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Budget 2011

Analysis and Comment (8)

Good financial inclusion measures will protect consumers from predatory lenders. Good financial inclusion measures will protect consumers from predatory lenders. Flickr/rinkjustice

Giving credit where it’s due will ensure financial inclusion

The Australian government has begun to focus on the issue of financial inclusion, as reflected by an allocation of $60.6 million in this year’s federal budget. This follows earlier government support for…
Australia has one of the lowest poverty rates for families in work in the OECD. Australia has one of the lowest poverty rates for families in work in the OECD. Flickr/adwriter

For richer or poorer: the delicate art of messing with middle class welfare

One of the most hotly debated features of Budget 2011 was the freezing of thresholds for some family payments. This has been described positively as a “war on middle class welfare” and negatively as punishing…
Personal credibility is what convinces voters. Personal credibility is what convinces voters. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott comes out swinging but is light on detail

As a boxer Tony Abbott had a limited but effective method described by some as “the whirling dervish”. He was full of energy and on the attack with arms swinging. It was a tactic that could work for the…
Tony Abbott presented an alternate vision instead of an alternative budget. Tony Abbott presented an alternate vision instead of an alternative budget. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s budget reply: alternate vision with just a hint of hit man

Tony Abbott has arguably outlined the most important public policy agenda for the next decade (no matter which side of politics forms government over that period). The major questions will now be: who…
About one in seven households earn more than $150,000. About one in seven households earn more than $150,000. AAP

‘Does $150,000 make me effluent, mum, or would I just be doing OK?’

Wayne Swan’s budget tightening measures have launched a fierce debate on what constitutes “middle class welfare”. And what income and wealth levels define the middle class. The Gillard government has imposed…
Treasurer Wayne Swan supervises journalists examining his budget. His tax plans are a “fiscal illusion”. Treasurer Wayne Swan supervises journalists examining his budget. His tax plans are a “fiscal illusion”. AAP/Andrew Taylor

The trouble with ‘taxeaters’ (aka middle-class welfare recipients)

Thinking about tax policy gives individuals the opportunity to devise their own “great society”. As economics laureate James Buchanan explains “Many economists, along with other social scientists and social…
Goethe says we should approach life as an architect views a vast quarry. Goethe says we should approach life as an architect views a vast quarry. AAP

A deficit of the soul or why being rich won’t make Australia happier

Decent people take comfort in the idea that money is not profoundly connected with happiness. There are statistics that suggest that as income increases happiness does not rise to an equal degree; and…
Changes to the charity tax rules could impact on Gloria Jean’s among other organisations. Changes to the charity tax rules could impact on Gloria Jean’s among other organisations. Flickr/Edwin Tang ET

Charity tax changes to help lawyers and accountants, but no-one else

Tonight’s budget is expected to tighten a tax loophole for charities which run businesses unrelated to their charitable work. The government thinks it will increase revenue for Australia’s coffers. It…

Research and News (2)