The Australia Institute’s ‘Budget in Reply’


The Treasurer has just done the books for Australia and many of you will be preparing to do your own as the end of the financial year approaches. Don’t forget that all donations of $2 and above to The Australia Institute are tax-deductible. So if you’ve enjoyed receiving Between the Lines, please consider donating before June 30 or if you’re in a position to Love your think tank even more, please consider becoming a monthly donor.

The missing $24 billion

budget If this budget had a cliché it would be ‘missed opportunity’. If the Gillard Government collected the same rate of tax that the previous Liberal Government did they would have an extra $24 billion per year to spend on their priorities.

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Spreading the benefits of the boom only so far

mining Beyond the feel-good sound bite, how accurate is it to describe the budget as spreading the benefits of the boom? All of the $4 billion in subsidies to the mining industry were left untouched.

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Flick pass to Glenn Stevens

bank The government’s obsession with achieving a surplus of one per cent of GDP seems to be the new medium term goal around which spending decisions have to conform. The problem of short term macroeconomic stability now appears to be the job of the Reserve Bank and the Commonwealth is to avoid any responsibility. This division of responsibilities is new.

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A promise delayed is a promise denied

global Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world living in the wealthiest point in world history and in the middle of a mining boom.  Australia can afford to respond to those in need both within and beyond our borders, especially if it is so keen to pursue a greater international role through gaining a seat on the UN Security Council.

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What history teaches us about a boom

bust Reading this year’s budget one is reminded of the cargo cult mentality that was expressed by Treasury in the late years of the Fraser government. Substitute Japan for China and this could be 1979 or 1980.

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Thank you for helping us go viral!

Is Australia a high tax country? Thank you to all our Facebook and Twitter fans who contributed to the great success of our ‘Is Australia a high tax country?‘ infographic. It has had more than 25,000 views and more than 1,700 shares. Not bad for our first attempt!

Over the coming months we hope to release a steady flow of infographics to promote our research and increase our social media presence.

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Recent publications

TAIAre unemployment benefits adequate in Australia? R Denniss and D Baker, 23 April

Pouring fuel on the fire: The nature and extent of Federal Government subsidies to the mining industry, M Grudnoff, 18 April

Match making: Using data-matching to find people missing out on government assistance, D Baker, 18 April

Showing their helping hand: The selective promotion of government assistance, D Baker, 18 April

Too much of a good thing? The macroeconomic case for slowing down the mining boom, R Denniss and M Grudnoff, 2 April

Job creator of job destroyer? An analysis of the mining boom in Queensland, M Grudnoff, 20 March

Justice for all: Giving Australians greater access to the legal system, R Denniss, J Fear and E Millane, 19 March

For a full list of our publications, click here. All papers can be downloaded for free.

Recent Media


 As the miners look tough, the government looks weak, Crikey, 7 May

 Super changes penalise rich, ABC (PM), 3 May

NAB keeps a bit on the side, giving rivals excuse to avoid full rate cut, The Canberra Times, 3 May

Banks hoard rates cut despite huge pressure, The Daily Telegraph, 3 May

End the price gouging, The Financial Review, 3 May

National Australia Bank breaks Mexican stand-off on rates, The Daily Telegraph, 3 May

Forget emotion on banking decisions, The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 April

How we are blinded by the banks, The Sydney Morning Herald30 April

Put pressure on big banks, The Canberra Times, 28 April

Survey indicates unemployment benefits are not enough to live on, The Canberra Times, 24 April

Some university degrees are a waste of time, say experts, The Daily Telegraph, 24 April


calendar Politics in the Pub Canberra

Indonesia and the live export trade – Lyn White, Animals Australia

Wednesday 23 May6 – 7pm (doors open at 5.30pm)The Lounge Bar, Level 3, The Uni Pub17 London Circuit, Canberra

Australia’s 20-year search for a coherent, workable and moral asylum policy – Father Frank Brennan AO

Wednesday 27 June6 – 7pm (doors open at 5.30pm)The Lounge Bar, Level 3, The Uni Pub17 London Circuit, Canberra

Politics in the Pub is FREE

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