Overall, the Australian welfare state performs two main functions – redistribution between rich and poor (the Robin Hood function), but it also provides insurance and consumption smoothing (the ‘piggy‐bank’ function). In Australia we tend to focus on the idea that the welfare state should mainly be about redistribution to the
The appropriate level and structure of public spending is high on the policy agenda. A recent Grattan Institute report Budget pressures on Australian governments argues that Australian Federal and State governments potentially face a combined annual deficit of around 4 per cent of GDP by 2023, of which around 2.
Throughout the hoopla of the Leadership Spill that wasn’t I was struck by how parlous politics in Australia had become. Then I wandered over to one of my regularly-read blogs, the ever-engaging Ezra Klein on The Washington Post, who highlighted the endemic nature of intransigence in the budget-making process