More than twice as many economists in the Economic Society of Australia poll picked “climate and the environment” as the most important election issue as picked housing, health, tax, or education.
Almost half of The Conversation’s panel of top economists support cutting Australia’s budget deficit. But many lament the bigger deficit they expect on budget night: a vision for beyond the election.
One third of the economists surveyed say Australia’s migration target should be lifted to 190,000 per year. Another third say 190,000 is not enough.
The 55 leading economists surveyed by the Economic Society see few signs of Australia aping the US, where inflation has surged to its highest level in 30 years.
Australia’s top economists say Australia can’t “free-ride”, allowing others to cut emissions while it gets the benefits.
Some of the 60 economists surveyed thought cash incentives and lotteries should be held in reserve as a last resort — but two-thirds thought they shouldn’t be used at all.
Only five of the 56 economists surveyed believed lower immigration would boost wage growth. The rest backed measures to lift productivity and investment and changes that boosted the power of unions.
Eight in ten of these surveyed by the Economic Society of Australia say it’s the role of government to smooth the transition.
Only three of the 56 economists surveyed gave the budget an ‘A’, but 41% gave it either an A or a B.
47 of the 60 leading economists surveyed by the Economic Society and The Conversation back the Treasurer’s decision to aim for an unemployment rate of less than 5%.
Two-thirds of those surveyed want it linked to wages.
Asked to grade the budget A to F, none give it an E or an F, but only two give it an A. Most think it passed or barely passed, and there’s a lot they would like improved.
More than half back a permanent boost to JobSeeker. Only one in five want to bring forward tax cuts.
Only 13 of the 44 economists surveyed want them to proceed as planned.
44 of the 50 leading economists surveyed by Economic Society and The Conversation back running up more debt to support the economy. Only three do not.
A freeze in the minimum wage would make it easier for stressed employers to hang onto their workers says a bare majority of experts surveyed by the Economic Society and The Conversation.
The economists who support the use of social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not only in the majority, they are also more certain of their opinions than those who do not.
There’s a move to have economists acredited, like dentists. But it doesn’t have much support yet.
There are things we can do, but the Economic Society’s poll finds that not all of them are part of the traditional economists’ toolkit.
A panel of leading economists has given its majority verdict on Alan Finkel’s proposed Clean Energy Target: it may not be the best possible emissions policy, but we should get on with it anyway.