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.


Featured Publication

  • 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…...
    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…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Reject division 20 February 2020 | IDEAS@THECENTRE
    Last week the Prime Minister delivered the latest (not) Closing the Gap report, which again shows how little progress has been made in the 12 years since the “Gap” targets and process started. In many areas, although progress has actually been…
    Last week the Prime Minister delivered the latest (not) Closing the Gap report, which again shows how little progress has been made in the 12 years since the “Gap” targets and process started. In many areas, although progress has actually been…
    read more
  • Closing the gap requires us to reject separatism 15 February 2020 | Canberra Times
    This week the Prime Minister delivered the latest (not) Closing the Gapreport, which again shows how little progress has been made in the 12 years since the “Gap” targets and process started. In many areas, although progress has actually been…
    This week the Prime Minister delivered the latest (not) Closing the Gapreport, which again shows how little progress has been made in the 12 years since the “Gap” targets and process started. In many areas, although progress has actually been…
    read more
  • Brexit lessons 07 February 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre
    After voting 52% to 48% to leave, the United Kingdom has finally, officially, departed from the European Union — following three and a half years of uncertainty, confusion and delay. There are a number of lessons for Australia from the…
    After voting 52% to 48% to leave, the United Kingdom has finally, officially, departed from the European Union — following three and a half years of uncertainty, confusion and delay. There are a number of lessons for Australia from the…
    read more
  • There are lessons for Australia in Brexit - but not the ones we think 01 February 2020 | Canberra Times
    After voting 52% to 48% to leave, the United Kingdom has finally, officially, departed from the European Union — following three and a half years of uncertainty, confusion and delay. There are a number of lessons for Australia from the…
    After voting 52% to 48% to leave, the United Kingdom has finally, officially, departed from the European Union — following three and a half years of uncertainty, confusion and delay. There are a number of lessons for Australia from the…
    read more
  • Sport grants always political 24 January 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has revealed that the federal government handed out tens of millions of dollars in community sports infrastructure grants ostensibly for political purposes. This has outraged many — including some who are for the very…
    The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has revealed that the federal government handed out tens of millions of dollars in community sports infrastructure grants ostensibly for political purposes. This has outraged many — including some who are for the very…
    read more

Publications

  • 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
  • Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’ 31 May 2017 | OP156
    Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never result in sustainable welfare reform.…...
    Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never result in sustainable welfare reform.…
    READ MORE