Latest News and Opinion

18 June 2018

There is no Plan B if the states fail to approve the NEG

The National Energy Guarantee is not perfect, but it offers a credible, low-cost path to meeting Australia’s emissions reduction target while maintaining a reliable power supply. Critics have demonstrated no fatal flaws and have failed to present a credible alternative.

8 June 2018

Four myths about income tax

When income tax scales change, it’s inherently a question of redistribution. Any change to tax rates is a decision about who should bear less — or more — of the tax burden. And because of bracket creep, any decision not to change tax rates is also a decision to shift the tax burden.

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.

7 June 2018

Most new housing isn’t high end housing

The conventional wisdom among many affordable-housing advocates is that most new housing built in Australia is too expensive for low- and middle-income earners. This conventional wisdom is wrong. Grattan Institute’s new analysis shows that most new houses are being built in cheaper-than-average suburbs on the fringes on our major cities.

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.

30 May 2018

University admission: ATAR best guide to student performance

Forget what you may have heard recently: ATAR is not on its way out. The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is still a used and useful tool for universities and for school students considering higher education.

25 May 2018

Scrapping selective admissions would only postpone the inevitable

For all the criticism it gets, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank remains a cheap and efficient selection system that plausibly links entry criteria to academic outcomes.

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).

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