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?


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…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

Fiscal Fiction: The Real Medicare Levy
Jeremy Sammut
07 May 2017 | RR27

The Medicare Levy is, and always has been, a fiscal fiction. The revenue raised by the levy is not ‘hypothecated’ – dedicated specifically to fund Medicare – but goes into general government revenue. Moreover, the amount of revenue raised by the levy accounts for a…

Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy
Michael Potter
27 April 2017 | RR25

Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs.…

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…

Media & Commentary

Federalism key to saving states from Medicare
Jeremy Sammut, David Gadiel
21 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

If you thought the Gonski and NDIS ‘funding gaps’ were problems, the cost of schools and disability services pales by comparison to the future cost of Medicare. Health funding remains…

Fiscally fixing health and Medicare means state income taxes
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut

The old business adage warns there is no such thing as a free lunch. And the same applies when it comes to health policy: the notion we can make Australia’s…

Innovation agenda goes missing
07 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Motherhood statements and mantras are all very well, but they need to be followed up with effective policy. The government’s ‘innovative and agile’ agenda was, and still is, a farce.…

Corbyn is cool; fiscal responsibility is not
Robert Carling
30 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Britain’s annual Glastonbury Festival of contemporary performing arts — a product of the counterculture movement — gave Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a rock-star reception last weekend. Against all the odds,…

TRANSCRIPT. The Hon Tony Abbot MP, Submarines: why settle for second-best?
29 June 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

Keeping the country safe is the first duty of government and should be the constant concern of those with responsibility for our well-being. I’m proud that the Abbott government successfully…