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?


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…

Still Damaging and Disturbing: Australian Child Protection Data and the Need for National Adoption Targets
Jeremy Sammut
16 April 2014 | IA145

In December 2013, the Abbott government announced plans to make it easier for Australian parents to adopt children both locally and from overseas. Acknowledging the official ‘taboo’ on adoption in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott ordered an inter-departmental committee to recommend ways to take adoption…

Submission to the National Commission of Audit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha
01 April 2014 | T30.08

The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government. This publication is an edited version of the CIS submission to the CoA listing practical solutions aimed at cutting government expenditure. The government should adopt a…

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…

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…

SA Coroner recommendations prove child protection policy due for a change
10 April 2015

The recommendations of the SA Coroner, particularly concerning the need to increase the use of adoption, are very welcome, says child protection researcher Dr Jeremy Sammut. The Centre for Independent…

Doctor, charge what you dare
David Gadiel
24 March 2015 | The Australian

Rather than flogging the dead horse of the GP co-payment, the government could have avoided this embarrassment by leaving the responsibility of patient cost sharing to the marketplace. The current…