• Education spending has fallen from 5.6% of GDP in 1992-93 to 4.5% in 1998-99. School retention rate has fallen from 77% in 1993 to 72% in 1998. Wages paid to a typical NSW government teacher have fallen from 60% above average weekly earnings (AWE) 15 years ago to marginally below AWE. At Maccquarie University this year’s entrance score (UAI) for a Bachelor of Education degree at 70.1 was the lowest required by the University. The highest was 98.5 for actuarial/legal studies.
• Credit growth for the year to March was a high 11% to 12% — housing 16%, personal 17.2%, business 7.4%. Consumer credit growth rate has risen steadily over three years from 7%pa to 17% p.a.
• Several major offshore oil and gas projects involving $25 billion are said to be in danger of being delayed or cancelled through government inaction concerning depreciation rates and greenhouse issues.
• Bringing 4000 Kosovars to Australia last year cost $100 million compared with $40 million humanitarian aid to East Timor this year and $1million for the 1998 PNG tsunami. Publicising the GST and tax changes is to cost $410 million.
• About 40,000 wealthy people use trust and private company structures to minimise income and thus qualify for welfare payments, costing the Budget $100 million p.a.
• Different economic growth rates have changed, and will continue to change quite dramatically. In just 12 years the share received by OECD countries has fallen from 76% to 55%, that of Russia from 4% to 1.6%, while the non-OECD Asia share has jumped from 7% to 24%. The next ten years are forecast to increase the share of world income of non-OECD Asia to 29.4% at the expence of OECD countries whose share is expected to continue to fall to 48.6%.
— Australian Economic Trends (June 2000), prepared by Emeritus Professor A.H. Pollard for the Lumley Corporation