The Commonwealth Treasury

Press release - Treasury Economic Roundup: Winter 2005

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The Winter 2005 edition of the Treasury Economic Roundup will be released on Thursday 1 September.

The first article, Fiscal sustainability and pre-funding strategies in OECD countries, examines how various OECD countries are addressing the challenges of demographic pressures. Governments can adopt a number of strategies, including modifying expenditure plans, taking steps to raise economic growth rates, raising taxes in the future, or undertaking activities to pre-fund the future liabilities. The paper focuses on the pre-funding strategies of OECD countries.

Aspects of Health promotion are described in the second article in this issue. As the population ages, this is an increasingly important aspect of promoting wellbeing. Using diabetes type 2 as a case study, this paper highlights the importance of measures to prevent, reduce or delay the onset of lifestyle-related chronic illness for enhancing and extending labour force participation, increasing productivity, and containing the growth in health and aged care expenditure.

The third article, Net tax thresholds for Australian families describes, for various individual tax payers and families, the income level at which their income tax liability exceeds their government cash benefits entitlement. Also examined is the distribution of Australian families who have incomes above or below this threshold; with analysis broken down by family structure, and by state, for the years 1996-97 and 2005-06.

Another article, Tax system complexity and compliance costs — some theoretical considerations takes a more theoretical approach. It describes how policy trade-offs and legislative and administrative design choices affect the complexity of the tax system. The paper also shows how taxpayer behaviour can contribute to complexity and compliance costs.

The regular article on Key themes from the Treasury business liaison programme summarises the views of companies. Retailers report mixed conditions. Mining companies are expanding production. Businesses plan to increase employment although they say that skill shortages are becoming more widespread. Contacts explained that wage increases are being variously met by productivity improvements, cuts in other costs and modest reductions in profitability.

The Roundup is available on Treasury’s internet home page ( from 10.00 am on Thursday 1 September. Hard copies will also be available the same day.

Copies may be purchased through CanPrint Infoservices. Details are as follows:

Over the counter at: 16 Nyrang St Fyshwick ACT

CanPrint (Infoservices) Telesales: Toll Free 1300 889 873

CanPrint (Infoservices) Mail Order Sales, PO Box 7456 Canberra MC ACT 2610

Annual subscriptions are also available by contacting the Roundup Publication Officer, National Mailing and Marketing Pty. Ltd., on 02 6229 6044.

30 August 2005

Contact: John Hawkins
Domestic Economy Division

Telephone: (02) 6263 3748