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Federal Budget 2012

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Around half a billion dollars will be cut over four years from a program that supports Australian research, the MYEFO showed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/countydurhamdc/

Mid-year budget slashes $499m from research support

Almost half a billion dollars will be cut over four years from a program that helps pay overhead costs for Australia’s researchers…
A clear-headed analysis of the budget must delve beyond the buzzwords and political rhetoric. AAP

Making sense of a bootstrap budget

Each year the budget is like an annual health check on a patient with many complexities. In a black coat, not a white one, the august Treasurer reports the nation’s temperature, provides much-needed tonics…
Post-budget analysis has largely ignored the government’s achievements in aged care reform. Ernst Vikne

Navigating Australia’s bumpy road to aged care reform

Much of the budget analysis over the past week has concentrated on the shuffling of expenditure for 2012-13 back to this financial year in order to achieve a surplus. It’s true that $17.6bn of such transfers…
Try telling sacked Toyota workers we live in a classless society. AAP/Julian Smith

Class warfare in Australia? We should be so lucky

The idea that Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have launched a “class war” in Australia through last week’s federal budget is a huge joke. I don’t believe The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell even…
System 1 thinkers on the left, System 2 thinker on the right? AAP

Budget 2012: Why the experts will get it wrong

It’s an old joke, but hard to resist around Budget time. That is, that economic forecasting was invented to make astrology look respectable. Over the past few days we’ve heard a lot about how notoriously…
Tony Abbot’s budget reply speech was rife with contradictions. AAP/Alan Porritt

Ghosts of ideologies past hover around Abbott’s budget reply

To quote American baseball manager Yogi Berra, it was “déjà vu all over again” last night when I listened to Tony Abbott’s budget reply. I was back in the 1970s but without the big-collared shirts and…
The increased provisions for welfare spending are partially symbolic, but also lay the foundations for a more progressive tax and welfare system. AAP

Class warfare in the budget? That’s a bit rich

The Treasurer Wayne Swan has described the 2012 Budget yesterday as “a Labor budget to its bootstraps”, and commentators have variously seen it as “a big taxing, big spending budget, including a big increase…
Swan would have an easier time if he were more honest with voters about what Labor is trying to achieve. AAP/Lukas Coch

Swan struggles to help the poor in a straitjacket of his own making

Labor’s budget continues a path set since 2007. It shows the technocratic skill of a government clever at policy detail; but also one unable, or perhaps unwilling, to challenge the economic straitjacket…
Much of the media commentary surrounding the budget has seized upon so-called “cuts” to Australia’s aid program. AAP

The politics behind the ‘cuts’ to foreign aid

Reporting on the federal budget has been replete with commentary about “cuts” to foreign aid. But the fact is that the aid program was not cut in any meaningful sense of the word. In nominal terms, aid…
The ongoing decline in international students is placing Australian universities under financial pressure. AAP/Julian Smith

Budget relief for unis, but financial strain lies ahead

Anxiety gave way to relief across universities last night after Labor handed down a higher education budget that maintained…
CSIRO CEO Dr Megan Clark. AAP/Alan Porritt

Efficiency tax will stifle scientific work at CSIRO

A $23-million “efficiency dividend” on administrative costs at CSIRO will inevitably affect the quality of scientific research…
Swan may be appealing to a voting bloc that doesn’t exist. AAP/Alan Porritt

Labor’s populist turn unlikely to succeed

The 2012 budget came at a particularly challenging time for Labor. The government has sought to achieve two distinct (if related) political goals: bolster Labor’s “economic management” credentials and…
While the budget proved somewhat of an empty shell for corporate Australia, small businesses had reason for cheer. tiny banquet committee

A political shell game for small business?

The 2012 federal budget offers to return a modest surplus of $1.5 billion over the financial year 2012-2013, with the hope of further surplus budgets in the following years. In normal circumstances, this…
At the end of the four years, only 5% of Australians with a disability will be covered. Flickr/afri

NDIS funding a start but limited trial means a long wait for most

Last night’s budget contained an important step towards realising a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with $1bn allocated over the next four years. Of these funds, $342.5 million will pay for…
Treasurer Wayne Swan is chuffed about the surplus, but it pays to take a deeper look at the numbers. AAP

Accounting “tricks” behind the federal budget surplus

Government budgets are increasingly becoming more political documents. This has been particularly evident with the federal government’s pledge to return the budget to surplus. However, budget numbers are…
Swan’s budget targeted the Labor base, but it may not be enough. AAP/Alan Porritt

Will Wayne win over the battlers or is it too late for Labor?

“Walk into the local pet shop and the resident galah will be talking about microeconomic reform.” So Paul Keating once famously quipped about the significance of the government’s microeconomic reform agenda…
More effective aid has been the focus this year. AAP/Australian Defence Force Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko

Government postpones aid target, but ramps up aid effectiveness

The government has postponed its foreign aid target by a year as part of its 2012 Federal Budget, but has announced a raft of new measures to monitor the effectiveness of Australia’s aid programs. The…
There’s good news in the Budget for the one in three adults who have delayed or avoided visiting a dentist in the last year because of cost. illuminaut/Flickr

What the budget means for dental care in Australia

The Federal Budget includes $515.3 million dentistry package that will go some way to easing some of the problems with dental care in Australia. Of this total, $345.9 million will be used to treat patients…
The Battler’s budget: Will Wayne Swan’s budget help win back an electorate? AAP

Federal budget 2012: expert reaction

Labor has made a $5 billion pitch to true-believers with a $1.5 billion surplus, cash hand-outs and tax breaks for low- and middle-income earners in the federal budget. And the opinion-makers are on the…

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