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Opinion & Commentary


Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.  Communications Manager: Karla Pincott 0411 759 934

  • The great immigration menace - another ‘lump of labour’ fallacy tale

    28 Jul 2015 | SBS

    Immigrants do not threaten our jobs — on the contrary, they create new possibilities and demand in our economy. Read More

  • Don’t hike the GST, reform hospital spending instead

    23 Jul 2015 | ABC The Drum

    Under no circumstances should the GST rate be raised to pour larger sums of taxpayer’s money into the fiscal black holes of state government health services. Read More

  • Federal comfort zones must be abandoned

    22 Jul 2015 | Canberra Times

    Much has been said about the contest between political expediency and visionary leadership in the recent conduct of public policy. Read More

  • The big problem with raising the GST

    21 Jul 2015 | Business Spectator

    Mike Baird’s daring call for a 50% increase in the GST has put a bold idea on the table and is to be commended for that. But that doesn’t necessarily mean his prescription is good for the country. Read More

  • The government still doesn’t get childcare

    15 Jul 2015 | SBS

    Despite the 2015 Budget’s huge increase in childcare spending, the government still isn’t addressing the key problems with childcare.   Read More

  • Tackling a glaring problem in the jobs market

    15 Jul 2015 | Business Spectator

    How can Australia best tackle the skills mismatch challenge? Read More

  • The Nats aren't happy when the ag industry is treated like any other

    14 Jul 2015

    ‘Agriculture is at the heart of the Australian identity’ or so the government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper assures us. Read More

  • Pensioners are prudent by relying on taxpayers

    10 Jul 2015 | Newcastle Herald

    Australia is currently having an overdue debate on retirement income policy. However, as the government and opposition both rule out certain options for political reasons, we risk the retirement system... Read More

  • A Golden Rule for Australia’s Fiscal Spending

    08 Jul 2015 | Canberra Times

    Australians seeking an answer on how to reign in the fiscal deterioration of the last decade should turn their eyes to Europe. More precisely, to Switzerland. Read More

  • School funding report makes flawed case for full Gonski reforms

    04 Jul 2015 | The Australian

    As we pass the halfway mark of the four year federal education budget cycle, attention is turning once again to the issue of schools funding. Read More

  • When the recession comes

    25 Jun 2015 | Business Spectator

     The crucial question is how well are we prepared as a nation to cope with a recessionary scenario? Read More

  • China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: The lump of labour fallacy resurges

    18 Jun 2015 | ABC The Drum

    The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is a landmark victory for Australians, opening up a cornucopia of future export opportunities. Yet unions and industry groups were quick to criticise the... Read More

  • ASIC new funding model is backdoor taxation

    05 Jun 2015 | Independent Financial Advisor

    The sugar-coated proposal to directly charge an industry — as if everyday Australians would be spared any cost — is misguided and opportunistic. Read More

  • A market-oriented solution for the too-big-to-fail problem

    01 Jun 2015 | Business Spectator

    The Australian financial watchdog should embrace the new ERN convertible bonds, allowing banks to use these novel convertible bonds to meet the higher capital levels recommended by the recent Financial... Read More

  • Work for the dole encore: will it work?

    30 May 2015 | Canberra Times

    The National Work Experience Programme plan to allow jobseekers to do a part-time month of unpaid work experience might be a step in the right direction to get long-term unemployed into the job... Read More

  • The distance from Athens to Canberra

    28 May 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    How far is Australia from Greece?  Pretty far, but, sadly, they’re getting closer every day.  Not because the Earth is shrinking, but because the Australian government is very gradually easing... Read More

  • Hits and misses in the youth employment plan

    15 May 2015 | Business Spectator

    The Budget’s package to help young jobseekers is a step on the right direction, yet it misses the opportunity to introduce more effective breakthrough measures. Read More

  • Retirement changes focus on the wrong assets, won’t boost incomes

    14 May 2015 | Business Spectator

    The fundamental paradox of retirement is that retiree living standards depend on stable and secure incomes, but most retirees typically end up asset rich and cash poor. Solving that problem is key to meeting... Read More

  • Plucking the foreign flock may backfire

    14 May 2015 | ABC The Drum

    As Jean-Baptiste Colbert said in the seventeenth century, the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount... Read More

  • Australian Budget 2015: the panel verdict

    12 May 2015 | The Guardian

    How committed is the Abbott government to ‘budget repair’, or to the challenges of a changing population? Read More

  • Young jobseekers are suffering the ultimate penalty

    11 May 2015 | Business Spectator

    Labor’s new plan to tackle youth unemployment with a pilot project to improve core employability skills may have some merit. But a more effective approach to battle this ballooning issue would... Read More

  • The home is key to our ageing future

    28 Apr 2015 | Canberra Times

    The area most obviously in need of reform in Australia today is retirement income. Read More

  • Nanny trial: the devil is in the detail

    28 Apr 2015 | ABC The Drum

    Since the Productivity Commission’s draft report into childcare was released in July last year, the issue of whether nannies – or, more accurately, in-home carers – should be subsidised as part of... Read More

  • The right to choose your own super fund

    28 Apr 2015 | Investor Daily

    Contrary to Australia’s democratic values, a significant ratio of the country’s workers are denied the right to choose where some of their pay is held, because they are not allowed to choose their... Read More

  • Reverse mortgage is key to reform

    27 Apr 2015 | The Australian

    The retirement system is failing to deliver the living standards it could for many retirees and pensioners, while costing taxpayers an increasing — and increasingly unsustainable — amount. Read More

  • Wrong answer, Mr Hockey

    20 Apr 2015 | Business Spectator

    Unless Hockey thinks he is just calling South Australia’s bluff, he has given the wrong answer. Read More

  • Housing boom? Think again.

    17 Apr 2015 | Business Spectator

    Ultimately, there is no housing boom; the name of the game is housing obstruction. Read More

  • Housing boom? Think again.

    17 Apr 2015 | Business Spectator

    Ultimately, there is no housing boom; the name of the game is housing obstruction. Read More

  • Charities regulator reprieve

    09 Apr 2015 | The Mandarin

    Now that the ACNC is safe, it should focus on making sure that its critics’ worst predictions do not end up coming true. Read More

  • Hitting the ‘rich’ no solution to budget deficit problem

    08 Apr 2015 | The Australian

    The campaign against tax concessions is finding oxygen in a climate of public opinion that has little tolerance for spending cuts affecting low and middle income earners and believes the budget can be... Read More

  • Financial System Inquiry's pre-emptive power straight out of Hollywood script

    08 Apr 2015 | The Canberra Times

    Some suggestions from the Financial System Inquiry might have you thinking you’re in the Hollywood blockbuster Minority Report, after you examine the recommendation for introduction of a pre-emptive... Read More

  • Individual choice on financial advice costs

    01 Apr 2015 | The Mandarin

    However the FSI’s impact is in danger of being subsumed by a triad of reports attempting to build a requirement for qualifications without a solid foundation. Read More

  • Individual choice on financial advice costs

    01 Apr 2015 | The Mandarin

    However the FSI’s impact is in danger of being subsumed by a triad of reports attempting to build a requirement for qualifications without a solid foundation. Read More

  • Car crashes and banking capital levels

    23 Mar 2015 | Business Spectator

    Are we willing to slow the speed limit of Australia’s financial market? The impact on production, economic development and jobs could be devastating. Read More

  • Pension plan: political pain for little fiscal gain

    19 Mar 2015 | ABC The Drum

    If Scott Morrison is willing to grasp the nettle of pension reform, he would be better off looking at ways to move those with greater means off the payment altogether -- that's where the real savings are. Read More

  • Driven to budget distraction

    13 Mar 2015 | Open Forum

    Given the growing list of budget blunders (for example Medicare reforms), in one sense it should hardly be surprising that the government’s announcement to ‘restore’ funding to a derelict industry... Read More

  • Fair and logical to put super into homes

    12 Mar 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    Despite vocal opposition, Australia’s Superannuation System would actually be strengthened by letting super savings be used for property. Read More

  • Welfare for car makers: a policy of confusion

    10 Mar 2015 | ABC The Drum

    Today's announcement that the federal government will not uphold its pledge to abolish the funding assistance to the car industry is wrong-footed, counter-productive and confusing. Although the chances... Read More

  • Public policy reforms will control our destiny

    05 Mar 2015 | Business Spectator

    The RBA has decided for now to maintain the benchmark interest rates it pays on overnight funds (aka the ‘cash rate’) at the historic low of 2.25 per cent. However, the market is still expecting one—or... Read More

  • Intergenerational Report: Pensioners hold the cards in the surplus equation

    05 Mar 2015 | Business Spectator

    The latest Intergenerational Report sends a clear message to policymakers that the nation can no longer afford to continue to ring-fence older Australians from the task of budget repair. Read More

  • Why you shouldn't trust these IGR predictions

    05 Mar 2015 | ABC The Drum

    The fact that the majority of voters in 2055 will be over 50 years old will have a massive influence on future policy decisions, but the Intergenerational Report doesn't take that into account, writes... Read More

  • Close hospitals to treat more patients

    03 Mar 2015 | Adelaide Advertiser

    This may sound strange, but the way to get more hospital care and reduce waiting times is to close down public hospitals. Read More

  • New Supported Living Pension would provide greater fairness

    02 Mar 2015 | SBS

    The final report of the Review in Australia’s Welfare System recommends what is probably the most comprehensive restructure of Australia’s income support system since its inception. Read More

  • Childcare places still come up short

    24 Feb 2015 | Online Opinion

    The Productivity Commission’s report on childcare makes several important recommendations for making the sector more efficient and less complex for families, but doesn’t do enough to address the... Read More

  • Childcare report a vision of how things could be

    20 Feb 2015 | ABC The Drum

    The Productivity Commission has done a relatively good job with its report on the childcare sector and put together a suite of workable policy recommendations, but it is not without serious shortcomings. Read More

  • Rorts for the rich are a myth

    19 Feb 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    Tax concessions in areas such as superannuation, capital gains and GST are under attack like never before. Read More

  • Kelly O'Dwyer Leadership Lunch speech: Looking to the Future - Fairness

    16 Feb 2015

    CIS Leadership Lunch speech by Member for Higgins and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP. Read More

  • The push for a submarine tender

    13 Feb 2015 | The Strategist

    The government doesn’t seem to understand the words it has been saying on submarines. Read More

  • Target paid parental leave by need

    03 Feb 2015 | The Australian

    WHEN Tony Abbott reluctantly hammered the final nail into the coffin of his signature paid parental leave scheme, the sigh of relief from the Coalition partyroom must have been palpable. Read More

  • Why Greece is the word in Queensland

    03 Feb 2015 | Business Spectator

    A three-year-old government is thrown out for imposing too much fiscal austerity and being too keen to sell public assets. Greece on January 25th? Yes, but Queensland too a week later. Read More

  • Federal-state reform should not mean more tax

    20 Jan 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    The key point for both the tax review and the review of federalism is not to start from the premise that overall taxation needs to be increased or that an increase in the GST is inevitable. Read More

  • Means testing free hospital care will make Medicare sustainable

    08 Jan 2015 | The Australian

    Unless a means test is employed, and so long as the Medicare continues to offer ‘free and universal’ public hospital care paid for by taxes, consumers will have scant incentive to take out private... Read More

  • Overloading welfare state leaves children to pay

    05 Jan 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    As 2014 ended, many of us felt as though public life had short-changed us. Read More

  • Sizing up Hockey’s budget task

    19 Dec 2014 | Business Spectator

    The mid-year budget update (MYEFO) has unleashed speculation about what the Abbott government might do to rein in the budget deficit — and a torrent of both helpful and unhelpful suggestions as to what... Read More

  • There is no more money for childcare

    17 Dec 2014 | SBS

    When the government announced last year that the Productivity Commission childcare inquiry would be expected to deliver new policy recommendations that fit within the existing funding envelope, there was... Read More

  • Bill Shorten is opposing his own party's health policy

    16 Dec 2014 | Daily Telegraph

    According to Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, the revised GP co-payment represents the death of Medicare. Yet what the Abbott Government is really doing is implementing the health policy of the Hawke Labor... Read More

  • Settle in for Hockey’s budget horror show

    16 Dec 2014 | Business Spectator

    The review shows much to be concerned about in the fiscal outlook and exposes the weaknesses in the Abbott government’s first budget. Read More

  • Mercantilist mindset and good fortune make successful China policy

    12 Dec 2014 | Business Spectator

    While the Abbott government trumpets its China-Australia free trade agreement win, it continues to stumble over the non-commercial aspects of China policy. Read More

  • Tony Abbott's budget strategy must be about getting back to basics

    08 Dec 2014 | Canberra Times

    It’s not enough to say you want to reset the budget debate, or to blame the carnival sideshow in the Senate. Read More

  • If it’s broke don’t fix it, abandon it

    08 Dec 2014

    The Prime Minister’s confirmation that his beleaguered Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme would be “refined” before being put to the parliament in the second half of next year might be a... Read More

