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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.
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 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.
Expanded ECEC services would provide a badly-needed boost to Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
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.
The Victorian Government’s policy of capping of local government rates revenue in Victoria is a regressive move on economic, social and democratic grounds. By arbitrarily tying the growth in total rates revenue in each local government area to price indexes, the state government restricts the ability of local governments to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
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 1,000 Australians about whether the Prime Minister should be free to travel between Sydney and Canberra, and whether he should live in The Lodge.
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 Centre for Future Work has prepared a 4-page summary of our recent detailed report on funding needed improvements in aged care services in Australia, in the wake of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will require additional Commonwealth funding of at least $10 billion per year, and there are several revenue tools which the government could use to raise those funds. While the Royal Commission’s 148 recommendations were not explicitly costed, the Centre’s report shows that
New research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work analyses the economic effects of COVID-19 on Tasmania, and suggests how Tasmania can ‘build back better’ out of the COVID-19 crisis, making key recommendations to help Tasmania avoid the mistakes made at the Federal level. Ahead of Tasmania’s State Budget, set to be delivered on 12 November 2020, in this new report the Centre for Future Work has explored what the shape of Tasmania’s economy could look like, and how it can recover and reconstruct after this pandemic.
In times of crisis, governments have a responsibility to their citizens to maintain and expand their role in the economy – for both economic and social reasons. This responsibility has never been clearer than during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and its associated economic downturn. Australians are counting on their governments to protect them from the pandemic, support them through the resulting recession, and play a leading role in rebuilding a stronger, healthy society in the aftermath of this unprecedented catastrophe.
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
The national roll-out of the NDIS holds the prospect of a significant enhancement in both the resources allocated to disability services in Australia, and the autonomy and flexibility of service delivery for people with disability. But it also constitutes an enormous logistical and organisational challenge. And the market-based service delivery model built into the NDIS is exacerbating those challenges, by unleashing a widespread fragmentation and casualisation of work in disability services.
The Centre for Future Work has released new research estimating the negative impacts on wages and spending power of the Victoria government’s proposed 2% cap on wage increases for the state’s large public sector workforce.
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 state government of New South Wales recently awarded a contract for the purchase of 512 new intercity passenger rail cars to a consortium that will manufacture the equipment in South Korea. The contract is worth $2.3 billion, including an unspecified sum to cover maintenance of the double-decker cars over an initial 15-year period. The
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 Coalition has proposed to cut the size of the Commonwealth public service workforce by 12,000 over the next two years. There has been considerable debate in Canberra, which employs more Commonwealth public servants than any other city, about the likely impact of such a contraction on the local economy. In addition to the direct