From The Conversation: The government’s retirement income review is being told our current tax and benefit treatment of retirement incomes is a mess. Much of financial planning industry is devoted to structuring affairs to maximise access to the age pension. The means test and other requirements that control access to it are a bureaucratic nightmare
By Brendan Coates, Matthew Cowgill and Will Mackey from The Grattan Institute, cross-posted from The Conversation: A key question for the government’s retirement incomes review is who ultimately pays for compulsory super contributions, especially since they are set to climb from 9.5% of wages to 12% over the next five years. Legally, they come from
By Gareth Aird, Senior Economist at CBA: Key Points: Non-mining business investment in Australia has eased. And forward looking investment intentions were downgraded in the mostrecentABS Capex Survey. We expect non-mining business investment to be sluggish in 2020. But this outcome is not locked in and there are policy levers that couldbe pulled to help
Cross-posted from Independent Australia: The future of the NBN looks grim with entrenched poor outcomes, increasing financial pressures and no solutions from the Morrison Government, writes Paul Budde. OVER THE LAST WEEK, I had an interesting discussion on the NBN with several long-term colleagues. What triggered this discussion – we have had many more of
Cross-posted from Online Opinion: Australian politicians never tire of telling the public how they are investing record amounts in infrastructure. Barely a day goes by without a minister announcing a new “congestion busting” infrastructure project designed to ease bottlenecks in Australian cities. Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted to be known as an “infrastructure prime minister”.
By Kelvin Thompson, National Media Spokesperson for Sustainable Australia Party: When the economist Leith Van Onselen was recently asked on ABC radio whether his support for a substantial cut in Australia’s migration program meant he was xenophobic, he replied that he supported a return of our migration program to the numbers we had when Gough
By Kelvin Thomson, National Media Spokesperson, Sustainable Australia Party We’ve just had another bout of breathless reporting from journalists, economists and commentators about our economic growth, accompanying the release of the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Remarkably, people who ought to know better continue to talk about GDP, but make no mention of GDP
Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Morrison government’s waiving of almost A$500 million in dodgy vocational education and training debts holds many lessons about the nature of education and public services being provided by for-profit enterprises. The debts were collected by about 38,000 students unwittingly locked into federal VET FEE-HELP loans by dodgy for-profit education providers.
Cross-posted from The Conversation: The Department of Home Affairs has begun taking steps to outsource its visa processing to private service providers. This move has sparked an important national debate on transparency, accountability and profiteering in the immigration system. The proposed changes will involve private service providers processing certain “low-risk” visas, rather than department staff.
By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA: Key Points RBA cuts to the cash rate have generated both a lift in new housing‑related lending and an acceleration in debt repayment. We expect national dwelling prices will continue to grow faster than household income in 2020 but any increase in household leverage is likely to be
By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from The Pulse: A recent decision by Brisbane City Council to restrict townhouse and similar ‘missing middle’ housing product to areas actually zoned for it has been met with hostility from some parts of the urban planning community. It has been exaggerated as a “total ban” and labelled variously as “terrible
Cross-posted from The Conversation: Asked to conduct an independent review of Australia’s retirement income system, the panel appointed by treasurer Josh Frydenberg reported on Friday that it was all tied up with the family home. At every age range, Australians have more money saved through home ownership than they do through superannuation or anything else,
By Tim Lawless, CoreLogic’s head of research: With many of Australia’s capital city housing markets posting a gain in values over the past three months, a recovery trend is looking increasingly entrenched… but how long will it take for residential property values to reach a new record high if the current rate of growth continues?
By Gareth Aird, senior economist at CBA Key Points: Economic growth has slowed in Australia and elevated spare capacity means that the economy would benefit from more stimulus. The RBA is approaching the lower bound, the Commonwealth Budget is in balance and net debt is low as a share of GDP-the case for an easing
From CoreLogic’s Tim Lawless: According to ABS housing finance data for August 2019, first home buyers comprised the largest proportion of national owner occupier mortgage activity since early 2012. The data showed first home buyers comprised 29.8% of the national market for owner occupier home loans; almost five percentage points above the decade average of
Via Independent Australia: IN A RECENT SURVEY conducted by the Australian Financial Review, every single economist who participated had the same message for the Morrison Government: the Reserve Bank should not have to rescue the economy on its own. However, despite the mounting evidence of domestic economic slowdown and the growing risk of a potential
From CBA chief economist Gareth Aird: The value of all housing‑related lending (excl. refinancing) rose by a large 5.1% in July. The value of housing loans to owner‑occupiers (excl. refinancing) was up by 5.3% while the value of loans to investors (excl. refinancing) rose by 4.7%. The lift in the flow of credit for housing
Cross-posted from Independent Australia: At the May Federal Election, Labor and the Greens overbid the already-high Coalition position on immigration and population. Post-election, Labor muffles the topic, targeting instead Home Affairs and its Minister, Peter Dutton. Is that the right play? For this year’s Federal Election, Labor offered virtually open-ended migrant-parent visas. This would have
By Cameron Kusher, CoreLogic Research Analyst: Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their biennial Housing Occupancy and Costs data for the 2017-18 financial year. The release has too much data to cover off in full in just one blog post so this week’s blog will cover off on some of the details
By Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Over the past few days, we have witnessed some very confusing signals from Fed officials: Vice Chair Clarida suggested that the Fed should not wait until things get so bad to have a dramatic series of rate cuts. These comments followed and potentially reinforced dovish comments from the New
From Westpac Senior Economist, Matthew Hassan: Given the intense focus on Australia’s housing markets at the moment and in light of our recent commentary around the best way to interpret auction market results (see here) we are now providing short previews each Friday and summary updates the following Monday setting out how results should be viewed. Key
By Cameron Kusher at CoreLogic: The ABS data showed that at the end of the March quarter, household net worth was $10.243 trillion. CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher observed that while a large figure, household wealth has now fallen for two consecutive quarters and is -0.7% lower year-on-year. The $10.243 trillion in net worth is
From Martin North at Digital Finance Analytics: After the slight twitch of positive sentiment following the election in May, the DFA Household Finance Confidence Index fell again, to a new low of 85.54. Whilst the RBA rate cut may offer some borrowers the prospect of improved cash flow (when the changes propagate through to the
By Michael Bayliss, communications manager for Sustainable Population Australia and Co-founder of Population, Permaculture and Planning Australia’s economy is centred on the belief that we need Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a means of measuring prosperity. For this to happen, we need to maintain a culture of consumption coupled with a continually growing population. While
Cross posted from The Conversation by Jason Pallant Lecturer of Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology The Woolworths Group proclaims it celebrates “family-friendly values”. Within its supermarkets the company has sought to demonstrate this commitment. Woolies gives out free fruit to kids, for example, and no longer gives out plastic bags. Its goal, the group states, is to
Cross-posted from Independent Australia: THE ELECTION OFFERED no respite from Australia’s radical immigration economy. We could crank it up higher, under the Coalition. Even more so, via Labor. In 2017 and 2018, net migration clocked about 240,000. The Budget grows that by 30,000. But permanent migration drops by 30,000. How good are bridging visas? The long haul is real news. Only
By David Collyer Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has pre-announced Land Tax changes ahead of Monday night’s state budget. Expect a dramatic budget contraction as Victoria’s key ‘own revenue’ source, Stamp Duty, has shrunk with the fall in both property transaction volumes and prices. “The government says stamp duty revenue will collapse by an average of
By Ross Elliott, cross-posted from New Geography: In a remarkable and most unexpected outcome, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained the country’s leadership at the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary election (18 May, 2019). Morrison’s victory confounded a wide array of commentators, academics, advocacy groups, industry groups, all of the opinion polls, most of
By Gerard Minack from Minack Advisors Policy is set to be eased in Australia: tax rebates for low and middle income taxpayers, RBA rate cuts, and looser macro-prudential restrictions. While these are helpful, they seem too late to prevent a downturn in residential construction. But the big question is whether wealth effects from already-seen house
By Binoy Kampmark, lecturer at RMIT University There are no protests on the streets and no effigies of university officials being burned by protesting students today. There are no protests outside the officers of the over-remunerated Vice Chancellors and their various henchpersons. It is business and malpractice as usual after revelations by Australia’s national broadcaster that Australian universities have