Our publications are the most important means of contact between the Centre's ideas and its general readership. Since 1976, The Centre for Independent Studies has produced some of the most authoritative publications in Australasian academia. From the influential Lands of Shame to the authoritative Will China Fail? CIS has published hundreds of publications covering topics from the social policy to legal affairs to religion and education.

In addition to books, the CIS publishes a range of shorter publications: Issue Analyses deal with controversial and current issues and Policy Mongraphs investigate and offer policy solutions. Since 1984, Policy magazine has published feature articles and reviews authored by some of the foremost national and international thinkers on public policy and ideas. The quality of writing and the diversity of topics in Policy ensure its status as a 'must read' by leading politicans, businesspeople and academics.

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All Tax Publications

  • The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist

    Wolfgang Kasper | 25 Jun 2015 | Occasional Papers

    To enjoy prosperity into the future, Australia needs to establish an reform strategy that goes beyond economic policy and...

  • Submission to the ReThink Tax Discussion Paper

    Robert Carling | 20 May 2015 | Submissions

    Submission to the ReThink Tax Discussion Paper

  • Right or Rort? Dissecting Australia’s Tax Concessions

    Robert Carling | 08 Apr 2015 | Research Reports

    Calls to abolish tax concessions to increase revenue are often misguided. So-called tax concessions for capital gains tax,...

  • Public Money: Federal-State Financial Relations and the Constitutional Limits on Spending Public Money

    Anne Twomey, Robert Carling | 29 Oct 2014 | Occasional Papers

    This paper surveys and explains the history of how the Australian Constitution was intended to deal with federal-state financial...

  • Sovereignty, Blame Games and Tony Abbott’s New Federalism

    Anne Twomey, Jeremy Sammut, Nick Greiner, Robert Carling | 28 Aug 2014 | Policy Forum

    This volume brings together the four presentations made to a Centre for Independent Studies public forum on reforming the...

  • Where Your Tax Dollars Go

    Robert Carling | 09 Jul 2014 | Special Publications

    Taxation is imposed through the coercive power of the state. Politicians often speak of “asking” taxpayers to pay more...

  • Submission to the National Commission of Audit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government....

  • States of Debt

    Robert Carling | 20 Mar 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    While the budget deficits and rising debt of the Australian federal government have received much attention, this report...

  • The Task Ahead: The Hon Joe Hockey MP

    Joe Hockey | 08 Nov 2013 | Speeches

    Joe Hockey, in his first domestic keynote address as Treasurer, talks about the economic challanges facing the Coalition...

  • Shrink Taxation by Shrinking Government!

    Robert Carling | 07 Aug 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    Shrink Taxation by Shrinking Government! explores the link between tax reform and smaller government as envisaged by CIS’s...

  • TARGET30: Reducing the burden for future generations

    David Murray AO, Maurice Newman, Simon Cowan | 01 Jul 2013 | Policy Forum

    TARGET30 is a campaign promoting smaller government and cutting government spending to less than 30% of GDP in the next 10...

  • TARGET30: Towards smaller government and future prosperity

    Peter Saunders, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan | 06 Mar 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    TARGET30 is a campaign promoting smaller government, supported by a series of research reports providing policy solutions...

  • Compulsory Super at 20: ‘Libertarian Paternalism’ Without the Libertarianism

    Stephen Kirchner | 25 Nov 2012 | Policy Monographs

    Examines the economic case for compulsory superannuation contributions and questions whether compulsory super is the most...

  • The Condensed Wealth of Nations and The Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments

    Eamonn Butler | 12 Jun 2012 | Occasional Papers

    In The Condensed Wealth of Nations, Eamonn Butler condenses Adam Smith’s work and explains the key concepts in The Wealth...

  • The Henry Tax Review: A Liberal Critique

    Adam Creighton | 14 Mar 2012 | Issue Analysis

    The public release of Australia’s Future Tax System—known as the Henry review—in May 2010 sparked an ongoing debate...

  • Future Funds or Future Eaters? The Case Against a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Australia

    Robert Carling, Stephen Kirchner | 20 Feb 2012 | Policy Monographs

    This paper considers the arguments for and against greater use of a sovereign wealth fund in Australia. It argues that the...

