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


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…

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015 | Research Report 3

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection
Jeremy Sammut
08 December 2014 | PM144

This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy, and that Aboriginal exceptionalism—typified by the operation of Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (ACPP)—must cease. To help ‘Close the Gap’ in social outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians, Indigenous…

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…

Media & Commentary

4 Corners on Medicare an economics-free zone
David Gadiel
09 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

On 28 September ABC Television screened an episode of its 4 Corners program, hosted by Dr Norman Swan, described as a special report “on the unnecessary testing and treatments choking…

Social conservatism and limited government
Jeremy Sammut
02 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

There is a school of thought that says the Abbott government failed to achieve economic reform because of Tony Abbott’s social conservatism. I discuss this subject in an article in…

Give the AMA a bypass and privatise public hospitals
Jeremy Sammut
29 September 2015 | The Australian

The Australian Medical Association’s pre-emptive political strike on the Medicare services review shows that some members of the medical profession believe only the doctor’s union should make health policy in…

Health Reform Innovation
Jeremy Sammut
25 September 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Recent events in Canberra have put the spotlight on the need for policymakers to improve how they communicate the message of economic reform. In the wake of the failure of…

MEDIA RELEASE: CIS urges new Cabinet to tackle old problems
21 September 2015

The Centre for Independent Studies welcomes the new federal Ministers, and looks forward to them developing invigorated policy to solve long-standing issues. While there will be myriad tasks to tackle…