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


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…

Medi-Mess: Rational Federalism and Patient Cost-Sharing for Public Hospital Sustainability in Australia
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut
16 July 2017 | RR30

The latest attempt to ‘end the blame game’ between the state and federal governments over health funding was scuttled after state premiers rejected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘tax swap’ federalism reform proposal at the April 2016 COAG meeting.  The intransigence of the states —and the…

Media & Commentary

New CIS research: Let Money Speak -- the case for deregulating donations
Simon Cowan
25 April 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The government’s attempt to ban foreign donations — and impose substantial and onerous transparency regulations on civil society — is misguided, according to the latest research from the Centre for…

The tax cut menu
Robert Carling
20 April 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

With the Turnbull government raising expectations of personal income tax cuts in the forthcoming budget, the question is whether it can deliver a cut that does not disappoint in both…

Tax by stealth – the art of plucking the golden goose
Matthew O’Donnell
20 April 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to obtain the most feathers with the least hissing. — Jean-Baptiste Colbert Congratulations Australia, the tax collector has just…

New CIS research: The three priorities for cutting income tax
Robert Carling
15 April 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The government should deliver income tax relief in the Budget, but it’s not clear they can afford to make real cuts, according to the latest research from the Centre for…

Sugar tax: ‘Do Something’ Economics 101
Matthew O’Donnell
13 April 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The UK’s recent implementation of a sugar tax has reignited the push for an Australian sugar tax, pointing to ‘science’. Often, our scientific and political elites really have no idea…