Economic Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies is guided by the philosophy of free markets and individual responsibility. Our economic policy research centres on ideas that will strengthen Australia’s economy for the future and challenge the reach of big government. With ongoing uncertainty for economies around the world, the CIS’ research into financial and monetary issues is more vital than ever in helping shape public policy.

Continuing economic reform is desperately needed in Australia, and that is why our TARGET30 program seeks to reduce waste in government and in the public sector, and to bring government spending under control.

For more information on our economic research, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016 | Research Report 18

There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

The case against tax increases in Australia: The growing burden
Michael Potter
07 June 2016 | Research Report 15

View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax…

MEDI-VALUE: Health Insurance and Service Innovation in Australia - Implications for the Future of Medicare
Jeremy Sammut
20 April 2016 | Research Report 14

For healthcare innovation to flourish there needs to be a real market for health services in Australia. Providers that deliver cost-effective, patient-centred care should be rewarded for increased efficiency and lower costs by being able to sell that value-proposition to cost-and quality-conscious purchasers. For innovation…

Investor-State Arbitration and the Rule of Law: Debunking the Myths
Patrick Carvalho
13 April 2016 | Research Report 13

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a legal provision in international agreements that enables foreign investors to take host states to an arbitral tribunal for alleged treaty breaches. The goal of investor-state arbitration is to provide a de-politicised, unbiased and law-based adjudication forum to guarantee the…

Media & Commentary

When $6.5 billion is a flea bite
Robert Carling
26 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Turnbull government is correct to put budget repair centre stage for next week’s opening of parliament and put the heat on their opponents over this issue. The focus on…

Shorten’s theory of the mandate falls short
Robert Carling
25 August 2016 | Spectator Flat White

One thing about close election results is that they give rise to a lot of waffle about mandates. The Labor opposition has brought something new to this debate with what…

Four solutions  to the big problems with superannuation policy 
Simon Cowan, Michael Potter, Robert Carling
25 August 2016

Crucial aspects of superannuation policy and proposed changes are examined in papers published in the forthcoming edition of the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) quarterly journal, Policy. The first of the…

GST distribution debate fires up again
Robert Carling
19 August 2016 | Business Insider

Once again we’re seeing a blaze of federal vs state and state vs state discussion about the distribution of GST revenue. And no surprise it’s an energetic discussion, because the…

Another day, another tax thought bubble
Michael Potter
19 August 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

You would have thought the government had learned by now how to promote a tax policy. Yet they’re at it again, with Malcolm Turnbull raising, without warning, a proposal to…