The Australia Institute made a submission to the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin. The socio-economic conditions of the Murray Darling Basin share many characteristics with other areas of regional Australia – lower incomes and difficult access to important services. These should be addressed as well as the mismanagement of the Basin’s water resources, which has had a particularly hard impact on communities of the Darling/Barka and the NSW Murray.
“The Business Council of Australia proposal for an Investment Allowance deserves support,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of the Australia Institute.
“Given the weakness of the Australian economy, with interest rates heading towards zero and monetary policy effectively being exhausted, other measures to stimulate the economy deserve support.
“The BCA proposal should be supported at least for the medium term, and could be strengthened with the addition of a ‘fiscal responsibility’ sunset clause.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 08 August 2019]
Australia needs more regulation of the banks, more regulation of the aged care sector, more regulation of property developers, more regulation of the mining industry and more regulation of the way we use the water in our rivers. But conservatives are still calling for a reduction of so-called red tape. WTF?
The economic benefit of the salmon industry to Tasmania is weighted strongly against its environmental and social impacts. Yet it accounts for just 1% of jobs in the state.
Over 5 years $3.8 billion worth of fish were sold, but just $64 million tax paid, while $9.3 million in subsidies were received in 2 years. Changing generous leasing arrangements to the Norwegian model could raise $2 billion for community development.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally published on The Guardian Australia, 10 July 2019]
The only time the business community pretends to take economics seriously is when they want to slash their taxes – or other people’s wages. The economic evidence to support the case for multimillion CEO bonuses is as weak as the economic evidence that cutting penalty rates would boost employment. But in Australia, when self-interest and power combine, a lack of evidence is rarely a problem.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally publioshed in the Australian Financial Review, 09 July 2019]
We need to reform the way we talk about reform. Unless we urgently implement "reform reform", it’s likely that hard-working mums and dads will lose their jobs and life savings and, obviously, that would be the fault of the Labor Party. And the unions. And anyone else opposed to the reform reforms.
Australian energy companies and regulators claimthat introducing Time of Use pricing will benefitconsumers and move their consumption to timeswhen the network is less congested.
On closer examination, further adoption will impose increased costs on households and appears more likely to increase the profits of electricity companies than to assist consumers.
New research released today by The Australia Institute shows that ‘time of use pricing’ facilitated by smart meters is likely to drive up household energy costs.
Electricity companies and regulators have pushed for higher electricity prices at peak times, as well as higher ‘shoulder’ periods. In theory, this incentivises households to move their energy consumption to times of the day when it is cheaper for companies to provide it.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally Published in The Canberra Times, 29 June 2019]
You have to hand it to the Coalition. It says it hates Labor's style of "class war" politics, but the reality is the conservative side of politics is just better at it. The Coalition has so radically reshaped our tax debate that earlier this week Labor was debating whether or not earning an income $200,000 a year should be classified as the "top end".