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Intergenerational reports ought to do more than scare us — they ought to spark action

By Danielle Wood, Chief executive officer, Grattan Institute
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The intergenerational reports are former treasurer Peter’s Costello’s fiscal future-proofing scheme — a five-yearly reminder that, without action, an ageing population and other changes will leave public finances looking ugly.

The fallout from COVID means Monday’s 2021 report projects a bigger sea of red ink than the previous 2015 report. It’s a useful reminder that lifting productivity, reforming age-based tax breaks, improving migration and confronting climate change are crucial to leaving a happier legacy for the next generation.

Let’s start with the bad news.

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