Articles on Federal Government

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Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has questioned whether Meals on Wheels gets ‘results.’ Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

What the Trump team should consider before axing Meals on Wheels funds

Trump's budget director singled out Meals on Wheels as a waste of federal dollars. But identifying bad ways to spend taxpayer money is harder than it sounds.
Many seniors pay less than younger workers on the same income as a result of special tax breaks for seniors. www.shutterstock.com

Why special tax breaks for seniors should go

The federal government could save about A$1 billion a year by changing three unfair tax breaks for older Australians, a new report says.
A March 21, 2014 photograph of asylum seekers behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre. AAP/Eoin Blackwell

Same old rhetoric cannot justify banning refugees from Australia

The government's message to asylum seekers is already clear: you are not welcome, and you will not be resettled in Australia. Surely that message does not need to be any harsher.
A relative of asylum seekers being held on Nauru cries at a press conference to launch an Amnesty International report. Reuters/David Gray

Robert Manne: How we came to be so cruel to asylum seekers

It has been the absolutism embedded in Australian immigration culture of control that helps explain our hardline policy history on asylum seekers.
Research shows that poor and wealthy retirees spend about the same during their retirement. www.shutterstock.com

Poor and rich retirees spend about the same

Giving rich households superannuation concessions is not justified according to new research which says these retirees spend as much as their poorer counterparts.
The Federal Budget is put together by the Department of Finance and Treasury, unlike PEFO. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Australia needs a better independent fiscal agency

The Pre-election Fiscal Outlook shows two things, the ridiculousness of 10 year forecasts and that we need a tougher Parliamentary Budget Office.
Customers have the most to gain out of a review of the powers of the Financial Services Ombudsman, which sits under ASIC. Sergio Dionisio/AAP

Stronger role for ombudsman is the key to protecting bank customers

Out of the many changes the federal government has made to ASIC, the review of the Financial Ombudsman will have the biggest impact on customers.
When Treasurer Joe Hockey presents the budget next week it will be worth reviewing the language he and Prime Minister Tony Abbott use about government spending. Lukas Coch/AAP

Busting the myth that Australia has ‘big government’

Despite the rhetoric that Australia needs to reign in government spending, we're actually out of step with other developed economies.
Are Queensland’s cassowaries being let down by Canberra’s officialdom?. Dave Kimble/Wikimedia Commons

Cassowaries and chaplains: how to avoid Canberra’s conservation overreach

What do school chaplains and cassowaries have in common? Both highlight the degree to which federal governments struggle to devolve quality public decision-making to the right level. Our schools and our…

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