‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services’. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 05 October 2019]
Every spring I fall in love with Canberra all over again. After the biting cold of a perfect Canberra winter - which I enjoy until the last month or so - it's uplifting to see the naked trees become leafy and green again, and to watch the cherry blossoms bloom and the days become lighter and longer. When daylight saving begins, I start making promises to myself to ride my bike to work every day.
New coal mine proposals in Tasmania appear to be aimed more at increasing the value of the company and extracting government subsidy than at developing a mine that could deliver value for the Tasmanian community.
by Richie Merzian
[Originally published on 10 Daily, 01 October 2019]
Last Wednesday Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to the world stage, using Australia’s annual address to the United Nations (UN) to talk about the environment.
He was two days too late. And everyone at the UN, diplomats and commentators alike, knew it. Having been involved in both worlds I can safely say timing is everything.
Monetary policy in Australia is no longer effective and the task of stimulating the economy should be taken up by a more active fiscal policy, shows new research by The Australia Institute.
The report, Monetary Policy is Spent: It’s Fiscal Policy or Bust by David Richardson senior research fellow at The Australia Institute, shows that in the current economic environment, monetary policy (reducing the official interest rate by the RBA) is ineffective, as interest rate reductions are increasingly nullified by the banks.
Monetary policy is recognised as being less effective as official interest rates approach zero. There are two main reasons. First, spending in Australia on investment is not very responsive to reductions in interest rates. Second, any reduction in official interest rates is mediated by the banks and other financial institutions. For practical reasons deposit rates cannot go below zero so, in order to maintain interest margins banks have to resist reductions in lending rates and that effectively nullifies any impact of reductions in official interest rates.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally Published in The Canberra Times]
There’s a certain delicious irony to the fact that Parliament House will soon be powered by 100% renewable electricity.
It is the same building where Tony Abbott repealed the carbon and did his level best to abolish the hugely successful Renewable Energy Target. The same building where Scott Morrison waved around a lump of coal on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Prime Minister has called on business groups to stop "virtue signalling" and to focus on the main game. Hear, hear! And not before time. For too long business peak bodies have concerned themselves with symbolism and ignored economics. It’s time to get real.