Articles on Federal Budget 2014

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made a few embarrassing mistakes in a week set aside for selling the budget. AAP/Rob Blakers

Grattan on Friday: Budget blues as government reels under the blows

How bad has this budget been for the government? You only had to listen Nine’s Today program on Thursday morning to get the answer. “Will you make it to the next election as leader?” Abbott was asked by…
Australia’s new foreign aid priorities and level of funding suggests we are now failing in our moral obligation to help the most vulnerable overseas. AAP/Department of Defence

Budget exploits our indifference to the suffering of foreigners

While the Abbott government’s first budget has been widely criticised for its aggressive cost-cutting measures, the largest single reduction – a A$7.6 billion cut to Australia’s Official Development Assistance…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne wants Australia to have universities comparable to Harvard, but at what cost? Shutterstock

Australian changes may saddle students with US-style debt levels

Proposed changes in the budget to higher education fees and loans have sparked widespread protests by students. They argue the university sector without a cap on fees, as the budget proposes, will become…

On the creation of higher education cartels

I love the free market. It means my morning cup of coffee costs roughly the same at almost all the coffee shops near campus. The free market is however ruthlessly efficient, even if it is largely responsible…
The Reef Trust discussion paper suggests a focus on eradicating crown-of-thorns and water quality - no mention of climate change or port developments. John Turnbull/Flickr

The $40 million Reef Trust is a good start, but it could be better

In the midst of harsh cuts to Great Barrier Reef management and research, including cuts to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Department of…
Treasurer Joe Hockey is busy selling his budget to the electorate. Joel Carrett/AAP

Consumer sentiment dives as government sells budget cuts

Consumer sentiment has tumbled to levels not seen since August 2011, in a post-budget drop economists say does not reflect…
Treasurer Joe Hockey didn’t even mention the word climate in his budget speech. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The budget shows we’re now flying blind on climate change

The word “climate” was conspicuously absent from Joe Hockey’s first budget speech as treasurer. It’s not hard to guess why – the full budget sets out major cuts to climate research, and strong moves against…
For a while, it was possible that Tony Abbott would be a transformative leader on Indigenous policy, but he has thus far not lived up to that promise. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott is quietly failing on his ‘PM for Aboriginal affairs’ promise

Despite prime minister Tony Abbott’s apparent passion for Indigenous affairs, last week’s federal budget – his government’s first – shows he has followed a well-trodden political path. This path leads…
A lot of ideas about entrepreneurs are based on myth, according to new research. Flickr/Thomas Hawk

The ‘myth’ of the Australian entrepreneur

We are still awaiting the details of the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program, and how this may impact the Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem. While this program is estimated to…
Will post-graduate students be able to afford to conduct research? Shutterstock

Raising the cost of a PhD

The announcement in last week’s Federal budget that fees will apply to postgraduate research for the first time has so far flown under the radar. But the effects will be significant. Coupled with the effect…
A lack of local professionals means rural health is already under pressure and the budget will only make things worse. Len Matthews/Flickr

Already fragile, rural health set to suffer more under the budget

People living in remote and rural Australia already have a shorter life expectancies and higher rates of premature deaths. Last week’s federal budget will not only make that worse, it will introduce even…
Joe Hockey’s budget speech forgot the age-old rules of rhetoric, which he needed to observe if he wanted to control ‘the narrative’. Lukas Coch/AAP

In government, a mantra is not enough to control the narrative

The annual federal budget speech is the one required speech of the Australian political calendar. And it goes all the way back to Federation. It’s Australia’s equivalent of the State of the Union address…
Australia’s state premiers are avoiding a GST discussion. Daniel Munoz/AAP

GST reform a golden opportunity, soon to be missed by the states

This past Tuesday was another bad day for Australian federalism: the Abbott government’s first budget announced the axing of the COAG Reform Council and the withdrawal of a promised A$80 billion from health…
Federal MP Clive Palmer vowed to block the budget’s ‘horrific cuts’ in his Queensland Media Club address this week. AAP/Dan Peled

Populist Palmer drops his jester act to appeal to middle Australia

It looks like there’s a new Clive Palmer in town. At Monday’s Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane, where the Palmer United Party (PUP) leader talked down the federal budget and spruiked his own ideas…
Maybe we should toast the ABC’s strategy for the digital age. Constance Wiebrands

Crunch time: is the ABC really spread too thinly?

If you want to capture a lasting image of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at the height of its powers, it might be a good idea to take a screen-shot of the homepage of the ABC’s website. But do…
Following the announcement of the budget, a mass of legislation to implement the new policies and allow the government to spend money is introduced into parliament. AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: can the Senate block the budget?

In the days since the Abbott government released its first budget, the Labor Party, the Greens and the Palmer United Party have all said they will block parts of it in the Senate. Threats to block the…
OECD data shows some of the most vulnerable in society suffered disproportionately after the last financial crisis. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Why the federal budget should get a ‘fail’ from the G20

Everybody would agree that growth, defined as a steady increase in gross domestic product, is a necessary condition for economic development. There is simply no country that has reduced poverty and improved…

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