30 of the 50 economists surveyed want a carbon price of the kind introduced by Julia Gillard in 2012 and abolished by Tony Abbott in 2014. Several say there’s little “time left to act seriously”.
The Treasury and RBA believe Australia’s sustainable rate of unemployment is above 4%, but Australia’s leading economists think 3.75% is possible long-term, and have ideas about how to achieve it.
Almost two-thirds of the top economists surveyed gave this budget an A or a B – up from the 40% who gave top marks to Jim Chalmers’ predecessor. But they were more critical when it came to inflation.
Asked to choose the fairest ways to raise billions, half of the economists backed introducing inheritance taxes. Around a third chose winding back super tax concessions and increased resource taxes.
Two-thirds of those surveyed back capped gas prices, an extra tax on gas exporters that would subsidise prices, or rules requiring Australian gas to be reserved for Australian use.
Among the top economists surveyed was the man who designed Australia’s higher education loans scheme – who described funding for vocational education as a “mess”.
Asked how high an inflation rate Australia should prepare to tolerate, three of the 48 economists nominated 8% or higher. Seven expected inflation to fall without the need for further action.
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.