Federal Budget

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The bottom line for the government is that many of its policies will survive or fall in the Senate according to the will of the Palmer United Party, writes George Williams.

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At a cost of A$826 million, the processing and detention of around 2,500 asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is a scandalous waste of taxpayers' money, write Joyce Chia and Claire Higgins.

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Public confidence will be shaken if it becomes acceptable for governments to jack up taxes because they don’t approve of previous policies, writes Richard Holden.

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Using temporary visas to supply lower skill personal carers is a short-sighted response to real problems of long-term under-investment in the disablity sector's greatest asset: its frontline workforce, argue Natasha Cortis and Shani Chan.

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The GFC and the necessity of the stimulus package meant the Labor government has been unable to clear the slate of its predecessor, with disastrous long-term consequences, writes Lindy Edwards.

Defence spending

While the US is critical of Australia's recent cuts to defence spending, what matters is not how much you spend, but how and where you spend it, argues Alan Stephens.

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The government's critics could be spot on in suggesting Wayne Swan got the numbers wrong - not because they have superior insight into the economy, but because it's near impossible to get economic forecasting right, writes Jeffrey Braithwaite.

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The targeted additions to spending in the budget are in part symbolic, but also likely to be quite progressive in their impact, write Peter Whiteford and Gerry Redmond.

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The recent flurry of defence reports and reviews is creating a false sense of purpose and action, and cannot disguise a drift from defence policy, writes Alan Dupont.

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Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer has welcomed the significant funding boost for higher education announced in the Federal Budget. Major wins for UNSW include $48 million for the College of Fine Arts and $20 million towards a new institute to fight HIV/AIDS.

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