- 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
- Young Workers
- Climate & Energy
- Democracy & Accountability
- International & Security Affairs
- Law, Society & Culture
The great superannuation tax concession rort
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
Increasing the Newstart Allowance: A necessary part of equitable fiscal stimulus
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
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita of Annex B Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
The international debate on climate change is heavily influenced by notions of fairness and justice. One of the most important principles referred to internationally is that of polluter pays. The most common interpretation of polluter pays is that national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be based on the level of emissions
Choosing Not to Choose: Making superannuation work by default
This Discussion Paper reviews the former Government’s ‘Choice of Fund’ policy and proposes a range of improvements to the way default superannuation funds are chosen.
Go Away, Please: The social and economic impact of intrusive marketing
This paper looks at the attitudes of Australians towards telemarketing in the light of the dubious success of the Do Not Call Register. By and large direct marketing is not popular with Australians. The paper suggests an opt-in rather than an opt-out approach may be a better solution to the problem of unwanted calls.
Fixing the Floor in the ETS
Emissions trading will impose a ‘floor’ below which emissions cannot fall as well as a ‘cap’ above which emissions cannot rise. When the government has decided on an acceptable level of pollution, it will issue a corresponding number of pollution permits. If households use less energy and create less pollution, they will simply free up
Agriculture and Emissions Trading: The impossible dream?
This report argues that the Rudd Government should not include agriculture in the upcoming Emissions Trading Scheme because of the inherent difficulties in accurately measuring emissions from the agriculture sector. Instead, it outlines a number of alternative options for achieving agriculture emissions abatement.
The case for a new top tax rate
Discusses the benefits of introducing a new tax threshold specifically aimed at very high income earners. It argues that the current top tax rate of 45 per cent, which applies to incomes of over $180,000 per year, is inadequate in a corporate environment where CEOs can be paid very large salaries indeed.
The tax treatment of capital investments in renewable energy
Examines the treatment of capital expenses in the renewable energy sector with particular emphasis on the need to introduce accelerated depreciation provisions to help encourage new investment in alternative sources of power. Accelerated depreciation refers to the capacity for selected industries to claim bigger tax deductions for the cost of their investments in new equipment
The role of a higher age pension in stimulating the economy
When the economy is slowing governments can stimulate economic activity by spending more money, thereby increasing the level of demand for goods and services. The Commonwealth Government could start injecting tens of millions of dollars into the economy each week simply by increasing the size of a payment such as the age pension.
The Dangers of Character Tests: Dr Haneef and other cautionary tales
Describes the rise of character provisions in Commonwealth laws over the last 10 years. The use of character testing has increased in traditional areas, such as migration and citizenship, and has moved into new areas of law, such as the employment of persons in critical industries and criminal law.
Who are the (un)intended losers from emissions trading?
The emission trading scheme will provide compensation for the price rise for final users. However such policies do not apply to state governments, local governments, the community sector, and the federal government. In total the ETS would cost these public sectors $3.5b annually.
Agreeing to Disagree: Maintaining dissent in the NGO sector
The Rudd Government has committed to the introduction of a national compact with the community sector and is currently consulting with NGOs regarding the development of such an agreement by 2009. This report considers whether a formal agreement is the right way for the government and the community sector to go about building an ongoing
The Impact of an Emissions Trading Scheme on State Government Budgets
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) places a $20 per tonne of CO2 price on carbon pollution. While the government advocates schemes to help businesses pay this increase, no such scheme has been passed onto the states and territories. The states and territories would pay a projected $1.5b, or 15,000 teaching, policing and nursing jobs.
Climate of the Nation 2008: Australian attitudes to climate change and its solutions
In the aftermath of what has been described as the world’s ﬁrst “climate change” election, public interest remains strong on climate issues. The public appear to be cautiously sceptical about the major parties and their commitment to climate change. There remains a strong desire for further initiatives backed by meaningful targets.
Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Paid Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave
Our submission supports a minimum of 26 weeks paid leave. This would be funded through a mix of employment related and government transfer payments to families. The government transfers would be available to working and non-working families while employment related entitlements would apply to working women and men.
Choice Overload: Australians coping with financial decisions
This report investigates the increasing complexity of financial decisions. It finds that many Australians believe that financial investments and superannuation are too confusing. The paper surveys Australian attitudes to personal finance and makes several recommendations for government, industry and individuals.
Where does the buck stop? Community attitudes to over-lending and over-spending
There have been 12 successive years of interest rate rises, and a 12.5% rise from 2007-2008 in debt to banks, valued at $762b. This is practically bad with 18-27 years old that take out 1/3 of credit cards and account for 1/3 defaults. As private debt is now 156% of GDP majority of people believe that banks allowed
Character as Destiny: The dangers of character tests in Commonwealth law
Character laws are used in Australia without much reflection, especially in migration. An Australian citizen must be of “good character,” what this entails is open to interpretation. The undefined nature of character has given too much power to interpretation of national security actors, and given little room to appeal.
The State of the Australian Middle Class
There is a widespread view that the middle class in Australia is doing it tough, that they are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a decent standard of living and are suffering from mortgage stress. Indeed, some media reports have announced the end of the middle class dream. This paper tests a number of these
Climate Change and Australian Coastal Shipping
This report investigates how coastal shipping compares to the other major freight transport modes in terms of energy and emission intensity. It further considers the extent to which increasing shipping’s share of the domestic freight task could reduce Australia’s emissions.
Under the Radar. Dog-whistle politics in Australia
Dog-whistle politics is the art of sending coded or implicit messages to a select group of voters while keeping others in the dark. Dog whistling allows politicians to communicate divisive or reactionary ideas using apparently harmless statements so as to avoid offending or scandalising more tolerant members of the community. This paper represents the first
Carbon Offsets: Saviour or cop-out?
Note: The report contains updated information on the services offered by Carbon Planet.
Do politicians deserve to go to heaven? Public attitudes to prominent Australians.
This piece focuses on if the electorate believes that prominent politicians should go to heaven. Out of the six politicians John Howard scored the lowest with less than half of the population believing he should go to heaven, while Peter Garrett scored the highest at 74%. When split into political parties Howard was the most