Articles on Federal Budget 2014

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Media depictions like Young, Lazy and Driving Us Crazy pander to negative perceptions of young Australians. Channel Seven

Images of Australian youth: from symbols of hope to disposable lives

The idea of a generation gap is an old one, but the discrepancies between young people’s lived experience and other people’s perceptions present a very contemporary challenge. Today The Conversation begins…
Joe Hockey greets Sydney Institute executive director Gerard Henderson ahead of a speech arguing the merits of the budget. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Hockey’s fairness lecture won’t help him fix the budget

One month on, the job of selling Australia’s budget continues. Treasurer Joe Hockey argues criticism of the budget has been unfair and misguided, akin to class warfare. He has countered the critics by…
Abandoning health reforms will undoubtedly lead to worse performance, including longer waiting times, across the health system. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

Did the health reform process fail? Now we’ll never know

Yesterday was a sorry day in the long history of health reform in Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council issued its five year score-keeper’s report on health reform progress…
Whichever way you add up the sums, Australians pay far too high a price for the government’s refugee policy. AAP/DIAC

Penny wise, pound foolish: how to really save money on refugees

At a cost of A$826.1 million in the 2014-15 federal budget, the processing and detention of around 2500 asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money. The government’s…
Are new equity scholarships expected to increase access, or are they just a fig leaf to garner support for a harsh education budget? Flickr/Thomas Hawk

The scholarship fig leaf: they won’t improve access for all

Alongside higher fees and real interest rates on student debts, this year’s federal budget announced 20% of universities’ additional revenue will go towards equity scholarships. But will this measure increase…
Are Christopher Pyne’s assertions that students contribute 40% of their tuition and make 75% more money than non-graduates correct? AAP

Fact Check: what do students contribute to their own degrees?

Education Minister Christopher Pyne said during parliament question time: We are asking students to make a contribution to their own tuition fees. We are asking them to contribute, for those who enrol…
New budget measures are going to adversely affect young women more so than young men. Shutterstock

Higher education changes: another hit for Australian women?

In a recent radio interview, federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne refused to contemplate a hypothetical situation that involved young women doing all the heavy lifting under his government’s plans…
There’s no point giving money to research if there’s no-one to do the research. University of Denver/Flickr

$20 billion for medical research: but who will do the research?

Including $20 billion for medical research in the recent federal budget seemed like a win for research. At the same time, however, the government imposed fees on PhD and Masters research students. Paying…
Protesters this week at the Whitehouse Institute of Design where Tony Abbott’s daughter received a scholarship, which he said was based on merit. AAP

Who’s your daddy? Myths of merit and elite education scholarships

Please answer all questions. 1. Who’s your daddy? _______ Thank you for your application. We will take a cursory glance at your folio and inform you of our decision. This is from a fake application form…
Carrying student debt well in to your adult life can be a heavy burden. Shutterstock

How does debt affect people?

Until now, student debt in Australia has been relatively modest, with low repayment rates, low indexation and high repayment thresholds. This won’t be the case if the government proceeds with changes mooted…
CSIRO is contending with a A$111 million hit to its budget over four years. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

CSIRO risks backing the wrong horse as it reacts to budget cuts

What happens to CSIRO when the federal government decides to strip away A$111 million over four years from its A$733 million annual contribution to the organisation’s budget? We are beginning to find out…
A student protester portrays Christopher Pyne as the grim reaper. Will changes to higher education kill equality? AAP

It’s not just about student fees, it’s about institutionalised inequity

The federal education minister, Christopher Pyne, says his changes to higher education including fee increases and deregulation of the sector will be fairer, since those who benefit from higher education…
Additional expenditure, such as that on youth mental health, is arguably not in areas where need is greatest. JLM photgraphy/Flickr

Government shows muddled mental health priorities

Despite widespread analysis of the federal budget, measures affecting mental health services have received little attention. But, like other aspects of the budget, there’s serious concern about the lack…

Tocqueville’s budget

Much of the anger at the federal budget is explained by a French political theorist who died 155 years ago. In one of the most prescient analyses of where democracy was heading, Alexis de Tocqueville warned…
Once budget measures are implemented to higher education, school leavers are going to be making far more complex financial decisions when planning their future. World Bank/Flickr

What kids need to know about the new costs of going to university

Last year, like many Year 12 parents, I was involved in helping my daughter decide what university courses she’d like to apply for. Potential career paths were considered, the teaching and social experiences…
Most Australians already fail to meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Strikkelise/Flickr

Adding GST to fresh food is a recipe for poor health

Recent calls by Australian government ministers and senior officials to broaden the goods and services tax (GST) base to include fresh fruit and vegetables would make the population’s diet go from bad…
Sharing is caring – especially with government documents. Jason Staten/Flickr

Budget papers are free to share, thanks to Creative Commons

Amid the intense discussion surrounding the release of the Australian government’s budget 2014-2015 one notable feature of the budget documents has seemingly gone unremarked by most commentators. The budget…
The National Commission of Audit recommended sector consultations before imposing fee deregulation, which the government ignored. Now they’ve decided it was probably a good idea. AAP

Government to consult with sector on student fees after all

The government has contacted university Vice-Chancellors across the country asking for their advice on the implementation…
Universities have to give 20% of their profits to scholarship students…but who should get the scholarships? Shutterstock

Who will get the scholarships in the new, expensive world of higher education?

The budget proposed that 20% of additional revenues universities receive from fee increases should be made available to low socio-economic status student scholarships. This sounds like a good idea, but…

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