Only 2% of national tax revenues come from gambling. But the ethics, economics, and fairness of gambling taxes are becoming a critical issue as ‘the global economy’ challenges the sovereignty of governments. The ever-narrowing range of revenue options has left state governments with little choice but to conform with nearby jurisdictions pursuing expansionary gambling policies. This paper looks at the issues involved in the gambling tax debate including Australia’s federal system and ethics in public policy.
This paper examines the role of economic models in the formulation of climate change policies in Australia. Particular emphasis is given to the MEGABARE model constructed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The Government has drawn heavily on the results of MEGABARE to support its argument that uniform abatement targets would be too costly for Australia and would impose an unfair burden on this country. The evidence provided in this paper shows that the model construction, its use in greenhouse policy analysis and the interpretation of the results have been biased in ways that exaggerate the economic costs of reducing emissions.
It has long been recognised that GDP growth does not correlate well with changes in social welfare, i.e. national well-being. The GPI adjusts GDP by 23 factors that reflect some of the social and environmental costs of economic growth to give a better measures of changes in national prosperity. This paper explores these issues in the context of describing the methodological approach of the Australian GPI. The results show that a sharp divergence between GDP and the GPI has opened up since the 1970s.
While there is firm public support for stronger environmental protection, action on these issues in the past has been seriously constrained by the belief by governments that protecting the environment will have large economic costs. Ecological tax reform shows this need not be the case by arguing that carefully devised measures can both protect the environment and stimulate job growth. This paper compares two scenarios over the period 1997-2020 - the Business as Usual scenario and the Ecological Tax Reform scenario. The impacts on a range of environmental, economic and social equity indicators are evaluated.
The increasing growth in Australian cannot be matched with employment. To counter oncoming large unemployment there needs to be a ‘work-sharing scheme.’ Such a scheme would allow more jobs and give workers more leisure time, thus solving the rise in unemployment.
At a time of high and chronic unemployment, Australia is also faced with a crisis of overwork. Work-related stress and illness have been intensifying while the social problems associated with mass unemployment multiply. There are a number of flexible work schemes operating or under negotiation in Australia, but so far they affect very few employees. This paper argues that overcoming the problems of unemployment and overwork requires a new approach to flexibility in the workplace and a rethinking of the relationship between paid work and other aspects of our lives. It proposes three approaches to redistributing work in Australia.