Terrence O'Brien

Policy report

Implications of the Retirement Income Review: public advocacy of private profligacy?

The recent Retirement Income Review (RIR) implies policies that would reduce after-tax returns to super saving, encourage faster spending of life savings and of equity in the family home, and minimise bequests. This paper argues that the RIR relies on contested Treasury ‘tax expenditure’ estimates...
Policy report

Policies against COVID-19: reflections on the way in and the way out

This report argues that Australia’s rapid successful suppression of the COVID-19 pandemic has come at huge cost. The benefits have been won, and now must be defended at a sustainable cost. It is impossible to envisage new infections being driven to zero at any supportable...
Policy report

Voting for a living: a shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes?

This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour.