16 January 2020

Might the bushfire crisis be the turning point on climate politics Australia needs?

Crises can provide a window for big policy changes. But despite the environmental catastrophe of this summer, the early signals from the federal government are not good.

7 January 2020

Good policy making is a game of inches, not kneejerk reactions

It’s getting harder to pursue policy change in the public interest in Australia. Many in the electorate are reluctant to engage in the give and take that is the essence of good government.

24 November 2019

Super: you can have too much of a good thing

Higher compulsory superannuation wouldn’t tackle the biggest challenge facing our retirement incomes system: retirees who rent. They are at severe risk of poverty because rent assistance is inadequate.

19 September 2019

If we believe in the fair go, we have to tackle housing

Rising house prices have increased wealth inequality in Australia. Policy makers need a clearer view on how to make housing more affordable. Here are some suggestions.

9 September 2019

How a rental scheme for poorer Australians became a $1b windfall for developers and investors

The Rudd government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme was expensive, inefficient, and poorly targeted. There are better ways to help poor people into housing.

5 August 2019

On any view, the case for higher compulsory super hasn’t been made

At the heart of the debate over higher compulsory superannuation sit big trade-offs that are too rarely acknowledged. Grattan’s work on retirement incomes shows that raising compulsory super would be bad for workers, pensioners, and taxpayers.

29 July 2019

Most new migrants to Australia are low-skill, and they may be slowing wage growth for unskilled labour

Most new migrants to Australia are now low-skill – a substantial change from 10 years ago. Because of their visa conditions, and weak enforcement of minimum wages, some employers pay them much less than the minimum wage – and then do the same for low-skill permanent residents. If Australia is committed to a minimum wages regime, then employers who substantially and deliberately underpay minimum wages should face more serious consequences.

22 July 2019

The case for higher compulsory super hasn’t been made

The response from Australia’s peak superannuation lobbies to our latest research has been predictable, disappointing — and wrong.

10 July 2019

Super shock: more compulsory super would make Middle Australia poorer, not richer

The typical worker would lose about $30,000 over their lifetime if compulsory superannuation contributions are lifted from 9.5 per cent of wages to 12 per cent, as has been legislated.

20 June 2019

Why super is a burden on the budget

Compulsory superannuation saves the government money on pensions — but nowhere near enough to pay for the accompanying tax concessions. Lifting compulsory contributions will make things worse, for a century.