- Banking & Finance
- Employment & Unemployment
- Future of Work
- Gender at Work
- Gig Economy
- Industry & Sector Policies
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- Insecure & Precarious Work
- Labour Standards & Workers' Rights
- Population & Migration
- Public Sector, Procurement & Privatisation
- Science & Technology
- Social Security & Welfare
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- Wages & Entitlements
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Northern direction: If NSW had the Queensland coal royalty system
If NSW had adopted Queensland’s progressive coal royalty system in 2021-22 it would have raised an additional $2.8 billion. For 2022-23 this figure is estimated at between $4.2 billion and $6.2 billion.
Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment
As tertiary education has become increasingly essential to employment outcomes, financial security, and meeting the demands of the future economy, the importance of affordable or free tertiary education increases. Instead, education is getting more expensive. Tuition fees have increased significantly since their introduction, and debts are growing and taking longer to repay. The context of
The Fiscal, Economic, and Public Health Dangers of Water Privatisation
Safe drinking water and sewage services are one of the most essential elements of public infrastructure in our society. Communities cannot survive and thrive without reliable water services. Providing those services is core business for any municipal or regional government.
The Times They Aren’t A-Changin (enough)
This report examines the barriers to closing the gender gap by reviewing Australia’s position within the industrial countries of the OECD. The report also uses data from the ABS and the ATO to highlight gender disparities across all levels of income, ranges of occupation and ages, as well as disparities regarding who undertakes the greater
Profit-Price Spiral: The Truth Behind Australia’s Inflation
Workers in Australia have suffered considerable economic losses as a result of accelerating inflation since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Reaching a year-over-year rate of 7.8% by end-2022, inflation has rapidly eroded the real purchasing power of workers’ incomes; average wages are currently growing at less than half the pace of prices. Now, severe
The Unlucky Country
Life expectancy in Far West NSW is almost six years lower than in Sydney, with the divide getting worse. Those in the Far West are twice as likely to die prematurely compared to those in Sydney, and ‘potentially avoidable’ deaths are two and a half times more likely. Suicide is twice as likely for residents
Self-funded or State-funded Retirees?
Tax breaks for superannuation will cost the Federal Budget $52.5 billion in 2022-23, almost equal to the $55.3 billion spent on the aged pension. Super concessions benefit the rich, while the pension is important for the poor. Major reform is overdue.
Submission: Draft Tasmanian Salmon Industry Plan
The Draft Tasmanian Salmon Industry Plan has been developed in the absence of a range of up-to-date Government policies and legislation. Relevant legislation is listed for near- and medium-term review and there is a complete absence of other key government policies.
NT water policy changes are aimed at expanding irrigation, particularly cotton production. Government and industry claims that cotton expansion would create significant employment and tax payments are not supported by data. Census figures show that cotton is one of the least jobsintensive sectors in the economy. According to the Australian Tax Office, major cotton companies
From Russia with love
Australian coal export revenue increased by $73b, or 186% in 2021-22. Between $21b and $39b of this is directly attributable to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Reserve Bank Review
This is the Australia Institute’s submission to the review into the functions and operations of the Reserve Bank of Australia (“the RBA”).
Lost at Sea
New research from the Centre for Future Work challenges the methodology and conclusions of a recent Productivity Commission study of productivity in Australia’s container port system.
The report, by economist Dr Phil Toner, suggests that the Commission’s exercise was ideologically motivated, and failed to properly interpret its own data.
Polling – Perspectives on poverty
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
Polling – Wages and cost of living
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
Submission: Inquiry into supporting democracy in our region
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.
Theft By Any Other Name: Go Home On Time Day 2022
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.
Call Me Maybe (Not)
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.
Public Services in the Hunter
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.
Going Nuclear: The Costs of Mid-Bargaining Termination of Enterprise Agreements
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.
Collective Bargaining and Wage Growth in Australia
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.
Polling – Gas Industry Intervention
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
The Cumulative Costs of Wage Caps for Essential Service Workers in NSW
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 October 2022-23 Commonwealth Budget: A Good Start… But Rocky Times Ahead
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.
Reforming the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax
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.
Inflation: A Primer
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.
Submission: Defence strategic review
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.
War gains: LNG Windfall Profits 2022
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.
Polling Research: Stage 3 Tax Cuts October 2022
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
Raising Revenue in Australia
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.
Polling – Stage 3 income tax cuts
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