Fiscal policy

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South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has a difficult task of performing a balancing act as the country’s economy grows slowly. Reuters/Sumaya Hisham

Q&A: is fiscal discipline the right recipe for South Africa?

South Africa needs to spend more to stimulate economic growth. But this should not be unproductive or wasteful expenditure.
Australia’s children and grandchildren will not enjoy the fruits of the country’s prosperity as much as their parents. Mate Marschalko/Flickr

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be…
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has called for fiscal policy to lead the way in ending the Eurozone recession. AAP/EPA/ARNE DEDERT

Draghi calls for spending to rescue Euro – but will governments do ‘whatever it takes’?

In July 2012 European Central Bank president Mario Draghi famously announced that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to rescue the Euro. And he added: “Believe me, it will be enough.” In fact, it has…
Is Australia on its own ‘Great Gatsby curve’? Victoria Pickering/Flickr

The Great Gatsby days of inequality and social polarisation

In the popular novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald, James “Jimmy” Gatz (The Great Gatsby) climbs from his poor, rural North Dakotan origins to New York’s high society. His parties are as glamorous as they get…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane have drawn a line in the sand on industry assistance…or have they? Alan Porritt/AAP

SPC Ardmona decision is fiscal policy disguised as industry policy

Announcing the decision to refuse assistance to SPC Ardmona, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said: “I think it is a clear delineation of where this government believes we need to go with industry policy…
Servicing the current level of public gross debt is not a problem for Australia. Image sourced from

Explainer: the role of budget deficits

There continues to be a great debate around Australia’s fiscal position. Yet, budget deficits are, in fact, a natural outcome of the business cycle. In a policy brief, co-authored by myself and colleagues…
There is an argument that government spending can create economic growth the private sector won’t provide. Image sourced from

Putting the cart before the horse in the debate over fiscal policy

The economic debate during the election period has centred on the costings of the proposed policies of the major parties. Unfortunately what little “debate” we’ve seen has become a bit like a black hole…

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