Treasurer Josh Frydenberg backed away from the surplus commitment at a press conference on Tuesday.
Changes to the government's targets in its budget update give it room to spend more.
The bushfire crisis is big enough to change the government’s emissions policy, but it swill need more.
An old political maxim is to 'never waste a crisis', but sometimes a crisis isn't enough.
On one hand, we’re still able to forecast a surplus. On the other, conditions are deteriorating. Treasurer Frydenberg and Finance Minister Cormann deliver the news.
MYEFO contains a long-overdue admission: that low wage growth is the new normal. It'll take extraordinary spending restraint to make the surplus forecasts stick.
Estonia spends less per student than Australia, but its average wages are lower too.
Australia spends virtually the same on schools as the Estonian government, once wage differences are taken into account.
Hong Kong and Korea performed at the same level as Australia in reading in 2000, but outperformed Australia in 2018.
High performing systems focus on the same things Australian governments do, but they work much more intensively on making these things happen.
As more young people drop their private health cover, premiums go up for everyone.
Young people don't see the value in private health insurance and are dropping their cover in droves. Allowing under 55s to pay lower premiums, based on their lower risk, could keep them in the system.
After an operation, patients might receive half a dozen bills from different health providers involved in their care.
Specialists can charge patients what they want, and some doctors charge exorbitant amounts. A handful of services account for almost 90% of all medical gaps.
Are we failing to challenge the reading
skills in advantaged students?
Years 5-7 typically include the transition from primary to secondary but the reading slowdown can't just be blamed on this, because numeracy progress has improved. So what's going on with reading?
Having treatment at home is more convenient for patients.
Patients often want the option to be treated at home rather than being admitted to hospital. But it's much less likely to happen if you're a private patient.
Unless we know who who Newstart recipients are, we are likely to make wrong decisions about how much to pay them and whether to drug test them.
A typical Newstart recipient is middle-aged, female, and more likely than most to live outside of a major city.
Peak-time drivers to the CBDs of Sydney and Melbourne typically earn much more than the average worker.
Commuters who drive to and from the CBD typically earn much more than most. Concerns about the fairness of charging drivers who use these busy roads at peak times are overblown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) and Energy Minister Angus Taylor at Snowy Hydro Scheme. The Grattan Institute says the government should better encourage investment rather than build electricity infrastructure.
Australia's entire coal fleet will retire in the next few decades. The federal government's response to the Hazelwood coal plant closure has left a mess – it must do better.
Building an extra 50,000 homes each year for a decade could make prices and rents 20% cheaper.
The key to arresting galloping inequality in Australia comes down to housing policy and reversing spiralling housing costs.
Labor’s so-called Rental Affordability Scheme did little to make those who most needed it, but it helped landlords.
The government is being pressed to bring back a particularly ineffective and wasteful scheme.
If you want to earn a high income in Australia, you’re often better off having no degree than having a bachelor degree in teaching.
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images
Teachers get paid a decent starting salary but they soon fall behind other professionals the longer they stay in the job.
Relative to other careers, bright students who were surveyed didn’t see teaching as coming with career challenges.
Our top-scoring students aren't choosing to become teachers, and that has flow-on effects for the students who come after them.
Many young people see private health insurance as an unnecessary expense.
Young people continue to cancel their private health insurance despite discounts to entice them to stay. Instead, we should reduce their premiums based on their likelihood of needing health care.
Most inheritances go to middle-aged Australians who don’t need help.
Not only do we not tax inheritances, we actually subsidise them, making the already well off even better off.
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.
Once qualified, men who did a popular engineering-related VET course often worked in high-paid fields such as construction or manufacturing.
Students with lower ATARs generally have lower lifetime earnings. But a Grattan Institute report found low ATAR men could earn more doing a VET course than a bachelor degree in their chosen field.