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Opinion & Commentary

opinion

Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.  Communications Manager: Karla Pincott 0411 759 934

  • Settle in for Hockey’s budget horror show

    16 Dec 2014 | Business Spectator

    The review shows much to be concerned about in the fiscal outlook and exposes the weaknesses in the Abbott government’s first budget. Read More

  • Tony Abbott's budget strategy must be about getting back to basics

    08 Dec 2014 | Canberra Times

    It’s not enough to say you want to reset the budget debate, or to blame the carnival sideshow in the Senate. Read More

  • Indexing petrol excise makes it too easy for government to grow

    06 Nov 2014 | Business Spectator

    The Abbott government’s move to increase fuel excise duties without legislation raises questions of legitimacy not just about the way they are doing it but also about the principle of automatically indexing... Read More

  • Hockey’s tax receipts don’t reveal the deficit

    22 Jul 2014 | The Australian

    What do Joe Hockey's new tax receipts for individuals really tell us about what the government spends and receives? Read More

  • Scapegoating investors won’t slow up house prices

    10 Jul 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unless global real interest rates rise significantly in the future, the gains in house prices are unlikely to be unwound. Read More

  • Inflation must be in the tax review

    16 May 2014 | The Australian

    The cumulative effects of bracket creep are substantial and are best nipped in the bud each year rather than being allowed to build up. Read More

  • Levy and parental leave scheme make bad politics

    12 May 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    The temporary deficit tax has joined the gold-plated PPL scheme as a policy millstone around the neck of the Prime Minister. Read More

  • A short-term deficit levy plug does not fill a long-term hole

    30 Apr 2014 | The Australian Financial Review

    A temporary tax increase makes no economic sense. It makes no difference to what the deficit will be after the increase is removed. Read More

  • Raising tax revenue just to throw it away is no answer

    23 Apr 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    From troubling deficit figures in recent budgets, to dire predictions of blowouts in health and ageing spending in the intergenerational reports, and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson's warning of threats... Read More

  • Getting to the root of the 'tax crisis'

    21 Apr 2014 | Business Spectator

    Politicians have made promises that cannot be honoured from the existing tax base. Some may call that a revenue problem, but it is actually a spending problem. Read More

  • Don't blame foreigners for rising house prices

    20 Mar 2014 | The Age

    Shoddy tax laws, not Chinese investors, are driving up the prices of new dwellings. Read More

  • Tax cuts the way to go

    07 Aug 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Tax reform of the tax-reducing kind would give the Australian economy a long-lasting supply side boost. Read More

  • Reform and reduce: A hopeful tax mantra

    07 Aug 2013 | Business Spectator

    Tax reform seems destined to return to the policy agenda. Read More

  • Why tax-free imports are a retail red herring

    24 Jun 2013 | Business Spectator

    Retailers would be better served lobbying government for policies other than raising inefficient taxes on low value imports. Read More

  • It’s time for surgery: the public purse is in dire health

    26 Apr 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    Reducing inefficient spending may harm vested interests, but meaningful reform cannot occur if no one is ever allowed to be worse off. Read More

  • The magic pudding state

    23 Apr 2013 | The Drum

    Australians want government to spend more money on us, but we do not want to hand any more of our cash over to the tax office. Read More

  • Better ideas than raising super guarantee

    28 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Is compulsory super improving retirement incomes and reducing future demands on the budget from an ageing population? Read More

  • Fairness is not equality

    26 Nov 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Income equality is not achievable, it is not desirable and it is not fair. Read More

  • Self-sustaining leviathan

    23 Oct 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    How does Australia compare in the welfare dependency stakes? Read More

  • How taxing housing diminishes affordability

    18 Apr 2012 | The Conversation

    Australia’s under-supplied housing market and housing affordability problem is largely due to the tax burden on housing. Read More

  • Carmaker triumph or GM hypocrisy?

    29 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    It's a product of public relations that Australians believe every government supports its own car industry, and looking at General Motors' ruthless cost-cutting of its European brands puts even more focus... Read More

  • Murray's Future Fund brace is broken

    23 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    David Murray's defence of the Future Fund can only inspire doubt about the ability of sovereign wealth funds to enhance Australia's prosperity. Read More

  • Minimum wage is a two-edged sword

    22 Mar 2012 | The Geelong Advertiser

    Like New Zealand’s young workers, Australia’s apprentices are also highly vulnerable to market fluctuations. Many of them are in their first job, have fewer skills, and therefore have less to offer... Read More

  • Why a sovereign wealth fund won't work

    21 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    Many of the desirable objectives of a sovereign wealth fund could be achieved through greater use of enforceable fiscal policy rules that would enable politicians to make long-term commitments to responsible... Read More

  • Future Funds or Future Eaters? The case against a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Australia

    20 Feb 2012 | The Conversation

    It has also been argued that Australia needs a SWF to better manage the macroeconomic consequences of the “terms of trade” boom, such as the rising Australian dollar and the so-called “Dutch disease”.... Read More

  • In search of a Greek hero

    14 Feb 2012 | Business Spectator

    To escape from its current mess, Greece does not need more Sisyphus work. It needs someone to tackle the Herculean task of cutting the country loose from Europe’s monetary union. Read More

  • The Fightback! lesson: how politics can stymie good public policy

    26 Dec 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Twenty years ago, the Liberal-National Party coalition released Fightback!, the most comprehensive and market-oriented policy platform ever taken to an election. Read More

  • Let the online bargain hunt begin, properly

    15 Dec 2011 | The Telegraph

    Australians are being ripped off due to Government regulations, especially when buying cars, bananas, and dvds. Read More

  • Budget heat in a revenue drought

    08 Dec 2011 | Business Spectator

    Governments in other countries are in deeper fiscal distress than ours, but governments at the federal and state levels in Australia are struggling with the consequences of a revenue drought after years... Read More

  • Business will cop super fall-out

    24 Nov 2011 | Geelong Advertiser

    THE Federal Government has introduced legislation to lift the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent by July, 2019. About 8.4 million Australians will have their superannuation savings boosted, it claims,... Read More

  • Avoiding conflict but quietly waving flag

    21 Nov 2011 | Newcastle Herald

    Southeast Asian governments will welcome increased US involvement in the region. Read More

  • Spending Spree wasted decade of prosperity

    18 Nov 2011 | The National Business Review

    NZ’s decade long spending binge was prosperity wasted. Read More

  • Liberals Drop Ball in Super Free-For-All

    14 Nov 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Lifting superannuation to 12% is wrong. Read More

  • Budget surplus fetish means more harsh spending cuts

    09 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    The federal government will need to cut spending to ensure a surplus in 2012-13. Read More

  • Should super contributions be raised to 12 per cent?

    05 Nov 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Four experts debate the topic in The Question.  Here is Adam Creighton's contribution. Some compulsory saving is sensible. People will rationally save too little when they know taxpayers will help support... Read More

  • Productivity needs a shot in the arm -- why not a GST boost?

    18 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Taxing saving is not only immoral but economically damaging as well Read More

  • A forum to demonstrate Labor has already failed on tax

    04 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Tax summit in Canberra proves Labor has failed on introducing any new tax policies Read More

  • Tax forum demonstrates Labor has already failed

    04 Oct 2011 | Crikey

    Tax Summit in Canberra proves Labor Government have not implemented any new tax reforms. Read More

  • Sighs of relief heard from the bankers' bunkers

    16 Sep 2011 | The Age

    Alas, the GFC showed that it is impossible for democratic governments to let large financial institutions fail, however much they should. It is a government's job to free taxpayers from unwittingly providing... Read More

  • Wet ink on a euro death notice

    13 Sep 2011 | Business Spectator

    The euro has been a moribund currency for years. The remaining options to buy it more time have been blocked by the German constitutional court. To end this farcical tragedy someone needs to put the final... Read More

  • Same cracks, just a new coat of paint

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Analysis of the NSW Budget Read More

  • Time to revisit RBA board

    07 Sep 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Union leaders would have you believe that the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia is beholden to the big end of town, but the current unnecessarily tight monetary policy indicates that this is not the... Read More

