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


Fiscal Fiction: The Real Medicare Levy
Jeremy Sammut
07 May 2017 | RR27

The Medicare Levy is, and always has been, a fiscal fiction. The revenue raised by the levy is not ‘hypothecated’ – dedicated specifically to fund Medicare – but goes into general government revenue. Moreover, the amount of revenue raised by the levy accounts for a…

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.…

Real Choice for Ageing Australians: Achieving the Benefits of the Consumer-Directed Aged Care Reforms in the New Economy
Jeremy Sammut
09 April 2017 | RR24

The consumer-directed aged care (CDC) reforms are an important opportunity to showcase the benefits of market-based reforms to often sceptical and change-averse members of the public. Given the broader implications, this report warns that the CDC reforms could fall short of their promise and fail to…

Ending the Violence in Indigenous Communities
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Marcia Langton, Josephine Cashman
05 December 2016 | OP152

Urgent action is need to address the epidemic of violence in Indigenous communities. Aboriginal women are between 37 and 80 times more likely to experience family violence than non-Indigenous women. For too long, the voices of the victims of domestic violence have been oppressed and…

MEDI-VATION: ‘Health Innovation Communities’ for Medicare Payment and Service Reform
Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas, Peta Seaton
02 November 2016 | RR21

Health Innovation Communities (HICs) would essentially constitute an Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ for health – hubs for research and development within which the proverbial 1000 flowers will bloom as a plurality of different providers create novel health products and solutions. The good examples and real world…

Media & Commentary

Indigenous business policy a good step
Charles Jacobs
12 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The ongoing restructuring of the much-maligned Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is a step in the right direction for Indigenous Business. Whilst scant mention was made of Indigenous Australians in the…

The true Mediscare is how much we really pay
Jeremy Sammut
11 May 2017 | Daily Telegraph

Scott Morrison has launched a new raid on the wallets of taxpayers who in reality are already paying almost seven times the official Medicare Levy rate to actually cover the…

Budget 2017: Medicare – not even Labor lite
Jeremy Sammut
10 May 2017 | The Spectator - Flat White

So the economic narrative of the Turnbull Government has come to this. A ‘tax and spend’ Budget that is more Labor (not even Labor-lite) than Liberal, with health policy as…

CIS wrap: Budget 2017
Simon Cowan, Robert Carling, Michael Potter, Blaise Joseph, Jeremy Sammut, Sara Hudson, Charles Jacobs
10 May 2017

Budget 2017 entrenches big government Simon Cowan  In this budget the government has surrendered to the special interest groups and revenue-istas. Having maintained for years that the problem was excessive…

The fantasy of ‘Gonski funding’ set to continue
Blaise Joseph
05 May 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

As Yogi Berra said: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” While we’re still recovering from the nightmare of Gonski 1.0, the government has unleashed Gonski 2.0. The government’s announcement this…