  • Green’s super tokenism will do nothing to increase women’s superannuation

    05 Dec 2014 | Online Opinion

    The Australian Greens amendment is not so much bad as it is bizarre. Read More

  • Fertility, prosperity and kangaroos

    01 Dec 2014 | The Spectator

    It is well known that Australia has a serious aging problem because our fertility rate is below the level needed just to keep the population steady (namely, 2.1 children per woman).   Read More

  • Blame game risks missing a chance to change

    26 Nov 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    It looks like Australia is finally having a long overdue debate about reform of the federation and, more importantly, reform of federal-state financial relations. Read More

  • Indexing petrol excise makes it too easy for government to grow

    06 Nov 2014 | Business Spectator

    The Abbott government’s move to increase fuel excise duties without legislation raises questions of legitimacy not just about the way they are doing it but also about the principle of automatically indexing... Read More

  • How the Whitlam mums have begun to vanish

    29 Oct 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    Context, they say, is everything. True or not, it certainly matters, and a glance at context illuminates Gough Whitlam’s decision in 1972 to introduce a special payment for single parents additional... Read More

  • Personal freedom leads to economic freedom

    27 Oct 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    It is clear now that economic liberty has supported a massive global reduction of poverty, disease and other key factors. It is also clear that the relationship holds—even controlling for geography,... Read More

  • Comment: ANU divestment: it’s not ‘the economy, stupid’

    16 Oct 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The response to the Australian National University’s decision to divest itself of holdings in certain fossil fuel companies has been way out of proportion to the importance of the decision—and both... Read More

  • Comment: Superannuation and super-sized vested interests

    25 Sep 2014 | SBS

    The government’s move to freeze the Superannuation Guarantee rate is an excellent case study in how vested interests will prey upon the misconceptions of the public to stymie reform. Thankfully their... Read More

  • The ideological chasm of budget fairness

    17 Sep 2014 | ABC The Drum

    There are growing differences between the left and right about budget fairness stemming from a deeper ideological divide on the role of government in the economy, writes Simon Cowan. Read More

  • How to counterbalance China's swelling military power

    09 Sep 2014 | Business Spectator

    At the peak of American power in the immediate post-Cold War period, then-US President George H.W. Bush declared the birth of a ‘new world order.’ According to Bush Senior, it would be a world in... Read More

  • Comment: Budget changes will ensure pensions keep their value

    05 Sep 2014 | SBS

    The claim that indexing pensions to price increases will erode their value over time is wrong. Read More

  • Where to find the silver lining when a AAA rating vanishes

    29 Aug 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    News of a credit rating downgrade, such as that handed to Western Australia’s government by Moody’s this week, is a state treasurer’s worst nightmare. But it need not be disastrous if it serves to... Read More

  • Abbott's PPL extravagance is a crying shame

    05 Aug 2014 | Business Spectator

    If the government wants to get people back to work, redirecting money from their gold-plated PPL scheme to childcare subsidies is likely to be more effective. Read More

  • Unemployment crackdown: one size doesn't fit all

    01 Aug 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Forrest's solution of extending income management to all unemployed people ignores the fact that people are unemployed for different reasons and so need different policy responses. Read More

  • Singapore has the right prescription

    28 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    Individuals should be allowed to opt out of Medicare and assume more responsibility for funding their own healthcare. Read More

  • Australia mustn't jump the gun on macro-prudential policy

    25 Jul 2014 | Business Spectator

    There are good reasons for Australia not to follow other countries in making greater use of macro-prudential policy instruments. Read More

  • Hockey’s tax receipts don’t reveal the deficit

    22 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    What do Joe Hockey's new tax receipts for individuals really tell us about what the government spends and receives? Read More

  • HECS-style loan scheme for Paid Parental Leave provides fairness for women and taxpayers

    12 Jul 2014 | Open Forum

    We need a PPL scheme that doesn’t push all of the cost onto taxpayers to the benefit of those who least need it. Read More

  • You get senators on side by getting voters on side

    11 Jul 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Many of the Abbott government's key reforms seem unlikely to get through the new Senate. Read More

  • Scapegoating investors won’t slow up house prices

    10 Jul 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unless global real interest rates rise significantly in the future, the gains in house prices are unlikely to be unwound. Read More

  • Loan scheme would solve paid parental leave

    07 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    The Abbott government’s paid parental leave scheme is Whitlamesque in its scope and expense. Read More

  • Our youth need a fair go at a job

    28 Jun 2014 | The Australian

    The estimated 27 per cent of young people not working face a terrible risk of long-term joblessness and poverty. Read More

  • Abbott, Palmer and Gore - a play in three acts

    26 Jun 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Clive Palmer's climate policy announcement was high theatre but was this play a tragedy or a farce? Read More

  • Belated boost for NSW train timetable

    21 Jun 2014 | The Australian

    The nation’s most important city, its engine of growth, is itself unable to grow without better public transport services. Read More

  • Why Abbott's PPL scheme is a policy for dummies

    16 Jun 2014 | Business Spectator

    The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme does not provide any additional labour force participation incentives for parents who earn above the full-time minimum wage. Read More

  • Critics of a modest GP co-payment should get over it, healthcare has never been free

    31 May 2014 | The Australian

    The cost of Medicare is increasing because health services are usually consumed without user charges, but healthcare never was and never will be "free". Read More

  • Slashing red tape requires a broader view of social costs

    31 May 2014 | The Australian

    Small enter­prises bear an increasingly large compliance burden that is making life tougher for them and prices higher for their customers. Read More

  • Cut spending by cutting government

    30 May 2014 | On Line Opinion

    Plans to double the efficiency dividend indicate the government is lazy about designing public service cutbacks. Read More

  • Canberra should do less, but do what it does well

    29 May 2014 | The Australian

    The efficiency dividend has failed to curb the rising cost of the public service. Read More

  • Penalty rates cut will give youth a chance to find jobs

    21 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Fair Work Commission has handed down a decision that will boost the job prospects of casual workers, reducing Sunday penalty rates for hospitality workers. Read More

  • The cost of PM's gold-plated parental leave

    19 May 2014 | The Canberra Times

    Some of the gold has been chipped off the PM's gold-plated paid parental leave scheme, yet it is still not clear what the scheme will cost. Read More

  • Rank case of vested interests protecting their turf

    17 May 2014 | The Australian

    The taxi industry may see off Uber with lawsuits or lobbying but it or something like it will eventually take off because too many customers want something better. Read More

  • Inflation must be in the tax review

    16 May 2014 | The Australian

    The cumulative effects of bracket creep are substantial and are best nipped in the bud each year rather than being allowed to build up. Read More

  • Keeping the cuts in the family

    14 May 2014 | Business Spectator

    Joe Hockey’s first budget is a hesitant first step towards fiscal responsibility but the age of entitlement hasn’t ended yet. Read More

  • Levy and parental leave scheme make bad politics

    12 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The temporary deficit tax has joined the gold-plated PPL scheme as a policy millstone around the neck of the Prime Minister. Read More

  • A signpost away from state power

    07 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Road to Serfdom did not turn out to be the expressway Hayek imagined when he published it 70 years ago. Read More

  • A short-term deficit levy plug does not fill a long-term hole

    30 Apr 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    A temporary tax increase makes no economic sense. It makes no difference to what the deficit will be after the increase is removed. Read More

  • Generosity of Abbott's paid parental leave scheme puts budget in jeopardy

    29 Apr 2014 | The Guardian

    There is room for cuts when it comes to family benefits, but the case for reform is substantially weakened by the prime minister’s paid parental leave entitlement plan. Read More

  • Raising tax revenue just to throw it away is no answer

    23 Apr 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    From troubling deficit figures in recent budgets, to dire predictions of blowouts in health and ageing spending in the intergenerational reports, and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson's warning of threats... Read More

  • No easy fix for youth unemployment

    22 Apr 2014 | The Canberra Times

    The youth unemployment rate, now 13.6 per cent, is twice the economy-wide rate, and the youth employment-to-population ratio has fallen by 10 per cent since 2008. Read More

  • Getting to the root of the 'tax crisis'

    21 Apr 2014 | Business Spectator

    Politicians have made promises that cannot be honoured from the existing tax base. Some may call that a revenue problem, but it is actually a spending problem. Read More

  • Getting millionaires off the old-age pension

    15 Apr 2014 | The Daily Telegraph

    Joe Hockey should look to address the pension means test that allows millionaires to receive welfare. Read More

  • Europe holds its breath for ECB action

    11 Apr 2014 | Business Spectator

    There have long been flashing warning signs that monetary policy in the eurozone has been too tight. Read More

  • Sealing of ballot boxes brings end to ‘phony war’

    05 Apr 2014 | The Australian

    The Commission of Audit’s report will be a manifesto for a government that knows its limitations and allows its citizens space to exercise personal responsibility. Read More

  • Nothing to stop young workers being paid above minimum

    04 Apr 2014 | The Australian

    The high minimum wage is eroding employment opportunities for our youth. Read More

  • Audit report may cut government meddling

    03 Apr 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Future prosperity depends on our ability to seize the fiscal downturn and the national debt crises in Europe and the United States as an opportunity to reassess the proper size and scope of government. Read More

  • Howard’s way ideal for Shorten

    29 Mar 2014 | The Australian

    Labor MPs have increasingly disengaged with institutions that support free markets. Read More

  • Official statistics need a culture change

    27 Mar 2014 | Business Spectator

    It's time to re-think the role of the ABC and allow the private sector greater involvement in the collection and dissemination of official and unofficial statistics. Read More

  • States heading for a debt problem

    27 Mar 2014 | Open Forum

    If the states want to be able to spend on infrastructure, they have to keep a tight rein on operating expenses for years to come as the debt of state governments has risen dramatically in the last years. Read More

  • Don't blame foreigners for rising house prices

    20 Mar 2014 | The Age

    Shoddy tax laws, not Chinese investors, are driving up the prices of new dwellings. Read More

  • States on a slippery debt slope

    20 Mar 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The weakening of states' balance sheets will limit their future capacity to meet expectations in a range of services, including public infrastructure. Read More

  • How to fix Australia's states of fiscal disgrace

    20 Mar 2014 | Business Spectator

    To avoid further deterioration in state finances, states will need to be extremely disciplined in their operating expenditure in all functions, including health and education. Read More

  • A coalition of the willing on IR reform

    18 Feb 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The Abbott government is sending the message that they will help those who help themselves by prosecuting the case for IR reform. Read More

  • Protectionism no cure for our woes

    13 Feb 2014 | ABC The Drum

    We need to understand why the automotive industry is shutting up shop and avoid resorting to protectionism. Read More

  • Australia pays the penalty for workplace awards

    07 Feb 2014 | Business Spectator

    It's time restrictive and economically damaging conditions were removed from our labour market regime. Read More

  • It's all relative: The poverty wars are back

    04 Feb 2014 | The Drum

    Relative poverty is a poor measure when it comes to forming public policy aimed at helping Australians who are doing it tough. Read More

  • Forget trying to curb demand, build more houses

    23 Jan 2014 | The Australian

    Public policy needs to focus on boosting supply of housing, rather than suppressing or diverting demand. Read More

  • Playing the currencies game is fraught with risk

    06 Jan 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    When Treasurer Joe Hockey announced an $8.8 billion injection of funds into the Reserve Bank’s Reserve Fund, he said the RBA needed “all the ammunition in the guns for what’s before us”. Read More

  • Bring back Medicare co-payment

    19 Dec 2013 | The Australian

    The Treasury’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook has revealed that next year’s $47 billion federal budget deficit will be at least 50% bigger than the $30 billion deficit forecast when the Abbott... Read More

  • We must fortify fiscal rules

    16 Dec 2013 | The Canberra Times

    The Commission of Audit should build on the Charter of Budget Honesty by recommending the adoption of new fiscal rules. Read More

  • Fixing our runaway spending must be more profound than cuts

    13 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    If the Treasurer and Finance Minister don’t close the door now, we may have to go cold turkey on spending. Read More

  • Giving Holden money is like putting a Band-Aid on a corpse

    11 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    It’s time for politicians to get real and admit that taxpayer handouts are political, not economic, decisions. Read More

  • We are still stuck in the pre-1983 era on fiscal policy

    09 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The floating of the dollar transformed the Australian economy, yet much of our macro-economic policy debate is still stuck in the pre-float era. Read More

  • When regulation becomes political interference

    03 Dec 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Graincorp decision is the latest example of the politicisation of cross-border acquisitions that flows from a flawed regulatory framework for foreign direct investment. Read More

  • Reforming the regulation of foreign direct investment

    03 Dec 2013 | Infinance

    Australia likes to view itself as open to foreign investment, but more cross-border mergers and acquisitions were withdrawn for regulatory reasons or political opposition between 2008-2012 than in any... Read More

  • The challenge facing the Abbott government

    21 Nov 2013 | The Drum

    For the Coalition's rhetoric on the 'budget emergency' to mean anything, cuts need to be made to corporate welfare and Family Tax Benefit. Read More

