We Agree with the IMF & Rishi Sunak
If the Albanese Government were looking for some political cover to remove the chokehold of the $254 billion Stage 3 income tax cuts on the Budget, it could do worse than look to the International Monetary Fund’s latest advice. As millions of Australians struggle to make ends meet due to cost of living increases, the
Nothing to see here
If a pandemic killed 15,000 people and nobody seemed to notice, was it really a pandemic? In Australia last year, COVID-19 killed more people than lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, car accidents and drowning combined. And in addition to the 15,000 deaths directly attributed to COVID, the Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that
Inequality and poverty is a policy choice – and the Stage 3 tax cuts will make both worse
When you reduce the revenue available to fund government services, you inevitably increase inequality
The economy is slowing as the Reserve Bank hits the brake
The build up of savings during the pandemic is over – now we need strong income growth to keep the economy going as the Reserve Bank tries to slow it.
The Reserve Bank needs to watch that it doesn’t push the economy off a cliff
For most of this year, the warnings and news about inflation have been one of hope for the best but experience the worst. Predictions of future inflation growth have continually been revised upwards and with it has been the suggestion that interest rates need to keep rising.
Rough times ahead for Australia’s economy as oil, gas and coal companies celebrate
The latest economic outlook from the OECD highlights the precarious path for Australia over the next few years.
Wages growth improves but real wages fall at a record rate
The latest wages price index figures show that for the first time since 2013 wages grew by more than 3% in the past year.
Gas companies are profiting off of human misery – we need a windfall profits tax
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine caused a massive surge in gas and LNG prices that have enabled gas companies around the world, including Australia to make record-level profits.
Multi-Employer Bargaining Necessary for Fixing Wages Crisis
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.
With household incomes set to fall, we need to think about what matters in the economy
The current tightening of monetary policy is undoubtedly having an impact. While it may take some time for the slowing of inflation to flow through to the official CPI figures – especially given the level of inflation that is being imported – the economy is set to slow drastically.
Would further interest rate rises do more harm than good?
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?
Labor’s budget gives wellbeing focus a pathway to future prominence
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.
Inflation is soaring and real wages are plummeting
On Wednesday the latest inflation figures showed that in the 12 months to September prices across Australia grew by 7.3% – the fastest rate since 1990.
Australia’s housing crisis is self-inflicted. We need four reforms to reverse it
How is it that in Australia, one of the richest countries in the world, we have a housing crisis where hundreds of thousands of renters can’t afford a roof over their head? To figure out why rents are soaring, we need to look at the broader political disease: we have spent about two decades trying
Families change but the same problems remain
The latest data from the Bureau of Statistics on families shows that more than ever before couples with dependants are both working.
Even if you were a neoclassical ideolouge, Stage 3 ain’t it
In the past twelve months low-income earners have seen their real wages fall faster than ever before, their mortgage interest rates rise faster than ever before and, here’s the real kicker: their average tax rates actually increase. To be clear, someone working on the minimum wage has seen the amount of tax they pay rise
With a global recession looming the cure of inflation looks to be worse than the disease
This week the IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook. And the outlook is dire. Economic growth around the world was downgraded with recession-like conditions being predicted for many advanced economies including the USA, UK and much of the EU.
Jim Chalmers has a unique chance to remake Australia – or to squander $243bn on the rich
Jim Chalmers has a once in century opportunity to spend a quarter of a trillion dollars on nation building without going into a cent of debt. In fact, if he chooses his public investments well he could drive growth up, cost of living down, and pay down the Morrison Government’s debt faster than currently expected.
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
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
The UK shows how bad the Stage 3 tax cuts will be
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.
They didn’t cause the inflation, but workers are expected to cure it
Last week before the House Economics Committee, the Governor of the Reserve Bank made it clear that the current rise in inflation has nothing to do with wages growth. And yet he also made it clear he expects workers to bear the brunt of the cost that comes from slowing inflation.
The latest data shows just how bad housing affordability is
Since the Reserve Bank began raising interest rates in May, the housing market has very much come off the boil.
The GDP figures show the ongoing shift of the national income to profits
The June quarter GDP figures released by the Bureau of Statistics showed that over the past year the economy grew a seemingly strong 3.6%.
Breaking promises isn’t easy. Keeping the wrong ones is just as painful
The truth hurts, which is why it will be painful for Anthony Albanese to come clean with Australians about how wrong it would be to spend $240 billion on tax cuts, the bulk of which will go to very high-income earners, mainly older men. Breaking promises is never easy, but keeping the wrong promises is just
The PBO reveals just how much the Stage 3 tax cuts favour the wealthy
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.
At a time when low income earners are struggling, we cannot allow the rich to get richer
A massive tax cut worth $240bn over the next 10 years is set to come into effect in 2024. But this tax cut will not help those who are struggling the most. It will not help those on low incomes. People earning $45,000 a year or less will get nothing at all. Meanwhile people earning
Market power costs consumers, workers and the whole economy
For most of the past 40 years whenever the discussion turns to the need to lift productivity, invariably the conversation is dominated by business groups and various media commentators who suggest the solution is more labour market flexibility. Just a bit more flexibility and productivity will improve!
The biggest real wages fall on record
The latest wages price index figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how far workers ability to purchase items with what they earn has fallen.
The latest taxation statistics reveal the massive gender pay gap across the whole economy
The 2019-20 taxation statistics released this week by the ATO provide a plethora of data that reveals with precision the salaries of people by location, occupation age and importantly, gender.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser