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 our economic research, please proceed to:

Featured Publication


Myth vs Reality: The case against increasing Capital Gains Tax
Robert Carling
05 March 2019 | PP18

Australia’s capital gains tax (CGT) policy has been largely settled for almost 20 years. However, it has come under renewed scrutiny as a result of the Australian Labor Party’s federal election platform proposal to halve the 50% CGT discount and thereby effectively increase the tax…

Dividend Franking Credit Refunds: principle vs revenue
Robert Carling
12 February 2019 | PP16

Under Australia’s dividend imputation system of taxation, since 2000 taxpayers whose franking credits exceed their tax liability have been paid a cash refund of the excess. The Labor opposition’s policy is to continue with the imputation system but to abolish cash refunds of excess franking…

I, Mechanical Pencil: Why a socialist economy can never work
Steven Kates
06 February 2019 | PP14

Socialism brings poverty and oppression. The ignorance of so many as to why only a market economy is capable of bringing prosperity and political freedom is a major problem. Too many believe a socialist utopia can be achieved if only the right people took the…

Mapping migrants: Australians’ wide-ranging experiences of immigration
Charles Jacobs
05 December 2018 | PP13

Australians’ experiences of immigration are highly varied. Using 2016 ABS Census data, this POLICY Paper finds that – statistically – the wealth of the suburb we live in can have a major impact on the type of interaction we may have with migrants.  These different…

Why we should defend capitalism
Eugenie Joseph
28 November 2018 | PP12

Capitalism has become a controversial idea in recent years; yet economic markets and free enterprise are responsible for lifting millions of people out of abject poverty, improving the quality of life around the world, and creating shared prosperity. Capitalism has also proven effective at sustaining…

Media & Commentary

Tax Freedom Day 2019 is April 17: extra day of tax burden added since 2018
Eugenie Joseph
16 April 2019 | MEDIA RELEASE

This year, April 17 marks the auspicious date when Australians finish paying their taxes to governments and begin working for themselves. Tax Freedom Day represents the point at which Australians…

Bring tax cuts forward
John Humphreys
12 April 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Dynamic modelling of the new tax changes proposed in the 2019/20 budget shows the government should bring forward their long-term tax cuts. Our modelling, published in the paper Budget 2019:…

Is the Budget really sexist?
Eugenie Joseph
12 April 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Apparently, the women of Australia were short-changed by the federal budget last week — as it contained “no strategy or vision” for the advancement of Australian women. Indeed, one article…

How to fix the fake tax debate
John Humphreys
11 April 2019 | Financial Review

Since the success of the 1980s and 1990s microeconomic reforms, subsequent governments have attempted to drape their new policy ideas in the language of “reform”. They do this because the…

Tax cuts in the never-never and a messier system now
Robert Carling
04 April 2019 | Financial Review

The new low and medium income tax offset greatly complicates the tax system, dulling incentives and making reform more difficult. The personal income tax changes in the 2019-20 federal budget are a curate’s egg…