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

Winners and losers of 2018
Simon Cowan
18 December 2018 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Is it possible to make sense of a tumultuous year in Australia politics (as if there is any other kind these days)? It’s fair to say that those on the…

Fiscal discipline as a victim of political disruption
Robert Carling
07 December 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

It is often said that Australians have become complacent about what is needed to maintain the foundations for solid growth in the economy – jobs, real wages and living standards…

A small step to correct a flawed tax
Robert Carling
09 November 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet this week announced a plan to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation from 2019. This means the points at which the graduated duty…

Dominic Perrottet’s reforms are welcome, but the government must break its addiction to this bad tax
Robert Carling
06 November 2018 | The Daily Telegraph

THE move by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to index real estate stamp duty thresholds to inflation is a small step towards correcting the state’s addiction to a fundamentally bad tax.…

Tax and spend gets us nowhere
Simon Cowan
02 November 2018 | THE AUSTRALIAN

Does Australia need more tax revenue to provide social welfare, health, education and public goods? Too many people have an instinctive answer that likely bears little relationship to how much…