November 2013

MR: Today is Go Home On Time Day

Today is the fifth annual Go Home on Time Day, an initiative of The Australia Institute and beyondblue which aims to promote work-life balance and mentally healthy workplaces. Executive Director of The Australia Institute Dr Richard Denniss said it was exciting that more than 350 businesses and organisations have registered to participate and will be

The foreign takeover of GrainCorp – can Joe Hockey demand conditions?

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

At the moment the Abbott government’s position on foreign investment is being put to the test. GrainCorp is subject to a takeover bid by American company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).  This bid has received approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and we now await the decision of Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

October 2013

MR: Institute warned of direct action cost blow out

Today’s Climate Change Authority report suggests that the government’s direct action plan is flawed, as found in research by The Australia Institute. In 2011, The Australia Institute was the first to publish findings that the Coalition’s direct action plan is likely to cost $11 billion per year and is unlikely to find sufficient greenhouse gas

MR: Clean energy exploration thrown out with mining tax

The federal Coalition is hampering the exploration and development of an untapped clean, green and reliable energy source by repealing the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, according to The Australia Institute. The Bill proposing to scrap the mining tax also eliminates the geothermal energy exploration deduction recently introduced under the Labor government. The deduction helps make

In infrastructure funding, nothing is certain save debt and taxes

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

While the Coalition is yet to turn around a boat carrying asylum seekers, it has already made a stunning turnaround on the issue of government debt. Having raged against the ALP’s high-taxing, high-spending ways for the past six years Joe Hockey now wants us to be a bit more sophisticated in our approach to public finance. After spending years

September 2013

Abbott risks health and environment for free trade

The Coalition’s newly announced trade policy leaves the federal government vulnerable to legal action from international companies, according to The Australia Institute.  Hours before voters head to the polls, the opposition has announced it would use investor-state dispute settlement clauses in free trade agreements. The move would give foreign companies the right to take action

August 2013

PR spin is big business

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

When politicians lie, make things up or simply get important things wrong, we take for granted that it is the role of their political opponents to highlight such errors. Our politicians are so focused on each other’s words that a mere slip of the tongue can become a news story for days. This isn’t so for

July 2013

What’s choice got to do with it?

The financial disadvantage Australian women will face in retirement has nothing to do with whether they have a family, according to new research by The Australia Institute. The paper What’s choice got to do with it? found that women retire with substantially less savings than men, even if they don’t have children or care for

What the rich would do to avoid tax

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Is economics a science? When we teach economics students, we usually tell them that they are learning about “the science of the efficient allocation of scarce resources”. But when we listen to public debate, often economists don’t sound very scientific. While it is often said that science can’t proceed without failure, it’s rare to hear an

The remaining agenda for free traders

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

Australia used to have very high protection rates for its manufacturing industries. Historically tariff quotas on motor vehicles meant that Australian car prices were double the prices for equivalents overseas. Many other manufactured goods were sold at multiples of the prices in overseas markets. Australia like many other countries imposed very high tariffs on most

Abbott keeps us guessing on public service job cuts

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland could lose well over a thousand jobs each under the Coalition’s planned public service job cuts, according to new research from The Australia Institute. The Institute has launched an analysis of the economic impacts of the Coalition’s proposed public service job cuts, and is today releasing some initial findings.

Business should be wary of cuts

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Last week, the newly installed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd challenged Tony Abbott to a debate about public sector debts and deficits. If it goes ahead, it would likely be a rare respite from the slogans that have haunted Australian public debate for the past few years. But the debate that we should be watching is

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