Simon Cowan

Research Manager & TARGET30 Director

Simon Cowan

Expertise: Government industry policy, car industry and regulation.

Simon Cowan is a Research Fellow in the economics program, and Director of the CIS TARGET30 program that aims to reduce government spending to less than 30% of GDP over the next 10 years. He is a leading media commentator on policy and politics, frequently appearing on the Sky network, ABC television and commercial radio. He has also written on government industry policy, defence and regulation and appeared before the Australian Senate discussing the budget and health policy. 

He co-authored the leading CIS research report on pensions and retirement policy, released in 2015, The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension.


Featured Publication

  • The myths of the generational bargain 01 March 2016 | Research Report 10
    There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has…...
    There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Reality check on Scottish independence 24 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The Scottish Nationalist Party, holder of 54 of 59 Scottish seats in the UK House of Commons and 63 seats in the Scottish Parliament, is aggrieved at the Brexit result. More specifically, they believe that the vote of the Scottish…
    The Scottish Nationalist Party, holder of 54 of 59 Scottish seats in the UK House of Commons and 63 seats in the Scottish Parliament, is aggrieved at the Brexit result. More specifically, they believe that the vote of the Scottish…
    read more
  • Fragile on the fringe: One Nation unlikely to become a genuine right-wing alternative 18 March 2017 | Canberra Times
    As the Western Australian senate count limps along, One Nation have passed the Greens in terms of percentage vote. Predictions are they will now get two upper house seats and the narrative around their result may change from shame to……
    As the Western Australian senate count limps along, One Nation have passed the Greens in terms of percentage vote. Predictions are they will now get two upper house seats and the narrative around their result may change from shame to……
    read more
  • Penalty rates a challenge for business 10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The government’s response to the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates has been weak. The government has appeared indecisive, yet will wear opprobrium for supporting the decision anyway. That the unions and Labor would try and mount a campaign…
    The government’s response to the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates has been weak. The government has appeared indecisive, yet will wear opprobrium for supporting the decision anyway. That the unions and Labor would try and mount a campaign…
    read more
  • Even in the age of reality TV, the personal isn't political 04 March 2017 | Canberra Times
    When Trent Hunter (pictured right) walked to the podium to talk about penalty rates at a Labor press conference last week, his role was clear. He was there to put a human face on a potential cut to wages, to…
    When Trent Hunter (pictured right) walked to the podium to talk about penalty rates at a Labor press conference last week, his role was clear. He was there to put a human face on a potential cut to wages, to…
    read more
  • Do you have a right to a good job? 24 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Advocates for a universal basic income (UBI) often cite automation and the rise of part-time and casual work as a reason to massively expand the welfare state by making unconditional payments to all. This is not about those who can’t…
    Advocates for a universal basic income (UBI) often cite automation and the rise of part-time and casual work as a reason to massively expand the welfare state by making unconditional payments to all. This is not about those who can’t…
    read more

Publications

  • The myths of the generational bargain 01 March 2016 | Research Report 10
    There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has increased from around 30% to 75%. This has been driven…...
    There has been a marked growth in pension cost and cohort. The percentage of people of retirement age has risen from less than 2% to almost 11% between 1911 and 2011, while the percentage of people receiving the pension has increased from around 30% to 75%. This has been driven…
    READ MORE
  • Principles and recommendations for tax reform - CIS submission National Reform Summit 27 August 2015 | CIS Submission
    The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may be pursued independently of the…...
    The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may be pursued independently of the…
    READ MORE
  • Principles and recommendations for tax reform - CIS submission National Reform Summit 30 July 2015 | The centre for Independent Studies
    The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may be pursued independently of the…...
    The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may be pursued independently of the…
    READ MORE
  • Can we afford old age? 07 July 2015
    Australia is getting older. Rising life expectancy brings with it the prospect of not years but decades in retirement. Can we afford the costs of old age? Will superannuation give retirees the standard of living they want? Is pension spending sustainable if it will triple over the next 40 years?…...
    Australia is getting older. Rising life expectancy brings with it the prospect of not years but decades in retirement. Can we afford the costs of old age? Will superannuation give retirees the standard of living they want? Is pension spending sustainable if it will triple over the next 40 years?…
    READ MORE
  • The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension 03 May 2015
    In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four out of every five retirees…...
    In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four out of every five retirees…
    READ MORE