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

  • Put simply, public housing is a bad investment 04 December 2021 | Canberra Times
    This week has seen several proposals for increased social housing. The Grattan Institute released a plan for a Social Housing Future Fund, while Senator Jacqui Lambie — a long-time social housing advocate  — was arguing for an increase in funding…
    This week has seen several proposals for increased social housing. The Grattan Institute released a plan for a Social Housing Future Fund, while Senator Jacqui Lambie — a long-time social housing advocate  — was arguing for an increase in funding…
    read more
  • We really don't want to have to deal with runaway inflation 20 November 2021 | Canberra Times
    Last week it was revealed that US Consumer Price Index rose by more than 6% in the 12 months to October. In fact, it was reported that prices rose by almost 1% just in October. Core inflation, which excludes more…
    Last week it was revealed that US Consumer Price Index rose by more than 6% in the 12 months to October. In fact, it was reported that prices rose by almost 1% just in October. Core inflation, which excludes more…
    read more
  • We're not the 'human rights nation' we thought we were 05 November 2021 | Canberra Times
    As the country celebrates the return of our ‘freedoms’, and promises echo that lockdowns are a thing of the past, it is hard to avoid a sobering conclusion that our collective regard for human rights is far weaker than anyone…
    As the country celebrates the return of our ‘freedoms’, and promises echo that lockdowns are a thing of the past, it is hard to avoid a sobering conclusion that our collective regard for human rights is far weaker than anyone…
    read more
  • Don't hate Pru Goward, she's just the messenger 22 October 2021 | Canberra Times
    As we emerge from the highly unusual circumstances of the pandemic, with its shutdowns and massive government spending, there will be increased focus on those left in entrenched poverty. Activists will push for all the focus to be reforming (and…
    As we emerge from the highly unusual circumstances of the pandemic, with its shutdowns and massive government spending, there will be increased focus on those left in entrenched poverty. Activists will push for all the focus to be reforming (and…
    read more
  • Planning policy, not loose lending, is locking people out of the housing market 09 October 2021 | Canberra Times
    After months of rising house prices, government regulator APRA has finally stepped in to combat this scourge. They have decided to take the heat out of the market by making it harder to qualify for a loan. In accordance with…
    After months of rising house prices, government regulator APRA has finally stepped in to combat this scourge. They have decided to take the heat out of the market by making it harder to qualify for a loan. In accordance with…
    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