General

The CIS examines the roles and responsibilities of commonwealth, state and local governments, the fiscal aspects of federalism and the benefits a federal structure brings to Australia.

Publications

Medi-Mess: Rational Federalism and Patient Cost-Sharing for Public Hospital Sustainability in Australia
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut
16 July 2017 | RR30

The latest attempt to ‘end the blame game’ between the state and federal governments over health funding was scuttled after state premiers rejected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘tax swap’ federalism reform proposal at the April 2016 COAG meeting.  The intransigence of the states —and the…

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…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

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.…

Early Childhood Intervention: Assessing the evidence
Trisha Jha
20 September 2016 | Research Report 19

Early childhood interventions are programs that aim to improve a child’s development trajectory over the longer term. In the context of increasing disadvantage in welfare-dependent communities in Australia, governments spend considerable sums on these programs. The rationale is that investment, in theory, will reduce the…

Media & Commentary

Despair beneath the boab tree
Sara Hudson
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

There is a stark contrast between the beauty of the Kimberley and the sense of despair enveloping many of the people living there. The State Coroner is currently conducting an…

Corbyn crusade turns north
Charles Jacobs
04 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Jeremy Corbyn’s summer crusade will land in Scotland as he continues a post-election charm offensive. Five days this month will be spent wooing voters in marginal seats as Labour attempt…

Gaming the Constitution undermines democracy
Simon Cowan
24 July 2017 | CANBERRA TIMES

If the news that Scott Ludlam was an accidental Kiwi and therefore ineligible to sit in the Senate was surprising, Larissa Waters’ announcement that she too was stepping down because…

UK election: conventional political wisdom gets it wrong again
Simon Cowan
10 June 2017 | Canberra Times

The remarkable UK election results demonstrate yet again that it’s time to abandon unwavering belief in accepted political wisdom. One after another the shibboleths are falling. Labour’s stunning result suggests…

Penalty rates a challenge for business
Simon Cowan
10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The government’s response to the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates has been weak. The government has appeared indecisive, yet will wear opprobrium for supporting the decision anyway. That…