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


Industrial Relations in Australia: a Handbrake on Prosperity
John Slater
09 July 2017 | OP157

Since the defeat of the Howard Government, industrial relations has come to be seen as the third rail of Australian politics. However, Australia faces a number of major demographic and technological challenges that require much more than piecemeal changes to penalty rates. In order to…

The Major Bank Levy: We’re all going to be hit
Michael Potter
19 June 2017 | RR29

The major bank levy was proposed in the 2017–18 Budget. The levy has numerous flaws including: The costs of the levy will likely be passed on as higher interest rates for mortgages and business loans, harming households and business investment which is very weak. The…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
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…

Submission to IPART Review of Social and Affordable Housing Rent Models
Michael Potter
15 May 2017 | CIS Submission

In April, IPART released a draft report into models for setting social and affordable housing rent. The CIS submission on the IPART draft argues for reforms including: All new social housing tenants, and all existing tenants who wish to move, should be provided with informed…

Fiscal Fiction: The Real Medicare Levy
Jeremy Sammut
07 May 2017 | RR27

The Medicare Levy is, and always has been, a fiscal fiction. The revenue raised by the levy is not ‘hypothecated’ – dedicated specifically to fund Medicare – but goes into general government revenue. Moreover, the amount of revenue raised by the levy accounts for a…

Media & Commentary

Federalism key to saving states from Medicare
Jeremy Sammut, David Gadiel
21 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

If you thought the Gonski and NDIS ‘funding gaps’ were problems, the cost of schools and disability services pales by comparison to the future cost of Medicare. Health funding remains…

Investors not to blame for rise in renters
Michael Potter
21 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The release of the latest Census figures has shown home ownership is down, and (unsurprisingly) investors are being blamed, particularly the negative gearing ‘tax concession’ for investors. Well not so…

Fiscally fixing health and Medicare means state income taxes
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut

The old business adage warns there is no such thing as a free lunch. And the same applies when it comes to health policy: the notion we can make Australia’s…

IR’s Kodak moment
John Slater
14 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The rise of automation will see a sizeable chunk of today’s workforce replaced by robots, global employment giant Seek has warned.  And a recent McKinsey report found 75% of hospitality…

Blame GDP for ‘secular stagnation’?
Montana Clapton
14 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

In an era of prolonged ultra-low interest rates, spending and investment has remained stubbornly sluggish across the developed world. Some have claimed this to be evidence of ‘secular stagnation’ — a…