21 March 2018
The reporting of federal Labor’s dividend imputation policy and earlier policy debates around negative gearing shows how easy it is to mislead Australians about who loses from tax changes. The full range of tricks used by vested interests and political combatants to scare and confuse was on display. Here’s what you should look out for.
13 March 2018
Protest politics is on the rise in Australia. At the 2016 federal election, votes for minor parties hit their highest level since 1949. More than one in four Australians voted for someone other than the Liberals, Nationals, ALP or Greens in the Senate, and more than one in eight did likewise for the House of Representatives.
8 March 2018
Zoning and planning rules play an important role in managing the growth of cities and protecting the character of particular neighbourhoods. But as Australia confronts a housing affordability crisis, the question is whether the costs of our planning rules outweigh the benefits.
5 March 2018
So much of Australia’s history and success is built on immigration. Migrants have benefited incumbent Australians by raising incomes, increasing innovation, contributing to government budgets, smoothing over population ageing and diversifying our social fabric. But it is also true that immigration is affecting house prices and rents.
5 March 2018
Two decades ago, then NSW premier Bob Carr famously declared that Sydney was “full”. But more people came anyway. House prices rose. Now, opposition to development is rising again. Unless today’s generation of politicians stares down the NIMBYs, Sydney will repeat the mistakes of the past, and housing affordability will get worse.
4 March 2018
When it comes to making housing affordable, Melbourne has always done it better than Sydney. Sydney’s geography may be spectacular, but it’s bad for building housing. Ocean to the east, mountains to the west, and the Ku-ring-gai national park to the north limit Sydney’s urban sprawl. Whereas Melbourne can build more – and cheaper – housing on abundant greenfield land closer to the city.
23 February 2018
The conventional wisdom among many affordable housing advocates is that boosting the supply of market-rent housing won’t help low-income earners. But without more supply for everyone, housing won’t become much more affordable, especially for low-income earners.
9 February 2018
Australia’s retirement income system is not working for the poorest Australians, who are disproportionately women. The superannuation lobby wants more generous super tax breaks to boost the retirement incomes of women, but this would likely worsen the gender gap.
12 January 2018
The debate over negative gearing illustrates a broader problem ignored by many affordable housing advocates. While negative gearing and a number of other housing tax reforms are definitely worth pursuing, they alone won’t solve our housing affordability crisis.
5 December 2017
It’s been a testing year for politics but a wonderful year for books – and to help the prime minister make the most of the holiday season, the Grattan Institute has once again collated a summer reading list for him.