April 2022

Canberra is increasingly outsourcing its national role. That needs to stop

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

In the final days before the federal election was called, the new South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas came to Canberra to deliver a blistering National Press Club address. One seasoned journalist described the speech as Obama-esque. While Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese criss-crossed the country visiting the states to make local announcements in the then

House prices means interest rates do not need to rise much to inflict great costs

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

The more than a decade long period of the Reserve Bank going without raising interest rates looks set to end. Rising inflation and the unwinding of the pandemic restrictions and border closures means that the emergency cash rate of 0.1% will soon go up. But at the moment the market expects before the end of next year that it will rise to above 3%.

Coalition’s federal budget prioritises re-election over good of Australians

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Economists are fond of saying that Budgets reveal a government’s priorities and this year’s federal budget reveals the Morrison government’s number one priority is getting re-elected. In one way, that’s understandable- all governments want to be re-elected. But as the Treasurer’s speech outlined, these are uncertain times. Australia is facing some very real problems like

March 2022

Morrison’s economic lies

by Richard Denniss in The Saturday Paper

Scott Morrison lies about the economy all the time. He can’t help himself. He tells big lies about transitioning away from fossil fuels and small lies about the role of his office in the way grants are directed to marginal seats. He tells strategic lies about the union movement engaging in “a campaign of extortion”

All of us pay for natural disasters like Qld and NSW floods

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s no doubt well-meaning attempt to raise money for Queensland flood victims though a GoFundMe appeal this week revealed two concerning disconnects from reality. One was the Government’s failure to grasp the scope of the new era of climate disasters we now face. The second was a failure to meet expectations for

February 2022

Senate should flex its muscles to strengthen democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Australians are confused about the Senate. That is the unmistakable conclusion of the Australia Institute’s national poll of Australians on their knowledge of and attitudes towards the upper house, the largest and most comprehensive poll of its kind. However, that does not mean the Senate is not important in the public’s democratic engagement. In fact,

Largest coal plant to close early, but where is the national roadmap to manage the rest?

by Richie Merzian in The New Daily

Australia’s largest power station is shutting down in 2025, seven years early. Origin Energy, having bought the power station from the New South Wales government less than 10 years ago, now wants to retire its last remaining coal asset. Upon announcement, the Origin Energy CEO stated “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations

Power, Not Just Supply and Demand, Vital to Future Wage Growth

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 4.2% in December, and it could fall further (below 4%) in the coming year, barring further waves of COVID or other global shocks. This has some forecasters predicting a quick acceleration in wage growth — which has been stuck for almost a decade now at the slowest pace in Australia’s postwar history.

Josh Frydenberg’s ‘Great Reshuffle’ another sign Coalition is out of touch with reality

by Alison Pennington in The New Daily

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s recent declaration – that wage-restrained workers need simply participate in the so-called “Great Reshuffle” to find better-paid jobs – underscores just how disconnected the federal government is from the harsh realities facing many Australian workers. With shades of former treasurer Joe Hockey advising youth priced out of housing to “get a good job that pays good

Tax-deductible RATs deliver nothing to the lowest-paid. How very Morrison government

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The recent decision to make Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) tax deductible rather than free will deliver nothing to low paid essential workers and big savings to high income earners. How very Morrison Government. While a part-time cleaner working in the aged care sector will likely receive zero benefit from tax deductible RATs, someone earning $200,000

CPI Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

With the rise in inflation as Australia’s economy struggles with re-opening and supply chain problems, each release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) generates headlines and political debate. But the CPI doesn’t necessarily provide a full reading of price pressures: depending on who you are, and what you buy. In this column published in the Guardian Australia, Greg Jericho (new policy director for the Centre for Future Work) dissects several measurement issues related to this most-watched economic statistic.

January 2022

Australia can learn from Asean when it comes to Russia-Ukraine stand-off

by Allan Behm in the South China Morning Post

Make no mistake: the heightened risk of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine has serious implications for Europe, especially the Nato members, as it does for the rest of the world. But most importantly, it has massive strategic consequences for the US. And that’s where it matters for Australia. To judge from much western media

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