Federal Budget

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We need to support our world-class researchers and research infrastructure to create knowledge and innovation, rather than putting future wealth and well-being at risk by plundering science for short-term savings, writes Les Field.

Budget

We can’t expect the budget to be a perfect predictor of debt and deficits – not even one year ahead. But we should at least make sure we’re not conned by the treasurer, or commentators, writes Richard Holden.

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We know perfectly well how to reduce inequality and tackle political favouritism and rent-seeking. The question is almost entirely one of political will, write Gigi Foster and Paul Frijters.

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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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