Budget

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Two sides of the same coin? Convergence theory explains why the Labor and Liberal parties are often closer together on issues than they like to portray. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Convergence theory explains the lack of choice in Australian politics

Convergence theory – which holds that the main Australian political parties will, over time, converge upon near-identical policy positions on most issues – was on full display during budget week.
Looking over Palmerston and the East Arm of Darwin Harbour to the new $35B Inpex LNG plant. Many resources projects in the north are in beautiful, environmentally important places. Andrew Campbell

The budget harks back to old ideas for northern Australia

This year's federal budget outlined plans for infrastructure in northern Australia, but it will need to do more than build roads and rail to sustainably develop the north.
Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said a single online registration site for small business would be established. AAP/Alan Porritt

Budget to smooth the way for small business start-ups

Registration of small businesses will be streamlined as part of the government's package for the sector, which will be a centrepiece of Tuesday's budget.
Fast-spinning black holes don’t just exist in space – Queensland’s Liberal National and Labor parties are busy attacking each other’s strategies to cut debt, yet both have been guilty of having black holes in their plans. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Uncovering the black holes in plans to fix Queensland’s debt

Author’s update, January 29: In the week since this article was published (on January 23), Labor has moved to address the funding “black hole” in its plans to reduce Queensland’s debt, mainly by adopting…
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is facing the prospect of a budget blowout, thanks largely to a hostile Senate. Lukas Coch/AAP

Infographic: Hockey’s mounting budget black hole

The Conversation has undertaken a stocktake of the major budget savings measures opposed, at risk, or yet to be legislated. According to our analysis, which has been verified by Grattan Institute chief…
Many long-promised renewable and low-emission energy programs have been scrapped or cut back in the Coalition’s first budget. Lukas Coch/AAP

Billions axed in clean energy: renewable target is next

There are billions of dollars of broken promises in the Abbott government’s first budget for low-emission and renewable energy programs – and wiggle room to break even more in the next few years. Among…
A report criticising government oversight of a major Gladstone harbour dredging project has warned against cutting resources for environmental monitoring and compliance. Flickr/GreensMPs

Environmental job cuts risk a repeat of Gladstone failures

A long-awaited report on environmental failures at the biggest port along the Great Barrier Reef coastline and today’s federal budget may not seem connected – but if you read the report, it’s clear just…
Osborne in the spotlight - what’s in the red box? Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Budget 2014: how good politics can trump good economics

The days leading up the budget are hectic as many in the Treasury are busy devising financial gimmicks to please the electorate. This forthcoming budget is particularly important as next year’s budget…
Couldn’t happen here … or could it? Brian Mills

Budget 2015 could see a government shutdown in the UK

March 2015 could see a Washington-style impasse in the UK parliament over the government’s final budget proposals. The advent of coalition government, fixed terms in office, and a general resurgence of…
Chris Bowen’s mini budget doesn’t tackle the structural problems facing the Australian budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bowen’s band-aid mini budget

Chris Bowen, the new Labor Treasurer, has announced the government’s plans for savings and new sources of revenue to meet a budget shortfall with the aim of bring about the elusive budget surplus in 2016/17…

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