Stephen Walters, NSW Chief Economist, gave an excellent presentation at EY for the Sydney Financial Forum about the Australian economy and its prospects. Due to strong headwinds affecting energy prices, as well as inflation related to events in the Ukraine and China, he stressed the need for reform to improve productivity. Areas he considered need major reforms are:
Employment of Women
Energy - in ST ensure available supply meets demand. LT make transition to net zero
Make it easier for people to enter the housing market
Connect universities with ideas to possibilities for commercialisation
The Federal Treasurer is now in the important stages of
preparation for his May Budget. As he does this, he needs to address a
structural deficit and chart a path back to the surplus required to reduce debt
accumulated during the COVID shutdowns. Additionally, the growing costs of the
NDIS and an ageing population need to be funded.
There are significant political hurdles to overcome in
making the hard revenue and spending choices needed to overcome the structural
deficit. Only through effective engagement of the population can the hard
decisions be made in a way that neutralises the political risks.
Albanese’s Labor Government is having an extended honeymoon.
The Liberals are still agonising over losing power.
Both parties suffer a “relevance deficit” for most
Australians. They represent dogma driven by left vs right historical positions,
labour vs capital, and conservatism vs progressive. Their structures and processes reflect the last
century’s society and cannot collect, digest and build community consensus on complex
issues effectively enough to serve the best interests of today’s Australia.
Australia needs a party that can lead open and broad community
dialogue, listen and then present evidence-based policies to the electorate
that meet the “common interest” test.