  • Trans-Atlantic Fiscal Follies: The Sequel

    Adam Creighton, Oliver Marc Hartwich, Robert Carling | 30 Nov 2011 | Policy Forum

    What started as the US subprime crisis became the global financial crisis and has now developed into the Trans-Atlantic sovereign...

  • The Decade-long Binge: How Government Squandered Ten Years of Economic Prosperity

    Luke Malpass | 17 Nov 2011 | Issue Analysis

    Government spending in New Zealand has increased enormously over the past decade in order to meet social goals. From 2000-2010...

  • Trans-Atlantic Fiscal Follies: The Sequel

    Adam Creighton, Oliver Marc Hartwich, Robert Carling | 30 Aug 2011 | Speeches

    The GFC is back. What started as the US subprime crisis became the global financial crisis, which has now developed into...

  • Australia’s Angry Mayors: How Population Growth Frustrates Local Councils

    Adam Creighton, Oliver Marc Hartwich | 14 Jul 2011 | Policy Monographs

    To understand the effects of a growing population on Australia’s councils, CIS surveyed local authorities from all over...

  • Taxploitation II: Tax Reform for Incentive,Productivity and Economic Growth

    John Humphreys, Robert Carling, Sinclair Davidson, Stephen Kirchner | 13 Jul 2011 | CIS Readings

    This volume reviews tax reforms implemented since the publication of Taxploitation by the CIS in 2006 and concludes that...

  • Why Does Government Grow?

    Stephen Kirchner | 13 Apr 2011 | Policy Monographs

    This paper examines some of the stylised facts in relation to the growth of government in the Western world generally, and...

  • FEATURE: Project Wickenby: White Hats at Work, or a Witch Hunt?

    John Hyde Page | 31 Mar 2011 | POLICY Magazine

    The Australian Taxation Office’s aggressive use of its discretionary powers risks injustice for taxpayers.

  • Ludwig von Mises – A Primer

    Eamonn Butler | 16 Dec 2010 | Occasional Papers

    In Ludwig von Mises – A Primer, Eamonn Butler presents a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the outstanding achievements...

  • FEATURE: Free and Fair—How Australia’s Low-Tax Egalitarianism Confounds the World

    David Alexander | 14 Dec 2010 | POLICY Magazine

    Australia has found a politically viable way of keeping the state relatively small.

  • Tax Reform – For Economic Growth or Bigger Government?

    Robert Carling | 14 Dec 2010 | Policy Forum

    The long-awaited report on Australia's Future Tax System (the 'Henry review') was released by the government in May 2010....

  • July 2010 e-PreCIS

    Greg Lindsay | 13 Jul 2010 | e-PreCIS

    The taxpayer smells a rat Tax revolts have some history in Australia, the best known example being the Eureka Stockade....

  • June 2010 e-PreCIS

    Greg Lindsay | 01 Jun 2010 | e-PreCIS

    The Rudd government’s Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) confirms what Ronald Reagan said about politicians and their view...

  • Towards a Red Tape Trading Scheme: Treating Excessive Bureaucracy as Just Another Kind of Pollution

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 19 May 2010 | Issue Analysis

    Government should measure the regulatory costs on the Australian economy and consider a ‘cap and trade’ scheme to manage...

  • The Unfinished Business of Australian Income Tax Reform

    Robert Carling | 10 Mar 2010 | Policy Monographs

    Robert Carling says the reform agenda for personal income tax should be to cut marginal tax rates; implement automatic indexation...

  • Reforming Capital Gains Tax: The Myths and Reality behind Australia’s Most Misunderstood Tax

    Stephen Kirchner | 12 Nov 2009 | Policy Monographs

    The implications of the Ralph Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reforms vary widely depending on the type of taxpayer, asset class,...

  • Fiscal Shock and Awe in the United States

    Robert Carling | 21 Oct 2009 | Issue Analysis

    The relative economic standing of the United States, and therefore its place in the world, may decline as other less mature...

  • Ending the Churn: A Tax/Welfare Swap

    John Humphreys | 07 Oct 2009 | Policy Monographs

    John Humphreys argues that removing middle-class welfare in exchange for income tax cuts, the government could reduce tax...

  • FEATURE: Ten Principles for Tax Reform

    Robert Carling | 15 Sep 2009 | POLICY Magazine

    Australia's tax system needs principles that go beyond efficiency, equity and simplicity.

