Robert Carling

Senior Fellow, Economics Program

Robert Carling

Expertise: taxation, government spending, fiscal policy, federalism

Robert Carling is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies. Robert is researching and writing about fiscal policy, taxation and federalism. Robert’s recent reports include Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes? (with co-author Terrence O’Brien) and Too Little; Too Late: Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia.

Prior to joining the CIS, Robert was Executive Director, Economic and Fiscal at the New South Wales Treasury from 1998 to 2006. Previous position have been with Commonwealth Treasury, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He holds academic qualifications in economics and finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Georgetown University and the University of Queensland.


Featured Publication

  • Myth vs Reality: The case against increasing Capital Gains Tax 05 March 2019 | PP18
    Australia’s capital gains tax (CGT) policy has been largely settled for almost 20 years. However, it has come under renewed scrutiny as a result of the Australian Labor Party’s federal election platform proposal to halve the 50% CGT discount and…...
    Australia’s capital gains tax (CGT) policy has been largely settled for almost 20 years. However, it has come under renewed scrutiny as a result of the Australian Labor Party’s federal election platform proposal to halve the 50% CGT discount and…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • 'Miracle man' faces economic reform test 16 June 2019 | The Canberra Times
    We’ve recently been hearing the term “miracle election” after the May poll result, but Australia has long been described in terms of another “miracle” – an economy that has enjoyed 27 years of growth. However, the economic miracle is looking…
    We’ve recently been hearing the term “miracle election” after the May poll result, but Australia has long been described in terms of another “miracle” – an economy that has enjoyed 27 years of growth. However, the economic miracle is looking…
    read more
  • Whither structural economic reform? 14 June 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Australia’s vaunted economic miracle is looking a bit ragged after another sluggish quarter. There is still growth, but barely enough to match population expansion; and not enough to stop unemployment from rising. There has been no shortage of advice to…
    Australia’s vaunted economic miracle is looking a bit ragged after another sluggish quarter. There is still growth, but barely enough to match population expansion; and not enough to stop unemployment from rising. There has been no shortage of advice to…
    read more
  • Fiscal stimulus wrong priority for tax cuts 31 May 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    When the re-elected Morrison government’s enlarged personal income tax cuts — as announced in the April budget — come before parliament for approval in July, they are likely to meet resistance in the Senate. It would help if everyone approached…
    When the re-elected Morrison government’s enlarged personal income tax cuts — as announced in the April budget — come before parliament for approval in July, they are likely to meet resistance in the Senate. It would help if everyone approached…
    read more
  • A form guide to Labor’s bold tax plans 17 May 2019 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
    Taxation has been a bigger issue in this election campaign than in any other since the GST-dominated elections of 1993 and 1998. Labor is upfront about seeking a net increase in taxation. This is a major point of differentiation from…
    Taxation has been a bigger issue in this election campaign than in any other since the GST-dominated elections of 1993 and 1998. Labor is upfront about seeking a net increase in taxation. This is a major point of differentiation from…
    read more
  • Tunnelling under federalism principles 10 May 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    As an election campaign issue, federalism doesn’t rate a mention. But commitments are being made in the campaign that disregards the principles of federalism and undermines its foundations more than ever before. We should all be concerned about this abuse.…
    As an election campaign issue, federalism doesn’t rate a mention. But commitments are being made in the campaign that disregards the principles of federalism and undermines its foundations more than ever before. We should all be concerned about this abuse.…
    read more

Publications

  • Dividend Franking Credit Refunds: principle vs revenue 12 February 2019 | PP16
    Under Australia’s dividend imputation system of taxation, since 2000 taxpayers whose franking credits exceed their tax liability have been paid a cash refund of the excess. The Labor opposition’s policy is to continue with the imputation system but to abolish cash refunds of excess franking credits, subject to a carve-out…...
    Under Australia’s dividend imputation system of taxation, since 2000 taxpayers whose franking credits exceed their tax liability have been paid a cash refund of the excess. The Labor opposition’s policy is to continue with the imputation system but to abolish cash refunds of excess franking credits, subject to a carve-out…
    READ MORE
  • Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes? 05 September 2018 | PP9
    This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour. The researchers use the Australian Bureau of Statistics’…...
    This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour. The researchers use the Australian Bureau of Statistics’…
    READ MORE
  • Too Little; Too Late: Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia 13 June 2018 | PP5
    The main thrust of the Government’s proposed personal income tax changes announced in the 2018-19 Budget is welcome, but they could be improved to better promote economic efficiency. Also, implementation should be brought forward, with the earlier revenue losses offset by tighter expenditure management. Specifically, the government’s proposal should be…...
    The main thrust of the Government’s proposed personal income tax changes announced in the 2018-19 Budget is welcome, but they could be improved to better promote economic efficiency. Also, implementation should be brought forward, with the earlier revenue losses offset by tighter expenditure management. Specifically, the government’s proposal should be…
    READ MORE
  • Cutting income tax: can we add the bacon to the hamburger and milkshake tax cuts? 15 April 2018 | PP1
    The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of automatic annual indexation of bracket…...
    The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of automatic annual indexation of bracket…
    READ MORE