ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGING TAXATION ARRANGEMENTS TO WORKING HOLIDAY MAKERS
By Adam Steen and Victoria Peel
The Australian Government’s Working Holiday Maker program currently enables persons 18 to 30 years of age from selected countries to visit Australia for a working holiday. Empirical evidence suggests these visitors make a significant positive economic contribution to the economy. Recent changes in government policy involving Working Holiday Maker visa arrangements, including changes to taxation of Working Holiday Maker earnings, have the potential to change the attractiveness of Australia as a destination of these tourists. This paper addresses these changes and explores the possible implications for Working Holiday Makers, employers and the economy in general.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: RATE-CAPPING IN VICTORIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
By Joseph Drew and Brian Dollery
The new Victorian Government won the 2014 election on a platform to inter alia introduce a cap on council rates in all Victorian councils. This means that a rate-cap will be introduced beginning with the 2016/17 financial year, with future rises in rates pegged at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after this date. This paper provides a comparative empirical analysis of New South Wales local government – the only Australian local government system to operate a rate-pegging regime – and Victorian local government with respect to rate-capping. We find evidence to support the proposition that rate-capping has deleterious effects on municipal revenue effort, equity, debt and infrastructure maintenance. Moreover, our findings do not provide empirical evidence in support of the claim that rate-capping increases municipal efficiency. The paper concludes by considering various alternative public policy instruments to rate-capping.