This week’s Essential poll showed 56% of voters would prioritise stimulating the Australian economy over getting back to budget surplus.
Ross Gittins on the government’s “surplus obsession”
The Conversation, CC BY 30 MB (download)
As the Australian economy continues to struggle, many argue that stimulus is needed, urging the government to abandon its "surplus obsession".
We’re taking money from people, letting it fall through the cracks, and spending no less than we were on pensions.
The inquiry will find we force workers to sacrifice income, pay tens of billions in super tax concessions, and still pay out one in every ten dollars of government earnings on pensions.
Superannuation has a smaller role in the retirement incomes system than is often suggested.
One of the questions is how much we need in retirement. Another is whether we need 12% compulsory super to get there.
Changes to superannuation legislation have had a cooling effect on arts investment in recent years. Image: An old bee farm (c. 1900) by Clara Southern.
National Gallery of Victoria
Don't blame the global financial crisis. The Australian art market has performed poorly over the last decade - but there is plenty of growth potential.
“We’d be mad not to learn the lessons” of the election result, said Chalmers on Labor’s way ahead.
Jim Chalmers on the need to change economic course.
The Conversation, CC BY 40 MB (download)
In this podcast, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers argues the government can have both a more stimulatory policy and a surplus going forward.
Frydgenberg commits to remaining royal commission recommendations requiring legislation to be introduced by the end of 2020.
"The need for change is undeniable," says Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, issuing a timetable for dealing with recommendations from the royal commission into banking, superannuation and financial services.
The avocado latte is indeed a thing, but young Australians are spending less on luxuries than they used to, while older Australians are spending more.
A new Grattan Institute study finds that for the first time in a long time, young Australians are no better off than those who came before, and are likely to do worse.
Failure to further strengthen the compulsory super system would be disadvantageous to many future retirees and be an added burden on a later generation of taxpayers.
Liberal senator Andrew Bragg is one of the Coalition backbenchers who oppose the scheduled superannuation guarantee rise to 12%. They are looking to the retirement incomes inquiry to leverage change.
Having more money now means less money, and more dependence, later.
Making super voluntary for low earners, as proposed by a Liberal senator would leave more women vulnerable in old age.
Morrison has trouble keeping his backbenchers in line, as they rebel on issues like superannuation and Newstart.
This week, Morrison told his backbench to keep their opinions in line or internal, appointed a man he's personally close to as his new head of the Prime Minister's department, and put the public service in its place.
The problem is that extra savings cut the pension, it isn’t the idea of extra savings.
There is a case for not proceeding with, or at least deferring, the legislated increase in employers’ compulsory super contributions, but it isn't the one the Grattan Institute makes.
Open and shut. Most Australians would be worse off over their lifetimes if compulsory super contributions were lifted.
New calculations suggest middle earners will earn less over their lives if compulsory super is ramped up from 9.5% of salary to 12% as scheduled.
Compulsory super takes money out of the government’s coffers faster than savings on the pension put it back in.
It is widely believed that compulsory super saves the government money on pensions. It does, but nowhere near enough to pay for the accompanying tax concessions. Lifting compulsory contributions will make things worse, for a century.
Half a million Australians aged 50 and over lost their homes in the first decade of this century.
47% of Australians aged 55-64 have mortgage debt, up from 14% in 1990.
Taxable income tells us little about who benefits from imputation cheques.
Retirees with superannuation balances of $1. pay and pay no tax and get annual imputation cheques of $63,000.
Slicing up to 0.5 percentage points off wage increases for five years would cut wages by 1% of GDP.
In an election about wages, it is bizarre that both sides are planning to raid them to lift compulsory super.
Elections will increasingly be about the generosity of concessions for retirees. Increasingly, they’ll have the numbers.
Demographics are making elections about tax concessions, and soon there will be no turning back.
The Grattan Institute’s Commonwealth Orange Book 2019 serves as a guide for what the next government should do, and what it should not try to do.
The next government can make its own luck, but it needs to focus on what matters and ignore the rest.
Morrison appeared at a forum of seniors in the Victorian seat of Corangamite.
Both sides have different perceptions about how what the government characterises as a “retirement tax” - the franking credits change – will play out politically.
You’ll be OK if you own, but fewer will.
Our retirement incomes system has been built around the assumption that most will own their own homes. New projections suggest it's no longer valid.