Latest News and Opinion

14 December 2017

Cutting funding for hospital complications is unlikely to change patient care – here’s why

The Commonwealth government is implementing a contentious scheme to punish hospitals where patients suffer avoidable complications, by withholding funding.

13 December 2017

AGL keeping Liddell power station open wouldn’t have worked

AGL has delivered an early Christmas present to the federal government. Its plan to replace its ageing Liddell power station in NSW is a commercial example of the transition the government wants to deliver through the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

7 December 2017

How to achieve excellence in Australian schools: a story from the classroom

A new Gonski review is examining how to achieve educational excellence for Australia’s 3.8 million school students. The success of the review will ultimately depend on whether its recommendations lead to better practice in the classroom. And the best way for policy makers to improve classroom practice is to develop a more adaptive education system.

5 December 2017

The prime minister’s book list: what should Malcolm Turnbull read this summer?

It’s been a testing year for politics but a wonderful year for books – and to help the prime minister make the most of the holiday season, the Grattan Institute has once again collated a summer reading list for him.

5 December 2017

Why oligopolies are not dominating Australian consumers

Around the world, many are concerned that competition is waning. They say large firms are dominating markets, pushing up prices and profits, squeezing suppliers, and slowing growth in wages and productivity. They point to the consolidation of old industries and the rise of new technology platforms. Back at home, Australia is often said to be the land of the oligopoly. But is competition in Australia really weak and getting weaker?

4 December 2017

Australia isn’t dominated by big businesses that gouge customers

When we see excessive spikes in fuel prices, rapid annual increases in health insurance premiums, and a confusing array of electricity options to choose from, it is easy to conclude that big companies are using their market power to gouge their customers. But the latest report from the Grattan Institute finds claims about Australia being dominated by oligopolies are overblown. Only about 15% of the economy is dominated by large firms.

30 November 2017

Tax reform alone won’t solve the housing affordability crisis

Reducing tax breaks for property investors would improve housing affordability a little. But, as Grattan Fellow Brendan Coates shows in this presentation to the National Housing Conference, it would improve the budget bottom line and boost the economy a lot.

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.

27 November 2017

Delay in changing direction on how we tax drivers will cost us all

The federal government announced a year ago that it would review the charges imposed on drivers for using our roads. That review hasn’t yet happened. They should get on with it, because reforming the way we charge road users will make our economy more productive and our cities more liveable. The longer we wait, the harder the path to those improvements becomes.

26 November 2017

How to achieve excellence in Australian schools

Australia’s school education system is not fit for purpose, and we need to rethink the way we teach students, support teachers and run schools. The “Review to Achieve Excellence in Australian Schools”, led by David Gonski and due to report next March, offers a reform opportunity that must be seized.

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