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A tax on sugary drinks wouldn’t just prevent obesity, it could recoup some of the costs from obesity to the taxpayer. from www.shutterstock.com.au

A sugary drinks tax could recoup some of the costs of obesity while preventing it

Obesity imposes enormous costs on the community, through higher taxes to fund extra government spending on health and from foregone tax revenue because obese people are more likely to be unemployed.
Malcolm Turnbull sets about the business of his returned government with the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson. AAP/Lukas Coch

The policy agenda: what the government should do now

With nearly 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth at risk of coming to an end, the new government must make budget repair a priority.
More than three in every four Medicare-billed pathology tests are analysed by one of two big corporations: Sonic Healthcare and Primary Health Care. Soda_O2/Shutterstock

Blood money: pathology cuts can reduce spending without compromising health

Industry consolidation and technological advances have completely reshaped the pathology industry over recent decades. But the way governments pay for pathology services hasn’t kept up.
Shipping gas overseas can be good for Australia - but bad for Australian gas bills. Ken Hodge

Pain and gain as gas export boom is set to drive up domestic bills

Queensland’s liquid natural gas boom, built on the back of vast reserves of coal seam gas, will bring huge gains to Australia. Exports of gas are set to quadruple by 2018, creating investment, jobs and…
There have been two major reports this year looking into how university places are funded – so which was right? Student money image from www.shutterstock.com

Undergraduate study: who should pay?

The past year has seen two major reports on the economics of higher education, each seeking to reform the way undergraduate study is financed. The Grattan Institute’s Graduate Winners appeared in August…
Robert F Kennedy thought it a mistake to equate success with what we produce. RFK Wharehouse

There’s more to good policy than increasing GDP

Economists are regularly criticised for worrying about gross domestic product (GDP) and similar measures. The classic statement of the case was by Robert F Kennedy: “Too much and too long, we seem to have…

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