  • Fiscal Rules for Limited Government: Reforming Australia’s Fiscal Responsibility Legislation

    Robert Carling | 28 Jul 2009 | Policy Monographs

    The paper outlines the rationale for fiscal responsibility legislation and a rules-based approach to fiscal policy. It examines...

  • FEATURE: Revealing Australia's Real Income Tax Rates

    John Humphreys | 04 Jun 2009 | POLICY Magazine

    Before we can consider tax reform options, it is necessary to have accurate information about the current tax system. Unfortunately,...

  • Are We All Keynesians Again?

    Robert Carling | 12 Feb 2009 | Issue Analysis

    The revival of activist fiscal policy ought to be highly controversial because the 1970s and 1980s saw a new consensus emerge...

  • Beyond Symbolism: Finding a Place for Local Government in Australia's Constitution

    Oliver Marc Hartwich | 22 Jan 2009 | Issue Analysis

    Local governments could provide better services, like schools and fast development approvals if they received a higher proportion...

  • The Faulty Arguments Behind Australia’s Corporate Tax

    Sinclair Davidson | 01 Oct 2008 | Policy Monographs

    This paper investigates Australian corporate tax and highlights a number of issues that deserve greater public awareness.

  • State Tax Reform: Progress and Prospects

    Robert Carling | 10 Mar 2008 | Policy Monographs

    This paper analyses the state taxation issues in further detail. After reviewing various reform options, it outlines the...

  • Fiscal Illusion: How Big Government Makes Tax Look Small

    Sinclair Davidson | 21 Jan 2008 | Policy Monographs

    Sinclair Davidson in this paper canvasses an issue that cuts across all taxes and all levels of government: fiscal illusion...

  • Exploring a Carbon Tax for Australia

    John Humphreys | 06 Nov 2007 | Policy Monographs

    It is not a foregone conclusion that we need a carbon trading scheme or a carbon tax. Humphreys provides much food for thought...

  • Tax Competition: Much To Do About Very Little

    Sinclair Davidson | 15 Oct 2007 | Policy Monographs

    Sinclair Davidson challenges the notion of ‘harmful’ international tax competition. He argues that in the sphere of taxation,...

  • Tax Earmarking Is It Good Practice?

    Robert Carling | 16 Jul 2007 | Policy Monographs

    This Monograph critically analyses the use of earmarked (or ‘hypothecated’) taxes in Australia.

  • The Government Giveth and the Government Taketh Away: Tax Welfare Churning and the Case for Welfare State Opt-Outs

    Peter Saunders | 14 May 2007 | Policy Monographs

    Australians are more prosperous than ever before, so the number of people needing government assistance should be falling....

  • State Taxation and Fiscal Federalism: A Blueprint for Further Reform

    Robert Carling | 03 Nov 2006 | Policy Monographs

    This paper identifies major structural flaws in our current taxation system and develops a set of radical proposals to put...

  • Why Tax Cuts Are Good for Growth

    Phil Rennie | 18 Oct 2006 | Issue Analysis

    In the wake of the government’s $11 billion budget surplus, cutting taxes could deliver a significant boost to the economy....

  • How to Fix a Leaky Tax System

    Phil Rennie | 14 Sep 2006 | Issue Analysis

    The New Zealand tax system has become complicated and unfair, and its integrity corroded by the introduction of a 39%...

  • FEATURE: Our Treasurer Should Cultivate an Irish Lilt

    Geoffrey Kingston | 07 Jul 2006 | POLICY Magazine

    Australia could learn from Ireland's corporate tax system.

  • Taxploitation: The Case for Income Tax Reform

    Peter Saunders | 01 Jun 2006 | CIS Readings

    In this book edited by Peter Saunders, 10 authors explain why and how Australia's system of personal income tax needs reforming.

  • Are New Zealanders Paying Too Much Tax?

    Phil Rennie | 15 May 2006 | Issue Analysis

    New Zealand is a highly taxed country on a global scale and has record budget surpluses. The past decade has seen huge increases...

  • Twenty Million Future Funds

    Peter Saunders | 21 Dec 2005 | Issue Analysis

    The government’s claim that we need a Future Fund to pay for public servants’ superannuation is bogus. In fact, the Future...

