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Productivity Commission

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The Productivity Commission rightly identified widespread concerns that Australia’s civil justice system is too slow, too expensive and too adversarial. shutterstock

Extra funding for legal assistance services should only be a start

The Productivity Commission raised a few eyebrows when it called for an additional A$200 million for legal assistance services to disadvantaged Australians, who are “more susceptible to, and less equipped…
New laws need to strike a balance between justice and prompting an influx of litigation. AAP

Tort wars: class actions set to increase as laws wind back

In the early to mid-2000s governments throughout Australia introduced reforms restricting rights to claim for negligence. The tort of negligence and other statutory causes of action, including the prohibition…
Means-testing the child care rebate means some families are paying twice since their taxes already support education. Shutterstock

Means-testing child-care rebate means families are paying twice

Recent media reports suggest that the Productivity Commission into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning will recommend that the simplified single-payment child-care rebate is means-tested. This is not…
Treasurer Joe Hockey plans to reignite the economic reform debate early next year, but will he tackle the bigger-picture changes many economists have called for? AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The economic crisis a complacent Australia has to have

In November 1990, then treasurer Paul Keating announced that Australia was in recession – and that it was “the recession we had to have”. Today, there are growing calls for serious, structural economic…
The Productivity Commission report reflect the limits set by Tony Abbott when he announced terms of reference focused on economic benefit. AAP/Alan Porritt

PC logic: let the market solve childcare market failure

The Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning shows the serious limitations of market economics for analysing social policy. The report’s 900-plus pages offer a collection…
The Productivity Commission contains many positive measures for Early Childhood Learning, but are they implementable? AAP

Good results for early learning, but the devil is in the detail

The recommendations of the Productivity Commission into Childcare and Early Learning appear to be a win for early childhood learning. However, as with many reports such as this, the devil is in the detail…
The government’s announcement that the age of entitlement is over may be a poisoned chalice for the Productivity Commission. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Productivity Commission’s myopic failure on industry assistance

Every year the Productivity Commission (PC) produces an annual report card on Australian government assistance to industry. And every year it singles out the “usual suspects” for attention, particularly…
Australia’s next crisis: productivity. But wait, it’s a slippery topic. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why we should approach claims of a productivity crisis with caution

This week the Productivity Commission released its second Productivity Update. The Productivity Report reviews Australia’s “productivity performance” over the last year. It disaggregates the statistics…
We should continue to agitate for fairer, cheaper and more just legal systems, after a Productivity Commission draft report noted the difficulties for many in accessing justice. AAP/Dave Hunt

‘Slow, expensive, complicated’ legal system must be improved

Half of all Australians will experience a legal problem this year. Most won’t get legal assistance or come into contact with our courts or other legal institutions. In part, this is because Australia’s…
The link between manufacturing cars and developing technology has been fundamental in Australia. AAP

Losing the car industry means we risk our technology

As I’ve argued before and it’s generally accepted, the car industry is a critical part of Australia’s science and technology base. The sector spends A$600 million a year on R&D and another $800 million…
Toyota has surprised with an announcement it would finish manufacturing cars here at the end of 2017. AAP

Toyota names 2017 end, Australian car making to cease: experts react

Toyota has confirmed it will cease its vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017, signalling the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia. The announcement follows decisions by…
The Productivity Commission has recommended the car industry should receive no additional government funding. AAP

No sacred cows: Productivity Commission targets Toyota

Ford and Holden gone. SPC Ardmona in jeopardy. Toyota under threat. The Productivity Commission’s (PC) position paper on automotive industry support fires a clear shot across the bows of the manufacturing…
What’s wrong with the policy picture? Private childcare operators' priorities are driven by profits, not social needs. AAP/Joe Castro

Failed market assumptions are undermining care for our children

Can the Productivity Commission review commissioned by the Abbott government recognise the possible failure of the market-model funding of many early childhood services? This rather broad term now covers…
The Productivity Commission has been considering what kind of government assistance is best for Australia’s embattled car manufacturing industry, but it may be too late after Holden announced its departure. AAP/Eric Sands

Productivity Commission highlights bleak future for Australian car manufacturing

A substantial increase in vehicle manufacturing is needed if Australia is ever to have a sustainable car industry, according…
Holden boss Mike Devereux says the car maker has made no decision on its future. AAP

Holden is one piece in GM’s global restructuring puzzle

In the wake of the global financial crisis, Holden’s parent company, General Motors was placed on life support. Its fortunes collapsed along with the US economy, leading the United States government to…
Countries relying on private health insurance, such as the United States, pay far more for health care. Kate Ter Haar

Six reasons why Australia needs a single national health insurer

We have come to see private health insurance as an essential part of the national health funding mix, but it’s actually quite a costly way to fund health care. A well-designed system with a single national…
Holden may shut up shop in Australia, and the government is already considering the fallout. Lukas Coch/AAP

Adding up the flow-on effects of a Holden closure

The idea of further government support for the ailing automotive industry (AKA the Holden problem) generates considerable political and economic debate. For economists and business academics, it comes…
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…

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