The level of public housing needs to return to previous levels
Australia needs more housing, and we definitely need more public housing
Real wages falls and interest rates rises signal tough times for households and the economy
You can’t sustain household spending while real wages continue to fall, and households are starting to let everyone know
Wages are growing solidly but real wages continue to plummet
Wages are growing the best they have for 11 years, but real wages are now back at the level they were 14 years ago
Affordability of a Liveable Jobseeker Payment is a Non-Issue
Commonwealth on Track for Diminutive Deficit or Surplus in 2022-2023 In the lead-up to its 2023-24 budget, the Labor Government finds itself in an awkward position, accepting that the Jobseeker payment is “seriously inadequate” and an impediment to regaining work, yet professing that it lacks the financial capacity to afford a meaningful increase anytime soon.
Australian Inflation Reflects a Historic Redistribution from Workers to Bosses
The upsurge of inflation since the COVID-19 lockdowns has not had equal impacts on all Australians. Workers and low-income people have experienced the worst losses: both because their incomes, in most cases, have not kept up with prices, and because they are more dependent on essential goods and services (like shelter, food, and energy) than higher-income households.
Inequality and poverty is a policy choice – and the Stage 3 tax cuts will make both worse
When you reduce the revenue available to fund government services, you inevitably increase inequality
The economy is slowing as the Reserve Bank hits the brake
The build up of savings during the pandemic is over – now we need strong income growth to keep the economy going as the Reserve Bank tries to slow it.
The Reserve Bank needs to watch that it doesn’t push the economy off a cliff
For most of this year, the warnings and news about inflation have been one of hope for the best but experience the worst. Predictions of future inflation growth have continually been revised upwards and with it has been the suggestion that interest rates need to keep rising.
Rough times ahead for Australia’s economy as oil, gas and coal companies celebrate
The latest economic outlook from the OECD highlights the precarious path for Australia over the next few years.
Wages growth improves but real wages fall at a record rate
The latest wages price index figures show that for the first time since 2013 wages grew by more than 3% in the past year.
Gas companies are profiting off of human misery – we need a windfall profits tax
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine caused a massive surge in gas and LNG prices that have enabled gas companies around the world, including Australia to make record-level profits.
Multi-Employer Bargaining Necessary for Fixing Wages Crisis
Proposed reforms to Commonwealth industrial relations laws would create more opportunities for collective bargaining to occur on a multi-employer basis, rather than being limited solely to individual workplaces or enterprises. Business groups have attacked this proposal as a dramatic change that would supposedly spark widespread work stoppages and industrial chaos.
With household incomes set to fall, we need to think about what matters in the economy
The current tightening of monetary policy is undoubtedly having an impact. While it may take some time for the slowing of inflation to flow through to the official CPI figures – especially given the level of inflation that is being imported – the economy is set to slow drastically.
Would further interest rate rises do more harm than good?
In the past 7 months, the Reserve Bank has increased the cash rate by 275 basis points. That is as fast as any time since the RBA became independent. Given the pace of inflation growth, the rises are not wholly without cause, but as policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column the main drivers of inflation are now easing, and wages are yet to take off. In that case, should the RBA continue to raise rates given it will only slow the economy further?
Inflation is soaring and real wages are plummeting
On Wednesday the latest inflation figures showed that in the 12 months to September prices across Australia grew by 7.3% – the fastest rate since 1990.
Families change but the same problems remain
The latest data from the Bureau of Statistics on families shows that more than ever before couples with dependants are both working.
With a global recession looming the cure of inflation looks to be worse than the disease
This week the IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook. And the outlook is dire. Economic growth around the world was downgraded with recession-like conditions being predicted for many advanced economies including the USA, UK and much of the EU.
The UK shows how bad the Stage 3 tax cuts will be
This week the UK government introduced massive high-income tax cuts – cuts that are not even as bad as the Stage 3 tax cuts here in Australia. And the reaction by the market was brutal. Investors saw the tax cuts for what they were – a redistribution of national income from the poorest to the wealthiest, that provided no economic growth. As a result the value of the UK Pound plunged.
They didn’t cause the inflation, but workers are expected to cure it
Last week before the House Economics Committee, the Governor of the Reserve Bank made it clear that the current rise in inflation has nothing to do with wages growth. And yet he also made it clear he expects workers to bear the brunt of the cost that comes from slowing inflation.
The latest data shows just how bad housing affordability is
Since the Reserve Bank began raising interest rates in May, the housing market has very much come off the boil.
The GDP figures show the ongoing shift of the national income to profits
The June quarter GDP figures released by the Bureau of Statistics showed that over the past year the economy grew a seemingly strong 3.6%.
The PBO reveals just how much the Stage 3 tax cuts favour the wealthy
The Stage 3 tax cuts, which will essentially create a flat income tax system, have always been clearly biased towards high-income earners. For those earning over $200,000, the tax cuts represent a 4.5% cut compared to just 0.6% for someone on the median income of $60,000. But this week, the Parliamentary Budget Office has released costings that detail just how skewed the allocation of money is to the richest in our society.
Market power costs consumers, workers and the whole economy
For most of the past 40 years whenever the discussion turns to the need to lift productivity, invariably the conversation is dominated by business groups and various media commentators who suggest the solution is more labour market flexibility. Just a bit more flexibility and productivity will improve!
The biggest real wages fall on record
The latest wages price index figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how far workers ability to purchase items with what they earn has fallen.
The latest taxation statistics reveal the massive gender pay gap across the whole economy
The 2019-20 taxation statistics released this week by the ATO provide a plethora of data that reveals with precision the salaries of people by location, occupation age and importantly, gender.
Rate rises look set to dramatically slow the economy
The latest raise in the cash rate has meant interest rates have increased by more in 4 months than they have anytime since 1994.
A decade of real wages growth lost as prices soar ahead of wages growth
The latest inflation figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal just how much workers have been left behind. Writing in Guardian Australia, labour market and fiscal policy director Greg Jericho notes that while the focus is on the biggest annual increase in inflation since the introduction of the GST, the data also shows that real wages have fallen drastically.
The Job Summit needs to produce a fairer labour market
Despite unemployment at nearly 50 years lows, it will be little surprise to workers that wages growth is only at 3 year highs. Over the past decade the relationship between wages growth and unemployment has shifted such that levels of unemployment that would have once seen wages growing at more than 4% are now associated with growth of well below 3%.
Will “curing” inflation cause a recession?
Right now, the big numbers of the economy look pretty good. Unemployment in June was just 3.5% – the lowest since 1974. So why has consumer confidence crashed and why are so many Australians worried about a recession?
Profits push up prices too, so why is the RBA governor only talking about wages?
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Phillip Lowe has invoked memories of the 1970s, warning wage growth must be restrained to contain Australia’s surging inflation. In the 1970s, Lowe said last week, “we got into trouble because wages growth responded mechanically to the higher inflation rate”. Now, with inflation above 5%, and tipped to reach 7% by the
Tanya Martin Executive Assistant
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser