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Analysis and Comment (27)

Tax justice campaigns can be effective, if they’re aimed at the right targets. Tax justice campaigns can be effective, if they’re aimed at the right targets. David Parry/PA

Tax justice campaigners should stop picking on the OECD

Have the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G20 really attempted to “discredit and discourage” the participation of developing countries in a new system of automatic tax information…
I learnt a new technique to teach you that. I learnt a new technique to teach you that. David Davies/PA Archive

Teachers need quality time set aside to keep learning

Teachers in England have good access to free courses aimed at improving the quality of their lessons, but many are opting for shorter workshops, rather than the long-term qualifications more common in…
The G20 has agreed on new rules to combat offshore tax evasion. The G20 has agreed on new rules to combat offshore tax evasion. Jason Reed/AAP

Australia can’t stop multinational profit shifting in isolation

When Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott weighed in on plans for an Australian tax crackdown on multinationals last week, she warned the move could risk competitiveness and lead to companies…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the day his government handed down its first Budget. Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the day his government handed down its first Budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Judgement day for Abbott on science and research funding

When the freshly-minted Prime Minister Tony Abbott declined for the first time since 1931 to appoint a science minister as part of his Cabinet in September last year, he did so having made an election…
What is the true state of Australia’s economy? What is the true state of Australia’s economy? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The state of Australia: the economy

In the lead up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Question 1: Where is the leaning tower of Pisa? Question 1: Where is the leaning tower of Pisa? Niall Carson/PA Archive

PISA education rankings are a problem that can’t be solved

With a heavy feeling of déjà vu, here we are again with another round of introspection on the OECD’s international Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings and the mediocre education…
Can I be a puzzle-maker when I grow up? Can I be a puzzle-maker when I grow up? Child with puzzle via Shutterstock

Why 21st century children need to excel at problem solving

It’s no longer enough for children just to be able to read, count or multiply. With computers now doing many mundane repetitive tasks for us, many jobs in today’s world require analytical skills and the…
Nearly home time. Nearly home time. kmoliver

Finland puts flexible holidays ahead of longer school days

The length of the school year and school days, as well as the timing of holidays, is always a controversial topic. While the debate rages in the UK about whether children should spend more time at school…
Did your mother read too? Did your mother read too? shaggy359

Class drives equality gap in England’s adult skills

Adults in England have a very unequal spread of basic skills – some are highly skilled while others do poorly at literacy and numeracy tests. It’s likely that entrenched inequality in our education system…
Profit shifting by multinationals will be a key focus of the G20 under Australia’s presidency this year. Profit shifting by multinationals will be a key focus of the G20 under Australia’s presidency this year. AAP

The G20 and the taxing issue of making big business pay

Australia has officially commenced its presidency of the G20 and preparations are underway for the November 2014 Summit, when the leaders of the world’s biggest economies will meet in Brisbane. The G20…
Once you done that there’s plenty more to be getting on with. Once you done that there’s plenty more to be getting on with. stuartpilbrow

Shock or yawn, PISA just preps children for a global work race

The triennial jamboree that is the publication of the OECD PISA tests kicked off with the usual round of blaming and name calling among politicians. Both sides of the political debate naturally found ammunition…
Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Yahoo! Inc

OECD tax avoidance plan is no quick fix for EU

The long awaited report on combating corporate tax avoidance by the OECD sadly has to deal with a corporate tax system which is unfit for purpose. It is a follow-up to the G8 meeting last month in Ireland…
Australian manufacturing workers are feeling the heat of economic change. Australian manufacturing workers are feeling the heat of economic change.

FactCheck: is Australia losing one manufacturing job every 19 minutes?

“Under this [Labor] government we’ve seen one manufacturing job lost every 19 minutes.” - Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella, Q&A, 1 July. The Conversation contacted Mirabella’s office…
Should the European Commission’s decision to waive the 3% deficit limit for three of the Euro’s largest economies be extended to fuel growth and jobs? Should the European Commission’s decision to waive the 3% deficit limit for three of the Euro’s largest economies be extended to fuel growth and jobs? AAP

Is Lord Keynes back in Brussels?

The European Union (or at least its periphery) is a big, sick patient that so far has been treated with robust injections of fiscal austerity. This seemed to be the right course of action to cure the “debt…
The Federal Government claims Australia’s employment services are world class - but how effective are they really? The Federal Government claims Australia’s employment services are world class - but how effective are they really?

Reading between the lines of Australia’s employment services ‘success' story

A new report from the OECD on Australia’s employment service system has prompted the Federal Government to claim that Australia is a “world leader in employment participation” and that Job Services Australia…
Federal treasurer Wayne Swan welcomed the report. Federal treasurer Wayne Swan welcomed the report. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Broaden GST and cut industry subsidies: OECD

Australia’s robust economy makes it the “Iron Man” of the developed world but the government should hike the GST rate and apply it more broadly, according to a new OECD report released today. “Tax reforms…
Warnings of a drop in Australia’s real GDP per capita - a measure of living standards - still provide a stark contrast to Greece, where the real GDP per capita is likely to be 25% lower in 2013 than in 2008. Warnings of a drop in Australia’s real GDP per capita - a measure of living standards - still provide a stark contrast to Greece, where the real GDP per capita is likely to be 25% lower in 2013 than in 2008. AAP

Do dire warnings of falling living standards add up to need for tax reform?

Last week, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in a preliminary version of its 2012 Economic Outlook lowered its growth forecasts for Australia from 3.7% to 3.0% in 2013. This…
The OECD report on education shows Australia could be doing more. The OECD report on education shows Australia could be doing more. Report card image from www.shutterstock.com

No cause for celebration: OECD education report needs a closer look

The most recent edition of the OECD’s Education at a Glance released this week, is another report that has invariably been seen as a report card on Australian education. Australians want to know: how did…
Is Australia’s standing among OECD countries of national value, or apples and oranges? Is Australia’s standing among OECD countries of national value, or apples and oranges? japi14

Australian R&D measures up globally … but what does that really mean?

How well does Australia’s science, research and innovation system perform compared to other developed nations? The Office of Australia’s Chief Scientist has just released a report addressing this question…
IMF head Christine Lagarde sees some positives in global economic growth: but we should be wary of broad projections. IMF head Christine Lagarde sees some positives in global economic growth: but we should be wary of broad projections. AAP

Trouble lurks for Australia amid shallow economic forecasts

The recent economic forecasts of the IMF and OECD about prospects for economic growth remind me of an aphorism about the economist who drowned while crossing a river he estimated that was, on average…
Strong past productivity performance is not the best indicator of current performance. Strong past productivity performance is not the best indicator of current performance. AAP

Reform of Fair Work Act must start with a true picture of labour law and productivity

As the Commissioners of the Fair Work Act Review work their way through the mountain of submissions, one of the most critical aspects they will be called on to consider is the relationship between labour…
Treasurer Wayne Swan is maintaining a slimmed down surplus for 2012-2013 - but storm clouds are rolling over the global economy. Treasurer Wayne Swan is maintaining a slimmed down surplus for 2012-2013 - but storm clouds are rolling over the global economy. AAP

Slimmed down surplus as Swan unveils mid-year budget: experts respond

The Federal Government is still aiming to deliver a slimmed down surplus next financial year, but has downgraded economic growth forecasts amid a slowing world economy and news that Europe may already…
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised an education revolution, but where are the results? Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised an education revolution, but where are the results? AAP

Education funding: more dollars than sense

All is not well in the Australian school system. Australian schools are struggling to meet the achievement levels of OECD leader Finland. With the release of the commissioned research reports for the Gonski…

Research and News (3)