While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.

Discussion paper

Austerity or prosperity? Policy options for resilience and recovery

Economic depressions Fiscal austerity Economic stimulus Fiscal policy Government expenditure State governments

The federal budget showed that the Coalition is committed to a private sector recovery with barely any additional government support to the unemployed, the public sector or older women – the hardest hit portion of the workforce. In Queensland, the LNP have claimed that they would balance the budget within four years without any increase in taxes, meaning that their plan is effectively to engage in austerity policies, while the state is in the deepest recession for 100 years.

In this discussion paper, the authors look at some mechanisms for improving the equity and efficiency of stimulus spending. For example, state and federal governments should put “gender on the tender” for public construction contracts to increase gender equity and productivity. Easy entry retraining schemes, for roles such as teaching assistants and allied health professionals, could provide workers with quick access to socially beneficial employment. And fixing the aged care sector would generate immediate jobs, as well as solving one of the great blights on our social infrastructure.

The current crisis is an opportunity to reduce inequalities and inefficiencies in the economy, and to prepare us for the next phase of economic development. This will rely on us shedding some misconceptions: that state employment is of less value than private sector work, that “the economy” is what businesses do, that roads and power stations are more economically productive than education and social care.

Publication Details
License type:
All Rights Reserved
Access Rights Type: