Corporate giants to front Senate over bribery

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker 3:41 PM   Some of corporate Australia's top figures, including former executives from BHP Billiton and Leighton Holdings, are set to be called to a Senate inquiry and grilled about allegations the firms bribed foreign officials.

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Latest political news

States unite to warn of legal funding crisis

State and territory Attorneys-General have written to Senator George Brandis over a funding crisis for legal assistance.

James Massola, Michaela Whitbourn, Richard Willingham 4:52 PM   Liberal and Labor state Attorneys-General have banded together to warn federal counterpart George Brandis that a "crisis" in legal assistance funding will hurt the most vulnerable members of the community.

Silence as Abbott seeks 'final call' on duo

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a candlelight vigil for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran at Parliament House on Thursday.

Heath Aston 9:39 PM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has so far been rebuffed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in his request for a "final call" to plead for the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Julie Bishop to personally grill ambassador

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Latika Bourke 3:42 PM   Foreign Minister Julie Bishop plans to haul in the Indonesian Ambassador as soon as he returns to Canberra to personally protest against the "degrading treatment" of Bali nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Tax cuts off the table as revenues lag

"It is difficult for individual governments to control the collective impact of human activity globally": Intergenerational Report.

Mark Kenny, James Massola 3:36 PM   Income tax cuts flagged for 2017 are off the table and are unlikely to be granted for another six years as federal government revenues continue to lag behind pre-GFC levels.

Productivity assumptions 'overly optimistic'

work

Gareth Hutchens 3:37 PM   The 2015 intergenerational report has assumed that average annual labour productivity growth will be 1.5 per cent over the next four decades in Australia.

Report 'ignores' climate change

Treasurer Joe Hockey delivers the 2015 Intergenerational Report .

Lisa Cox 12:11 AM   It sets out the challenges Australia will face for the next 40 years, but the intergenerational report has come under scrutiny for skimming over one subject: climate change.

Dole, disability spending to drop

Social Services minister Scott Morrison released the McClure report on welfare reform at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday 25 February 2015. Photo: Andrew Meares

Judith Ireland 8:55 AM   Spending on the dole and disability support pension is on track to drop over the next 40 years, even if the government's harsh budget measures like the six-month Newstart wait for under 30s are not implemented, according to Treasury projections.  

Health spending to soar but causes surprise

medical

Dan Harrison 3:39 PM   Federal government health spending will more than double in real terms over the next four decades.

Health department criticised over $15b deal

 Pharmacy

Dan Harrison 3:40 PM   The federal health department has been criticised by the Australian National Audit Office for its administration of a $15 billion agreement with pharmacists.

Comment & Analysis

Bruised and battered, Abbott has lightened up

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny 5:43 AM   Abbott's near-death-experience has resulted in some positive developments which could benefit the country.

Comments 230

Hockey's propaganda is an opportunity lost

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Ross Gittins 9:07 AM   The five-yearly intergenerational report ought to be highly informative, leading to serious debate

Pace of change for women's equality is glacial

Illustration: Matt Davidson.

Kate Jenkins 12:00 AM   The unfulfilled aspirations of women will remain until men help to effect change.

Comments 4

Time to keep funding research infrastructure

csiro thumb

Andrew Holmes and Alan Finkel   Imagine if the Australian government said it would stop paying train drivers. There would be a public outcry. It's hard to think of anything more wasteful.

Comments 24

How Labor was framed with report

Treasurer Joe Hockey

Peter Martin   How much worse under Labor? The Intergenerational Report tells us that had Labor's programs continued uninterrupted, the deficit would have hit $534 billion by 2055.

Bewdy, no climate change until 2055

"It is difficult for individual governments to control the collective impact of human activity globally": Intergenerational Report.

Gareth Hutchens   Climate change is no longer a serious problem, apparently.

Bomb Islamic State: is that our only strategy?

Waleed Aly dinkus. Dinkus

Waleed Aly 8:59 AM   Our military strategy is to bomb IS from the air and send troops in to Iraq to help train mainly Shiite forces. But we also need a political strategy.

Comments 189

The future won't be as bleak as you think

"It is difficult for individual governments to control the collective impact of human activity globally": Intergenerational Report.

Peter Martin   The biggest economic challenge facing Australia in 40 years time will be a shortage of workers. The finances aren't nearly as challenging.

Baby Boomers put the boot in to young people

Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Nicholas Reece   Abbott and Hockey talk of intergenerational theft, yet they seek to deny young people the benefits of government largesse that their generation enjoyed more than any other group in history.

Tunnel vision for taxi drivers and Tony Abbott

Elizabeth Farrelly dinkus Dinkus

Elizabeth Farrelly   My taxi-driver recently had a little rave. Cabbies, he confided, have special knowledge – sites of the traffic-jams du jour, that sort of thing. They also know how to talk to people, tailoring the topic to the type. I knew then it'd get interesting.

Ugly parallels between two policies

Simon Longstaff oped dinkus

Simon Longstaff   The death penalty and the indefinite detention of asylum seekers are both examples of the cruel maxim "the ends justify the means".

