- Banking & Finance
- Employment & Unemployment
- Future of Work
- Gender at Work
- Gig Economy
- Industry & Sector Policies
- Infrastructure & Construction
- Insecure & Precarious Work
- Labour Standards & Workers' Rights
- Population & Migration
- Public Sector, Procurement & Privatisation
- Science & Technology
- Social Security & Welfare
- Tax, Spending & the Budget
- Unions & Collective Bargaining
- Wages & Entitlements
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Between 4 and 7 October 2022, the Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about their understanding of the impact of poverty and their attitude to the appropriate level of income support. The results indicate an overwhelming majority of Australians support the principle that income support payments should keep people out of
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their views on wages and cost of living. The majority of Australians report that their wages have not kept up with the cost of living over the past 12 months. For two in three Australians (68%) their wages have either not grown at
Australia can contribute significantly to democracy, security and prosperity in our region by addressing the region’s most existential threat, climate change, and by better governing our own resource sector.
This year marks the fourteenth annual Go Home on Time Day (GHOTD), an initiative of the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute that shines a spotlight on the maldistribution of working hours and the scale of unpaid overtime worked by Australians.
Working beyond scheduled hours has long been a problem for Australian workers. The nature and scale of overtime has more recently been shaped by the rise in flexible working arrangements and the integration of information and communication technology at work. Checking emails on the weekend, taking multiple-time-zone calls out of hours, and teleconferencing from the dining table have all become familiar experiences amongst workers. This both enabled working from home conditions during the pandemic for a large portion of workers, and accelerated patterns of overtime through the blurring of lines between work and home life.
The provision of essential public services generates extraordinary and far-reaching economic and social benefits for the Hunter region. A new report prepared by the Centre for Future Work documents the scale of these benefits for workers, families and communities across the Hunter. The fact sheets provide a portrait of the different ways public services build a stronger economy, strong communities, and better lives.
New research from the Centre for Future Work quantifies the dramatic risks faced by workers whose employers unilaterally terminate enterprise agreements during the course of renegotiations. This aggressive employer strategy, which became common after a precedent-setting 2015 court decision, would be curtailed by new industrial relations legislation proposed by the Commonwealth government.
The reforms proposed in the Secure Jobs, Better Wages bill represent important but incremental steps in restoring a better balance of bargaining power between workers and employers, and lifting wage growth back toward a normal and healthier pace.
In November, The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their views on possible government interventions in the gas industry. The results show strong support for the government to intervene in the gas industry, either by imposing export controls on gas exporters if they do not meet local demand, or by
Since 2012 the NSW government has arbitrarily suppressed pay gains for workers in state-funded public services (including health care, education, public administration, emergency services, and more). At first those pay caps were justified as a deficit-reduction measure, and then later as being supposedly tied to inflation trends. But both those arguments have been discarded, given state surpluses in most years since the cap was introduced, and now the dramatic acceleration in inflation (now running more than twice as fast as allowed compensation gains).
The new Albanese Labor government has tabled a revised budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, revising revenue and spending forecasts originally contained in the March budget (from the previous Morrison government), and providing new funding to support several new programs and policies.
The present PRRT generates no revenue until the project sponsor gets back all their capital together with the permitted uplift factors. The problem with this approach is that no PRRT revenue is generated for many years which might exceed the life of the project and/or outlast the high returns—the economic rent that should be taxed.
Over the past year, inflation has accelerated both in Australia and in most advanced economies, to rates much faster than have been observed for many years. Not unsurprisingly, this has caused much concern among people whose cost of living has risen abruptly. It has also created great challenges for policy makers: the risks of tackling higher inflation are high, given that the conventional response is to reduce aggregate demand, economic activity, and employment in order to “cool off” spending and thus reduce price pressures. This can mean that the “cure” can be worse than the “disease” – especially if, as occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, a recession follows efforts to constrain inflation.
The review’s Terms of Reference do not specifically address the underlying principles of Australia’s strategic policy. However, its intentions—to examine force disposition, preparedness, strategy and associated investments—themselves require some reaffirmation of the basic principles of Australia’s strategic policy. A strategic policy that places a premium on expeditionary deployment of Australian forces in pursuit of Australia’s strategic interests will invoke quite different decisions on force structure and associated force posture than would a strategic policy that places a clear emphasis on the ability to act in the direct defence of Australia.
Energy prices spiked worldwide following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting restrictions on Russia’s gas exports. This has in turn increased the value of Australian LNG exports and the profits of LNG companies. We estimate the war related windfall gain to LNG companies in 2021-22 at between $26 billion and $40 billion.
In October, The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about their views on the stage 3 tax cuts. The same question was asked of 1,409 Australians in September.1 The results show that support for the Labor Government repealing the stage 3 tax cuts has increased since September, while the number of
Australians want more public services that will require more government revenue. This paper summarises Australia’s tax system, its international context, and principles to guide its reform.
Key results The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,409 Australians about their views on the stage 3 income tax cuts. The results show that the stage 3 tax cuts are not widely supported. • Respondents were most likely to correctly identify that high income earners would benefit most from stage 3 income
Seafarers perform difficult, often dangerous work that is essential to the operation of global supply chains, delivering all the merchandise we take for granted in modern life. Yet because of the legal vacuum governing international marine traffic, a lack of resources and attention for enforcement by national regulators, and the corporate strategies of shipping companies and their customers, seafarers are subject to some of the worst exploitation and abuse of any occupation in the world economy.
Current work and care arrangements in Australia contribute to economic and social disadvantage for carers, the vast majority of whom are women. Patterns of labour force participation and employment provide clear indicators of the inequities inherent in Australia’s current care and work arrangements. These patterns show we do not have equitably shared care arrangements, nor equitable employment opportunities and outcomes for women. Australia requires much stronger support systems, more effective work and care policies and more secure and fairly-paid jobs to address these problems.
Homeshare programs have the potential to make a significant contribution to improving Australia’s work and care systems, but are being held back by inter-agency issues, the transfer of disability and aged care to the Commonwealth and lack of resources.
Tasmanian salmon companies have gone through a rapid period of growth that has outpaced regulation and science. Company profits have not led to commensurate growth in returns to the State Government or the community. Meanwhile communities bear the costs of the industry. The fast tracking of the salmon industry needs to end.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about whether advertising of certain controversial products should be permitted on television. The results show that Australians agree that junk food, gambling, alcohol and tobacco advertising on TV should be banned, and more agree than disagree that ads promoting fossil fuels should be banned.
Given the context in which the term “woke” is used in media commentary, it may surprise readers to discover – for example – that only one in five people who described themselves as woke ahead of the 2022 federal election intended to vote for the Greens; less than the share of woke people who intended
The roles of profits, wages and costs in driving inflation has been widely discussed in recent months. Claims by the Business Council of Australia that profit shares are at a 20-year low are not supported by official data sources.
The new Commonwealth government is hosting a major Jobs Summit in September 2022, bring together representatives from a range of stakeholder groups to discuss the challenges facing Australia’s labour market, and how to achieve strong employment, job quality and security, and better skills and training opportunities.
Key Findings: Australian families currently spend 20% of household income on childcare, far more than in most OECD nations. Swedish households spend just 5% of household income on childcare, Norway spends 8%, and Denmark 10%. Australia has the 3rd highest proportion of private childcare providers receiving government subsidies: 77% compared to 13% in Iceland, 17%
Key results The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their attitudes towards a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to support Australian households. The results show that: Two in three (67%) Australians support the introduction of a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry to
Labour costs have played an insignificant role in the recent increase in inflation, accounting for just 15 percent of economy wide price increases while profits have played an overwhelming role, accounting for about 60 percent of recent inflation.
The Australian retail, financial, and online advertising markets are all highly concentrated in Australia. As the last 20 years of attempts to increase competition in these sectors has shown, there is no silver bullet to address the market power of dominant firms in Australia. That said, there is clear consensus that new firms, and new