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Opinion & Commentary


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

  • Fair and logical to put super into homes

    12 Mar 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    Despite vocal opposition, Australia’s Superannuation System would actually be strengthened by letting super savings be used for property. Read More

  • Public policy reforms will control our destiny

    05 Mar 2015 | Business Spectator

    The RBA has decided for now to maintain the benchmark interest rates it pays on overnight funds (aka the ‘cash rate’) at the historic low of 2.25 per cent. However, the market is still expecting one—or... Read More

  • Federal-state reform should not mean more tax

    20 Jan 2015 | Australian Financial Review

    The key point for both the tax review and the review of federalism is not to start from the premise that overall taxation needs to be increased or that an increase in the GST is inevitable. 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

  • Slashing red tape requires a broader view of social costs

    31 May 2014 | The Australian

    Small enter­prises bear an increasingly large compliance burden that is making life tougher for them and prices higher for their customers. Read More

  • Rank case of vested interests protecting their turf

    17 May 2014 | The Australian

    The taxi industry may see off Uber with lawsuits or lobbying but it or something like it will eventually take off because too many customers want something better. Read More

  • A coalition of the willing on IR reform

    18 Feb 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The Abbott government is sending the message that they will help those who help themselves by prosecuting the case for IR reform. Read More

  • Seizing a Sino free trade moment

    16 Jul 2013 | Business Spectator

    Australia’s regulation of foreign direct investment is a critical stumbling block in a free trade agreement with China. Read More

  • A war that’s building over bottles of beer

    29 Nov 2012 | The Punch

    Watering down the building and construction industry watchdog has emboldened the union movement. 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

  • Work act flaw threat to growth

    07 Mar 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Job security is a major bone of contention between unions and employers under the Fair Work Act. Read More

  • A zero-sum carbon game

    01 Mar 2012 | Business Spectator

    There is no point trying to subsidise reductions in carbon emissions if the total amount of emissions is capped anyway. 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

  • Give austerity a chance

    08 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Fiscal policy should focus on micro-economic issues such as promoting incentives to save, work and invest, as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of public finances. Read More

  • It's time to bust open the pharmacists' closed shop

    25 Jan 2012 | The Australian

    Pharmacists are vital healthcare professionals. But as Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott look to keep the nation's health budget sustainable, it's also clear that very substantive savings can be made from... 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

  • Italy defaults on debt and sends lenders broke? So be it

    15 Nov 2011 | Crikey

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

  • Liberals Drop Ball in Super Free-For-All

    14 Nov 2011 | Australian Financial Review

    Lifting superannuation to 12% is wrong. 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

  • Test Aricle

    31 Aug 2011

    This is a test to see if we can upload a new article. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Council rates surging to pay for new residents

    15 Jul 2011 | Crikey

    Local Government struggling to pay for new residents Read More

  • Hey regulators, remember the GFC

    14 Jun 2011 | Crikey

    Housing sector ignores lessons from the GFC at taxpayers’ peril. Read More

  • Carbon tax cuts for all

    04 Jun 2011 | The Australian Financial Review

    Revenue from the government’s proposed carbon tax must be returned to taxpayers through income tax cuts or alternatively, the abolishment of the Medicare levy. Read More

  • Budget office helps pollies, not punters

    20 May 2011 | ABC News

    The Parliamentary Budget Office should focus analysing overall fiscal strategy and long-term fiscal sustainability rather than policy costings. Read More

  • Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: Guaranteed to fail?

    17 May 2011 | The Conversation

    The failure of Lehman Brothers was a trivial event compared to the much bigger but largely ignored failure a week before, when Freddie and Fannie were put into ‘conservatorship’ by the US government. Read More

  • Reform a boon to all in the money game

    05 May 2011 | The Age

    Advisers will now offer dispassionate and useful financial counsel. 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

  • A failure of political leadership

    11 Apr 2011 | The Straits Times

    Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's rejection of Singapore Exchange's (SGX) bid for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) represents a failure of political leadership. Read More

  • Dump anti-dumping rules to protect consumers

    02 Mar 2011 | The Australian

    Anti-dumping laws produce the outcome they are meant to prevent. Read More

  • How the Germans keep a lid on prices

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 14 Feb 2011 | Sydney Morning Herald

    You get a lot more house for your money in Germany and there's a simple explanation for the stability in the housing market — steady growth in supply. Read More

  • Why consumers should resist the enemies of choice

    James Paterson | 24 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    Behaviourists are wrong to say people should be protected from irrational financial decisions. Read More

  • Red-tape trading scheme

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 06 Jul 2010 | Camberra Times

    Red tape should be treated like pollution and perhaps a ‘cap and trade’ scheme should be considered to minimise regulatory burdens. Read More

  • Europe’s not-so common market

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 01 Jul 2010 | Business Spectator

    The European common market does not work properly, says Oliver Marc Hartwich in Business Spectator, 1 July 2010. Read More

  • A European triumph amid the chaos

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2010 | Business Spectator

    Amid the current EU financial crisis there still some positive policy ideas, such as the Netherland’s innovative way of cutting red tape. Read More

  • Cap and trade our way out of red-tape pollution

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2010 | The Australian

    Red tape should be treated like pollution and perhaps a ‘cap and trade’ scheme should be considered to minimise regulatory burdens. Read More

  • Mr Swan’s preoccupation with superannuation

    Robert Carling | 19 Feb 2010 | Online Opinion

    The government needs to examine how to treat saving within the tax system and whether super should continue to be more lightly taxed than other forms of saving. Read More

  • More inscrutable than the Chinese

    Stephen Kirchner | 19 Feb 2010 | The Australian

    Why are foreign investment criteria a secret? Read More

  • Imbalances essential to global economic system

    Stephen Kirchner | 22 Jan 2010 | The Australian

    The federal Treasury’s David Gruen recently told a conference at the University of Western Australia that global imbalances were implicated in the global financial crisis and it was desirable that they... Read More

  • Economic policy must re-earn our respect

    Stephen Kirchner | 20 Jan 2010 | Business Spectator

    Policymakers sacrificed a lot of their credibility due to their responses to the global financial crisis and this can be seen in the fundamental uncertainty about the inflation outlook. Read More

  • The ABC of policy failure

    Jeremy Sammut | 11 Nov 2008 | Business Spectator

    The federal government is suggesting that ABC’s fall illustrates how desperately the children industry needs re-regulation and is yet another example of excessively greedy capitalism and the free-market... Read More

  • Only deregulation can create jobs

    Kayoko Tsumori | 21 Oct 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    The unemployment rate in August 2002 stood at 6.2%—a high figure considering continuing economic growth. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 622,700 unemployed people, but only... Read More

  • Unfettered deregulation for varsities

    Andrew Norton | 29 Apr 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane created headlines recently with his remarks about Australia lacking a university in the world’s top 100. The remedy, he said, ‘will almost certainly involve the... Read More