find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
New approach to national debt could hurt ‘most needy’

New approach to national debt could hurt ‘most needy’


Pinsent Masons has warned that the federal Treasurer’s proposed clarification of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt in the upcoming budget could be a mixed blessing.

Pinsent Masons recently made a statement welcoming the federal government’s proposal to change the way it reports on national debt.

However, the firm is concerned about how much preparation will take place to inform the public about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt before the release of the 2017-18 federal budget on 9 May.

“Pinsent Masons welcomes any proposed action by the federal government which will result in more funding being available to deliver productivity-enhancing infrastructure in Australia, while simultaneously increasing accountability of Australian public servants and departments for the resulting increase in public debt, and the interest payments that go with it,” said the firm’s Australian head David Rennick.

Mr Rennick said the proposed changes could result in an increased understanding of the benefit of debts that fund productivity-enhancing infrastructure.

This may lead to increased government investment in such infrastructure, for example state-of-the-art rail networks allowing people to live further from major cities but still commute there for work.

“However, there is a real danger that the federal government will not have done enough preparatory explanatory work before the release of the 2017-18 budget on 9 May to clearly, concisely and simply explain to the Australian public, rating agencies and foreign investors the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt,” Mr Rennick said.

He flagged that the government could use this opportunity to cast investments in people, such as health, education and social security, as bad debts.

“It could open the door to the politically motivated redirection of focus away from the need for ‘good’ debt and investment towards a perceived government attack on arguably the most needy in Australia,” Mr Rennick said.

“That is, those in the community who rely on government support funded by, in the Treasurer’s terms, ‘bad’ debt. 

“The categorisation of the funding for such support as ‘bad’ debt, with its echoes of the results of the abuses by the finance industry leading to the GFC, is not particularly helpful.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

New approach to national debt could hurt ‘most needy’
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...