INCREASING GLOBAL TAX TRANSPARENCY
The Albanese Government is delivering on its promise to make multinational companies pay their fair share with consultations opening on exposure draft legislation to establish one of the world’s most comprehensive public country-by-country reporting regimes.
Public country-by-country reporting will provide the community with a better understanding of how much tax multinationals pay relative to their activities. It puts the onus on multinationals to be upfront about where they pay tax and how they plan their tax strategies.Read more
MERGER POLICY IS CRITICAL
Everyone benefits from healthy competition
Competition is about giving Australians more choice.
For workers, genuine competition between businesses provides greater opportunities to switch jobs, allowing them to make the most of their skills and secure better pay and conditions.
For consumers, competition provides more choice, allowing people to shop around and find better-value products and services. There is no better tool than competition policy for keeping real prices down.
Competition is also crucial if Australia is to make the most of the big shifts around digitalisation, growth in the care economy and the net zero transformation.
Joint Media Release with
Member for Canberra
Member for Bean
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
KEEPING THE AIS IN CANBERRA IS A WIN FOR AUSTRALIAN SPORT
As the federal representatives of the ACT’s three federal electorates, we welcome the Government’s decision to accept the recommendation of the Independent Review into the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Infrastructure to keep the AIS in Canberra.
As we argued in our joint submission to the Independent Reviewers, Ms Erin Flaherty and Ms Robyn Smith OAM; the AIS has a proud history of sporting excellence and its future is in Canberra.
Keeping the AIS in Canberra avoids the considerable costs of relocation and allows those resources to instead be reinvested in upgrading and updating its facilities. It involves less disruption to the training regimes of athletes preparing for upcoming Olympic and Paralympic games.Read more
Using Artificial Intelligence For Economic Research: An Agricultural Odyssey
68th Annual Conference of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society
Australian National University, Canberra
7 February 2024
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose lands we're meeting today and acknowledge all First Nations people present.
I am delighted to be here with you this morning to address the 68th Annual Conference of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. Founded in 1957, the Society has a long history of supporting economists and social scientists in Australasia to develop the knowledge and networks to tackle key challenges in applied economics, from agriculture to environment, to food, resources and agribusiness.
It's a pleasure to be back on the Australian National University campus for today’s conference. Not since 2010 have I been an economics professor, but I occasionally get to play one on stage. As you’ll soon see, I’ve leaned into that role today. Thank you for giving me the chance to crunch some data for your edification and entertainment. I haven’t written many economics papers that touch on agricultural issues, so I like to think that my teachers at James Ruse Agricultural High School would appreciate me finally putting my schooling to good use.
One of the pleasures of being an economist is analysing real-world problems. Yet the tools and techniques for conducting applied economic research are changing fast.
Today, I want to briefly discuss some of the opportunities and challenges that machine-learning algorithms present for applied economic research, and how those show up when we use them seeking to analyse the world.
This is vital because how we conduct economic research will drive our responses to critical issues confronting the Australasian and global community, such as biosecurity, climate change, environmental degradation and energy system transitions.
WHY MANY PAY TOO MUCH FOR FLIGHTS, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM MORE AFFORDABLE
A high-performing aviation sector is critical to Australia's way of life, connecting people and communities, while supporting economic activity and employment across regions.
Australia accounts for around 1.7 cent of global economic activity. Given this, we benefit greatly from adopting and modifying innovation from overseas. Swiftly bringing new ideas and products into our economy has been a major driver of economic growth for decades - and will continue to be so into the future. Travel is an important mechanism for sharing ideas, even in a post-pandemic world.
A healthy aviation sector means we can be better connected to the rest of the world, better equipped to adopt innovations and better able to help diffuse new ideas within Australia. In short, the aviation sector has large spillovers to other sectors, not just in obvious areas like tourism but right across the economy.
Using detailed microdata from the private sector and the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics, Omer Majeed from the Competition Taskforce in Treasury has teamed up with Professor Robert Breunig at the Australian National University to examine how competition has changed over time and the impact on aviation activity and prices. In an Australian context, it adds to the relatively limited evidence base demonstrating the relationship between competitive pressures and consumer prices.
The results show a strong relationship between competition and airfares. When one airline services a route, airfares average 39.6c per kilometre. With two competing airlines, the average fare drops to 28.2c. With three competitors, to 19.2c. In other words, the price per kilometre is halved when three competitors fly a route compared with the situation when there is only a single monopoly airline. With four or five competitors, the price drops further still.
