‘Treasury figures massaged for politics’

The Melbourne Institute’s Intergen +10 conference was quite the feisty affair on Friday.

The conference was held to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Treasury’s first Intergenerational Report (IGR). The IGR has had an important role in shaping the public discourse and policy debate on population ageing in Australia and the Melbourne Institute desired to highlight the importance of the three IGR’s that have been produced in the last decade.

 The panel of speakers gathered in the Shine Dome in Canberra examined a number of different economic and social aspects of ageing policy and the debate got heated as two of Australia’s leading macro economists argued about growth rates.

Adrian Pagan, Professor of Economics, at Sydney University and David Gruen, the Treasury’s head of economics had a spirited debate after Professor Pagan, who is a former member of the Reserve Bank board, said the Treasury had used the ‘unbelievable’ budget forecasts that the global financial crisis would be followed by a run of 4 per cent to 4.5 per cent growth in its 2010 Intergenerational Report.

 Leading figures from the business and economics media were in attendance at the conference and the debate was covered in a news and editorial comment in the Australian. Have a listen to the audio below to hear the debate.

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