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

  • Dos and don’ts of managing an economic recovery 04 July 2020 | CANBERRA TIMES
    It’s a new financial year, and with it comes new opportunities — and the eternal question: ‘what next?’ Governments have operated in crisis mode more or less continuously for six months, introducing flawed policies quickly in response to the bushfire…
    It’s a new financial year, and with it comes new opportunities — and the eternal question: ‘what next?’ Governments have operated in crisis mode more or less continuously for six months, introducing flawed policies quickly in response to the bushfire…
    read more
  • Tow protectionism to the scrapyard 25 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre
    It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s protest was in support of his motion calling for the…
    It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s protest was in support of his motion calling for the…
    read more
  • It's time to consign protectionism to the history books 20 June 2020 | Canberra Times
    It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s protest was in support of his motion calling for the…
    It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s protest was in support of his motion calling for the…
    read more
  • The JobKeeper tap can’t keep flowing 17 June 2020 | Spectator
    The easier it is to announce free money during a crisis, the harder it is to take it away when the crisis is over. Some have already started warning about the risks involved in stopping the JobKeeker $1,500 fortnightly payment,…
    The easier it is to announce free money during a crisis, the harder it is to take it away when the crisis is over. Some have already started warning about the risks involved in stopping the JobKeeker $1,500 fortnightly payment,…
    read more
  • Jobkeeper tap should not keep pouring 11 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre
    The easier it is to announce free money during a crisis, the harder it is to take it away when the crisis is over. Some have already started warning about the risks involved in stopping the JobKeeker $1,500 fortnightly payment…
    The easier it is to announce free money during a crisis, the harder it is to take it away when the crisis is over. Some have already started warning about the risks involved in stopping the JobKeeker $1,500 fortnightly payment…
    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