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


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.…

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

Media & Commentary

A misguided approach to multinational tax avoidance
Michael Potter
08 October 2015 | Business Spectator

The OECD, the organisation that does research for developed countries, has just released its recommendations on how countries should address tax avoidance by multinationals. It comes under the inspirational name…

Careful What You Wish For, Abbott’s Trendy Critics
Jeremy Sammut
04 October 2015 | The Spectator

Before popular perception hardens into conventional wisdom, the misconceptions about the fall of Tony Abbott must be addressed. A trendy school of thought on the Right says the Abbott government…

The glacial rate of change in healthcare management
02 October 2015

On some dimensions healthcare is rampantly creative—a lantana of invention. On other dimensions it is a petrified desert of fossilised forms. Imagine two great historical figures summoned from the grave.…

No, Australia doesn't have a revenue problem
Michael Potter
02 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Many commentators think taxes need to increase to ensure the tax-to-GDP ratio is ‘restored’ to historical levels. But their arguments are wrong. The tax-to-GDP ratio is currently well above the…

Give the AMA a bypass and privatise public hospitals
Jeremy Sammut
29 September 2015 | The Australian

The Australian Medical Association’s pre-emptive political strike on the Medicare services review shows that some members of the medical profession believe only the doctor’s union should make health policy in…