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Amidst increasing concerns among economists and budget forecasters about the historic stagnation of Australian wages, the latest GDP statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed that the proportion of national economic output that is paid to workers has reached an all-time low.
Research from the Australia institute has calculated the impact of the recent Fair Work Commission decision to cut penalty rates on the Commonwealth Budget. The paper from Richard Denniss, Chief Economist at The Australia Institute, found reduced income tax collection from lower wages as well as greater welfare assistance for low income earners is, based on
In the 2016 budget the government announced that it would close carbon tax compensation to new recipients of welfare payments. This would save the government $1.4 billion over the forward estimates, by reducing the income of some of the poorest Australians by around $10 per fortnight. This cut was introduced to the Parliament in September
The Australia Institute submission to the Economics Legislation Committee for its inquiry into the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 critiques the proposed savings on the grounds that they will increase inequality and harm innovation.
New research released by the Australia Institute today shows that government moves to cut unemployment benefits will put recipients at 32% below the poverty line. The research also highlights staggering inequality in Australia where the 10 richest Australian families have the same wealth as the poorest 3.9 million Australians combined.
The Coalition’s proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate will result in a significant loss of tax revenue and, in turn, will have a significant impact on the budget balance. The government has argued that the loss in tax revenue will be offset, in part, by the increase in economic activity that they believe will
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
A new research paper from The Australia Institute reveals that home ownership rates in Australia are falling across all age groups, most significantly for people in their 50’s. Middle income earners are experiencing the sharpest decline in ownership rates. Housing affordability issues have changed the makeup of the housing market over the last decade. Not
Inequality between those with the most and those with the least is rising in Australia. Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but there are many people in our society who are falling behind. The nature and extent of inequality is the choice of policy makers. We have the capacity to either reduce
This paper is written in partnership with Australia21. Australia has a long and proud tradition of equality, but in recent decades the benefits of strong economic growth have flowed disproportionately to the rich. In the wake of a declining resources boom, there is a growing gulf between those in the top range and those in the lower ranges of wealth
The Australia Institute’s submission addresses the effect of policies designed to encourage home ownership and residential property investment. More broadly this submission focuses on the theme of housing equality and examines the inequality that exists between generations and income groups. In doing so it considers the impact of not having a long-term, national affordable housing
Superannuation is unlike any other product in Australia. There is no other product that all employees are forced to spend nine per cent of their income buying. In fact, the proportion of income spent on compulsory superannuation is to rise to 12 per cent by 2020. But it is not just individuals that spend a
Some industries have far more political influence than others, and some political systems are more susceptible to the influence of industries than others. In Australia, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating evidence of the links between the previous NSW Labor Government and the mining industry. In the words of Geoffrey Watson, QC,
Australian taxpayers contributed $30.2 billion to the private accounts of that portion of the population with superannuation 2011-12. By 2015-16 this sum is projected by Treasury to rise to more than $45 billion by which time it will be, by far, the single largest area of government expenditure. By 2015-16 the taxpayer contribution of $45
The role of unemployment benefits is to insulate people from the severe financial hardship of going to work one day and discovering that they no longer have a job. Few people earning $60,000 per year, raising children and attempting to repay their home loan can afford to remain unemployed for more than a few months
In order to receive fair treatment through the legal system, it is often necessary to seek assistance from a lawyer. This can be an expensive exercise, depending on the matter to be resolved and one’s capacity to pay for it. The financial costs of pursuing justice can be so high that a great many people
The scope of the Inquiry is broad. In our submission we have chosen to focus on three areas of policy interest, drawing on our work over the past four years.
It is often said that to retire with dignity in Australia a couple would need a retirement income of around $50,000 per year. In order to help Australians achieve such levels of retirement incomes Australian taxpayers now contribute around $27 billion per year in tax concessions to help boost the retirement savings of so called
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
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.
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
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
There has been a growing push for the Federal Government to introduce a universal school voucher scheme that results in government funding being provided on a per student basis to parents, which they could then use at a public or private school of their choice. This paper evaluates the available evidence on school voucher schemes
Public policy debate about equality of opportunity in Australia currently centres around the distribution of disposable incomes and the role played by taxes and transfers. In contrast, this paper presents the available evidence on underlying structural inequalities of education, health, employment, housing and location. Based on international evidence, the paper argues that governments which address
The private health care rebate of 30% costs the government $2.5b per year. Only 24% of households under $25,000 per year have private health care, this increases to 69% for household over $100,000 per year. Single parents, young people and poor families are the least likely to have private health care. Due to this the
A speeding fine of $125 represent one third of the weekly pay for those who make $20,000 per annum, while it only makes up 6% for someone making $100,000 per annum. This applies to the cost of a parking ticket or any other flat fine. The recommendation of this piece is to make the fine
Unpublished ABS data shows that 23,000 Australian children from low and middle income families are being priced out of child care:12,000 children from low income families and 11,000 children from middle income families miss out on child care because of cost, and they are more likely to experience developmental disabilities as a result.