  • Stamp duty needs reform

    19 Nov 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Governments should be wary of the extreme volatility of stamp duty revenue, which often goes up or down by up to 40 per cent in a single year. Read More

  • Hockey must by guided by the mantra of Mr Micawber

    14 Nov 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The burden of restoring balance to our fiscal position will fall on future generations. The moral aspect of this problem is intense and needs to be addressed now. Read More

  • Memo to Abbott: Time is money we can’t afford

    04 Nov 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The idea that a government needs to point to a specific electoral mandate for each of its actions is a furphy. Read More

  • Credit controls won’t fix housing

    03 Oct 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The danger is not a house price bubble, but that policy makers will attempt to suppress demand rather than stimulate supply. Read More

  • A dollar of super is not a dollar saved

    25 Sep 2013 | Business Spectator

    Does compulsory superannuation increase saving? The answer is less obvious than many people suppose. Read More

  • The Magic Pudding

    30 Aug 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Giving Holden a handout is like putting bandaids on a corpse. Read More

  • Manufacturing votes and hindering business

    30 Aug 2013 | Business Spectator

    Attempts to justify the largesse that goes from taxpayers to the manufacturing industry are not persuasive. Read More

  • Don't bank on PEFO projections

    26 Aug 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    The Projection of a surplus in 2016/17 is a chimera, based on long-term averages and unrealistic assumptions. Read More

  • NBN lift is more hope than reality

    08 Aug 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    There is no evidence that spending billions of dollars on the NBN will increase our economic productivity. Read More

  • Tax cuts the way to go

    07 Aug 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Tax reform of the tax-reducing kind would give the Australian economy a long-lasting supply side boost. Read More

  • Reform and reduce: A hopeful tax mantra

    07 Aug 2013 | Business Spectator

    Tax reform seems destined to return to the policy agenda. Read More

  • Infrastructure, not entitlement, needed to boost productivity

    25 Jul 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Wasteful misspending by the government has a high opportunity cost that strikes at the heart of productivity and competitiveness. Read More

  • Policy conflict on jobs for disabled

    22 Jul 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The social and economic objectives of DisabilityCare cannot be achieved without reform to the disability support pension. Read More

  • Seizing a Sino free trade moment

    16 Jul 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia’s regulation of foreign direct investment is a critical stumbling block in a free trade agreement with China. Read More

  • Smaller government is vital for business growth

    16 Jul 2013 | The West Australian

    Australia is at risk of waking up from the mining boom with nothing to show but a debt hangover and an economic headache. Read More

  • Should teenaged shop workers receive a pay rise?

    12 Jul 2013 | The Drum

    A wages claim to pay young retail workers equally to adults may sound like a good idea, but it will be a hard sell. Read More

  • Why tax-free imports are a retail red herring

    24 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Retailers would be better served lobbying government for policies other than raising inefficient taxes on low value imports. Read More

  • Union campaign emotive but misleading

    21 Jun 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    It is misleading to assert that Australian workers are being overworked in insecure jobs. Read More

  • Taxpayer money wasted chasing film productions

    20 Jun 2013 | The Drum

    Should the Australian public be supporting Hollywood productions with only dubious benefit to Australia? Read More

  • Dumping on free trade

    13 Jun 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Australia’s anti-dumping system will continue to serve the interests of a small number of Australian producers at the expense of other Australian businesses and consumers. Read More

  • Stamp out the anti-dumping dinosaur laws

    05 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia’s economic welfare is enhanced as a result of ‘dumping’ by foreign producers. Read More

  • Politics over policy in industrial relations

    29 May 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Employers should be able to determine wages and conditions for new projects. It simply does not make sense that unions must be involved in every new greenfields agreements. Read More

  • Awards don't deliver fair go

    23 May 2013 | The Australian

    It is possible to increase labour market flexibility, create more jobs and keep the fair go alive by abolishing the outdated industrial award system. Read More

  • It's time to put the break on corporate welfare

    23 May 2013 | The Drum

    Corporate welfare for a favoured few - like Australia's car manufacturers - cannot be justified. Read More

  • Gillard Deal Risks NDIS Timebomb

    13 May 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    In its eagerness to lock in the funding and governance arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Gillard government seems to have created a fiscal time bomb, where future federal... Read More

  • Only a super-style savings system now will help Medicare survive

    30 Apr 2013 | The Australian

    THE intergenerational reports have told us repeatedly that escalating government spending on health is unsustainable in an ageing Australia. But despite the warnings about the future of the health system,... Read More

  • It’s time for surgery: the public purse is in dire health

    26 Apr 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Reducing inefficient spending may harm vested interests, but meaningful reform cannot occur if no one is ever allowed to be worse off. Read More

  • The magic pudding state

    23 Apr 2013 | The Drum

    Australians want government to spend more money on us, but we do not want to hand any more of our cash over to the tax office. Read More

  • Need to cut fat before we all pay the price

    11 Mar 2013 | The Australian

    Governments are seemingly incapable of breaking their addiction to increasing spending. Read More

  • Buying votes does no one any good

    06 Mar 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    There’s a danger we are blundering headlong towards the spending abyss. Read More

  • Time to scrap the minimum wage?

    28 Feb 2013 | Business Spectator

    To get the unemployed back into work, the government could allow businesses a six-month exemption from the minimum award wage. Read More

  • Super myths

    11 Feb 2013 | ON LINE Opinion

    Ideally Australia would have a ‘E,E,T’ system - taxing superannuation to exempt both contributions and earnings. Read More

  • A failure of enterprise bargaining mechanics

    30 Jan 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia's current enterprise bargaining system makes it difficult for automotive manufacturers to improve their performance and save jobs. Read More

  • Car industry subsidies a waste of money

    23 Jan 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Government assistance to the automotive industry has been an expensive failure. Read More

  • Our award system is costing too much

    14 Jan 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Reforming labour market policy must look to the award system, a key part of our flexibility and productivity problem. Read More

  • Increasing the super contribution rate is a second-rate solution

    08 Jan 2013 | The Conversation

    It is timely to re-examine the economic case for compulsory superannuation. Read More

  • A war that’s building over bottles of beer

    29 Nov 2012 | The Punch

    Watering down the building and construction industry watchdog has emboldened the union movement. Read More

  • Better ideas than raising super guarantee

    28 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Is compulsory super improving retirement incomes and reducing future demands on the budget from an ageing population? Read More

  • Revitalising the China story

    27 Nov 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    China faces profound challenges that will require bold action on the part of party leaders. Read More

  • Fairness is not equality

    26 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Income equality is not achievable, it is not desirable and it is not fair. Read More

  • Self-sustaining leviathan

    23 Oct 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    How does Australia compare in the welfare dependency stakes? Read More

  • Labour debate ignores status quo

    12 Oct 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Individual contracts form a pivotal part of the workplace system and have been far more important for labour market flexibility than the statutory agreements of the Howard era. Read More

  • Australia’s long-term fiscal future

    28 Sep 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    One of Australia’s strengths going into the global financial crisis was the condition of its public finances. We are now in danger of frittering away that strength. Read More

  • Stop-gap subsidies for the car industry must end

    26 Sep 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    The Government needs to stop throwing money at the car industry and train these employees for other industries. Read More

  • Disability, injury insurance schemes need scrutiny

    28 Aug 2012 | The Canberra Times

    The National Injury Insurance Scheme is the forgotten little brother of the bigger, brighter and more popular National Disability Insurance Scheme, but that is no reason to ignore it. Read More

  • It’s time for a free trade agreement with Tasmania

    14 Aug 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Tasmanians should not have their lifestyle subsidised because they have chosen to live in Tasmania, any more than people in the city or country should be subsidised for living in the city or country. Read More

  • How to fund a disability scheme

    01 Aug 2012 | The Australian Financial Review

    First there was the carbon tax, then the mining tax, then the flood tax – and now calls for a national disability insurance scheme (NDIS) levy. Will the stream of new taxes and levies never end? Read More

  • Ability, not disability, should determine access to support

    14 Jul 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Blind people are exempt from certain income support tests, and this anomaly should stop.Blind people are exempt from certain income support tests, and this anomaly should stop Read More

  • Tighten the rules on welfare payments

    08 Jun 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    There is more to welfare reform than amalgamating the benefits. Read More

  • Only migrant workers can fill the gap

    05 Jun 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Temporary, skilled migration is the only viable solution for the resources sector. Read More

  • Why the euro project must end

    22 May 2012 | Business Spectator

    The most important lesson to emerge from the crisis in the eurozone has very little to do with fiscal policy. Read More

  • Independent body needed to preserve integrity of fiscal forecasts

    21 May 2012 | The Conversation

    Treasury has not gone wrong in its forecast for recovery, but in its expectations for the preceding downturn. Read More

  • There are better ways to ensure State's future

    21 May 2012 | The West Australian

    The WA Future Fund announced in the State Budget last week is based on two related but fundamentally flawed ideas. Read More

  • IR duplication hinders competitive federalism

    02 May 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Industrial relations matters should be left to the states. Read More

  • Greens have got us tilting at windmills

    30 Apr 2012 | The Daily Telegraph

    The debate on climate change has less to do with scientific rationalism and more with the dogma of religious faith. Read More

  • How taxing housing diminishes affordability

    18 Apr 2012 | The Conversation

    Australia’s under-supplied housing market and housing affordability problem is largely due to the tax burden on housing. Read More

  • Losing sight of the lucky country

    05 Apr 2012 | Business Spectator

    Australia is a country that barely understands, let alone appreciates, its own luck. Read More

  • Carmaker triumph or GM hypocrisy?

    29 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    It's a product of public relations that Australians believe every government supports its own car industry, and looking at General Motors' ruthless cost-cutting of its European brands puts even more focus... Read More

  • Murray's Future Fund brace is broken

    23 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    David Murray's defence of the Future Fund can only inspire doubt about the ability of sovereign wealth funds to enhance Australia's prosperity. Read More

  • EU referendum is a bad Irish joke

    22 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    Economically, whatever happens in Ireland will not be decisive for the future of the euro. That is more likely being decided in Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Athens and Lisbon. But to the rest of Europe watching... Read More

  • Minimum wage is a two-edged sword

    22 Mar 2012 | The Geelong Advertiser

    Like New Zealand’s young workers, Australia’s apprentices are also highly vulnerable to market fluctuations. Many of them are in their first job, have fewer skills, and therefore have less to offer... Read More

  • Striking a French euro tinderbox

    14 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    Either Sarkozy or Hollande will win France’s presidential elections, but the project of European cooperation and integration will surely lose. And the political uncertainty dominating the coming months... Read More

  • The hypocrisy of Europe's bankers

    08 Mar 2012 | The Business Spectator

    As the eurozone crisis has now seemingly calmed down and my friend’s updates become more ecstatic by the week, I am afraid that we are edging ever closer towards his dream scenario. To most Europeans,... Read More

  • Work act flaw threat to growth

    07 Mar 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Job security is a major bone of contention between unions and employers under the Fair Work Act. Read More

  • A zero-sum carbon game

    01 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    There is no point trying to subsidise reductions in carbon emissions if the total amount of emissions is capped anyway. Read More

  • Returning to old European rivalries

    23 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    Europeans may one day wake up in an environment of revived national rivalries, new political extremism and a continent without the open borders they once took for granted. This could be a tragedy even... Read More

  • Why a sovereign wealth fund won't work

    21 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    Many of the desirable objectives of a sovereign wealth fund could be achieved through greater use of enforceable fiscal policy rules that would enable politicians to make long-term commitments to responsible... Read More

  • Gonski: less for private schools

    21 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    The Gonski report's model as it applies to non-government schools has several redeeming features. It provides for a minimum per student public funding entitlement for all non-government schools regardless... Read More

  • Future Funds or Future Eaters? The case against a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Australia

    20 Feb 2012 | The Conversation

    It has also been argued that Australia needs a SWF to better manage the macroeconomic consequences of the “terms of trade” boom, such as the rising Australian dollar and the so-called “Dutch disease”.... Read More

  • In search of a Greek hero

    14 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    To escape from its current mess, Greece does not need more Sisyphus work. It needs someone to tackle the Herculean task of cutting the country loose from Europe’s monetary union. Read More

  • Fast rail go-slow

    10 Feb 2012 | The Geelong Advertiser

    Long-distance passenger trains are running slower than they were in the steam engine era on some lines in New South Wales and on one line in Victoria, and interstate rail freight is steadily losing market... Read More

  • Give austerity a chance

    08 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Fiscal policy should focus on micro-economic issues such as promoting incentives to save, work and invest, as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of public finances. Read More

  • Hallmarks of an EU power play

    24 Jan 2012 | Business Spectator

    The tragedy of the European crisis is not that it was caused by striving for too much economic efficiency. The real tragedy is that it could have been predicted by public choice theory. Read More

  • Why Merkozy is destined to fail

    12 Jan 2012 | Business Spectator

    The eurozone crisis may soon return with more bad news from bond markets. Pity Europe’s leaders are too busy to deal with it. Read More