  • NSW budget: time to cut and shed Mick Dundee image

    06 Sep 2011 | Crikey

    With a public service head count just shy of 390,000, NSW puts the Commonwealth government, with a mere 270,000 staff, to shame. Macquarie Street employs 10% of the NSW workforce. Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • Don't get starry-eyed about housing

    05 Sep 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    In textbook markets there is no need for price forecasts. Prices are determined by the interaction of supply and demand. If you fed a supercomputer with all the relevant information about buyer preferences,... Read More

  • A miracle that masks a mirage

    01 Sep 2011 | The Australian

    As it turns out, there is not much in the German manufacturing example that Australia should copy. We would be much better advised to make the best of our own comparative advantages of being a resource-rich... Read More

  • There's no such thing as a free healthcare system

    27 Aug 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    But when it comes to health, Australians spurn pragmatism and tear up the laws of economics. We shackle ourselves with a government-funded and managed health system with all the hallmarks of the former... Read More

  • A poisoned chalice of EU power

    25 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    Eurobonds had not even been on the agenda (officially, that is), and an EU-wide tax on financial transactions almost certainly will die aborning. In another way, however, the Merkel and Sarkozy show was... Read More

  • Who needs credit ratings? They should be optional

    23 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    Banks and investors should thrive or die by the quality of their own assessments of credit risk. They have the most incentive to get it right, writes Adam Creighton, a research fellow at The Centre For... Read More

  • Setting a European time bomb

    10 Aug 2011 | Business Spectator

    The announcement by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade US government debt may have been historic but largely inconsequential Read More

  • US Congress swapped a crisis yesterday for a bigger crisis tomorrow

    09 Aug 2011 | Crikey

    I provoked a tirade of abuse from Crikey readers in the past fortnight when I suggested it would be preferable that the $14.3 trillion United States debt ceiling not be raised. Read More

  • Dollars must flow if numbers to grow

    29 Jul 2011 | The Age

    Debate about Australia's population is framed with national aggregates and ignores how local governments deal with increased population. Part of the reason Australians are averse to more people is because... Read More

  • What our economists really think about politics

    26 Jul 2011 | The Conversation

    You might have expected that most economists, following Milton Friedman, view inflation as “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” Yet only 40% of respondents agreed with the proposition that... Read More

  • Think local and give country towns the freedom to prosper or perish

    23 Jul 2011 | The Australian

    FOR politicians, and especially for town planners, letting people decide where and how they want to live has never been an acceptable idea. Administrative elites have always been convinced they know better... Read More

  • Greece bailout: prolonging pain for no real gain

    22 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Rescuing the country with another bailout would only prolong the pain. Greece squandered money on the Olympic Games, an over-sized bureaucracy and easy loans Read More

  • Paying dearly for European insanity

    21 Jul 2011 | Business Spectator

    it would be tempting to seize the moment and rehash all the arguments for why the euro will never work and cannot be saved. Read More

  • Growing anger in local government

    21 Jul 2011 | The Courier Mail

    So how well are Australian local government leaders really equipped to deal with population growth? Read More

  • Local councils deserve a better financial deal

    18 Jul 2011 | The Canberra Times

    Council rates surging to pay for new residents Read More

  • Council rates surging to pay for new residents

    15 Jul 2011 | Crikey

    Local Government struggling to pay for new residents Read More

  • Tax changes are just a redistribution

    14 Jul 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    The carbon pricing scheme was sold by the federal government as containing taxation reform measures, but once again we have lip service from politicians and tinkering at the edges Read More

  • Carbon tax could have united us all

    13 Jul 2011 | The Age

    More than 3 million households will be worse off come July, about a third of Australian taxpayers. Indeed, many thousands of individuals with incomes between $67,000 and $80,000 face the prospect of their... Read More

  • Perk Street is not as one-way as employed, childless renters think

    01 Jul 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Childless renters pay a lot of federal tax but are exempt from many state taxes Read More

  • Ditch deductions to lower the tax rates

    20 Jun 2011 | The Age

    Labor’s promised set deduction in taxes is not a productive fix for the system. Read More

  • Spending pledges need to be backed with hard evidence

    12 May 2011 | Crikey

    The government has blown its last chance to have the sort of budget we should have got in 2008. Read More

