Social Policy

The Centre for Independent Studies remains at the forefront of social policy debate in Australia, with a focus on key issues such as welfare, health care, education and child protection. Ending the growth of the welfare state is a priority for the CIS social research team, as government spending on welfare continues to increase, seemingly unabated.

Since the 1980s, the CIS has been researching social policy issues, with the aim of promoting policies that emphasise personal responsibility and individual choice.

The CIS seeks a future for Australia that has individual freedom under a limited government. We believe that such a future would strengthen community life, leading to a more cohesive and flourishing civil society.

Follow the links for further information on our major social policy areas:

Featured Publication


The Madness of Australian Child Protection: Why Adoption Will Rescue Australia's Underclass Children
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2015 | Connorcourt Publishing

Why are Australian children abused and neglected in plain sight of the child welfare authorities supposed to protect them? This passionate account of a flawed system argues that the crisis besetting child protection regimes nation-wide will not end until the taboo on the use of…

Health Innovation
Rohan Mead, Mark Fitzgibbon, Angus Taylor, Jeremy Sammut
22 September 2015

It’s time to reposition health research. In the wake of the Medicare co-payment debate it is clear that talking about health reform solely in the context of debt and deficits is producing diminishing returns. We need to change the conversation about health by emphasising the benefits –…

Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education
Trisha Jha, Jennifer Buckingham
31 August 2015 | Research Report 6

Charter schools and free schools – publicly-funded, privately-managed schools – have been introduced in several countries around the world as a way of extending school choice, particularly for low income families. This report examines the policies and research on charter schools and their equivalents in…

No Ordinary Garment: The Burqa and the Pursuit of Tolerance
Peter Kurti
11 June 2015 | Research Report 5

Islam is asserting itself in new ways in Australia. Muslim groups are increasingly asking that precedence be given to sharia law over secular laws passed by our parliaments. There are also calls for greater public acceptance of Islamic practices in economic and social life. Some…

Towards a more competitive Medicare: The case for deregulating medical fees and co-payments in Australia
David Gadiel
03 May 2015 | Research Report 1

GPs have been willing to bulk bill for over 80% of GP consultations, but where local conditions permit, they are comfortable to charge patients what the market will bear. Specialists have generally opposed bulk billing, except (in some instances) for Concession card holders. It is…

Media & Commentary

Productivity Commission’s brave call on the family home is right
Simon Cowan
02 December 2015 | Australian Financial Review

It’s been clear for some time that the exemption of the family home from the pension assets test is hurting everyone. Taxpayers pay $44 billion a year in pensions, non-homeowner…

PC report confirms CIS research on family home as key to boosting retiree living standards
Simon Cowan
01 December 2015

The Productivity Commission report confirms the key findings of our research: that the family home is key to boosting living standards for retirees, says Centre for Independent Studies researcher Simon…

Childcare tantrum over hourly fees
Trisha Jha
27 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

That wailing sound you heard coming from childcare centres this week was not from upset children. It was the caterwauling from the childcare industry as it howled with indignation over…

Give youth a leg up not a handout
Patrick Carvalho
27 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

We need economic reforms to foster investment and job creation that can fight the rising problem of youth unemployment in Australia. My new research report outlines that jobless rates have…

Judge this book by its cover
Jeremy Sammut
27 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

There was some controversy over the use of the famed Hogarth ‘Gin Lane’ etching for the cover of my book on child protection policy in Australia. However, the image was…