Articles on Federal budget

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Treasurer Joe Hockey is expected to report this month that the budget balance is deteriorating in his mid-year economic and fiscal outlook. Alan Porritt/AAP

Australia needs higher taxes, not spending cuts

The federal budget balance is expected to deteriorate. The reasons are numerous but, in a lengthy statement, the government sums it up in terms of two key factors. These are: the softer economic outlook…
When Joe Hockey argues against dole-bludgers is he talking about individuals - or the entire welfare state? Alan Porritt/AAP

Bludgers and battlers are back as Hockey takes aim at welfare state

Bludgers are back, and with them their traditional sparring partners, the battlers. The welfare changes in the Abbott government’s first budget have created fierce debate. On the side of the government…
Australia leads the world in water accounting standards, but this is at risk. Flickr/Chris Morin

Failing to account for water lets business down

As part of its budget cuts, the federal government plans to disband the Water Accounting Standards Board, which looks after water accounting. But is this leaving business high and dry? Water accounting…
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…
Debt; dollar; deficit - the mantra for this year, amid a turbulent political period. AAP

2013, the year that was: Business and Economy

Debt. Dollar. Deficits. Three little words so close to the hearts of our contributors in a year dominated by a critical federal election, a waning mining boom and continuing international turbulence. The…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott may believe economic growth will solve Australia’s budget problem, but Joe Hockey should be looking for solutions elsewhere. Alan Porritt/AAP

Hockey can’t grow us out of trouble: lessons in budget repair

The mid-year budget update released on Tuesday — known as MYEFO — largely tells close observers what they knew already. The Commonwealth budget doesn’t add up. Revenues don’t cover outgoings. The numbers…
All options considered: Treasurer Joe Hockey has unveiled a bleak outlook for the May federal budget. AAP

‘All options on the table’: Hockey unveils MYEFO, experts react

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first budget update has revealed a massive blowout to the bottom line and a warning of a decade of deficits ahead. The government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO…
Many pensioners are living in homes that are too expensive for them, says the Grattan Institute’s John Daley, arguing adding the family home to the assets test for the age pension would spur on downsizing. juicyrai/Flickr

Cut welfare to older Australians to balance the budget: report

The Australian Government should tighten the welfare system for older Australians, adding the family home to the assets test…
The federal budget often neglects to address the costs of unfunded liabilities. AAP

Explainer: what are unfunded liabilities?

Every Australian is directly or indirectly affected by unfunded liabilities. Yes — even you. State and federal unfunded liabilities now total more than $200 billion and this amount is rising rapidly. Is…

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