Multi-Employer Bargaining Necessary for Fixing Wages Crisis

by Fiona Macdonald in The Conversation

Proposed reforms to Commonwealth industrial relations laws would create more opportunities for collective bargaining to occur on a multi-employer basis, rather than being limited solely to individual workplaces or enterprises. Business groups have attacked this proposal as a dramatic change that would supposedly spark widespread work stoppages and industrial chaos.

Would further interest rate rises do more harm than good?

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

In the past 7 months, the Reserve Bank has increased the cash rate by 275 basis points. That is as fast as any time since the RBA became independent. Given the pace of inflation growth, the rises are not wholly without cause, but as policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column the main drivers of inflation are now easing, and wages are yet to take off. In that case, should the RBA continue to raise rates given it will only slow the economy further?

October 2022

A Well-being Budget for our Times Asks Big Questions

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Talk is cheap, the saying goes, but decades of neoliberalism and failed trickle-down economics means Australia needs to begin some new and more meaningful conversations about the kind of country we want to be. With his inaugural Budget, Treasurer Jim Chalmers began a national conversation on the wellbeing of our country—as distinct from the wellbeing of our economy alone.

Liz Truss’ spectacular tax backflip gives Albanese a chance to do the sam

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’ remarkable decision to scrap her own tax cuts offers an incredible opportunity for the Albanese government. After weeks of outrage from voters, her own backbench and even the financial markets that once trumpeted the benefits of tax cuts, common sense and economic sense combined to deliver a timely, if humiliating, backflip. Here

The pandemic is yet another wake-up call that all of Australia’s workers must have sick leave

by Matt Grudnoff in The Guardian

The ending of mandatory Covid isolation periods has also ended disaster payments for workers who don’t have access to sick leave. It’s time we faced up to the fact that the industrial relations rules have been creating the wrong kinds of work. That’s the bad news. The good news is we can change them if we want

September 2022

The UK shows how bad the Stage 3 tax cuts will be

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

This week the UK government introduced massive high-income tax cuts – cuts that are not even as bad as the Stage 3 tax cuts here in Australia. And the reaction by the market was brutal. Investors saw the tax cuts for what they were – a redistribution of national income from the poorest to the wealthiest, that provided no economic growth. As a result the value of the UK Pound plunged.

Uncle Jack Charles & the King

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

The spectacle that has accompanied the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second is something to behold. But the pomp and pageantry do little to conceal the faintly ridiculous aspects of being a constitutional monarchy, where leadership is conferred not by merit or means of election, but by divine right and accident of birth.

‘Green Wall Street’ in Australia won’t save the planet. Markets value profits, not platypuses

in The Guardian

Neoliberalism can’t and won’t fix our climate crisis or save our endangered species from extinction. Market-based policies have failed spectacularly when it comes to aged care, disability care and saving the Murray River. But despite the catalogue of catastrophe, earlier this month Tanya Plibersek said: “Ultimately, I would like to see the market truly valuing nature,

We pay billions to subsidise Australia’s fossil fuel industry. This makes absolutely no economic sense

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Fossil fuel subsidies from major economies including Australia reached close to US$700 billion in 2021, almost doubling from 2020, according to new analysis by the International Energy Agency and OECD. These subsidies are expected to keep rising in 2022 as governments worldwide attempt to use fossil fuel subsidies to shield customers from the high energy prices caused

Let the Parliament (and the Assembly) decide

by Ebony Bennett

Canberra often leads Australia on policy reform, but now it’s time for the Parliament of Australia to stop getting in our way. Canberra often and unfairly cops the blame for the contentious decisions of elected representatives sent here by the rest of the country, but for the past 25 years it is the Parliament that

The PBO reveals just how much the Stage 3 tax cuts favour the wealthy

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

The Stage 3 tax cuts, which will essentially create a flat income tax system, have always been clearly biased towards high-income earners. For those earning over $200,000, the tax cuts represent a 4.5% cut compared to just 0.6% for someone on the median income of $60,000. But this week, the Parliamentary Budget Office has released costings that detail just how skewed the allocation of money is to the richest in our society.

August 2022

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