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


Exposing the Stealth Tax: the Bracket Creep rip-off
Robert Carling, Michael Potter
13 December 2015 | Research Report 8

View Interactive Snapshot Bracket creep occurs when taxpayers pay a higher tax rate as their incomes increase due to inflation and economic growth. The tax increase due to bracket creep is $6 billion this year and the annual cost will hit $17 billion in 2018-19.…

Principles and recommendations for tax reform - CIS submission National Reform Summit
Simon Cowan, Robert Carling, Henry Ergas
27 August 2015 | The Centre for Independent Studies

The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist
Wolfgang Kasper
26 June 2015 | OP141

Australia needs a cultural counter-revolution that appeals to the traditional Australian spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism – a new ‘Australian settlement’ which goes beyond mere economic policy. It should be underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides: (i) ours is a…

Australia’s Future in the Balance: Overcoming Antagonism & Reigniting Enterprise & Prosperity
Wolfgang Kasper, Paul Kelly
25 June 2015

Following economic reforms that began in 1983 and petered out around 2003, Australians enjoyed the greatest advance in their living standards since Federation. But the lagged effects of those reforms have now subsided and the post-2003 upsurge in our terms of trade is being reversed.…

Media & Commentary

Focus on enabling those Aboriginal people who are in most need of support
Sara Hudson
12 February 2016

The Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap speech this week confirmed the failings of a policy that treats all Indigenous people as disadvantaged and in need of support — ignoring those…

MEDIA RELEASE: Treasury modelling confirms concerns about bracket creep and tax reform proposals
Michael Potter
12 February 2016

The Treasury modelling of tax reform proposals confirms the analysis of the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), according to CIS Research Fellow Michael Potter. “For some time now, the CIS…

Caution should rule in super tax changes
Michael Potter
11 February 2016 | Business Spectator

Reforming the taxation of superannuation is the flavour of the moment, particularly with GST changes apparently ‘off the table’. But some of the proposals under public discussion may generate marginal…

Public health needs a jab of private productivity
Jeremy Sammut
05 February 2016 | The Australian

Since the 2013 election, the national conversation has been dominated by calls to revive the mojo of the 1980s and undertake economic reform to repair government budgets. Yet according to…

Scepticism about GST tax swaps is well grounded
Robert Carling
01 February 2016 | Business Spectator

Mike Baird wasn’t to know, but reports of the latest version of his plan for a 15% GST coincided with the release of a Newspoll showing a majority opposed to…