Productivity Commission

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Australia’s tax and transfer system is highly progressive and benefits more people than is generally acknowledged. Image sourced from

Who really benefits from Australia’s tax and social security system?

The Productivity Commission has just released a timely new working paper that sheds light on how Australia’s tax and transfer system functions to distribute income across the population both at a point…
The great majority of Sunday workers who would lose penalty rates under proposed IR reforms, are non-unionists. Flickr/Rae Allen

Workplace reforms would hit workers outside unions hardest

The Productivity Commission's proposed industrial relations reform goes after unions, but will generally affect the non-unionised workforce most.
The Howard-era WorkChoices redefined the terms around which the debate on workplace relations reform has been couched. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Enterprise contracts echo ‘take it or leave it’ world of WorkChoices

Echoes of WorkChoices? The Coalition is keen to avoid any whiff of the failed policy, but some of the Productivity Commission's recommendations have a strong flavour of it.
The great Australian success story of Frank Lowy and many others like him would not have happened had Australia not accepted penniless refugees. AAP/Dean Lewins

Australia should not auction off migrant places to highest bidders

The problem with auctioning immigration places is that it puts the focus on short-term revenue-raising, rather than immigration’s more important medium- to long-term nation-building role.
The Productivity Commission’s report on childcare will help inform the Abbott government’s soon-to-be-unveiled ‘families package’. AAP/Paul Miller

Productivity Commission childcare report shows blind faith in market

Many of the Productivity Commission's proposals derive from assumptions that the funding of these services should ensure minimal interference, with a classic, market-based model for meeting "demand".
The Productivity Commission’s focus is less on quality early learning and more about where to put the kids while the folks are at work. AAP

Productivity Commission a missed opportunity for childcare

The long-awaited report to government by the Productivity Commission on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning is a disappointment for the sector. The report ignored what leading experts in education and…
Choosing the Productivity Commission to review industrial relations could prove politically embarrassing for both Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz and Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Paul Miller/AAP

The PC review that could bring the government unstuck

Australia’s federal government has made a major political error, possibly terminal, in asking the Productivity Commission (PC) to inquire into industrial relations. Before the 2013 election, the strategy…
We still know very little about the link between industrial relations and productivity. Flazingo Photos/Flickr

Workplace reform discussion could leave big questions hanging

The Productivity Commission’s five issues papers, released yesterday, are the latest step in the government’s inquiry into the link between industrial relations (IR) legislation and productivity. Despite…
The Productivity Commission has attempted to move beyond the WorkChoices rhetoric. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Workplace inquiry attempts to move beyond WorkChoices

The release of the Productivity Commission’s five issues papers on Australia’s workplace relations framework has already fanned inevitable claims from the federal opposition and unions that it will pave…
A debate about penalty rates ought to involve the cash economy. Image sourced from

Penalty rates and their role in Australia’s cash economy

Amid the ongoing debate over the future of penalty rates, a subtle but important issue also deserves to be examined: their impact on Australia’s “cash economy”. The Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing…
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…

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