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Daft Coalition economic policies 6: Endorsing sleazy behaviour & lying about it

It is difficult to tackle corporate criminals and dishonest behaviour generally when you yourself lie over expense accounts. The hypocrisy is too raw. PM Tony Abbott has spent $23,000 of taxpayer money attending sporting events in recent years. His argument? Any sort of travel is “business-related” since you meet people. That the Labor Party is […]

Daft Coalition Economics 5: Poor bargaining instructions on a trade agreement

Mr Abbott is sending out signals that he wants to quickly – by the end of this year – reach a free trade agreement with China. It is generally dumb to announce in advance in a bargaining situation that you wish to settle quickly. It provides incentives for the other side to seek to exact […]

Daft policies 4: Sacking skilled civil servants

The sacking of three Departmental Secretaries and achieving the “voluntary departure” from Treasury of Martin Parkinson seems to me a bad idea for a Coalition that does not have an abundance of talent. That some of these people pursued policies that were sought by Labor is irrelevant – these men are skilled civil servants who […]

Daft Coalition economics 3: Paid parental leave

The word “daft” here needs to be qualified. It is certainly daft in the restricted sense that it is a substantial non-means-tested handout made at a time when the Coalition is spreading stories about a deficit and debt crisis. Given that this crisis is largely a myth this type of objection probably isn’t that serious. […]

Daft Coalition economics 2: Abolishing carbon charging

It is universally agreed by resource and environmental economists that the most efficient (= the cheapest) way of realising a given level of carbon emissions is to price these emissions. The reason is that then only those with lowest costs of cutting emissions will do so. This outperforms across-the-board regulations. This policy can take the […]

Daft Coalition economics 1: use it or lose it

Minister for Industry MacFarlane has told Australian miners to rapidly develop their undeveloped mining leases or risk losing them. This is daft economics. The decision to defer development of a site will not be taken if the site is profitable. The deferment will occur only if such things as labour costs are too high or […]