Michael Potter

Research Fellow, Economics Program

Expertise: taxation, superannuation, social security and welfare, workplace relations, competition policy, infrastructure investment and regulation, general business regulation, economic inequality.

Michael is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies. Michael has worked for the Parliamentary Budget Office, the Federal Departments of Treasury, Environment and Prime Minister & Cabinet (where he advised then Prime Minister John Howard on the introduction of the GST).

He has also worked as Policy Manager, Economics at the National Farmers’ Federation, and Director, Economics and Taxation at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Michael has completed a Masters of Applied Economics from ANU and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney.


Featured Publication

  • Submission to Productivity Commission - Draft report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services 14 July 2017 | CIS Submission
    The Productivity Commission (PC) released a draft report proposing reforms to increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services. CIS responded to the PC’s report with a submission covering two issues raised in the draft report: social housing…...
    The Productivity Commission (PC) released a draft report proposing reforms to increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services. CIS responded to the PC’s report with a submission covering two issues raised in the draft report: social housing…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Paul Keating is wrong on the company tax cut 02 August 2017 | Australian Financial Review
    Opponents of company tax cuts seem to conveniently forget the widespread historical support for precisely the same policy. Now we have former Prime Minister Paul Keating scorning the tax cut in his usual emotive language. However, Mr Keating’s previous actions show…
    Opponents of company tax cuts seem to conveniently forget the widespread historical support for precisely the same policy. Now we have former Prime Minister Paul Keating scorning the tax cut in his usual emotive language. However, Mr Keating’s previous actions show…
    read more
  • Investors not to blame for rise in renters 21 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The release of the latest Census figures has shown home ownership is down, and (unsurprisingly) investors are being blamed, particularly the negative gearing ‘tax concession’ for investors. Well not so fast. It is true that over the decade to 2016,…
    The release of the latest Census figures has shown home ownership is down, and (unsurprisingly) investors are being blamed, particularly the negative gearing ‘tax concession’ for investors. Well not so fast. It is true that over the decade to 2016,…
    read more
  • Why we'll all pay for South Australia's bank heist. 12 July 2017 | THE SPECTATOR - FLAT WHITE
    The South Australia state parliament is in recess for a fortnight. It’s time for Premier Jay Weatherill and his bullish Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, to decide if they’ll continue to try to rip off the rest of us for yet more…
    The South Australia state parliament is in recess for a fortnight. It’s time for Premier Jay Weatherill and his bullish Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, to decide if they’ll continue to try to rip off the rest of us for yet more…
    read more
  • New record set for tax hike 23 June 2017 | THE SPECTATOR - FLAT WHITE
    A9X9B5 Tax Rate button on calculator This must be a new record for the speed of a tax hike. On Monday 19 June, the federal parliament passed legislation implementing the major bank levy. And yesterday — just four days later…
    A9X9B5 Tax Rate button on calculator This must be a new record for the speed of a tax hike. On Monday 19 June, the federal parliament passed legislation implementing the major bank levy. And yesterday — just four days later…
    read more
  • Major Bank Levy a trickery lesson 23 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    There have been plenty of attempts to confuse the public over who pays the Major Bank Levy. While it is supposedly a tax on the five major banks of about $1.6 billion per year, it will actually end up being…
    There have been plenty of attempts to confuse the public over who pays the Major Bank Levy. While it is supposedly a tax on the five major banks of about $1.6 billion per year, it will actually end up being…
    read more