Comments 222

Senator Rhiannon's speech crosses line

Paul Sheehan.

Paul Sheehan   When it comes to ethical violence, the Liberals are adept at bastardry, Labor is legendary for incubating hatred and vengeance, and the Nationals, benign by comparison, have a weakness for pork-barrelling. The Greens manage to trump this field.

Right message, wrong time

Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Peter Martin   The economy hasn't had a run as weak as this year's, yet after three straight quarters of exceedingly weak economic growth we are about to be told we've got to tighten our belts.

Australian government has done what it could

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Mark Kenny   Tony Abbott has been criticised for the perceived overreach of invoking Australia's billion dollar aid to Indonesia following the Boxing Day tsunami as he tried to save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the firing squad.

Why prime ministers hate leadership polls

Sally Young.

Sally Young   Political polls have been used in Australia since the 1940s, when Robert Menzies first took exception to the calculated blow they can deliver.

Comments 30

Reserve Bank fears weakening economy

Peter Martin dinkus Dinkus

Peter Martin   Tuesday's RBA board meeting has considered new data released since its last meeting showing much lower than expected investment intentions for the third quarter of this year.

Will our policies drive people to radicalism?

What will be the cost of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's efforts to rescue us from the threat of terrorism?

Clarke Jones   The government shows little understanding of the the underlying causes of terrorism.

Comments 5

Time to revisit Medicare reform conversation

Leave politics aside and focus on the truth about Medicare.

Terry Barnes   Let's leave politics aside and focus on the truth about Medicare.

Reservations on bulk-billing remain

Health Minister Sussan Key announces the withdrawal of the GP co-payment on Tuesday.

Dan Harrison   The dreaded Medicare co-payment may be gone, but the Abbott government has not abandoned its belief that those who can afford to pay more for their healthcare should do so.

How the government will scare us this week

Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Peter Martin   The intergenerational report is meant to inform us about future possibilities, but instead it's about to become another means by which to frighten us.

Abbott and Shorten: champions of equality

Virginia Haussegger dinkus

Virginia Haussegger   Winning over men, including political leaders, might be the best chance of improving the lot of women around the world.

Comments 31

Special features

Tony Abbott bounces back

Tony Abbott has finished the political week looking a lot better than when he started it, says Canberra bureau chief Chris Johnson.

Tony Abbott - support all around!

Rocco Fazzari Malcolm Turnbull shows Tony Abbott just what friends are for.

Hockey's propaganda is an opportunity lost

The five-yearly intergenerational report ought to be highly informative, leading to serious debate.

Bomb Islamic State: is that our only strategy?

Waleed Aly Our military strategy is to bomb IS from the air and send troops in to Iraq to help train mainly Shiite forces. But we also need a political strategy.

Bruised and battered, Abbott has lightened up

Mark Kenny Abbott's near-death-experience has resulted in some positive developments which could benefit the country.

Country boy Ricky wows them in the Senate

Tony Wright He may have taken eight months and four days to get around to making his first parliamentary speech, but Ricky Muir, Senator, found the words that could make him a treasure .

Baby Boomers put the boot in to young people

Nicholas Reece Abbott and Hockey talk of intergenerational theft, yet they seek to deny young people the benefits of government largesse that their generation enjoyed more than any other group in history.

The day in politics from Parliament House

Hello and welcome to the last day of the (political) week. But first we must get through the Intergenerational Report.

Clear parallels between death penalty and 'Stop the Boats' policy

The death penalty and the indefinite detention of asylum seekers are both examples of the cruel maxim "the ends justify the means".

Post-it not. How the sticky-note helps public servants evade scrutiny

The humble Post-It note has emerged as a powerful weapon used by the Australian Public Service to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny and Freedom of Information laws.

Senator Rhiannon's speech crosses line

When it comes to ethical violence, the Liberals are adept at bastardry, Labor is legendary for incubating hatred and the Nationals have a weakness for pork-barrelling. The Greens manage to trump this field.

The Pulse live from Parliament 

Hello and welcome to another day in federal politics. Thanks for your company.

Mother of killed Australian speaks

Heath Aston The mother of the first Australian to die in battle against Islamic State has spoken of her heartbreak in discovering her son was fighting for the Kurds in Syria.

Why prime ministers hate leadership polls

Sally Young Political polls have been used in Australia since the 1940s, when Robert Menzies first took exception to the calculated blow they can deliver.

Journalists the collateral in clampdown

Matthew Knott New restrictions at Parliament House that are designed to improve security have the potential to impede on the freedom of the press.

Abbott climbs off the canvas, Shorten throws air punches

Tony Wright There comes a moment in certain prize fights when the contestant least-liked by the crowd goes down, spitting blood, both eyes all but closed.

Activist videos take on environmental track record of Adani mining company

Lisa Cox Activist group GetUp launches video campaign against Adani, the Indian company behind the development of Australia's biggest coal terminal at Abbot Point.

The Pulse live from Parliament House

Stephanie Peatling Hello more. More troops are going to Iraq but the GP co payment is gone. Who says there is not enough focus on policy?