  • Testing the RBA's DNA

    05 Jan 2012 | Business Spectator

    As a practical first step towards more RBA independence, perhaps politicians of all parties could refrain from both applauding and criticising RBA decisions. It is none of their business. Read More

  • Testing the RBA's DNA

    05 Jan 2012 | Business Spectator

    As a practical first step towards more RBA independence, perhaps politicians of all parties could refrain from both applauding and criticising RBA decisions. It is none of their business. Read More

  • Why reform worked in 1985

    03 Jan 2012 | The Australian

    Unlike Gillard and Swan, Hawke and Keating knew what they wanted to do Read More

  • The Fightback! lesson: how politics can stymie good public policy

    26 Dec 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Twenty years ago, the Liberal-National Party coalition released Fightback!, the most comprehensive and market-oriented policy platform ever taken to an election. Read More

  • A wild forecast for Euro pain

    22 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    You may think that all of this sounds utterly ludicrous, and perhaps you are right. But ask yourself whether only two years ago you could have imagined elected prime ministers being replaced by technocrats,... Read More

  • Let the online bargain hunt begin, properly

    15 Dec 2011 | The Telegraph

    Australians are being ripped off due to Government regulations, especially when buying cars, bananas, and dvds. Read More

  • A British pawn in Europe's game

    14 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    Perhaps it is dawning on Cameron that he had been moved like a pawn on a chessboard by his continental friends. His insistence to act in Britain’s national interest mainly served to promote the interests... Read More

  • Germany's blissful euro ignorance

    08 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    It is only a matter of time until reality will catch up with the Germans at some stage. But don’t wake them up just yet. They won’t have their Christmas holidays spoilt just because some countries... Read More

  • Budget heat in a revenue drought

    08 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    Governments in other countries are in deeper fiscal distress than ours, but governments at the federal and state levels in Australia are struggling with the consequences of a revenue drought after years... Read More

  • Who needs four uni degrees or even one for that matter?

    29 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    Most jobs don't require university degrees. A key purpose of education is to give students a chance to signal their aptitude and diligence, rather to acquire knowledge for later vocational use. Fostering... Read More

  • Business will cop super fall-out

    24 Nov 2011 | Geelong Advertiser

    THE Federal Government has introduced legislation to lift the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent by July, 2019. About 8.4 million Australians will have their superannuation savings boosted, it claims,... Read More

  • Europe's hidden doomsday machine

    22 Nov 2011 | Business Spectator

    What Europe is still discussing and Germany is vehemently resisting – the transformation into a fiscal liability union – has long been achieved through the Target backdoor. Brace yourself for the day... Read More

  • Countdown to a US debt debacle

    21 Nov 2011 | The Business Spectator

    It says something about the depths of Europe’s economic malaise that America’s economic managers are attending international meetings and lecturing others about the need to get their fiscal houses... Read More

  • Avoiding conflict but quietly waving flag

    21 Nov 2011 | Newcastle Herald

    Southeast Asian governments will welcome increased US involvement in the region. Read More

  • Spending Spree wasted decade of prosperity

    18 Nov 2011 | The National Business Review

    NZ’s decade long spending binge was prosperity wasted. Read More

  • Italy defaults on debt and sends lenders broke? So be it

    15 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Will Mr Nobody crash Europe?

    15 Nov 2011 | Business Spectator

    When Germany’s political Boxing Day comes on December 17, there could be some hidden surprises among the presents which may spoil a few politicians’ Christmas breaks. A hitherto obscure German backbencher... Read More

  • Liberals Drop Ball in Super Free-For-All

    14 Nov 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Lifting superannuation to 12% is wrong. Read More

  • Europe's social failure

    12 Nov 2011 | The Weekend Australian

    Capital markets are not loquacious storytellers. They condense the world into simple numbers. For this reason, the surge in Greek, Italian and Spanish bond yields could be mistaken for a mere technicality,... Read More

  • Greece has no choice but to get out of eurozone

    11 Nov 2011 | The Australian

    With the dramatic spike in Italian bond yields, the euro crisis has reached the stage everyone always wanted to avoid. Contagion has spread from Greece via Ireland and Portugal to Europe's third largest... Read More

  • Europe awaits a Chinese burn

    09 Nov 2011 | Business Spectator

    The assessment of Europe’s state of affairs could have hardly been harsher: “If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of... Read More

  • Budget surplus fetish means more harsh spending cuts

    09 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Going long on European deja vu

    03 Nov 2011 | The Business Spectator

    Markets were euphoric, political leaders relieved. “Europe has taken a step forward. Europe and Greece will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou boasted to reporters.... Read More

  • Care system still abusing forgotten children.

    03 Nov 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    In 2009 the federal parliament apologised to the Forgotten Australians who were physically, sexually, and emotionally abused in state and charitable-run orphanages between the 1920s and 1970s. The national... Read More

  • Europe’s forgotten lessons of history

    28 Oct 2011 | ThirdLink Newsletter

    The rise and fall of the Euro is just another chapter in the long history of monetary unions in Europe. The Euro was not the first attempt to unite different European economies and countries by a monetary... Read More

  • Is Australia shy of the Asia boom?

    27 Oct 2011 | Business Spectator

    By internationally practising a policy of exceptionalism against its Asian neighbours, and domestically following the path of European-style governments, Australia is missing out on the greatest opportunity... Read More

  • Sydney misses the boat on ferry reform

    26 Oct 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Sydney’s ferry system should go private to lowers costs for tax payers. Read More

  • Government, not capitalism, should take blame

    21 Oct 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Capitalism is not about giant corporations being able to dump their losses on taxpayers. It is not about allowing senior employees to feast with impunity on the profits of capital supplied by others simply... Read More

  • Unravelling the Greek basket case

    20 Oct 2011 | Business Spectator

    This weekend, European leaders will once more decide on how to deal with Greece. Read More

  • Productivity needs a shot in the arm -- why not a GST boost?

    18 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Taxing saving is not only immoral but economically damaging as well Read More

  • A sterling sidestep

    13 Oct 2011 | Business Spectator

    Under more normal circumstances, we would now be discussing the coming sterling crisis. That we are not doing so does not mean that it will not happen. Read More

  • Should dentistry be covered by Medicare?

    10 Oct 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    But the ''right'' to receive certain health services for ''free'' does not automatically produce good health. Bulk billing has been available since the 1970s, yet lower-income groups are still far more... Read More

  • Stepping stones to an EU inferno

    05 Oct 2011 | Business Spectator

    Don’t read too much into last week’s vote in the German parliament to extend the European Financial Stability Facility bailout fund. Read More

  • A forum to demonstrate Labor has already failed on tax

    04 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Tax summit in Canberra proves Labor has failed on introducing any new tax policies Read More

  • Tax forum demonstrates Labor has already failed

    04 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Tax Summit in Canberra proves Labor Government have not implemented any new tax reforms. Read More

  • Should Australia’s population be controlled?

    02 Oct 2011 | Sunday Herald Sun

    Australia should embrace population growth Read More

  • Should poker machine gambling be restricted?

    01 Oct 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    Reforms to make people pre commit the amount of money they are going to play on the pokies. Read More

  • A few home truths on people and houses

    28 Sep 2011 | The Age

    Population growth: starting acting, not discussing Read More

  • Change attitude rather than limit population

    28 Sep 2011 | The West Australian

    Population growth: starting acting, not discussing. Australia should embrace its population growth . Read More

  • Wanted: a friendly EU break-up

    27 Sep 2011 | Business Spectator

    If the result of Europe’s bungled attempts of economic and political integration is a continent-wide disaster zone, the cure of this disease cannot be more integration, even if Philip Stephens thinks... Read More

  • Housing sense in short supply

    21 Sep 2011 | Business Spectator

    While the rest of the world wonders what the next phase of the GFC will bring; and while the rest of Europe discusses the future of their common currency; the British are pondering an entirely different... Read More

  • The march of democracy in Southeast Asia

    20 Sep 2011 | Online Opinion

    Both Malaysia and Singapore are nominally democratic. Yet both are what Fareed Zakaria calls 'illiberal democracies': "democratically elected regimes... routinely ignoring constitutional limits on their... Read More

  • RBA pay: why Glenn Stevens is not Elizabeth Taylor

    20 Sep 2011 | Crikey

    Notwithstanding the Reserve Bank’s excellent record and deft management of Australia’s economy, especially during the GFC, its decision to jack up the pay of its most senior management by 30% during... Read More

  • Sighs of relief heard from the bankers' bunkers

    16 Sep 2011 | The Age

    Alas, the GFC showed that it is impossible for democratic governments to let large financial institutions fail, however much they should. It is a government's job to free taxpayers from unwittingly providing... Read More

  • Wet ink on a euro death notice

    13 Sep 2011 | Business Spectator

    The euro has been a moribund currency for years. The remaining options to buy it more time have been blocked by the German constitutional court. To end this farcical tragedy someone needs to put the final... Read More

  • Same cracks, just a new coat of paint

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Analysis of the NSW Budget Read More

  • Time to revisit RBA board

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Union leaders would have you believe that the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia is beholden to the big end of town, but the current unnecessarily tight monetary policy indicates that this is not the... Read More

  • NSW budget: time to cut and shed Mick Dundee image

    06 Sep 2011 | Crikey

    With a public service head count just shy of 390,000, NSW puts the Commonwealth government, with a mere 270,000 staff, to shame. Macquarie Street employs 10% of the NSW workforce. Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • A miracle that masks a mirage

    01 Sep 2011 | The Australian

    As it turns out, there is not much in the German manufacturing example that Australia should copy. We would be much better advised to make the best of our own comparative advantages of being a resource-rich... Read More

  • There's no such thing as a free healthcare system

    27 Aug 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    But when it comes to health, Australians spurn pragmatism and tear up the laws of economics. We shackle ourselves with a government-funded and managed health system with all the hallmarks of the former... Read More

  • A poisoned chalice of EU power

    25 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    Eurobonds had not even been on the agenda (officially, that is), and an EU-wide tax on financial transactions almost certainly will die aborning. In another way, however, the Merkel and Sarkozy show was... Read More

  • Who needs credit ratings? They should be optional

    23 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    Banks and investors should thrive or die by the quality of their own assessments of credit risk. They have the most incentive to get it right, writes Adam Creighton, a research fellow at The Centre For... Read More

  • A euro power play that backfired

    17 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    As it turns out, the euro is not only an unworkable currency. It actually started as a French insurance policy against German power. But even as an insurance policy it has failed. Against their will, it... Read More

  • Value cut adrift in a sea of paper money

    16 Aug 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Abolishing the gold standard was meant to free up gold but central banks still hold about one fifth of the world’s 166,000 tonnes of gold and have bought even more since the financial crisis. Private... Read More

  • Setting a European time bomb

    10 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    The announcement by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade US government debt may have been historic but largely inconsequential Read More

  • US Congress swapped a crisis yesterday for a bigger crisis tomorrow

    09 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    I provoked a tirade of abuse from Crikey readers in the past fortnight when I suggested it would be preferable that the $14.3 trillion United States debt ceiling not be raised. Read More

  • Hitting pause on the eurozone crisis

    04 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    Every year, the Centre for Independent Studies hosts a high-level conference in Queensland. One of the speakers this year was Thilo Sarrazin, the author of the equally controversial and successful (1.3... Read More

  • Hospital reform looks sickly but the blame game is fit as a fiddle

    04 Aug 2011 | The Australian

    While critics claimed the approach was too hospital-centric, the primary focus on the financing of public hospital care was warranted. State governments have perennially blamed long waits for elective... Read More

  • Dollars must flow if numbers to grow

    29 Jul 2011 | The Age

    Debate about Australia's population is framed with national aggregates and ignores how local governments deal with increased population. Part of the reason Australians are averse to more people is because... Read More

  • What our economists really think about politics

    26 Jul 2011 | The Conversation

    You might have expected that most economists, following Milton Friedman, view inflation as “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” Yet only 40% of respondents agreed with the proposition that... Read More

  • No reason or evidence will cure US of its debt fetish

    26 Jul 2011 | Crikey

    The hysteria accompanying the scramble to lift the debt ceiling in the United States is misplaced and self-serving. Read More

  • Think local and give country towns the freedom to prosper or perish

    23 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    FOR politicians, and especially for town planners, letting people decide where and how they want to live has never been an acceptable idea. Administrative elites have always been convinced they know better... Read More

  • Greece bailout: prolonging pain for no real gain

    22 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Rescuing the country with another bailout would only prolong the pain. Greece squandered money on the Olympic Games, an over-sized bureaucracy and easy loans Read More

  • Paying dearly for European insanity

    21 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    it would be tempting to seize the moment and rehash all the arguments for why the euro will never work and cannot be saved. Read More

  • Growing anger in local government

    21 Jul 2011 | The Courier Mail

    So how well are Australian local government leaders really equipped to deal with population growth? Read More

  • The PC empire strikes back

    20 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    GERMAN banker Thilo Sarrazin is a pariah for saying things few would question here. Read More

  • Local councils deserve a better financial deal

    18 Jul 2011 | The Canberra Times

    Council rates surging to pay for new residents Read More

  • Council rates surging to pay for new residents

    15 Jul 2011 | Crikey

    Local Government struggling to pay for new residents Read More

  • A bad time to damage our economy as the next stage of the GFC looms

    15 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    WITH the US fiscal crisis nearing a dramatic finale, downgrades of European debt ratings continuing and the euro crisis deteriorating, the global financial crisis has just moved into a new phase. Read More

  • Learning from Europe's competitive spirit

    14 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    One of the classic questions of economic history is how the West grew rich. Read More

  • Tax changes are just a redistribution

    14 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    The carbon pricing scheme was sold by the federal government as containing taxation reform measures, but once again we have lip service from politicians and tinkering at the edges Read More

  • Carbon tax could have united us all

    13 Jul 2011 | The Age

    More than 3 million households will be worse off come July, about a third of Australian taxpayers. Indeed, many thousands of individuals with incomes between $67,000 and $80,000 face the prospect of their... Read More

  • Has the EU's stress test failed?

