John Freebairn

Budgeting for drought

Some forms of government assistance can help facilitate adjustment to drought, including support for those small-business families facing poverty, as well as helping people to make better decisions when it comes to planning and preparing. On the other hand, ad hoc handouts to farm businesses in the form of subsidies for interest, freight and transport can have undesirable effects in terms of Australia’s national productivity and equity. Read More

Three areas to reform federal-state financial relations

Simply reforming the allocation of the GST among states is not going to change the adverse effects of current Commonwealth-state financial arrangements, writes Professor John Freebairn. But there are other opportunities that could lead to higher living standards for all. Read More