The Grattan Institute’s Commonwealth Orange Book 2019 serves as a guide for what the next government should do, and what it should not try to do.
The next government can make its own luck, but it needs to focus on what matters and ignore the rest.
School funding isn’t the only thing the government needs to fix to improve school education.
Whoever the federal education minister after the May 18 election, he or she needs to put school funding, evidence for what works and initial teacher training front and centre.
About one in five school leavers who start university will not complete a degree within nine years.
Before deciding what to study at which university, high school graduates should consider the drop-out rates, early-career employment prospects and lifetime earnings their program is likely to yield.
Most retirees are financially secure. Many earn more than they did while working, the Grattan Institute finds.
Compelling Australians to put even more into super runs the risk of giving them a better standard of living in retirement than they had while working.
The ACT has Australia’s best state tax system, NSW the worst.
The Grattan Institute says swapping stamp duty for land tax would make Australians up to $17 billion a year better off.
There could be much clearer skies ahead for energy policy if states take the reins.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The federal government is primarily to blame for the mess that is Australia's energy policy. It's time for the states to step up, to reduce both prices and emissions.
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop.
In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.
The Morrison government is but the latest to indulge in the policy fantasy of redirecting population growth to regional Australia.
Efforts by governments to redirect population growth to regional Australia have never worked. Even if such policies could be made to work, they probably wouldn't be worth the costs.
The beauty of our federation is that each state can learn from each other.
Ahead of two state elections, the Grattan Institute Orange Book examines the state of each state and how each can do things better. The good news is that if each copied the best in each field they would do very well indeed.
Transparency isn’t a silver bullet, but increasing it would go some way to changing the secrecy around who has access – and how much – to the government of the day.
A new report from Grattan Institute argues the secrecy and inequality surrounding who has "say" and "sway" in Canberra can be remedied – if politicians can just find the will to do it.
Politician’s energy priorities do not necessarily align with those of ordinary Australians.
A new report has found that Tasmanians, Queenslanders and New South Welshmen are paying $100-$400 a year for unnecessary infrastructure.
Minor parties led by high-profile candidates such as Nick Xenophon are particularly appealing away from the big cities.
The minor party vote in Australia is historically high and growing, as trust in the bigger parties slides away.
One reason universities might not achieve good student outcomes is that they do not spend enough money on teaching.
Universities now have the incentive and flexibility to respond to student interests, and we shouldn't distract them with policy changes that could make things worse.
General practice in Australia needs reform.
Extra funding to GPs from lifting the Medicare Rebate freeze should be used to buy better data, so that future reform can be based on sound evidence.
Surprisingly, the places with the most competition have seen some of the biggest price rises.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
Electricity retailers need to make their prices and offers more transparent and easier for customers to understand, or risk having to submit to price regulation to drive down bills.
A flat-rate fee on student loans isn’t a radical idea.
A flat-rate fee on all student loans is a fairer economic proposal.
A tax on sugary drinks wouldn’t just prevent obesity, it could recoup some of the costs from obesity to the taxpayer.
Obesity imposes enormous costs on the community, through higher taxes to fund extra government spending on health and from foregone tax revenue because obese people are more likely to be unemployed.
Science graduates struggle to find jobs straight after graduation.
Confusing short-term jobs with long-term career outcomes is a distraction from the real issues in science higher education.
Australians contribute almost a fifth of all health care spending through fees.
Health policy was an important factor in the election outcome, but one of the most important issues in the health sector – the impact of out-of-pocket costs – was mostly ignored.
Malcolm Turnbull sets about the business of his returned government with the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson.
With nearly 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth at risk of coming to an end, the new government must make budget repair a priority.