October 2022

Webinar on Wages, Prices, and Power

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is sponsoring a series of webinars for union members, delegates, officials, and leaders on the current crisis in the cost of living in Australia. The surge in inflation since economic re-opening after COVID lockdowns has obviously intensified that crisis. But the seeds for it were planted long ago: by a decade of historically weak wage growth, a speculative property price bubble, and a systematic efforts to weaken collective bargaining and unionisation.

Starship Troopers

featuring Mark Dean

In Episode 2, Duncan and Mark review Starship Troopers, the 1997 Paul Verhoeven and Ed Nieumeyer film that is part tragedy, part comedy, all comment on the farce that is a future in which Nazis have been normalised and the cast of Melrose Place do humanity’s shooting, spaceship driving and brain-bug hunting. Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today

September 2022

Robocop (Pilot Episode!)

featuring Mark Dean

In the Pilot episode of Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today, Duncan and Mark talk about Robocop, police union strikes, privatisation, gentrification, deindustrialisation and all the other fun things that late-stage capitalism has gifted the world. Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today is produced with the support of the Carmichael Centre within the Centre for Future Work at The Australia Institute.

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.

International Seafarers Suffer $65 Million in Wage Theft Annually in Australian Waters

Seafarers working on foreign-registered freight ships in Australian waters face regular theft of wages and other entitlements due to legal loopholes and lax enforcement of labour standards, according to a new research report published today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The report, titled Robbed At Sea, examines records of wage inspections conducted

Work in the Care Economy Vital for Future Well-Being

by Fiona Macdonald

There is growing understanding that care work — including jobs in aged care, disability services, early child education and care, and others — is of growing importance to future employment and wage trends, as well as to the quality of life of Australians who depend on these social and community services. For too long, jobs in these growing sectors have been devalued. Government underfunding and weak labour and quality standards have reinforced the degradation of work in care sectors. But with intense labour shortages, public concern about inadequate quality, and the need to expand services to meet social needs, there is now more widespread recognition that care jobs must be improved, and quickly: with more funding, better training, limits on private delivery, multi-employer bargaining, and more.

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

A decade of real wages growth lost as prices soar ahead of wages growth

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

The latest inflation figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how much workers have been left behind. Writing in Guardian Australia, labour market and fiscal policy director Greg Jericho notes that while the focus is on the biggest annual increase in inflation since the introduction of the GST, the data also shows that real wages have fallen drastically.

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

Exit Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Australians Want Wage Growth in Line with Cost of Living

As the Fair Work Commission prepares to announce this year’s increase in the national minimum wage, new polling data shows that the vast majority of Australians support lifting wages to keep up with rising inflation. The Australia Institute conducted a special exit poll, surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,424 Australians on the evening of

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