August 2020

TAFE system supports $92.5 billion in annual economic benefits

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows the TAFE system supports $92.5 billion in annual economic benefits through the direct operation of TAFE institutes, higher incomes and productivity generated by the TAFE-credentialed workforce, and reduced social benefits costs.  The report adopts a multidimensional approach to measuring the wide economic and social

Backfire part 1: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

In this first of a two-part episode on gas, we explore why subsidising the gas industry is a poor option for economic recovery and explore the issues related to Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Mark Ogge

Narrabri CSG assessment riddled with errors

New analysis by the Australia Institute shows that the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment’s (DPIE) assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project, downplays environmental impacts and overstates economic benefits of gas development to the region, relying on modelling commissioned by the proponent of the project while ignoring research and experience from previously failed coal

The Australian government is putting economic storytelling ahead of evidence

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 05 August 2020] Australian economic debate relies more heavily on metaphors than it does on evidence, experience or expertise. While the prime minister, treasurer and self-appointed business leaders drone endlessly about what the economy “needs”, they simply refuse to provide any evidence that they know what they are

Julia Gillard on the pandemic, mental health and beyond

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Julia Gillard, chair of Beyond Blue and the former Prime Minister of Australia talks about mental health, women in leadership, the importance of government and she looks back on the legacy of the carbon price implemented by her government ten years ago. Recorded live on 5 August as part of the Australia Institute’s Economics of

Key Gillard-Era Reform Carbon Price Would Have Saved 72 Million Tonnes of Emissions

New research from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program shows that had the Gillard Government’s carbon price remained in place, Australia’s emissions would be 25 million tonnes lower in 2020 and 72 million tonnes lower over the last five years. Key Findings: Over the carbon price period, Australia’s emissions declined by approximately 2%, and

July 2020

The war on populism and the fight for democracy with Thomas Frank

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Author of the new book ‘People without Power’ Thomas Frank explains why everything you think you know about populism is wrong. [Note: language warning, a mild one] Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Wayne Swan // @SwannyQLD Ben Oquist // @BenOquist Thomas Frank // @thomasfrank_ Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music: Jonathan McFeat from Pulse and

JobSeeker Supplement Cut: 22,000 South Australians Put into Poverty, Including 3,000 Children

New analysis from The Australia Institute shows the Government’s decision to cut the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement by $150 per week in September will push 22,000 South Australians into poverty, including 3,000 children. The economic modelling undertaken after last week’s announcement also shows that, nationwide, the cut will push 370,000 Australians, including 80,000 children, into poverty.

Winning a Fair Share: Rebuilding Australia’s Manufacturing Base | Paul Bastian & Jim Stanford

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

As the pandemic interrupted global supply chains a lot of focus has shifted back onto Australia’s domestic manufacturing capabilities and what Australia has the capacity to make and manufacture onshore and research shows we’re lagging behind. In this episode we talk about the opportunities for manufacturing and why it’s vital to the economic success of

Post-COVID Manufacturing Renewal Represents Potential $50 Billion Boost to Economy

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work reveals that Australia ranks last among all OECD countries for manufacturing self-sufficiency. While this indicator confirms the dramatic decline of domestic manufacturing in recent years, it also reveals the enormous potential benefits that would be generated by rebuilding manufacturing back to a size proportional to

Let it rip

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Some economists have renewed calls to lift restrictions and simply ‘let it rip’, that is to let Covid-19 rip through the population in order to protect the economy. But are economist the right people to ask about this? In this episode we explore the limits of economics with chief economist at the Australia Institute Richard

ACT should lead way on truth in political advertising

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 25 July 2020] With the ACT election coming this October, Canberrans are already girding themselves for the love-bombing, fear-mongering and vigorous debate that comes along with every election campaign. The press conferences, policy announcements and debates are quite enough for any person to take in. Voters shouldn’t

Unpacking the Mini-Budget: What you need to know

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff

In this episode, Richard Denniss and Matt Grudnoff, chief and senior economists at the Australia Institute unpack what you need to know about the Mini-Budget delivered by the Treasurer and answer your questions. The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richard Denniss, chief economist at

JobSeeker Cut to Push 370,000 into Poverty, Including 80,000 Children

New analysis from The Australia Institute shows the Government’s announcement to cut the JobSeeker supplement by $150 per week would push 370,000 Australians into poverty from September, including 80,000 children. The specially commissioned modelling undertaken after Tuesday’s announcement also shows that the cut will result in hundreds of thousands of Australians would struggle to pay

The Australian government’s decision to cut benefits is based on feelings, not facts

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 22 July 2020] In Australia, policy is far more likely to be based on feelings than facts. While there is much talk about the importance of evidence-based policy, ironically, there is scant evidence that such an approach exists. Take the government’s decision to cut the incomes of around

JobKeeper Review: Scheme Encourages Sacking Casuals, Non-Resident Workers

A new discussion paper from The Australia Institute has shown that the JobKeeper scheme is encouraging businesses to dismiss ineligible employees, meaning casuals employed for less than a year and non-resident workers have been disproportionately affected by job losses in recent months. Key findings: Of those working for a business that received JobKeeper the number

A Better JobKeeper: Targeting Support to Workers, Businesses in Need

A new discussion paper from The Australia Institute has proposed a model for how the Federal Government’s JobKeeper policy could be reformed, allowing the package to be retained and improved while clawing back spending in situations where the payments are no longer needed. The proposal comprises a model that would see businesses pay increased tax

Cutting JobSeeker Would Put 650,000 into Poverty, Including 120,000 Children

New economic modelling from The Australia Institute has shown that if the government removes the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement in September it will be forcing more than 650,000 Australians, including 120,000 children, to live in poverty. The new report, from The Australia Institute’s senior economist Matt Grudnoff, also shows that if the supplement is cut, hundreds

Auditor General’s ‘Watergate’ Report Shows Need for Royal Commission

An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on the Murray Darling Basin has found “information relating to value for money…was limited” for water purchases worth $190 million. The ANAO found that the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE): Did not consistently apply approved policy, planning and guidance to the assessment of all limited tender

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