  • Budget cuts can be popular

    10 May 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    With an election still more than two years away the government should seize this opportunity to make the sort of cuts it should have made in 2008. Read More

  • Trimming to fit budget's reduced revenue

    13 Apr 2011 | The Australian

    The expenditure review process leading up to the annual budget is rarely about making cuts to existing spending programs. It has more to do with trimming ministers' wish lists to fit the revenue forecast... Read More

  • Smokers already being ripped off -- plain packaging is just insulting

    12 Apr 2011 | Crikey

    Smokers are being already being ripped off. The push for plain packaging is just insulting. Read More

  • We're all working for the man and it seems we have to do it for longer

    06 Apr 2011 | Brisbane Times

    Tax Freedom Day is later every year. Read More

  • Increasing Australia's GST would add little value

    Robert Carling | 29 Nov 2010 | Australian Financial Review

    Those pushing for a higher rate of GST should be careful what they wish for they may get it, along with a lot of other things they didn't bargain for. Read More

  • New Zealand’s great regression

    Luke Malpass | 20 Oct 2010 | The American, Journal of the American Enterprise Institute

    New Zealand was once a beacon to the Western world for classical liberal reform. No longer. Where did it all go wrong? Read More

  • Tax policy devised by party that is green with envy

    Robert Carling | 03 Sep 2010 | The Australian

    Redistributing wealth rather than creating it seems to be the Greens' approach, says Robert Carling in The Australian, 3 September 2010. Read More

  • The Henry Report, state taxes and the Commonwealth-state divide

    Robert Carling | 13 May 2010 | Online Opinion

    The Henry tax review could change Commonwealth/state fiscal relations. Read More

  • Tax reform should include cuts to marginal rates

    Robert Carling | 11 Mar 2010 | The Australian

    Cutting personal income tax would help to expand the economy’s productive capacity. Read More

  • Property bias

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 04 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    Newspapers have a big heart for heavily indebted homeowners. Perhaps occasionally they should show equal compassion for tenants and savers. Read More

  • Capital gains tax won’t make housing more affordable

    Stephen Kirchner | 23 Nov 2009 | Online Opinion

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics, but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics too. Read More

  • More houses, not taxes

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2009 | The Australian

    Many commentators think a CGT on owner-occupied housing is good economics but bad politics. In reality, it is bad economics too. Read More

  • Taxation rhetoric and reality

    John Humphreys | 30 Jan 2009 | Business Spectator

    Instead of adjusting LITO, the government should cut tax in a more meaningful way. Read More

  • The case for corporate tax reform

    Sinclair Davidson | 13 Aug 2008

    Australia’s corporate tax is said to be very successful, raising substantial revenue, and there has been little debate about it over the past few years.  The most obvious starting point in any tax debate... Read More

  • The case for corporate tax reform

    Sinclair Davidson | 13 Aug 2008 | Online Opinion

    Australia’s corporate tax is said to be very successful, raising substantial revenue, and there has been little debate about it over the past few years.  The most obvious starting point in any tax debate... Read More

  • Corporate tax needs attention now

    Sinclair Davidson | 07 Aug 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    Australia’s corporate tax regime is very successful at raising revenue and also at escaping any serious scrutiny. Serious debate about Australia’s corporate tax rate is long overdue, and the Ken Henry... Read More

  • Are tax cuts inflationary?

    Phil Rennie | 29 Oct 2007 | New Zealand Centre for Political Research online forum

    The latest excuse from the government for not giving us tax cuts (despite an $8 billion surplus) is the fear of inflation. But do tax cuts really cause inflation? Read More

  • Tax cuts can help fight inflation

    Stephen Kirchner | 10 Oct 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    Unlike previous elections, this year’s federal campaign is likely to see only cautious spending and tax cut promises from the major parties. Both worry that more spending or less taxing would be inflationary,... Read More

  • Politicians addicted to big spending

    Robert Carling | 09 Oct 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    Tax revenue and government spending have grown even faster than the booming economy since the last major attempt at tax reform in 2000. That is a key message of figures recently released by the Australian... Read More

