Robert Carling

Senior Fellow, Economics Program

Robert Carling

Expertise: taxation, government spending, fiscal policy, federalism

Robert Carling is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies. Robert is researching and writing about fiscal policy, taxation and federalism. In addition to working on TARGET30 papers Robert has recently written reports called Shrink Taxation by Shrinking Government! and States of Debt.

Prior to joining the CIS, Robert was Executive Director, Economic and Fiscal at the New South Wales Treasury from 1998 to 2006. Previous position have been with Commonwealth Treasury, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He holds academic qualifications in economics and finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Georgetown University and the University of Queensland.


Featured Publication

  • Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes? 05 September 2018 | PP9
    This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry…...
    This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry…
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Media & Commentary

  • When buying votes replaces selling policies 12 September 2018 | Australian Financial Review
    The Morrison government’s decision not to lift the pension age above 67 is the last nail in the coffin of the 2014 “austerity” budget in which it was first proposed. Is it also an example of what may happen in a democracy…
    The Morrison government’s decision not to lift the pension age above 67 is the last nail in the coffin of the 2014 “austerity” budget in which it was first proposed. Is it also an example of what may happen in a democracy…
    read more
  • The inequality storm in a teacup 12 September 2018 | The Spectator
    The idea that economic inequality is a problem — and an increasing one — demanding public policy remedies has taken root in Australian political and policy debates. But there is a sense in which these debates have leapfrogged the relevant…
    The idea that economic inequality is a problem — and an increasing one — demanding public policy remedies has taken root in Australian political and policy debates. But there is a sense in which these debates have leapfrogged the relevant…
    read more
  • Buying votes easier than selling good policies 07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Does the nature of a democracy change when an increasing majority of its voters receive net benefits from, or are employed by, government — while a diminishing minority shoulders the net tax burden? Australia is in the process of finding…
    Does the nature of a democracy change when an increasing majority of its voters receive net benefits from, or are employed by, government — while a diminishing minority shoulders the net tax burden? Australia is in the process of finding…
    read more
  • It’s easier to buy votes than sell policies 06 September 2018 | The Spectator Australia
    What do Scott Morrison and Vladimir Putin have in common? For one thing, they’ve both backed down from proposals to lift the eligibility age for the public pension. In Putin’s case, it’s only a partial back down, but the fact…
    What do Scott Morrison and Vladimir Putin have in common? For one thing, they’ve both backed down from proposals to lift the eligibility age for the public pension. In Putin’s case, it’s only a partial back down, but the fact…
    read more
  • New CIS research: Voting for a Living: is government largesse buying votes? 06 September 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE
    There are now so many beneficiaries of government largesse that they may constitute a political force strong enough to bias policy outcomes, according to a new paper from the Centre for Independent Studies In Voting for a Living: A shift…
    There are now so many beneficiaries of government largesse that they may constitute a political force strong enough to bias policy outcomes, according to a new paper from the Centre for Independent Studies In Voting for a Living: A shift…
    read more

Publications

  • Too Little; Too Late: Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia 13 June 2018 | PP5
    The main thrust of the Government’s proposed personal income tax changes announced in the 2018-19 Budget is welcome, but they could be improved to better promote economic efficiency. Also, implementation should be brought forward, with the earlier revenue losses offset by tighter expenditure management. Specifically, the government’s proposal should be…...
    The main thrust of the Government’s proposed personal income tax changes announced in the 2018-19 Budget is welcome, but they could be improved to better promote economic efficiency. Also, implementation should be brought forward, with the earlier revenue losses offset by tighter expenditure management. Specifically, the government’s proposal should be…
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  • Cutting income tax: can we add the bacon to the hamburger and milkshake tax cuts? 15 April 2018 | PP1
    The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of automatic annual indexation of bracket…...
    The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of automatic annual indexation of bracket…
    READ MORE
  • From Reform to Retreat: 30 Years of Australian Fiscal Policy 10 December 2017 | OP161
    Australia entered an era of economic reform in the mid-1980s as policymakers resolved to liberalise the country’s economy and strengthen its public finances. Fiscal reform, which is the subject of this paper, was an important part of the process. These reforms included management of the fiscal balance and public debt,…...
    Australia entered an era of economic reform in the mid-1980s as policymakers resolved to liberalise the country’s economy and strengthen its public finances. Fiscal reform, which is the subject of this paper, was an important part of the process. These reforms included management of the fiscal balance and public debt,…
    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.
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