19 December 2018

Taxing inheritances might be unpopular, but it’s fair

Estate taxes are worth serious consideration. With society-shaping wealth transfers expected to grow over the next two decades, the time to have the conversation is now.

17 December 2018

More mirage than good management, MYEFO fails to hit its own targets

The Morrison government wants next year’s election to be about economic management. So understandably, it’s using the improved bottom line in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) to talk up its economic credentials. But the numbers in MYEFO show it has failed to hit many of its own targets.

26 September 2018

Scott Morrison should look to Queensland to improve voter trust

It’s no secret that Australians are fed up with our politicians. There’s a creeping feeling – vented on talkback radio and evident in polls – that people in government aren’t acting for us, but for themselves and their mates. New Prime Minister Scott Morrison is on a mission to change this. He says he’s on our side.

14 August 2018

Time for the federal government to catch up on political donations reform

Australians should be able to see who donates to political parties, but our political donations laws fall far short of this ideal. Recent reforms in New South Wales and Victoria mean that voters will have much better information about who is donating. But when it comes to donations at the federal level, voters remain largely in the dark.

10 July 2018

Tax reform: where to focus?

This overview prioritises tax reforms by comparing how much different proposals would help the economy, repair budgets, reduce inequality, and promote housing affordability.

7 June 2018

Government’s creepy tax hike habit

Sometimes, just sometimes, budgets change the national economic debate. Since the controversial 2014 budget – widely perceived as being unfair – debate quickly jumps to the “fairness” of any new policy proposal. The enduring legacy of the 2018 budget is that ordinary taxpayers are a whole lot wiser about stealth tax rises through bracket creep.

6 June 2018

Debunking some of the myths in the great tax debate

The debate about the Turnbull Government’s proposed personal income tax cuts is dominated by myths. In his opening statement to a Senate committee inquiry into the tax plan, Grattan’s John Daley urged MPs not to play on the myths but instead to face facts and be honest with voters.

4 June 2018

Are the proposed personal income tax cuts affordable and fair?

The Turnbull Government’s planned personal income tax cuts are the largest ever proposed in a federal budget. As Grattan’s Danielle Wood, John Daley and Hugh Parsonage write in this submission, the substantial reduction in revenue is not obviously consistent with the Government’s medium-term fiscal strategy of budget surpluses on average over the economic cycle.

31 May 2018

Beyond dividend imputation: better ways to improve the budget

Federal Labor’s dividend imputation policy is a fair way to help improve the budget and wind back the growing intergenerational transfers built into our tax system over the past two decades. But there is a better way, as Grattan’s Danielle Wood writes in the Australian Shareholders’ Association magazine.

23 May 2018

Is the personal income tax package a tax reform or just a tax cut?

The Turnbull Government says its personal income tax plan deserves to be called tax ‘reform’. But Grattan’s Danielle Wood says tax reform would be taxing resource rents more heavily to help fund the reduction in the company tax rate, and broadening the GST at the same time as offering income tax cuts (and increasing welfare payments).