  • It's always a case of another year, another excuse for not slashing Australia's tax burden

    | 05 Sep 2007 | The Canberra Times

    There is a famous gag in Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip in which the very bossy Lucy Van Pelt persuades the perennial loser Charlie Brown to try to kick a football while she holds it in place but... Read More

  • No real value in tax changes

    Peter Saunders | 10 May 2007 | The Courier Mail

    Real tax reform requires lower, fewer and flatter tax rates Read More

  • Budget should deliver us a break

    Robert Carling | 29 Apr 2007 | Sunday Age

    Income tax reform should be tackled in the federal budget. Read More

  • Public purse is a burden we all carry

    Robert Carling | 24 Apr 2007 | The Australian

    It doesn't have the significance of Anzac Day and you don't get a public holiday for it, but the day before Anzac Day is a special day in the 2007 calendar. Read More

  • Do tax cuts make a difference?

    Phil Rennie | 12 Dec 2006 | New Zealand Center For Political Debate

    With a budget surplus of over $11 billion the government is fast running out of excuses not to cut tax. Read More

  • Who's paying all their tax?

    Phil Rennie | 14 Sep 2006 | The Dominion Post

    Nobody likes paying tax, but for a large number of people it’s now an inconvenience they don’t have to bother with. Read More

  • Fiddle diddle no more, tax needs an overhaul

    Peter Saunders | 28 Apr 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    As budget day approaches, the Federal Government is coming under mounting pressure to reform our income tax system, but it shows little inclination to act. Read More

  • Treasurer has us on longer leash

    Peter Saunders | 25 Apr 2006 | The Australian

    Tax freedom day this year is April 25. This means it is a holiday for most Australians, for April 25 is also Anzac Day. Perhaps tax freedom day should be declared a holiday every year, for it is well worth... Read More

  • When is a welfare payment not a welfare payment?

    Peter Saunders | 13 Apr 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    Everyone who earns more than $6,000 per year pays income tax. The zero-rate or ‘tax-free’ threshold has for years been fixed at $6,000, which means workers have to pay tax long before they have earned... Read More

  • Councils must have real clout

    Wolfgang Kasper | 04 Apr 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    Amid all the talk of tax cuts, Australians should gird themselves for hefty hikes in local taxes. Read More

  • Tax overhaul long due

    Peter Saunders | 20 Jan 2006 | The Australian

    Despite repeated attempts by the Government to ignore it, the clamour for tax reform just won't go away. Read More

  • Marginal Rate a Major Turn-Off

    Sinclair Davidson | 29 Aug 2005 | The Australian Financial Review

    Over the past few years, a blizzard of argument and statistics has confronted the general public as Australia has wrestled with a major debate over taxation policy. Read More

  • Lower tax rates for a truly beautiful set of numbers

    | 18 May 2005 | The Australian

    The changes announced by Treasurer Peter Costello to the personal income tax system last week are a small first step towards unravelling the disincentive effects that our tax system creates. Read More

  • Time we ran our own lives

    Peter Saunders | 09 May 2005 | The Herald Sun

    The Friday before last was Tax Freedom Day -- the day of the year when we finish paying for the Government's spending and we start to work for ourselves. This year, Tax Freedom Day fell later than ever... Read More

  • Cut Taxes And Watch Economy Soar

    Sinclair Davidson | 10 Jun 2004 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry , in a recent speech to Australian Business Economists , argued for higher levels of economic growth to meet our pressing demographic challenges. Read More

  • High Earners Count Cost Of Tax

    Peter Saunders | 02 Jun 2004 | The Australian Financial Review

    Three months ago on these pages, Professor Sinclair Davidson of RMIT University revealed that the top quarter of income earners contribute 64 per cent of all income tax. Their share has increased from... Read More

  • Tax is the key to welfare reform

    Peter Saunders | 20 Jan 2003 | The Australian Financial Review

    Tony Abbott wants to reform tax and welfare so that it pays to work. His recent speech did not go into detail, but he wants to replace the existing system of pensions and allowances for working-age adults... Read More

  • Threshold issues for a tax system that creates jobs

    Peter Saunders | 30 Nov -0001 | The Australian Financial Review

    An important debate is taking place in Australia about the future of welfare, taxation and award wages. The outcome of this debate will influence the shape of social policy for years to come. Read More