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?


Real Choice for Ageing Australians: Achieving the Benefits of the Consumer-Directed Aged Care Reforms in the New Economy
Jeremy Sammut
09 April 2017 | RR24

The consumer-directed aged care (CDC) reforms are an important opportunity to showcase the benefits of market-based reforms to often sceptical and change-averse members of the public. Given the broader implications, this report warns that the CDC reforms could fall short of their promise and fail to…

Report Card on State Finances
Robert Carling
19 February 2017 | RR23

The Commonwealth government’s perilous financial position is well known, but the finances of state government also warrant our attention. In aggregate, since plunging heavily into deficit after 2007, the states’ fiscal position has improved markedly in recent years, marked by a return to net operating…

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…

Media & Commentary

A once healthy plan to deliver more with less now looks doomed
Jeremy Sammut
21 April 2017 | The Australian

Predictions the National Disability Insurance Scheme would become a new leviathan — a massive, unfunded entitlement program to rival Medicare — are proving true. The states are shifting the cost…

Tax Freedom Day
Michael Potter
21 April 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Congratulations, we’ve passed Tax Freedom Day. We’re no longer working for the government and have started working for ourselves. It has taken 102 days for Australians to pay off the…

The impossible job of a modern-day treasurer
Simon Cowan
18 April 2017 | Canberra Times

Being Treasurer is never easy. If politics is the art of the possible, the Treasurer is the one supplying the paint. Do well and the Prime Minister gets all the…

Guthrie plans changes while no one is watching
Rebecca Weisser
10 March 2017 | The Australian

You can take ABC managing ­director Michelle Guthrie out of Star TV but you can’t Star TV out of Guthrie. That’s good news for taxpayers. When Guthrie appointed Jim Rudder…

Aunty's future
Rebecca Weisser
10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Aunty copped criticism this week for hiding its male stars as a way of celebrating International Women’s Day.  It seemed churlish when Australian men make such a sterling contribution to…