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.

1 April 2019

Expect a budget that breaks the intergenerational bargain

Working-age Australians, as a group, pay more in taxes than they receive in either benefits or spending. These contributions support older Australians who take a lot more out in spending and pension payments than they contribute in taxes. Today’s working-age Australians expect the generation after them to support them in the same way as they age. But this longstanding intergenerational bargain is under threat.

27 March 2019

Australia’s long-standing generational bargain is under threat

Let’s hope Australians can discuss generational fairness without it descending into generational warfare. Because none of us would want our legacy to be mortgaging our children’s environment and their economic future.

27 March 2019

Treasurer should hold off on budget victory lap

Let’s see whether Josh Frydenberg banks or blows recent windfalls. Because any claim to superior fiscal management that relies on the promise of future fiscal rectitude and economic good luck is on shaky ground indeed.

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.

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.

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?

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.