Latest News and Opinion

19 April 2018

Energy ministers must beware the power of conflicts of interest

A well-designed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) for Australia will include a world-first integration of energy and climate change policy. It will deliver reliable and affordable energy as we make the transition to a low-emissions energy future. Yet the challenges ahead will test the skills of even such an energetic politician as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

18 April 2018

Australia’s slow march towards a National Energy Guarantee is gathering pace

The finer policy details of the of the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have begun to leak onto newspaper front pages and websites, ahead of Friday’s crucial meeting of federal and state energy ministers. The good news is that the leaked information suggests solid progress has been made over the past couple of months on both the emissions and reliability components of the policy.

18 April 2018

Are there hidden costs to high immigration?

Australia is more defined by migration than almost any other country. One in four Australians wasn’t born here; one in two has a parent born overseas.
But public concern about this migration is growing. More people are asking whether you can have too much of a good thing.

16 April 2018

Look beyond Super to close the gender retirement gap

Australia has a persistent gender gap in retirement savings and incomes. Men’s superannuation balances at retirement are on average twice as large as women’s. Men also have much larger non-superannuation savings. This means that women – particularly single, divorced or widowed women – are at greater risk of poverty, housing stress and homelessness in retirement.

16 April 2018

Palliative care budget needs to be better spent

It is rare that a group of economic hardheads recommends expansion of services, but the Productivity Commission recently did just that. In a report with the somewhat obscure and threatening title of Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services, the commission calls for a big increase in palliative care investment.

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.

5 April 2018

How investment property returns depend on politics

Australian housing has been a good investment with prices more than doubling in real terms over the past 20 years. Since 2012, house prices have risen 50% in Melbourne and 70% in Sydney. Our recent report, Housing affordability: re-imagining the Australian dream, investigated the trends.

4 April 2018

Submission on Redevelopment and Audit of the Higher Education Data Collection

The federal Department of Education and Training is looking to improve the quality and relevance of higher education student statistics. In this submission to the department’s discussion paper, Grattan’s Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham call on the Government to establish a universal identifier for post-secondary students.

28 March 2018

Heat is on to stop surge in Queensland power bills

The cost of the electricity grid in Queensland has gone up by 75 per cent in a decade – and we’re all paying for it through our power bills. Under successive state governments, more and more money has been spent on building network infrastructure. Trouble is, it’s not clear what benefit consumers are getting from the excessive spending on a bigger network.

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