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.


Principles and recommendations for tax reform - CIS submission National Reform Summit
Simon Cowan, Robert Carling, Henry Ergas
27 August 2015 | The Centre for Independent Studies

The slant towards cutting taxes before 2010 was welcome, but for such an approach to return in the foreseeable future, the growth of government spending will have to be curbed and the size of government as a share of GDP reduced. Although tax reform may…

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…

Right or Rort? Dissecting Australia’s Tax Concessions
Robert Carling
03 May 2015 | Research Report 2

While action is needed to correct structural budget deficits, the criticism of tax concessions has lost sight of the legitimate reasons for many of them, and often overestimates the revenue gain. On the whole, the so-called concessions for capital gains tax, negative gearing, superannuation, dividend…

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…

Media & Commentary

Two cheers for Treasurer
Michael Potter
28 August 2015

On Monday, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, made a speech arguing that personal taxes should be cut, particularly to address bracket creep (when taxpayers pay a greater proportion of their income…

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…

Bracket creep reform: What are you waiting for, Hockey?
Michael Potter
25 August 2015 | ABC The Drum

Mr Hockey rightly argues bracket creep is a stealth tax increase. Addressing the problem of stealth income tax increases is crucial for a Government wishing to focus on jobs and…