National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: Helen Silver
Date: Tue 12 Feb 2019

Helen Silver AO

Helen Silver AO

Helen Silver is a Chief General Manager at Allianz Australia, with a major role in the oversight and delivery of Workers’ Compensation services for Allianz across Australia.

Helen Silver has had a long and distinguished a career in both public and private sectors including as Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 2008 to 2013. Prior to her role as DPC Secretary, Helen Silver had Senior Business roles in the National Australia Bank. Helen Silver’s public sector career covered both State and Commonwealth Governments.

Helen is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. Helen is a Director of the MSO and a Trust member of the Arts Centre Trust and a member of the Judicial Commission of Victoria.

Helen has a B.Ec (1st class honours) and M.Ec both from Monash University.

In 2015 Helen was made an Officer of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to Public Administration; Business and Commerce and the Victorian Community

Responses (9)

Australia’s top economists back carbon price, say benefits of net-zero outweigh cost

Poll 50

Ahead of November’s Glasgow climate talks, our panellists were asked

"Australia would likely benefit overall from the national economy transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050"

Photo credit "Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND"


An economy-wide carbon price (either via a cap-and-trade scheme or an emissions tax)


Top economists want JobSeeker boosted by $100+ per week and tied to wages

Poll 44

"Ahead of a decision about any permanent increase expected early next year, The Conversation and the Economic Society of Australia asked 45 of Australia’s leading economists where they thought JobSeeker should settle."

Photo credit : Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND


Be indexed in line with wages

The supplement is important both to support low income households in a time of high unemployment and to provide additional economic stimulus to the economy

Does the budget rebuild our economy and create jobs?

Poll 43

"On 6 October, the Government delivered a budget designed, in the Treasurer's words, to 'rebuild our economy and create jobs'.  What grade would you give the budget given the objective?  A, B, C, D, E, F"

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 



October Budget 2020 - preferred four programs

Poll 42 

"The October budget will see the government announce additional policies to support recovery.  Please nominate the four programs you think would be the most effective (for an intervention of a given size) over the next two years"

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 


Permanently boosting JobSeeker (Newstart) beyond December 31, 2020, Incentives for renewable energy, More funding for education and training, Increasing subsidies for child care

The aim of the priorities is to increase female workforce participation, increase skills capabilities (especially digital skills) , increase consumption of low income households and investments in lower energy emissions.

Government Debt during the COVID19 Crisis

Poll 40

"Governments should provide ongoing fiscal support to boost aggregate demand during the economic crisis and recovery, even if it means a substantial increase in public debt"

Photo Credit: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND 


Strongly agree


The current economic crisis has been largely driven by the consequences of managing the health crisis.

Social Distancing Measures, May 2020

Poll 38

"The benefits to Australian society of maintaining social distancing measures sufficient to keep R<1 for COVID-19 are likely to exceed the costs"


Strongly agree


The costs if there is a second wave of infections both to the health system and the economy require we enforce the social distancing measures advised by the government.

Waste Policy - August 2018

Poll 32

"There are clear net benefits for Australians from (further) increasing the diversion of waste from Australian landfills."




Journalism as a public good - January 2018

Poll 25

Proposition 1: "The modern phenomena of information overload and social-media-fuelled 'fake news' bring into focus the value of quality journalism. Quality journalism has a public-good dimension that warrants public support."

Proposition 2: "The Australian government presently provides funding for the ABC and SBS, Australia's independent public broadcasters. The Australian government should increase its financial support of quality journalism."


1 - Strongly agree

2 - Agree

Public borrowing for infrastructure investment - September 2017

Poll 22

"As interest rates are at low levels by historical standards, federal and state governments, despite their public debt levels, should be borrowing more than they currently are to invest in infrastructure"




Appropriate and manageable debt levels are crucial to supporting strong credit ratings for Government Budgets and as well assist in maintaining fiscal discipline. Currently in Victoria and NSW government infrastructure investment is already at historical highs while maintaining a triple A credit rating for example in Victoria government infrastructure investment will be averaging $9.6b over the next 4 years compared to an average of $5.6b a year over the decade to 2016-17.