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Andrew Baker

andrew-bakerAndrew Baker is a Research Fellow with the Social Foundations Program at the Centre for Independent Studies.  His research will focus on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, welfare reform, pensions, family payments, parental leave and other social policy issues.

Prior to joining the CIS, Andrew worked in a policy research and advisory capacity for several members of the Australian Senate.  Andrew has a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne and a BA(Hons) in Philosophy from Monash University.

Click here to view the events Andrew has spoken at recently.

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Publications by Author

  1. Not Looking for Work: The Rise of Non-Jobseekers on Unemployment Benefits

    Andrew Baker | 31 Jul 2013 | Policy Monographs

    Following the global financial crisis, the incumbent Labor government introduced policies that reduced the job search requirements... Read More...

  2. BOOK REVIEW: Redefining the Poverty Debate: Why a War on Markets is No Substitute for a War on Poverty

    Andrew Baker | 01 May 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    By Kristian NiemietzReviewed by Andrew Baker

  3. Tax Welfare Churn and the Australian Welfare State

    Andrew Baker | 27 Mar 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    The welfare state currently consumes $316 billion a year; however, much of this spending is not targeted at those who need... Read More...

  4. Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012

    Andrew Baker | 25 Jan 2013 | Submissions

    Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012

  5. The New Leviathan: A National Disability Insurance Scheme

    Andrew Baker | 15 Nov 2012 | Policy Monographs

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been touted as the biggest social reform since Medicare. Currently, there... Read More...

  6. Submission to the COAG Select Council on Disability Reform on NDIS ‘eligibility and reasonable and necessary support’ criteria

    Andrew Baker | 10 Sep 2012 | Submissions

    Submission to the COAG Select Council on Disability Reform on NDIS ‘eligibility and reasonable and necessary support’... Read More...

  7. Submission to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee

    Andrew Baker | 10 Sep 2012 | Submissions

    Submission to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. Fiddling with criteria to hide unemployed

    Andrew Baker | 31 Jul 2013 | The Australian

    The government has been hiding the unemployed on unemployment benefits by turning them from 'jobseekers' into 'non-jobseekers.'

  2. Policy conflict on jobs for disabled

    Andrew Baker | 22 Jul 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The social and economic objectives of DisabilityCare cannot be achieved without reform to the disability support pension.

  3. Gillard Deal Risks NDIS Timebomb

    Andrew Baker | 13 May 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    In its eagerness to lock in the funding and governance arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS),... Read More

  4. NDIS highlights welfare waste

    Andrew Baker | 27 Mar 2013 | The Australian

    It is time to end the tax-welfare churn and return the savings to taxpayers through tax cuts.

  5. Extending NDIS poses threat

    Andrew Baker | 21 Feb 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    The age restrictions on the NDIS are crucial in maintaining the scheme’s financial integrity and maximising its benefits.

  6. Increasing Newstart would be a costly failure

    Andrew Baker | 25 Jan 2013 | The Punch

    An increase in the base rate of Newstart Allowance will not do much to break down the barriers to employment for the long... Read More

  7. Disability pension reform key to NDIS success

    Andrew Baker | 20 Dec 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    Reform of the disability support pension is necessary to maximise the benefits of the NDIS.

  8. Improving lives or just a welfare monster in the making?

    Andrew Baker | 15 Nov 2012 | The Australian

    There is a real danger the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be even bigger and more expensive than we imagine.

  9. The real solution to poverty: J-O-B-S, J-O-B-S, J-O-B-S

    Andrew Baker, Peter Saunders | 29 Oct 2012 | The Punch

    Moving people off welfare and into full-time jobs would do more to address poverty than increasing the value of welfare benefits.

  10. Should single parents be forced onto the dole?

    Andrew Baker | 14 Oct 2012 | Herald Sun

    Welfare reforms for Parenting Payment eligibility are a big win for taxpayers.

  11. Government policy driving dole growth

    Andrew Baker | 12 Sep 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    The increasing number of people who are on the dole but are exempted from job-search requirements is a serious concern.

