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Articles on Commission of Audit

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Malcolm Turnbull plans to raise the idea of states’ access to income tax at this week’s COAG meeting. Dean Lewins/AAP

Turnbull’s reform pitch – state access to income tax

Just when we thought the tax debate was winding down to minimalism, as least as far as the federal government was concerned, Malcolm Turnbull has decided to throw a curveball. The government is preparing…
Commission of Audit chair Tony Shepherd may well be asking: “What happened?” Lukas Coch/AAP

INFOGRAPHIC: Lessons in budget politics

The Commission of Audit set the high water mark for reform designed to protect Australia against an economic downturn. One year on, little of it has made it into policy.
Treasury Secretary John Fraser now has plenty of company in calling for a ‘fundamental rethink’ of retirement income policy. AAP/Lukas Coch

Time to listen to the evidence for a rethink of super tax concessions

Over the last six months a public consensus has emerged among academics, think tanks, community organisations, elements of the superannuation industry and most politicians about superannuation.
Amidst the hugging of cuddly animals, G20 leaders talked growth. Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia/AAP

2014, the year that was: Business + Economy

In April, Treasurer Joe Hockey set the tone for his economics policies in a speech in New York on what he referred to as ending the “entitlement culture”. Hockey, who had given a defining speech in 2012…
The failure to publish collected data is hindering understanding of the effectiveness and failures of government programs. Flickr/LOD2project/European Data Forum

Rich but untapped data resource will let us make policy work better

The McClure Review of Welfare, much like the Commission of Audit report, is unlikely to win the Abbott government many new fans in the social services sector. However, for those involved in social policy…
Referring long-term issues to ‘depoliticised’ processes such as commissions of audit does not solve the challenges of political management for governments. AAP/Lukas Coch

To revive long-term democratic thinking we have to innovate

The 2014 federal budget was informed by the need to think long term and was accompanied by austerity rhetoric. Regardless of where you stand on the merit of austerity policy in affecting economic recovery…
Whichever way you add up the sums, Australians pay far too high a price for the government’s refugee policy. AAP/DIAC

Penny wise, pound foolish: how to really save money on refugees

At a cost of A$826.1 million in the 2014-15 federal budget, the processing and detention of around 2500 asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money. The government’s…
The National Commission of Audit recommended sector consultations before imposing fee deregulation, which the government ignored. Now they’ve decided it was probably a good idea. AAP

Government to consult with sector on student fees after all

The government has contacted university Vice-Chancellors across the country asking for their advice on the implementation of fee deregulation, after initially ignoring the Commission of Audit’s recommendation…
In the absence of evidence, the real reason for cuts to health spending may well be ideological. Alan Porritt/AAP

Australia’s ‘unsustainable’ health spending is a myth

The unsustainability of government health expenditure in Australia is a myth that has been carefully nurtured to justify policies to transfer costs from government to the public. Tomorrow’s budget is expected…
Reverse mortgages can be risky for both borrowers and lenders. Flickr/American Advisors Group

Reverse mortgages need a rethink if they’re the new age pension

The Commission of Audit has recommended including homes above a certain value in the means test that determines who gets the age pension and how much. Under the proposal, homes valued in excess of A$500,000…
The state of culture in Australia? Basically, it’s in rude health. Ars Electronica

The state of Australia: cultural economy

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
The prospect of harsh budget cuts ensured Prime Minister Tony Abbott featured heavily in May Day marches. AAP/Newzulu/Hugh Peterswald

Using youth as ‘whipping boys’ sets scene for Generation Grim

In the English court during the 15th and 16th centuries boys were engaged to cop the punishments of young princes. These young people were referred to as “whipping boys”. When the young crown prince misbehaved…
The Commission of Audit’s minimum wage recommendation shows no understanding of issues facing the low paid. 'No understanding anytime': artist: Richard Tipping, from the Signed Signs series, Brisbane Powerhouse, 2001.

Commission of Audit’s poverty traps for low wage earners

There was nothing in the Commission of Audit’s terms of reference inviting it to make recommendations on the minimum wage. The Commission was asked to produce a report on “government expenditure”. Yet…
The public’s active participation in society is considered vital to a functioning democracy. Patrick White

Community broadcasting? Where’s the value in that?

The National Commission of Audit - released on May 1 – recommends slashing all community broadcasting funding in Australia. For some, this is a logical response to the nation’s need to collectively “shoulder…
In commissioning a review of SBS/ABC efficiency, Malcolm Turnbull ruled out advertising on the ABC or changes to the broadcasters’ respective charters – but not budget cuts. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Triple trouble: will the ABC avoid budget cuts in a month of threats?

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
There’s no quick fix for the research industry in Australia, it needs a considered approach. Flickr/US Army RDECOM

Research and innovation in Australia need a long-term strategy

Most researchers would agree with the Commission of Audit’s finding that “given overall budget constraints, it is important to take a strategic, whole-of-government approach to where Australia’s research…
If the government won’t pay, then students will have to. Flickr/Paul Wolfenden

Divided we fall: federal government pits universities against students

The principle of divide et impera (divide and conquer) has been a political staple for centuries and the Commission of Audit’s recommendations regarding higher education are a salient example. Both universities…
Setting up an opt-out digital eGovernment is an expensive process … it would want to be worth it. ~lauren/Flickr

‘Digital by default’ – efficient eGovernment or costly flop?

The Australian federal government’s recently published National Commission of Audit’s recommendation 62: e-Government suggests the government accelerate its transition to online service delivery that…

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