Welfare State

Despite a rapid increase in wealth and living standards over the past few decades, more Australians are dependent on the public purse than ever before.  Today, almost one in six working age Australians relies on welfare for all or part of their income.  A growing welfare state means an ever higher tax take is needed, bringing more taxpayers in to the welfare system.  How can government promote individual responsibility and self-reliance, while still providing a safety net?  How can patterns of joblessness and dependency be broken?


Youth Unemployment in Australia
Patrick Carvalho
22 November 2015 | Research Report 7

This report looks at quantifying the rising youth unemployment problem, understanding its causes and proposing policy solutions. Youth employment has progressively taken a hit after the Global Financial Crisis, practically doubling since mid-2008. At an average rate of 13.5% in the past 12 months, the…

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…

Helen Hughes: A Tribute
Glenys Byrne, Greg Lindsay, Noel Pearson, Ron Duncan, Tony Abbott
27 August 2014 | PF26

CIS Senior Fellow Professor Helen Hughes AO passed away on 15 June 2013 after a lifetime dedicated to working passionately and always fiercely on behalf of the poor and the powerless. Helen was a distinguished economist with a particular focus on development economics and improving…

Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha
06 August 2014 | PM141

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare. Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which…

Fairer Paid Parental Leave
Matthew Taylor
07 July 2014 | T30.11

Australia spends just under $1.4 billion (2012–13) on statutory Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to provide more than 130,000 parents with up to 18 weeks of parental leave paid at the full-time minimum wage. The Abbott government proposes to pay primary carers at their pre-birth wages…

Media & Commentary

PBO report confirms family home is the missing piece of pension puzzle
Simon Cowan
25 November 2015

The PBO report Costing 2015 Pensioner Loans Scheme shows that options to boost pensioner living standards through equity release are seriously underutilised, says Centre for Independent Studies economist Simon Cowan…

Unless we break the taboo around adoption, child welfare problems will continue
Jeremy Sammut
10 November 2015 | Sydney Morning Herald

Due to the legacy of past malpractices and harms associated with Forced Adoptions and the Stolen Generations, adoption is widely considered to be taboo in contemporary Australia. Adoption is believed…

National leadership on adoption reform
Jeremy Sammut
06 November 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

It is promising that both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Social Services Christian Porter have endorsed the growing calls for greater use of adoption to provide permanent families…

Heading in the wrong direction
Trisha Jha
23 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The government has run up the white flag on the proposals to reform Family Tax Benefits from the 2014 Budget. The most controversial part of those proposals was the one…

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…