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Craig Emerson

Columnist

Craig Emerson is managing director of Emerson Economics. He is a distinguished fellow at the ANU, director of the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT and adjunct professor at Victoria University’s College of Business.

Craig Emerson

Today

Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi met in Bali during a G20 summit.

Liberal warriors don’t want a China reset

There are some on the right who thrive on the tension. And they insist that the breakdown is all Beijing’s fault.

This Month

It is not even clear which prices are falling and which are rising.

Why the RBA must not over-react and slam on the brakes

Smashing the demand for groceries in order to fix a supply side problem is a wrong-headed monetarist solution.

June

Finally, an energy plan is tackling the storage challenge

Battery investment has been mishandled by Coalition governments. Fortunately, there are plenty of small-scale options available.

Public servants will now be inside the door, not outside it.

The return of frank, fearless advice

The former Morrison government’s sidelining of public servants meant that Australian politics lost the benefit of their ideas and corporate memory.

May

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says that aspiration is part of his own story.

What to expect from the new Labor government

Some early down-payments on reform would be helpful, perhaps starting with industrial relations, where the parties had made good progress in 2020.

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Anthonoy Albanese proposes reform. Scott Morrison does not see the need.

It’s the Coalition, not Labor, who are economic reform laggards

Business people shouldn’t fall for claims that the Liberals are the party of reform and low taxes. History and the government’s own economic forecasts confirm this is wrong.

April

Scott Morrison has guaranteed no rax increases.

History belies Morrison’s tax promises

Coalition governments have been big taxers and big spenders. And now the present government’s post-pandemic sugar hit on the economy is running out.

At least Albanese has made a start on reform plans.

The nation needs a leader prepared to deliver much-needed reform

The Prime Minister does not acknowledge the underlying productivity problem in the economy, and describes reform as a vanity project.

March

Effective childcare is essential for national productivity.

Women are left holding the policy baby

Making it worthwhile for graduate mothers to work is not middle class welfare -- it is the only sane approach to childcare.

The Financial Review’s commentary was welcomed in PM Bob Hawke’s office.

Champion of an open, competitive economy

The principles that The Australian Financial Review has argued for over the decades are once again under threat.

Albo’s smart target election strategy

Labor’s release of a limited number of signature policies makes not only good political sense. It is economically responsible at a time of great uncertainty.

February

Major reform is needed to boost wages and productivity, economists say.

There is no strong economy without tax reform

Whichever party wins the coming federal election will need to take on the micro-economic reform challenge as the remaining stimulus wears off.

January

The RBA meeting on Tuesday will be closely watched for any reaction to the US Fed.

The RBA must hold its nerve

Only those still living in the 1970s would want the central bank to prematurely choke off wages growth when there is no cause to.

The system has too many disincentives to start a family.

How we can fix our fertility crisis

A skewed tax and transfer system actively penalises women for choosing to have children. Here are some essential changes.

Is the Coalition really the better economic manager?

Contradicting the Morrison government’s election rhetoric, the facts suggest Labor has a better recent track record on handling the books and reforming the economy.

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December 2021

Morrison’s new age of stagnation

Yes, the economy has rebounded -–but only to its pre-pandemic levels of unreformed mediocrity.

November 2021

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating: “We tried”.

Where’s Morrison’s ambition for Australia?

Scott Morrison’s transactional government seems merely to want to return to the rut of slow economic growth with no ideas for the future.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor speaks at the Australia pavilion during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

PM fans the climate wars again

The government’s threats of a $400 a tonne climate price are hollow. Their only purpose is a new election scare campaign.

By 2050, Australia will have no politicians in the Federal Parliament fondling lumps of coal.

How Morrison stifles carbon market forces

If the federal government can’t do anything constructive on climate change, it should at least get out of the way of those who can.

October 2021

The Nationals are not doing their farming constituents any favours.

When markets regulate the politicians

Hypocritical Nationals holdouts are exposing regional Australia to risk and robbing it of opportunity in the green industries that are coming.