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Strong vocational education and training (VET) systems are vital to the success of dynamic, innovative economies and inclusive labour markets. Australia’s VET system once provided well-established and dependable education-to-jobs pathways, but a combination of policy vandalism and fiscal mismanagement plunged the VET system into a lasting and multidimensional crisis. During the pandemic, the federal government
The Commonwealth Government spends over $1 billion annually on consultancies. The advice and reports created by these consultancies should be made publicly available using a Senate order for the production of documents.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,006 Australians about the proposed $500 million redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
The failure of the Commonwealth to confirm that it will maintain funding for community service organisations could threaten up to 12,000 jobs in that sector, at a moment when those services are critical to Australia’s pandemic-damaged economy. That’s the conclusion of new research on the economic importance of Commonwealth pay equity funding, conducted by the
New research from The Australia Institute has shown that South Australians consider the privatisation of their energy network to be the number one reason for the increasing cost of electricity. Price gouging from power companies was considered the second most likely cause of increasing energy costs, according to the survey.
Public sector austerity has become a “policy fad” in Australia, at all levels of government. Its hallmarks are unnecessary public sector wage caps, outsourcing, downsizing, privatisation and the imposition of so-called “efficiency dividends” which allegedly drive productivity growth but in reality cut spending and reduce the quality of public services. These policies of austerity are
For at least five years now, Australia’s labour market has demonstrated signs of a structural shift that has undermined traditional patterns of wage determination, and eroded the quality and security of work. The economic and social consequences of this sea change in the world of work are severe and far-reaching: flat real wages (the worst
This report critically responds to the call for fiscal austerity and public sector downsizing, being made in response to the emergence of fiscal deficits in Western Australia (WA). Those deficits arose in the wake of the slowdown in mining activity and corresponding deceleration of employment and economic growth. Many observers immediately conclude that the only
A new proposal for a portable training system for disability support workers under the NDIS would help to ensure the program achieves its goal of delivering high-quality, individualised services to people with disabilities. The proposal is developed in a new report from the Centre for Future Work. Under the plan, disability support workers would receive
Budget-cutting political leaders regularly target the jobs and incomes of public sector workers as the first and most politically convenient target of their austerity measures. But their crusade to balance the books by downsizing headcounts, intensifying work, and freezing the pay of the workers who deliver essential public services can backfire. In this new report,
The provision of infrastructure by government, financed by the issue of debt, is likely to be far superior to other options. Where private interests are in a position to offer a similar service, it’s likely that their costs will be much higher and that society will pay a higher price either through taxation or user
Most politicians claim that creating jobs is top of the agenda – but public sector jobs are a different matter. The Coalition has promised to cut at least 12,000 jobs in the public sector if it wins government, hoping to portray these jobs as superfluous and implying that getting rid of them will make everyone
Electricity prices are a major contributor to cost of living pressures and a major cause of concern for Australian consumers. While the carbon tax has recently been depicted as the main culprit in electricity price increases, electricity prices have been increasing rapidly for the past two decades. The cost of electricity increased by 170 per
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.
The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) was sold in 1994 by the Commonwealth and became a privately owned company, tasked with the processing of blood. Since its privatisation it has been accused of allowing hepatitis-C and CJD to infect the blood. This document focuses on the $400 million given to CSL by the Commonwealth between 1994
This report evaluates the impact of the privatisation of ACTEW on the financial position of the ACT public sector. In so doing, it examines the structure of ACTEW and the impact of the competitive electricity market on ACTEW’s profitability. It also assesses the options for dealing with the government’s unfunded superannuation liability. It concludes that
This paper collects together some of the papers from the Australia Institute’s conference entitled Citizens in the Marketplace: The implications of competition policy for citizenship. The conference was motivated by the desire to bring together various strands of thought which are being knit into an alternative to economic rationalism. The notion of citizenship, and the
This paper is designed for Landcare participants and policy-makers and outlines some economic approaches to land-use decision-making that could be used to evaluate Landcare.
This paper analyses the fiscal impact on the Commonwealth of the sale of Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) and relates this impact to the market environment in which CSL operates. It raises serious concerns about the returns to tax-payers from the sale.
This article shows that the public debt interest savings associated with privatisation are, on average, less than the profits foregone, implying that privatisation reduces public sector net worth. A copy is available on John Quiggin’s website.