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Analysis and Comment (8)

Flexible work practices: for employees or employers? Tracey Nearmy/AAPImage

Workplace ‘flexibility’ on insecure ground

If you were to choose one buzzword that, despite its vagueness, has dominated industrial relations debate over three decades, it would be “flexibility”. It has emerged again in rhetoric surrounding Toyota’s…
Calls by AWU chief Paul Howes for a “grand compact” are fanciful, but he’s right we need to shift our thinking away from a focus on yet another round of IR reform. AAP

Howls of horror understandable, but Howes half right about IR reform

It is easy to see why media coverage of Paul Howes’ National Press Club address has focused on his claims that wage growth has been too high in some areas and that the adversarial industrial relations…
The coalition’s industrial relations policy is likely to disappoint small business. AAP

Tony’s timid IR strategy – not much there for small business

Tony Abbott’s industrial relations strategy has received a less than rapturous response from both business and trade unions. The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group have criticised…
Tony Abbott’s industrial relations policy launch attempts to neutralise Labor’s advantage and bed down fears of a resurgence of WorkChoices.

The end of the IR wars? Coalition moves to neutralise Labor

Industrial relations is the one area of public policy that traditionally marks a major fault line between the Coalition parties and Labor. It is also one area of policy where neither side finds it easy…
The Coalition has ruled out increasing GST, despite calls from former Prime Minister John Howard for GST to apply to food. But could a policy change be in the wings? AAP

Coalition must come clean on plans for GST

There is almost unanimous agreement among mainstream economists, tax experts, Treasury, business and even politicians (albeit very quietly) that the Goods and Services Tax will have to be increased and…
If the government is serious about maintaining its economic prosperity into the future, it needs to address Australia’s historically poor productivity growth. Ann Douglas

Australia’s productivity problem: why it matters

The majority of Australians would prefer higher living standards. This can take the form of better access to better healthcare services and education, better environmental outcomes, more time for friends…
Back in the day…. the electorate rejected labour market reform the first time, so why push for a return? AAP

Let’s resist these efforts to bring back labour market reform

When it comes to improving living standards in Australia today, labour market reform is not a first-order issue. Achieving better health and social outcomes for the Indigenous population - yes. Increasing…