Publications

  • The Major Bank Levy: We’re all going to be hit 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 levy won’t materially change the…...
    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 levy won’t materially change the…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to IPART Review of Social and Affordable Housing Rent Models 15 May 2017 | CIS Submission
    In April, IPART released a draft report into models for setting social and affordable housing rent. The CIS submission on the IPART draft argues for reforms including: All new social housing tenants, and all existing tenants who wish to move, should be provided with informed choice over the dwelling they…...
    In April, IPART released a draft report into models for setting social and affordable housing rent. The CIS submission on the IPART draft argues for reforms including: All new social housing tenants, and all existing tenants who wish to move, should be provided with informed choice over the dwelling they…
    READ MORE
  • Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy 27 April 2017 | RR25
    Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs. Waiting lists are very long,…...
    Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs. Waiting lists are very long,…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance 19 April 2017 | CIS Submission
    Corporate tax avoidance is an issue of some concern to the Australian community. However, many assertions made in the debate about tax avoidance are not supported by evidence; such as statements that company tax avoidance is widespread. Instead, the evidence shows that company tax revenue is above historical averages and…...
    Corporate tax avoidance is an issue of some concern to the Australian community. However, many assertions made in the debate about tax avoidance are not supported by evidence; such as statements that company tax avoidance is widespread. Instead, the evidence shows that company tax revenue is above historical averages and…
    READ MORE
  • Comments on ‘Better Budgeting Discussion Paper’ 13 April 2017 | CIS Submission
    The following comments are offered in response to the call for submissions on the ‘Better Budgeting Discussion Paper’ issued by Jim Chalmers MP in February 2017. The comments represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of The Centre for Independent Studies....
    The following comments are offered in response to the call for submissions on the ‘Better Budgeting Discussion Paper’ issued by Jim Chalmers MP in February 2017. The comments represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of The Centre for Independent Studies.
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Productivity Commission 5 year productivity review: Increasing Australia’s Fu-ture Prosperity 15 December 2016 | CIS Submission
    The submission by CIS Research Fellow Michael Potter argues: An excellent productivity boosting agenda is contained in a speech by the former chair of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, “Productivity Policies: the ‘to do’ list” in 2012. The Commissions should not reject policies that may reduce measured productivity but make…...
    The submission by CIS Research Fellow Michael Potter argues: An excellent productivity boosting agenda is contained in a speech by the former chair of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, “Productivity Policies: the ‘to do’ list” in 2012. The Commissions should not reject policies that may reduce measured productivity but make…
    READ MORE
  • Fix it or Fail: Why we must cut company tax now 04 October 2016 | RR20
    Australia needs to cut company tax to 25% to boost business investment, which is currently at recessionary levels. An investment boost will grow the economy, leading to increased wages, employment, national income, exports and productivity. Business investment is being hampered by our uncompetitive company tax, which is highly inefficient and…...
    Australia needs to cut company tax to 25% to boost business investment, which is currently at recessionary levels. An investment boost will grow the economy, leading to increased wages, employment, national income, exports and productivity. Business investment is being hampered by our uncompetitive company tax, which is highly inefficient and…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to Senate Inquiry on Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016 03 October 2016 | CIS Submission
    The submission by CIS Research Fellow Michael Potter provides a detailed case for a reduction in the company tax rate as contained in the Bill. The submission details the uncompetitive nature of Australia’s company tax system, the benefits of the tax cut, and responses to some of the arguments presented…...
    The submission by CIS Research Fellow Michael Potter provides a detailed case for a reduction in the company tax rate as contained in the Bill. The submission details the uncompetitive nature of Australia’s company tax system, the benefits of the tax cut, and responses to some of the arguments presented…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Enterprise Tax Plan Bill 2016 30 September 2016 | CIS Submission
    The growing company tax burden contrasts with the state of the economy, which is showing some weaknesses and facing substantial risks — as discussed later in this paper. Australia’s company tax system is not well placed to address these risks. The tax rate was 49% in the 1980s, and was…...
    The growing company tax burden contrasts with the state of the economy, which is showing some weaknesses and facing substantial risks — as discussed later in this paper. Australia’s company tax system is not well placed to address these risks. The tax rate was 49% in the 1980s, and was…
    READ MORE
  • The case against tax increases in Australia: The growing burden 07 June 2016 | Research Report 15
    View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax burden. In the past when…...
    View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax burden. In the past when…
    READ MORE
  • The case against tax increases in Australia: The growing burden 07 June 2016 | Research Report 15
    View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax burden. In the past when…...
    View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax burden. In the past when…
    READ MORE
  • Exposing the Stealth Tax: the Bracket Creep rip-off 13 December 2015 | Research Report 8
    View Interactive Snapshot Bracket creep occurs when taxpayers pay a higher tax rate as their incomes increase due to inflation and economic growth. The tax increase due to bracket creep is $6 billion this year and the annual cost will hit $17 billion in 2018-19. The impact of bracket creep…...
    View Interactive Snapshot Bracket creep occurs when taxpayers pay a higher tax rate as their incomes increase due to inflation and economic growth. The tax increase due to bracket creep is $6 billion this year and the annual cost will hit $17 billion in 2018-19. The impact of bracket creep…
    READ MORE
  • Exposing the Stealth Tax: the Bracket Creep rip-off 13 December 2015 | Research Report 8
    View Interactive Snapshot Bracket creep occurs when taxpayers pay a higher tax rate as their incomes increase due to inflation and economic growth. The tax increase due to bracket creep is $6 billion this year and the annual cost will hit $17 billion in 2018-19. The impact of bracket creep…...
    View Interactive Snapshot Bracket creep occurs when taxpayers pay a higher tax rate as their incomes increase due to inflation and economic growth. The tax increase due to bracket creep is $6 billion this year and the annual cost will hit $17 billion in 2018-19. The impact of bracket creep…
    READ MORE