Author Archives: Henry Ergas

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.

Same-sex marriage survey suffers from incomplete information

Today in The Australian The continuing crisis in Catalonia highlights once again the dangers plebiscites pose to social coherence and stability. By reducing complex problems to simple questions, they can exacerbate divisions rather than build agreement, while worsening the tyranny … Continue reading

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German election: Merkel loses out in backlash over refugees

Today in The Australian Having won a fourth term, Angela Merkel has secured a place in the pantheon of German chancellors alongside her fellow conservatives Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl. But there is no denying that the coalition she leads … Continue reading

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Shrinking, atomised working class reshapes politics

Today in The Australian Tomorrow “Jacindamania” could propel Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Labour Party’s 37-year-old leader, into the prime ministership. No doubt local factors will play a role: having been in gov­ernment almost a decade, the ­National Party, despite … Continue reading

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Australian citizenship is qualification enough to serve in parliament

Today in The Australian If so many parliamentarians risk being disqualified under section 44(1) of the Constitution, it is ­because parliament’s composition broadly reflects that of Australian society. With 49 per cent of Australia’s population either born overseas or having … Continue reading

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Ghosts of the GFC haunting our fragile economies

Today in The Australian On August 9, 2007, France’s biggest listed bank, BNP Paribas, froze €1.6 billion worth of funds backed by subprime mortgages, signalling the beginning of the global financial crisis.

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Predictable NBN errors replicated in renewable energy sector

Today in The Australian The problem with the National Broadband Network was always very simple. The project’s goals were worthy: to provide a new, albeit extremely costly, high-speed network, earn a reasonable return on taxpayers’ investment and charge readily affordable … Continue reading

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Shorten’s fix for imaginary inequality issue is to tax the rich

Today in The Australian When Bill Shorten says “tax reform” what he means is the largest peacetime increase in tax rates since federation.

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Australian liberalism is conservative in sense Disraeli would appreciate

Today in The Australian A dogma, Groucho Marx might have said, is a man’s best friend. After all, no one could deny that a fixed set of beliefs can sustain good combat, soothe defeat and simplify hard choices.

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French election: Macron’s huge majority a misleading guide to France

Today in The Australian In Britain, voters split on left-right lines; in France, they moved to the centre. Little wonder the commentary has been all over the place, with some pundits claiming the swing to Jeremy Corbyn heralds a revival … Continue reading

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Liberals, tax your brains and drop the bank levy

Today in The Australian Let’s be clear: increasing taxes is not necessarily bad. After all, if we are genuinely unwilling to curb public spending, then we ought to pay for it rather than passing the bill to future generations.

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