Economic Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies is guided by the philosophy of free markets and individual responsibility. Our economic policy research centres on ideas that will strengthen Australia’s economy for the future and challenge the reach of big government. With ongoing uncertainty for economies around the world, the CIS’ research into financial and monetary issues is more vital than ever in helping shape public policy.

Continuing economic reform is desperately needed in Australia, and that is why our TARGET30 program seeks to reduce waste in government and in the public sector, and to bring government spending under control.

For more information on our economic research, please proceed to:

Featured Publication

Publications

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result…

Medi-Mess: Rational Federalism and Patient Cost-Sharing for Public Hospital Sustainability in Australia
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut
16 July 2017 | RR30

The latest attempt to ‘end the blame game’ between the state and federal governments over health funding was scuttled after state premiers rejected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘tax swap’ federalism reform proposal at the April 2016 COAG meeting.  The intransigence of the states —and the…

Industrial Relations in Australia: a Handbrake on Prosperity
John Slater
09 July 2017 | OP157

Since the defeat of the Howard Government, industrial relations has come to be seen as the third rail of Australian politics. However, Australia faces a number of major demographic and technological challenges that require much more than piecemeal changes to penalty rates. In order to…

The Major Bank Levy: We’re all going to be hit
Michael Potter
19 June 2017 | RR29

The major bank levy was proposed in the 2017–18 Budget. The levy has numerous flaws including: The costs of the levy will likely be passed on as higher interest rates for mortgages and business loans, harming households and business investment which is very weak. The…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

Media & Commentary

Why not an obesity tax, rather than a sugar tax?
Matthew O’Donnell
16 January 2018 | THE SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITE

Once upon a time, New Year’s resolutions were the purview of the individual. You made an unwritten pact with yourself to read more books or to join a gym. Sometimes…

Revenue sharing is not responsibility
Robert Carling
11 January 2018 | THE SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITE

 The Queensland government submission to the Productivity Commission review of GST distribution suggests the Commonwealth government should share its income tax revenue with the states. At first glance, this looks…

Will Turnbull be the magician of GST reform?
Robert Carling
03 January 2018 | THE SPECTATOR - FLAT WHITE

Reforming the system of GST distribution among the states (‘horizontal fiscal equalisation’, or HFE) is unlikely to be on Malcolm Turnbull’s or Scott Morrison’s lists of New Year resolutions, but…

Robot truck drivers shape up as a heavy load
Tom Switzer
01 January 2018 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

The robots are coming to the rescue. So screamed a headline about artificial intelligence. The article appeared recently in The Times of London and it reported that, just as automation and outsourcing will boost…

Australia's political winners and losers of a year of uncertainty
Simon Cowan
23 December 2017 | CANBERRA TIMES

As 2017 began with the resignation of a Cabinet Minister, you would have been forgiven for thinking that might have been a defining moment of the political year. Forgiven, but…