Governments are addicted to tax revenue from harmful activities. It is stopping them from doing what is in society's best interests.
UNSW Business School experts have analysed the government's pre-election budget in the annual BusinessThink Budget Briefing.
Peter Costello's Future Fund is funding the apparent elimination of government debt.
There are good reasons why corporate tax and the reach of the goods and services tax must be reconsidered, says UNSW Business School's Fiona Martin.
The budget depends as much on China as it does on Canberra.
Tax and wage growth are key areas for change
Having work, but not enough of it to meet the costs of living, is especially a problem for young people, says UNSW Professor Kristy Muir.
Using the federal budget to remove uncertainty will allow people to plan a better retirement, says UNSW Scientia Professor John Piggott.
Stalling consumer spending is a major factor behind this morning's figures, says UNSW Business School's Richard Holden.
The changes announced in the latest federal budget could save members up to $3billion, but they don't tackle the problems of total disability insurance.