June 2020] Not only have women been hardest hit by the response to Covid-19, they have got the least out of government assistance and stimulus packages. Monday’s announcement that the temporary provision of free childcare is about to end was just the latest in a long line

Safeguarding Democracy with Helen Haines

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

There can be no trust in government without accountability, yet its been two years since the Coalition government promised to implement a Commonwealth Integrity Commission and there’s still no draft legislation in sight. Join Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines MP, and former Supreme Court Justices the Hon. David Harper AM QC and The Hon.

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@tai.org.au