October 2009

What will Wong’s CPRS actually do?

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The CPRS is increasingly looking like the answer to a question that nobody asked, namely, what would be the best way to introduce a complex and expensive national scheme that sounds like a solution to climate change without really changing anything? But as the Senate vote gets closer the first question that the Climate Change

Super slick

by Josh Fear in ABC The Drum

Most of us like to complain about the banks from time to time, but compared to some parts of the superannuation industry the banks seem like the good guys. That’s because many commercial super funds are profiting enormously through excessive fees on the savings of ordinary workers.

The climate science sceptics

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The science says that we need to reduce emissions by around 40 per cent by 2020 if we want even a fifty per cent chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The Government has ignored that advice both in setting the targets for their so called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and in developing Australia’s negotiating

September 2009

July 2009

Peoples bank deja vu: a spotted history of competition in the banking sector

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

The global financial crisis has meant Australia’s top four banks have moved into the world’s top 10 banks in terms of financial soundness. While that says a lot about Australia’s regulators and regulatory environment, the global financial crisis has also meant much of their competition has been wiped out as customers consolidate around ‘sound and

Selfless winds of change

by Josh Fear in Sydney Ideas Quarterly

the ‘cap-and-slice’ proposal actually resembles the public’s perception of how emissions trading works more closely than the CPRS. Three-quarters of respondents to a recent Australia Institute survey said that Australia’s total emissions would go down if every household reduced its electricity use. Only 13 per cent gave the answer that corresponds to the CPRS: that

Need and social goals

by Richard Denniss in Dissent Magazine

Australia is a wealthy country. Although the current slowdown in the rate of economic growth has had a substantial impact on the government’s finances, the fact is that much of the ‘boom’ preceding this downturn was squandered through round after round of tax cuts. This occurred to such an extent that, despite the fact that

June 2009

The CPRS–Where to from here?

by Richard Denniss

The CPRS has fundamental flaws that need to be addressed. A mechanism to ensure that the efforts of individuals and state governments to reduce emissions result in lower emissions, not extra permits for other polluters, needs to be introduced. Similarly, the decision to insulate the petrol price from the introduction of a carbon price needs

May 2009

Where has all the revenue gone? To tax cuts for the rich!

by David Richardson in ABC The Drum

Right up until the end of the resources boom and the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, the government was flush with money, a result of the virtually continual ‘surprises’ as economic growth, and especially government revenue, came in way over budget forecasts in each of the years from 2003-04 to 2007-08. By

Time to reform capital gains tax

by David Ingles in ABC The Drum

There are strong equity and efficiency arguments for taxing all income from capital at the same rate; the current concessions are wrong in principle and regressive in practice. The focus should be on why the wealthy enjoy the unique privilege of having a sizeable part of their real income taxed at half the normal rate.

March 2009

Wong must cap and slice

by Richard Denniss in The Australian

The CPRS in its current form is deeply flawed. If the government wants to see the legislation passed, it is going to have to amend its proposal. In order to take advantage of every additional emissions reduction and allow every concerned citizen to make a direct contribution, the government needs to convert its ‘cap and

February 2009

An idea whose time never came

by Richard Denniss in Analysis & Policy Observatory

It is often said that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. But it seems that in the case of Minister Wong’s version of emissions trading, the so called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), there is nothing more pitiful than an idea whose time never actually came. The targets are

Making life easier for emitters

by Richard Denniss in Analysis & Policy Observatory

The unfortunate reality is that, having waited a decade for a government to express a willingness to do something about climate change, we are now faced with a choice between a policy that locks us into failure by dictating that emissions in Australia cannot fall by more than five per cent and abandoning the CPRS

January 2009

Sloppy super

by Josh Fear in The Australian

Debates about superannuation policy are often ideological in tone.People in finance and investment circles tend to forget that the majority of Australians are profoundly disengaged from their super, at least until they approach retirement. The super system is so complicated that many workers take the simplest option – doing nothing. Governments therefore have a responsibility

October 2008

In a man’s working world parental leave should be about fathers, too

Originally printed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Under the Productivity Commission’s parental leave proposal, men are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave (use it or lose it), and mothers would be allowed to transfer their 18-week entitlement to their partners. It leaves the important decision about who provides primary care up to individual families and,

August 2008

June 2008

Credit reform needs to go back to basics

by Josh Fear in ABC The Drum

Recent research by the Australia Institute reveals the extent of community mistrust of the financial sector. Indeed, a large majority of adult Australians hold banks and other financial institutions responsible for the current debt crisis. Although many people believe that personal responsibility in financial decision making is important, there is broad consensus that the banking

May 2008

A borrower nor a lender be

Australia’s love affair with easy credit has turned on itself. The price of credit has reached its highest point in 14 years, and home buyers are feeling the economic pain associated with higher interest rates. The corporate sector has tended to blame individuals for taking on more debt than they can handle, drawing on the

April 2008

Leave accounts: win-win solution to child care

by Jo-anne Schofield in ABC The Drum

Originally printed in ABC News. It’s a good thing for our communities if working parents are able to take time out to spend with children. This should be the guiding principle for the Productivity Commission’s upcoming inquiry into paid maternity, paternity and parental leave. The second principle is to accept that many parents want or

February 2008

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