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Prior to the 2014 Budget the Government asked the Shepherd Commission of Audit to report on public spending. They did not include in its remit the cost of tax expenditures – money which could be collected but, because of concessions, is not.
The Abbott Government, as part of its ‘budget repair’ efforts, wanted in the 2014 Budget to increase the pension age to 70 and to restrict pension indexation to the price index, meaning that the pension will fall relative to general community standards. It has now walked away from CPI indexation in the face of overwhelming
As Australia’s population ages, government policies that assist retirement will become even more essential. Superannuation tax concessions and the age pension are the two key government policies that assist the ageing, but they are becoming increasingly expensive. Increasing costs have prompted the Treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey to suggest the pension age be increased to 70.
The Australian tax-transfer system targets those in need and, as a consequence, is prone to poverty traps, areas where higher private income leads to very little gain in disposable income, and high effective marginal tax rates (EMTRs) in general. This can severely impact on people’s ability to work their way out of poverty. Particularly acute
Like climate change, the possibility of peak oil poses an uncomfortable challenge to citizens and governments alike in the 21st century. ‘Peak oil’ is the term used to describe the point in time at which the worldwide production of crude oil extraction will be maximised. But while it is inevitable that production will peak at
Report analysing Australian tax treatments. The paper concludes with a number of suggestions for reform, principally: · eliminating the 50 per cent discount · incorporating all pre-1986 assets · deemed realisation of assets on death · including owner-occupied housing above a certain value.
This paper aims to explore the efficiency, equity and environmental case for removing upfront costs of car ownership (such as registration fees and stamp duties) and replacing them with ongoing, user-based charges (such as fuel excise and mileage-based insurance).
Australians will face longer journeys and more frequent gridlock if some tough decisions are not made to tackle city congestion problems. A number of cities around the world, such as Singapore, London and Milan, have introduced successful pricing schemes to reduce road use. This paper explores the case for a congestion charge, with time-of-day pricing
Since 2005, the great majority of Australian workers have been able to choose their own superannuation fund. While some people have taken advantage of greater choice in super, for many people choice is actually a burden. Widespread lack of engagement with superannuation means that competition in this sector is structured around intermediaries (like financial advisers)
Short-term capital gains have always been taxed as income in Australia but gains on assets held for more than a year were first taxed in 1986 under the Hawke/Keating tax reforms. Pre-1986 assets were exempted and housing was not included. Gains on post-1986 assets were taxed in full but indexation applied. The Howard/Costello Government abolished
Superannuation tax concessions have long been a bone of contention for the welfare sector, which views them as redistributing scarce resources away from low-income earners towards the secure and privileged well-off. This has created a political battleground, with the welfare groups lining up against the super industry represented most notably by ASFA. Reform options are
The arguments for a higher Newstart Allowance or unemployment benefit include the fact that the unemployed have a low propensity to import and to save and are geographically distributed across the country. There is the added virtue of helping to address an increasing problem of horizontal equity, the notion that those in a similar financial