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Australia

Rushing to spend like Britain could leave us out in the cold

So is Australia really just a warmer version of England, as the immigration officer suggested to me 10 years ago? Probably not yet, if simply for the fact that in the past decade Australia has avoided the worst mistakes made in Britain. But if Rudd continues his New Labour-like policies, Australia may well become another Britain, if only without the snow. [...]

Santa Rudd is coming to town

For Australia’s mayors and shire presidents, Christmas came a bit earlier this year—on 18 November, to be precise. But Santa Claus did not come to town. Instead, the towns went to Santa, played by no other than the prime minister himself. Kevin Rudd clearly enjoyed his new role, handing out a total of $300 million in pre-Christmas giveaways at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government in Canberra. [...]

There’s no such thing as a free bus service, Mr Premier

Nathan Rees promised to make Sydneysiders' lives easier on Wednesday as he launched the off-peak bus service between Circular Quay and Central Station. "Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly which bus to catch if you're only going a few blocks in the city," he said. The buses will be free to use, courtesy of the Government. But is he making a positive contribution to public transport or is it a politician's pre-Christmas gimmick? [...]

Land supply at heart of home-front problems

For policymakers, the lesson is clear. If they are concerned about housing boom and bust cycles, they have to quash the expectation that house prices will continue to rise. To do that, they need to examine property markets with long records of house price stability, and learn from them how to ensure that when more housing is needed, more can be built. [...]

Capitalism: bruised but still champion

These are difficult times for liberals. The mood around the world is turning against them. Politicians find it easier to blame crazy economists and greedy managers for financial turmoil than to understand and fix their own mistakes. Free-marketers still have the evidence of economic history on their side, but they will have to make their case more forcefully from now on. They face a constant battle of ideas that can never be decisively won. But they can take consolation in the fact that today's swing to the left will not spell the end of history, let alone of capitalism. [...]

When Hassle Means Help

With the number of people out of work and living off benefits staying stubbornly above 4 million, policy makers are increasingly looking at new ideas to get people off welfare and into work. Especially because, since 1997, over £75 billion of Government funds has been ploughed into creating welfare to work programmes. When Hassle Means Help, with contributions from international welfare experts, examines why conditionality works well in other countries, such as the US, Sweden and Germany – why it isn’t working in the UK - and how governments can most effectively get people back into work. [...]

Mehr Schröder und Rudd, weniger Lafontaine und Dunwoody

Von Karl Marx wussten die Sozialisten, dass sich Geschichte zweimal ereignet: das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce. Heutige Sozialdemokraten können hingegen erleben, wie sich die Geschichte gleich mehrfach und an unterschiedlichen Orten wiederholt. Wie viel davon Tragödie und wie viel Farce ist, steht auf einem anderen Blatt. [...]

Paying for Success – How to make contracting out work in employment services

Policy Exchange commissioned research about five countries that have reformed the way in which they provide employment services to jobseekers: Australia, the United States (Wisconsin), Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. These countries are most frequently mentioned in welfare reform debates. Their experiences are assessed with regard to the lessons they hold for the UK by former Secretary of State for Social Security, Peter Lilley MP. [...]

She’ll be right, mate.

What do you do with a government that has created two million new jobs? That has halved inflation? Under which real wages went up 20 per cent? Which cut the national tax burden? Under which exports doubled? Kick it out. So said the Australian electorate last weekend. [...]

Bigger Better Faster More – Why some countries plan better than others

Following the success of Unaffordable Housing – Fables and Myths, which exposed the failings of Britain’s centrally planned system of development, Alan W. Evans and Oliver Marc Hartwich went on a journey in search of alternatives. Interviewing planners, politicians, real estate agents and academics in four countries – Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Australia – they uncovered how other countries succeed, and sometimes fail, to give people the housing they want. [...]