FINANCE AND ECONOMICS
Economist Nicholas Gruen looks at problems with various attempts to measure wellbeing and the struggle to get from noble principles to practical outcomes. This is a repost from the Mandarin of a part three of Nicholas Gruen’s essay series about the difficulty of translating policy into outcomes. Read part one, on wellbeing frameworks, and part two on commonsense hacks government could use to bolster Australians’ wellbeing.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is gaining traction in Australia and around the globe. While a UBI has the potential to lift people and communities out of poverty, Michael Fletcher from the Aukland University of Technology warns us that it is not a panacea; government still needs to provide comprehensive services and tailored support. This policy analysis originally appeared on the New Zealand web site Briefing Papers, and can be viewed here.
Is inequality rising or falling? The answer, if recent public debate is anything to go by, may appear at first to depend on who you ask. Peter Whiteford Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University explores in this re-post from the Conversation.
Tanya Corrie of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand facilitated the recent Good Conversation – Economic Frameworks and Women’s Human Rights. The panel discussion concerned gender equity and the limits of economics in examining public policy and welfare. This is an edited version of Tanya’s introduction to the event.
Collaboration remains the ‘go to’ or ‘gold-star’ strategy as governments, business and community look to connect people, break down silos, cross boundaries, build partnerships and generate collective impact. All of which leads to collaborative advantage. It is likely that this preference will continue well into the future. The allure of collaboration is seen as self-evident: by leveraging the synergies formed from working together, innovation is possible, new knowledge is built, and complex, intractable social and economic problems can be resolved. In addition to these social benefits are the expected cost savings to be had from working in more connected or integrated ways. Robyn Keast*, Michael Charles* and Piotr Modzelewski** discuss the cost of collaboration.
The 2017 Federal budget unveiled by the Coalition held many surprises, mainly in the efforts it went to achieve distance from the disastrous 2014 budget. With significant investment into education, health and housing, some even called it a ‘Labor light budget’. However, these positive inputs are offset by the increasingly punitive approach to people on welfare, contrary to what evidence indicates is effective policy. In today’s post Kathy Landvogt highlights some of the most concerning aspects of the government’s stance towards people on welfare and how it will set Australia back as the land of the ‘fair go.’ This blog originally appeared on the Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand web site.
Is aggressive outsourcing of government services affecting service quality and trust? The Mandarin's David Donaldson spoke to contracting expert and NSW Premier's ANZSOG Chair of Public Service Delivery Gary Sturgess for his take on the matter. This post originally appeared on The Mandarin.
Juanita McLaren, interning with Good Shepherd, has written previously about her experience as a single mother of Centrelink policies (see her posts here and here). On International Women's Day (8 March 2017), she was interviewed by Rayna Fahey on the radio show The Renegade Economists on 3CR, discussing the feminisation of poverty in Australia and the role that government policy plays.
When our politicians frame the discussion around welfare users by using such language as "dole bludgers" it is a deliberate tactic to validate punishing them - as we have seen with the Centrelink debt debacle and the accusations by staff that a faulty system was deliberately implemented. In today's post, Paul Michael Garrett explains how language use frames public opinion in the U.K. in unhelpful ways. Have ideologically underpinned debates, portraying those on welfare as being lazy and having an easy life, become part of collective public perceptions? With 2016 marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Williams’ Keywords, an interrogation of the taken-for-grantedness of specific words used to support a neoliberal agenda is timely. Here, he looks at ‘welfare dependency’. This blog originally appeared on the London School of Economics' British Politics and Policy blog; the original can be viewed here.
By Gerard Brody and David Tennant
Gerard Brody is the CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre and David Tennant CEO of Shepparton–based FamilyCare. Both participated in the Advisory Committee for the CSI/NAB Financial Resilience in Australia 2015 Research.