The concept of the ‘middle class squeeze’ has been around for more than a decade, with the term dating back to November 2006, when US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi used it to provide context to the domestic agenda of the U.S. Democratic Party. This issue has yet to subside, with a recent report from the OECD noting that middle incomes have grown less than the average in many OECD countries, and in some they have not grown at all. The Mandarin’s David Donaldson explains how this trend affects Australia’s middle class, and outlines OECD’s recommendations for how governments can act to support this shrinking group.Read More
In an age of increasing concerns about falling trust in our government and democratic institutions, Professor Valerie Braithwaite from the ANU offers five key points about how to understand citizens’ trust in institutions through a psychological lens.Read More
Valerie Braithwaite, psychologist and professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at ANU takes us back to the introduction of higher education loans in Australia to explain how justice is central to the acceptability and success of social policy in this re-post from The Australian TAFE Teacher magazine.Read More
Both major parties are examining changes to negative gearing. Ben Spies-Butcher argues the two proposals for reform point to just how deeply flawed negative gearing is, and why neither change goes far enough.Read More
Australia has long been known as a nation of home owners. Ben Spies-Butcher explores the changes and implications that have been slowly taking place.Read More
With growing talk of tax reform, advocacy to promote equity and ensure that those on low-incomes are not negatively impacted is essential. Interestingly, the advocacy landscape is changing, with new alliances being formed to advocate for a different type of tax reform. In this post, Ben Spies-Butcher (@SensibleBSB) takes us through how tax reform has been reframed and its implications for a more equitable taxation system.
The advocacy work undertaken by civil society bodies including environmental organisations to create benefit for the whole society has long been recognisedin the charitable status given for taxation purposes. However, this status is periodically contested and in the current era is potentially facing new threats from the Inquiry commissioned by the Minister for the Environment. St Vincent de Paul’s Research and Legal Officer Rik Sutherland outlines the debate, and argues for the continuation of charitable status for environmental advocacy organisations.Read More
Last Friday Paul Smyth encouraged us to think beyond individual policies to begin reimagining the future of the wage earners welfare state. Below Jackie Brady, Acting Executive Director, Catholic Social Services Australia, also calls on social policy advocates to look at the big picture of reform – this time, the tax system. Jackie questions the logic and morality of applying concepts of ‘deservingness’ to the transfer side of the tax system, but not the taxation side.Read More