Research Scholars – The Centre for Independent Studies

Simon Cowan

Research Director

Simon Cowan

Expertise: Welfare and retirement incomes policy, Government budgets and regulation.

Simon Cowan is Research Director at the CIS.  He is currently working on a project examining Australia’s worker class and whether they will be ‘Left Behind’. Simon is also 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. 

His latest work includes Let Money Speak,  Defending the Dual Citizen Ban and he has co-authored research reports on pensions and retirement policy and the UBI.


Watch Simon in action:


Featured Publication

  • Attitudes to a post-Covid Australia 26 August 2021 | AP25
    There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase…...
    There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Vaccine passports should be treated with caution 11 September 2021 | Canberra Times
    As the vaccination rate in Australia rapidly approaches national targets, the issue of vaccine passports has moved to the fore of public debate. In its simplest form, a Covid vaccine passport is an official certificate verifying the holder has had…
    As the vaccination rate in Australia rapidly approaches national targets, the issue of vaccine passports has moved to the fore of public debate. In its simplest form, a Covid vaccine passport is an official certificate verifying the holder has had…
    read more
  • Covid-zero is becoming even less plausible by the day 28 August 2021 | Canberra Times
    The delta outbreak in NSW hit 1,000 cases a day this week, with no signs of slowing down. Melbourne is close to 100 cases a day, despite what could only be described as a punitive lockdown and some positive signs…
    The delta outbreak in NSW hit 1,000 cases a day this week, with no signs of slowing down. Melbourne is close to 100 cases a day, despite what could only be described as a punitive lockdown and some positive signs…
    read more
  • Is Covid-zero a viable long-term strategy? 14 August 2021 | Canberra Times
    On Thursday, the ACT became the latest jurisdiction to enter a snap lockdown at just a handful of cases; the latest domino to fall to Delta COVID. Whatever the previous rhetoric about lockdowns being a ‘last resort’, they are clearly…
    On Thursday, the ACT became the latest jurisdiction to enter a snap lockdown at just a handful of cases; the latest domino to fall to Delta COVID. Whatever the previous rhetoric about lockdowns being a ‘last resort’, they are clearly…
    read more
  • Labor's tax backflip poses a bigger question: Why is treating people equally is increasingly seen as unfair? 31 July 2021 | Canberra Times
    Labor has formally announced it will abandon many of the tax policies it took to the last election. Significantly, they have committed not to overturn the government’s legislated stage 3 tax cuts, as well as dropping planned negative gearing changes.…
    Labor has formally announced it will abandon many of the tax policies it took to the last election. Significantly, they have committed not to overturn the government’s legislated stage 3 tax cuts, as well as dropping planned negative gearing changes.…
    read more
  • NSW gold-standard failure makes our way out of Covid even harder 17 July 2021 | Canberra Times
    With this week’s second extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown, it is clear that the much-vaunted NSW strategy of managing COVID in the community through contact tracing and isolation looks to be dead. Many factors may have contributed to this…
    With this week’s second extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown, it is clear that the much-vaunted NSW strategy of managing COVID in the community through contact tracing and isolation looks to be dead. Many factors may have contributed to this…
    read more

Publications

  • Millennials and Super: the case for voluntary superannuation 28 May 2019 | PP20
    Superannuation is not a good deal for everyone. As a result of house prices increases, it has become much harder to save for a deposit and, as a result, homeownership percentages among younger workers have fallen. Superannuation, particularly future increases in the guarantee rate, is one of the reasons it…...
    Superannuation is not a good deal for everyone. As a result of house prices increases, it has become much harder to save for a deposit and, as a result, homeownership percentages among younger workers have fallen. Superannuation, particularly future increases in the guarantee rate, is one of the reasons it…
    READ MORE
  • Defending the Dual Citizen Ban 31 May 2018 | PP3
    The High Court has rightfully resisted calls to read subjective elements into section 44(i) in order to keep the current crop of ineligible politicians in their seats. This interpretation is seen as harsh, but is based on sound legal principle and a common sense interpretation of the wording in the…...
    The High Court has rightfully resisted calls to read subjective elements into section 44(i) in order to keep the current crop of ineligible politicians in their seats. This interpretation is seen as harsh, but is based on sound legal principle and a common sense interpretation of the wording in the…
    READ MORE
  • Let Money Speak 25 April 2018 | PP2
    The government’s proposal to ban foreign donations and limit political contributions from charities is a flawed and rash proposal that would undermine democracy. It purports to ‘protect’ the public from unsubstantiated threats to democracy from foreign donations and unregulated contributions to public debate. It is not clear that either of…...
    The government’s proposal to ban foreign donations and limit political contributions from charities is a flawed and rash proposal that would undermine democracy. It purports to ‘protect’ the public from unsubstantiated threats to democracy from foreign donations and unregulated contributions to public debate. It is not clear that either of…
    READ MORE
  • UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea 05 November 2017 | RR32
    The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result of technology, with advocates arguing…...
    The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result of technology, with advocates arguing…
    READ MORE