22 March 2018

Pushing water uphill

Australia is highly urbanised, and becoming more so. Governments should not fight the ‘gravitational’ pull of the cities. But they can smooth the transition by ensuring that regional areas have access to good-quality services and that our cities are flexible enough to cope with growing numbers of people and activity.

22 March 2018

Grattan CEO responds to Judith Sloan

Commentator Judith Sloan criticised Grattan Institute in an article published in The Australian on March 21. Grattan CEO John Daley responded in a Letter to the Editor, published the next day. This is the unedited letter

21 March 2018

Hits and myths in the tax debate

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.

20 March 2018

The real story of Labor’s dividend imputation reforms

Labor’s plan to abolish refunds of unused imputation credits has ignited a political firestorm. But the claims and counter-claims about who will be affected by the policy have obscured, rather than illuminated, the real story.

13 March 2018

A piecemeal move towards a fairer tax system

Bill Shorten has announced that Labor will abolish cash refunds when investors, such as retirees, who pay little or no tax get dividends from companies that have paid company tax.

13 March 2018

Rise in protest votes sounds warning bell for major parties

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.

5 March 2018

How to get better value for money from government contracts

More needs to be done to ensure Australians get value for money from government contracts with external providers of goods and services. In this submission, Grattan’s Danielle Wood and Lucy Percival raise several red flags regarding public sector compliance with procurement guidelines, and recommend changes to ensure a more rigorous and consistent approach.

17 December 2017

MYEFO: Prime Minister, please don’t shower us with tax presents

Malcolm Turnbull’s Christmas might come early with today’s release of the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook. Higher-than-expected commodity prices and jobs growth are expected to translate into higher-than-forecast revenues, bringing the government some good news at the end of a testing year.

29 November 2017

Three charts on: poorer Australians bearing the brunt of rising housing costs

Low-income households have always had lower home ownership rates than wealthier households, but the gap has widened in the past decade. The dream of owning a home is fast slipping away for most younger, poorer Australians.

22 November 2017

Making housing more affordable requires answers that address supply and demand

Improving affordability will require policies affecting both demand and supply. Reducing demand – such as by reducing the capital gains tax discount and abolishing negative gearing – would reduce prices somewhat. But in the long term, boosting the supply of housing will have the biggest impact on affordability.

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