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

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Reform, Retreat and Relinquishment: Lessons from historic state ownership of businesses in NSW
Percy Allan
24 September 2019 | PP23

In the 1980s and 90s, Australian governments agreed to an ambitious program of micro-economic reforms to lift industrial productivity and living standards that had languished in the 1970s and 1980s. Most economic attention on that era has focused on federal government initiatives such as further…

Millennials and Super: the case for voluntary superannuation
Simon Cowan
28 May 2019 | PP20

Superannuation is not a good deal for everyone. As a result of house prices increases, it has become much harder to save for a deposit and, as a result, homeownership percentages among younger workers have fallen. Superannuation, particularly future increases in the guarantee rate, is…

Budget 2019: Why the long-term tax cuts should be fast-tracked
John Humphreys
04 April 2019 | PP19

The centrepiece of the 2019/20 budget was a proposed doubling of the income tax cuts that were legislated last year. Both the short-run LMITO change and the long-run tax cuts will reduce tax, but the two approaches are fundamentally different. These differences are important, but…

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…

Media & Commentary

Sport grants always political
Simon Cowan
24 January 2020 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has revealed that the federal government handed out tens of millions of dollars in community sports infrastructure grants ostensibly for political purposes. This has…

Is anyone really shocked by Sports Rorts 2.0?
Simon Cowan
18 January 2020 | Canberra Times

The Australian National Audit Office has revealed that the federal government handed out tens of millions of dollars in community sports infrastructure grants ostensibly for political purposes. This has outraged…

It's time to storm the gates on age pension reform
Simon Cowan
09 November 2019 | CANBERRA TIMES

There’s always been something of an irony in the invocation of the phrase “an Englishman’s home is his castle” by those opposed to changing the tax and pension arrangements around…

To fix retirement incomes, let's start with reining in superannuation
Simon Cowan
28 October 2019 | The Canberra Times

At the end of last month, the government announced yet another retirement incomes review. That we have had so many inquiries by so many different bodies in recent years indicates…

Tax is the first lever the government can pull for growth
John Humphreys
17 October 2019 | Australian Financial Review

The Australian economy has stalled. According to the most recent national accounts, Australia’s GDP per person has not increased over the past year, and the IMF predicts the stagnation will…