The Kouk's top 40 hits and misses

more Over the summer break, while fiddling through data bases, reading and just being interested in things, I unearthed a few quirky bits and pieces about the Australian economy, people, sport

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more Stephen Koukoulas has a rare and specialised professional experience over more than 25 years as an economist in Treasury, as Global Head of economic and market research, a Chief Economist
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THE LATEST FROM THE KOUK

The Coalition might as well face it they're addicted to tax

Thu, 21 May 2015

It is about as credible as believing the earth is flat, but there remains a common perception that the Labor Party is high taxing, while the Coalition is low taxing.

Mr Hockey’s budget last week smashed once and for all this perception with the simple fact that his own budget documents show how much Coalition governments rely high tax to pay for their pet projects.

As a share of GDP, Mr Hockeys budget documents show that the level of tax to GDP takes the following profile:

2014-15   21.9%
2015-16   22.3%
2016-17   22.7%
2017-18   23.0%
2018-19   23.4%

And even with that surge in tax revenue, the budget is still in deficit. Whoops.

Quiz Week 4: Win a copy of my book, Myth Busting Economics

Sun, 17 May 2015

It is week 4 of the quiz to win a copy of my book, Myth Busting Economics.

The first three quizzes have gone well. Two of the winners have been HSC economics students which is hugely impressive about their thought processes and teachers.

Now to week 4. All entries need to be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  before 12 noon on Wednesday, 20 May 2015. So please enter soon and I look foward to giving away another copy of my book.

Here is this week’s question.

According to the 2015-16 budget papers, what is the amount of government revenue (called receipts in Budget Statement number 10) Treasurer Joe Hockey is forecasting to collect in 2015-16? Answer to the nearest $million – ie $354,305 million.

Tie breaker 1:

In the budget papers, what is the economic forecast for real GDP growth in 2015-16?

Tie breaker 2:

What is the date of the next RBA Board meeting?

Tie breaker 3:

What will be the yield on the Australian 10 year government bond at close of business, Friday 22 May 2015. Note the current yield is 2.89 per cent.

So there it is. Get your entries in by the Wednesday deadline. All the best.