The Albanese Government has formally issued a direction to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to investigate pricing and competition in the supermarket sector to ensure Australians are paying a fair price for their groceries.
The inquiry – the first of its kind since 2008 – will investigate the competitiveness of retail prices and allegations of price gouging in the supermarket sector.
It’s an important part of the Government’s broader efforts to boost competition and put downward pressure on the price of essentials for Australians, including a review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct and the Competition Review’s focus on cost‑of‑living initiatives.
Matters to be considered by the ACCC will include, but will not be limited to:
- The current structure of the supermarket industry at the supply, wholesale and retail levels;
- Competition in the industry and how it has changed since 2008, including the growth of online shopping;
- The competitiveness of small and independent retailers, including regional and remote areas;
- The pricing practices of supermarkets;
- Factors influencing prices along the supply chain, including the difference between farmgate and supermarket prices;
- Any impediments to competitive pricing along the supply chain; and
- Other factors impacting competition, including loyalty programs and third‑party discounts.
GETTING ON WITH THE JOB
One of the great things about a sports-filled summer is that we get to spend plenty of time playing the armchair critic.
Unfortunately, some people take this a little too far. Nationals leader David Littleproud (SM, Jan 21) criticised Labor's actions to address the cost-of-living challenges, conveniently failing to admit that the Coalition squibbed it in government and has opposed cost-of-living relief from the opposition benches.
Since coming to office, the Albanese government has been hard at work examining Australia's competition law and policies to make up for the Coalition's negligence.
FROM CHANCE TO CHANGE: LEVERAGING RANDOMISED TRIALS AND DATA SCIENCE FOR POLICY SUCCESS
Human Technology Institute Shaping Our Future Symposium, University of Technology Sydney
Thursday, 1 February 2024
I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and all First Nations people present today. Thank you for the opportunity to speak at the Human Technology Institute’s Shaping Our Future Symposium. I share the Institute’s goal of ‘building a future that applies human values to new technology’, and thank you for your willingness to partner and engage with Government as part of the myGov advisory group and on issues such as AI regulation.
Each year thousands of patients miss their hospital appointments.
It costs money – contributes to backlogs and delays – and means that appointments cannot be allocated to others in need.
Some 15 per cent of outpatient appointments at St Vincent’s Hospital – just down the road in Darlinghurst – use to be missed each year, despite patients being sent reminders.Read more
ABC PERTH DRIVE
TUESDAY, 30 JANUARY 2024
SUBJECTS: New Treasury research on competition in the airline industry.
JO TRILLING, HOST: As the new year begins you might be thinking about booking a holiday and living here means travelling by air does not come cheap. Well, a new government study has been looking at airline competition and has found that airfares drop significantly when two or more airlines compete against each other, which means bigger savings. I don't think that's news to anybody. Well, Andrew Leigh is Labor's Assistant Competition Minister. He says more competition equals lower prices and more flexible travel options for you.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARTIES, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Ever since Adam Smith we've known that more competition means lower prices. But this quantifies the impact on the domestic airline market. It shows that if you've got a monopoly carrier flying a route, then airline passengers pay on average 39 cents per kilometre. If you've got three carriers, that drops down to 19 cents per kilometre and it drops further still as you get four or five carriers on a route.
One of the other things that the study shows is that even in anticipation of a new competitor coming into a route, prices fall. So, Australians really benefit from greater domestic airline competition, which is one of the reasons that the Government's bringing out an Aviation White Paper and putting in place a slots review to make sure that the slots are allocated in a way that doesn't lock in the incumbents and lock out the challengers. Perth's distance from the rest of the country does make domestic aviation competition important and Perth's international engagement means that more international carriers really matter.
CHOCOLATE, CARTELS & COMPETITION
One of the summer’s box office hits is Wonka – the prequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Without giving too much away, it’s the tale of how Willy Wonka takes on the chocolate cartel of Slugworth, Fickelgruber and Prodnose.
Between them, the cartel controls the chocolate market. Prices are kept high. Innovators are kept out. Big chocolate has the police in its pocket, and is willing to use every bitter trick to preserve its sweet control over the market.
For many Australian consumers, Wonka will resonate. Over recent years, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken action against anti-competitive behaviour in pharmaceuticals, finance, waste disposal and building construction. When so-called competitors collude, the public pays the price.Read more