Bog post by David Adamson & Adam Loch
Well last night’s Federal Budget (here) raised the possibility that the Federal Government would buy out NSW and VIC share of the current Snowy Hydro Scheme. While the Budget talk (no we haven’t trawled through all the Budget documents, here) failed to mention any funding to this process, it is likely that this process will be linked to the thought bubble released on the Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0.
The Review of Australia's climate change policies closes today (5/5/2017) and the discussion paper can be found (here).
The following is my submission.
Recent developments to encourage economic integration via international agreements (these are not free trade deals) often include a clauses allowing for the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process to be included.
For full details about ISDS (see here) but in essence it allows companies in one country to litigate against the government in another country if they introduce some legislation or regulation that may negatively impact on their business. These may include things like a:
From that same website a total of 767 legal proceedings, 495 have been concluded, and if you look at the data in the UNCTAD chart, about 50% of the time the company has won or received some form of compensation in regards to a out of court settlement
With budget time fast approaching, the leaks, fears, and work-shopping ideas in the media is in full swing. It has been suggested that Education is again in the cross-hairs. This time instead of making the states pay a greater proportion of the costs of educating school students, the target returns to the University sector.
The most recent data from the ABS, notes that the real expenditure on higher education has basically plateaued since 2010-11. With real costs constant, the proposal is that a 2-3% efficiency measure will be introduced over a number of years. While those with HECS debt will be targeted to replay loans faster.
This current suggestion comes at a time when business tax breaks are under review in a climate where there is a international ratcheting to the bottom. With a proposed absence of revenue from business, which in the absence of any additional revenue raised from the trickle down zombie, means that somethings need to be cut.
Education is one way of tackling inequality but decreasing funding may only increasing the gap between those who have access to good education and those that don't. While the OECD may have pointed out those risks for Australia's primary and secondary education. the arguments concerning subsequent economic harm do not diminish when tertiary education funding is reduced.
In summary, business gain from well educated individuals, as output and productivity increases in relation to education. Subsequently education can be seen as a business subsidy.
So if the government was truly trying to improve economic productivity, perhaps its time to introduce an education levy on businesses.