Latest News and Opinion

8 May 2018

Turnbull government backs pharmacies over consumers, yet again

The government has totally squibbed the latest pharmacy regulation review, and consumers will be the losers. Every five to 10 years in Australia, the government establishes a review of the regulations governing pharmacies. Those reviews invariably come to the same conclusion: community pharmacy is over-regulated, and a reduction in regulation would benefit consumers. Just as invariably, the government response is to do nothing.

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.

7 May 2018

Economics has a women problem. Here’s why you should care

Economic leadership positions in Australia remain an almost exclusively male affair. Indeed, the glass ceiling for economic roles has been proved more impenetrable than most. We’ve had a female Prime Minister but not Treasurer, a female CEO of a Big 4 bank but not a Chief Economist, and a female Chief Scientist but never a female at the helm of the Treasury, Productivity Commission, ASIC, APRA or the ACCC.

7 May 2018

The infrastructure budget trap

The federal government has foreshadowed infrastructure ‘presents from Santa’ in next week’s budget. But unlike gifts from Santa, someone ultimately pays for infrastructure spending even if clever accounting hides it from the government’s bottom line.

7 May 2018

Morrison needs to be upfront about infrastructure funding

It feels like Sydney’s CBD has been a construction site for ages: if you’re not dodging the drilling and hoardings on the south-east light rail, it’ll be the trucks and workers from the Sydney Metro. A fast-growing Sydney wants big new infrastructure.

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?

4 May 2018

Gonski is right: We must make better use of our best teachers

David Gonski’s “2.0” review, released this week, recommends the creation of structured career pathways that value teaching expertise and keep excellent teachers teaching. This would build the capacity of the education system and enhance the status of the profession.

3 May 2018

Don’t attach too many strings to Gonski 2.0’s vision

Ahead of a briefing to state and territory education ministers at a special COAG meeting on Friday, it’s important that David Gonski’s vision for Australia’s education future isn’t just a tick-the-box exercise

3 May 2018

The nuanced story of regional inequality in Australia

The idea that regional Australia has been ‘left behind’ by the big cities is widespread, and politically potent. There is some truth to the sentiment, but it’s important to recognise the nuance behind the concern, write Grattan Institute’s Danielle Wood, John Daley and Carmela Chivers in this submission to a Senate committee inquiry.

2 May 2018

Victorian budget: observations from outside the tent

The 2018 Victorian budget contains plenty of good news: notably more spending on skills, schools, hospitals and especially infrastructure. But the surplus is small and there’s little in the way of tax reform or savings measures. As Grattan’s Danielle Wood says in this post-budget presentation, the question remains: has the Andrews Government done enough for long-term budget sustainability?

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