  12. Higher dole should come as bonus for serious job-seekers only

    Andrew Baker | 31 Aug 2012 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Higher dole should come as bonus for serious job-seekers only.

  13. The NDIS will cost us more than we’re being told

    Andrew Baker | 30 Aug 2012 | The Punch

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme presents an opportunity to re-evaluate current and future government expenditure... Read More

  14. Disability, injury insurance schemes need scrutiny

    Andrew Baker | 28 Aug 2012 | The Canberra Times

    The National Injury Insurance Scheme is the forgotten little brother of the bigger, brighter and more popular National Disability... Read More

  15. It’s time for a free trade agreement with Tasmania

    Andrew Baker | 14 Aug 2012 | ON LINE Opinion

    Tasmanians should not have their lifestyle subsidised because they have chosen to live in Tasmania, any more than people... Read More

  16. How to fund a disability scheme

    Andrew Baker | 01 Aug 2012 | The Australian Financial Review

    First there was the carbon tax, then the mining tax, then the flood tax – and now calls for a national disability insurance... Read More

  17. There's a place for (some) public science funding

    Andrew Baker | 20 Jul 2012 | The Drum

    Government should not be funding every little idea that pops into the head of our ivory tower professors.

  18. You’ve got mail. ASIO wants to read it. All of it.

    Andrew Baker | 19 Jul 2012 | The Punch

    The growing desire of governments to monitor, filter and organise what we can say and write in newspapers, watch on TV, and... Read More

  19. Ability, not disability, should determine access to support

    Andrew Baker | 14 Jul 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Blind people are exempt from certain income support tests, and this anomaly should stop.Blind people are exempt from certain... Read More

  20. Costs of reform have to be shared

    Andrew Baker | 07 Jul 2012 | The Canberra Times

    Disability care is too important to play politics with.

  21. Disability employment: noble cause, failed policy

    Andrew Baker | 25 Jun 2012 | The Drum

    The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator program is the latest in a series of policy failures from the Government.

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. Voluntary student unionism

    Andrew Baker | 27 Sep 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The fight for VSU and against compulsory up-front fees at universities is justified to reduce costs and give students more... Read More

  2. Senate reform and the political class

    Andrew Baker | 13 Sep 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Whatever your opinion, we should congratulate the likes of Leyonhjelm, Day, Lazarus, Dropulich, and Muir for their contribution... Read More

  3. Collapse in youth participation rate

    Andrew Baker | 30 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    An important fact missing from the political debate is that Australia’s youth participation rate is at its lowest ebb in... Read More

  4. Not looking for work

    Andrew Baker | 02 Aug 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The government has managed to hide the unemployed on unemployment benefits and effectively reduced the unemployment rate... Read More

  5. The cancer of government advertising strikes back

    Andrew Baker | 26 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The government is spending tens of millions of dollars on government advertising, otherwise known as a ‘cancer on democracy.’

  6. From parenting payment to prostitution?

    Andrew Baker | 12 Jul 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Claims that people on welfare are being ‘forced’ into prostitution because of cuts to welfare should be treated with... Read More

  7. The contemptuous political class

    Andrew Baker | 28 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Some $31.6 million is going to the ‘Yes’ campaign on the referendum for the recognition of local government, while a... Read More

  8. Education about the surveillance state

    Andrew Baker | 14 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The public has been reminded that governments everywhere have the power and resources to listen to their phone calls and... Read More

  9. Avoiding the carbon tax compensation nightmare

    Andrew Baker | 07 Jun 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Little has been said about the Coalition’s backflip on its promise to abolish the carbon tax compensation package.

  10. Timid cuts to middle class welfare

    Andrew Baker | 17 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The budget has delivered a new tax and some tinkering with the FTB system to pay for DisabilityCare instead of serious reforms... Read More

  11. Prospects for NDIS blowout

    Andrew Baker | 10 May 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The NDIS could experience average annual growth of around 8% per year, which would make the entire scheme financial unsustainable... Read More

  12. Time for next generation DSP reform

    Andrew Baker | 12 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Reforms to DSP would provide a number of incentives to make it easier for more people to move off welfare and into work.

