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 | 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…

Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha
06 August 2014 | PM141

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare. Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which…

Media & Commentary

Australia is not heading to a recession ... yet
Patrick Carvalho, Michael Potter
03 September 2015

It’s official: Australia’s glory days might be truly over. The Bureau of Statistics yesterday released the latest economic growth figures, and they present sobering reading. Economic growth for the June…

National Reform Summit good, bad and ugly
Simon Cowan
28 August 2015

On Wednesday, KPMG hosted Australia’s opinion leaders at the National Reform Summit. Trade unions, business leaders, community and interest groups, even the odd think tank researcher, sat down for the…

A GST increase - taking the easy way out
Michael Potter
28 August 2015 | SBS

As a result of the National Reform Summit, there has been increasing support for a rise in the GST to fund a company tax cut. There is much to be…

Tax cuts are good for government
Robert Carling
27 August 2015 | Daily Telegraph

THE crux of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s tax reform speech this week was spot on. In his words, our tax system is holding us back from reaching our end goal of…

Reform spending not taxes
Greg Lindsay
03 August 2015 | Australian Financial Review

The public policy debate surrounding tax and government spending has travelled a long way since the Abbott government came to office committed to ending the “age of entitlement” – but…