    07 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    As the whole world worried about a potential Greek collapse, another European country experienced two actual bank failures. Read More

  • China’s exports don’t fuel boom

    06 Jul 2011 | The Washington Times

    While China undoubtedly needs both for the communist party to remain in power, the dilemma for the country’s leaders is that the way China achieves rapid economic growth is increasingly the reason behind... Read More

  • Sending profits abroad is a good thing

    04 Jul 2011 | Online Opinion

    It is amazing how easily people are convinced by this 'sending profits abroad' argument, when it is just a protectionist fallacy. Read More

  • Foreign investment will boost food security

    02 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Foreigners acquiring Australian farm land appears to unite all political parties, we shouldn’t allow commercial decisions to be overridden my populist votes. Read More

  • Perk Street is not as one-way as employed, childless renters think

    01 Jul 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Childless renters pay a lot of federal tax but are exempt from many state taxes Read More

  • US will Remain the Preeminent Player in Asia

    01 Jul 2011 | China - US Focus

    In early May, I gave an interview to the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper arguing that China was probably ‘the loneliest rising great power in world history’ Read More

  • The phantom giant of Luxembourg

    30 Jun 2011 | Business Spectator

    Under the veil of its legendary diplomatic finesse, Luxembourg hides its profiteering role in the sad state of Europe’s economy and politics. Read More

  • Time for Greece to be forced to live within its means

    28 Jun 2011 | Crikey

    It is morally repugnant that ordinary taxpayers around the world are forced, at great cost, to keep Greece solvent in order to prevent banks from losing money. Read More

  • Putting Greek lessons into practice

    23 Jun 2011 | Business Spectator

    Excessive public debt plagues most developed economies, not just small countries on the periphery of Europe. Read More

  • Ditch deductions to lower the tax rates

    20 Jun 2011 | The Age

    Labor’s promised set deduction in taxes is not a productive fix for the system. Read More

  • Is Germany saving Greece or saving itself?

    16 Jun 2011 | Business Spectator

    The short-sighted German strategy of keeping the eurozone together at all costs is turning Greece into one big welfare recipient. Read More

  • Hey regulators, remember the GFC

    14 Jun 2011 | Crikey

    Housing sector ignores lessons from the GFC at taxpayers’ peril. Read More

  • Population debate: we pretend growth is not inevitable

    13 Jun 2011 | The Australian

    The longer we pretend we can stop population growth, or protest that we don’t want growth to happen, the more difficult the job will become. Read More

  • Stop pricing young workers out of the labour force

    10 Jun 2011 | The Dominion Post

    Minimum wages hurt employment prospects for the people they're intended to help. Read More

  • Carbon tax cuts for all

    04 Jun 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Revenue from the government’s proposed carbon tax must be returned to taxpayers through income tax cuts or alternatively, the abolishment of the Medicare levy. Read More

  • Dwelling upon 'investment'

    23 May 2011 | The Age

    Buying a house or unit isn't the financial investment Australians believe it to be. Read More

  • Budget office helps pollies, not punters

    20 May 2011 | ABC News

    The Parliamentary Budget Office should focus analysing overall fiscal strategy and long-term fiscal sustainability rather than policy costings. Read More

  • Europe enters a wintery spring

    19 May 2011 | Business Spectator

    Europe’s debt crisis is far from over. Read More

  • Gillard's population policy at sea

    17 May 2011 | Business Spectator

    Swan’s 16,000 new migration places aren’t really new places, just a reshuffling of the existing quota to induce more migrants to move to regional areas. Read More

  • Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: Guaranteed to fail?

    17 May 2011 | The Conversation

    The failure of Lehman Brothers was a trivial event compared to the much bigger but largely ignored failure a week before, when Freddie and Fannie were put into ‘conservatorship’ by the US government. Read More

  • Eurovision notes EU disharmony

    13 May 2011 | Business Spectator

    European integration is moving backwards and old nationalisms are returning, as seen in the Eurovision Song Contest as well as in monetary and industrial policy. Read More

  • Welfare reforms are worthwhile, but not an easy budget fix

    12 May 2011 | Online Opinion

    The best way to get unskilled workers into work is to find them an unskilled job – not try to train them for a skilled position they may never get. Read More

  • Spending pledges need to be backed with hard evidence

    12 May 2011 | Crikey

    The government has blown its last chance to have the sort of budget we should have got in 2008. Read More

  • Budget cuts can be popular

    10 May 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    With an election still more than two years away the government should seize this opportunity to make the sort of cuts it should have made in 2008. Read More

  • Reform a boon to all in the money game

    05 May 2011 | The Age

    Advisers will now offer dispassionate and useful financial counsel. Read More

  • Australia’s Norwegian doppelganger

    04 May 2011 | Business Spectator

    The IMF is calling for Australia to follow Norway and divert profits from the mining boom to a new sovereign wealth fund. Read More

  • Population growth makes us smarter, richer

    04 May 2011 | The Newcastle Herald

    The economic significance of more people is not in the contribution made by their hands or their mouths but their minds. Read More

  • Brash’s ‘extremist’ policies seen as sensible in Australia

    03 May 2011 | The Dominion Post

    Don Brash’s economic policies are closer to Julia Gillard’s in Australia, a country whose standard of living is significantly higher than New Zealand’s. Read More

  • A dangerous euro enchantment

    28 Apr 2011 | Business Spectator

    Instead of bringing Europe’s peoples closer together, the struggling euro currency is driving them further apart. Read More

  • Look to Britain and hold the champagne

    25 Apr 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    The UK property bust provides worrying parallels for our self-congratulatory local economy. Read More

  • Sad songs from Portugal

    21 Apr 2011 | Business Spectator

    Although EU loans are keeping the Portuguese government liquid for now, the austerity measures will be demanding – not least to satisfy voters and taxpayers in other countries guaranteeing the rescue... Read More

  • Trimming to fit budget's reduced revenue

    13 Apr 2011 | The Australian

    The expenditure review process leading up to the annual budget is rarely about making cuts to existing spending programs. It has more to do with trimming ministers' wish lists to fit the revenue forecast... Read More

  • Smokers already being ripped off -- plain packaging is just insulting

    12 Apr 2011 | Crikey

    Smokers are being already being ripped off. The push for plain packaging is just insulting. Read More

  • A failure of political leadership

    11 Apr 2011 | The Straits Times

    Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's rejection of Singapore Exchange's (SGX) bid for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) represents a failure of political leadership. Read More

  • Home is where the money is

    07 Apr 2011 | Business Spectator

    Today country hopping has become a mass phenomenon. Global migration flows have increased, but the migrants themselves have become far less permanent. Read More

  • We're all working for the man and it seems we have to do it for longer

    06 Apr 2011 | Brisbane Times

    Tax Freedom Day is later every year. Read More

  • GDP no real guide to wealth or welfare

    31 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    The confusion about what makes a country prosper arises from our fixation with GDP, which is a misleading metric of economic performance that no entity would pay to calculate itself. Read More

  • A plan that will damage Europe

    17 Mar 2011 | Business Spectator

    It is astonishing how little Europe has learnt from previous mistakes. The belief in grand strategies with ambitious targets is alive and well. As is the wish to solve economic problems by ignoring them. Read More

  • A forgotten financial failure

    16 Mar 2011 | Online Opinion

    The regulatory responses to the global financial crisis have for the most part been conditioned on a false narrative about the causes and consequences of the crisis. Read More

  • New Zealand is in a dangerous debt spiral

    10 Mar 2011 | Business Spectator

    The earthquake that struck Christchurch was not only a national catastrophe for New Zealand. It is also becoming clear how devastating it is to the Kiwi economy. Read More

  • The myth of green jobs is leading to industrial decline

    05 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    A German study shows that renewable energy will not boost employment. Read More

  • Dump anti-dumping rules to protect consumers

    02 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    Anti-dumping laws produce the outcome they are meant to prevent. Read More

  • Levy a $750 cup of coffee

    01 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    Swan has resorted to cheap tricks to spin his flood tax. Read More

  • Why we're in such a sorry state

    Robert Carling | 17 Feb 2011 | The Courier Mail

    A comparison of the six states' performances in fiscal management sheds light on why some states are under more pressure than others to change their spending, taxing and borrowing habits. Read More

  • How the Germans keep a lid on prices

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 14 Feb 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    You get a lot more house for your money in Germany and there's a simple explanation for the stability in the housing market — steady growth in supply. Read More

  • A housing market whodunit

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 10 Feb 2011 | Business Spectator

    Economics, so the saying goes, can be summed up in one word: incentives. If we want to find out why house prices are flat in Germany, we need to understand the driving force behind the high supply of housing. Read More

  • The cult of Australian property

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 03 Feb 2011 | Business Spectator

    It is time to deflate one of the great myths of the housing market. It is the myth that restricted supply is a guarantee for ever-rising house prices. Read More

  • Belgium's debt bomb is ticking

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 20 Jan 2011 | Business Spectator

    Belgians are now chasing a veritable world record: they want to be the country with the longest post-election negotiations. Read More

  • Estonia should have listened to Marx

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 06 Jan 2011 | Business Spectator

    With its entry into the Eurozone, Estonia is more likely to be punished for its enviable public finances. Read More

  • The iPad app upper hand

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 30 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    Given the poor track record of forecasting the way people inform themselves, the impact of the latest wave of new technologies is not a foregone conclusion. Read More

  • Why consumers should resist the enemies of choice

    James Paterson | 24 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    Behaviourists are wrong to say people should be protected from irrational financial decisions. Read More

  • Don't believe this forecast

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 23 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    As always in Europe, the continent’s politicians know much better what is needed than their often hapless and ungrateful peoples. Read More

  • EU fails to grasp nettle of a continent in crisis

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 22 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    It's time for fresh thinking in Brussels about the debt threat. Read More

  • A fundamental Euro flaw

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 16 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    There are good economic reasons for Europe’s economic crisis. The fiscal catastrophe across the continent is the result of decades of reckless spending policies. Read More

  • Borrowers lose as mortgage industry takes its $4bn win

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Dec 2010 | The Age (Business)

    Rather than taking a hard line, the government is a soft touch. Read More

  • Trichet's prize for shredding Europe

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 09 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    Life in Euroland is full of ironies but they don’t come much more bitter than Sunday’s announcement to award the prestigious Charlemagne Prize 2011 to Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of the European... Read More

  • German polemic has resonance for West

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    He’s blunt, but Thilo Sarrazin makes a lot of sense. Read More

  • The Euro monster

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 02 Dec 2010 | Business Spectator

    Under their self-chosen monetary corset the Europeans now have the choice between the mother of all banking crises, hyperinflation à la Weimar Republic, or painful and unpopular financial transfers in... Read More

  • Increasing Australia's GST would add little value

    Robert Carling | 29 Nov 2010 | Australian Financial Review

    Those pushing for a higher rate of GST should be careful what they wish for they may get it, along with a lot of other things they didn't bargain for. Read More

  • Europe's growth-killing cult

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 25 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    Originating from the green movement, a culture of risk-aversion has become firmly entrenched in the European mindset. This jeopardises the continent’s future economic development. Read More

  • Britain's phoney pursuit of happiness

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 18 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    The new ‘happiness’ cult is no substitute for hard-headed economic policies. Read More

  • Attacks on banks are misdirected

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Nov 2010 | The Australian

    Australia's interest rates are high because the nation has strong growth prospects. Read More

  • Aussie banker bashing

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2010 | The Wall Street Journal

    This time Australian bankers are being bashed for taking responsibly to manage their excess demand. Read More

  • G20 should tend to their own backyards

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Nov 2010 | ABC News

    The principal flaw of the G20 is the assumption that the group as a whole can somehow be more than the sum of its parts. Read More

  • Europe's most dangerous man

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 11 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    Ahead of the G20 summit in Seoul this week, the mood music between member countries is markedly different from previous conferences as the political differences between the main players are far more visible... Read More

