The 2013-14 Budget has new funding for not one but two new think tanks.
The government is providing $4.6 million over four years to set up the Andrew Fisher Applied Policy Institute for Ageing. Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister of Australia on three seperate occassions from 1908 to 1915, during which time the foundations of the Australian welfare state were established (namely the Age Pension and the Invalid Pension).
While WasteWatch thinks tackling the growing cost of Australia’s ageing population is extremely important, we don’t need another government funded think tank to do the work. The government should have just checked out The Centre for Independent Studies’ TARGET30 welfare report or CIS Research Fellow Stephen Kirchner’s work on superannuation to get ideas for reforming our system of retirement savings.
The government is also providing $3 million to establish a Tax Studies Institute at the Australian National University. Again, the CIS has been working towards tax reform for decades. Instead of spending more of other people’s money, they could have just read the work of CIS Senior Fellows Robert Carling and Peter Saunders.
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