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


Cutting income tax: can we add the bacon to the hamburger and milkshake tax cuts?
Robert Carling
15 April 2018 | PP1

The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of…

Red tape and Australia’s economic malaise
Michael Potter
07 February 2018 | OP164

Australia is in a period of economic malaise. GDP per person has been growing slowly ever since the GFC. Australia’s performance is mediocre compared to other developed countries; by contrast, we outperformed before the GFC. Household incomes and wages are also growing at slow rates,…

From Reform to Retreat: 30 Years of Australian Fiscal Policy
Robert Carling
10 December 2017 | OP161

Australia entered an era of economic reform in the mid-1980s as policymakers resolved to liberalise the country’s economy and strengthen its public finances. Fiscal reform, which is the subject of this paper, was an important part of the process. These reforms included management of the…

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
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…

Media & Commentary

Landing a fix on airport monopolies
Eugenie Joseph
13 July 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Would price controls on airport services be a good idea? This is one of the questions being raised in a new Productivity Commission inquiry into the regulation of airports. But…

Smaller states should demand more... but not from the GST
Simon Cowan
07 July 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

It’s has been billed as the biggest change to the GST in two decades. The federal government has moved quickly to resolve the very low GST relativity of Western Australia…

How to think about gender inequality
Simon Cowan
06 July 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

One of the most frustrating debates in public policy is the one over women’s workforce participation and the gender pay gap. On one side you have people taking the raw…

Farm finance ripe for disruption
Charles Jacobs
06 July 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

modern combine harvester working on a wheat crop The banking royal commission placed the spotlight on the tricky relationship between banks and farmers. As a result of their lending behaviour,…

Rich get richer while poor get … richer
Robert Carling
29 June 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

One of the striking results of the survey of millennials released by the CIS last week was that 62% of respondents agreed with the proposition that “ordinary workers in Australia…