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Realistic reforms to federal-state financial relations are possible with the right amount of political will. AAP/Alan Porritt

Could ‘hard budget constraints’ fix the federation’s fiscal feud?

The federal budget reignited debate over federal-state relations with a decision to cut $80 billion funding for the state responsibilities of schools and hospitals over the coming years. So how can federal-state…
Miners, farmers and trucking companies spoke out over rumoured cuts to fuel tax credits in this year’s budget, and the credits for off-road diesel use are now tipped to be left alone. Rebecca Le May/AAP

Viewpoints: should fuel tax credits be cut in the budget?

Tony Abbott has warned there will be “tough decisions” in tomorrow’s federal budget – but would his government risk an industry and internal backlash by cutting back on multi-billion-dollar fuel tax credits…
After a promising start to an ambitious economic turn-around program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have more difficulty with tax changes scheduled to come in over the next few years. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Japanese tax hikes loom large for Abenomics

Another record trade deficit for Japan is raising doubts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” strategy for economic revival. The new figures follow poor manufacturing sentiment numbers earlier…
Just make sure you get a receipt. Tom Miller/PA

India’s firm stance on tax could actually help investors

India keeps getting into arguments with foreign firms over tax; is it wise to do so? The Financial Times, for one, is in no doubt that India is scaring off foreign investors, and that it is making a mistake…
Sweden shows it’s possible to maintain a welfare state and good public finances Shutterstock

Swedish lessons for the Commission of Audit

As the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit busily scours the globe for answers to our fiscal woes, where in the world will it look? My tip is that it will dwell with the usual suspects: the UK, the…
You’d need a lot of these to make a dent in our deficit. Images_of_Money

Raising top tax rate to 50p won’t raise much revenue

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has announced that if elected a Labour government would return the rate of income tax payable on incomes above £150,000 to 50%. What would the effect of this be? The contention…
Assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos is being pushed to consider “patent box” incentives to spur innovation and commercialisation in Australia. AAP/Stefan Postles

Lower tax on profits from patents will spur industry innovation

Australian business’s innovation track record has been patchy, but it’s commercialisation track record has been even worse. Now the Abbott Government is considering another proposal – this time from Ausbiotech…
Finishing touches go on at the World Economic Forum, where Tony Abbott will outline his G20 agenda. AAP

Davos diplomacy: Abbott sells G20 Summit to world leaders

When prime minister Tony Abbott delivers his speech outlining “Australia’s Vision for the G20” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, he will have the attention of some of…
No antibiotic resistant bacteria please - in your pork, beef, chicken, or throat. Dr Graham Beards

Charge fees for farm antibiotics to slow the spread of superbugs

The development of resistant bacteria over the past 50 years stands testament to the power of evolution. While scientists have discovered or created hundreds of antibiotics to kill bacteria, those bacteria…
Got away again. MarcProudfoot

Google and ExxonMobil run rings around outdated tax laws

Tax avoidance shows no sign of abating. Google, the company with the slogan “Don’t be evil", is at it again. The company has been named and shamed by the UK House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee…
Next stop: tax break? Phil Hawksworth

There is no evidence the marriage tax break will work

Restoring the tax break for married couples has long been a Conservative Party commitment, and one they now intend to pursue this autumn. The outgoing Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has now – from a non-party…

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