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

Publications

Voting for a living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes?
Robert Carling, Terrence O'Brien
05 September 2018 | PP9

This paper explores the hypothesis that growth of government has become self-sustaining through the emergence of a segment of the population that both enjoys sufficient direct support from government and is large enough that political parties shape policies to curry its favour. The researchers use…

Why childcare is not affordable
Eugenie Joseph
29 August 2018 | RR37

Childcare fees and out-of-pocket costs in Australia have been growing above inflation in recent years, at the same time that more parents are using formalised childcare to support their participation in the workforce. Childcare has been subject to growing and evolving regulation for many years,…

Curbing Corporate Social Responsibility: Preventing Politicisation – and Preserving Pluralism – in Australian Business
Jeremy Sammut
21 August 2018 | AP2

The unprecedented part that leading that Australian companies played in the same-sex marriage campaign in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  has led critics to argue that companies should “stick to their knitting” and not meddle in politically-contentious social debates.  CSR threatens to become…

Without Fear or Favour: Practising your Faith and your Profession
Debra Mullins
20 June 2018 | OP165

The adequacy of religious freedom protections in Australia has been now reviewed by the Ruddock Inquiry established by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the same-sex postal survey in later 2017. By late June June 2018, however, the government had yet to release Ruddock’s findings. Nonetheless,…

Media & Commentary

Au pair system works for parents
Eugenie Joseph
14 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Au pairs represent one of the last bastions of unregulated childcare. It is therefore unsurprising to witness the latest round of criticisms of the au pair system. The Peter Dutton…

Buying votes easier than selling good policies
Robert Carling
07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Does the nature of a democracy change when an increasing majority of its voters receive net benefits from, or are employed by, government — while a diminishing minority shoulders the…

No basis in bias science
Monica Wilkie
07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training (UBT) courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test? The…

Inequality isn't Australia's issue - poverty should be our focus
Simon Cowan
01 September 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald

Purveyors of doom were dealt a blow this week when the Productivity Commission neatly punctured the inequality debate with some long-needed facts. It found that, while overall income inequality has…

Why you can’t afford childcare
Eugenie Joseph
31 August 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

Childcare is becoming less affordable in Australia, despite billions of dollars in public subsidies — and it is largely due to increasingly stringent regulation. The regulation of childcare under the…