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.


The Major Bank Levy: We’re all going to be hit
Michael Potter
19 June 2017 | RR29

The major bank levy was proposed in the 2017–18 Budget. The levy has numerous flaws including: The costs of the levy will likely be passed on as higher interest rates for mortgages and business loans, harming households and business investment which is very weak. The…

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.…

Submission to Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance
Michael Potter
19 April 2017 | CIS Submission

Corporate tax avoidance is an issue of some concern to the Australian community. However, many assertions made in the debate about tax avoidance are not supported by evidence; such as statements that company tax avoidance is widespread. Instead, the evidence shows that company tax revenue…

Report Card on State Finances
Robert Carling
19 February 2017 | RR23

The Commonwealth government’s perilous financial position is well known, but the finances of state government also warrant our attention. In aggregate, since plunging heavily into deficit after 2007, the states’ fiscal position has improved markedly in recent years, marked by a return to net operating…

Media & Commentary

Free market basics need to be re-learnt
Robert Carling
22 September 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The twentieth century taught us enough about the limits to government intervention that the Australian energy market debacle — a failure of intervention, not of markets — could not happen.…

Minimum wage faces the brunt of bracket creep
Robert Carling
18 September 2017 | Canberra Times

All marginal rates of personal income tax are excessive and will become a bigger problem as bracket creep pushes more people into higher brackets. But whereas this point is often…

Little courage in populist tax rises
Simon Cowan
02 September 2017 | Canberra Times

A9X9B5 Tax Rate button on calculator The Liberal government wants you to imagine how high taxes will be if Labor is elected at the next election. A couple weeks ago,…

Paul Keating is wrong on the company tax cut
Michael Potter
02 August 2017 | Australian Financial Review

Opponents of company tax cuts seem to conveniently forget the widespread historical support for precisely the same policy. Now we have former Prime Minister Paul Keating scorning the tax cut in…

Whatever happened to incentive?
Robert Carling
28 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s freshly invigorated inequality narrative has sparked a debate focused on whether inequality is increasing. The answer is the claim of rising inequality lies somewhere between a…