The aim of the research at the CIS is to work towards an efficient and predictable tax system that does not impose too great a burden on the economy.


Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes?
Robert Carling, Terrence O'Brien
05 September 2018 | PP9

This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour. The researchers use…

Too Little; Too Late: Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia
Robert Carling, Matthew O’Donnell
13 June 2018 | PP5

The main thrust of the Government’s proposed personal income tax changes announced in the 2018-19 Budget is welcome, but they could be improved to better promote economic efficiency. Also, implementation should be brought forward, with the earlier revenue losses offset by tighter expenditure management. Specifically,…

Cutting income tax: can we add the bacon to the hamburger and milkshake tax cuts?
Robert Carling
15 April 2018 | PP1

The key problems in personal income tax are excessive marginal rates and an increasing overall average tax rate as bracket creep goes unchecked. Political objectives aside, there is a sound economic case for tax cuts. The government should give priority to instituting a system of…

Red tape and Australia’s economic malaise
Michael Potter
07 February 2018 | OP164

Australia is in a period of economic malaise. GDP per person has been growing slowly ever since the GFC. Australia’s performance is mediocre compared to other developed countries; by contrast, we outperformed before the GFC. Household incomes and wages are also growing at slow rates,…

From Reform to Retreat: 30 Years of Australian Fiscal Policy
Robert Carling
10 December 2017 | OP161

Australia entered an era of economic reform in the mid-1980s as policymakers resolved to liberalise the country’s economy and strengthen its public finances. Fiscal reform, which is the subject of this paper, was an important part of the process. These reforms included management of the…

Media & Commentary

Does inequality matter?
Simon Cowan
05 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

This week we hosted an interesting discussion on inequality (see video). CIS Senior Fellow Robert Carling argued inequality is actually an integral part of a market economy, because the incentive…

No basis in bias science
Monica Wilkie
13 September 2018 | The Spectator

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test? The course uses the…

Buying votes easier than selling good policies
Robert Carling
07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Does the nature of a democracy change when an increasing majority of its voters receive net benefits from, or are employed by, government — while a diminishing minority shoulders the…

New CIS research: Voting for a Living: is government largesse buying votes?
Robert Carling
06 September 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

There are now so many beneficiaries of government largesse that they may constitute a political force strong enough to bias policy outcomes, according to a new paper from the Centre…

Everything falls before politics
Simon Cowan
24 August 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Big businesses in Australia will not be getting their small tax cuts eight years in the future. That money will instead be ‘invested’ in health and education, along with any…