Latest News and Opinion

18 August 2017

How to get a better bang for our health buck – submission Senate committee inquiry

Australia’s health care system needs comprehensive reform to give taxpayers and patients a better bang for their buck. In this submission to a Senate committee, Stephen Duckett calls for a crackdown on any public hospitals that favour privately-insured patients, and recommends changes to Medicare’s fee-for-service payment system to encourage GPs to reduce unnecessary patient visits to their practice.

14 August 2017

Why it costs you so much to see a specialist – and what the government should do about it

Australians pay too much when they go to medical specialists. The government can and should do more to drive prices down. A current Senate Inquiry on out-of-pocket costs will hopefully lead to some policy action.

10 August 2017

New rules for retailers, but don’t sit there waiting for your electricity bill to go down

After summoning the heads of Australia’s major electricity retailers to Canberra, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the government will take “decisive action to reduce energy prices for Australian families and businesses”. The big question for the prime minister is, what next?

10 August 2017

Should the wealthy repay more of their student loans?

Australian legislation proposes to lower the country’s generous loan repayment threshold. Set too low, it can cause graduates serious financial hardship. Set too high, it means that significant amounts of debt will not be recovered.

9 August 2017

Public-private benefits of education: do the sums

Since HECS was introduced nearly 30 years ago, policymakers have believed that a balance of public and private benefits from higher education could set parallel public and private payments.

8 August 2017

Coal-fired nostalgia won’t bring back cheap power

The Turnbull government’s energy policy problems just keep getting harder. The business community has delivered decidedly mixed messages on what policies they want from this government. The hard lesson for Australia is that the very low prices of the past were unsustainable, and coal is not going to bring them back.

3 August 2017

Australia’s city/country divide is not as wide as you may think

Many people assume Australia’s regions are getting a raw deal compared to the big cities. But beneath the oft-told “tale of two Australias” is a more nuanced story. Cities and regions both have pockets of disadvantage, as well as areas with healthy income growth and low unemployment. But shifts in population are driving a wedge between city and regional Australia.

2 August 2017

How to improve our schools – submission to House of Representatives committee inquiry

Australia faces three overarching challenges in school education: improving the teaching of core academic skills and content; changing parts of what we teach and how we teach it to help young Australians develop their skills and capabilities; and reducing the disparities between educational haves and have-nots. In this submission to a parliamentary inquiry, Pete Goss details how we can make progress on all three.

31 July 2017

Health care funding in the future

Health care costs are growing faster than the population, inflation and the economy. There are more of us and we are living longer. How to fund health care into the future is a growing challenge. In this presentation to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Grattan Health Program Director Stephen Duckett describes the problem and proposes some solutions.

20 July 2017

Fiscal stimulus in an age of debt: how much stimulus are we planning?

Australia has a budget problem: Treasury repeatedly over-estimates future budget balances, which encourages forecast-led denial about the need for budget repair. In this background information for a talk at the Economic and Social Outlook Conference in Melbourne, Grattan CEO John Daley calls for correctives and asks some tricky questions about fiscal stimulus.

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