CPD authors find a lot of blinkered thinking in the race to a surplus.
Here’s what you will find in this special Budget 2011 edition of InSight:
Asylum seekers continue to suffer because of poll driven policies and their fate remains an enormous political problem in Australia. John Menadue adds up how expensive trampling on human rights really is. He finds that a new approach is not only urgently needed but that it but saves money too.
Can arbitrary cuts under the guise of efficiency deliver a better public service? James Whelan & Jennifer Doggett take a look at the political and policy myths surrounding the Efficiency Dividend and the future costs for Australia.
This is Gillard’s first budget as PM. She has abandoned her predecessor’s rhetoric on equality. And Swan does not seem to be implementing a Keynesian approach as Treasurer. John Quiggin looks at the resurgence of neoliberalism under a Labor government.
Is the surplus fetish distracting the Government from the real economic challenges? Ian McAuley finds glimpses of Labor values in an otherwise short-sighted budget.
Will Swan deliver a budget that capitalises on Australia’s natural advantages to rapidly scale up clean energy technologies? Fiona Armstrong & Laura Eadie look at the investments being made to green our economy and choices ahead.
The role of government is not just to create a healthy economy but a good society. Both major parties seem to have lost sight of this goal. Eva Cox argues that this year’s budget is tough on soft targets while failing to address unequal or unjust aspects of our nation. The government needs to have a framework to address these issues and use the budget to provide the means to remedy them.
Has the budget delivered the reforms our ailing health needs or is it not enough? Jennifer Doggett examines how healthy this budget really is.
The 2011 federal budget has once again tied Australia to the fortunes of the resource boom basically ignoring the manufacturing, tourism and education sectors. Unfortunately, there is no Plan B if things do not go as they re supposed to. James Arvanitakis and Alex Surace argue a lot more can be done to ensure the viability of these industries and plan for the resource boom turning into a bust.