11 May 2018

The Coalition’s tax plan favours the rich and doesn’t solve bracket creep for middle-income earners

The top 20 per cent of income earners in Australia will benefit most from the Turnbull government’s tax plan, unveiled in the 2018 budget. Our analysis shows most of the revenue reductions to government from the plan are the result of lower taxes on high-income earners.

10 May 2018

Grattan modelling of the government’s Personal Income Tax Plan highlights costly cuts to taxes for high-income earners

Most of the revenue reductions from the Turnbull Government’s Personal Income Tax Plan are the result of lower taxes on high-income earners. Grattan analysis shows that once the three-stage plan is complete, $15 billion of the annual $25 billion cost will result from collecting less tax from the top 20 per cent of income earners.

9 May 2018

Budget 2018: built on good fortune, relying on luck

Scott Morrison was all smiles as he handed down his pre-election budget on Tuesday night. Economic good times — at least compared to forecasts — allowed him to announce income tax cuts and an early return to surplus while making very few difficult spending decisions. But the new medium-term target of capping taxes as a share of the economy will only be achievable with superhuman spending restraint: and both history and demographic forces will be against him.

7 May 2018

Five ways the Treasurer could boost the budget bottom line

Treasurer Scott Morrison faces a difficult balancing act in the federal budget. He wants to cut income taxes, deliver new infrastructure spending and still reach a surplus by at least 2019. If he’s serious about maintaining the surplus, here are five ways the Treasurer could boost revenue to make the numbers work.

7 May 2018

Economics has a women problem. Here’s why you should care

Economic leadership positions in Australia remain an almost exclusively male affair. Indeed, the glass ceiling for economic roles has been proved more impenetrable than most. We’ve had a female Prime Minister but not Treasurer, a female CEO of a Big 4 bank but not a Chief Economist, and a female Chief Scientist but never a female at the helm of the Treasury, Productivity Commission, ASIC, APRA or the ACCC.

6 May 2018

Budget 2018 is about deciding between two very worthy objectives

There is one central question at the heart of tomorrow’s budget: will the Turnbull government give priority to tax cuts for today’s workers who are bearing the strain of low wages growth and a growing tax burden; or will the government finally start paying down the debt we will hand to future generations?

2 May 2018

Victorian budget: observations from outside the tent

The 2018 Victorian budget contains plenty of good news: notably more spending on skills, schools, hospitals and especially infrastructure. But the surplus is small and there’s little in the way of tax reform or savings measures. As Grattan’s Danielle Wood says in this post-budget presentation, the question remains: has the Andrews Government done enough for long-term budget sustainability?

15 April 2018

Instant expensing: an instant alternative to company tax cuts?

The government’s proposed company tax has languished between the House of Representatives and the Senate, unloved by those who see it as a gift to international capital at a time when budget repair should be a priority. Labor announced an alternative to the company tax cut in March, but you can be forgiven if you didn’t notice amid the furore about its proposed dividend imputation changes.

13 April 2018

Evaluating the case for cutting the company tax rate

The best evidence suggests a company tax cut in Australia would boost investment and incomes in the long term. But the size of the benefit should not be overstated, and there are alternatives that could provide an equivalent boost to investment at lower long-term budgetary cost.

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.