  13. Reforming the welfare state

    Andrew Baker | 28 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Of the $316 billion spent on the welfare state in 2010-11, over half was on tax welfare churn.

  14. A European-style welfare crisis for Australia?

    Andrew Baker | 08 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Future levels of welfare spending are setting Australia on the path of a European style catastrophe.

  15. The uncivil society

    Andrew Baker | 01 Mar 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The expansion of Australia’s welfare state has eroded not just the institutions of civil society but also the culture of... Read More

  16. NDIS cost blowout has begun

    Andrew Baker | 15 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The government is starting to buckle over the NDIS as certain groups ramp up pressure to expand eligibility for the scheme.

  17. Karate Line

    Andrew Baker | 08 Feb 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Are welfare payments supposed to provide basic support or much more?

  18. Improving welfare or wasting money?

    Andrew Baker | 11 Jan 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The debate over the adequacy of the dole has again flared up.

  19. Making people worse off

    Andrew Baker | 30 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    A serious attempt to reform welfare payments must be made in Australia.

  20. An NDIS tax?

    Andrew Baker | 23 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The NDIS will start big and get bigger rapidly, and grow to become the new leviathan of the Australian welfare state.

  21. NDIS: The New Leviathan

    Andrew Baker | 16 Nov 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The NDIS will start big and get bigger rapidly, and grow to become the new leviathan of the Australian welfare state.

  22. The MYEFO pork barrel

    Andrew Baker | 26 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    This year’s MYEFO shows the government gravy train is chugging along quite nicely.

  23. The fall in Australian poverty

    Andrew Baker | 19 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Getting people into the workforce rather than handing more money to welfare recipients would be a better means of addressing... Read More

  24. Abusing the logic of human rights

    Andrew Baker | 12 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Parents of school-aged children who will be moved from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance are not victims of human rights... Read More

  25. The Coalition’s carbon tax compensation nightmare

    Andrew Baker | 05 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    New government spending since 2010 could easily amount to an additional $28 billion by 2020, costs that the government can... Read More

  26. The self perpetuating welfare state

    Andrew Baker | 21 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The welfare state perpetuates its own existence by growing ever larger and spending increasing amounts of other people’s... Read More

  27. Government savings driving dole growth

    Andrew Baker | 31 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    If people on the dole are not required to look for work, they will stay on the dole for longer.

  28. The NDIS will cost $22 billion a year, says new report

    Andrew Baker | 24 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Given the sheer size and scope of the NDIS, taxpayers deserve to have accurate information about the overall cost of the... Read More

  29. No need for universal dole increase

    Andrew Baker | 16 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    A targeted financial supplement for Newstart aimed at the long-term unemployed who are looking for work would be cheaper... Read More

  30. The NDIS – more cuts, less taxes

    Andrew Baker | 02 Aug 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    What have we been paying tax for if not for the sorts of services and supports that the NDIS is supposed to provide?

  31. ‘Helth’ under Whitlam

    Andrew Baker | 13 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Changes to what we can and cannot say, and how we say it, should not be imposed from up on high by the self appointed guardians... Read More

  32. Shaking the 2012–13 money tree

    Andrew Baker | 06 Jul 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The hot topics of carbon tax and immigration have pushed social policy reforms under the radar in recent months.

  33. Farming rhinoceroses

    Andrew Baker | 29 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Australia should consider legalising the trade in rhino horns.

  34. Mutual obligation as human rights abuse

    Andrew Baker | 22 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Australian Council of Social Service’s letter about the serious breach of international human rights laws here in Australia... Read More

  35. Free to be fat

    Andrew Baker | 15 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The obese should pay for their obesity – through market rates, not government taxes, so that the healthy are not punished... Read More

  36. Are tax concessions stepping stones towards smaller government?

    Andrew Baker | 08 Jun 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Tax concessions are better understood as evidence of government supporting politically important sectors of the Australian... Read More

  37. DSP reform under Labor hits the brakes

    Andrew Baker | 25 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Rudd-Gillard Labor government is famous for its policy failures, but one of the few bright spots on its report card has... Read More