Articles on Productivity Commission

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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…
Treasurer Joe Hockey admits the government’s ‘open for business’ promise must be followed up with action. Alan Porritt/AAP

Abbott’s ‘open for business’ honeymoon is over

From a three-and-a-half year high last month, business confidence data for October shows the post-election honeymoon is over, with business conditions continuing to underperform in non-mining sectors…
There’s no evidence to back up the claim the Australian Government has become too large. nicsuzor/Flickr

The Commission of Audit’s first job should be to kill itself off

A supposition behind the Commonwealth’s Commission of Audit is that government has become “too large”. The first paragraph of the Commission’s terms of reference sets the context, stating: During this…
Gambling tax reform should be a part of a gambling harm minimisation tax package.

Why tax reform can help reduce problem gambling

Gambling provides Australian state governments with an average of 7.3% of their own taxes, about $5147 million, according to ABS data for 2010-11. Victoria (10.8%) and New South Wales (8.6%) earn above…
Some retailers want a GST applied to all goods Australians buy from overseas, but experts say it would cost too much to implement. AAP

New GST for online shoppers unlikely, experts say

A GST on imported goods valued under $1000 is unlikely say tax experts, despite a government taskforce suggesting “in principle…
A poor report card on Australia’s productivity carried some obvious flaws. Flickr

Gloomy productivity report hides some fatal flaws

This week’s global report ranking Australia’s productivity growth performance second-last on a list of 51 countries raised eyebrows and prompted calls for urgent action. The Australian Human Resources…
Bill Shorten has flagged that there will be significant structural reforms to the superannuation industry. AAP

Streamlining superannuation: not as simple as it seems

Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten has set up a Productivity Commission inquiry to define the criteria for selecting a default superannuation fund under “modern awards”. By October, commissioners…
Victoria has the among the highest level of inmates imprisoned in privately run jails in the world, alongside the US. flickr/rlevans

Private prisons and the Productivity Commission: where is the value for money?

The Productivity Commission has just released a report on Government Services 2012 containing a 177 page chapter on corrective services. It found one third of Victorian prisoners were held in private prison…
Family members shouldn’t be pressured to take on the caring responsibilities of relatives.

Should we care? Why many carers have no choice

Increasingly, governments rely on family carers to provide aged and disability care services. For many, family care is a demonstration of love and duty, but often there is little choice. The word carer…
Older people are finally being consulted about the type of care they need. EPA/Diego Azubel

Ask the elderly what they need, not the care industry

Australia’s population is ageing, presenting an economic challenge to look after the most vulnerable members of our society. The Productivity Commission released a report last month recommending a complete…
The Productivity Commission’s report gives the retail sector plenty to think about. AAP

Ignoring our retail crisis will come at a serious price

Amid the panic that gripped the global markets over past few weeks, there have been some further signs that Australia’s retail sector is in the midst of its own crisis. Along with a sales slump for department…

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