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Analysis and Comment (28)

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is facing the prospect of a budget blowout, thanks largely to a hostile Senate. Lukas Coch/AAP

Infographic: Hockey’s mounting budget black hole

The Conversation has undertaken a stocktake of the major budget savings measures opposed, at risk, or yet to be legislated. According to our analysis, which has been verified by Grattan Institute chief…
Many long-promised renewable and low-emission energy programs have been scrapped or cut back in the Coalition’s first budget. Lukas Coch/AAP

Billions axed in clean energy: renewable target is next

There are billions of dollars of broken promises in the Abbott government’s first budget for low-emission and renewable energy programs – and wiggle room to break even more in the next few years. Among…
A report criticising government oversight of a major Gladstone harbour dredging project has warned against cutting resources for environmental monitoring and compliance. Flickr/GreensMPs

Environmental job cuts risk a repeat of Gladstone failures

A long-awaited report on environmental failures at the biggest port along the Great Barrier Reef coastline and today’s federal budget may not seem connected – but if you read the report, it’s clear just…
Osborne in the spotlight - what’s in the red box? Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Budget 2014: how good politics can trump good economics

The days leading up the budget are hectic as many in the Treasury are busy devising financial gimmicks to please the electorate. This forthcoming budget is particularly important as next year’s budget…
Couldn’t happen here … or could it? Brian Mills

Budget 2015 could see a government shutdown in the UK

March 2015 could see a Washington-style impasse in the UK parliament over the government’s final budget proposals. The advent of coalition government, fixed terms in office, and a general resurgence of…
Chris Bowen’s mini budget doesn’t tackle the structural problems facing the Australian budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bowen’s band-aid mini budget

Chris Bowen, the new Labor Treasurer, has announced the government’s plans for savings and new sources of revenue to meet a budget shortfall with the aim of bring about the elusive budget surplus in 2016/17…
The Gillard government’s Gonski reforms have a long way to go before reaching a school near you. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Budget blowouts and states wrangles: where to now on Gonski?

Last week NSW signed up to the Gillard government’s proposed changes to school funding – a deal that would see a new funding model based on the Gonski review and an injection of A$5 billion into NSW schools…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will today announce significantly lower than estimated tax revenue. AAP/ Shane Eecen

New hit to budget revenue

The estimate of budget tax revenue collection for 2012-13 has been further slashed, with the Treasury now saying it will be $12 billion less than forecast in October. The revision is another blow to a…
Without considerable changes to Australia’s fiscal policies, both state and federal governments are likely to face significant budget deficits for the next ten years. AAP

Australian governments face a decade of budget deficits

Structural changes in the economy are likely to leave Governments across Australia facing budget deficits of around 4% of GDP for at least the next decade, according to research released today. The Grattan…
Now that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the date of the federal election, can the business community expect more certainty about policy directions? AAP

PM’s election call is hardly a boon for the business community

Julia Gillard has now confirmed what everyone already knew: there will be an election sometime in August or September this year. We now know the precise date: September 14. That is also the Jewish Day…
An In Conversation between federal coalition MP Andrew Robb and the director of the Waler and Eliza Hall Institute, Doug Hilton. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

In Conversation Andrew Robb: full transcript

Doug Hilton: Welcome Andrew to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. This conversation between me, Doug Hilton, and Andrew Robb is part of The Conversation. So Andrew, it’s been really exciting in the last…
The research funding system needs to be changed to make it more efficient says coalition member Andrew Robb. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

In Conversation with Andrew Robb: research must ‘back our strengths’

It’s hard to argue with the importance of research, particularly medical research. It leads to breakthroughs and can change people’s lives for the better. But there are some crucial questions about how…
Tax reform or trickery? Treasurer Wayne Swan’s plan for businesses to pay a monthly tax bill instead of a quarterly one has been met with acrimony from the business community. AAP

Timing is everything: making sense of Swan’s corporate tax shake-up

One of the more contentious issues in the 2012-13 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) is a tax-timing change. Corporate income tax will be paid monthly instead of quarterly for very large corporations…
Western Australia is one of only two state economies in the black. AAP

Boom and bust: the parlous health of our state finances

We are most of the way through a very long budget season this year, beginning with Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells in May and is not due to end till Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls delivers his first budget…
Political, rather than economic: economists say there is no direct link to surpluses and lower interest rates. AAP

Can surpluses lead to lower interest rates?

The Federal Government is continuing its pre-budget surplus sell, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard directly linking its plans to return the budget to surplus to lower interest rates. Gillard will use…
The ability of our politicians to achieve a surplus or balance the budget is spuriously taken as a measure of fiscal responsibility. AAP

Returning to surplus: the policy wall our politicians can’t see over

The Federal Government’s quest to return the budget to surplus raises many questions and not just about what immediate rationale there is on economic grounds for this strategy. It also raises deeper questions…
A return to surplus would make Wayne Swan happy, but its economic benefits are contested. AAP

What’s so good about a budget surplus?

The Federal Government has come under renewed scrutiny over its commitment to bring the budget into to surplus by next year, with Delloite Access Economics forecasting a deficit of $1.9 billion for 2012-13…
Jobseekers are the true target of a government clawback on student deductions. AAP

Labor: taxing the rich or screwing students and the unemployed?

Under the cover of last week’s budget splash, the Federal Government has quietly changed tax laws which currently allow students and potentially jobseekers to claim a deduction for expenses against government…
Family not forgotten: Tony Abbott is congratulated following his budget reply.

Middle class welfare: terrific politics, but terrible economics

“We are animated by but one desire — to do that which is best for Australia, and fair, just, and equitable to all the states, and to all classes and sections of our community." This quote comes from the…
Does the budget lessen or deepen the male-female divide?

Tax, women and the Henry Review

The Budget: What does it have to do with tax reform? This year’s budget claims to “progress the government’s tax reform agenda, improving fairness and integrity in the tax system”. Does it? The short answer…

Research and News (5)

Research Briefs (1)