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?

Publications

The Case for a New Australian Settlement: Ruminations of an Inveterate Economist
Wolfgang Kasper
26 June 2015 | OP141

Australia needs a cultural counter-revolution that appeals to the traditional Australian spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism – a new ‘Australian settlement’ which goes beyond mere economic policy. It should be underpinned by agreed basic understandings across political and social divides: (i) ours is a…

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015 | Research Report 3

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

Public Money: Federal-State Financial Relations and the Constitutional Limits on Spending Public Money
Anne Twomey, Robert Carling
29 October 2014 | OP138

It is uncontroversial that federal-state financial relations need reform, but it is necessary to understand how we got to the current position and what constitutional constraints and principles are relevant to future reforms. Those who wrote the Commonwealth Constitution understood that they were handing over…

Sovereignty, Blame Games and Tony Abbott’s New Federalism
Anne Twomey, Jeremy Sammut, Nick Greiner, Robert Carling
28 August 2014 | PF27

In July 2014, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) held a public forum on reform of the Australian federation, which continued the CIS’s involvement in issues related to Australian federalism over many years. It was held at this time in response to Prime Minister Abbott’s…

Media & Commentary

Caution should rule in super tax changes
Michael Potter
11 February 2016 | Business Spectator

Reforming the taxation of superannuation is the flavour of the moment, particularly with GST changes apparently ‘off the table’. But some of the proposals under public discussion may generate marginal…

Public health needs a jab of private productivity
Jeremy Sammut
05 February 2016 | The Australian

Since the 2013 election, the national conversation has been dominated by calls to revive the mojo of the 1980s and undertake economic reform to repair government budgets. Yet according to…

Scepticism about GST tax swaps is well grounded
Robert Carling
01 February 2016 | Business Spectator

Mike Baird wasn’t to know, but reports of the latest version of his plan for a 15% GST coincided with the release of a Newspoll showing a majority opposed to…

MEDIA RELEASE: People right to be sceptical about GST rise
Robert Carling
01 February 2016 | MEDIA RELEASE

Latest polling shows that there is low support for a GST rise even with income tax cuts to offset it. People are sceptical about these trade-offs and rightly so, says…

'Smoke and mirrors' health policy
Jeremy Sammut
29 January 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Smoke signals suggest the Turnbull Government’s chief means of digging us out of the looming fiscal black hole will be ‘tax reform’ — hiking the GST and justifying the impost…