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
Social policy and conservative debt management policy do not always go well together and a good example is the question of what to do with outstanding student debt. Why would private interests want to buy it? It only increases by the CPI and would perform poorly as a financial investment. A term account with a
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.
While capitalism was built on the notion that new companies and industries would destroy old ones, the modern version of capitalism is far more clubby, far more polite and far less innovative. Innovative branding and marketing strategies are okay, but it seems the emergence of whole new industries would be going a bit too far.
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
Tax is the price we pay to live in a civilised society. It is what funds our health system, our education system and our public transport infrastructure. Tony Abbott has just asked the head of the Business Council of Australia to advise him on how much we should spend on those things. Not surprisingly, the
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
Taking a lunch break has become a thing of the past for millions of Aussie bosses and their employees, a new survey has revealed. The survey, conducted by The Australia Institute and beyondblue for this year’s national Go Home on Time Day initiative, found that 3.8 million people routinely don’t take a lunch break, with
The issues of coal seam gas and free trade are combining to create a perfect storm for the National Party, and in turn, the Coalition government. Tony Abbott obviously saw the clouds on the horizon before the election and responded by declaring that a Liberal would hold the Trade portfolio for the first time since
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
Go Home on Time Day – 20 November 2013 – is an annual initiative of The Australia Institute and beyondblue aimed at promoting mentally healthy workplaces and the importance of work/life balance. beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said something is very wrong in Australia’s workplaces because people are working longer and longer hours, but productivity
The carbon price has become the ultimate political symbol. But has this helped or harmed the cause for those who support it? For many progressives this symbol was so potent that they ran a “say yes” campaign for it even before they knew what it would entail. Regardless of the emission reduction targets or the generosity
Mark and then sync all your calendars – Wednesday 20 November is this year’s national Go Home on Time Day (www.gohomeontimeday.org.au). Go Home on Time Day is an annual initiative of The Australia Institute, in partnership with beyondblue. The Day is a light-hearted way to start a serious conversation about work-life balance. Businesses of all
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
Thousands of private sector jobs will be lost and Canberra could go into recession if the Coalition follows through on its promise to cut 12,000 public service jobs in the capital, according to a new analysis by The Australia Institute. It remains unclear whether the Coalition plans to make all of the job cuts in
When Ford announced it would close its Melbourne plant at a cost of about 1200 jobs, the nation went into shock. But where is that shock now as Tony Abbott promises to shed at least 12,000 more public-sector jobs than Labor? What’s worse is that he’s making this pledge in the middle of an election
If tax is the price we pay to live in a civilised society it seems that neither of the major parties have high hopes for the communities they say they want to build in northern Australia. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is suggesting that companies based in the Northern Territory should face a reduced company tax
The word productivity will be used countless times in this election campaign but the issue of our investment in science will be lucky to get its 24-hour news cycle in the sun. And while business groups are often critical of governments for being focused on the short term, they are not calling for increased funding
The Opposition’s pledge to create jobs in Tasmania could be undermined by its plan to reduce the size of the public service, a new analysis by The Australia Institute reveals. The analysis shows Tasmania could lose more than 200 jobs under the Opposition’s planned public service job cuts. The Australia Institute used historic separation rates
The Queensland government’s approval of Clive Palmer’s latest coal mine and rail project shows a blatant disregard for the thousands of jobs that will be lost as a result, according to The Australia Institute. Waratah Coal’s own economic impact statement shows the China First mine will see 3,000 people losing their jobs, primarily across Queensland.
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
Australian universities have been reaping the benefits from taking international students for years. But is that the way it will always be? What if the countries those students come from turn the tables on the cash strapped western universities and ask them to bid for the work?
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
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that the carbon price is now a quarter of what was forecast is good news; the question is, for whom? Rather than crippling, the impact of the carbon price is barely even irritating for most polluters. Compared with the impact of the high exchange rate since 2007, the carbon price
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
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
In debates about climate change and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, there is a widely-held belief that market mechanisms, like the Labor government’s carbon pricing scheme, will reduce emissions in the cheapest possible way. As a matter of pure theory, this is correct but, in practice, it depends on what is included and excluded
When it comes to future generations it seems that we can never be too generous. But is this generosity coming at the expense of current generations? In Canberra, when it comes to job losses, it seems the answer is ”yes”. Consider the Australian National University’s approach to its finances. The ANU is owned by taxpayers
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.
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