  • Reform 30/30: Rebuilding Australia’s Tax and Welfare Systems

    John Humphreys | 25 Nov 2005 | Policy Monographs

    John Humphreys has a vision of how the tax and welfare systems could be refashioned to break through the dispiriting problems...

  • Are There Any Good Arguments Against Cutting Income Taxes?

    Sinclair Davidson | 22 Aug 2005 | Policy Monographs

    Sinclair Davidson explains why, in a sharply ‘progressive’ tax system like ours, tax cuts that appear to favour high...

  • The Costs of Taxation

    Alex Robson | 21 Aug 2005 | Policy Monographs

    The question the government needs to ask is not whether it can do good through more spending, but is whether the relentless...

  • The $85 Billion Tax/Welfare Churn

    Peter Saunders | 07 Apr 2005 | Issue Analysis

    Given the government’s newly-won control of the Senate, most attention is focused primarily on the next 18 months, but...

  • How Highly Taxed Are We? The Level and Composition of Taxation in Australia and the OECD

    Peter Burn | 19 Nov 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Rather than establishing the case for even higher taxes on earnings, a careful analysis of OECD statistics shows what many...

  • The Very Idea of a Flat Tax

    Lauchlan Chipman | 29 Oct 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Lauchlan Chipman questions a key principle that has long been embedded in our system of taxation and which most Australians...

  • Will You Still Vote for Me in the Morning? Why Politicians Aren’t Rushing to Increase Taxes

    Andrew Norton | 16 Jul 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Norton’s review of the evidence does not indicate the existence of a population keen to pay more tax. The politicians know...

  • Who Pays the Lion’s Share of Personal Income Tax?

    Sinclair Davidson | 13 Jul 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Davidson’s paper performs a service by exposing the absurdities of some of the claims that are being made about who pays...

  • FEATURE: Out of the Tax Wilderness

    Geoffrey de Q. Walker | 06 Jun 2004 | POLICY Magazine

    The rule of law is collapsing in the Australian tax system. Geoffrey de Q. Walker suggests some ways to rebuild it.

  • Tax Reform to Make Work Pay

    Peter Saunders | 29 May 2004 | Policy Monographs

    We are paying more tax than ever before. Australia’s tax burden is higher than in the United States and Japan, taxes on...

  • The Taxation of Shared Family Incomes

    Terry Dwyer | 29 Apr 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Terry Dwyer’s paper makes a compelling case for recognising family income sharing for tax purposes, and his arguments and...

  • The Tax Wilderness How to Restore the Rule of Law

    | 18 Mar 2004 | Policy Monographs

    The importance of Geoffrey Walker’s paper is that it shows the price we are paying as a nation for government’s failure...

  • Poverty in Australia: Beyond the Rhetoric

    Peter Saunders | 01 Mar 2004 | Policy Monographs

    This report challenges prevailing definitions and measurements of poverty, and calls for an alternative strategy for poverty...

  • Michael in a Muddle: Michael Pusey’s Bungled Attack on Economic Reform

    Andrew Norton | 09 May 2003 | Issue Analysis

    Andrew Norton reveals many serious errors of fact and logic in his detailed critique of Michael Pusey's new book, The Experience...

  • Taxing the family : Australia's forgotten people in the income spectrum

    Lucy Sullivan | 22 Aug 2001 | Policy Monographs

    Over the last two decades, the tax burden has shifted from taxpayers without to taxpayers with dependent children.  While...

  • FEATURE: The 'Fair Go' in Australia: Popular Support for Taxing and Spending

    Simon Blount | 12 Dec 2000 | POLICY Magazine

    Are Australians prepared to tolerate higher taxes in return for increased social services as welfare lobbyists often assume?

  • COMMENT: Renewing the Social Fabric: Mutual Obligation and Work for the Dole

    Tony Abbott | 09 Sep 2000 | POLICY Magazine

    Nearly everything the Coalition Government does is challenged on the suspicion that it is trying to reduce spending in order...

  • Behavioural Poverty

    Lucy Sullivan | 09 Apr 2000 | Policy Monographs

    The welfare debate is bedeviled by the failure to distinguish behavioural from financial poverty. The minimum income available...

  • FEATURE: Reforming State Taxation

    Damien S. Elridge, Owen Gabbitas | 03 Mar 1999 | POLICY Magazine

    Assessing options for tax changes at the state level.

