Filter by July, 2015

Grappling with the productivity slowdown
By Ssolbergj [ GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Grappling with the productivity slowdown

The Productivity Commission (PC) recently released its latest Productivity Update, which provides a detailed analysis of Australia’s productivity performance in 2013‑14. The good news is that labour productivity and multifactor productivity (MFP) both increased in 2013‑14. However, as the PC’s Chairman Peter Harris warns Australia’s current productivity growth remains well below what is needed to ensure living standards will continue to increase as quickly as they have in the past. This comes at a time when a number of factors are weighing on Australia’s growth prospects including an ageing population and structural adjustment as the mining investment boom recedes. Ho... Read more...

Cancellation of Australian citizenship built on shaky foundations?

Whether dual nationals or citizens who engage in terrorist activity should be stripped of their Australian citizenship is unlikely to be the focus of extensive discussion when Parliament resumes after its winter recess. That is because both sides of politics appear to broadly agree that they should. Rather, it is the breadth and mechanics of the three new cessation provisions (automatically triggered when a person either engages in prescribed conduct, serves or fights for a terrorist organisation, or is convicted of certain offences) contained in the Government’s Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 that is likely to generate considerable debate, and if ... Read more...

Australian Defence Force - future international engagement

The ‘Army’s future force structure options’ conference (convened by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, ASPI) was recently held on 24–26 June. A key topic among many of the prominent speakers was the issue of the Army’s role in the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) international engagement, particularly regarding the benefits obtained through such interactions and the potential scope to increase these efforts.  Read more...

The Euro's periphery: Greece compared with Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland

The global financial crisis (GFC) sparked a sovereign debt crisis in a number of Euro area countries, most notably Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. This flagpost uses data from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) World Economic Outlook database to look at the impact of the crisis on these Euro members and their public finances. The data shows the Greek economy contracted by much more than the other Euro area periphery economies. Despite this, Greece’s fiscal consolidation since the crisis began compares favourably with that of Spain, Italy and Portugal. Whatever the ‘rights and wrongs’ of the current impasse, Greece has undertaken significant fi... Read more...

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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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