tip off

Yanks could draft legislation for Australian Parliament under TPP

Even if the Trans Pacific Partnership is finalised, the US government will insist on dictating to other countries how it should be interpreted — and even changing it if it suits Congress.

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Female workplace participation thrown out with parental leave bathwater

The Productivity Commission wants a more efficient and effective childcare system, but doesn’t hold out much hope it will spur participation.

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The statistical struggle to get productivity right

The ABS is moving to revise how we understand productivity in one crucial industry, illustrating how complex this important debate really is, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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An aged-care debacle quietly looms

Watch out — poorly understood reforms to aged care are about to commence, and this anonymous aged-care worker warns it will end in disaster.

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Retail, labour, and getting what you wish for

The state of retail isn’t as bad as business likes to make out — and any fault lies with governments and poor management as much as high labour costs, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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Is the Coalition up for the challenge of our future workforce needs?

A key long-term economic challenge is not merely identifying whether the workers of tomorrow will come from, but what skills they will need, and how to measure them, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

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Beyond bakeries, Productivity Commission shows who’s dragging the chain

The Productivity Commission shows that fixing our multi-factor productivity performance will take a lot of work.

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Sorry, but free trade agreements are duds, no matter how ‘nuanced’

Bilateral free trade agreements like the one negotiated with Japan deliver few benefits. The only worthwhile trade reform is unilateral tariff reductions. Don’t hold your breath for that.

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Abbott’s drought relief: back to the age of entitlement for farmers

The government’s assistance package for farmers today ignores the consistent advice of independent reviews of drought relief that say we should encourage self-reliance, not give handouts.

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Why older people should work longer — with some caveats

There are calls to raise the pension age from 65 to 70 as older Australians place pressure on government budgets. What this older Australian (and founding director of National Seniors Australia) Everald Compton — thinks about such a plan may surprise you …

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Tips and rumours

Are there cuts coming at the Productivity Commission? … Kim Williams’ post-News life … turning back money

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The IT price of living in Australia

Crikey readers have their say on stopping the boats, price gouging and Australian productivity.

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Productivity Commission releases its annual report card

The Productivity Commission last week issued the first of what will be an annual examination of our productivity performance, and despite scattered reports about how it has worsened and likely to continue to worsen, the real story from the Commission’s report is that we don’t yet have the real story on this issue.

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Drive off: it’s time to stop inflicting economic damage on Australia

Handouts to the automotive sector hurt Australia and, if not abolished, should at least opened up to the rest of the manufacturing sector.

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Forget business tax cuts, focus on electricity reform

While attempts to wangle a cut to business tax rates fail, there’s more to gain from repairing our energy regulation framework instead, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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Black government expenditure — it’s a white thing

The Productivity Commission says its audit of indigenous spending can contribute to better policy making and thus improved outcomes for indigenous Australians. Jon Altman isn’t so sure.

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Floodgates to remain tightly closed on online gambling

The government’s online gambling review identifies the key problem about online gambling but does little to address it.

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Idiot’s Guide to the Convergence Review: the principles

So the Convergence Review report is big — very big, in number of pages and in implications.

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Focus group fun and games for Financial Services Council

Careful what research you attach to your submission calling for reform. It might do a lot of damage to your case.

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Transfield’s bottom line fails to weather the storm

It will be the second year in a row that Transfield has disappointed in the profit stakes.

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War at PC public hearings over future of Export Finance and Insurance Corp

The war over the future of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) continues to rage at the Productivity Commission’s public hearings this week.

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Business Council on its ‘poor productivity’ high horse again

There was more bleating this morning from the Business Council about high-cost, poorly productive Australia, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Cox: 40 years on and the equal pay gaps continue

It will be 40 years in December since the incoming Whitlam government asked the Arbitration Commission to reopen the equal pay case.

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What Wilkie’s pokies reform didn’t bet on: the internet

The commotion surrounding Labor’s delay of Andrew Wilkie’s pokies reform takes on different meaning when viewed through the context of the inevitable, which is that the future of gambling resides on the internet, writes Alan Kohler.

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The 2011 Crikeys: the government policy hits and misses

2011 was the biggest year in economic policy for a long time - which isn’t saying much. What was best and worst?

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