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.

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

July 2022

Joseph Stiglitz on how to make Australia richer

by Richard Denniss in The Saturday Paper

Richard Denniss Professor Joseph Stiglitz, welcome to Australia. John Maynard Keynes once said “practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist”. It’s decades since you and other Nobel prize winners debunked the intellectual underpinnings of neoliberalism. Are Australians slow to change their minds

June 2022

Profits push up prices too, so why is the RBA governor only talking about wages?

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Phillip Lowe has invoked memories of the 1970s, warning wage growth must be restrained to contain Australia’s surging inflation. In the 1970s, Lowe said last week, “we got into trouble because wages growth responded mechanically to the higher inflation rate”. Now, with inflation above 5%, and tipped to reach 7% by the

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