November 2016

Economic Models

featuring Ebony Bennett, Rod Campbell and Richard Denniss

Economic models are like a lot of things in life: What you get out of them depends on what you put in. But therein lies the problem. When reporting focuses on the ‘findings’ without looking at what assumptions underpin politically influential economic models, it leaves us vulnerable to what Richard calls the ‘peak-stupid of econobabble’.

October 2016

Interest Rates

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff

Interest rates may be one of the most discussed and least understood area of economics in Australia. Our Chief Economist and Senior Economist discuss the whats and whys of Reserve Bank policy and how interest rates really effect people and the broader economy. Contributors: Richard Denniss – @RDNS_TAI  Matt Grudnoff – @MattGrudnoff Ebony Bennett – @ebony_bennett.  Produced by

Denying The Downside Of Globalization Won’t Stop Populism

by Jim Stanford in The Huffington Post

The rise of anti-globalization sentiment, including in Australia, poses a big challenge to mainstream politicians who’ve been trumpeting the virtues of free trade for decades. [This article was first published by the Huffington Post – here] Treasurer Scott Morrison recently started pushing back, delivering a staunch defense of globalization to an audience in Sydney. Like other world

September 2016

Barnett and Costello: how to waste a boom

Successful investors let their winning bets run while quickly cutting their losses. But while the strategy of “spreading your bets” and “failing fast” might work for venture capitalists, it doesn’t work well for prime ministers. A chief executive that shuts down an underperforming factory is decisive; a PM who abandons Tasmania or regional Western Australia is divisive.

August 2016

Tasmanians want salmon boom to be sustainable, regulated

Statewide polling shows Tasmanians want the fast growing industry of intensive fish farming to be better monitored and regulated. New polling of 1,310 Tasmanians conducted by ReachTEL for The Australia Institute shows 70% support for establishing an independent watchdog on intensive fish farms and 61% support for an independent investigation into the impacts of the

Prominent Australians urge PM: Don’t cut Newstart

Comedian Corinne Grant, former Liberal leader John Hewson, award winning author Anna Funder, and businessman John Menadue AO join a list of 32 prominent Australians signing the open letter. The letter reads opens quoting the Business Council of Australia from their submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of the Allowance Payment System for

Budget repair for the poorest, tax cuts for the wealthiest

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prepares to deliver an address regarding ‘budget repair’ his government is proposing unprecedented austerity for the poorest Australians but generous tax cuts for the wealthiest companies and individuals. At the heart of the PM’s plan to repair the Commonwealth Budget is a plan to slash the budgets of Australia’s poorest

Don’t cut the dole: Poll

New polling shows very low support for Government policy to cut welfare benefits by removing the clean energy supplement. The poll of 1,310 residents across Tasmania showed 60% opposed cutting Newstart, while just 25% supported the move. (see poll below) “There has been mounting evidence of the inadequacy of the unemployment benefits.  To cut them

Australias banks the most profitable in the world

Analysis by The Australia Institute of The Banker’s survey of the top 1000 banks around the world showed Australia’s banks make the highest profit as a share of GDP.  Table 1 – Bank Profit share of GDP%  Rank bank profit share of GDP % 1 Australia 2.9 2 China 2.8 3 Sweden 2.6 4 Canada 2.3 5

Cuts would push dole to record low under poverty line

New research released by the Australia Institute today shows that government moves to cut unemployment benefits will put recipients at 32% below the poverty line . The research also highlights staggering inequality in Australia where the 10 richest Australian families have the same wealth as the poorest 3.9 million Australians combined. “At the time of

July 2016

Mr Coal’s’ super ministry and the challenges of merging energy with the environment

by Dan Cass in The Guardian

Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to merge the environment and energy portfolios could lead to a breakthrough in the toxic climate politics that was unleashed when Tony Abbott rolled him in the December 2009 leadership coup. Or the new super-ministry and its new minister Josh Frydenberg could be set up for failure. It depends entirely on whether

Election 2016: Why the BCA doesn’t deserve public influence

The Business Council of Australia and the Liberal party just lost a debate with Bill Shorten about the economy. Badly. The days where expensive suits and even more expensive modelling were enough to win a public debate about “what the economy needs” are over. The days where newspaper editors could shift votes are over. The days where governments can deliver unpopular

June 2016

Why the IPA and Libs like Brexit

Britain will now decide which Germans can invest in, or travel to, the UK and the circumstances in which they can do so.  The Brexit decision provides clear evidence of the tension within conservative politics between strident nationalism and economic rationalism. And as the business community is discovering, there are enormous economic risks when conservatives

The public shouldn’t trust business groups like the BCA

It is hard to claim a mandate for something you barely mention, but just as the Turnbull government has stopped talking about the Australian Building and Construction Commission, the business community has now made a TV advertisement for the company tax cuts that, wait for it, doesn’t mention the company tax cuts. It wasn’t meant to be

May 2016

Hole in company tax modelling exposed

New research from Canberra based think tank The Australia Institute has exposed a serious funding hole in the Government’s company tax cut modelling. “Our research has uncovered that the Treasury commissioned modelling finds a $3.9B gain in government revenue because multinationals suddenly and voluntarily begin to pay more tax because the company tax rate drops 5 percentage points.  It is

Coalition’s company tax cuts claims ignore trade treaties and imputation

The centrepiece of the Turnbull government’s ‘plan’ for the economy, and its plan to win the upcoming election, is based on some heroic assumptions. There is no strong evidence to support the government’s claim that cutting the company tax rate will boost “jobs and growth”. And there is no strong evidence that the public will

Company tax cut a gift to US Internal Revenue Service

New research, based on US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data, shows that the proposed company tax cut would see the Australian tax system delivering billions of dollars to the US Treasury. Australia and the US have a foreign tax treaty to ensure company profits are not double taxed. This arrangement means that companies pay the

Income tax cuts by electorate

The Australia Institute has modelled the distribution of income tax cuts announced in the 2016 Budget. Using census data indexed to 2015, the modelling shows the percentage of income earners who would reap the full benefit of moving the second-top tax threshold cut-off from $80,000 to $87,000. “This tax cut is highly selective, with very

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