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. Robert’s recent reports include Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes? (with co-author Terrence O’Brien) and Too Little; Too Late: Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia.

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

  • Myth vs Reality: The case against increasing Capital Gains Tax 05 March 2019 | PP18
    Australia’s capital gains tax (CGT) policy has been largely settled for almost 20 years. However, it has come under renewed scrutiny as a result of the Australian Labor Party’s federal election platform proposal to halve the 50% CGT discount and…...
    Australia’s capital gains tax (CGT) policy has been largely settled for almost 20 years. However, it has come under renewed scrutiny as a result of the Australian Labor Party’s federal election platform proposal to halve the 50% CGT discount and…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Tax cuts in the never-never and a messier system now 04 April 2019 | Financial Review
    The new low and medium income tax offset greatly complicates the tax system, dulling incentives and making reform more difficult. The personal income tax changes in the 2019-20 federal budget are a curate’s egg of good and bad. They serve a macroeconomic purpose of…
    The new low and medium income tax offset greatly complicates the tax system, dulling incentives and making reform more difficult. The personal income tax changes in the 2019-20 federal budget are a curate’s egg of good and bad. They serve a macroeconomic purpose of…
    read more
  • Franking credits: If you smell a rat, you're right 10 March 2019 | Newcastle Herald
    The technical language used in the furore over dividend franking credits may be confusing to some. If you don’t really understand the issue but still smell a rat, you are right. To put it at its simplest, dividends are paid…
    The technical language used in the furore over dividend franking credits may be confusing to some. If you don’t really understand the issue but still smell a rat, you are right. To put it at its simplest, dividends are paid…
    read more
  • When ‘25% off’ is not enough 08 March 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Labor’s plans for negative gearing and dividend franking credit refunds have stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy, but the plan to increase capital gains tax (CGT) 50% by halving the discount has largely escaped critical scrutiny. To put the…
    Labor’s plans for negative gearing and dividend franking credit refunds have stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy, but the plan to increase capital gains tax (CGT) 50% by halving the discount has largely escaped critical scrutiny. To put the…
    read more
  • No case to raise CGT by 50% 05 March 2019 | MEDIA RELEASE
    Labor’s plan to hike capital gains tax (CGT) by 50% is based on flawed assumptions and poor calculations, according to a new paper by Centre for Independent Studies economist Robert Carling. Mr Carling, the author of Myth vs Reality: The…
    Labor’s plan to hike capital gains tax (CGT) by 50% is based on flawed assumptions and poor calculations, according to a new paper by Centre for Independent Studies economist Robert Carling. Mr Carling, the author of Myth vs Reality: The…
    read more
  • At the end of the road to serfdom 22 February 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Venezuela in social and economic collapse provides a contemporary case study of where socialism takes a country; but one too easily dismissed as a special case of gross mismanagement. A recent visit to the region has reminded this tourist that…
    Venezuela in social and economic collapse provides a contemporary case study of where socialism takes a country; but one too easily dismissed as a special case of gross mismanagement. A recent visit to the region has reminded this tourist that…
    read more

Publications

  • Dividend Franking Credit Refunds: principle vs revenue 12 February 2019 | PP16
    Under Australia’s dividend imputation system of taxation, since 2000 taxpayers whose franking credits exceed their tax liability have been paid a cash refund of the excess. The Labor opposition’s policy is to continue with the imputation system but to abolish cash refunds of excess franking credits, subject to a carve-out…...
    Under Australia’s dividend imputation system of taxation, since 2000 taxpayers whose franking credits exceed their tax liability have been paid a cash refund of the excess. The Labor opposition’s policy is to continue with the imputation system but to abolish cash refunds of excess franking credits, subject to a carve-out…
    READ MORE
  • 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 its favour. The researchers use the Australian Bureau of Statistics’…...
    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 its favour. The researchers use the Australian Bureau of Statistics’…
    READ MORE
  • 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…
    READ MORE
  • 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