Australia won’t recover unless Victoria does too. The federal government must step up

The announcement of stage 4 restrictions in Victoria marks a new, and depressing, stage in Australia’s response to COVID-19. The new measures will close non-essential retailers and most child-care centres across Melbourne, and impose stringent controls on industries such as meatworks and construction. The Victorian government estimates the measures will stop a further 250,000 workers from travelling to work. 阅读更多: Melbourne non-essential retailers closed, as Morrison unveils...

Victoria’s child-care shutdown is a hard blow for working mothers

ShutterstockHow do you occupy a child for long enough to get any work done? This will be the question confronting more than 150,000 Melbourne families for at least the next six weeks. The Stage 4 restrictions announced by the Victorian government to contain the city’s COVID-19 outbreak include closing all child-care centres for the first time in the pandemic. 阅读更多: State of disaster called as Melbourne moves...

Creative destruction: the COVID-19 economic crisis is accelerating the demise of fossil fuels

ShutterstockCreative destruction “is the essential fact about capitalism”, wrote the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942. New technologies and processes continuously revolutionise the economic structure from within, “incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”. Change happens more quickly and creatively during times of economic disruption. Innovations meeting material and cultural needs accelerate. Structures preventing new, more efficient technologies weaken. As the old economy collapses,...

If you’re thinking of leaving a violent partner, you need a financial plan. This toolkit can help

ShutterstockThe COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge of calls to domestic violence support services, as survivors of violence spend more time at home with their abusers due to lockdowns and other restrictions. Many feel they can’t leave — or that they must return to abusers — because they lack financial security or are unsure about where to turn for financial assistance. Domestic violence may include physical violence, but...

Post-COVID, there’ll be less of a reason to cut company tax than before

ShutterstockThey’re at it again, pushing lower company tax as a way to resuscitate the economy. The arguments were well ventilated at the time the government pushed for company tax cuts, failed to get support in the Senate, and then abandoned them in favour of personal income tax cuts in the leadup to the last election, declaring “we’re not coming back to the company tax cuts”. The new argument...

Forget a capital gains tax – what New Zealand needs is a tax on inherited wealth

www.shutterstock.comThe world’s wealthiest people will transfer US$15.4 trillion in assets to their heirs in the next decade, according to a recent report. Published by specialist data analysts Wealth-X, the report focused on the richest 0.1% (those with net assets worth over US$5 million), but it’s a similar story for the more modestly wealthy baby boomers. With New Zealand’s average national house price now over $700,000, the heirs of...

Why NSW is skewing its tax system toward build-to-rent apartments and away from mum and pop landlords

In an apparent about face, the NSW government has halved land tax for developers of build-to-rent housing. It came weeks after the the Treasurer Dominic Perrottet launched a report that called for a greater reliance on land tax as a replacement for stamp duty. The greater reliance on land tax is a long-term goal. At the moment family homes are exempt, along with boarding houses, caravan parks, retirement...

Vital Signs: the COVID-19 crisis in aged care shows elimination is the only effective strategy

ShutterstockAs Victoria struggles to get its hotel-quarantine-debacle-driven COVID-19 outbreak under control, there has been renewed focus on the plight of those in aged-care facilities. The facts are these. Between March 26 and July 5, Victoria recorded 20 死亡. None of those were in aged-care facilities. Between July 6 and July 29 there were 47 deaths in such facilities, nearly double the number from all other areas. COVID-19 cases...

What to do with anti-maskers? Punishment has its place, but can also entrench resistance

What’s driving “Bunnings Karen” and others to film themselves arguing with shop assistants about face masks and human rights? And how should we respond? Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has called their behaviour “appalling” and advised us to ignore them, because “the more you engage in an argument with them, the more oxygen you are giving them”. Others are taking a more confrontational approach. On Australia’s morning television Today...