The Nanny State

The state is supposed to set a framework in which people can live peacefully together. Recently, governments around the world have been inclined to go beyond this traditional role. Instead of issuing some basic rules in which we can live our lives as we please, they are now trying to prescribe specific ways of life. Can this ever be justified or are government nannies just infantilizing society?

Publications

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
Helen Andrews, Barry Maley
11 August 2015 | CIS Submission

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures
Helen Andrews
26 November 2014 | PM143

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in…

Submission to the National Commission of Audit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha
01 April 2014 | T30.08

The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government. This publication is an edited version of the CIS submission to the CoA listing practical solutions aimed at cutting government expenditure. The government should adopt a…

Emergency Budget Repair Kit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Trisha Jha
21 November 2013 | T30.05

The new Abbott government should address its self-identified budget emergency by cutting wasteful spending now. Reducing government will also help prepare Australia for its future fiscal challenges. There are some simple steps that can move the budget back to surplus in the short term. The…

Media & Commentary

From pillory to post-truth
Peter Kurti
02 December 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The word designated by Oxford Dictionaries as the Word of the Year for 2016 is post-truth — as in, “some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth…

Freedom fighters stop free speech. Surprised?
Peter Kurti
01 December 2016 | Daily Telegraph

Melbourne-based group Jews against fascism claims to be standing up for freedom. But stamping out free speech and intimidating fellow Australians are tactics direct from the fascist playbook. Conservative Jewish…

Sugar tax insanity is catching
Trisha Jha
19 September 2016 | Spectator Flat White

Here we go again. The UK Government unveiled its plans for a sugar tax in March this year. Closer to home, the Labour Party in New Zealand was recently reported…

Shunning reform the real 'fool's errand'
Peter Kurti
16 September 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Restrictions on free speech imposed by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 look set to remain in place as the government turns its back on reform. But this…

Tolerate — or else!
Peter Kurti
15 July 2016 | The spectator

During the 2016 election campaign, the Australian Greens declared they were spelling the end of the religious exemptions enshrined in federal anti-discrimination legislation — as they are in the anti-discrimination…