May 2022

Australia’s democracy isn’t perfect, but many of you just changed the country

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

The democracy sausage has become the symbol of Australians’ trust and enthusiasm for our free and fair elections, but we have much more to celebrate than sausage sizzles (which, I will point out, are needed to help P&Cs fundraise for our underfunded public school system). Think about the thousands of people across the country who

Unemployment Rate Does Not Tell the Whole Story

by Anis Chowdhury

Three days before the federal election, new ABS data confirmed that Australian wage growth is still stuck at historically weak rate (up just 2.4% year over year to March 2022). One day later, another ABS release showed another small decline in the unemployment rate, which is now below 4%. Most of the decline was due to people leaving the labour market (rather than new jobs being created). But the data is being cited by the current government as a sign that better wage growth is just around the corner.

Real wages plummet and will take years to recover

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

The release of the March Wage Price Index confirms what a horror year it has been for workers. While inflation in the past 12 months rose 5.1%, wages grew just 2.4%. Even worse, in the past year the price of non-discretionary items rose 6.6%, meaning for those on low wages, who spend more of their incomes on essential items, real wages would have fallen even more than the 2.6% average fall.

‘Second miracle’ or historic win from opposition? No one knows how this election journey will end

by Peter Lewis in The Guardian

On the final manic drive to the ballot box, we approach the national crossroads with justified trepidation: are we heading towards the light or is that another runaway train coming to plough us down? We pollsters and pundits (and we progressives in general) are all experiencing our own form of PTSD after the car crash

Scott Morrison’s attacks on ICAC have gone too far

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

“Intolerance of corruption is essential to the survival of our representative democracy and way of life,” said the late David Ipp QC, former commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Australian voters certainly appear to agree. New Australia Institute research shows that three-quarters of Australians (76 per cent) say integrity issues are more or

With falling real incomes and rising prices many people don’t believe the story of prosperity Scott Morrison is preaching

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

While it makes economic and political sense to suggest, as Anthony Albanese has, that the minimum wage, and indeed most wages, rise inline with the rate of inflation Scott Morrison has suggested such a move would be ‘reckless and dangerous’. What’s far more dangerous and reckless is letting real wages and consumer spending fall just

Why commentary that wages growing in line with inflation will drive up inflation is completely misguided

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real

April 2022

It is time to talk about truth in political advertising

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Before a vote has been cast, one election verdict has already been delivered. The campaign has been too light on policy and too heavy on misleading scare tactics. Our democracy is suffering for it. In just the first weeks of the election campaign, we have seen heated accusations of misleading claims from all sides. Waleed

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”

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