FINANCE AND ECONOMICS
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.
Effective climate change action needs a lot of money. However, in the Pacific it is not just about delivering dollars. Kirsty Anantharajah gives us three key problems with global climate financing approaches, and offers three possible pathways out.
The release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry earlier this month has not had the intended effect of allaying mistrust in the financial services sector in Australia. Despite the enormity of the report, nearly 1,000 pages with 24 entities and companies referred to civil and criminal proceedings, there is a consensus that the major financial corporations involved in the misconduct remain unscathed. In today’s post, Dr. Jonathon Louth examines the silences in this report, especially as it impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote Australia. Based on his recent research with Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, he recommends expanding community and cultural literacies in the financial sector as one of the counter measures to tackle systematic dispossession and marginalisation of vulnerable populations. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 6 February 2019
A new research report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) - The Renter's Journey - follows the common and differing rental experiences of the rental market of four key segments (young singles, women over 55, low income families, and migrant families) and makes recommendations to policymakers for change. The report will be launched in Melbourne on 25 February 2019.
In this post, Ben Spies-Butcher explores the potential role of a levy on superannuation to fund aged care. How might this solution address key issues in aged care funding, such as generational equity and gender equity? The original post is from The Conversation.
Unpaid work, part-time and interrupted work, and the gender pay gap are only some of the reasons women are poor in retirement. A lot of the time the reasons are far more complex.
Professor Peter Whiteford examines the Productivity Commission research paper Rising inequality? A stocktake of the evidence released last week and cautions us not to believe the media spin that all Australians are better off. To tackle inequality, he argues, we need both policies that generate economic growth and policies that ensure it’s well spread. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 31 August 2018.
In this article, Dr. Shelley Bielefeld, Professor Eva Cox, and the Accountable Income Management Network Secretariat critique the Mindaroo Foundation’s report on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC). They cite the ‘cherry picking’ of results to support claims of success, a lack of attention to human rights, and security issues, among other points. Ultimately, they argue that the benefits of the CDC for communities are “negligible to negative” and that the proposed expansion of the trial would further marginalise those purported to benefit from the CDC.
Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing money. They tend to spend more time out of the paid workforce to care for others and this impacts on their ability to generate wealth. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to address this issue by normalising conversations about money. Check out these interviews where ASIC’s Laura Higgins chats with five influential and inspirational Australian women about their experiences with money.