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.

Continuing economic reform is desperately needed in Australia.  Our new project, Left Behind, is looking at the shifting patterns of employment, inequality and family breakdown in Australia and will give a unique picture of the Australia’s workforce.

In addition our work on regulation and the tax system continues to focus on providing solutions that will strengthen economic independence and prosperity. For more information on research areas, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


Lower Company Tax to Resuscitate the Economy
Jeff Bennett, Michael Potter, Tony Makin
06 July 2020 | PP31

In response to the economic contraction of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and state governments have dramatically expanded the scope and scale of state involvement in the economy. This massive spike in government spending continues to be funded by increased government borrowing that has put…

A Fiscal Vaccine for COVID-19
Tony Makin
10 June 2020 | PP30

The fiscal response to the Covid-19 crisis ensures that the federal and state governments will experience large budget deficits and escalating public debt for the foreseeable future. Federal government debt could for instance conceivably double to over $1 trillion within a few years in the…

State Finances after the Pandemic
Robert Carling
28 May 2020 | PP29

The strength of Australia’s government finances is an important dimension of economic performance as it helps set the foundations for the delivery of public services, the flexibility governments need to respond to unexpected events and a stable fiscal environment for private sector investment. This strength…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Jumpstart Productivity: New modelling pinpoints better tax cut program
John Humphreys
15 October 2019 | PP24

Treasury modelling of the government’s tax changes make the strange assumption of no behavioural change, leading them to ignore economic efficiency and overestimate the revenue implications. Proper modelling provides crucial further information: The Low-Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) does nothing to improve economic efficiency and…

Media & Commentary

Dos and don’ts of managing an economic recovery
Simon Cowan
04 July 2020 | CANBERRA TIMES

It’s a new financial year, and with it comes new opportunities — and the eternal question: ‘what next?’ Governments have operated in crisis mode more or less continuously for six…

Call time on emergency measures
Glenn Fahey
03 July 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

There’s a time and place for emergency income support through the pandemic. But the usefulness of the unprecedented — but nonetheless unsustainable — emergency measures is rapidly expiring. New data…

JobKeeper – or RecoveryPreventer?
Glenn Fahey
01 July 2020 | Spectator

Emergency income support has a time and place in buoying Australians through the pandemic. But the usefulness of the unprecedented — but nonetheless unsustainable — emergency measures is very quickly…

2020 vision of GST
Robert Carling
25 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) turns 20 next Wednesday, but policy wonks have been talking about it for at least twice as long: first, whether to have it; then…

Tow protectionism to the scrapyard
Simon Cowan
25 June 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

It’s hard to imagine anyone thought the sight of Bob Katter dressed as the Grim Reaper, being slowly circled by vintage Holden cars, would make a serious policy argument. Katter’s…