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

  • 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

  • Fiscal discipline as a victim of political disruption 07 December 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    It is often said that Australians have become complacent about what is needed to maintain the foundations for solid growth in the economy – jobs, real wages and living standards – and that we are taking prosperity for granted. One…
    It is often said that Australians have become complacent about what is needed to maintain the foundations for solid growth in the economy – jobs, real wages and living standards – and that we are taking prosperity for granted. One…
    read more
  • Is the Proportion of Net Benefit Recipients a Concern? A Reply to Peter Whiteford 29 November 2018 | austaxpolicy.com
    In his 5 October comment on Austaxpolicy, Relax. The Divide Between the Taxed and the Taxed -Nots Isn’t New and Doesn’t Buy Elections, Peter Whiteford makes four observations on our September 2018 paper for the Centre of Independent Studies, Voting for a…
    In his 5 October comment on Austaxpolicy, Relax. The Divide Between the Taxed and the Taxed -Nots Isn’t New and Doesn’t Buy Elections, Peter Whiteford makes four observations on our September 2018 paper for the Centre of Independent Studies, Voting for a…
    read more
  • A small step to correct a flawed tax 09 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet this week announced a plan to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation from 2019. This means the points at which the graduated duty rates cut in would increase automatically each year without new…
    The NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet this week announced a plan to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation from 2019. This means the points at which the graduated duty rates cut in would increase automatically each year without new…
    read more
  • Dominic Perrottet’s reforms are welcome, but the government must break its addiction to this bad tax 06 November 2018 | The Daily Telegraph
    THE move by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation is a small step towards correcting the state’s addiction to a fundamentally bad tax. But “small” is the operative word — there is so…
    THE move by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation is a small step towards correcting the state’s addiction to a fundamentally bad tax. But “small” is the operative word — there is so…
    read more
  • Is Australia still the economic wonder down under? 02 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Australia continues to gain international recognition for its exemplary economic performance and to be highlighted as a case study in successful economic reform. Readers of London-based newspaper, The Economist, would have seen a feature article in the latest issue titled…
    Australia continues to gain international recognition for its exemplary economic performance and to be highlighted as a case study in successful economic reform. Readers of London-based newspaper, The Economist, would have seen a feature article in the latest issue titled…
    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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