Government Spending

Governments spend taxpayers’ money on a wide range of programmes from education to defence and from welfare to infrastructure. Yet there can be too much of a good thing, and some government spending is just wasteful. How can we ensure that taxpayers are getting value for money?


Politically-Feasible Health Reform: Whatever Will It Take?
Jeremy Sammut, Peta Seaton, Gerald Thomas, Terry Barnes
07 December 2016 | OP153

Despite the ever-escalating cost of health posing severe fiscal sustainability challenges, health reform has been dumped even more firmly in the politically too-hard basket since the ‘Mediscare’ federal election. A politically-feasible reform strategy is required to catalyse much-needed innovation in the health sector and deliver…

MEDI-VATION: ‘Health Innovation Communities’ for Medicare Payment and Service Reform
Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas, Peta Seaton
02 November 2016 | RR21

Health Innovation Communities (HICs) would essentially constitute an Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ for health – hubs for research and development within which the proverbial 1000 flowers will bloom as a plurality of different providers create novel health products and solutions. The good examples and real world…

Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016 | Research Report 18

There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

The case against tax increases in Australia: The growing burden
Michael Potter
07 June 2016 | Research Report 15

View Interactive Snapshot The tax burden imposed by the Commonwealth Government alone, and by all Australian governments, is above its historical levels and forecast to go well above these averages. Similar results are obtained if the budget deficit is included to measure the long-run tax…

Media & Commentary

Unproductive? Go figure…
Rebecca Weisser
09 December 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Federal Government has asked the Productivity Commission to spend 12 months figuring out how to make Australia more productive. If the government or the commission wanted to enhance their…

MEDIA RELEASE: Critique of fiscal stimulus highlights ineffectiveness and costs
Robert Carling
09 December 2016

  A Treasury-released paper critiquing Australia’s fiscal stimulus during the global financial crisis of 2008-09 shows the flaws in the stimulus model, according to the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS).…

Australia's budget repair problem can't be swept under the carpet
Simon Cowan
26 November 2016 | Canberra Times

Peter Costello delivered the last federal budget surplus on May 8, 2007. The following year, new Labor treasurer Wayne Swan promised a $20 billion surplus, which turned out to be…

Dark clouds gather around Australia’s triple-A rating
Robert Carling
25 November 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The bongo drums of credit ratings agencies just became louder, and the message is that at least one agency is poised to strip the Commonwealth of Australia of its triple-A…

MEDIA RELEASE: Productivity Commission report proof of pressing need for more and better evaluations of Indigenous programs
Sara Hudson
18 November 2016

The Productivity Commission’s latest Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) report is consistent with Centre for Independent Studies research that found only 8% (88) of 1,082 programs had been evaluated,” CIS Indigenous…