  • Population bomb still a fizzer 40 years on

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 08 Nov 2010 | The Australian

    Anti-population growth campaigners like Paul Ehrlich claim to be fighting for the environment and sustainability. In effect, they are actually promoting a new, green version of misanthropy. It is time... Read More

  • The EU's win-win losers

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Nov 2010 | Business Spectator

    The problems around last weekend’s summit are thus the problems of the Euro as a currency – Europe is too diverse to agree on sensible rules and too diverse to have a common currency in the first place. Read More

  • Britain's 'bold' debt detractors

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 28 Oct 2010 | Business Spectator

    The kneejerk Keynesian reactions against the British government’s plans only demonstrate that critics have not fully understood the seriousness of the UK’s long-term fiscal position. Read More

  • America's warpath to Depression

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 14 Oct 2010 | Business Spectator

    The early Mont Pelerin Society members knew that a free and stable global economic order was not just vital for creating prosperity. It is also a necessary condition for peace. In today’s environment... Read More

  • World debt crisis needs strong action, now

    Robert Carling | 14 Oct 2010 | The Age (Business)

    Australia has a vital interest in how the global debt crisis plays out. Read More

  • Why world must take interest in our boom

    Greg Lindsay | 11 Oct 2010 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Discussion of Hayek's ideas and the Austrian school of economics have had a lot of attention recently and this week Sydney is hosting this year's general meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, founded by... Read More

  • Game on in the states of Monopoly

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 11 Oct 2010 | The Australian Financial Review

    Parker Brothers' Monopoly has been around for 75 years, and needs an update. To make the game more reflective of reality, perhaps rules such as gaining a real estate licence, toll payments at each corner... Read More

  • Economists should learn some history

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 01 Oct 2010 | Spectator Australia

    The inability of economists to see beyond their own models left them unprepared when the global economy hit trouble. Read More

  • The failure of German banking

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 30 Sep 2010 | Business Spectator

    The involvement of German state and federal governments in banking precedes the financial crisis; in fact it has long been one of the defining features of the country’s financial sector. Read More

  • Fiscal authority the way to go

    Robert Carling | 21 Sep 2010 | The Australian (Business)

    We need a fiscal commission to strengthen the entire budget process. Read More

  • Tax policy devised by party that is green with envy

    Robert Carling | 03 Sep 2010 | The Australian

    Redistributing wealth rather than creating it seems to be the Greens' approach, says Robert Carling in The Australian, 3 September 2010. Read More

  • Australia's real challenge is population ageing

    Jessica Brown | 23 Aug 2010 | Sydney Morning Herald

    We need a mature debate on  population growth, says Jessica Brown in The Age (Business), 23 August 2010 Read More

  • Grave euro doubts remain

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 Aug 2010 | Business Spectator

    Experts have now shifted their attention to the US dollar. However, this does not mean that the euro is off the hook, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 19 August 2010. Read More

  • The mining tax debate highlights the terms of trade boom

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Jul 2010 | The Australian (Business)

    Is the Future Fund the best option to manage the fiscal consequences of the trade boom? Perhaps the revenue would be better used today to provide a lower tax burden or productivity–enhancing infrastructure. Read More

  • Red-tape trading scheme

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 06 Jul 2010 | Camberra Times

    Red tape should be treated like pollution and perhaps a ‘cap and trade’ scheme should be considered to minimise regulatory burdens. Read More

  • Europe’s not-so common market

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 01 Jul 2010 | Business Spectator

    The European common market does not work properly, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 1 July 2010. Read More

  • PM Rudd’s demise signals more modest Australian foreign policy

    John Lee | 25 Jun 2010 | Inquirer

    Prime Minister Gillard’s diplomacy will be much more cautious compared to Kevin Rudd, says John Lee in the Straits Times , New Straits Times and Jakarta Post 25 June 2010. Read More

  • Where Europe's smart money hides

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 03 Jun 2010 | Business Spectator

    Some currencies suffer in uncertain times, and there are other currencies that thrive on uncertainty , says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 3 June 2010. Read More

  • Equal help for home and working mums

    Jessica Brown | 28 May 2010 | The Australian

    A new parental leave scheme should not be based around the kind of work their mothers do or don't do. Instead, it should be designed around the needs of newborns. Read More

  • The economic curse of populism

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 27 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    If the Germans continue to pretend that the current crisis was caused by speculation and not by inherent flaws of the European project, this crisis will not pass, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business... Read More

  • The economic curse of populism

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 27 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    If the Germans continue to pretend that the current crisis was caused by speculation and not by inherent flaws of the European project, this crisis will not pass. Read More

  • A European triumph amid the chaos

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    Amid the current EU financial crisis there still some positive policy ideas, such as the Netherland’s innovative way of cutting red tape. Read More

  • Cap and trade our way out of red-tape pollution

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2010 | The Australian

    Red tape should be treated like pollution and perhaps a ‘cap and trade’ scheme should be considered to minimise regulatory burdens. Read More

  • The fantasy of European integration is over

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 13 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    It has become clear that the problems in Europe are not just isolated to Greece, in fact, what we are really witnessing is the end of the decades–long project of European integration. Read More

  • The Henry Report, state taxes and the Commonwealth-state divide

    Robert Carling | 13 May 2010 | Online Opinion

    The Henry tax review could change Commonwealth/state fiscal relations. Read More

  • A bailout that hurts the Germans but doesn’t help the Greeks

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 05 May 2010 | Institute of Economic Affairs

    As long as countries such as Greece are joined with Germany in a monetary union, this monetary union will not work, argues Oliver Marc Hartwich for the Institute of Economic Affairs, 5 May 2010 Read More

  • The Next Fall of Rome

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 15 Apr 2010 | Business Spectator

    Demographic change in Europe could have disastrous consequences for the future, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 15 April 2010 Read More

  • Bond market vigilantes should also weigh the risks of continued inactivity

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2010 | Sydney Morning Herald

    Stagnation could be worse than a fiscal crisis. Read More

  • Let’s ignore snobs of Old Europe

    Jens Schroeder | 13 Apr 2010 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Proudly plebeian, Australia has no need to apologise for its egalitarianism and should celebrate its achievements more self-consciously. Read More

  • The 'postmodern economy' was a con

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 08 Apr 2010 | Business Spectator

    The ‘postmodern economy’ in Britain was a con. Read More

  • The home ownership nightmare

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 01 Apr 2010 | Business Spectator

    There is a dark side to Britain’s property mania. The stampede into home ownership has created at least as many problems as it has solved. Read More

  • The flawed giant of Europe

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 25 Mar 2010 | Business Spectator

    Australians worried about their productivity performance in international rankings may relax a little, as Germany shows productivity performance is not the only measure of a successful economy. Read More

  • Misguided government gets poor return for largesse

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Mar 2010 | The Age

    The Rudd government’s home insulation program demonstrates the dangers of activist fiscal policy. Read More

  • Tax reform should include cuts to marginal rates

    Robert Carling | 11 Mar 2010 | The Australian

    Cutting personal income tax would help to expand the economy’s productive capacity. Read More

  • Benefits grow in monthly CPI data

    Stephen Kirchner | 01 Mar 2010 | Canberra Times

    Australia should adopt a monthly consumer price index. Read More

  • Mr Swan’s preoccupation with superannuation

    Robert Carling | 19 Feb 2010 | Online Opinion

    The government needs to examine how to treat saving within the tax system and whether super should continue to be more lightly taxed than other forms of saving. Read More

  • More inscrutable than the Chinese

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Feb 2010 | The Australian

    Why are foreign investment criteria a secret? Read More

  • Europe’s slow, painful death

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 17 Feb 2010 | Business Spectator

    The potential Greek bankruptcy is only the beginning of Europe’s inevitable decline. Read More

  • The euro is a failed experiment that should be cashed in

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 10 Feb 2010 | The Australian

    Europe was never ready for a common and the recent global financial crisis highlights this. Read More

  • Ripped off and overcharged? Not necessarily

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 02 Feb 2010 | The Courier-Mail

    Why should consumers believe that they have a right to pay the same price wherever they go? And can a market economy really exist and function without the ability to vary prices? Read More

  • Imbalances essential to global economic system

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Jan 2010 | The Australian

    The federal Treasury’s David Gruen recently told a conference at the University of Western Australia that global imbalances were implicated in the global financial crisis and it was desirable that they... Read More

  • Economic policy must re-earn our respect

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jan 2010 | Business Spectator

    Policymakers sacrificed a lot of their credibility due to their responses to the global financial crisis and this can be seen in the fundamental uncertainty about the inflation outlook. Read More

  • Research key to balancing pay equity with jobs growth

    Ian Harper | 30 Dec 2009 | The Age

    The Australian Fair Pay Commission's final decision on minimum wages needed to draw more broadly on research, consultations and submissions and rely less on formal procedures of a forensic nature. Read More

  • The seasonal satisfaction index

    Stephen Kirchner | 26 Dec 2009 | Sydney Morning Herald

    According to Joel Waldfogel’s book Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays, you shouldn’t have bought his book as a Christmas gift. The gifts received from family and friends... Read More

  • We aren't just larrikins

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 24 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Too many Australians take for granted that they live in a prosperous and vibrant nation with a fantastic quality of life and is a good place in which to do business. Read More

  • Activists should stop talking about global warming and start acting

    John Humphreys | 23 Dec 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    If climate activists had spent the past 10 years acting instead of wasting time at talkfests such as the one at Copenhagen, we would already have a price signal on greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

  • Labour should not take its eyes off the target

    Stephen Kirchner | 21 Dec 2009 | The Dominion Post

    Twenty years after introducing inflation targeting in 1989 and revolutionising central bank governance that was to sweep the world during the 1990s, Labour is back in opposition and rejected the monetary... Read More

  • Big spending, poor results

    Stephen Kirchner | 16 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Big government spending leads to poor results. Read More

  • Property bias

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Newspapers have a big heart for heavily indebted homeowners. Perhaps occasionally they should show equal compassion for tenants and savers. Read More

  • Let internet replace journals

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 25 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    International publishers are ripping off taxpayers, who are paying for scientific research and pay again to read the results. Read More

  • Capital gains tax won’t make housing more affordable

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Nov 2009 | Online Opinion

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics, but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics too. Read More

  • Doomsayer does his dough

    Stephen Kirchner | 18 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows capital city house prices up 6.2% for the year ended in September, University of Western Sydney academic Steve Keen conceded defeat and will be donning hiking... Read More

  • End of trend is nigh for central bank sales of gold

    Stephen Kirchner | 17 Nov 2009 | The Age

    It may seem odd that simply transferring ownership of existing above-ground stocks should make a difference to the gold price. But the Reserve Bank of India's recent purchase of 200 tonnes of gold from... Read More

  • More houses, not taxes

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics too. Read More

  • Protect us from protectionism: keep the doors open

    Greg Lindsay | 08 Nov 2009 | The Sunday Age

    In his recent address to the Australia China Business Council, China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang expressed his deep desire for a Sino-Australian free trade agreement. This is an encouraging sign, as free... Read More

  • US dollar down but not out as kingpin of global finance

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    The broad US dollar index has been trending lower since its last major cyclical peak in 2001. This has led many observers to question whether the US dollar will retain its status as a so-called ‘reserve... Read More

  • Return to Flyer times with business class

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 Oct 2009 | The Newcastle Herald

    Train travel was not only more pleasant early in the last century, it was also faster. In 1937, the ‘Newcastle Flyer’ travelled to Sydney in two hours 26 minutes – seven minutes faster than the current... Read More

  • It's time to bring back a bit of class to rail travel

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 29 Oct 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    For a city that wants to play in the first league of the world’s great cities, our dated intercity train connections are not good enough. Read More

  • We're Not So Healthy

    Greg Lindsay | 28 Oct 2009 | American Enterprise Institute

    According to a new study from the Legatum Institute, an international development think tank based in London, these kinds of inefficiencies are hurting Australia’s prosperity. Read More

  • The US deficit canary has rattled the cage in warning of dire eventualities

    Robert Carling | 27 Oct 2009 | The Age

    The US government’s finances are in such bad shape that the Congressional Budget Office sounded a public alarm about the risk of debt default, a flight of capital out of the country, an exchange rate... Read More

  • It’s time for a new Medicare

    John Humphreys | 22 Oct 2009 | Online Opinion

    Thirty-five years after the Whitlam government voted for the introduction of universal health care, and following the report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s report, the Rudd... Read More

  • Life’s joys get a little lost down holes of health-cost analyses

    Eric Crampton | 21 Oct 2009 | The Canberra Times

    Any time we make a decision that lets us enjoy a bit of fun but with some risk to our health, that decision is considered irrational and cannot generate any real enjoyment. Read More

  • ‘Healthist’ doomsayers are spoiling all our fun

    Eric Crampton | 16 Oct 2009 | The New Zealand Herald

    The hidden cost of healthist cost reports is the slow erosion of liberty that ensues when we take them at face value. By conflating the costs that risk-takers impose on themselves with the costs they impose... Read More

