ANU experts have their say ahead of Federal Budget

The Morrison Government will hand down its budget on Tuesday 2 April.

A number of ANU experts are available to comment on the budget and its implications for Australia.



Professor Robert Breunig

Director, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute

Crawford School of Public Policy

T: 0434 689 928


“We need to stop tinkering with taxes and think about serious reform. With every budget, the tax system grows in complexity.  This complexity comes at a great cost to taxpayers and is one of the main reasons that our tax system is unfair.  People use the complexity to skirt the rules and pay less tax than they should.  We desperately need reform and simplification.

“The best way to help people is by increasing their capacity to help themselves.  So investing in child care, education, the health care system and social and physical infrastructure are good ways to transfer money to the less well-off.”


Professor Warwick McKibbin AO

Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis

Crawford School of Public Policy

M: 0419 230 760


Expertise: economic development, taxation and revenue, climate change and energy policy


Dr John Hewson

Chair, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute

Crawford School of Public Policy


Expertise: Australian economy policy and tax reform, Australian politics



Dr Liz Allen

Centre for Social Research and Methods

T: 0401 358 091


"Australia’s ageing population requires careful financial planning and preparedness, but what is good for most of Australians risks angering older voters. With growing generational inequality, action is overdue to redress schemes favouring older wealthy Australians. 

“Proposed immigration cuts will add additional pressures on the budget, jeopardising promised infrastructure spending and delivery and compromising Australia’s business as usual.

“Who will be the winners of this election budget? It likely won’t be the growing ageing voter base."


Associate Professor Nicholas Biddle

Associate Director, Centre for Social Research & Methods                                  

P: 0466 841 595


Expertise: Economics of Indigenous populations, education economics, patterns of income inequality.


Associate Professor Ben Phillips

Centre for Social Research & Methods

P: 0403 929 395


Expertise: Taxation, welfare, public policy, demography & population, statistical modelling



Dr Andrew Hughes

Research School of Management

P: 0413 130 129


"This Budget is the last real chance it gets to switch the narrative onto something it can get resonance, and momentum, with before the election campaign begins. Question is will it end up being a short story or a magnum opus that the government so desperately needs.

"Budget 2019 will not only frame the narrative for the Coalition, but for Labor as well. This is their big chance to dissuade voters that they won’t wreck the furniture if elected, and that the class warfare of old Labor is not the path of new Labor.

"If the one thing the Liberal brand does well is economics then if this Budget fails to deliver they should start planning for the re-brand now in time to be competitive for election 2022 as this one will be gone."


Dr Jill Sheppard

School of Politics and International Relations

P: 0407 052 927


Expertise: Australian politics and political participation, electoral behaviour, social class in Australia


Professor John Wanna

Australia and New Zealand School of Government

School of Politics & International Relations

P: 0410 966 719


Expertise: Australian politics, budgetary systems and reforms, public policy, economic development policy



 Professor Rory Medcalf

Head, National Security College

P: 0417 799 278


Expertise: security, defence, foreign policy, government and politics of Asia and the Pacific


Jacinta Carroll

Director, National Security Policy

National Security College

P: 0417 274 878


“This budget will bring some welcome news for investment in policing and security capability, which have both been subject to cuts in recent years. Increased investment in intelligence capability was a key recommendation of 2017's Independent Intelligence Review, along with enhanced cross-agency coordination of intelligence capability, through the establishment of the Office of National Intelligence. Around 90% of the announced budget funding is for the Australian Federal Police, and covers a broad array of investigative priorities including transnational, serious and organise crime, and counter-terrorism."

“Questions that arise from this include how this investment in policing and security will be maintained in the longer term, and how overall intelligence capability is being coordinated amongst the various agencies. There will continue to be a high level of interest in how agency resources are balanced and prioritised against a complex array of threats."



Dr Gaetan Burgio

The John Curtain School of Medical Research

T: 02 612 59428

“In this pre-election federal budget year it will be interesting to see how Science, Technology and Innovation will be considered. 

"Overall a continuity to the previous budget is expected, with an increased investment in the Medical Research Funds (MRFF) to translate medical discoveries into practice and the NCRIS to provide world class research infrastructure.  However, investment in basic science through the NHMRC and the ARC, which are vital to fuel new ideas and innovation, is unlikely to improve.

"It will also be interesting to follow the STEM sector, and notably the budget commitment to the CSIRO and the bureau of meteorology."

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