  • Tax Injustice: Keeping the Family Cap-in-Hand

    Lucy Sullivan | 10 Jul 1998 | Issue Analysis

    There is a growing awareness of financial pressure on the family, together with anomalies in the interaction of family earnings,...

  • COMMENT: GST: Reform Requires a Political Champion

    Peter Hendy, Tim Beale | 12 Dec 1996 | POLICY Magazine

    Momentum continues to build for the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST).

  • FEATURE: The Hidden Costs of a GST- An International Perspective

    Chris Evans, Michael Walpole | 12 Dec 1996 | POLICY Magazine

    GST compliance costs are likely to fall especially heavily on small businesses.

  • SCHOOLS' BRIEF: Fiscal Policy

    Penny Neal | 06 Jun 1996 | POLICY Magazine

    Fiscal policy has reassumed prominence in macroeconomic policy making since the election of the Coalition Government in March...

  • FEATURE: Special Events- Are They Beneficial?

    Amelia Pape, Terry Black | 12 Dec 1995 | POLICY Magazine

    The cost to taxpayers of the Gold Coast Indycar Grand Prix.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE: Reviewing the Australian Legend

    Rafe Champion | 12 Dec 1993 | POLICY Magazine

    The Nervous Nineties: Australian Cultural Life in the 1890s by John Docker (Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1991.) Intruders...

  • BOOK REVIEW: Taxpayers Beware!

    James Cox | 09 Sep 1993 | POLICY Magazine

    The Case for Earmarked Taxes: Government Spending and Public Choice by Ranjit S. Teja and Barry Bracewell Milnes (Institute...

  • SCHOOLS' BRIEF: Australia's Savings Performance

    Garry M. White | 03 Mar 1993 | POLICY Magazine

    An analysis of the determinants of saving, arguing that the appropriate level of saving would flow from sustained economic...

  • NOTES & COMMENTS: The Tariff

    Peter Hartley | 12 Dec 1992 | POLICY Magazine

    The Tariff: An Expensive But Hidden Subsidy.

  • FEATURE: The Compliance Costs of Income Taxation in Australia

    Jeff Pope | 06 Jun 1992 | POLICY Magazine

    The compliance costs of income taxation incurred by Australian individuals and companies are relatively high, indicating...

  • BOOK REVIEW: Soaking the Rich

    Robin Oliver | 06 Jun 1992 | POLICY Magazine

    A Capital Gains Tax for New Zealand by Rick Krever and Neil Brooks (Institute of Policy Studies, 1990.)

  • FEATURE: The Tax File Number Scheme: Political Assurances versus Function Creep

    Roger Clarke | 12 Dec 1991 | POLICY Magazine

    When the Australian federal government withdrew its Australia Card proposal in 1987, it resolved to enhance the Tax File...

  • FEATURE: Some Doubts About a Consumption Tax

    John Logan, Terry Dwyer | 06 Jun 1989 | POLICY Magazine

    The introduction of a broad-based consumption tax in Australia is widely regarded as inevitable. Terry Dwyer and John Logan...

  • FEATURE: How To Cut Public Spending

    John Freebairn | 03 Mar 1989 | POLICY Magazine

    Government ministers claim that public spending cannot be further reduced without harming the welfare of the Australian people....

  • Enterprise: Free, Dependent or Captor?

    Warren Hogan | 08 Aug 1985 | Occasional Papers

    The relationship between government and business is the theme of this essay. Each depends on the other, and each uses the...

  • The Resource Rent Tax. A Penality of Risk Taking

    John Bowers, Ray Ball | 16 Aug 1983 | Policy Monographs

    We see no evidence that the Australian resources industries are not competitive. Therefore if the RRT were a true resources...

  • The Entreprenuer in Society

    Barry Maley | 01 Apr 1983 | Policy Forum

    These papers explore the role of the entreprenuer in society.

  • Lessons from the Ord

    B.R. Davidson | 01 Jan 1982 | Policy Monographs

    The Ord Scheme, indeed, offers ample ammunition for those who take the extreme view that responsibility is directly proportional...

  • Taxation, Inflation and the Role of the Government

    Milton Friedman | 05 Jun 1981 | Occasional Papers

    In this publication, the proceedings of a seminar conducted by the Centre for Independent Studies, Milton Friedman is joined...