  • Policymakers Sold Australia Short

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Oct 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    The government has argued that GDP growth and the unemployment rate numbers demonstrate the effectiveness of its fiscal stimulus measures. In reality, they demonstrate only that policymakers sold Australia... Read More

  • The many crises of Nouriel Roubini

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Oct 2009

    It is not only banks’ balance sheets that have suffered in the global financial crisis. Many professional reputations have also taken a battering. While former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan... Read More

  • We’re wasting billions on tax churn

    John Humphreys | 08 Oct 2009 | Business Spectator

    By pulling the middle class into the welfare net, the government is crowding out civil society and undermining personal responsibility, self-esteem, and social capital. Ultimately, our current welfare... Read More

  • Canberra's Investment Confusion

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Sep 2009 | The Wall Street Journal

    Chinese companies are increasingly looking to invest overseas, and foreign capitals are calibrating their policy responses. Australia, which has been the destination for several high-profile attempted... Read More

  • For Merkel, it’s now or never to get serious

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 29 Sep 2009 | The Australian

    The strong showing of the pro-market Free Democrats is one of the greatest shifts in Germany’s political tectonics that the country has ever experienced. The tremors will be felt for years to come, affecting... Read More

  • Hewson manifesto was ahead of its time

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Sep 2009 | The Australian

    Revelations in Paul Kelly’s The March of the Patriots that then Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser planned to invoke provisions of the Reserve Bank Act to frustrate a Hewson government’s reforms to... Read More

  • FDI Liberalisation Falls Short

    Stephen Kirchner | 05 Aug 2009 | Institutional economics

    The federal Treasurer has announced measures to liberalise Australia’s regulatory regime for foreign direct investment (FDI). While a step in the right direction, the reforms do nothing to address the... Read More

  • Taxing the poor to pay for teeth

    John Humphreys | 04 Aug 2009 | Open Forum

    In the middle of a global recession, the government is considering a regressive increase in income tax. Specifically, they want to increase the marginal tax rate by 8.5 percent for low-income workers and... Read More

  • End the budget sideshow

    Stephen Kirchner | 14 Jul 2009 | The Australian

    The federal government’s taxing and spending powers have far-reaching consequences for our economic prosperity. Read More

  • Standard and Poor’s has given NSW the benefit of some major doubts

    Robert Carling | 02 Jul 2009

    The NSW government, in its 2009–10 budget announced last week, claims to have charted a course back to a budget surplus by 2011–12. Read More

  • Workers on low incomes are losing out

    John Humphreys | 29 Jun 2009 | Camberra Times

    The Australian Fair Pay Commission decided last July to increase the minimum wage by $1126 per year, from $27,150 to $28,276. Read More

  • Short-term fixes are a fiscal fallacy

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jun 2009

    Policymakers in Australia have instinctively reached for the Keynesian playbook in the context of the current global economic downturn, rolling out discretionary fiscal stimulus measures of unprecedented... Read More

  • Australia’s recession in perspective

    John Humphreys | 04 Jun 2009 | Open Forum

    A few weeks ago I suggested that we should be relatively optimistic about the Australian economy. Given the national accounts yesterday showed that the economy grew by 0.4% in the last quarter, I could... Read More

  • Big government not so smart

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 26 May 2009 | opinion online

    Treasurer Wayne Swan’s second budget speech will not be remembered for long. It was probably one of the most boring presentations we have ever heard from any politician. At times, even the Treasurer’s... Read More

  • The madding crowding out

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 May 2009 | The Age

    Treasurer Wayne Swan didn’t feel the need to mention the size of the deficit on budget night. The number had already been strategically leaked. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also had problems enunciating... Read More

  • Independent is the wrong word for Treasury

    Robert Carling | 16 May 2009

    The Treasury’s ‘independence’ has featured in the post-budget commentary. As a former Commonwealth and state treasury official I find this surprising, because I can recall very few moments of independence... Read More

  • Making things worse

    John Humphreys | 11 May 2009 | Business Spectator

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the government’s spending spree is going to work or whether it is a waste of money. Read More

  • Australian libertarians revealed

    John Humphreys | 10 May 2009 | Open Forum

    It seems left-wing economic journalist Ross Gittins has just discovered the word ‘libertarian,’ and the revelation seems to have him spooked. Read More

  • It's all down to the market

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 02 May 2009 | The Australian

    An email debate on the budget, stimulus packages, and what the Treasurer should drink on budget night, between Oliver Hartwich and David Hetherington, in The Australian 2 May Read More

  • Oh joy, the rest of the year is in our pockets

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 23 Apr 2009 | The Newcastle Herald

    Happy Tax Freedom Day! A tax is ‘a compulsory exaction of money by a public authority for public purposes, enforceable by law, and is not a payment for services rendered.’ Read More

  • Don’t let the lynch mob loose on executive pay and private investment

    Robert Carling | 07 Apr 2009 | The Australian

    No financial institution has lost more in the current crisis, or drawn more on taxpayer support, than AIG – the American insurance giant that also gorged on more exotic financial instruments. Read More

  • The Budget needs discipline and fiscal sustainability to put ensure the economy recovers

    Robert Carling | 07 Apr 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    As the Commonwealth budget plunges into deficit, it would be reassuring to know that those in charge have a medium-term plan in mind to restore fiscal balance and are not just throwing caution to the wind... Read More

  • Stop this highway robbery

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 10 Mar 2009 | The Herald Sun

    The future of Australia’s iconic carmaker Holden is linked to its American parent General Motors. When Kevin Rudd goes to Washington later this month, he should make a detour to Detroit with a simple... Read More

  • Still no life on Mars

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 23 Feb 2009 | Business Spectator

    With much fanfare Channel Ten has just started screening the new series of Life on Mars, in which a policeman is thrown back into the 1970s and struggles to understand what’s going on. His new environment... Read More

  • We need to start emissions debate

    John Humphreys | 18 Feb 2009 | The Australian

    The climate change policy debate should not be based on popularity but careful analysis of the benefits and costs of various options. Read More

  • Rushing to spend like Britain could leave us out in the cold

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 16 Feb 2009 | The Canberra Times

    If Rudd continues his New Labour-like policies, Australia may well become another Britain. Read More

  • Stimulus is a waste of taxpayer’s dollars

    Robert Carling | 05 Feb 2009 | The Newcastle Herald

    Too much is being expected of fiscal stimulus. Read More

  • Plan delivers little bang for very big bucks

    Stephen Kirchner | 04 Feb 2009 | The Australian

    The government’s fiscal stimulus packages represent discretionary policy actions that add to cyclical deterioration in the budget balance.   Read More

  • Best way to help a warming planet is to tax carbon and let the market decide

    John Humphreys | 31 Jan 2009 | The Age

    It’s time to re-open the debate about carbon taxes. Read More

  • Taxation rhetoric and reality

    John Humphreys | 30 Jan 2009 | Business Spectator

    Instead of adjusting LITO, the government should cut tax in a more meaningful way. Read More

  • 'Rudd Bank' puts taxpayers last

    Stephen Kirchner | 28 Jan 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    In propping up politically-favoured firms and industries deemed most in need, the government will only prolong the necessary adjustment to weaker economic conditions. Read More

  • Accepting the recession

    John Humphreys | 26 Jan 2009 | The Canberra Times

    The government cannot fix our economic problems and it shouldn’t be trying. Read More

  • Keynes was wrong about the evils of thrift

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Jan 2009 | The Australian Financial Review

    Consumers and businesses should moderate their spending in the context of an economic downturn. Read More

  • Defining greed is an indulgence of its own

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 30 Dec 2008 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Greed as a moral category is hardly apt to describe the business world. Read More

  • Flinging wads of dosh about won't work

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Dec 2008 | The Age

    As $8.7 billion in federal government payments land in the bank accounts of families and pensioners, the government has been urging the recipients to spend rather than save the extra money.  The government... Read More

  • Bubble, toil and trouble

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2008 | The Australian

    In December 1996, then US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan famously mused 'how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values?' Read More

  • Car subsidies blow good money out the exhaust

    Stephen Kirchner | 11 Nov 2008 | Sydney Morning Herald

    The only good thing to come out of the government’s New Car Plan is the commitment to maintaining the current schedule of tariff reductions to five per cent by 2010, resisting pressure from the car industry... Read More

  • Student Bus Subsidy Has Phantom Menace

    Jennifer Buckingham | 11 Nov 2008 | Newcastle Herald

    The NSW state government’s free student transport scheme is yet again under the gun. Previous inquiries into the School Student Transport Scheme by the Public Accounts Committee in 1993 and 2002 resulted... Read More

  • The ABC of policy failure

    Jeremy Sammut | 11 Nov 2008 | Business Spectator

    The federal government is suggesting that ABC’s fall illustrates how desperately the children industry needs re-regulation and is yet another example of excessively greedy capitalism and the free-market... Read More

  • NSW needs more bang for the bucks it spends

    Robert Carling | 10 Nov 2008

    It is well known by now that New South Wales state finances are at a crunch point and that the Rees government’s solution is to be unveiled in a mini-budget this week.  It is less clear that the forces... Read More

  • Beware political saviours

    Stephen Kirchner | 29 Oct 2008 | The Australian

    According to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the global financial crisis is the outcome of ‘a culture of greed.' In the world according to Rudd, ‘this culture was never challenged by a political and economic... Read More

  • Bailing-Out or Crowding-Out?

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Oct 2008

    Losses on subprime-related debt instruments have resulted in a liquidity crisis becoming a solvency crisis for many financial institutions, as impaired assets leave them chronically short of capital. The... Read More

  • Fiscal stimulus plan has missed opportunities for long term reform

    Stephen Kirchner | 15 Oct 2008 | The Wall Street Journal

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has just unveiled a fiscal stimulus plan worth 10.4 billion Australian dollars ($7.4 billion). At around 1% of GDP, it's bold. Will it work? Probably not as intended. Read More

  • Don’t Shoot the Messenger

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Sep 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    Authorities in the US and the UK have placed temporary restrictions on short selling financial stocks in response to recent market volatility.  In Australia, regulators have gone even further, banning... Read More

  • AussieMac Won’t Work

    Stephen Kirchner | 08 Sep 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    The commencement of a new easing cycle by the Reserve Bank of Australia has put the spotlight on mortgage interest rates and their relationship with the official cash rate. Read More

  • $4billion government subsidy will not promote competition

    Stephen Kirchner | 30 Aug 2008 | The Age

    The federal government’s decision to purchase $4 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) has been justified on the basis that it will promote the efficient operation of financial markets,... Read More

  • OAP rise is doubly taxing for GEN X and Y

    Jeremy Sammut | 15 Aug 2008 | The Australian

    This week’s debate about the future of the old age pension provides an insight into the political realities of an ageing Australia. Australia’s expanding and influential elderly population have flexed... Read More

  • The case for corporate tax reform

    Sinclair Davidson | 13 Aug 2008 | Online Opinion

    Australia’s corporate tax is said to be very successful, raising substantial revenue, and there has been little debate about it over the past few years.  The most obvious starting point in any tax debate... Read More

  • Reserve Did Not Go Far or Fast Enough

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Aug 2008 | The Age

    Turning points in the official interest rate cycle are usually accompanied by claims that monetary policy has gone too far.  But if there is any criticism to be made of the Reserve Bank’s most recent... Read More

  • Back to work in Brown's Britain

    Peter Saunders | 26 Jul 2008 | The Australian

    It is ironic that the Rudd Government is considering weakening the federal Job Network of employment agencies and its background ethos of meeting conditions for welfare, just as Britain is belatedly starting... Read More

  • There’s no such thing as a free parking space

    Krystian Seibert | 19 Jun 2008 | The Australian

    Housing affordability, cutting greenhouse emissions and easing the rising cost burden on low income families are the issues of the day across the country. Congestion in our cities is a problem, and encouraging... Read More

  • Cut wages and create jobs

    Peter Saunders | 18 Jun 2008 | The Geelong Advertiser

    The best way to move people off welfare and into jobs is to require them to work. Not everybody can or should be expected to work but many of the 1.7 million working-age adults claiming income support... Read More

  • The Budget is not what it seems

    Robert Carling | 20 May 2008 | The Age

    The Rudd government wants us to believe that it has laboured mightily to bring forth a budget that increases the surplus by being tougher on government expenditure than on taxpayers. Read More

  • The Future Fund - why they can't just give it back

    Peter Saunders | 15 May 2008 | Crikey

    Announcing in his budget speech that $40 billion was to be shovelled into three new government investment funds, Wayne Swan admitted: "This money is not ours -- it belongs to the Australian people." To... Read More

  • Family tax benefits still a mass of contradictions

    Jessica Brown | 15 May 2008 | Crikey

    Well budget night is over. Anyone hosting a Working Families budget party (you know, every guest has to down a highly taxed alcopop whenever Swan mentions "that phrase") would have had a lot of mess to... Read More

  • Budget boredom for schools but watch this space

    Jennifer Buckingham | 15 May 2008 | Crikey

    One word encapsulates the 2008-09 federal budget as it relates to schools - boring. It simply makes official the funding announcements made before the election last year. Read More

  • Still no freedom from higher taxes

    Robert Carling | 23 Apr 2008

    The call by the 2020 Summit for a big review of the tax system coincides, by chance, with the arrival of this year's Tax Freedom Day - the point in the (calendar) year to which the economy has been working... Read More

  • Fat Tax unfair to fat and thin taxpayers alike

    Jeremy Sammut | 22 Apr 2008 | The Australian

    Was this really the best ‘big idea’ the health panel at the 2020 Summit could come up with? A new tax - how original! – on beer and cigarettes, which will also be imposed on fast food, so that the... Read More

  • Who should pay for maternity leave – employers, unions or taxpayers?

