Tag Archives: Cost-of-living

Are Australian politicians overpaid?

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A nice pithy comment, I thought, in the way that a 140 character limit encourages. I didn’t expect it to be too controversial, especially given the low standing of our politicians at the moment. But, as happens on the internets, I found myself pitched as the opponent of meritocracy, attempting to lower the standards of politicians by discouraging our best and brightest from applying.

I have a lot of writing that I’m supposed to be working on at the moment, so I thought the best way to procrastinate (sorry Antoinette and Geoff) would be to explore this question in a blog post: Do we get good value from our politicians? Continue reading

Would expanding the GST actually be regressive?

gst_toonMartin Parkinson has kicked off another round of speculation about increasing GST revenue through either increasing the rate or expanding the base.

Raising taxes is the number one defence against budget cuts in areas that we want to protect, or new areas of social expenditure. In spite of this, calls to increase the GST are consistently met with opposition from the Left on the basis that they consider the GST to be a regressive tax. A tax that collects a higher percentage of the income of from poor people than rich people is a bad thing.

Given the consistency of these views, it might surprise to read that broadening the GST, or even raising it, is not necessarily regressive. In fact, in one area, broadening the base of the GST is actually create a more progressive tax system in and of itself. Continue reading

Aside

This article has failed to find a home, so I thought I would drop it here. I had to use a damp cloth to wipe away the dust first, perhaps it’s time to resurrect Translationsblog. Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens … Continue reading

Income management

Below is an article I submitted to South Sydney Herald, and that ended up published as a guest editorial in the October edition.

It was initially going to focus on how income management could effect residents in south Sydney, especially given the high concentration of disadvantage in parts of that community. However, during my research I realised that there would be significant impacts on tenancy rights coming out of the Bankstown trial, that I hadn’t seen raised elsewhere. So that’s where the focus went.

Continue reading