More Than Fiscal

More Than Fiscal

The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability and Public Policy in Australia

Edited by: Andrew Podger orcid, Jane Hall orcid, Mike Woods

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Every five years, the Australian treasurer is required to publish an intergenerational report (IGR), which examines the long-term sustainability of current government policies and seeks to determine how demographic, technological and other structural trends might affect the economy and the budget in coming decades. Despite these lofty objectives, the five IGRs produced from 2002 have received only muted applause. Critics say that they are too mechanical, too narrow and too subject to the views of the government of the day and that they don’t provide the intended wake-up call for public understanding of looming economic, social and environmental issues.

This analysis of the most recent IGR (2021) is based on a workshop hosted by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. While finding that the 2021 IGR is an improvement on the previous report (2015), the authors identify several fiscal and broader policy issues that deserve greater attention, including Australia’s structural deficit, rising inequality and the impacts of climate change. They argue that the report fails to discuss the policies required to support greater resilience against future shocks, including the case for earlier budget repair. They propose that future IGRs be prepared with greater independence, cover all levels of government, have more transparent analysis and draw upon a wider ‘wellbeing’ approach to long-term sustainability.

This book aims to attract close attention from public officials and politicians and generate constructive debate in the community.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
May 2023
ANU Press
Business & Economics; Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies, Social Policy & Administration

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More Than Fiscal »

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  1. Making the Intergenerational Report More Relevant and Useful (PDF, 0.1MB)Andrew Podger, Jane Hall, Mike Woods and Dennis Trewin doi
  2. Origin and Evolution of Australia’s Intergenerational Reports (PDF, 0.2MB)Mike Woods doi
  3. The Intergenerational Report Should Be More Frank and Fearless about Fiscal Sustainability (PDF, 0.2MB)Steven Hamilton doi
  4. The Demography of the Five Intergenerational Reports (PDF, 0.5MB)Peter McDonald doi
  5. Retirement Incomes: Increasing Inequity, Not Costs, across Generations Is the Intergenerational Problem (PDF, 0.2MB)Andrew Podger, Robert Breunig and John Piggott doi
  6. The Future of Social Security (PDF, 0.1MB)Peter Whiteford doi
  7. Australia’s Housing System and Intergenerational Sustainability (PDF, 0.5MB)Rachel Ong ViforJ doi
  8. Situating Social Developments within Intergenerational Reports (PDF, 0.2MB)John McCallum, Lindy Orthia and Diane Hosking doi
  9. Health and Aged Care in the Intergenerational Report (PDF, 0.3MB)Diane Gibson, John Goss and Jane Hall doi
  10. The Intergenerational Report and Climate Change (PDF, 0.7MB)David Pearce doi
  11. The Future of the Intergenerational Report (PDF, 0.1MB)Richard Holden doi

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