    Jessica Brown | 14 Apr 2008 | The Age

    Elizabeth Broderick, Sharan Burrow and Heather Ridout have come together to argue in favour of the introduction of a government-funded paid maternity leave scheme of 14 weeks at the minimum wage. At first,... Read More

  • Add State Tax Reform to COAG’s agenda

    Robert Carling | 08 Apr 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    Judging from what has so far been revealed of Kevin Rudd’s vision of cooperative federalism, state tax reform is not a part of it. Business groups now want it to be. Read More

  • The RBA is at another arm's length, but what about transparency.

    Stephen Kirchner | 27 Mar 2008 | The Age

    One of the Rudd Government's first acts in office was to announce a "new era of independence" for the Reserve Bank, with revised arrangements for appointing senior officers and external RBA board members. Read More

  • Beware Canberra's power bid

    Robert Carling | 26 Mar 2008 | The Australian

    Today's Council of Australian Governments meeting is the latest step in the Rudd Government's drive to reshape commonwealth-state relations in the mould of co-operative federalism. This has been well received... Read More

  • Throwing the baby bonus out with the bathwater

    Peter Saunders | 25 Mar 2008 | ABC News Online

    As the Rudd 'razor gang' searches for wasteful items of expenditure to cut, a number of commentators have targeted the baby bonus as a prime candidate. Read More

  • Laugh or cry - you've lost your subsidy Queensland

    Robert Carling | 11 Mar 2008 | Online Opinion

    The supercharged Queensland economy passed another milestone this week, although it’s one that Queenslanders may not want to celebrate. For the first time ever, the sunshine state will join New South... Read More

  • The politics of the big number

    Robert Carling | 27 Feb 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    True or false? The Commonwealth budget surplus is $62 billion. The Prime Minister’s salary is $1,321,000. Read More

  • Cut the minimum wage to expand low skilled employment

    Peter Saunders | 18 Feb 2008 | The Australian Finanacial Review

    The Rudd government has set up a new board, Skills Australia, to spend a billion dollars in four years creating half a million new vocational education training (VET) places. Young people are being encouraged... Read More

  • Saving the long term jobless

    Peter Saunders | 16 Feb 2008 | Online Opinion

    It is ten years since the federal government shut down the Commonwealth Employment Service and replaced it with Centrelink and the Job Network. Centrelink was given responsibility for registering job seekers... Read More

  • Use tax cuts to boost super

    Robert Carling | 16 Jan 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Rudd government’s commitment to personal income tax cuts from July 2008 is being questioned by the OECD and some local economists on the grounds that the cuts will be inflationary. Read More

  • Put budget surplus to good use

    Robert Carling | 17 Sep 2007 | The Australian Financial Reivew

    The Howard government’s fiscal strategy, as reiterated in the 2007-08 budget papers, has been to keep the budget in balance on average over the economic cycle, while keeping the forward estimates in... Read More

  • Conditional welfare makes sense

    Peter Saunders | 03 Jul 2007 | The Australian

    Following its dramatic intervention in 60 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, it is reported that the federal cabinet now wants to extend the principle of conditional welfare to all Australian... Read More

  • Budget should deliver us a break

    Robert Carling | 29 Apr 2007 | Sunday Age

    Income tax reform should be tackled in the federal budget. Read More

  • Tax reform: we have barely scratched the surface

    Robert Carling | 16 Apr 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    As preparation of the 2007-08 Commonwealth budget moves into top gear, it is timely to remind policymakers of the taxpayer’s stake in the outcome. There are real grounds to fear that the taxpayer will... Read More

  • Sit in the corner while we rob you

    Peter Saunders | 10 Apr 2007 | The Australian

    IT has recently come to my attention that some of you are still smacking your children when they are naughty. I do not approve of this. I admit that I've changed my mind on this issue. I didn't used to... Read More

  • Costello holds aces in tax deal

    Robert Carling | 29 Mar 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    In the lead-up to their annual conference tomorrow, federal and state treasurers are again at loggerheads over state taxes. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello wants the states to remove the stamp duty on... Read More

  • The real priorities

    Bjorn Lomborg | 08 Aug 2006 | The Australian

    A Mayor has a $10million surplus, which he wants to allocate to a good cause. Ten groups clamour for the cash. One wants to buy new computers for an inner-city high school. Another hopes to beautify a... Read More

  • Structural problems unresolved

    Peter Saunders | 11 May 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    It was a strange budget. The Treasurer addressed almost every concern that critics had expressed about our tax and benefits system – but resolved virtually none of them. Read More

  • NSW Transport misses the bus by sinking the ferry

    Jessica Brown | 07 May 2006

    Long suffering Sydney commuters could be forgiven for thinking that the NSW government and its conglomerate of over-manned, state-owned transport bureaucracies would take any help they can get to address... Read More

  • System not in the finest health

    Peter Saunders | 22 Sep 2005 | The Australian Financial Review

    As the welfare-to-work proposals are made public, Peter Saunders looks at the question of self-funding. Read More

  • Parties in a state of voluntary confusion

    Andrew Norton | 13 Aug 2005

    `The Liberals are spending political capital to abolish a near redundant fee' Read More

  • Fix policies to make housing affordable

    Peter Saunders | 16 Mar 2005

    The house price bubble has finally burst. While it lasted, the boom added substantially to the wealth of existing home owners, but it has made home ownership more expensive for aspiring new buyers. Read More

  • The Price of Crime Without Doing Time

    Nicole Billante | 07 Feb 2003 | The Newcastle Herald

    The Australian crime rate has escalated over the past 40 years. According to the International Crime Victim Survey of 17 countries, Australia now ranks second highest overall (behind England and Wales)... Read More

  • The Price of Crime Without Doing Time

    Nicole Billante | 07 Feb 2003 | The Newcastle Herald

    The Australian crime rate has escalated over the past 40 years. According to the International Crime Victim Survey of 17 countries, Australia now ranks second highest overall (behind England and Wales)... Read More

  • Outdated laws create problems for universities

    Andrew Norton | 21 Nov 2002 | The Courier Mail

    Gloom and Australia's universities are longtime companions. The National Library's catalogue records half a dozen publications on the 'crisis' in universities, published in 1952, 1965, 1970, 1980, 1994,... Read More

  • Lies and statistics

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 04 Nov 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    Surjit Bhalla's book Imagine There's No Country has created a furore in Washington by convincingly demonstrating that the World Bank's poverty count of 1.15 billion poor people in developing countries... Read More

  • Be a realist, not a lap dog: A cooling off period will improve ties with indonesia

    Owen Harries | 04 Mar 2002 | The Australian

    Ours is an age that believes in action. Faced with a problem, virtually any problem, the demand is that someone—and these days it is invariably the state—should act immediately. Action is evidence... Read More

  • Modern perils in a lucky country

    Jennifer Buckingham | 31 Aug 2001 | The Daily Telegraph

    What is the state of our nation? For the most part, Australians are better off than they have ever been before. On average, the people of Australia are healthier, wealthier, more educated and more active... Read More

  • GDP stands the test of time

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 15 Mar 2001 | The Australian Financial Review

    Ed Mishan, a leading English economist, writing when Simon Kuznets was complaining about the shortcomings of GDP as an indicator of growth, bewailed that growth meant that the Riviera, art galleries and... Read More

  • Time to fit the crime

    Barry Maley | 02 Feb 2001 | The Courier Mail

    The first duty of government is to protect the citizen’s person and property, and to do so consistently, humanely and effectively. Balancing these requirements is not easy. Rising crime rates in Queensland,... Read More

  • Commercialising highways

    Robert W. Poole | 20 Nov 2000

    Most people consider the modern auto-highway system a great success. In the United States, automobiles provide 95% of all individual surface trips, and trucks transport an ever-larger majority of all freight.... Read More

  • Trading Phobias: Governments, NGOs and Globalisation

    Anne Krueger | 11 Oct 2000 | The Australian Financial Review

    Almost any dispassionate analysis of the evolution of the world economy will find that the past few years have seen better economic performance by almost all measures; that the past fifty years have witnessed... Read More

  • Staying in the Dark on School Performance

    Alison Rich | 05 Oct 2000 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    There is a movement in Australian education for increased assessment and accountability. Assessment and reporting strategies are being developed in most States, and testing has been implemented to develop... Read More

  • Stop Subsidising a Failure

    Andrew Norton | 09 Aug 2000 | The Australian Financial Review

    John Quiggin is a well- known microeconomic reform sceptic, and in these pages last week questioned whether competition was a practical policy for improving investment in human capital. Read More

  • Threshold issues for a tax system that creates jobs

    Peter Saunders | 30 Nov -0001 | The Australian Financial Review

    An important debate is taking place in Australia about the future of welfare, taxation and award wages. The outcome of this debate will influence the shape of social policy for years to come. Read More

  • Building Prosperity

    Wolfgang Kasper | 30 Nov -0001

    From protected backwater on the global periphery to outward-looking player, Australia has come a long way since the closed economy settings of the Menzies to Fraser era. Considerable progress towards greater... Read More

  • Publications

    1. The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist

      Wolfgang Kasper | 25 Jun 2015 | Occasional Papers

      To enjoy prosperity into the future, Australia needs to establish an reform strategy that goes beyond economic policy and... Read More...

    2. Submission to the ReThink Tax Discussion Paper

      Robert Carling | 20 May 2015 | Submissions

      Submission to the ReThink Tax Discussion Paper

    3. The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension

      Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan | 27 Apr 2015 | Research Reports

      The Age Pension is unfair to poorer pensioners, badly targeted, and imposing an unsustainable rising cost on the taxpayer. Pension... Read More...

    4. The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension

      Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan | 27 Apr 2015 | TARGET30 Papers

      The Age Pension is unfair to poorer pensioners, badly targeted, and imposing an unsustainable rising cost on the taxpayer. Pension... Read More...

    5. Right or Rort? Dissecting Australia’s Tax Concessions

      Robert Carling | 08 Apr 2015 | Research Reports

      Calls to abolish tax concessions to increase revenue are often misguided. So-called tax concessions for capital gains tax,... Read More...

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    Opinion & Commentary

    1. The great immigration menace - another ‘lump of labour’ fallacy tale

      Patrick Carvalho | 28 Jul 2015 | SBS

      Immigrants do not threaten our jobs — on the contrary, they create new possibilities and demand in our economy.... Read More

    2. Don’t hike the GST, reform hospital spending instead

      Jeremy Sammut | 23 Jul 2015 | ABC The Drum

      Under no circumstances should the GST rate be raised to pour larger sums of taxpayer’s money into the fiscal black holes ... Read More

    3. Federal comfort zones must be abandoned

      Robert Carling | 22 Jul 2015 | Canberra Times

      Much has been said about the contest between political expediency and visionary leadership in the recent conduct of public ... Read More

    4. The big problem with raising the GST

      Robert Carling | 21 Jul 2015 | Business Spectator

      Mike Baird’s daring call for a 50% increase in the GST has put a bold idea on the table and is to be commended for that. ... Read More

    5. The government still doesn’t get childcare

      Trisha Jha | 15 Jul 2015 | SBS

      Despite the 2015 Budget’s huge increase in childcare spending, the government still isn’t addressing the key problems ... Read More

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    1. 3 (wrong) attitudes towards ageing

      Simon Cowan | 31 Jul 2015

      Our population is ageing. This will bring profound economic and fiscal challenges that will require significant changes in ...

    2. Another unhelpful tax thought bubble

      Robert Carling | 31 Jul 2015

      Last weekend's ALP conference resolution committing a future Labor government to 'consider' a version of the so-called Buffett ...

    3. Moritorium on health tax and spend policies

      Jeremy Sammut | 31 Jul 2015

      We urgently need to change the conversation about health. The Intergenerational Reports have warned for more than a decade ...

    4. Reform retreat a tax-fest

      Robert Carling | 24 Jul 2015

      Paul Keating once warned, "Never stand between a state premier and a bucket of money". Rarely has the hazard been more on ...

    5. Brave new 21 st century

      Patrick Carvalho | 24 Jul 2015

      The recent advancements in the information and communications technology - in particular the advent of the internet and smartphones ...

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